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Meadville, Pennsylvania
City of Meadville
Downtown Meadville
Downtown Meadville
Official seal of Meadville, Pennsylvania
Etymology: David Mead, founder
Location of Meadville in Crawford County, Pennsylvania
Location of Meadville in Crawford County, Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Meadville, Pennsylvania is located in Pennsylvania
Meadville, Pennsylvania
Meadville, Pennsylvania
Location in Pennsylvania
Meadville, Pennsylvania is located in the United States
Meadville, Pennsylvania
Meadville, Pennsylvania
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Crawford
Settled May 12, 1788; 235 years ago (1788-05-12)
 • Total 4.38 sq mi (11.34 km2)
 • Land 4.37 sq mi (11.32 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
1,400 ft (400 m)
 • Total 13,388
 • Estimate 
 • Density 2,894.56/sq mi (1,117.48/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
16335, 16388
Area code(s) 814
FIPS code 42-48360
Pennsylvania Historical Marker
Designated: November 1, 1946
Meadville, PA Allegheny College marker
Keystone Marker for Meadville

Meadville is a city in and the county seat of Crawford County, Pennsylvania, United States. The city is within 40 miles (64 km) of Erie and within 90 miles (140 km) of Pittsburgh. It was the first permanent settlement in Northwestern Pennsylvania. The population was 13,388 at the 2010 census. The city of Meadville is the principal city of the Meadville, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area. As well as one of two cities, the other being Erie, that make up the larger Erie-Meadville, PA Combined Statistical Area.


Meadville was settled on May 12, 1788, by a party of settlers led by David Mead. Its location was chosen well, for it lies at the confluence of Cussewago Creek and French Creek, and was only a day's travel by boat to the safety of Ft. Franklin.

Their settlement was in a large meadow, first cleared by Native Americans led by Chief Custaloga, and well suited for growing maize. The village Custaloga built here was known as Cussewago.

The neighboring Iroquois and Lenape befriended the isolated settlement, but their enemies, including the Wyandots, were not so amiable. The threat of their attacks caused the settlement to be evacuated for a time in 1791.

Around 1800, many of the settlers to the Meadville area came after receiving land bounties for service in the Revolutionary War. Allegheny College, the second oldest college west of the Allegheny Mountains, was founded in Meadville in 1815 and is the oldest college west of the Allegheny Mountains that has kept its original name. Meadville became an important transportation center after construction of the French Creek Feeder Canal in 1837 and of the Beaver and Erie Canal it connected to at Conneaut Lake and subsequent railroad development.

Meadville Theological School was established in 1844 by a wealthy businessman and Unitarian named Harm Jan Huidekoper. It moved to Chicago in 1926.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries Meadville played a small part in the Underground Railroad helping escaping slaves to freedom. An event in September 1880 led to the end of segregation by race in the state's public schools. At the South Ward schools, Elias Allen tried unsuccessfully to enroll his two children. He appealed to the Crawford County Court of Common Pleas, and Judge Pearson Church declared unconstitutional the 1854 state law mandating separate schools for Negro children. This law was amended, effective July 4, 1881, to prohibit such segregation.

By the late 19th century, Meadville's economy was also driven by logging, agriculture, and iron production. The Talon Corporation, headquartered in Meadville, played a major role in the development of the zipper. Since the clothing industry was largely unaffected by the Great Depression, the community saw a population boom at that time. During World War II, the nearby Keystone Ordnance plant brought additional jobs to the area.

After the war, Meadville's industrial growth continued. Talon remained a major employer, along with the Erie Railroad, American Viscose Corporation (later known as Avtex Fibers), Channellock tools, and Dad's Pet Food. In the 1980s, the Great Lakes region saw a decline in heavy industry. By the early 1990s, Channellock and Dad's were the only large companies operating in Meadville. This blow to the local economy was softened by subsequent surge in light industry, mainly tool and die machine shops, earning Meadville the nickname Tool City, USA. The area has seen growth in the 1990s and first decade of the 21st century. The song "Bittersweet Motel" by Vermont jam band, Phish, was inspired when keyboardist, Page McConnell, left a wedding in Meadville and drove down to the Pittsburgh Airport.

In addition to the Meadville Downtown Historic District, the Baldwin-Reynolds House, Bentley Hall, Independent Congregational Church, Dr. J. R. Mosier Office, Roueche House, Ruter Hall, and Judge Henry Shippen House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Meadville is the home of Allegheny College, a liberal arts college with approximately 2100 students.


Meadville is located at 41°39′N 80°9′W / 41.650°N 80.150°W / 41.650; -80.150 (41.642, −80.147).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.4 square miles (11 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 457
1820 649 42.0%
1830 1,076 65.8%
1840 1,319 22.6%
1850 2,578 95.5%
1860 3,702 43.6%
1870 7,103 91.9%
1880 8,860 24.7%
1890 9,520 7.4%
1900 10,291 8.1%
1910 12,780 24.2%
1920 14,568 14.0%
1930 16,698 14.6%
1940 18,919 13.3%
1950 18,972 0.3%
1960 16,671 −12.1%
1970 16,573 −0.6%
1980 15,544 −6.2%
1990 14,318 −7.9%
2000 13,685 −4.4%
2010 13,388 −2.2%
2019 (est.) 12,655 −5.5%

As of the census of 2017, there were 12,973 people, 5,376 households, and 2,891 families residing in the city. The population density was 3.060.1 people per square mile (1,214.7/km2). There were 5,985 housing units at an average density of 1,375.5 per square mile (531.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.5% (11,487)  White, 5.28% African American, 0.18% Native American, 2.4% (320) Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 3.2% (420) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.4% (5) of the population.

There were 5,376 households, out of which 17.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.5% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.8% were non-families. 38.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the city the population was spread out, with 19.4% under the age of 18, 20.0% from 18 to 24, 22.0% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 18.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. There are currently 6,171 males (46.6%) while there are currently 7,067 females (53.4%).

The median income for a household in the city was $33,848, and the median income for a family was $54,069. Males had a median income of $32,813 versus $22,579 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,290. About 13.7% of families and 22.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.3% of those under age 18 and 13.3% of those age 65 or over.



Meadville is the home of Allegheny College, a liberal arts college with approximately 1,700 students. Allegheny was founded in April 1815 by the Reverend Timothy Alden, a graduate of Harvard's School of Divinity. The college was historically affiliated with the United Methodist Church after 1833, although it is currently non-sectarian. The first class, consisting of four male students, began their studies on July 4, 1816, without any formal academic buildings. Within six years, Alden accumulated sufficient funds to begin building a campus. The first building erected, the library, was designed by Alden himself, and is a notable example of early American architecture. Bentley Hall is named in honor of Dr. William Bentley, who donated his private library to the college, a collection of considerable value and significance. In 1824, Thomas Jefferson wrote to Alden, expressing the hope that his University of Virginia could someday possess the richness of Allegheny's library. Alden served as president of the college until 1831, when financial and enrollment difficulties forced his resignation. Ruter Hall was built in 1853.

Meadville Theological School was established in 1844 by a wealthy businessman and Unitarian named Harm Jan Huidekoper. It moved to Chicago in 1926.

Primary and secondary education

Public schools, all part of the Crawford Central School District:
  • Meadville Area Senior High School (grades 9–12)
  • Meadville Middle School (grades 7–8)
  • First District Elementary School (grades K-6)
  • Neason Hill Elementary School (grades K-6)
  • Second District Elementary School (grades K-6)
  • West End Elementary School (grades K-6)

Private/charter schools:

  • Calvary Baptist Christian Academy (grades K-12)
  • Seton Catholic School (grades K-8)
  • The Learning Center K-8 Independent School (grades K-8)

Notable people

  • Henry Baldwin, Supreme Court justice, lone dissenter in the Amistad case
  • Journey Brown, Penn State running back
  • Cameron Carpenter, Grammy-nominated organist
  • James Clark, Jesuit and president of the College of the Holy Cross
  • Ernestine Cobern Beyer, poet and children's author
  • George Washington Cullum U.S. Army general from the civil war
  • John Dick, U.S. Congressman from Pennsylvania
  • Samuel Bernard Dick, U.S. Congressman from Pennsylvania
  • Lavantia Densmore Douglass (1827–1899), social reformer
  • Jack Dunn, Major League pitcher and Minor League Baseball team owner
  • R. Budd Dwyer, former PA State Treasurer
  • Todd Erdos, Major League Baseball player
  • John Wilson Farrelly, U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 22nd congressional district from 1847 to 1849
  • Patrick Farrelly, U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district from 1823 to 1826
  • Randy Fichtner, former Offensive Coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers, graduate of Meadville Area Senior High
  • Charles Homer Haskins, historian, advisor to President Woodrow Wilson
  • Todd Holland, television and film director and producer
  • Carl Hovde (1926–2009), professor and dean during the Columbia University protests of 1968
  • Henry Shippen Huidekoper, Lieutenant Colonel of the 150th PA Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Awarded the Medal of Honor for meritorious service on July 1, 1863, at the Battle of Gettysburg
  • Alison Irwin, reality show competitor
  • Lynn Jones, former Major League Baseball player
  • Virginia Kirkus, creator of Kirkus Reviews
  • Wade Manning, former National Football League player
  • Alexander S. McDill, congressman from Wisconsin
  • Ross A. McGinnis, US Army soldier who was killed in the Iraq War December 4, 2006, and was posthumously awarded the United States' highest decoration for bravery, the Medal of Honor.
  • Tammy Pescatelli, comedian
  • Branch Rickey, Baseball executive
  • Raymond P. Shafer, former governor of Pennsylvania
  • Michael S. Smith, jazz drummer and percussionist
  • Gladys Marie Stein, author and composer
  • Sharon Stone (1958-), actress
  • Gideon Sundback, member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his work on the development of the zipper
  • Jay Tessmer, former Major League Baseball player
  • Vicki Van Meter, record-setting child pilot
  • John K. Williams, Wisconsin state legislator
  • Andrew J. Yorty, Wisconsin state legislator

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Meadville (Pensilvania) para niños

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