kids encyclopedia robot

Potter County, Pennsylvania facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Potter County
Potter County Courthouse
Potter County Courthouse
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Potter County
Location within the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Pennsylvania
Founded September 1, 1826
Named for James Potter
Seat Coudersport
Largest borough Coudersport
 • Total 1,082 sq mi (2,800 km2)
 • Land 1,081 sq mi (2,800 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)  0.02%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 16/sq mi (6/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 12th

Potter County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,457, making it the fifth-least populous county in Pennsylvania. Its county seat is Coudersport. The county was created in 1804 and later organized in 1836. It is named after James Potter, who was a general from Pennsylvania in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Due to its remoteness and natural environment, it has been nicknamed “Gods Country.” The county is also known for its white supremacy movements.

Potter County is located in the Allegheny Plateau and Susquehanna Valley region.


Major Isaac Lyman, an American Revolutionary war veteran was one of the first permanent settlers in Potter County. Major Lyman is recognized as the founder of Potter County. He was paid ten dollars for each settler he convinced to move to Potter County. He built his home in 1809 in nearby Lymansville, now known as Ladonna. Major Lyman also built the first road to cross Potter County and Potter County's first sawmill and gristmill.

Lyman had a colorful personal history. After the death in childbirth of his first wife, Sally Edgecombe, he remarried; later he left his second wife and started a third family in Potter County. The second Mrs. Lyman was determined not to suffer on her own. She sought out the Major, travelling from Bolton Landing, New York to Potter County with the help of their son, Burrell, who was 18 at the time. Major Lyman lived with these two families in Potter County. Historical accounts of the living situation vary. Some say that Lyman kept both wives under one roof. Others state that there were two log homes for the families on the same piece of property. Descendants of Major Isaac Lyman's three families still live and work in Potter County.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,082 square miles (2,800 km2), of which 1,081 square miles (2,800 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (0.02%) is water.

Three major watersheds meet in Potter County: the watersheds of the Chesapeake Bay, St. Lawrence River, and Mississippi River. Moreover, the main stem by volume of the entire Mississippi river system, the Allegheny River, has its source in central Potter County, near Cobb Hill.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • US 6.svg US Route 6
  • PA-44.svg Pennsylvania Route 44
  • PA-49.svg Pennsylvania Route 49
  • PA-144.svg Pennsylvania Route 144
  • PA-155.svg Pennsylvania Route 155
  • PA-244.svg Pennsylvania Route 244
  • PA-449.svg Pennsylvania Route 449
  • PA-607.svg Pennsylvania Route 607
  • PA-872.svg Pennsylvania Route 872


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 29
1820 186 541.4%
1830 1,265 580.1%
1840 3,371 166.5%
1850 6,048 79.4%
1860 11,470 89.6%
1870 11,265 −1.8%
1880 13,797 22.5%
1890 22,778 65.1%
1900 30,621 34.4%
1910 29,729 −2.9%
1920 21,089 −29.1%
1930 17,489 −17.1%
1940 18,201 4.1%
1950 16,810 −7.6%
1960 16,483 −1.9%
1970 16,395 −0.5%
1980 17,726 8.1%
1990 16,717 −5.7%
2000 18,080 8.2%
2010 17,457 −3.4%
2020 16,396 −6.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2017 2010-2020

As of the census of 2000, there were 18,080 people, 7,005 households, and 5,001 families residing in the county. The population density was 17 people per square mile (6/km2). There were 12,159 housing units at an average density of 11 per square mile (4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.06% White, 0.29% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, and 0.71% from two or more races. 0.57% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 27.3% were of English, 26.9% were of German, 9.9% Irish and 5.8% Italian ancestry.

There were 7,005 households, out of which 31.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.50% were married couples living together, 7.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.60% were non-families. 24.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.02.

In Potter County, the population was spread out, with 26.00% under the age of 18, 6.90% from 18 to 24, 26.10% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, and 16.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 97.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.80 males.


Pike Township Enter
Potter County is known for its wild areas.

Potter County is home to 8 state parks and many more acres of state forest and gamelands.

The county is also the location of the annual "God's Country Marathon" race between Galeton and Coudersport.


Map of Potter County Pennsylvania With Municipal and Township Labels
Map of Potter County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Boroughs (red) and Townships (white).

Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in at most two cases, towns. The following boroughs and townships are located in Potter County:



  • Abbott
  • Allegany
  • Bingham
  • Clara
  • Eulalia
  • Genesee
  • Harrison
  • Hebron
  • Hector
  • Homer
  • Keating
  • Oswayo
  • Pike
  • Pleasant Valley
  • Portage
  • Roulette
  • Sharon
  • Stewardson
  • Summit
  • Sweden
  • Sylvania
  • Ulysses
  • West Branch
  • Wharton

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Road district (defunct)

  • East Fork Road was a former district which dissolved on January 1, 2004. The district contained only one road and 14 residents, with almost all of the district's land claimed as part of the Susquehannock State Forest. The territory that constituted the East Fork Road District is now the eastern half of Wharton Township.

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Potter County.

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Coudersport Borough 2,546
2 Galeton Borough 1,149
3 Shinglehouse Borough 1,127
4 Roulette CDP 779
5 Ulysses Borough 621
6 Austin Borough 562
7 Sweden Valley CDP 223
8 Oswayo Borough 139

Marcellus shale impact fee

Act 13 of 2012, which levied a Marcellus Shale Impact Fee, was signed into law by Governor Tom Corbett on February 14, 2012. The bill provides for the imposition of an unconventional well fee by county (or alternatively municipalities compelling the imposition of an unconventional well fee). A county may impose the fee if unconventional gas wells are located within its borders and it passes an ordinance within 60 days of the effective date of Act 13. A county that did not pass an ordinance imposing a fee is prohibited from receiving funds. This prohibition remains in effect until a county passes an ordinance imposing a fee. In 2014, Potter County received an impact fee disbursement of $256,456.52. The top county recipient was Washington County which received $6,512,570.65 in 2014. In 2014, there were 40 marcellus shale wells in Potter County.

  • 2013 - 58 wells, received $401,640.77,
  • 2012 - 30 wells, received $407,315.48
  • 2011 - $554, 536.48


Map of Potter County Pennsylvania School Districts
Map of Potter County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts

Public school districts

  • Austin Area School District
  • Coudersport Area School District
  • Galeton Area School District (also in Tioga County)
  • Keystone Central School District (also in Clinton County)
  • Northern Potter School District
  • Oswayo Valley School District (also in McKean County)
  • Port Allegany School District (also in McKean County)

Private schools

  • Chestnut Ridge School, Genesee, Grades 1–8
  • Hebron Center Christian School, Coudersport, Grades PK-12
  • Meadow View School, Genesee, Grades 1–8
  • Musto Hollow Amish School, Genesee, Grades 1–8
  • Penn-York Camp & Retreat Center, Ulysses
  • Ulysses Amish School, Ulysses, Grades 1–8

List from National Center for Education Statistics


  • Coudersport Public Library [1]
  • Galeton Public Library [2]
  • Genesee Area Library [3]
  • Oswayo Valley Memorial Library, Shinglehouse [4]
  • Ulysses Library Association [5]
  • Potter-Tioga County Library System, Coudersport

Pennsylvania EdNA – Educational Entities, 2013

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Potter (Pensilvania) para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Hispanic Hollywood icons
Myrtle Gonzalez
Rita Hayworth
Dolores del Río
Katy Jurado
kids search engine
Potter County, Pennsylvania Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.