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Saxonburg, Pennsylvania
Saxonburg Memorial Church
Saxonburg Memorial Church
Location of Saxonburg in Butler County, Pennsylvania.
Location of Saxonburg in Butler County, Pennsylvania.
Saxonburg, Pennsylvania is located in Pennsylvania
Saxonburg, Pennsylvania
Saxonburg, Pennsylvania
Location in Pennsylvania
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Butler
Settled 1832
Incorporated 1846
 • Type Borough Council
 • Total 0.91 sq mi (2.35 km2)
 • Land 0.91 sq mi (2.35 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
 • Total 1,525
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,587.20/sq mi (612.50/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
Zip code
Area code(s) 724, 878
FIPS code 42-68056

Saxonburg is a borough in Butler County, Pennsylvania in the United States. It is part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area in the western part of the state. It was founded in 1832 by F. Carl Roebling and his younger brother John A. Roebling as a German farming colony. The population of Saxonburg was 1,525 as of the 2010 census.

The city was first named "Germania" and "Sachsenburg" before its name was anglicized to the present one. After Roebling returned to his engineering career, he developed his innovation of wire rope in a workshop here. He became known for his design of suspension bridges, including the most famous one, the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.


Founded in 1832 by John A. Roebling, who is known for the design of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York and for innovation in producing wire rope, the community was initially called "Germania", which was soon changed to "Sachsenburg" and eventually anglicized to Saxonburg. Roebling had set out with his brother Karl and a group of pioneers from Germany in 1831 to flee the general unrest and oppression in Europe. The two men, along with a handful of the people who accompanied them on the trans-Atlantic journey secured 1,582 acres (6.40 km2) of land on October 28, 1831, from Mrs. Sarah Collins.

In November 1920, KDKA radio, regarded as the world's first commercial radio station, began broadcasting from East Pittsburgh, but later located its transmitter in neighboring Clinton Township. The Roebling Museum in the borough maintains several artifacts.

Nuclear lab

In 1946, Fred Seitz, then head of the physics department at Carnegie Tech, brought Ed Creutz, Jack Fox, Roger Sutton and Bert Corben to Carnegie Tech to establish an important nuclear physics research program. By June 6, 1946, a leading-edge 450 MeV proton synchrocyclotron was built at the Nuclear Research Center near Saxonburg, just south of the Saxonburg limits. The research program there flourished up to the mid-1970s when the then-obsolete accelerator was dismantled. The site was converted to industrial purposes, and is now occupied by II-VI Corporation. As of 1997, only one or two of the original Nuclear Research Center buildings remained, including the original laboratory building, more or less intact.

Saxonburg PA South Butler Street
South Butler Street, off Main Street, Saxonburg

First woman mayor

In November 2009, Jody Pflueger, Saxonburg's first Democratic and first female mayor, was elected as a write-in candidate, defeating the 12-year incumbent. While in office Mayor Pflueger had the position of Police Chief reinstated. Pflueger was succeeded by the late Pamela Bauman in 2013. William Gillespie held the office to complete her term until 2017.


Saxonburg is located in southeastern Butler County at 40°45′15″N 79°48′56″W / 40.75417°N 79.81556°W / 40.75417; -79.81556 (40.754040, -79.815619). Butler, the county seat, is 9 miles (14 km) to the northwest, and Freeport, on the Allegheny River, is 10 miles (16 km) to the southeast.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Saxonburg has a total area of 0.89 square miles (2.3 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 295
1880 319 8.1%
1890 258 −19.1%
1900 307 19.0%
1910 345 12.4%
1920 319 −7.5%
1930 452 41.7%
1940 524 15.9%
1950 602 14.9%
1960 876 45.5%
1970 1,191 36.0%
1980 1,336 12.2%
1990 1,345 0.7%
2000 1,629 21.1%
2010 1,525 −6.4%
2019 (est.) 1,438 −5.7%

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,629 people, 655 households, and 391 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,852.8 people per square mile (714.7/km²). There were 713 housing units at an average density of 811.0 per square mile (312.8/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 99.32% White, 0.25% African American, 0.31% from other races, and 0.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.53% of the population.

There were 655 households, out of which 22.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.8% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.2% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 2.75.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 16.8% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 21.9% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 34.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50 years. For every 100 females, there were 72.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 69.0 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $32,159, and the median income for a family was $41,875. Males had a median income of $37,500 versus $24,135 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $21,931. About 7.8% of families and 9.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.6% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over.

Notable persons

  • Joby Harris (born 1975), designer and director.
  • Michele McDonald (1952–2020), model and Miss USA 1971
  • John A. Roebling (1806–1869), civil engineer who developed a way to manufacture wire rope or cable, and designed numerous suspension bridges see Brooklyn Bridge
  • John Minton (1948–1995), who wrestled in the WWE as Big John Studd is buried in the Saxonburg Cemetery.
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