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Saint Marys, Pennsylvania
Saint Marys City Hall
Saint Marys City Hall
Location in Elk County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Location in Elk County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Coordinates: 41°25′40″N 78°33′40″W / 41.42778°N 78.56111°W / 41.42778; -78.56111Coordinates: 41°25′40″N 78°33′40″W / 41.42778°N 78.56111°W / 41.42778; -78.56111
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Elk
Settled 1804
Incorporated (borough) 1848
Incorporated (city) 1992
 • Total 99.51 sq mi (257.72 km2)
 • Land 99.32 sq mi (257.23 km2)
 • Water 0.19 sq mi (0.49 km2)
1,666 ft (508 m)
 • Total 13,070
 • Estimate 
 • Density 123.44/sq mi (47.66/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST)
 • Summer (DST) EDT
Zip code
Area code(s) 814 Exchanges: 781,834
FIPS code 42-67344
Website City of Saint Marys

St. Marys is a city in Elk County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population is 12,429 as of 2019. Originally a small town inhabited by mostly Bavarian Roman Catholics, it was founded December 8, 1842. It is home to Straub Brewery and the first Benedictine convent in the United States. In 1992, the borough of St. Marys absorbed the surrounding township of Benzinger and incorporated as a city. Despite its place as the second-largest city by area in Pennsylvania behind Philadelphia, its low population leads to it being one of the state's least dense cities.

St. Marys lies in the center of Pennsylvania's elk country. It is one of the few places east of the Mississippi River that allows hunting of wild elk. The area is known for its access to outdoor activities, including trout streams and state hunting lands inside the city limits.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 692
1870 1,084 56.6%
1880 1,501 38.5%
1890 1,745 16.3%
1900 4,295 146.1%
1910 6,346 47.8%
1920 6,967 9.8%
1930 7,423 6.5%
1940 7,653 3.1%
1950 7,846 2.5%
1960 8,065 2.8%
1970 7,470 −7.4%
1980 6,417 −14.1%
1990 5,511 −14.1%
2000 14,502 163.1%
2010 13,070 −9.9%
2019 (est.) 12,260 −6.2%

As of the census of 2010, there were 13,070 people, 5,579 households, and 3,695 families residing in the city. The population density was 131.6 people per square mile (51.4/km2). There were 6,124 housing units at an average density of 61.7 per square mile (24.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.5% White, 0.3% African American, 0.05% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from other races, and 0.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.4% of the population.

There were 5,579 households, out of which 26% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.8% were non-families. 29.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.82.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 20.1% under the age of 18, 59.5% from 18 to 64, and 20.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.6 years.

The median income for a household in the city was $45,802, and the median income for a family was $55,045. Males had a median income of $41,968 versus $29,489 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,208. About 7% of families and 11.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.3% of those under age 18 and 10.9% of those age 65 or over.


Public school district

Saint Marys Area School District has three elementary schools, one of which, the South St. Marys Street Elementary School, is located within the city. It houses pre school through fifth grade classes for public school students within the city limits; similar services are provided to residents of Fox Township and Jay Township by, respectively, the Fox Township Elementary School in Kersey and the Bennett's Valley Elementary School in Weedville.

The St. Marys Area Middle School and the St. Marys Area High School are located next to each other on a large complex near the edge of the city. Grades 6-8 are taught at the middle school, and grades 9-12 are taught at the high school. Saint Marys Area School District was ranked 165th out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2012.

Catholic school system

St. Marys Catholic Elementary School has one building, which is connected to Queen of the World Church. In 2002, an addition was built, adding four classrooms and a gymnasium. It also recently had a playground added. It houses grades pre-K through 5.

St. Marys Catholic Middle School, is located in the same building as the Elk County Catholic High School. The middle school formerly occupied the old Saint Mary's Parochial school building that was built in the early 1950s. Elk County Catholic High School, formally Elk County Christian High School, houses grades 6-12. It was built in 1961.

Until the early 2000s, the Catholic school system's elementary and middle schools, then known respectively as the Queen of the World School and the St. Marys Parochial School, each served all students up through eighth grade who attended their respective Catholic churches, as did the Sacred Heart School. When the school system was reworked into its current format due to declining attendance, the Sacred Heart School was closed.


The city's airport is St. Marys Municipal Airport (IATA: STQ) in the city's southeastern quadrant. Currently, it is a general aviation airport; however, commercial airlines are showing interest because of the new terminal building and equipment upgrades.

The city's main highways are PA 255 and PA 120. Bus service is provided by ATA; a daily Fullington Trailways bus line runs through St. Marys as well.

Notable people

  • George Albee, psychologist
  • Joe Beimel, baseball player
  • Gerard J. Campbell, Jesuit and president of Georgetown University
  • Dan Conners, professional football athlete; linebacker, Oakland Raiders
  • Joan Marie Engel, United States Navy Flag Officer
  • Jeff Lloyd, professional football athlete; defensive end, Buffalo Bills & Kansas City Chiefs
  • Edward C. Meyer, Chief of Staff, United States Army 1979-83
  • Anthony Joseph Schuler, American Roman Catholic bishop
  • Nate Sestina (born 1997), basketball player in the Israeli Basketball Premier League
  • Joanna Shields, businesswoman and UK Minister for Internet Safety and Security
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