Crawford County, Pennsylvania

History & Biography

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    MEADVILLE, the seat of Justice of Crawford County, was founded by Gen. David Mead, whose name it bears. The first improvement was made on the site of the city in 1788-89, and the village was laid out in 1795. It was incorporated a borough, March 29, 1823, and received a city charter, Feb. 15, 1866. In 1816 the population was estimated at about 400. By the census of 1840 the population was 1,319 ; 1850, 2,578 ; 1860, 3,702, and in 1869 it is estimated at 10,000 to 12,000. The city is pleasantly located in a beautiful valley on the east side of Venango River (French Creek), surrounded by hills, which rise in gentle undulations on the east side and afford desirable sites for residences and fine grounds, and in every direction the landscape is unsurpassed for natural beauty and varied scenery.  The public buildings and many private residences are of the first class of architecture, and few interior towns or cities contain so many costly and tasteful dwellings.  Fine brick business blocks have risen where a few years ago the trade of the place was carried on in old fashioned, cheap wooden structures.  Since 1860 Meadville has more than trebled in wealth and population, and the present year (1869) the number of buildings in process of erection is as large as in any previous year, and many of them are expensive and of the most creditable character.

    In a work of this description a complete history, in detail, of the progress of the city, and the incidents and reminiscences connected with its growth will hardly be expected, but there are some facts which will prove of general interest and which are herewith presented in as concise form as possible.

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