Saxonburg, Pennsylvania

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Saxonburg, Pennsylvania
Saxonburg Memorial Church
Saxonburg Memorial Church
Saxonburg is located in Pennsylvania
Coordinates: 40°45′15″N 79°48′56″W / 40.75417°N 79.81556°W / 40.75417; -79.81556Coordinates: 40°45′15″N 79°48′56″W / 40.75417°N 79.81556°W / 40.75417; -79.81556
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Butler
Settled 1832
Incorporated 1846
 • Type Borough Council
 • Total 0.9 sq mi (2.3 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,525
 • Density 1,683/sq mi (649.9/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Zip code 16056

Saxonburg is a borough in Butler County, which is in the western part of the state of Pennsylvania, in the United States. It was founded in 1832 by John A. Roebling. The city was first named "Germania" and "Sachsenburg" before arriving at its present name. The population was 1,525 as of the 2010 census.[1]


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.[2]

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[edit]

In 1946, Fred Seitz, then head of the physics department at Carnegie Tech, brought Ed Creutz (who later succeeded Seitz as department head), Jack Fox (who succeeded Creutz as department head), Roger Sutton (who succeeded Creutz as director of the Saxonburg Nuclear Research Center) and Bert Corben to Carnegie Tech to establish an important nuclear physics research program. Through a series of initiatives, by June 6, 1946, a leading-edge 450 MeV proton synchrocyclotron was built at the Nuclear Research Center near Saxonburg in southern Butler County. The research program developed at Saxonburg flourished up to the mid-1970s when the then-obsolete accelerator was dismantled. The legacy of that work remains, in the form of vigorous, medium and high energy nuclear and particle physics research programs carried on by Carnegie Mellon groups at various national and international accelerator laboratories. II-VI Corporation now occupies the old Nuclear Research Center site just south of the Saxonburg limits. As of 1997, the original laboratory building remains, more or less intact, as does the old dormitory/cafeteria/lounge building, which is now used for storage. The most obvious changes are that the accelerator and attendant shielding are gone, along with the farmhouse and quonset huts; the high-bay area has been converted to three levels of office and laboratory space; and there has been considerable new construction, so that the original lab building is now but a fraction of the total facility.

South Butler Street, off Main Street, Saxonburg

Murder mystery[edit]

On the afternoon of December 4, 1980, Donald Eugene Webb allegedly killed police officer Gregory Adams in Saxonburg. Webb was on the FBI Most Wanted List longer than any other fugitive since its creation in 1950. He was removed from the list on March 31, 2007, without ever being found.

First woman mayor[edit]

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.


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)[3]. 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.[1]


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%
Est. 2012 1,524 −0.1%

As of the census[5] 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.


  1. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Saxonburg borough, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  2. ^ (Historic Saxonburg and Its Neighbors, Ralph Goldinger, ISBN 1-55856-043-2)
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 

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