Snyder County, Pennsylvania

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Snyder County, Pennsylvania
Middleburg, Pennsylvania (4036369885).jpg
Snyder County Courthouse
Seal of Snyder County, Pennsylvania
Seal
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Snyder County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded March 2, 1855
Named for Simon Snyder
Seat Middleburg
Largest borough Selinsgrove
Area
 • Total 332 sq mi (860 km2)
 • Land 331 sq mi (857 km2)
 • Water 1 sq mi (3 km2), 0.29%
Population
 • (2010) 39,702
 • Density 120/sq mi (46.3/km²)
Congressional district 10th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.snydercounty.org

Snyder County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 39,702.[1] The county seat is Middleburg.[2] Snyder County was formed in 1855 from parts of Union County.

Snyder County comprises the Selinsgrove, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Bloomsburg-Berwick-Sunbury, PA Combined Statistical Area.

History[edit]

Snyder County was settled in the 1740s by Pennsylvania Germans from Berks and Lancaster Counties, and became an independent political unit on March 2, 1855 when formed under part of Union County. Snyder County took its name in honor of the famous citizen and political figure, Simon Snyder, who was governor of Pennsylvania for three terms, from 1808 to 1817, and made his home in Selinsgrove. The county seat of Middleburg was laid out in 1800 and incorporated in 1864.[3]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 333 square miles (860 km2), of which 329 square miles (850 km2) is land and 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2) (0.8%) is water.[4] Snyder County is in the Appalachian Mountain Section of the Ridge and Valley Province. Two parallel mountain ridges run southwest to northeast. The Susquehanna River is the eastern border. Between the ridges are steep hills, gently rolling hills, and flat creek valleys. With over 400 active farms in the county, agriculture plays an important role in the economy and environment. Roughly half the county remains forested with both softwoods and hardwoods. These woods provide a place for wildlife to roam which provides for the sport of hunting.

Micropolitan and Combined Statistical Area[edit]

The United States Office of Management and Budget[5] has designated Snyder County as the Selinsgrove, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area (µSA). As of the 2010 U.S. Census[6] the micropolitan area ranked 15th most populous in the State of Pennsylvania and the 313th most populous in the United States with a population of 39,702. Snyder County is also a part of the Bloomsburg-Berwick-Sunbury, PA Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which combines the populations of Snyder County, as well as Columbia, Montour, Northumberland and Union Counties in Pennsylvania. The Combined Statistical Area ranked 8th in the State of Pennsylvania and 115th most populous in the United States with a population of 264,739.

Map of the Bloomsburg-Berwick-Sunbury, PA Combined Statistical Area (CSA), composed of the following parts:
  Sunbury, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area (μSA)

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 15,035
1870 15,606 3.8%
1880 17,797 14.0%
1890 17,651 −0.8%
1900 17,304 −2.0%
1910 16,800 −2.9%
1920 17,129 2.0%
1930 18,836 10.0%
1940 20,208 7.3%
1950 22,912 13.4%
1960 25,922 13.1%
1970 29,269 12.9%
1980 33,584 14.7%
1990 36,680 9.2%
2000 37,546 2.4%
2010 39,702 5.7%
Est. 2012 39,672 −0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
2012 Estimate[1]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 37,546 people, 13,654 households, and 9,981 families residing in the county. The population density was 113 people per square mile (44/km²). There were 14,890 housing units at an average density of 45 per square mile (17/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.93% White, 0.82% Black or African American, 0.05% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 0.48% from two or more races. 0.98% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 48.2% were of German, 17.2% American and 5.5% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 4.19% report speaking Pennsylvania German at home.[2]

There were 13,654 households out of which 32.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.00% were married couples living together, 7.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.90% were non-families. 22.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.00% under the age of 18, 11.20% from 18 to 24, 27.40% from 25 to 44, 23.30% from 45 to 64, and 14.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 95.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.10 males.

The Average Wage per job reported for 2003 was $26,650. County population in 2003 had risen to 37,965. Jobs in 2003 were 17,907 with a Total labor force in 2004 of 19,863. The unemployment rate in 2004 was reported at 4.8%. Average household size in Snyder County in 2004 was 2.58.

Municipalities[edit]

Map of Snyder County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated places (blue).

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 Snyder County:

Boroughs[edit]

Townships[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Census-designated places are geographical areas designated by the U.S. Census Bureau for the purposes of compiling demographic data. They are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law. Other unincorporated communities, such as villages, may be listed here as well.

Economics[edit]

Manufacturing since the year 2001 was faced with the largest loss in employment in Snyder County. The sector dealt with a loss of 427 jobs, or 7.2 percent of the employment in the industry. This made up a total of 36 percent of all county employment losses since 2001. Employment Report for Snyder County, Pennsylvania. U.S. Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

County Major Employers and Industry Sector as reported by Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry December 2006.

  • Wood Mode Manufacturing
  • Susquehanna University Educational Services
  • Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp Manufacturing
  • Selinsgrove Area School District Educational Services
  • Midd West School District Educational Services
  • Apex Homes Inc Manufacturing
  • Wal-Mart Associates Inc Retail Trade
  • National Beef Wholesale Trade
  • Penn Lyon Homes Inc Manufacturing
  • Professional Building Systems Manufacturing

In 2005 manufacturing was the largest of 20 major sectors. It had an average wage per job of $34,042. Per capita income grew by 7.7% between 1994 and 2004 (adjusted for inflation).

Two Selinsgrove based manufacturing facilities announced closings in Spring 2007. Both are building related manufacturing facilities. Together they represent a loss of over 250 jobs.

During the Spring of 2008 a new manufacturing facility, Icon Legacy Custom Modular Homes, opened in Selinsgrove, PA adding 100 jobs to the local economy.[9]

The county and region are struggling economically. The reasons include: a lack of inter-municipal coordination and cooperation, a changing employment base and a dearth of jobs paying a living wage, out-migration of young people, an aging population, the need for workforce development, and an inequitable local tax structure.[10]

Between 2000 and 2005, a total of two businesses in Snyder County received funds totaling $550,000 through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Opportunity Grant Program.[11]

Agricultural Conservation Easements Snyder County uses state tax dollars to purchase farm land for prevention of development. The Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program (ACE) is not intended simply to preserve open space, but rather to preserve enough farmland in sufficient concentration to support continued agricultural production. By 2008, in Snyder County, 20 farms had been included in the program. This controlled 2,199 acres at a price of $2,501,709. State-wide over 3,579 farms have entered the program, preserving 395,636 acres and costing taxpayers $940,246,844.[12] Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project in Snyder County, Union County and Northumberland County has used eminent domain condemnation of preserved land citing the Federal Takings Clause to the US Constitution.[13][14]

Snyder County Agricultural Conservation Easements spending: 2008 - $66,481; 2007 - $108,838; 2006 - $226,467; 2005 - $63,499; 2004 - $119,311.

Transportation[edit]

Snyder County has two main arteries. U.S. Routes 11/15 travel through the county on the east end generally following the path of the Susquehanna River. The highway is a major travel artery through the region. Flow is constant (truck and vehicle) with very heavy loads and backups on Fridays (especially in the afternoon) and holiday weekends. There is a proposed major highway bypass project called the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway. It is meeting with funding challenges that have delayed the project for decades. The proposed thruway would cross Monroe Township just north of Shamokin Dam. Many residential properties are designated for eminent domain actions.[15][16] Residents[who?] along the proposed route have expressed concerns about the negative impact on their quality of life that the thruway would mean. Others[who?] are concerned that the bypass will mean the loss of local revenue and jobs that the traffic brings to the many local restaurants and hotels that are located along the current U.S. 11/15 highway. In June 2007 another two-year delay was announced by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.[citation needed] The primary roadblock is a lack of funding for the estimated over $300 million project.[citation needed]

U.S. Route 522 begins in Selinsgrove and travels west through Kreamer, Middleburg and on to Lewistown. Route 35 begins on U.S. 11/15 south of Selinsgrove borough and runs roughly parallel to Route 522 crossing through Freeburg and Mount Pleasant Mills then westward to McAllisterville and Richfield, in western Snyder County.

Snyder County is in Pennsylvania Department Of Transportation District 3. According to PennDOT there are 240 state owned bridges in the county. Currently, many existing bridges and roads in the county in need of repair. PennDOT report on Snyder County roads and bridges in need of repair. [17][18] In 2007, 27 of the bridges are rated structurally deficient and 4 are posted with weight limits. The bridge that spans Middle Creek in Kreamer has been deemed structurally deficient by the state.[19]

State routes 235, 104 and 204 cross the county in a north - south direction. State route 104 joins State Route 45 with U.S. 11/15 in Juniata County.

Education[edit]

Colleges and Universities[edit]

Map of Snyder County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts

Public School Districts[edit]

Early Child Education[edit]

According to the Office of Child Development and Early Learning of the Pennsylvania Department of Education June 2007 report, Snyder County is rated low to moderate risk level for children who are “at risk” and therefore might benefit from more taxpayer funded services. Snyder County was rated 1.86 ARL, in the lowest 25% of counties for average risk level.[20]

  • Children's Discovery Centers Inc
  • Loving Hearts Day Care - Middleburg
  • Susquehanna Valley Preschool
  • Rock Preschool - Shamokin Dam
  • Selinsgrove High School Children's Center
  • SUMCD - Susquehanna Children's Center - Selinsgrove

Head Start PreSchool Programs[edit]

Head Start is a federally and state funded preschool program for low income children. The program serves 3 and 4 year olds. In order to participate the family income must be below federal poverty guidelines.

  • Middleburg Head Start Center[21]

Private schools[edit]

As reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics[22]

  • Bannerville School, Mcclure, Grades 2-8
  • Chapman Parochial School, Port Trevorton, Grades 1-9
  • Gospel Christian Academy, Selinsgrove, Grades KG-11
  • Jacks Mountain School, Mcclure, Grades 1-8
  • Kantz Church School, Middleburg, Grades 1-8
  • Lakeview School, Port Trevorton, Grades 1-8
  • Leaning Oak School, Mount Pleasant Mills, Grades 1-9
  • Locust Grove School, Mount Pleasant Mills, Grades 1-8
  • Meadow View School, Trevorton, Grades 1-8
  • New Story School, Special education K-12, Selinsgrove Operates in the former Jackson-Penn Elementary School building on lease from SASD[23]
  • Palace Creek School, Mount Pleasant Mills, Grades 1-8
  • Penn View Christian Academy, Penns Creek, Grades PK-12
  • Shady Grove Parochial School, Port Trevorton, Grades 1-8
  • White Oak School Liverpool, Grades 1-8

Boards and Agencies[edit]

  • Snyder County Conservation District The conservation district is governed by a seven member board of volunteer directors. The Conservation District is a delegated authority to administer in Snyder County the state Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control (ESPC) program under PA Code Title 25 Chapter 102 and Chapter 105 Rules and Regulations and the Clean Streams Law. Act 217, the Conservation District law, permits conservation districts to charge fees for services, under certain circumstances. Their motto is Conservation Through Education. They offer programs regarding nutrient management, erosion prevention, Improving Dirt & Gravel Roads, and Watershed Protection. SCCD location map.
  • Snyder County Cooperative Extension Board Snyder County Courthouse, Middleburg, PA. Through educational programs, publications, and events, cooperative extension agents deliver unbiased, research-based information to Snyder County citizens.
  • Snyder County Geographical Information System (GIS) 44 Universal Road, off Rte 522, Selinsgrove, PA. This agency produces maps of county locations with additional layers of information like watershed data or building addressing. These maps are used in development planning, dispatching timely emergency services, flood plain tracking and epidemiology.
  • Snyder County Housing Authority's mission is to promote safe, sanitary, and affordable housing, and maintain a good quality of life for Snyder County residents. Provides rental assistance to low income county residents using a voucher system for renting suitable housing. The authority meets at 9 am on the third Monday of each month in the conference room of its Administrative offices located at 103 Drake Court, Middleburg, PA 17842. Denise Miller is the Executive Director. Phone: 570-837-3979
  • Emergency Management Agency is run by a Coordinator. The office is located at 30 Universal Rd. Route 522, Selinsgrove, PA 17870 Office: 570-372-0535 Snyder County Hazard Mitigation Plan
  • Columbia, Montour, Snyder and Union Joinder Board and Local Emergency Planning Committee
  • Snyder County Agricultural Land Preservation Board
  • Tourism Fund Review Panel for Snyder County
  • SEDA-Council of Governments Board of Directors
  • Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corp. board
  • Snyder County Prison Board
  • Snyder County Waste Management Authority 713 Bridge Street, Suite 9, Selinsgrove, Pa 17870 The Authority is charged with the planning of how to manage the solid waste in the County. A recycling program is available throughout the county with a varying schedule. Additionally, it is examining the issue of a single waste hauler contract for the county or to continue to allow individuals to contract privately with individual haulers.
  • Snyder County Amateur Radio Emergency Communications provide vital communication resources during a crisis or disaster. Efforts go through the County's Emergency Management Coordinator.

Utilities[edit]

Electric – All 21 municipalities within Snyder County receive electric service from PPL Electric Utilities, Inc. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a 500 kilovolt line runs through Snyder County. Three 138 kilovolt lines stem from this 500 kilovolt line at the Sunbury Generation coal-fired power plant in Shamokin Dam, which is capable of producing roughly 400 megawatts of electrical power.

Water – Water service in Snyder County is provided by various municipal and regional authorities, private water providers, and private well water sources.

Gas – UGI Penn Natural Gas is the only natural gas provider in Snyder County, providing service to Jackson, Middlecreek, Monroe, and Penn Townships, as well as Selinsgrove and Shamokin Dam Boroughs. Several propane dealers exist to service the rural community.

Communications – Verizon provides telephone service and EvenLink provides VoIP telephone service to all 21 municipalities in Snyder County.

Cable television service is provided by Service Electric Cablevision, Nittany Media, Inc., Zampelli Electronics, and Beaver Springs Community TV Association.

High-speed Internet access is principally provided by Verizon, EvenLink, and Service Electric Cablevision.

There are several restaurants featuring high speed wireless internet in Snyder County. Dunkin Donuts and Applebee's provide fee-based services provided by PenTeleData Unleashed. The White House Deli in MP Mills provides a free service.

Politics[edit]

The county is strongly Republican in presidential elections. The last Republican nominee to receive less than 60% of the county's vote was Bob Dole. In 2008 John McCain received 64% of the county's vote.[24] Snyder County was one of the only counties in Pennsylvania to go for Barry Goldwater.[25] The last Republican presidential candidate to lose Snyder County was incumbent president William Howard Taft when he split the Republican vote with challenger and former president Theodore Roosevelt, who took the county for the insurgent Progressive Party.[26] In fact, no Democratic presidential candidate has been able to claim the county since Pennsylvania native James Buchanan won the presidency in 1856. The only county in Pennsylvania to be more steadfastly Republican (or indeed, remain so one-sidedly partisan for either party in Pennsylvania) in presidential contests has been Snyder County's neighbor to the north, Union County, which voted for John C. Fremont over Buchanan in 1856.[27]

The county is located in Pennsylvania's 10th congressional district, which has a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+8 and is represented by Republican Tom Marino. As part of Pennsylvania Senate, District 27 it is represented by Republican John Gordner. The county contains locations in Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 82, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 85, and Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 108. All of these have been represented by Republicans since 1989.

Of "Straight Party" voters in Snyder 73.2% are Republican and 24.65% are Democratic. In the 2008 election Republicans won in all races and in most they won by over 20%. Chris Carney lost by roughly 13% in the county[28] while winning by 12% in the district.

County Commissioners[edit]

  • Joseph Kantz, Chairman
  • Malcolm Derk, Vice-Chair
  • Peggy Chamberlain Roup, Secretary

Row Offices[edit]

  • Teresa J. Berger, Prothonotary and Clerk of Courts
  • Michael Piecuch, District Attorney
  • Stacy Zerbe, Register and Recorder
  • Joseph Reigle Jr, Sheriff

Cultural Elements[edit]

Snyder County is well known for its unmistakable Pennsylvania German language and culture, agricultural heritage, as well as its fraktur, Kentucky rifles, wood products industries, Middleswarth chip factory, and the annual fairs, festivals, and auctions that keep the local heritage alive. Some of the more famous historical structures of the county are the Governor Snyder Mansion, Pomfret’s Castle, Schoch Block House, ruins of the Pennsylvania Canal, and its covered bridges. Snyder County is also home to Snyder-Middleswarth State Park, the Tall Timbers Natural Area, and thirteen Pennsylvania State Historical markers.

Historical Markers[edit]

  • Pennsylvania Canal (Susquehanna Division) – US 11 & 15 at Port Trevorton.
  • Simon Snyder – SR 2017 (old US 11 & 15) just S of Selinsgrove.
  • Simon Snyder Mansion (Plaque) – 121 N. Market St. (old US 11 & 15), Selinsgrove.
  • Coxey’s Army – 814 N. Market St. (old US 11 & 15), Selinsgrove.
  • Penns Creek Massacre – SR 2017 (old US 11 & 15) just N of Selinsgrove.
  • Penns Creek Massacre (Plaque) – S end Old Trail (just E of US 11 & 15), Penns Creek N of Selinsgrove.
  • Schoch Blockhouse – US 522 at Kreamer.
  • Susquehanna University – US 522, .5 mile W of old US 11 & 15, Selinsgrove.
  • Albany Purchase – US 522 (old US 11 & 15) 1 mile N of Selinsgrove.
  • Harris Ambush (Plaque) – At the Old Bridge, 1/2 mile W of Selinsgrove.
  • Sunbury – U.S. 11 & 15, 4 miles N of Selinsgrove
  • Shikellamy – US 11, 5.4 miles N of Selinsgrove entrance to Shikellamy State Park
  • Snyder County – County courthouse, 9 W. Market St. (US 522), Middleburg[29]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Historical Society." Snyder County - Default. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. http://www.snydercounty.org/Depts/Historical_Society/Pages/HistoricalSociety.aspx
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb
  6. ^ http://www.census.gov/2010census/
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ Alter, Theodore R. "Strengthening Rural Pennsylvania" Brookings Institute. March 2007. http://www.brook.edu/metro/pubs/committingtoprosperity.htm
  11. ^ Auditor General Jack Wagner Faults DCED’s Monitoring of Opportunity Grant Program
  12. ^ Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (September 2008). "Review of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program". 
  13. ^ Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, The Effectiveness of the Agricultural Lands Condemnation Approval Board to Adequately Protect ACE - Restricted Land From Condemnation, September 2008
  14. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project, S.R. 0015, Section 088, Snyder, Union and Northumberland Counties Environmental Impact Statement Vol I, 2003
  15. ^ Honorable Bonnie Brigance Leadbetter, Judge (June 17, 2013). "Eastern Communities Limited : Partnership V. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation". 
  16. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (July 2007). "WHEN YOUR LAND IS NEEDED FOR TRANSPORTATION PURPOSES". 
  17. ^ Gessel, Damian, "State of Bridges", The Daily Item, August 5, 2007
  18. ^ Levy, Marc, "Long road ahead", The Daily Item, August 5, 2007
  19. ^ Gessel, Damian, "State of Valley Bridges", The Daily Item. August 5, 2007.
  20. ^ Early Child Education Program Reach Analysis 2007
  21. ^ Snyder, Union, Mifflin Child Development Report. Feb 2010
  22. ^ ies, National Center for Education Statistics, US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, Private School Universe Survey 2008
  23. ^ Ali Stevenes (August 21, 2013). "Ribbon cut on a new school in Selinsgrove". WKOK.com 1070AM. 
  24. ^ The New York Times Electoral Map (Zoom in on Pennsylvania)
  25. ^ David Leip's Presidential Election Atlas
  26. ^ Geographie Electorale
  27. ^ Wilkes University Election Statistics Project: Pennsylvania Election Statistics, 1682-2006
  28. ^ Snyder County election site
  29. ^ http://www.snydercounty.org/Depts/Historical_Society/Pages/HistoricalSociety.aspx

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°46′N 77°05′W / 40.77°N 77.08°W / 40.77; -77.08