Uniontown, Pennsylvania

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Coordinates: 39°54′0″N 79°43′28″W / 39.90000°N 79.72444°W / 39.90000; -79.72444
Uniontown
City
Uniontown PA.jpg
A mural celebrating local hero George Marshall and the city's current revitalization efforts.
Official name: City of Uniontown
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Fayette
Elevation 999 ft (304 m)
Coordinates 39°54′0″N 79°43′28″W / 39.90000°N 79.72444°W / 39.90000; -79.72444
Area 2.0 sq mi (5 km2)
Population 10,372 (2010)
Density 6,098.9 / sq mi (2,355 / km2)
Established 1776-07-04
Mayor Ed Fike
Timezone EST (UTC-4)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-5)
Area code 724
Location of Uniontown within Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States

Uniontown is a city in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Pittsburgh and part of the Pittsburgh Metro Area. The population was 10,372 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat and largest city of Fayette County.[1]

History[edit]

Popularly known as Beesontown, "The Town of Union" was founded by Henry Beeson on July 4, 1776, coincidentally the same date as the United States Declaration of Independence.[2] The National Road, also known as the Cumberland Road, was routed through Uniontown in the early 19th century, and the town grew along with the road (now US 40). Within 10 miles of Uniontown is Fort Necessity, built by George Washington during the French and Indian War (part of the international Seven Years War).

Uniontown's role in the Underground Railroad in the antebellum years is commemorated by a marker on the corner of East Main Street and Baker Alley.[3] Residents helped slaves escaping from the South to freedom.

In the late nineteenth century, the town grew based on the development of coal mines and the steel industry. Uniontown was the site of violent clashes between striking coal miners and guards at the local coke works during the Bituminous Coal Miners' Strike of 1894. Fifteen guards armed with carbines and machine guns held off an attack by 1500 strikers, killing five and wounding eight.[4]

The Columbia Rolling Mill, an iron and steel works, was located in Uniontown from 1887 to 1895. The mill was the town's top industry at that time. During the Coal Boom of the early part of the 20th century, Uniontown was home to at least 13 millionaires, the most (per capita) of any city in the United States. "Coal barons" and Carl Laemmle, the president of Universal Films, sponsored the famous Uniontown Speedway board track from 1916 to 1922. It was a mile and a quarter raceway.

As with most of Western Pennsylvania, Uniontown's economy waned during the region's deindustrialization of the late 20th century, when the steel industry restructured and many jobs went elsewhere, including offshore. This decline continued into the 21st century, and the population is about half its peak of 1940.

The USS Uniontown (PF-65), a Tacoma-class frigate, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Uniontown, Pennsylvania on August 16, 1944.

In 1967 Uniontown was the birthplace of the McDonald’s Big Mac sandwich.[5][6] In 2007 the Big Mac Museum was opened in North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania to the disappointment of some Uniontown residents.[7] According to a McDonald’s spokesperson the decision was based on logistics and access, but it still did not sit well with some residents and an article was published in the Herald-Standard.[8]

The Uniontown Downtown Historic District, Gallatin School, John S. Douglas House, John P. Conn House, and Adam Clarke Nutt Mansion are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[9]

The city has some of the most impressive architecture in the area. For a smaller city, it has a number of high rise buildings and has a very impressive skyline for a city of its size. Uniontown is also home to a number of large Victorian era homes.

Geography[edit]

Uniontown is located at 39°54'0" North, 79°43'28" West (39.900040, -79.724478).[10]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2) The city is 999 feet (304 m) above mean sea level and rests at the base of Chestnut Ridge, the western-most ridge of the Appalachian mountains to the east. The National Pike or Cumberland Road crossed over the mountains and passed through the area which became the center of Uniontown. The route is now Business Route 40, as the mainline of US 40 bypasses the city center as a freeway loop called the George Marshall Parkway.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 2,333
1870 2,503
1880 3,265 30.4%
1890 6,359 94.8%
1900 7,344 15.5%
1910 13,344 81.7%
1920 15,692 17.6%
1930 19,544 24.5%
1940 21,819 11.6%
1950 20,471 −6.2%
1960 17,942 −12.4%
1970 16,282 −9.3%
1980 14,510 −10.9%
1990 12,034 −17.1%
2000 12,422 3.2%
2010 10,372 −16.5%
Est. 2012 10,231 −1.4%
Sources:[11][12][13][14]

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 12,422 people, 5,423 households, and 3,031 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,098.9 people per square mile (2,351.1/km²). There were 6,320 housing units at an average density of 3,103.0 per square mile (1,196.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 76.7% White, 17.9% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.40% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.28% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.55% of the population.

There were 5,423 households out of which 23.7% had children under the age of 18.2 living with them, 35.8% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.1% were non-families. 39.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.5% had someone living alone who was 75 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.791.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.9% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 22.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 86.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $19,477, and the median income for a family was $28,523. Males had a median income of $26,758 versus $20,110 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,720. About 16.0% of families and 16.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.1% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.

Fayette Building

Fire services[edit]

The City of Uniontown Bureau of Fire is a combination career/volunteer department operating out of three stations. EMS service is provided by Fayette EMS, which replaced the Uniontown Fireman's Ambulance in July 2013.

Station 1 or, Central Station, is located downtown on North Beeson Boulevard at Penn Street. Central Station houses 40 Engine 1, 40 Engine 4, 40 Truck 1, 40 Rescue, 40 Squad, 40 Chief, 40 Truck 2 (Spare Unit), and a Fayette EMS unit. Station 2, or the East End Station, is located on Connellsville Street near Lincoln Street. The East End Station houses 40 Engine 3 and a Fayette EMS unit. The Union Hose Building, located on East Main Street near Grant Street, houses the city's Special Operations and reserve pumper, 40 Engine 5.

The department has three accredited PA Fire Academy Local Level Instructors and a number of professional qualifications board testing evaluators. Department members frequently conduct public fire education courses.

Education[edit]

K-12[edit]

Higher education[edit]

Services[edit]

Fayette County Courthouse
  • Uniontown Hospital, the larger of two hospitals in the county, is the city's and Fayette County's largest employer.
  • The City of Uniontown operates a full-time police department. The city police station houses a booking center used by all police agencies within Fayette County, including the Pennsylvania State Police.

Media[edit]

  • The Herald-Standard, a newspaper based in Uniontown, serves the city and much of the surrounding area.
  • Fayette TV[15] provides local programming on Atlantic Broadband Cable channel 77.
  • Two radio stations are licensed to the Uniontown area on 590 AM WMBS and 99.3 FM WPKL.

Transportation[edit]

Uniontown is an important crossroads in Fayette County. The main route around town is a stretch of freeway bypass, the George Marshall Parkway, which is composed of parts of US 40 and US 119. US 119 enters the area as a two-lane route from Morgantown, West Virginia, and provides the northern half of the bypass before becoming a 4 lane route to Connellsville. US 40 enters the region as a two-lane route from Brownsville. It serves as the southern half of the freeway before becoming a mountainous route through rural parts of the county and enters Maryland and reaches Interstate 68. The old portions of US 40, now signed as Business 40, serve the downtown area.

PA 51, a main four-lane route to Pittsburgh, and PA 21, which connects Fayette County with Greene County and Waynesburg, both terminate in Uniontown. PA 43, part of the Mon-Fayette Expressway project to connect Pittsburgh with Morgantown, West Virginia is complete around the Uniontown area.

Notable people[edit]

  • Henry Bidleman Bascom (1796-1850), religious circuit rider, U.S. Congressional Chaplain, Methodist Bishop, first President of Madison College.
  • John Dickson Carr, mystery writer, was born in Uniontown.
  • Ernie Davis, the first African-American Heisman Trophy winner, lived in Uniontown for most of his early life.
  • Tory Epps, former NFL defensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints, was born and raised in Uniontown.
  • Ronne Froman (RADM, USN, Ret.) was born in Uniontown.
  • William James, current NFL cornerback for the Detroit Lions, was born and raised in Uniontown.
  • Frederick Kail, noted sports sculptor and graphic designer; created the statues of Johnny Unitas at both M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore and Papa John 's Stadium at the University of Louisville, Unitas' alma mater; created the Tewaaraton Trophy.[16]
  • Stu Lantz, former NBA player and color commentator for the Los Angeles Lakers played basketball for Uniontown High School and led them to a PIAA state championship in 1964.
  • General George Marshall, an American military leader, Secretary of State, and the third Secretary of Defense, was born in Uniontown.
  • Terry Mulholland, former Major League baseball player, was born and raised in Uniontown.
  • Chuck Muncie, former NFL star running back for the New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers, is originally from Uniontown.
  • Larry Pennell, actor of film and television, born in Uniontown in 1928
  • Sandy Stephens, the first African-American quarterback for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, was born in Uniontown.
  • Jack Marucci, MarucciBats/Marucci Sports, LSU Director of Athletic Training, was born and raised in Uniontown.[17]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ "Uniontown", Fayette County Chamber of Commerce
  3. ^ "Underground Railroad", Historic Markers Database
  4. ^ G. E. Plumbe, The Great Coal Strike, The Daily News Almanac and Political Register for 1895, Chicago Daily News, 1895; pp. 77-78
  5. ^ www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ McDonald's Celebrates 40 Years PR Newswire, Official McDonald’s News release, August 22, 2007
  6. ^ [1] Big Mac History
  7. ^ [2] Big Mac Museum Photos
  8. ^ "The Mystery of the Curry Burger!" Herald-Standard article, September 15, 2007
  9. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  11. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Pennsylvania". 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Pennsylvania: Population and Housing Unit Counts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  14. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  15. ^ Pennsylvania Fayette TV. Fayettecountytv.org. Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
  16. ^ "The legendary Fred Kail: master sculptor and hobby". Sports Collectors Digest. December 21, 2007. Retrieved 2014-01-22. 
  17. ^ "Jack Marucci". LSUsports.net. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]