Butler County, Pennsylvania
Location within the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location within the U.S.
|Founded||March 12, 1800|
|Named for||Richard Butler|
|• Total||795 sq mi (2,060 km2)|
|• Land||789 sq mi (2,040 km2)|
|• Water||6.1 sq mi (16 km2) 0.8%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||238/sq mi (92/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Congressional districts||15th, 16th, 17th|
|Designated||June 11, 1982|
Butler County is a county in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 183,862. Its county seat is Butler. Butler County was created on March 12, 1800, from part of Allegheny County and named in honor of General Richard Butler, a hero of the American Revolution.
Butler County is part of the Pittsburgh, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Some famous inventions and discoveries were made in Butler County. It was in Saxonburg that the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge, John Roebling, invented his revolutionary "wire rope." At what is now known as Oil Creek, Butler County resident William Smith and Edwin Drake first proved oil could be tapped from underground for consistent supply. The Jeep was developed in Butler County by American Bantam in 1941.
Famous politicians have lived in and traveled through Butler County. George Washington passed through during the French and Indian War. Butler's only U.S. Senator, Walter Lowrie, built a home in 1828 that still stands behind the Butler County Courthouse. The Butler County Historical Society's office is in this home.
Butler's highest ranked federal official ever is William J. Perry, Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton from 1994–1997. He graduated from Butler High School in 1945. In 1923, President Warren G. Harding's funeral train passed through Butler County on its way back to Washington D.C. John F. Kennedy spoke in front of the Butler County Courthouse during the 1960 United States presidential election. Hubert Humphrey also spoke in Butler during this time period. Then in 2004, Vice President Dick Cheney delivered a speech in Saxonburg to rally support for President George W. Bush during the 2004 United States presidential election.
- Allegheny River (The river touches Butler County at its northeast and southeast corners. It is both a recreational and industrial waterway.)
- Connoquenessing Creek (recreational canoeing and kayaking)
- Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park (recreational boating, canoeing and kayaking)
- Slippery Rock Creek (recreational canoeing and kayaking)
- Little Connoquenessing Creek
- Bull Creek
- Muddy Creek
- Sullivan Run
- Semiconon Run
- Mulligan Run
- Venango County (north)
- Clarion County (northeast)
- Armstrong County (east)
- Westmoreland County (southeast)
- Allegheny County (south)
- Beaver County (southwest)
- Lawrence County (west)
- Mercer County (northwest)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 174,083 people, 65,862 households, and 46,827 families residing in the county. The population density was 221 people per square mile (85/km²). There were 69,868 housing units at an average density of 89 per square mile (34/km²). The racial/ethnic makeup of the county is 96.5% White, 0.9% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.17% from other races, 0.7% from two or more races; and 0.9% Hispanic or Latino of any race. 46.7% German, 24.8% Irish, 15.2% Italian, 9.9% English, 9.2% Polish, 6.3% American, 3.7% Scotch-Irish, and 3.1% French ancestry.
There were 65,862 households out of which 32.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.80% were married couples living together, 8.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.90% were non-families. 24.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the county, the population was spread out with 24.60% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 29.40% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 14.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.80 males.
Law and government
Elected county officials
- Commissioner Leslie Osche (chairman), Republican
- Commissioner Kim Geyer, Republican
- Commissioner Kevin Boozel, Democratic
- District Attorney: Richard Goldinger, Republican
- Controller: Ben Holland, Republican
- Treasurer: Diane Marburger, Republican
- Prothonotary: Glenna Walters, Republican
- Clerk of Courts: Lisa Lotz, Republican
- Sheriff: Michael Slupe, Republican
- Recorder of Deeds: Michele Mustello, Republican
- Register of Wills: Sara Edwards, Republican
- Thomas Doerr (President Judge)
- Marilyn Jean Horan
- Timothy McCune
- Kelly Streib
- William Shaffer
- S. Michael Yeager
- Kevin P. O'Donnell
- Bill O'Donnell
- Lewis Stoughton
- Sue Elaine Haggerty
- David Kovach
- B.T. Fullerton
- Wayne Seibel
- Scott Hutchinson, Republican, Pennsylvania's 21st Senatorial District
- Donald C. White, Republican, Pennsylvania's 41st Senatorial District
- Elder Vogel, Republican, Pennsylvania's 47th Senatorial District
State House of Representatives
- Tedd Nesbit, Republican, Pennsylvania's 8th Representative District
- Aaron Bernstine, Republican, Pennsylvania's 10th Representative District at PA House
- Marci Mustello, Republican, Pennsylvania's 11th Representative District
- Daryl D. Metcalfe, Republican, Pennsylvania's 12th Representative District
- Jim Marshall, Republican, Pennsylvania's 14th Representative District
- R. Lee James, Republican, Pennsylvania's 64th Representative District
- Jeff Pyle, Republican, Pennsylvania's 60th Representative District
United States House of Representatives
- Glenn Thompson, Republican, Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district
- Mike Kelly, Republican, Pennsylvania's 16th congressional district
- Conor Lamb, Democrat, Pennsylvania's 17th congressional district
United States Senate
Unlike the rest of traditionally Democratic Western Pennsylvania, Butler County has leaned towards the Republican Party. The last Democratic presidential candidate to win Butler was Lyndon Johnson in 1964. In the 2000 U.S. presidential election, the county was carried by Republican George W. Bush 62% to Democrat Al Gore 35%. In the 2004 U.S. presidential election, the county was carried by Republican George W. Bush 64% to Democrat John Kerry 35%. In the 2008 U.S. presidential election, the county was carried by Republican John McCain 63% to Democrat Barack Obama 35%. Additionally, John McCain carried every Western Pennsylvania county except for Allegheny County and Erie County, in sharp contrast to previous years, like 2004, in which Democratic candidate John Kerry carried 5 counties in Western Pennsylvania. As of May 2007, there are 121,719 registered voters in Butler County.
Colleges and universities
Public school districts
- Allegheny-Clarion Valley School District (part) ranked - 396th
- Butler Area School District - 147th
- Freeport Area School District (part) - 72nd
- Karns City Area School District (part) - 270th
- Mars Area School District - 111th
- Moniteau School District - 361st
- Seneca Valley School District - 81st
- Slippery Rock Area School District - 217th
- South Butler County School District - 133rd
In 2008, Pennsylvania School Districts were ranked by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on student academic performance as demonstrated in 3 years of PSSA results.
The Butler County Federated Library System (additionally known as the Library System of Butler County) includes the ten listed libraries. Each library is managed by its own Board of Directors. The majority of the funding for these libraries comes from state grants, user fines and donations with additional financial contributions from Butler County. The first Butler library originated in 1894 with the Literary Society of Butler in what is now known as the Little Red Schoolhouse. The Butler Area Public Library, built in 1921, was the last Carnegie library built in Pennsylvania. In the intervening 27 years the library was independently operated.  From 1921 to 1941 the library quadrupled the number of patrons served. In 1987 the County Commissioners, through a resolution, founded the Butler County Federated Library System.
- Butler Area Public Library
- Chicora Community Library
- Cranberry Public Library
- Evans City Public Library
- Mars Area Public Library
- North Trails Public Library
- Prospect Community Library
- Slippery Rock Community Library
- South Butler Community Library
- Zelienople Area Public Library
- Butler Eagle daily newspaper
- Butler Acorn - online newspaper serving Butler County
There are 2 Pennsylvania state parks in Butler County.
- Jennings Environmental Education Center is the home of the only protected relict prairie in Pennsylvania.
- Moraine State Park The gently rolling hills, lush forests and sparkling waters disguise a land that has endured the effects of continental glaciers and massive mineral extraction. Each year over one million people visit the 16,725-acre (67.68 km2) park, yet never realize that many people helped restore the park from prior coal mining and oil and gas drilling practices. Today, the park is an outstanding example of environmental engineering achievement. During the third great ice advance about 140,000 years ago, a continental glacier dammed area creeks making three glacial lakes. To the north, Slippery Rock Creek filled giant Lake Edmund. To the southeast, extinct McConnells Run filled tiny Lake Prouty. In the middle, Muddy Creek filled the medium-sized Lake Watts.
Before the glacier dam. Slippery Rock and Muddy creeks flowed north while extinct McConnells Run flowed south. The glacier dammed Lake Prouty on the edge of the drainage divide. Eventually Lake Pouty spilled over and rushed to the south, carving Slippery Rock Creek Gorge. Lakes Watts and Edmund drained into the gorge, digging it deeper and making Slippery Rock and Muddy creeks flow south. Areas of the 400-foot (120 m) deep Slippery Rock Gorge may be seen at nearby McConnells Mill State Park.
The glacier created a landscape of rolling hills topped with hardwood trees and swamps in the valley bottoms. Moraines containing gravel, sand and clay were draped upon the landscape and silt was left on the extinct lake bottoms. Reference to: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateParks/parks/moraine/moraine_history.aspx
- Butler-Freeport Trail- The trail is a rail trail that connects the city of Butler with the borough of Freeport.
- North Country Trail- The trail passes through Jennings Environmental Education Center and Moraine State Park, as well as several State Game Lands.
- Washington's Trail- A regional scenic byway road trail that roughly follows the route George Washington and Christopher Gist took on the Venango Path from the Forks of the Ohio to Fort Le Boeuf in 1753.
- There is also a trail in Slippery Rock Township that connects with McConnells Mill State Park in Lawrence County.
Major roads and highways
Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in at most two cases, towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Butler County:
- Butler (county seat)
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.
Several of these communities, most notably Renfrew, Lyndora, Herman, Sarver, Cabot, Boyers, and Forestville, have post offices and zip codes, but aren't officially incorporated under Pennsylvania law, and exist entirely within townships.
† county seat
|Rank||City/Town/etc.||Municipal type||Population (2010 Census)|
|2||Fernway (former CDP)||CDP||12,414|
|8||Fox Run (former CDP)||CDP||3,282|
|12||Slippery Rock University||CDP||1,898|
|23||Lake Arthur Estates||CDP||594|
In popular culture
Butler County has often been used as a setting for films shot in the North Pittsburgh area. Such films include:
- Night of the Living Dead (1968)
- The Crazies (1973)
- The Prince of Pennsylvania (1988)
- Iron Maze (1991)
- Kingpin (1996)
- The Haunting Hour Volume One: Don't Think About It (2007)
- Homecoming (2008)
- Staunton Hill (2008)
- The Road (2008)
- I Am Number Four (2011) 
- Death from Above (2011) 
- The Avengers (2012) [https://web.archive.org/web/20110703085520/http://blogs.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/arts-a-entertainment/mad-about-the-movies/28227-avengers-headed-this-way
- A Separate Life (2012) 
- Foxcatcher (2013)
Films set in Butler County, but not necessarily filmed there.
Novels set in Butler County.
Benjamin's Field, a trilogy by local author J. J. Knights
- "PHMC Historical Markers Search" (Searchable database). Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 21, 2020.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
- Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 24, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
- "Running for Office" (PDF). Dos.state.pa.us. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
- Pennsylvania Public School Rankings, Pittsburgh Business Times. May 23, 2007.
- Holland, B. (2017, December 31). County of Butler, Pennsylvania Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Year Ended December 31st 2017. Retrieved from www2.co.butler.pa.us › controller › Butler_CAFR_2017
- Butler County Federated Library System. (2015). Butler Area Public Library. Retrieved from https://www.bcfls.org/butler-area-public-library
- Butler County Historical Society. (2019). The Little Red Schoolhouse. Retrieved from https://butlerhistory.com/the-little-red-school-house/
- Pennsylvania economy league Butler. (1941). The Pennsylvania economy league surveys the Butler public library. Butler, PA.
- "2010 U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
- Keener, Craig (2010-07-22). "Stone Church site of sci-fi film" Butler Eagle. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
- Stonesifer, Jared (2010-06-09). "Angle Action in Valencia" Butler Eagle. Retrieved 2010-06-12.
- "'A Separate Life' Mars actress, director takes film to Cannes festival". Butler Eagle. May 26, 2011.
- "Login - ButlerEagle.com". www.butlereagle.com. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
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