North Braddock, Pennsylvania

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North Braddock
Borough
NB Welcome Sign.jpg
Borough Welcome Sign
Official name: Borough of North Braddock
Named for: Edward Braddock
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Allegheny
Landmark Edgar Thomson Steel Works (1873)
River Monongahela River
Coordinates 40°24′18″N 79°51′23″W / 40.40500°N 79.85639°W / 40.40500; -79.85639Coordinates: 40°24′18″N 79°51′23″W / 40.40500°N 79.85639°W / 40.40500; -79.85639
Area 1.6 sq mi (4 km2)
Population 4,857 (2010)
Density 3,036/sq mi (1,172/km2)
Founded 1897
Mayor Thomas Whyel (D)
Timezone EST
 - summer (DST) EDT
ZIP code 15104
Area code 412
School District Woodland Hills
Location in Allegheny County and the state of Pennsylvania
Website: North Braddock Borough

North Braddock is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States. North Braddock was organized from a part of Braddock Township in 1897. The borough prides itself in being the "Birth Place of Steel" as the home of Andrew Carnegie's Edgar Thomson Steel Works that opened in 1875. North Braddock is a suburb 11 miles (18 km) east of Pittsburgh with a 15-minute travel time to the city. The borough is located in the valley along the Monongahela River, and is made up of three jurisdictional voting wards.

The 2010 census had the borough population at 4,857,[1] a great decline from the 1930 population of 16,782. The decline is due largely to the diminishing steel industry in the region.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

In 1742 a Scottish trader named John Fraser from eastern Pennsylvania acquired land at the location of the current Edgar Thomson Steel Works from Queen Aliquippa and the Lenape people. Fraser settled his family on the location, and in 1753 Christopher Gist and General George Washington met with Fraser while delivering messages from Governor Robert Dinwiddie of Virginia to French commanders in the Pittsburgh region. Dinwiddie urged the French commanders to withdraw from the Pittsburgh area. Fearing that a conflict was on the horizon, Fraser returned to Philadelphia in 1754.

In 1755 General Edward Braddock and British troops left Virginia and used Fraser as the guide with General Washington as the aide on the expedition. The objective of the expedition was to expel the French at Fort Duquesne. It was on July 9, 1755, when the British troops arrived at Frazier's cabin to be met with gunfire from the French troops. During the battle Braddock was wounded, dying on July 13, 1755, in nearby Uniontown. The area where Braddock was shot became known as Braddock's Field. Historical markers identify the site on present-day Jones Avenue across from Benjamin Fairless School. Braddock's Battlefield History Center commemorates this battle.[2]

Whiskey Rebellion[edit]

During the late 18th-century farming was prevalent in the North Braddock area with the nearby Monongahela River used for trade. Whiskey became a very profitable product to trade, with much being sent to the New Orleans area. In 1794 a whiskey tax was created, drawing in protest over 8,000 settlers from western Pennsylvania to the North Braddock area, as part of the Whiskey Rebellion. The angry settlers would not disperse easily, and President Washington led an army to suppress the rebellion.

Wallace Mansion[edit]

The British commander of Fort Pitt, Captain Edmondstone, had signed a grant of 328 acres (1.33 km2) of land from King George of England to Peter Rowletter. Once the French and Indian War was over, Rowletter sold the land to Pittsburgh judge George Wallace, who bought around 328 acres (1.33 km2) of land, including part of Braddock's Field, on March 4, 1791. Here Wallace built a mansion as his summer home. Later the Marquis de La Fayette visited the country as the Guest of the Nation, and while doing so he stopped by Judge Wallace's mansion on May 28, 1825. After Wallace's death the home was left to his nephew who lost the property to a sheriff sale. The Wallace mansion would be used as a boarding school called the Edgeworth Ladies Seminary during the 1830s.

Coal and steel[edit]

In 1835 the first coal mine opened between the hills near Sixth Street. During the 19th century the railroad industry was expanding across the country. Andrew Carnegie, with the increasing demands in steel for the railroad, began to build his first steel mill in 1872, named for John Edgar Thomson, the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad. By 1873 the demand for steel for the railroad had decreased, and the construction of the mill was halted. Good news came though when Carnegie secured a $2 million loan and finished the steel mill to roll its first steel under the supervision of superintendent William R. Jones. The mill would go on to expand, and in 1880 the first blast furnace was used at the Edgar Thomson Steel Works.

Incorporation[edit]

During 1897, East Pittsburgh tried to annex the land around the mill of North Braddock, known as Bessemer, that was part of Braddock Township. Residents of Shady Park village (3rd ward) and of Wolftown (1st ward) came together to hold meetings on stopping East Pittsburgh from annexing the land near the mill known as Braddock's Field. William Yost serving as North Braddock's attorney petitioned the Quarter Sessions of Allegheny County that Shady Park and Wolftown would join as one town, also incorporating Braddock's Field. During the meetings 317 of 510 property owners signed an agreement helping Judge Kennedy make his ruling to form a new town. On Monday, April 26, 1897, North Braddock was incorporated as a borough. Judge Kennedy of the Quarter Sessions Court of Allegheny County made the ruling and ordered the decree for the new borough. The first election of officials was to be held on May 18, 1897. The winners of the election included the burgess Henry Anderson, councilmen Joseph Wallace, John Walberg, John Maxwell, WJ Vance, Thomas Clark, J Grant Anderson, Fred Edwards, tax collector John Hutzen, and school directors Jones, Johnson, Scott, Colmey, Crossey, and Anderson.

North Braddock celebrated its borough centennial with a festival of events in June 1997.

North Braddock Centennial Book (1997)

Geography[edit]

North Braddock is located at 40°24′18″N 79°51′23″W / 40.40500°N 79.85639°W / 40.40500; -79.85639 (40.405025, -79.856500).[3] It occupies a slope of terrain between Braddock, which touches the Monongahela River, and East Pittsburgh, which occupies the highest ground.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2), of which 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2), or 3.75%, is water.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 6,535
1910 11,824 80.9%
1920 14,928 26.3%
1930 16,782 12.4%
1940 15,679 −6.6%
1950 14,724 −6.1%
1960 13,204 −10.3%
1970 10,838 −17.9%
1980 8,711 −19.6%
1990 7,036 −19.2%
2000 6,410 −8.9%
2010 4,857 −24.2%
Est. 2015 4,787 [4] −1.4%
Sources:[5][6][7][8]

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 6,410 people, 2,631 households, and 1,681 families residing in the borough. The population density was 4,155.5 people per square mile (1,607.1/km²). There were 3,250 housing units at an average density of 2,106.9 per square mile (814.8/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 61.70% White, 35.30% African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.59% from other races, and 1.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.25% of the population.

There were 2,631 households, out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.0% were married couples living together, 23.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.1% were non-families. 31.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 27.0% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 18.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 89.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.6 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $24,335, and the median income for a family was $30,473. Males had a median income of $30,960 versus $22,281 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $14,076. About 18.0% of families and 22.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.4% of those under age 18 and 9.2% of those age 65 or over.

Government[edit]

North Braddock Municipal Building

North Braddock has a borough form of government. The borough has nine elected council members and a mayor who all serve four year terms. The borough manager conducts daily borough business and operates the budget passed by council. Ordinances and building codes are enforced by the appointed code official/building inspector. The borough solicitor provides legal consultation for borough legal issues. An engineering firm is contracted to provide consultation for borough infrastructure issues. The elected tax collector serves a four-year term and has part-time office hours for borough tax issues. North Braddock is a member of the Turtle Creek Valley Council of Governments. The Municipal Building has the mayor's office, manager's office, police station, council chambers, tax office, code enforcement office, street department garage, and fire station #2.

Mayors
1897 - Henry Anderson 1914 - H.B Miller 1982 - Elmer DeVay
1899 - F.K. Leighton 1918 - B.M Bartilson 1983 - Steven Yanowitch
1903 - Johnson Snyder 1922 - Harvey Hunter 1984 - Norman Irvin
1904 - A.T Reid 1926 - G. Fenton Mitchell 1989 - Jerome Sepesy
1906 - George Whitfield 1938 - P.J. McLeigh 1990 - George Choma
1909 - James McWilliams 1951 - Michael Pendro 1994 - Raymond McDonough
1910 - John McCune 1966 - Thomas Curran 2010 - Thomas Whyel (Dec. 2017)
1911 - A.L Best 1981 - Norman Irvin
Council
Ward 1 Ward 2 Ward 3
Timothy Bridge (Dec. 2017) Christopher Roland (Dec. 2017) Michael Breaston (Dec. 2019)
Michael Dobrinich (Dec. 2019) John Vahosky (Dec. 2019) Manaya King (Dec. 2017)
Jerome Sepesy (Dec. 2017) Victoria Vargo (Dec. 2017) Richard Kostyak (Dec. 2019)

Public Safety[edit]

NBVFD (Engine 207)
  • North Braddock VFD - Fire and rescue services are provided by the North Braddock VFD. The department is staffed by volunteers led by elected officers consisting of a chief, assistant chief, two captains, & lieutenant. The president and vice president oversee the civil operations in the department. All personnel are certified through the Allegheny County Fire Academy. Two fire stations are used on Wolfe Avenue and Bell Avenue. The fire service has four pieces of apparatus: 207 Engine(1996 Seagrave), 207 Rescue(1988 GMC E-One), 207 Service(2003 Ford F-450), and 207 Squad(2011 Ford F-250). The fire service is dispatched by Allegheny County 911.
  • North Braddock Police - The police chief and two sergeants lead the daily operations of the police department. The department protects and serves the borough 24 hours a day. Two to three officers are assigned during every shift for duty. A police dispatcher/clerk handles daytime non-emergency calls and office tasks. The department utilizes four equipped vehicles for patrol consisting of three Ford Police Interceptor SUV's and one Chevrolet Impala. The police are dispatched by Allegheny County 911.
  • Priority One EMS - Priority One EMS located on Baldridge Avenue provides emergency ambulance services staffed by certified EMT and Paramedic personnel. Priority One also serves Braddock, East Pittsburgh, and Rankin.

Schools[edit]

Woodland Hills Administration Center

North Braddock School District[edit]

North Braddock once operated its own North Braddock School District to provide public education for the residents. The district had a number of school buildings throughout the borough. The schools used included, Original North Braddock High School (Bell Avenue), North Braddock Scott High School (Bell Avenue), Hartman Junior High School (Wolfe Avenue), Bell Avenue School (Bell Avenue), Brinton Avenue School (Brinton Avenue), McClure School (Electric Avenue), Jones Avenue Junior High School (Jones Avenue), Shady Park School (Lobinger Avenue), and Ben Fairless School (Jones Avenue).

General Braddock Area School District[edit]

The North Braddock School District merged into the General Braddock Area District with Braddock & Rankin in the 1970s.

Woodland Hills School District[edit]

General Braddock Area School District was merged under court orders into the Woodland Hills School District in 1981 with 12 other nearby communities. Woodland Hills educates students from 12 communities with elected board members representing the residents. The Woodland Hills Administration Building is located in the former Fairless Elementary School on Jones Avenue in North Braddock.

Sports Championships[edit]

Football Titles
Basketball Titles

North Braddock Scott High School won championships in football, basketball, & baseball. General Braddock Area High School won a state basketball championship in 1973.

Football Titles

  • 1933 WPIAL Class A Champions - Gardner Point System Champion
  • 1934 WPIAL Class A Champions - North Braddock Scott 6 - Ambridge 0
  • 1935 WPIAL Class AA Champions - Gardner Point System Champion
  • 1937 WPIAL Class AA Champions - Gardner Point System Champion

Basketball Titles

  • 1931 WPIAL Class AAA Champions - Scott 36 - Duquesne 11
  • 1931 PIAA Class AAA Champions - Scott 28 - Lower Merion 15
  • 1943 WPIAL Class AAA Champions - Scott 34 - Ford City 29
  • 1973 PIAA Class AAA Champions - General Braddock 63 - Reading 62 (General Braddock High School After Merger)

Baseball Titles

  • 1929 WPIAL Champions
  • 1930 WPIAL Champions

Notable People[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), North Braddock borough, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Retrieved September 21, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Braddock's Battlefield History Center". Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Pennsylvania" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "Pennsylvania: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 

External links[edit]