|Founded||March 12, 1800|
|Named for||Richard Butler|
|Largest city||Cranberry Township|
|• Total||795 sq mi (2,060 km2)|
|• Land||789 sq mi (2,040 km2)|
|• Water||6.1 sq mi (16 km2) 0.8%|
|• Density||246/sq mi (95/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Designated||June 11, 1982|
Butler County is a county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is part of Western Pennsylvania. As of the 2020 census, the population was 193,763. 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. Saxonburg was founded as a Prussian colony by John A. Roebling, a civil engineer, and his brother Carl. After farming for a time, Roebling returned to engineering, and invented his revolutionary "wire rope.", which he first produced at Saxonburg. He moved the operation to Trenton, New Jersey. He is best known for designing his most famous work, the Brooklyn Bridge, but designed and built numerous bridges in Pittsburgh and other cities as well.
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. U.S. Senator Walter Lowrie, the only senator from Butler, built a home in 1828 that still stands behind the Butler County Courthouse. The house has been adapted for use by the Butler County Historical Society. Butler's highest-ranked federal official is William J. Perry, Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton from 1994 to 1997. He graduated from Butler High School in 1945.
George Washington passed through this area during the French and Indian War. In 1923, the funeral train of President Warren G. Harding passed through Butler County on its way 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 campaigned in Butler. In 2004, Vice President Dick Cheney spoke in Saxonburg to campaign for President George W. Bush in the 2004 United States presidential election. Donald Trump, while president, campaigned at the Butler County Airport in 2020.
Bret Michaels, lead singer of the rock band Poison, was born here in 1963.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 795 square miles (2,060 km2), of which 789 square miles (2,040 km2) is land and 6.1 square miles (16 km2) (0.8%) is water.
It is the location of Moraine State Park, with the 3,000-acre (12 km2) glacial lake, Lake Arthur. Lake Arthur is used for fishing and sailing, and the surrounding park is used for hiking and hunting.
The county has a humid continental climate (Dfa/Dfb) and average monthly temperatures in Butler borough range from 27.7 °F in January to 72.1 °F in July.
|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 inhabitants per square mile (85/km2). There were 69,868 housing units at an average density of 89 units 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. 39.0% German, 20.8% Irish, 13.1% Italian, 8.6% English, and 7.8% Polish. 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.
|Black or African American (NH)||2,174||1.12%|
|Native American (NH)||154||0.08%|
|Pacific Islander (NH)||36||0.02%|
|Hispanic or Latino||3,665||1.9%|
Butler County has long been one of the most consistently Republican counties in Pennsylvania and the nation. The last Democratic presidential candidate to win it was Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, when he won a national landslide and carried all but four counties in the state; indeed Johnson is the only Democratic presidential candidate to carry this county in over a century. In the 2000 U.S. presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 62%, while Democrat Al Gore received 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%. Since 2008, Butler County has continually given Republican nominees support in the mid-60s, with both Mitt Romney and Donald Trump receiving around 66% of the vote in 2012, 2016, and 2020.
As of July 17, 2023, there are 136,743 registered voters in Butler County.
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.
There are two Pennsylvania state parks in Butler County.
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
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:
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.
The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Butler County.
† 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|
See also: List of films shot in Pittsburgh
Butler County has often been used as a setting for films shot in the North Pittsburgh area. Such films include:
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
The Pennsic War, an annual medieval camping event by the Society for Creative Anachronism, is fought in Butler County. Its site becomes the fourth most populous place in the county for a few weeks each year.
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