Fayette County
Fayette County Courthouse
Fayette County Courthouse
Official seal of Fayette County
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Fayette County
Location within the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 39°55′N 79°39′W / 39.92°N 79.65°W / 39.92; -79.65
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
FoundedSeptember 26, 1783
Named forMarquis de Lafayette
SeatUniontown
Largest cityUniontown
Area
 • Total798 sq mi (2,070 km2)
 • Land790 sq mi (2,000 km2)
 • Water8.0 sq mi (21 km2)  1.0%%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2019)
129,274
 • Density169/sq mi (65/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district14th
Websitewww.co.fayette.pa.us

Fayette County is a county of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. Fayette County is located in southwestern Pennsylvania, adjacent to Maryland and West Virginia. As of the 2020 census, the population was 128,804.[1] Its county seat is Uniontown.[2] The county was created on September 26, 1783, from part of Westmoreland County and named after the Marquis de Lafayette.[3]

Fayette County is part of the Pittsburgh, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area. The southern border of Fayette County is also the southern border of Pennsylvania at both the Pennsylvania–Maryland state line (Mason–Dixon line) and the Pennsylvania–West Virginia state line.

History

The first Europeans in Fayette County were explorers, who had used an ancient American Indian trail that bisected the county on their journey across the Appalachian Mountains. In 1754, when control of the area was still in dispute between France and Great Britain, 22-year-old George Washington fought against the French at the Battle of Jumonville Glen and Fort Necessity. British forces under Washington and General Edward Braddock improved roads throughout the region, making the future Fayette County an important supply route.

During the American Revolution, Fayette County was plagued by attacks from British-allied Indians and remained isolated as a frontier region. Also retarding settlement was a border dispute with Virginia; Virginia's District of West Augusta and Pennsylvania's Westmoreland County both claimed the area. In 1780 the dispute was settled by the federal government in favor of Pennsylvania, and Fayette County was formed from Westmoreland County in 1783.

Fayette County settlers provided the new United States government with an early test of authority in the 1793 Whiskey Rebellion, when farmers rebelled against tax collectors to protest a new liquor tax. President George Washington called out the militias to restore order. However, they were talked out of any violent action by owner of Friendship Hill and future Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin. Fayette County continued to be important to travelers in the early 1800s. The National Road provided a route through the mountains of the county for settlers heading west. The shipyards in Brownsville on the Monongahela River built ships for both the domestic and international trade.

As Pittsburgh developed its industries in the mid-19th century, Fayette County became a center of coal mining and coke production. From the 1880s to the early 1900s, the area's great expansion in steel production became nationally important, and labor unions shaped national policies. Both new European immigrants and African Americans in the Great Migration from the rural South were attracted to the Pittsburgh area for industrial jobs. The historic Scottish and German farming communities established in the earlier 19th century were soon overshadowed by the wave of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe. The region's wealth has been concentrated largely among the old English and Scottish families who had established businesses and political power in Pittsburgh prior to and in the advent of industrialization, often building the new manufacturing concerns, as did Andrew Carnegie.

By World War II, Fayette County had a new unionized working class that enjoyed increased prosperity. In the 1950s, however, the coal industry fell into decline. In the 1970s, the restructuring and collapse of American steel resulted in a massive loss of industrial jobs and hard times in the area. The population has declined since the peak in 1940, as residents have had to move elsewhere for work. The loss of union jobs caused many working families to drop out of the middle class. Only a few mines are being worked in the 21st century, but natural resources remain crucial to the local economy. The region is slowly transitioning toward the service sector, with an increase in jobs in fields such as telemarketing.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 798 square miles (2,070 km2), of which 790 square miles (2,000 km2) is land and 8.0 square miles (21 km2) (1.0%) is water.[4] The western portion of the county contains rolling foothills and two valleys along the Monongahela and Youghiogheny rivers. The eastern portion of the county is highly mountainous and forested. Many coal mines are located within the area.[5]

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Climate

Fayette has a humid continental climate (Dfa/Dfb).

Climate data for Uniontown, Pennsylvania (1981-2010; Extremes 1974-present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 79
(26)
77
(25)
88
(31)
93
(34)
93
(34)
97
(36)
102
(39)
102
(39)
99
(37)
95
(35)
88
(31)
77
(25)
102
(39)
Average high °F (°C) 39
(4)
43
(6)
51
(11)
63
(17)
72
(22)
81
(27)
84
(29)
83
(28)
76
(24)
65
(18)
54
(12)
43
(6)
63
(17)
Average low °F (°C) 20
(−7)
22
(−6)
28
(−2)
37
(3)
46
(8)
56
(13)
60
(16)
59
(15)
51
(11)
40
(4)
32
(0)
24
(−4)
40
(4)
Record low °F (°C) −22
(−30)
−16
(−27)
−3
(−19)
15
(−9)
23
(−5)
33
(1)
37
(3)
34
(1)
29
(−2)
16
(−9)
−1
(−18)
−14
(−26)
−22
(−30)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.8
(71)
2.7
(69)
3.8
(97)
4.0
(100)
4.4
(110)
4.3
(110)
4.8
(120)
3.9
(99)
3.6
(91)
2.9
(74)
3.5
(89)
3.2
(81)
43.9
(1,111)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 8.4
(21)
7.2
(18)
4.6
(12)
0.4
(1.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.9
(2.3)
4.4
(11)
25.9
(65.3)
[citation needed]

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
179013,318
180020,15951.4%
181024,71422.6%
182027,28510.4%
183029,1726.9%
184033,57415.1%
185039,11216.5%
186039,9092.0%
187043,2848.5%
188058,84235.9%
189080,00636.0%
1900110,41238.0%
1910167,44951.7%
1920188,10412.3%
1930198,5425.5%
1940200,9991.2%
1950189,899−5.5%
1960169,340−10.8%
1970154,667−8.7%
1980159,4173.1%
1990145,351−8.8%
2000148,6452.3%
2010136,606−8.1%
2020128,804−5.7%
[6]

As of the 2010 census,[7] there were 136,606 people, 59,969 households, and 41,198 families residing in the county. The population density was 188 people per square mile (73/km2). There were 66,490 housing units at an average density of 84 per square mile (32/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 93.30% White, 4.71% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.11% from other races, and 2.33% from two or more races. 1.38% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 19.8% were of German, 13.2% Italian, 11.4% Irish, 9.2% American, 8.4% Polish, 7.9% English and 6.6% Slovak ancestry.

There were 59,969 households, out of which 28.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.80% were married couples living together, 12.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.30% were non-families. 28.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.50% 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 2.96.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 22.70% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 27.20% from 25 to 44, 24.20% from 45 to 64, and 18.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.60 males.

2020 Census

Fayette County Racial Composition[8]
Race Num. Perc.
White (NH) 115,322 89.5%
Black or African American (NH) 5,703 4.43%
Native American (NH) 166 0.13%
Asian (NH) 376 0.3%
Pacific Islander (NH) 160 0.12%
Other/Mixed (NH) 5,499 4.3%
Hispanic or Latino 1,578 1.23%

Government

The County of Fayette is governed by a three-member publicly elected commission. The three commissioners serve in both executive and legislative capacities. By state law, the commission must have a minority party member, guaranteeing a political split. Each member serves a four-year term. Current commissioners are Democrat Vince Vicites and Republicans David Lohr and Scott Dunn.

In October 2015, Sidney Bush, the first African American elected to county office, was sworn in as controller. She is a longtime county employee.[9]

The Fayette County Court of Common Pleas serves as the primary judicial arm in the region. Judges are elected to ten-year terms in accordance with Commonwealth law. Additionally, district judges serve throughout the county and rule on minor offenses. Current judges are President Judge John F. Wagner Jr., Steve P. Leskinen, Nancy Vernon, Linda Cordaro, and Joseph M. George Jr.[10]

Politics

United States presidential election results for Fayette County, Pennsylvania[11][12]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 41,243 66.25% 20,456 32.86% 559 0.90%
2016 34,590 63.94% 17,946 33.17% 1,563 2.89%
2012 26,018 53.48% 21,971 45.16% 660 1.36%
2008 26,081 49.35% 25,866 48.95% 897 1.70%
2004 25,045 45.78% 29,120 53.23% 542 0.99%
2000 20,013 40.40% 28,152 56.84% 1,367 2.76%
1996 14,019 30.13% 26,359 56.65% 6,154 13.23%
1992 12,820 23.80% 30,577 56.77% 10,464 19.43%
1988 16,915 33.60% 33,098 65.74% 336 0.67%
1984 21,314 37.69% 35,098 62.07% 135 0.24%
1980 19,252 38.99% 27,963 56.62% 2,168 4.39%
1976 20,021 37.60% 32,232 60.54% 991 1.86%
1972 27,288 54.06% 22,475 44.52% 716 1.42%
1968 18,921 31.83% 34,340 57.76% 6,189 10.41%
1964 16,127 26.20% 45,155 73.35% 276 0.45%
1960 27,120 39.38% 41,560 60.35% 181 0.26%
1956 27,857 41.97% 38,312 57.72% 206 0.31%
1952 27,348 38.12% 43,921 61.22% 476 0.66%
1948 20,401 36.19% 34,971 62.04% 995 1.77%
1944 21,945 38.17% 35,093 61.04% 451 0.78%
1940 23,908 36.16% 41,960 63.47% 246 0.37%
1936 21,984 30.90% 48,291 67.88% 869 1.22%
1932 15,903 35.22% 27,662 61.26% 1,591 3.52%
1928 27,693 58.69% 19,063 40.40% 427 0.90%
1924 19,064 53.57% 8,855 24.88% 7,668 21.55%
1920 20,186 56.68% 13,358 37.51% 2,067 5.80%
1916 9,838 45.70% 10,416 48.38% 1,275 5.92%
1912 4,168 22.06% 7,363 38.97% 7,361 38.96%
1908 10,012 50.26% 8,220 41.26% 1,689 8.48%
1904 11,486 57.23% 6,792 33.84% 1,793 8.93%
1900 9,637 53.54% 7,650 42.50% 712 3.96%
1896 9,268 51.33% 8,349 46.24% 438 2.43%
1892 6,859 46.17% 7,508 50.54% 489 3.29%
1888 7,034 49.17% 6,951 48.59% 321 2.24%
1884 5,955 45.39% 6,734 51.32% 432 3.29%
1880 4,920 41.69% 6,250 52.96% 631 5.35%


In August 2022, for the first time in county's history, the total number of registered Republican voters exceeded the number of registered Democrats.[13]

As of August 15, 2022, there are 79,044 registered voters in Fayette County.[13]

Historically, Fayette County tended to be strongly Democratic-leaning in statewide and national elections due to a strong union history, as county residents tend to be liberal on economic issues. At the presidential level, the Democratic candidate won by over 15 points in every election from 1932 through 2004 except 1972, usually winning by 25 points or more. However, similar to the rest of Western Pennsylvania outside of Pittsburgh and Erie, most residents tend to be socially conservative, and the county has been trending steadily towards the Republicans since 1996.[14] In the past six presidential elections, the Republican party has continued to improve in each successive election, and the county was one of only 41 counties nationwide to flip from Democratic to Republican in 2008. Despite losing nationwide and statewide by a large margin, John McCain became the first Republican since 1972 and only the second Republican since 1928 to win Fayette County in 2008, and four years later, Mitt Romney became only the second Republicabn since 1928 to win a majority of the county's vote. In 2016, Republican Donald Trump won the county by a massive margin of 31 points, carrying the county 64–33 and becoming the first Republican to win the county by double digits since 1928, as well as the first Republican to receive over 60% of the county's vote in history. Four years later, he improved on his margin, winning 66.4-32.9. The county has also become solidly Republican in non-presidental races, with Republicans Lou Barletta and Scott Wagner carrying the county in the 2018 Senate and gubernatorial races, respectively, despite both losing statewide by landslide margins of over 10 points, although both won by narrow margins of less than 3 points in Fayette County.

State representatives

Serve 2 year terms in Pennsylvania House of Representatives

State senator

U.S. Representative

U.S. Senators

Serves six year terms in U.S. Senate

Education

Colleges and universities

Public school districts

Map of Fayette County, Pennsylvania School Districts
Map of Fayette County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Private schools

Intermediate unit

Fayette County is served by Intermediate Unit #1 which provides a wide variety of services to public, charter and private schools in the region. Early screening, special educations services, speech and hearing therapy and driver education are available. Services for children during the preschool years are provided without cost to their families when the child is determined to meet eligibility requirements. The IU1 also provides the state mandated multiple background screenings for potential school employees. A variety of professional development services are also available to the schools' employees. [1]

Transportation

While Fayette County is a generally rural area and is not directly tied into the interstate system, it features four-lane access to the city of Pittsburgh and several of its major suburban areas. State highway plans call for the establishment of direct freeway connections with Pittsburgh to the north and Morgantown, West Virginia to the south.

Major highways

Public transportation

The primary provider of mass transportation within the region is Fayette Area Coordinated Transportation, which features local bus routes as well as four times-daily commuter service to Pittsburgh. Amtrak rail service along the Chicago-to-Washington-via-Cleveland Capitol Limited route stops at Connellsville Station. General aviation services are also provided at the Joseph A. Hardy Connellsville Airport.

Communities

Map of Fayette County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Cities and Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated places (blue).
Map of Fayette County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Cities and 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 cities, boroughs and townships are located in Fayette County:

Cities

Boroughs

Townships

Census-designated places

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.

Unincorporated communities

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Fayette County.[18]

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Uniontown City 10,372
2 Connellsville City 7,637
3 Masontown Borough 3,450
4 Leith-Hatfield CDP 2,546
5 Oliver CDP 2,535
6 East Uniontown CDP 2,419
7 Brownsville Borough 2,331
8 Hopwood CDP 2,090
9 Lynnwood-Pricedale (partially in Westmoreland County) CDP 2,031
10 Fairchance Borough 1,975
11 South Connellsville Borough 1,970
12 Perryopolis Borough 1,784
13 South Uniontown CDP 1,360
14 Point Marion Borough 1,159
15 Hiller CDP 1,155
16 Fairhope CDP 1,151
17 Republic CDP 1,096
18 Belle Vernon Borough 1,093
19 Bear Rocks CDP 1,048
20 Dunbar Borough 1,042
21 Smithfield Borough 875
22 Lemont Furnace CDP 827
23 Everson Borough 793
24 Farmington CDP 767
25 Allison CDP 625
26 Star Junction CDP 616
27 Fayette City Borough 596
28 Smock CDP 583
29 New Salem CDP 579
30 Rowes Run CDP 564
31 Newell Borough 541
T-32 Arnold City CDP 498
T-32 Grindstone CDP 498
33 Deer Lake CDP 495
34 Vanderbilt Borough 476
35 Dawson Borough 367
36 Edenborn CDP 294
37 Buffington CDP 292
38 Markleysburg Borough 284
39 Ronco CDP 256
40 Chalkhill CDP 141
41 Naomi CDP 69
42 Ohiopyle Borough 59
43 Seven Springs (mostly in Somerset County) Borough 26

Fixtures

Notable people

In popular culture

In 1967 Uniontown was the birthplace of the McDonald's Big Mac sandwich.[26][27]

See also

References

  1. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 3, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 124.
  4. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  5. ^ Coal Miners Memorial Echo Mine, Fayette City, Fayette Co., PA, U.S.A Archived July 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Patheoldminer.rootsweb.ancestry.com (December 17, 2009). Retrieved on July 23, 2013.
  6. ^ "Census 2020".
  7. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  8. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Fayette County, Minnesota".
  9. ^ Alyssa Choiniere, "First African American to hold county office sworn in" Archived May 9, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, Herald-Standard, October 8, 2015; accessed July 6, 2016
  10. ^ Fayette County Election Bureau
  11. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Archived from the original on March 23, 2018. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  12. ^ http://geoelections.free.fr/. Retrieved January 13, 2021. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ a b "Voter registration statistics by county". August 15, 2022.. dos.pa.gov. Retrieved on August 17, 2022.
  14. ^ Field, Nick (May 23, 2016). "MSNBC Examines Western PA's Red Trend (VIDEOS)". PoliticsPA. Archived from the original on September 11, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  15. ^ a b Center, Legislativate Data Processing. "Find Your Legislator". The official website for the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Archived from the original on May 4, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  16. ^ Pennsylvania General Assembly (2016). "Fayette County PA Legislators". Archived from the original on May 4, 2017.
  17. ^ "GNIS Account Login". geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  18. ^ "2010 U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  19. ^ "Fort Necessity National Battlefield". National Park Service. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved September 15, 2007.
  20. ^ "The French and Indian War". Fayette County Cultural Trust. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  21. ^ "Bridges & Toll Houses". National Road Heritage Corridor. Archived from the original on April 5, 2012. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  22. ^ "Mount Washington Tavern". National Park Service. Archived from the original on January 6, 2012. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  23. ^ "Wheel project makes grist mill complete". Valley Independent. Archived from the original on June 20, 2004. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  24. ^ "Fallingwater". Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved September 15, 2007.
  25. ^ "Friendship Hill National Historic Site (Estate of Albert Gallatin)". National Park Service. Archived from the original on August 20, 2007. Retrieved September 15, 2007.
  26. ^ www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ McDonald's Celebrates 40 Years Archived May 17, 2014, at the Wayback Machine PR Newswire, Official McDonald’s News release, August 22, 2007
  27. ^ "The Pennsylvania Center for the Book - Big Mac". Archived from the original on May 15, 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2012. Big Mac History

Coordinates: 39°55′N 79°39′W / 39.92°N 79.65°W / 39.92; -79.65