TIMELINE: 1849-1899

1849

Lawrence County is formed from Beaver and Mercer County March 20.

Senator David Sankey
Senator David Sankey
The Father of Lawrence County

You can read a brief biographical sketch of Senator David Sankey, the “Father of Lawrence County” on the Pennsylvania State Senate website.

1850

First Court of Common Pleas held in First Methodist Church on South Jefferson Street, New Castle.

1850 (July)

Lawrence Guards
The Lawrence Guards at McGuffin's Corner
Photo by John Mitchell

Many communities formed militias. The Lawrence Guards was the first military drill unit formed in New Castle. It was organized in July 1850 by Major W.W. Taylor. This picture was taken by John Mitchell at McGuffin’s Corner. Judge L.L. McGuffin is standing in the doorway.

1852

Lawrence County Court House completed at a cost of $32,000.

Westminster College founded in New Wilmington.

First McConnell’s Mill built.

1854

wilroy furnace
Wilroy furnace, Slippery Rock Township

Wil-Roy furnace built in Slippery Rock Township.

1855

Bank of New Castle established.

1860

Population of County 20,000.

1860 (September 8)

The Eagle canal boat
The Eagle canal boat
on the New Castle Packet line (1860)

The Eagle, a new boat on the New Castle Packet line, prepares to leave one of its scheduled stops. Packets, primarily used for passenger service, left the New Castle packet landing at 12 noon and 7:30 p.m., arriving at New Brighton at 7 p.m. and 4 p.m., timed to make connections with trains going east and west.

Canal boat
The Eagle on the New Castle Packet Line 1860

1861 – 1865

CIVIL WAR

Over 4,000 men from Lawrence County served – Nearly 500 lost their lives 1864

1864

Villa Maria began by the Sisters of the Humility of Mary on William Merrin farm

1865

President Abraham Lincoln assassinated

1866

First limestone quarries opened for by Green, Marquis and Johnson.

1867

Shenango Hall (later the Opera House then the Capital Theater) opens on South Mercer Street, New Castle.

1874

Wampum Cement and Lime (Shinn Brothers) began operation.

1876

Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.

1882

Water system established in New Castle.

1886

Ira D. Sankey
Ira D. Sankey

Gospel hymn composer, Ira D. Sankey donates first YMCA to New Castle.

1886

The Park Opera House on the Diamond (New Castle) opens

1887

Limestone quarry workers

Hillsville limestone quarry workers

Bessemer Limestone and Cement started

1889

First electric plant in New Castle.

First street car service in New Castle.

1891

Elliott Brothers Steel Company established. One of first strip steel mills.

1892

Downtown Ellwood City
(Photo courtesy of the Ellwood City Ledger)

Ellwood City is created. Ellwood City became a booming industrial town within a short period of time.

1892

McKinley Tariff act passed

1893

Greer Tin Mill opens

Fazzoni Fireworks begins operations

1895

First seamless steel tubes in America pierced at Ellwood Weldless Tube

1896

Nancy’s Island opened in Pulaski

1897

Frank Jongrass hanged at Lawrence County Court house for murdering his fiancée.

1897

Floral steps at Cascade Park, New Castle PA

Cascade Park opens in New Castle.

Cascade Park was once the entertainment center of Western Pennsylvania. Once a popular picnic spot known as Big Run Falls. It was developed into a trolley park in 1897 by the New Castle Traction Company. Designed by leading landscape architect, Frank Blaisdell, the buildings and amusements enhanced the natural beauty of the setting.

face of cascade park dvd

Cascade Park: A Narrated History

To learn more about the history of Cascade Park, see our video and read our books.

1898

Spanish-American War

Company B 16th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, marched down Court House Hill as they departed for war.

1899

new castle treasurer john blevins
John Blevins, New Castle treasurer

New Castle treasurer, John Blevins, found murdered in his office at city hall.

END of 1849-1899 TIMELINE
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