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Senator David Sankey
Senator David Sankey
The father of Lawrence County
  • 1849: Lawrence County is formed from Beaver and Mercer County March 20
  • 1850: First Court of Common Pleas held in First Methodist Church on South Jefferson Street, New Castle
  • 1852: Lawrence County Court House completed at a cost of $32,000
  • 1852: Westminster College founded in New Wilmington
  • 1852: First McConnell’s Mill built
  • 1854: Wil-Roy furnace built in Slippery Rock Township
  • 1855: Bank of New Castle established
  • 1860: Population of County 20,000
  • The Eagle canal boat
    The Eagle canal boat on the New Castle Packet line (1860)

    1860 (September 8): 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.

  • 1861 – 1865: CIVIL WAR – Over 4,000 men from Lawrence County served – Nearly 500 lost their lives
  • 1864: Villa Maria began by the Sisters of the Humility of Mary on William Merrin farm
  • 1865: President Abraham Lincoln assassinated
    • Lawrence Guards
      The Lawrence Guards at McGuffin’s Corner
      Photo by John Mitchell

      Many communities formed militias. The Lawrence Guards (left) 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.

  • Ira D. Sankey
    Ira D. Sankey

    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: Gospel hymn composer, Ira D. Sankey donates first Y. M. C. A. to New Castle
  • 1886: The Park Opera House on the Diamond opens
  • Limestone quarry workers
    Limestone quarry workers

    1887: 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.
  • Downtown Ellwood City
    Ellwood City became booming industrial town within a short period of time.
    (Photo courtesy of the Ellwood City Ledger)

    1892: Ellwood City is created

  • 1892: McKinley Tariff act passed
  • 1893: Greer Tin Mill opens
  • 1893: Fazzoni Fireworks begins operations
  • 1895: First seamless steel tubes in America pierced at Ellwood Weldless Tube
  • 1896: Nancy’s Island opened in Pulaski
  • 1897: Cascade Park opens in New Castle
  • 1897: Frank Jongrass hanged at Lawrence County Court house for murdering his fiancée
  • 1898: Spanish-American War
  • 1898: Company B 16th Regiment, Pa Volunteer Infantry, marched down Court House Hill as they departed for war
  • 1899: New Castle treasurer, John Blevins, found murdered in his office at city hall