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McKeesport City

McKeesport City Hall is located at 500 Fifth Avenue, McKeesport, PA 15132; phone: 412-675-5020.

The city of McKeesport, was named in honor of David McKee, a north-country Irishman, who, at the close of the French and Indian War, came to the Monongahela, where he was well received by Queen Aliquippa, who allowed him to settle at the mouth of the Youghiogheny River. In 1769 the colonial government confirmed to him the right of exclusive ferriage over the two rivers at their confluence. In the same year David McKee and his two sons, Robert and Thomas, secured title to a tract of 844 acres of land now occupied by the city of McKeesport. John McKee, son of David, inherited his father's property, and added much to it by numerous purchases. He possessed great energy and shrewd business ability, and soon became one of the largest individual landowners in Allegheny County. Judged by the standards of that day, he was a man of wealth. In 1793 he became surety for his brother-in-law, Judge John Redick, who was under contract to furnish supplies for the famous Indian expedition of General Wayne. John Redick failed to fulfill his contract, and his bondsman was required to meet obligations aggregating many thousands of dollars. John McKee's property was sold at a great sacrifice by the United States marshal for about $30,000.

Beginnings [1]

After his financial reverses John McKee conceived the idea of retrieving his fortunes by laying out a town at the mouth of the Youghiogheny River. The site was not particularly inviting, much of the tract being either swamp or forest; but it presented unusual commercial possibilities because of its situation at the junction of the Monongahela and the Youghiogheny Rivers. It was at this site, in 1795, that John McKee laid out the town of McKeesport. In 1830, McKeesport was still a mere country village. In that year, however, John Harrison opened coal mines and in a few years the mining and shipping of coal became an important industry; and McKeesport began its career as a great industrial town. It became a borough in 1842, and later one of Pennsylvania few 3rd Class Cities. In the early half of the 20th century, McKeesport was a booming city. However, like many other communities in the Mon Valley, the City of McKeesport has suffered the economic affects of the decline of the steel industry in Western Pennsylvania, and its ripple affects on the commercial life of the city. With a focus on the future, the City adopted a plan called Renaissance 2005, which was designed to address economic and residential development, upgrade infrastructure and recreational facilities, and improve city services.

Despite its economic condition, McKeesport has a number of features which continue to hold and attract people. These assets include the City's hub location in the Mon Valley, a Symphony, a performing Theatre, a branch campus of Penn State University, a community hospital, and a boat marina.

  1. City of McKeesport, PA, Community Profile, 2005,, accessed August, 2015.
**Information is curated from a variety of sources and, while deemed reliable, is not guaranteed.
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