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Fredonia Borough

Fredonia Borough Hall is located at 45 Water Street, Fredonia PA 16124; phone: 724-475-2353.

Beginnings [1]

Fredonia was incorporated as a borough August 1876 [from Delaware and South Pymatuning Townships]. Its existence as a center of population had begun ten years before, and in a few years it attained a status in population and business which has not materially changed in subsequent years. For the past twenty years its population has been about 500. [Note: Fredonia is less than 1/2 square mile in area; the population, recorded in the 2000 census, was 652.]

William Simmons is credited with being the founder of Fredonia. The site had originally been owned by Levi Arnold, the builder of Arnold's Mills which for a long time was the principal establishment of this vicinity. B.R. Mitchell was the miller, and the first resident on the borough site, having put up a cabin in 1837. He was still in charge of the mills forty years later.

Aside from the mill no town growth was manifested here. Arnold failed, and lost his property, other settlers here became discouraged and moved away, and when William Simmons came in 1866 he was practically single-handed in his enterprise. He put up a building and started a store. He foresaw the construction of a railroad through his point, and in the real sense of the term he was a prospector, preparing the ground on which future developments might produce a harvest. He purchased the land and employed A.W. Ball to survey it into lots and streets. Mr. A.E. Ball, who resides near Fredonia, assisted his father in making this survey. In the fall of 1869 the railroad was completed, and lots of the village found many purchasers and a considerable population was quickly gathered at this point. A post office was established in August, 1870, and Mr Simmons became postmaster.

There are many persons in this county and elsewhere who have to thank Fredonia Institute for their early educational advantages. For the past twenty-five years this school has supplied a need in the school facilities of Fredonia and surrounding country, and its graduates will now be found in all the walks of life and among the best citizens of their communities. For the past eight years the principal of Fredonia Institute has been Professor F. A. Fruit, on of the prominent educators of the county.

  1. White, J. G., editor, A Twentieth Century History of Mercer County Pennsylvania, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1909
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