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Scottdale Borough

Scottdale Borough Hall is located at 10 Mount Pleasant Road, Scottdale PA 15683; phone: 724-887-8220.

Beginnings [1]

The town of Scottdale owes its existence to the building of the South-West Pennsylvania railroad, in 1873. At that time the site of the present borough was productive farm land. The town was laid out by the late Peter S. Loucks and Jacob S. Loucks, and their sister Catharine. The place was named in honor of Colonel Thomas A. Scott, one of the early presidents of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. The projectors of the town evidently did not expect it to grow and flourish as it has done, for Peter S. Loucks laid out but fourteen lots, and his brother Jacob but ten. The first lots were sold in the fall of 1872 at about one hundred and fifty dollars each, and were seventy-two by one hundred fifty feet. Originally there was a flouring mill and a distillery located at this place, at which time it was known as Fountain Mills. The present population of Scottdale borough is fairly estimated at 6,000, and with the surrounding community, this would probably be increased to 10.000. The newspapers of the borough are the Scottdale News, Scottdale Independent and the Observer. The first paper in Scottdale was the Tribune, founded by I. X. Newcomer, January, 1880.

The first school building in the borough was a one-roomed brick house, which was built by the directors of East Huntingdon township in 1860, and used by them for school purposes until the borough was incorporated. The rapid growth of the town required more school room, and the contract was let March 8, 1878, for a four-roomed brick building, the contract price being $5,200. In the summer of 1889 a contract was let for a ten-roomed brick school building, which still is occupied. In May. 1896, a contract was let for an eight-roomed building to stand on the school lot at the head of Pittsburgh street. This cost $14,000.

Scottdale became an incorporated borough, February, 1874. The post office of Fountain Mills was located here, and this was the grain market for a large territory for many years. The banking business of the borough at present is represented by the Broadway National Bank, First National Bank, Scottdale Savings and Trust Company, and the Scottdale Bank. Concerning the iron industry it may be said that among the large plants of the place is the Cast Iron Pipe Works, which is claimed to be the largest in America. They are a part of the American Tubing Company, hence no detailed account can be obtained from their local manager.

The Tin Plate Works of the American Sheet and Tin Plate Company, which operates at a number of points in Westmoreland county, have a large plant at Scottdale. It is at present equipped with nine sheet mills, and has an annual production capacity of twenty-five thousand gross tons. The number of men employed in these works is four hundred.

The Pocket Knife Factory is another important industry. What was known as the F. A. Black Company was incorporated November 22, 1904, with $100,000 capital. The officers are: F. A. Black, president; A. B. Loucks, vice-president; J. R. Loucks, secretary and treasurer. This concern occupies a brick building having twenty thousand square feet of floor surface. One hundred persons are employed in the various departments.

The Scottdale Foundry and Machine Company is an extensive factory. It was established in 1880 by Hill & Kenny as a foundry and machine shop, employing about twenty-five men, and did a business of forty thousand dollars per annum. In 1884 Mr. Hill withdrew and A. K. Stauffer was taken as a partner, the firm being known as Kenny & Company. The works were greatly enlarged, and they engaged in building steam engines. In 1890 they were doing an annual business of $125,000. In 1891 the plant was destroyed by fire, and at once a new stock company was formed with A. K. Stauffer as president; E. L. Rutherford, vice-president and secretary; Walter L. Stauffer, treasurer. Among the other directors are E. A. Humphrey, Worth Kilpatrick, Robert Skemp, B. F. Stauft, John Dick and J. R. Smith. A large brass foundry, with which W. F. Stauffer is connected, is one of the latest industries of the place.

The United States Casket Company, chartered 1904, with $100,000 capital, began operations January, 1905. The plant is operated by electric power. Twenty-seven men are employed, making twenty caskets per day, or about seven thousand annually. These goods are sold to undertakers direct in Western Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio. They make only wooden and copper-lined caskets, with trimmings for the same. The officers of this company are: Albert H. Kelley, president; Wesley Kelley, first vice-president; John Marshall, second vice-president; William Ferguson, superintendent. Other industrial plants of the borough are the Litho-Marble Works, and planing and flouring mills. The borough has a good system of waterworks, electric and gas plants, constructed about 1889.

The Peterson Business College was established in 1903 by P. O. Peterson. The first class, numbering forty-five, was graduated June, 1904. The First Presbyterian Church of Scottdale was organized May 15, 1874. Their present beautiful cream-colored pressed brick church edifice was dedicated in 1898. The Baptist Church was organized by Rev. David Williams, April 17, 1875, with thirteen members. They dedicated their first church in 1876, and remodeled it in the autumn of 1893. In 1884 the Scottdale Methodist Episcopal Church was organized with one hundred and fifty members. At a cost of $42,000 in 1891, they dedicated a church which is one of the finest edifices in Westmoreland county. It stands on the site of the old building', and is provided with a fine toned pipe organ. The present membership is about seven hundred. Rev. C. L. E. Cartwright has been the pastor for the past six years. The United Brethren's present church was erected in 1889, and has one of the three pipe organs of the borough. This building is a massive modern red brick structure. This church was organized in 1870. The First Episcopal Church met in 1892 in a church building on the Fayette side of the creek. One of the projectors of the church was Major Knapp. The first regular rector was J. H. Hargrave. The United Presbyterian Church was organized in connection with the branch at Mt. Pleasant, in 1873. In 1882 they erected a building on Mulberry street. The Mennonite congregation at this point is part of the once numerous body that worshipped at Alverton and Pennsville, and was organized here in 1893. They used the German language almost exclusively in their worship until the last twenty-five years. The Trinity Reformed Church of Scottdale was organized July, 1873. The corner stone of the church was laid November 9, 1873, by Rev. J. M. Feitzell. The first pastor was Rev. L. B. Leasure. This congregation is among the most flourishing of the borough. The other denominations here represented are the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant Episcopal, Christian, African Methodist Episcopal, and Polish Catholic.

The borough of Scottdale has nineteen schools, with an enrollment of 940 pupils.

  1. Boucher, John N., History of Westmoreland County Pennsylvania, Volume I, The Lewis Publishing Company, New York, 1906.
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