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Bradford City

McKean County, Pennsylvania

Bradford City Hall is located at 24 Kennedy Street, Bradford PA 16701.
Phone: 814‑362‑3887.


Beginnings [1]

Often called "Oilderado" or "capital of oildom," is reputed to have been settled in 1823-27, although opened to pioneers in 1795. According to Godcharles: "Colonel Levitt C. Little, agent of the United States Land Company, bought 160,000 acres of land in that vicinity in 1836, and erected the first log house on the present site of Bradford in 1837. The following year a plan for a town was drawn up, and the place called Littleton. In 1850 the Littleton tract of 50,000 acres was sold to Daniel Kingsbury, who named the place Bradford, probably for his ancestral town of Bradford in England. Incorporated as a borough February 26, 1870, and chartered a city in February, 1873. First producing oil well in the city was drilled in 1875 by Jackson, Walker, and Urquhart, east of the Dresser residence. The first oil exchange was established in 1877 as the Tuna Valley Oil Exchange. Home of the late Lewis Emery, Jr., pioneer oil producer, manufacturer of oxalic acid, and political leader." Part of Foster Township was annexed to Bradford City in 1939. Population, 17,691.

  1. Riesenman, Joseph, Jr., History of Northwestern Pennsylvania, Comprising the Counties of Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Warren, Forest, Clarion, McKean, Elk, Jefferson, Cameron and Clearfield, Volume I, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., New York, 1943.