Butler County, Pennsylvania
Butler County Courthouse, Butler.jpg
Butler County Courthouse
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Butler County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded March 12, 1800
Seat Butler
Largest city Butler
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

795 sq mi (2,059 km²)
789 sq mi (2,044 km²)
6 sq mi (16 km²), 0.79%
 - (2010)
 - Density

233/sq mi (89.9/km²)

Butler County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and part of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 183,862.

Butler County was created on March 12, 1800, from part of Allegheny County and named in honor of General Richard Butler. Its county seat is the city of Butler.[1]

Law and Government[]

County Officials[]

  • Commissioner A. Dale Pinkerton (chairman), Republican
  • Commissioner James Kennedy, Republican
  • Commissioner James Lokhaiser, Democrat
  • District Attorney: Richard Goldinger, Republican
  • Controller: John McMillin, Republican
  • Treasurer: Diane Marburger, Republican
  • Prothonotary: Glenna Walters, Republican
  • Clerk of Courts: Lisa Lotz, Republican
  • Sheriff: Michael Slupe, Republican
  • Recorder of Deeds: Michele Mustello, Republican
  • Register of Wills: Judith Moser, Republican
  • Jury Commissioner Larry Thompson, Republican
  • Jury Commissioner Clinton Bonetti, Democrat

County Judges[]

  • Thomas Doerr (President Judge)
  • Marilyn Horan
  • Timothy McCune
  • Kelly Streib
  • William Shaffer
  • S. Michael Yeager

District Judges[]

  • Kevin M. O'Donnell
  • Timothy Shaffer
  • Lewis Stoughton
  • Sue Elaine Haggerty
  • David Kovach
  • Peter H. Shaffer
  • Wayne Seibel

Pennsylvania State Senate[]

  • Mary Jo White, Republican, Pennsylvania's 21st Senatorial District
  • Jane Orie, Republican, Pennsylvania's 40th Senatorial District
  • Donald C. White, Republican, Pennsylvania's 41st Senatorial District
  • Robert D. Robbins, Republican, Pennsylvania's 50th Senatorial District

Pennsylvania House of Representatives[]

  • Dick Stevenson, Republican, Pennsylvania's 8th Representative District
  • Jaret Gibbons, Democrat, Pennsylvania 10th Representative District at PA House
  • Brian Ellis, Republican, Pennsylvania's 11th Representative District
  • Daryl D. Metcalfe, Republican, Pennsylvania's 12th Representative District
  • Scott E. Hutchinson, Republican, Pennsylvania's 64th Representative District

United States House of Representatives[]

  • Mike Kelly, Republican, Pennsylvania's 3rd congressional district
  • Jason Altmire, Democrat, Pennsylvania's 4th congressional district

United States Senate[]

  • Pat Toomey, Republican
  • Bob Casey, Democrat


Unlike the rest of traditionally Democratic western Pennsylvania, Butler County has leaned towards the Republican party. The last Democratic presidential candidate to win Butler was Lyndon Johnson in 1964. In the 2000 U.S. presidential election, the county was carried by Republican George W. Bush 62% to Democrat Al Gore 35%. In the 2004 U.S. presidential election, the county was carried by Republican George W. Bush 64% to Democrat John Kerry 35%. In the 2008 U.S. presidential election, the county was carried by Republican John McCain 63% to Democrat Barack Obama 35%. Additionally, John McCain carried every Western Pennsylvania county except for Allegheny County and Erie County, in sharp contrast to previous years, like 2004, in which Democratic candidate John Kerry carried 5 counties in Western Pennsylvania.

As of May 2007, there are 121,719 registered voters in Butler County.[2]

  • Democratic: 47,130 (38.72%)
  • Republican: 60,207 (49.46%)
  • Other Parties / Independent: 14,382 (11.81%)


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 795 square miles (2,059.0 km2), of which 789 square miles (2,043.5 km2) is land and 6 square miles (15.5 km2) (0.79%) is water.

Adjacent counties[]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1800 3,916
1810 7,346 87.6%
1820 10,193 38.8%
1830 14,581 43.0%
1840 22,378 53.5%
1850 30,346 35.6%
1860 35,594 17.3%
1870 36,510 2.6%
1880 52,536 43.9%
1890 55,339 5.3%
1900 56,962 2.9%
1910 72,689 27.6%
1920 77,270 6.3%
1930 80,480 4.2%
1940 87,590 8.8%
1950 97,320 11.1%
1960 114,639 17.8%
1970 127,941 11.6%
1980 147,912 15.6%
1990 152,013 2.8%
2000 174,083 14.5%
2010 183,862 5.6%

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 174,083 people, 65,862 households, and 46,827 families residing in the county. The population density was 221 people per square mile (85/km²). There were 69,868 housing units at an average density of 89 per square mile (34/km²). The racial/ethnic makeup of the county is 97.83% White, 0.79% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.17% from other races, 0.54% from two or more races; and 0.58% Hispanic or Latino of any race. 34.8% were of German, 12.0% Irish, 10.9% Italian, 7.0% English, 6.3% American and 5.2% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 65,862 households out of which 32.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.80% were married couples living together, 8.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.90% were non-families. 24.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.60% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 29.40% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 14.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.80 males.

Highlights and History[]

Butler County is named after Richard Butler (general), a hero of the American Revolution. It is the location of Moraine State Park, with the 3,000-acre (12 km2) glacial lake, Lake Arthur. Lake Arthur is used for fishing and sailing, and the surrounding park is used for hiking and hunting.

Some famous inventions and discoveries were made in Butler County. It was in Saxonburg, that the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge, John Roebling, invented his revolutionary "wire rope." At what is now known as Oil Creek, Butler County resident William Smith and Edwin Drake first proved that oil could be tapped from underground for consistent supply. The Jeep was developed in Butler County by American Bantam in 1941.

Famous politicians have lived in and traveled through Butler County. George Washington passed through during the French and Indian War. Butler's only U.S. Senator, Walter Lowrie, built a home in 1828 that still stands behind the Butler County Courthouse. Butler's highest ranked federal official ever is William J. Perry, Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton from 1994-1997. He graduated from Butler High School in 1945. In 1923, President Warren G. Harding's funeral train passed through Butler County on its way back to Washington D.C. John F. Kennedy delivered a speech in front of the Butler County Courthouse during the United States presidential election, 1960. Then in 2004, Vice President Dick Cheney delivered a speech in Saxonburg to rally support for President George W. Bush during the United States presidential election, 2004.

Movies Filmed in Butler County[]

Butler County has often been used as a setting for films shot in the North Pittsburgh area. This is a list of some of those films.

  • Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  • The Crazies (1973)
  • The Prince of Pennsylvania (1988)
  • Iron Maze (1991)
  • Kingpin (1996)
  • The Haunting Hour Volume One: Don't Think About It (2007)
  • Homecoming (2008)
  • Staunton Hill (2008)
  • The Road (2008)
  • I Am Number Four (2011) [6]
  • Death from Above (2011) [7]
  • The Avengers (2012) [1]
  • A Separate Life (2012) [8]

Films set in Butler County, but not necessarily filmed there.

  • Mrs. Soffel (1984)
  • Night of the Living Dead (1990)
  • Snow Angels (2008)


Map of Butler County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Cities and Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated places (blue).

Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in at most two cases, towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Butler County:


  • Butler


  • Bruin
  • Callery
  • Cherry Valley
  • Chicora
  • Connoquenessing
  • East Butler
  • Eau Claire
  • Evans City
  • Fairview
  • Harmony
  • Harrisville
  • Karns City
  • Mars
  • Petrolia
  • Portersville
  • Prospect
  • Saxonburg
  • Seven Fields
  • Slippery Rock
  • Valencia
  • West Liberty
  • West Sunbury
  • Zelienople


  • Adams Township
  • Allegheny Township
  • Brady Township
  • Buffalo Township
  • Butler Township
  • Center Township
  • Cherry Township
  • Clay Township
  • Clearfield Township
  • Clinton Township
  • Concord Township
  • Connoquenessing Township
  • Cranberry Township
  • Donegal Township
  • Fairview Township
  • Forward Township
  • Franklin Township
  • Jackson Township
  • Jefferson Township
  • Lancaster Township
  • Marion Township
  • Mercer Township
  • Middlesex Township
  • Muddy Creek Township
  • Oakland Township
  • Parker Township
  • Penn Township
  • Slippery Rock Township
  • Summit Township
  • Venango Township
  • Washington Township
  • Winfield Township
  • Worth Township

Census-designated places[]

Census-designated places are geographical areas designated by the U.S. Census Bureau for the purposes of compiling demographic data. They are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law. Other unincorporated communities, such as villages, may be listed here as well.

  • Fernway
  • Fox Run
  • Homeacre-Lyndora
  • Meadowood
  • Meridian
  • Nixon
  • Oak Hills
  • Shanor-Northvue

Unincorporated communities[]

  • Boyers
  • Eidenau
  • Hilliards
  • Murrinsville
  • Renfrew
  • Sarver
  • Wahlville


Colleges and universities[]

  • Butler County Community College's Homepage
  • Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania's Homepage

Technical Schools[]

Map of Butler County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts

Public School Districts[]

  • Allegheny-Clarion Valley School District (part) ranked - 396th
  • Butler Area School District - 147th
  • Freeport Area School District (part) - 72nd
  • Karns City Area School District (part) - 270th
  • Mars Area School District - 111th
  • Moniteau School District - 361st
  • Seneca Valley School District - 81st
  • Slippery Rock Area School District - 217th
  • South Butler County School District - 133rd

In 2008, Pennsylvania School Districts were ranked by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on student academic performance as demonstrated in 3 years of PSSA results.[9]


  • Butler Eagle daily newspaper



There are 2 Pennsylvania state parks in Butler County.

  • Jennings Environmental Education Center is the home of the only protected relict prairie in Pennsylvania.
  • Moraine State Park The gently rolling hills, lush forests and sparkling waters disguise a land that has endured the effects of continental glaciers and massive mineral extraction. Each year over one million people visit the 16,725-acre (67.684 km2) park, yet never realize that many people helped restore the park from prior coal mining and oil and gas drilling practices. Today, the park is an outstanding example of environmental engineering achievement. During the third great ice advance about 140,000 years ago, a continental glacier dammed area creeks making three glacial lakes. To the north, Slippery Rock Creek filled giant Lake Edmund. To the southeast, extinct McConnells Run filled tiny Lake Prouty. In the middle, Muddy Creek filled the medium-sized Lake Watts.

Before the glacier dam. Slippery Rock and Muddy creeks flowed north while extinct McConnells Run flowed south. The glacier dammed Lake Prouty on the edge of the drainage divide. Eventually Lake Pouty spilled over and rushed to the south, carving Slippery Rock Creek Gorge. Lakes Watts and Edmund drained into the gorge, digging it deeper and making Slippery Rock and Muddy creeks flow south. Areas of the 400-foot (120 m) deep Slippery Rock Gorge may be seen at nearby McConnells Mill State Park.

The glacier created a landscape of rolling hills topped with hardwood trees and swamps in the valley bottoms. Moraines containing gravel, sand and clay were draped upon the landscape and silt was left on the extinct lake bottoms. Reference to:


  • Butler-Freeport Trail The trail is a rail trail that connects the city of Butler with the borough of Freeport.
  • North Country Trail The trail passes through Butler County near Moraine State Park.
  • There is also a trail in Slippery Rock Township that connects with McConnells Mill State Park in Lawrence County.



  • Butler County Airport
  • Butler Farm Show Airport
  • Lakehill Airport

Major highways[]

  • I-76.svg Interstate 76 (the Pennsylvania Turnpike)
  • I-79.svg Interstate 79
  • I-80.svg Interstate 80
  • US 19.svg US Route 19
  • US 422.svg US Route 422
  • PA-8.svg Pennsylvania Route 8
  • PA-38.svg Pennsylvania Route 38
  • PA-58.svg Pennsylvania Route 58
  • PA-68.svg Pennsylvania Route 68
  • PA-108.svg Pennsylvania Route 108
  • PA-138.svg Pennsylvania Route 138
  • PA-173.svg Pennsylvania Route 173
  • PA-228.svg Pennsylvania Route 228
  • PA-258.svg Pennsylvania Route 258
  • PA-268.svg Pennsylvania Route 268
  • PA-288.svg Pennsylvania Route 288
  • PA-308.svg Pennsylvania Route 308
  • PA-356.svg Pennsylvania Route 356
  • PA-488.svg Pennsylvania Route 488
  • PA-528.svg Pennsylvania Route 528
  • PA-588.svg Pennsylvania Route 588
  • Mars-Evans City Road (formerly Pennsylvania Route 855)


  • Butler Transit Authority


  • Allegheny River (The river touches Butler County at its northeast and southeast corners. It is both a recreational and industrial waterway.)
  • Connoquenessing Creek (recreational canoeing and kayaking)
  • Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park (recreational boating, canoeing and kayaking)
  • Slippery Rock Creek (recreational canoeing and kayaking)

See also[]

  • List of municipal authorities in Butler County, Pennsylvania
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Butler County, Pennsylvania


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ "Running for Office". Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ Keener, Craig (2010-07-22). "Stone Church site of sci-fi film" Butler Eagle. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
  7. ^ Stonesifer, Jared (2010-06-09). "Angle Action in Valencia" Butler Eagle. Retrieved 2010-06-12.
  8. ^ "'A Separate Life' Mars actress, director takes film to Cannes festival". Butler Eagle. May 26, 2011. 
  9. ^ Pennsylvania Public School Rankings, Pittsburgh Business Times. May 23, 2007.

External links[]

Coordinates: 40°55′N 79°55′W / 40.91, -79.91

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