Meadville, Pennsylvania

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Meadville is a city in and the county seat of Crawford County, Pennsylvania, United States.[1] The city is generally considered part of the Pittsburgh Tri-State and is within 40 miles of Erie, Pennsylvania. It was the first permanent settlement in northwest Pennsylvania. The population was 13,685 at the 2000 census.[2]



Meadville was founded on May 12, 1788 by a party of settlers lead by David Mead. Its location was chosen well, for it lies at the confluence of Cussewago Creek and French Creek, and is only a day's travel by boat to the safety of Ft. Franklin.

Their settlement was in a large meadow, first cleared by Native Americans led by Chief Custaloga, and well suited for growing maize. The village Custaloga built here was known as Cussewago.

The neighboring Iroquois and Lenape befriended the isolated settlement, but their enemies, including the Wyandots, were not so amiable. The threat of their attacks caused the settlement to be evacuated for a time in 1791.

Around 1800, many of the settlers to the Meadville area came after receiving land bounties for service in the Revolutionary War. Allegheny College, the second oldest college west of the Allegheny Mountains, was founded in Meadville in 1815 and is the oldest college west of the Allegheny Mountains that has kept the same name from when it was founded. Meadville became an important transportation center after construction of the French Creek Feeder Canal in 1837 and of the Beaver and Erie Canal it connected to at Conneaut Lake and subsequent railroad development.

Meadville Theological School was established in 1844 by a wealthy businessman and Unitarian named Harm Jan Huidekoper. It moved to Chicago in 1926.

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