Southwest Greensburg, Pennsylvania

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Southwest Greensburg is a borough in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 2,398 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

In 1769, John Peter Miller was granted provisional ownership of land within the current-day boundaries of Southwest Greensburg, and he received full ownership rights in 1789.[1] Miller was told that the first settler traditionally has the right to name a community, and when Miller was asked what name he preferred for the area, he responded with "What you please?"[1] As a result, the community - at that point a mere collection of farms - bore the unusual name "What You Please?" for many decades, in what was undoubtedly an expression of settlers' sense of humor.

In 1887, Richard Coulter and George Franklin Huff, both of whom had attained wealth in the local coal industry, saw the possibilities of developing the area as a residential community. Coulter and Huff purchased land from a farmer, John Mace, in 1887, and a community was laid out consisting of 413 lots.[1] The first recorded use of the name "Southwest Greensburg" occurred in 1888, when Coulter and Huff's plan was submitted to the county courthouse.[1]

Southwest Greensburg was incorporated as a borough on November 15, 1890. The first borough election was held on February 17, 1891, in which John Putnam was elected as the borough's first burgess (mayor), together with other borough officials.[1]

A key element of the community's development was the Greensburg & Hempfield Street Railway, which built a trolley line on Greene Street in 1890. Shortly afterward, the company built an amusement park called "Electric Park" to increase trolley traffic. The boundaries of "Electric Park" were (approximately) Greene Street, Main Street, Welty Street, and Weaver Street.[2] Nothing of "Electric Park" remains, which was eventually redeveloped as residential lots. The trolley line itself was later acquired by West Penn Railways and operated until January 3, 1937.[3]

Geography

Southwest Greensburg is located at 40°17′36″N 79°32′55″W / 40.293253°N 79.548635°W / 40.293253; -79.548635.[4]

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