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TO FRANKLIN PARK BOROUGH'S HISTORY WEBPAGE
David Duff House on Big Sewickley Creek.
Located in the northwestern corner of Allegheny County, the
community that is today Franklin Park Borough was originally part of Western
Pennsylvania’s Depreciation Lands. With the formation of Allegheny County in
1788, Franklin Park was part of Pitt Township, which included all land north of
the Ohio River. Following the path of Pine Creek as a boundary, Pitt Township
was divided in half (1800), with the newly created Pine Township containing what
would become Franklin Park. Three years later, Ohio Township was created from
Pine, extending nine miles along the Ohio River and northward to Butler County.
It included the area that would later become Franklin Park.
Early in 1823, Ohio Township residents in the northwestern most corner of
Allegheny County petitioned the county courts for permission to secede from the
township and create their own municipality. Despite a counter-petition being
filed, the county courts approved the motion and in August 1823, Franklin
Township was created, which included what are today Franklin Park and Bradford
Woods boroughs and Marshall Township. Forty years later, Marshall Township was
created from Franklin with Bradford Woods seceding from Marshall in 1915.
Franklin would remain a second class township until August 1961 when it became
the Borough of Franklin Park.
Throughout most of its history, Franklin moved forward at its own unhurried
pace. There were no towns or business districts. Churches, one-room schools,
blacksmith shops and country stores were scattered across gently rolling
farmlands. Throughout the late 1800 and early 1900s, the area had a thriving oil
and gas industry.
By the end of the Great Depression, farming declined as a livelihood because
men were taking better paying jobs in the mills of Pittsburgh, Ambridge and
Coraopolis. The first subdivisions appeared in Franklin Township following World
War II. Population growth brought demands for public services and schools. It
was during this time, that the community enacted its first ordinances and
building codes, along with providing public water and sewers. Faced with
increasing numbers of students, the Franklin Township School District along with its counterparts in Marshall,
Bradford Woods, McCandless and Pine joined in 1948 to create the North Allegheny
School District. Despite Pine Township leaving the jointure a year later, the
other communities opened a newly built high school in 1954. Today, the North
Allegheny School District is home to two high schools, three middle and seven
The opening of Interstates 79 and 279 through the heart of Franklin Park
brought more change and challenges to this once rural community. Today, Franklin
Park is a still growing suburban Pittsburgh community of just over 13,000
residents that is served by the Wexford 15090, Pittsburgh 15237 and Sewickley
15143 post offices.
Northland Public Library’s local history page
and its Historical Image Collection at:
Pittsburgh’s Historic Pittsburgh collection at: