Lawrence County, located in western Pennsylvania, is steeped in rich history and boasts a fascinating past that is full of intriguing facts. Here are seven interesting facts about Lawrence County in Pennsylvania history:
1. Beaver and Lawrence counties were originally one county
Before 1800, Beaver County encompassed what is now Lawrence County. In 1800, however, the Pennsylvania General Assembly split Beaver County into two entities: Beaver County in the south, and Lawrence County in the north.
2. Lawrence County was named after a hero from the War of 1812
Lawrence County was named after James Lawrence, a naval officer who served during the War of 1812. Lawrence is perhaps best known for his dying words, "Don't give up the ship," which have since become a famous naval battle cry.
3. Lawrence County was a hub of abolitionist activity
During the 19th century, Lawrence County was a hotbed of abolitionist activity. In fact, it is believed that the Underground Railroad ran through the area, helping escaped slaves find freedom in the North.
4. Lawrence County was once home to a thriving steel industry
In the early 20th century, Lawrence County was home to a booming steel industry that employed thousands of workers. The industry eventually declined, but remnants of it can still be found in the area today.
5. The Union Cemetery is home to a Civil War monument
The Union Cemetery in New Castle is the final resting place for several Civil War soldiers, including Samuel A. Duncan, who is memorialized with a monument that was erected in 1909.
6. A famous author has ties to Lawrence County
John Grisham, the author of best-selling legal thrillers like "The Firm" and "The Pelican Brief," has ties to Lawrence County. Grisham's father grew up in the area and is buried in a cemetery in New Castle.
7. Lawrence County is home to several notable landmarks
Lawrence County is home to several notable landmarks, including the Lawrence County Courthouse, which was built in 1860, and the Ellwood City Area Historical Society, which houses a museum dedicated to the area's history.
In conclusion, Lawrence County in Pennsylvania is a treasure trove of interesting facts and stories. From its ties to the Underground Railroad to its thriving steel industry and famous residents, there is much to discover and appreciate about this historic region.
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