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History & Folklore
McKean County

  • Formed: 26 March 1804 from Lycoming County. Fully organized in 1826.
  • Named for: Thomas McKean, a native of New London, Chester County. McKean practiced law in PA, signed the Declaration of Independence, was Chief Justice and Governor of Pennsylvania from 1779 to 1808.
  • County seat: Smethport
    • First settled and laid out in 1807 by John Bell, Thomas Smith and John C. Brevost. Named in honor of Amsterdam bankers Raymond and Theodore deSmeth. Smethport was incorporated as a borough on February 11, 1853.


Early Business and Occupations

  • Coal
  • Iron
  • Salt
  • Lumber (particularly ship spars)


Bibliography

  • Genealogy & Personal History of Northern Pennsylvania by John W. Jordan, 3 volumes, 1913
  • McKean, the Governor's County by Rufus B. Stone, 1926
  • Pioneer Outline History of Northwestern Pennsylvania by W. J. McKnight, 1905
  • History of the Bucktails by O. R. Howard Thomson and Wm. H. Rauch, 1906
  • Bucktailed Wildcats by Edwin A. Glover, Esq., 1960
  • A Story of the Sinnamahone by George W. Huntley, Jr., 1936


Links

See these sites for more information on McKean County and its history, or to post queries regarding McKean County genealogy: