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Butler County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvaniamarker and part of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2000 census, the population was 174,083. Estimates for 2008 have put the population at 182,000. Butler County is one of the fast growing counties in Pennsylvania.

Butler County was created on March 12, 1800, from part of Allegheny Countymarker and named in honor of General Richard Butler. Its county seat is the city of Butlermarker.

Law and Government

County Officials

County Judges

  • Thomas Doerr (President Judge)
  • Marilyn Horan
  • Timothy McCune
  • Kelly Streib
  • William Shaffer
  • S. Michael Yeager

District Judges

  • Kevin P. O'Donnell
  • Sue Elaine Haggerty
  • Wayne Seibel
  • Peter H. Shaffer
  • Lewis Stoughton
  • Clifford J. Woessner

Pennsylvania State Senate

Pennsylvania House of Representatives

United States House of Representatives

United States Senate


Unlike the rest of traditionally Democratic western Pennsylvania, Butler County has leaned towards the Republican party, the last Democrat to win Butler was Lyndon Johnson in 1964. In the 2000 U.S. presidential election the county was carried by Republican George W. Bush 62% to Democrat Al Gore 35%. In the 2004 U.S. presidential election the county was carried by Republican George W. Bush 64% to Democrat John Kerry 35%. In the 2008 U.S. presidential election the county was carried by Republican John McCain 63% to Democrat Barack Obama 35%.Additionally, John McCain carried every Western Pennsylvania County except for Allegheny County and Erie County, in sharp contrast to previous years, like 2004, in which Democratic candidate John Kerry carried 5 counties in Western Pennsylvania.

As of May 2007, there are 121,719 registered voters in Butler County [13839].


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 795 square miles (2,058 km²), of which, 789 square miles (2,042 km²) of it is land and 6 square miles (16 km²) of it (0.79%) is water.

Adjacent counties


As of the census of 2000, there were 174,083 people, 65,862 households, and 46,827 families residing in the county. The population density was 221 people per square mile (85/km²). There were 69,868 housing units at an average density of 89 per square mile (34/km²). The racial/ethnic makeup of the county is 97.83% White, 0.79% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.17% from other races, 0.54% from two or more races; and 0.58% Hispanic or Latino of any race. 34.8% were of German, 12.0% Irish, 10.9% Italian, 7.0% English, 6.3% Americanmarker and 5.2% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 65,862 households out of which 32.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.80% were married couples living together, 8.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.90% were non-families. 24.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.60% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 29.40% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 14.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.80 males.

Highlights and History

Butler County is named after Richard Butler , a hero of the American Revolution. It is the location of Moraine State Parkmarker, with the glacial lake, Lake Arthur. Lake Arthur is used for fishing and sailing, and the surrounding park is used for hiking and hunting.

Some famous inventions and discoveries were made in Butler County. It was in Saxonburgmarker, that the designer of the Brooklyn Bridgemarker, John Roebling, invented his revolutionary "wire rope." At what is now known as Oil Creek, Butler County resident William Smith and Edwin Drake first proved that oil could be tapped from underground for consistent supply. The Jeep was developed in Butler County by American Bantam in 1941.

Butler County has been lived in and traveled through by famous politicians. George Washington passed through during the French and Indian War. Butler's only U.S. Senator, Walter Lowrie, built a home in 1828 that still stands behind the Butler County Courthouse. Butler's highest ranked federal official ever is William J. Perry, Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton from 1994-1997. He graduated from Butler High School in 1945. In 1923, President Warren G. Harding's funeral train passed through Butler County on its way back to Washington D.Cmarker. John F. Kennedy delivered a speech in front of the Butler County Courthousemarker during the United States presidential election, 1960. Then in 2004, Vice President Dick Cheney delivered a speech in Saxonburg to rally support for President George W. Bush during the United States presidential election, 2004.

Movies Filmed in Butler County

Butler County has often been used as a setting for films shot in the North Pittsburgh area. This is a list of some of those films. Films set in Butler County, but not necessarily filmed there.


Map of Butler County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Cities and Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated places (blue).
Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in at most two cases, towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Butler County:




Census-designated places

Census-designated places are geographical areas designated by the U.S. Census Bureau for the purposes of compiling demographic data. They are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law. Other unincorporated communities, such as villages, may be listed here as well.

Unincorporated communities


Colleges and universities

Technical Schools

300 px

Public School Districts




There are 2 Pennsylvania state parks in Butler County.
  • Jennings Environmental Education Centermarker is the home of the only protected relict prairie in Pennsylvania.
  • Moraine State Parkmarker The gently rolling hills, lush forests and sparkling waters disguise a land that has endured the effects of continental glaciers and massive mineral extraction. Each year over one million people visit the park, yet never realize that many people helped restore the park from prior coal mining and oil and gas drilling practices. Today, the park is an outstanding example of environmental engineering achievement. During the third great ice advance about 140,000 years ago, a continental glacier dammed area creeks making three glacial lakes. To the north, Slippery Rock Creekmarker filled giant Lake Edmund. To the southeast, extinct McConnells Run filled tiny Lake Prouty. In the middle, Muddy Creek filled the medium-sized Lake Watts.

Before the glacier dam. Slippery Rock and Muddy creeks flowed north while extinct McConnells Run flowed south. The glacier dammed Lake Prouty on the edge of the drainage divide. Eventually Lake Pouty spilled over and rushed to the south, carving Slippery Rock Creek Gorge. Lakes Watts and Edmund drained into the gorge, digging it deeper and making Slippery Rock and Muddy creeks flow south. Areas of the deep Slippery Rock Gorge may be seen at nearby McConnells Mill State Parkmarker.

The glacier created a landscape of rolling hills topped with hardwood trees and swamps in the valley bottoms. Moraines containing gravel, sand and clay were draped upon the landscape and silt was left on the extinct lake bottoms.Reference to:





See also


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