Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Meadville was founded in 1788 by the settler David Mead. Its location at the confluence of Cussewago Creek and the Venango River, now known as French Creek, placed it close to the Native American settlement of Venango, and a day's travel by boat to the safety of Fort Franklin .
Early on, many of the settlers to the Meadville area came after receiving land bounties for service in the Revolutionary War. Allegheny College, the first college west of the Appalachian Mountains, was founded in Meadville in 1815. Meadville became an important transportation center after the construction of the French Creek Feeder Canal in 1837, and the subsequent railroad development.
By the late 19th century, Meadville's economy was also driven by logging, agriculture, and iron production. The Talon Corporation, headquartered in Meadville, played a major role in the development of the zipper. Since the clothing industry was largely unaffected by the Great Depression, the community saw a population boom at that time. During World War II, the nearby Keystone Ordnance plant brought additional jobs to the area.
After the war, Meadville's industrial growth continued. Talon remained a major employer, along with the railroad industry, Avtex Fibers, Channellock tools , and Dads Pet Food. In the 1980s, the great lakes region saw a decline in heavy industry. By the early 1990s, Channellock and Dads were the only major companies operating in Meadville. This blow to the local economy was softened by subsequent surge in light industry earning Meadville the nickname Tool City, USA.
Meadville is located at 41°38'32" North, 80°8'51" West (41.642133, -80.147441)1.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 13,685 people, 5,436 households, and 2,891 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,214.7/km² (3,145.2/mi²). There are 5,985 housing units at an average density of 531.2/km² (1,375.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 91.98% White, 5.01% African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.63% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 1.83% from two or more races. 1.11% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 5,436 households out of which 24.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.5% are married couples living together, 13.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 46.8% are non-families. 38.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 16.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.18 and the average family size is 2.86.
In the city the population is spread out with 19.4% under the age of 18, 20.0% from 18 to 24, 22.0% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 18.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 81.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 77.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $25,402, and the median income for a family is $38,227. Males have a median income of $32,813 versus $22,579 for females. The per capita income for the city is $17,290. 22.7% of the population and 13.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 25.3% of those under the age of 18 and 13.3% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
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