Westmoreland County Historical Society

Today in History


01/06/1774      Border dispute between Pennsylvania & Virginia escalates.

01/06/1777      Pennsylvania's 8th Regiment leaves to join Washington in New Jersey

01/07/1787      Court held in Greensburg for the first time.

01/10/1887      Latrobe Electric Light Company incorporated. One of its founders was A.W. Mellon.

01/22/1895      Westmoreland Hospital Association founded.

01/28/1963      Devastating fire at St. Vincent College in Latrobe

01/30/1897      Building of the current Courthouse (Westmoreland's fifth) authorized by the Court.

01/31/1908      Current Courthouse dedicated.


02/02/1787      Arthur St. Clair elected President of Continental Congress.

02/07/1821      William Jack died. He was sheriff when Hanna's Town was attacked and one of three donors

                       of the courthouse property in Greensburg.

02/09/1799      Greensburg incorporated.

02/14/1789      Court House and Jail authorized

02/17/1941      110th Infantry Regiment called up for service in WW II.

02/20/1802      Christopher Truby, one of the founders of Greensburg, died.

02/26/1773      Westmoreland County created out of Bedford.  Hanna's Town named to act as the first county seat.

02/26/1826      Pennsylvania Canal Act was sponsored by James Clark of Westmoreland County.


03/9/1910        Westmoreland County Coal Strike of 1910-1911 began.

03/10/1908      Congressman John H. Dent was born in Johnetta, PA. He held many government offices beginning with Jeannette City Council (1932-34); Pa. House of Representatives (1934-36); Pa. Senate 1939-58); and the U.S. Congress from Pa.’s 21st District (1958 through 1978)

03/10/1951      Diocese of Greensburg is erected

03/17/1936      The Great St. Patrick's Day Flood submerges the town of Livermore under 18 feet of water.

03/18/1845      Johnny Appleseed (born John Chapman in 1774) died. Westmoreland County cider mills were the source of many of his seedlings.

03/23/1737 Arthur St. Clair was born in Scotland.  He came to America and fought in the French & Indian War.  He became the Penn family representative in western Pennsylvania and was instrumental in the creation of Westmoreland County in 1773.  St. Clair was a major general in the Revolutionary War, the president of Continental Congress in 1787, and first governor of the Northwest Territory.  At one time the largest landowner in western Pennsylvania, he died impoverished on August 31, 181 and is buried in St. Clair Park in Greensburg with his wife Phoebe Bayard. 

03/28/1781      Washington County created from part of Westmoreland County.

03/30/1803      Indiana County was formed from part of Westmoreland County and Lycoming County.


04/02/1891      Morewood Massacre (of striking workers).  After 1,200 striking workers marched on Morewood Coke Works, one of the H.C. Frick Coke Company sites, Governor Robert E. Pattison ordered the local National Guard unit into Morewood.  When, on April 2, another group of approximately 1,000 strikers marched into Morewood, the guardsmen opened fire and killed seven workers.  The defeated strikers returned to work by the end of May

04/06/1773      First English Court west of the Allegheny Mountains was convened at Hanna's Town.

04/13/1915      The famous Rattlesnake flag was transferred from Greensburg to the State Library, at Harrisburg.

04/14/1912      Young Greensburg Woman Survives Titanic Disaster.

04/20/1852      Justice Richard Coulter dies in Greensburg.


05/8/1970        Westmoreland County Community College founded.

05/16/1775      Hanna's Town Resolves, a bold precursor to the Declaration of independence, is adopted.

05/21/1937      Eleanor Roosevelt visited Norvelt.

05/30/1925      G.A.R. dedicates veterans monument in Greensburg


06/3/1918        Seton HIll authorized to confer degrees.

06/06/1812      Greensburg Riflemen volunteered for service in War of 1812

06/15/1797      Laughlintown laid out by Robert Laughlin as “East Liberty.”

06/26/1972      "Old Hanna’s Town" listed as a National Historic Site.  Today it is known as Historic Hanna's Town.

06/28/1902      Monessen Daily Independent first published.

06/29/1940      Pennsylvania Turnpike completed.


07/2-8/1755     Braddock’s Army passed through present-day Westmoreland County on its way to Fort Duquesne.

07/03/1754      George Washington capitulated at Fort Necessity.

07/5/1912        Collision on the Ligonier Valley Railroad near Ligonier, PA

07/13/1782      Hanna's Town attacked and burned by Indians & their British allies

07/15/1917      10th Infantry Regiment called up for World War I

07/15/1994      President Clinton speaks on Main Street in Greensburg.

07/26/1794      Pittsburgh-Philadelphia mail post rider was robbed near Greensburg by Whiskey Insurgents

07/29/1786      First newspaper west of the Alleghenies, the Pittsburgh Gazette, was printed.


08/02/1772      Earliest Church Records in County - Harrold's Zion Lutheran Church

08/03/1773      First lawyer, Francis Dade, is admitted to Westmoreland County Bar.

08/05/1763      Battle of Bushy Run

08/06/1763      Second day of the Battle of Bushy Run

08/07/1742      Nathanael Greene born.  Greensburg was named for this Revolutionary War general.

08/07/1882      Seton Hill College founded

08/10/1786      Second Westmoreland County Courthouse completed

08/24/1781      Lochry's Defeat.  Col. Archibald Lochry and his force of just over 100 men from Westmoreland County were defeated along the Ohio River by Native Americans. They were on their way to meet Gen. George Rogers Clark’s force to attack Fort Detroit in an effort to stop British-supported Indian raids. All Lochry’s men were either killed or captured.

08/31/1818      Arthur St. Clair died.

08/31/1952      Last run of the Ligonier Valley Rail Road


09/1/1932        First Sears store in Westmoreland County opens in downtown Greensburg.

09/02/1791      Thomas Hamilton named first postmaster of Greensburg

09/2/1958        Penn State opens the New Kensington Campus.

09/03/1794      Whiskey insurrectionists besiege Drum House in Greensburg.

09/03/1895      First professional football game in the world played at Latrobe.

09/11/1794      Eighty whiskey insurgents from Greensburg and Hempfield Township are granted amnesty.

09/18/1969      180 acres of Hanna's Town site is acquired by Westmoreland County.

09/19/1786      "Newton" renamed "Greensburg," in honor of General Nathanael Greene.

09/23/1789      Unity Township formed out of Mount Pleasant Township.

09/23/1812      Greensburg Rifle Company left to join William H. Harrison.

09/26/1783      Fayette County formed out of part of Westmoreland County.

09/24/1788      Allegheny County formed out of part of Westmoreland County.

09/26/1958      President Eisenhower seals the "Century Chain" at Fort Ligonier.

09/26/1968      Plans announced for new Chrysler plant near New Stanton.


10/01/1773      Westmoreland County's first election

10/3/1955        First combined issue of Tribune-Review

10/05/1932      President Hoover makes a campaign stop in Greensburg.

10/7/1918        Greensburg suffers its first death from the great flu epidemic.

10/09/1813      County-wide celebration and light-up night held for Perry's victory on Lake Erie.

10/9/1934        First running of Rolling Rock Steeplechase Races

10/12/1758      Fort Ligonier is successfully defended against an attack by a force of French & Indians from Fort 


10/14/1891      Greensburg awards contract for first street lights.

10/24/1644      William Penn, founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, is born.

10/24/1846      St Vincent’s Archabbey and College began.

10/24/1854      Cornerstone for Westmoreland County's fourth courthouse was laid.

10/28/1934      WHJB is the first radio station to broadcast in Westmoreland County.


11/05/1768      Treaty of Fort Stanwix signed.  Iroquois sell land west of the Allegheny Mountains to the Penn Proprietors.  This “New Purchase” made settlement in future Westmoreland County legal for the first time.

11/12/1758      George Washington is nearly killed by friendly fire incident in future Westmoreland County.

11/20/1922      Boiler Firemen strike leaving the county courthouse and jail with no light or heat.

11/24/1950      Record-breaking snow fall occurs with 31 inches falling over Thanksgiving weekend.

11/29/1980      Walworth plant closed.


12/7/1949        Greensburg Coliseum destroyed by fire.

12/10/1785      Newtown, now Greensburg, was selected as the permanent county seat for Westmoreland County.

12/23/1823      "A Visit from St. Nicholas" published

12/23/1908      The Westmoreland County Historical Society was founded.