Franklin, Pennsylvania - Encyclopedia




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FRANKLIN, a city and the county-seat of Venango county, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., at the confluence of French Creek and Allegheny river, about 55 m. S. by E. of Erie, in the N.W. part of the state. Pop. (1890) 6221; (1900) 7317, of whom 489 were foreign-born. Franklin is served by the Erie, the Pennsylvania, the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern, and the Franklin & Clearfield railways. Its streets are broad and well paved and shaded, and there are two public parks, a public library and many handsome residences. Franklin is the centre of the chief oil region of the state, and from it great quantities of refined oil are shipped. Natural gas also abounds. The city's manufacture include oil-well supplies, boilers, engines, steel castings, iron goods, lumber, bricks, asbestos goods, manifolding paper and flour. On the site of the present city the French built in 1754 a fortification, Fort Machault, which after the capture of Fort Duquesne by the English was a rallying place for Indians allied with the French. In 1759 the French abandoned and completely destroyed the fort; and in the following year the English built in the vicinity Fort Venango, which was captured by the Indians in 1763 during the Conspiracy of Pontiac, the whole garrison being massacred. In 1787 the United States built Fort Franklin (about i m. above the mouth of French Creek) as a protection against the Indians; in 1796 the troops were removed to a strongly built and well-fortified wooden building, known as "Old Garrison," at the mouth of French Creek, and in 1803 they were permanently withdrawn from the neighbourhood. Franklin was laid out as a town in 1795, was incorporated as a borough in 1828, and was chartered as a city in 1868. Most of its growth dates from the discovery of oil in 1860.

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