Titusville - Encyclopedia




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TITUSVILLE, a city of Crawford county, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., on Oil Creek, about 42 m. S. by E. of Erie. Pop. (1900), 8244, of whom 1573 were foreign-born; (191() census) 8533. Titusville is served by the Dunkirk, Allegheny Valley & Pittsburg, and the Pennsylvania railways. It has the Benson Memorial library (1904), and in Woodlawn Cemetery there is a monument (erected by Henry H. Rogers in 1902) to Colonel Edwin L. Drake (1819-1880), who here sank the first oil well (692 ft. deep) in America in August 1859 and who is buried here. Titusville was the principal centre in Pennsylvania of the opposition to the Standard Oil Company; but after 1875, when John D. Archbold (b. 1848), a leader of the independents, became a director of the Standard, few of the Titusville operators remained independent. It was in the Titusville district that the natural gas industry of Pennsylvania was first established about 1872.

There are various manufactures, and in 1905 the value of the factory products was $3,249,890. The first settlement was made here in 1796 by Samuel Kerr and Jonathan Titus (in whose honour the place was named). Titusville was incorporated as a borough in 1847 and was chartered as a city in 1866. On the 5th of June 1892 Oil Creek rose suddenly, overflowed its banks and wrecked many oil tanks along the bottom-lands. A large part of the water was covered with oil, which soon caught fire. About 60 persons were drowned or burned to death, and about a quarter of the city was destroyed.

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