This article is based on the corresponding article in another wiki. For Familypedia purposes, it requires significantly more historical detail on phases of this location's development. The ideal article for a place will give the reader a feel for what it was like to live at that location at the time their relatives were alive there. Also desirable are links to organizations that may be repositories of genealogical information..
Please help to improve this page yourself if you can.

Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
Court house, Pottsville, Pa (68642).jpg
Schuylkill County Courthouse
Seal of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Schuylkill County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded March 1, 1811
Named for Schuylkill River
Seat Pottsville
Largest city Pottsville
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

783 sq mi (2,028 km²)
779 sq mi (2,018 km²)
4.2 sq mi (11 km²), 0.5%
 - (2020)
 - Density

182/sq mi (70/km²)
Congressional district 9th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Schuylkill County ( /ˈsklkɪl/,[1] local /ʔkəl/) is a county in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2020 census, the population was 143,049.[2] The county seat is Pottsville.[3] The county was created on March 1, 1811, from parts of Berks and Northampton counties[4] and named for the Schuylkill River, which originates in the county. On March 3, 1818, additional territory in its northeast was added from Columbia and Luzerne counties.[4]

Schuylkill County comprises the Pottsville, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area. It is located in the heart of the anthracite Coal Region of eastern Pennsylvania.


18th century[]

The lands constituting Schuylkill County were acquired by Penn's proprietors by treaty executed August 22, 1749, with representatives of the Six Nations and the Delaware, Shamokin and Shawnee, who received 500 pounds "lawful money of Pennsylvania". The territory described included all of Schuylkill County, except the northern part of Union Township which was included in the purchase of 1768.[5]

In the year 1754, the area that would become Schuylkill County was settled by Germans, as were areas that are now part of Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon, and Lehigh counties. The earliest settlers in southeastern Schuylkill County, which was then part of Northampton County, were primarily Moravian missionaries from Saxony. Other early settlers in southern Schuylkill County were German Palatines.

An early mill in the county was built in 1744 by John Finscher, but it later burned down. The first log church in the county was built in 1755. Native American massacres were commonplace in Schuylkill County between 1755 and 1765. Warrant for tracts of land in the vicinity of McKeansburg were in existence as early as 1750.[6] Found by Sammy Hepler in 1789.

19th century[]

Schuylkill County was created via an Act of Assembly on March 1, 1811, from portions of Berks and Northampton counties.[7] More land was added to the county in 1818, from Columbia and Luzerne counties.[7] At the time of its creation, the county had a population of about 6,000.[8] An early book of Schuylkill County history was written by Daniel Deibert in 1802.[6]

Orwigsburg was the first community in Schuylkill County to be laid out. During the early years of Schuylkill County, there was an attempt to make McKeansburg the county seat, while Orwigsburg was also a contender. Orwigsburg was agreed upon to be the county seat, as it was deemed to be well-suited for industries.[6] Beginning in 1831, sentiment began to rise for moving the county seat to Pottsville. In 1846, the Legislature passed the Act which was approved by Governor Francis R. Shunk on March 13, submitting the question to the voters. The change was desired principally because the railroad and canal connections with Orwigsburg were problematic to transport the public to that town without losing valuable time, while Pottsville had such facilities and was within easy access from all parts of the county.[8]

20th century[]

Kelayres Massacre On November 5, 1934 (election eve), a parade marched through the Village of Kelayres, Kline Township.[9] A crowd of Democratic Party supporters walked toward the home of Republican Party leader, Joseph Bruno. Frustration with Bruno family control of the school board and other local offices had been growing for years. Shots were fired from the Bruno home and yard located at Fourth & Centre Streets. Several people were killed and more than 20 marchers were injured.[10]

Mining history[]

Anthracite coal (then called stone coal) was discovered by Necho Allen near where Pottsville developed in 1790.[lower-alpha 1] In the year 1795, a blacksmith in Schuylkill County named Whetstone learned how to use the coal successfully for smithing purposes. In 1806 coal was found while the tail-race was cut of the Valley (Iron) Forge, on the Schuylkill. Daniel Berlin, another blacksmith, also used it successfully, and smiths in the neighborhood adopted using the coal. [11]

When coal was found useful for major industry, mining became important. In 1812, George Shoemaker, who with Necho Allen, had discovered "stone coal" at Centerville in Schuylkill County, personally delivered some coal to Philadelphia. He gave away most of the coal, intending to encourage individuals to find ways to use it. Most of the experiments failed and though Shoemaker was nearly run out of town and called an "Imposter", Mellon and Bishop of Delaware County successfully used it in their rolling mill. When other rolling mills also adopted the fuel, a large industrial market and demand developed.[12]

The Schuylkill Navigation Company was chartered in 1815 to build a series of navigation improvements in the Schuylkill River. This was in the period of construction of the much larger Erie Canal along the Mohawk River in New York. It was well ahead of other key canals fueling the Industrial Revolution, such as the Delaware and Hudson, the Lehigh, the Chesapeake and Ohio, Delaware and Raritan, and Morris canals. The originators of the project did not count upon the coal trade to promote the success of the undertaking. They looked forward mainly to transport of the agricultural products being produced below the mountains, the lumber of Schuylkill County, and the grain and other products of the counties between the Susquehanna and Schuylkill rivers. The first shipments of coal by canal were made in 1822, when 1,480 tons were sent down the line.[13]

With a regular supply of anthracite coal ensured, the southern anthracite coal field in Schylkill County attracted speculators and fortune hunters. They were inspired by dreams of becoming millionaires. This was the first speculative era of the Schuylkill coal trade. Pottsville became the center of the movement. The more successful explorers revealed numerous veins of coal, extending over a vast stretch of county and with a seemingly inexhaustible quantity of coal. These discoveries brought excitement and speculation; lands were bought (and sold); roads were laid out in the forest, mines were opened and railroads projected, and innumerable town plots planned. The demand for houses was so great that the lumber for many was framed in Philadelphia and sent by canal to the burgeoning coal region.[13]

At this stage, coal-mining firms were small and family owned. The residents and entrepreneurs of the Schuylkill region opposed the entry here of incorporated coal companies. In these years, coal mining operations in the Schuylkill region were conducted with economy, and relatively little capital was required. As the workings were all above the water level, no machinery was required for water drainage or for hoisting coal to the surface. Coal breakers and other expensive fixtures and appliances for the preparation of coal had not then been introduced. Numerous operators produced from five to six thousand tons for market annually (which was then considered a respectable business), who had never committed thousands of dollars to their enterprises, including their first land purchases of coal mines. It was commonly asserted that coal land could be bought and mines opened for less capital than the purchase and stocking of a decent farm. Such mines could be worked for less capital than that required to establish a line of stagecoaches or transportation wagons.[13]

Eventually, railroads replaced the canals as the primary means of transporting coal to markets. See below "Railroad History". Mining was taken over by major corporate business, especially after the Civil War. As a result, the Middle Coal Field was developed in the 1860s and the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad created a subsidiary (Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company) to buy or lease, and develop the expanding industrial coal trade. For example, consumption of coal along the Schuylkill above Philadelphia in 1839 was 30,290 tons, when the Pioneer at Pottsville, the first anthracite furnace in the United States, became operational. by 1849, consumption had increased to 239,290 tons, in the year 1859 to 554,774 tons, and in 1873 to 1,787,205 tons.[13]

The numerous jobs in the mining industry comprised a catalyst for mass immigration to Schuylkill County from the British Isles and Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. As mines became more numerous – by 1846 there were 110 operators in the region and 142 collieries in Schuylkill County - and more complex - pumping (in 1846 there were 35 collieries below water level), mechanical breakers, steam locomotives it became more labor-intensive; not just for accomplishing mining tasks but also to support the peripheral industries related to mining. Such industries included manufacturing of explosives, metal screens, pump components, piping, timber for support, etc. This led to an influx of population into Schuylkill and other anthracite counties to fill these jobs. Beginning with the Irish immigration in the 1840s (fueled by the Great Famine), after the Civil War, beginning in the 1870s, newcomers arrived from Eastern Europe. Poles, Hungarians, Lithuanians, Slovaks, Rusyns and Ukrainians (Ruthenians), often from the Austro-Hungarian monarchy settled in the villages of Schuylkill County and took their place among the laborers in the coal mines. By the 1880s and 1890s thousands of Italians immigrated for jobs related to mining.

The anthracite mining industry peaked its production in 1917. Subsequently, the industry declined (with exceptions during the First and Second World Wars). In the 1950s and 1960s underground mining operations closed in Schuylkill County and throughout the Coal Region and surface mining became predominate. The following shows the decline in production and the number of employees from 1950 until 1965, and the production and number of employees in 2015, the last year for which data is available. This includes all anthracite production in Pennsylvania and not just Schuylkill County:[14]

"New" St.Nicholas Breaker, Mahanoy City, 2013

Year Production Net (Tons) Number of Employees
1950 44,076,703 72,624
1955 26,204,554 33,523
1960 18,817,441 19,051
1965 14,865,955 11,132
2016 1,500,000 952

In 2016, Schuylkill County had 6 underground mines and 25 surface mines operating, producing 62,000 tons and 833,000 tons of coal, respectively.[15] Operators today are re-mining areas of anthracite that were previously mined. It is estimated that 98 percent of the anthracite produced is from existing mines.[16]

Renewable energy[]

Photo of wind mills in Locust Ridge Wind Farm


Since the early 21st century, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania has decreased its use of coal power and become a major producer of renewable energy. Twenty-five percent of the county's electrical production currently comes from renewables.[17] Wind power is the largest producer, accounting for 80% of the renewable energy output, while solar and biomass account for 20%.[17]

The Locust Ridge wind turbines in the north of the county produce enough electricity for 37,500 homes, equivalent to the 48 MW of electricity generated by the Wheelabrator Frackville's waste coal plant.[18][19]

Railroad history[]

In the early 19th century southern Schuylkill County was served by the Union Canal out of Pine Grove Township with connections west, and the Schuylkill Canal (more properly the Schuylkill Navigation) southward from Port Carbon to Philadelphia.[20] Coal mined by Lehigh Coal and Navigation in the Tamaqua and Coaldale areas was often shipped down the Lehigh Canal from Jim Thorpe in neighboring Carbon County. To the north, mountain and ridges were a natural barrier to navigation. Other means would be required to transport coal out of the rich basin of the Mahanoy Valley. Numerous railroads were begun in the late 1820s and early 1830s, north of the Schuylkill Canal to enable the transport of coal to the canal terminus and thence to Philadelphia and other markets. These included:[21]

  • The Schuylkill Valley Railroad, commencing at Port Carbon to Tuscarora, a distance of ten miles, with fifteen branches intersecting it, the distances combined amounting to another ten miles.
  • The Mill Creek Railroad, from Port Carbon up the valley of Mill creek four miles, with about three miles of branch roads intersecting it. This was the first road completed and was in operation part of the year 1829.
  • The Mine Hill and Schuylkill Haven Railroad, commencing at Schuylkill Haven to Minersville, having a length, including the west branch, of fifteen miles. There were also about five miles of branches intersecting it.
  • The Mount Carbon Railroad, commencing at Mount Carbon and extending up the east and west branches of the Norwegian creek; a length of road seven miles.
  • The Little Schuylkill Railroad, from Port Clinton to Tamaqua, twenty miles in length.

Of prime importance was the Mine Hill and Schuylkill Haven, which served the Schuylkill Canal. Chartered in 1831, tracks were laid from the "flats" in Schuylkill Haven along the river through Cressona and Minersville to Tremont. The railroad eventually reached Ashland and Locust Gap via the Gordon Planes.

Construction beginning in 1829, the Little Schuylkill Railroad ran from Port Clinton northward to Mahanoy Junction above Tamaqua. It would become the keystone of the Philadelphia and Reading system, serving as a gauntlet for its eastern and western branches. Connecting with it were four important lines. The 146 mile (235 km) Catawissa Railroad operated from Mahanoy Junction to West Milton, providing access to the Mahanoy region by joining the northern terminus of the Little Schuylkill with connections to New York City, Scranton and also points west.[22] At Port Clinton, it connected with the P&R's main line from Mount Carbon. Its most important connection would be with the Mahanoy and Broad Mountain Railway via Mahanoy Tunnel and East Mahanoy Railroad.

There was once over 1,000 miles (1600 km) of railroad track in Schuylkill County. At point in the 1800s, the largest railyard and roundhouse in the world was located at Mill Creek, PA., between Pottsville and St. Clair.

Farming history[]

Schuylkill County's history is not solely a story about coal mining and railroads. The first settlers were farmers or lumbermen. In the fertile agricultural valleys (not underlain with coal) between the Blue Mountain range in the south to near the Susquehanna River to the north, generations of farming families have helped feed their neighbors in the mines, on the rails, on the canals, and in the towns within and surrounding the county. After settlement of the farms, came a period of diversified, small scale production that lasted until about the late 19th century. After then, more highly mechanized small farms combined livestock and crop production for new, mainly local and regional markets. Then the system re-oriented to add orchard products, trees and plant products and poultry farming. In 2012, the estimated value of agricultural products in Schuylkill County sold was $165,853,000, ranking 9th in the State and 704th in the US (counties).[23] The county ranks in the top 100 in the US counties for nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod products and cut Christmas trees and short rotation woody crops.[23]

Textile industry history[]

Textile manufacturing evolved as a major industry in the county near the beginning of the 20th Century. Phillips & Jones Co. (Now known as Phillips Van Heusen - PVH Corp, began in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, and was once Schuylkill County's largest employer.[24] Another textile giant, John E. Morgan Knitting Mills also began manufacturing in 1945 in Tamaqua, eventually becoming the largest employer in the county in the 1970-80s.[25] In addition there were numerous smaller shops all over the county, doing subcontract work for the major manufacturers all over the US. As the century wore on, textile industry, which employed significant numbers of women, rivaled the coal mining industry in importance, especially after the end of World War 2, when that industry began to collapse. As a consequence of the Great Depression, garment manufacturers began to look for people willing to work (at lower wages) outside of New York City, the center of the industry. Pennsylvania became the 3rd highest-ranked apparel manufacturer in the United States by 1940. Women's clothing became the state's fastest growing product.[26] The dominance of the industry in Schuylkill County lasted until the last decade of the 20th century,[27] when it was clear that the garment manufacturing industry was leaving Schuylkill County and other regions of the US and moving to foreign countries. By 2011, only six manufacturers employing 341 people remained in the county.[28]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 783 square miles (2,030 km2), of which 779 square miles (2,020 km2) is land and 4.2 square miles (11 km2) (0.5%) is water.[29]

The Schuylkill River headwaters are found in the county, starting in the Appalachian Mountains, and flows through many towns and the city of Reading, Pennsylvania, to Philadelphia where it flows into the Delaware River. The Schuylkill drains the majority of the county while some western and northern areas of the county are drained by the Susquehanna River. The Swatara Creek, Wiconisco Creek, Mahantango Creek, Mahanoy Creek, and Catawissa Creek all start in Schuylkill County and are tributaries of the Susquehanna. Areas of the eastern portion of the county drain into the Lehigh River via the Quakake Creek, Nesquehoning Creek, Mahoning Creek, and Lizard Creek, all of which also start in the county. To the south, southern Schuylkill county is home to Blue Mountain and the Appalachian Trail. Broad Mountain crosses the county from northeast to southwest.

Schuylkill County is located in northeastern Pennsylvania's Coal Region. It is located just north of the Lehigh Valley and Reading metropolitan areas. Portions of eastern Schuylkill County around Tamaqua are located in the Pocono Mountains. As a result, like other portions of the Poconos, eastern Schuylkill has experienced an influx of people from New York City and New Jersey who commute into Manhattan each day. The commute can take up to two hours each way due to distance and traffic. Far western areas of the county are located near Harrisburg and are sometimes considered to be located in South Central Pennsylvania.


The county has a humid continental climate (Dfa/Dfb) with four distinct seasons. The hardiness zone is 6b in lowlands of the south-central and SW areas of the county. In the remainder of Schuylkill, the zone is 6a except in some higher areas to the NE on Broad Mountain where it is 5b. Broad Mountain separates the Susquehanna and Schuylkill watersheds for much of its length. Average monthly temperatures in the vicinity of downtown Pottsville range from 27.3 °F in January to 72.3 °F in July, while in Mahanoy City they range from 24.3 °F in January to 69.3 °F in July. [1]

Adjacent counties[]

Major roads and highways[]

  • I-81
  • US 209
  • [[Template:Infobox road/PA/link PA|PA 25]]
  • [[Template:Infobox road/PA/link PA|PA 54]]
  • [[Template:Infobox road/PA/link PA|PA 61]]
  • [[Template:Infobox road/PA/link PA|PA 125]]
  • [[Template:Infobox road/PA/link PA|PA 183]]
  • [[Template:Infobox road/PA/link PA|PA 309]]
  • [[Template:Infobox road/PA/link PA|PA 325]]
  • [[Template:Infobox road/PA/link PA|PA 339]]
  • [[Template:Infobox road/PA/link PA|PA 443]]
  • [[Template:Infobox road/PA/link PA|PA 501]]
  • [[Template:Infobox road/PA/link PA|PA 895]]
  • [[Template:Infobox road/PA/link PA|PA 901]]
  • [[Template:Infobox road/PA/link PA|PA 924]]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1820 11,339
1830 20,744 82.9%
1840 29,053 40.1%
1850 60,713 109.0%
1860 89,510 47.4%
1870 116,428 30.1%
1880 129,974 11.6%
1890 154,163 18.6%
1900 172,927 12.2%
1910 207,894 20.2%
1920 217,754 4.7%
1930 235,505 8.2%
1940 228,331 −3.0%
1950 200,577 −12.2%
1960 173,027 −13.7%
1970 160,089 −7.5%
1980 160,630 0.3%
1990 152,585 −5.0%
2000 150,336 −1.5%
2010 148,289 −1.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[30]
1790–1960[31] 1900–1990[32]
1990–2000[33] 2010–2020[2]

As of the census[34] of 2000, there were 150,336 people, 60,530 households, and 40,131 families residing in the county. The population density was 193 people per square mile (75/km2). There were 67,806 housing units at an average density of 87 per square mile (34/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.62% White, 0.08% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.35% from other races, 2.09% African American, and 0.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.11% of the population. 29.0% were of German, 14.1% Irish, 9.7% Polish, 7.5% Italian, 5.6% American and 5.1% Lithuanian ancestry. 95.7% spoke English and 1.2% Spanish as their first language.

There were 60,530 households, out of which 26.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.40% were married couples living together, 10.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.70% were non-families. 29.90% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 20.90% under the age of 18, 7.20% from 18 to 24, 28.30% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 19.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 99.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.20 males.

Schuylkill County is one of the most heavily Lithuanian parts of the United States. New Philadelphia, West Mahanoy, Shenandoah, and Girardville have the highest proportions of Lithuanian Americans of all places in the country. Lithuanian Roman Catholic parishes could be found in Shenandoah (St. George); Mahanoy City (St Joseph); Minersville (St. Francis of Assisi); Tamaqua (SS. Peter and Paul); Frackville (Annunciation BVM); Girardville (St. Vincent de Paul); Gilberton (Our Lady of Siluva, formerly St. Louis); and Coaldale (St. John the Baptist). Also in Schuylkill County (as well as its neighbor to the north, Luzerne County) are Tyroleans, whose ancestors immigrated from the County of Tyrol. Although they bore Italian surnames, the ancestors of the Tyroleans, who immigrated to the Coal Region in the late 19th century and early 20th century, spoke German as their native language. The Tirolesi Alpini organization in Hazleton continues to preserve and promote Tyrolean culture. Irish Americans and Polish Americans are also predominant. The southern and western portions of Schuylkill County which border Berks, Dauphin, Lehigh, and Lebanon counties are predominantly Pennsylvania Dutch.

Birth rate

Schuylkill County's live birth rate was 1,794 births in 1990. The county's live birth rate in 2000 declined to 1,439 births, while in 2011 it was 1,446 babies.[35][36][37] From 1960 to 2010, rural Pennsylvania has experienced an ongoing decline in the number of residents under 18 years old.[38]

Teen pregnancy rate

Schuylkill County had 33 babies born to teens (age 15–19) in 2011. In 2015, the number of teen births in Schuylkill County was 32.[39]

County poverty demographics

According to research by The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, which is a legislative agency of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the poverty rate for Schuylkill County was 13.5% in 2014.[40] The statewide poverty rate was 13.6% in 2014. The 2012 childhood poverty rate by school district was: Blue Mountain School District - 24.1% living at 185% or below than the Federal Poverty Level; Mahanoy Area School District - 64.6%; Minersville Area School District - 47.1%; North Schuylkill School District - 44.3%; Pine Grove Area School District - 38%; Pottsville Area School District - 53.5%; Saint Clair Area School District - 53.4%; Schuylkill Haven Area School District - 37.7%; Shenandoah Valley School District - 75.5%; Tamaqua Area School District - 40.9%; Tri-Valley School District - 36.8% and Williams Valley School District - 43.4%.[41] The child poverty rate is collected by the school districts as part of the federal free school lunch program.

Micropolitan Statistical Area[]

The United States Office of Management and Budget[42] has designated Schuylkill County as the Pottsville, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area (µSA).[43] As of the 2010 U.S. Census[44] the micropolitan area ranked the number 1 most populous in the State of Pennsylvania and the 5th most populous in the United States with a population of 148,289.

Law and government[]

Schuylkill County Sheriff's Department
Abbreviation SCSD
Agency overview
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction Schuylkill, Pennsylvania, USA
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Schuylkill County.svg
Map of Schuylkill County Sheriff's Department's jurisdiction.
Size 778 square miles (2,000 km2)
Population 150,336(est.)
Operational structure
Headquarters Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Police Officers 12
Elected officer responsible
  • Joseph G. Groody, Sheriff
Agency executive
  • Brian Tobin, Chief Deputy
Schuylkill Sheriff Webpage

The Schuylkill County Sheriff's Department in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania consists of the Sheriff's Office and operates the Central Booking unit. The Sheriff's Office is composed of a Civil and Criminal Division. The Civil Division processes real estate and property paperwork, as well as issue firearms permits. The Criminal Division is responsible for the security of the courthouses, as well as the transportation of prisoners to and from court hearings and to other correctional facilities. The Sheriff's Department is also responsible for detecting and interdicting weapons before they can enter the courthouse and making criminal arrests of persons when weapons are found. The Sheriff's Department provides all facets of security for the County courthouse and makes arrests inside the courthouse for various offenses including possession of weapons and controlled substances as well as the arrest of disorderly persons and other violations of the Pennslvania Crimes Code Title 18. All Deputy Sheriffs are sworn law enforcement officers who must attend the state Sheriff Academy in State College to be certified as a Deputy Sheriff. The Sheriff Academy is a paramilitary Sheriff academy that consists of 6 months of intense training in all facets of criminal and civil law of Pennsylvania as well as physical training, self defense training, weapons certification and training, as well as tactical training, training in handcuffing and restraint, courtroom and courthouse security, and conducting security assessments of Courthouse and courtroom facilities. Central Booking processes fingerprints and photographs of arrested individuals. When requested by other police agencies, the Sheriff's Department performs patrol duties in various communities within Schuylkill county and provides support to other Police agencies during major incidents, search warrant executions, arrest warrant operations, special events and in various other capacities.


As of November 2008, there were 94,110 registered voters in Schuylkill County.[45]

  • Republican: 45,054 (47.87%)
  • Democratic: 40,092 (42.60%)
  • Other Parties: 8,964 (9.53%)

As of November 2021, there were 88,040 registered voters in Schuylkill County.[46]

  • Republican: 47,880 (54.38%)
  • Democratic: 28,735 (32.64%)
  • Independent: 7,098 (8.06%)
  • Third Party: 4,327 (4.91%)

While the Republican Party has been historically dominant in Schuylkill County politics, Democrats became dominant at the county level after the 2007 elections. John McCain received 53.6% of the vote to 44.9% for Barack Obama in November 2008. In the state row offices of the same election, each statewide winner carried the county. In 2006 Democrat Tim Seip won the heavily Republican 125th House district and Bob Casey Jr. carried Schuylkill when he unseated incumbent Republican US Senator Rick Santorum. Former State Representative Dave Argall won the special election of March 3 to succeed the late State Senator Jim Rhoades and was sworn in on March 17. Jerry Knowles won the special election for Argall's seat in the 124th House district on May 19. In 2010, the GOP regained ground when Seip was defeated for reelection by Republican Mike Tobash. In 2011, the GOP reclaimed the county government.

This GOP resurgence has been followed by the subsequent election of Donald Trump in 2016, where he received 69% of the area's popular vote to Hillary Clinton's 26.7%. Trump received the highest percentage of the vote of any presidential candidate since at least 1888.


  • Barron "Boots" Hetherington, chair, Republican
  • George Halcovage, Republican
  • Gary J. Hess, Democrat

Other county officials[]

  • Clerk of Courts, Maria Casey, Republican
  • Controller, Sharyn Yackenchick (Acting), Republican
  • Coroner, David J. Moylan, Republican
  • District Attorney, Michael O'Pake, Democrat
  • Prothonotary, Bridget McGowan Miller, Republican
  • Recorder of Deeds, Ann Dudish, Republican
  • Register of Wills, Theresa Santai-Gaffney, Republican
  • Sheriff, Joseph Groody, Democrat
  • Treasurer, Linda Marchalk, Republican

Pennsylvania House of Representatives[47][]

  • Tim Twardzik, Republican, 123rd district
  • Jerry Knowles, Republican, 124th district
  • Joseph Kerwin, Republican, 125th district

Pennsylvania Senate[47][]

  • Dave Argall, Republican, 29th district

United States House of Representatives[]

  • Dan Meuser, Republican, 9th district

United States Senate[]

  • Pat Toomey, Republican
  • Bob Casey Jr., Democrat
United States presidential election results for Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania[48]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 48,871 69.07% 20,727 29.29% 1,157 1.64%
2016 44,001 69.42% 16,770 26.46% 2,614 4.12%
2012 32,278 55.61% 24,546 42.29% 1,224 2.11%
2008 33,767 53.09% 28,300 44.49% 1,538 2.42%
2004 35,640 54.60% 29,231 44.79% 398 0.61%
2000 29,841 51.19% 26,215 44.97% 2,244 3.85%
1996 22,920 40.47% 24,860 43.90% 8,849 15.63%
1992 25,780 40.90% 23,679 37.57% 13,570 21.53%
1988 32,666 56.47% 24,797 42.87% 379 0.66%
1984 37,330 58.96% 25,758 40.68% 224 0.35%
1980 36,273 55.83% 24,968 38.43% 3,728 5.74%
1976 31,944 47.71% 33,905 50.64% 1,099 1.64%
1972 44,071 61.56% 26,077 36.42% 1,447 2.02%
1968 37,194 48.53% 34,982 45.64% 4,469 5.83%
1964 26,386 34.25% 50,560 65.63% 96 0.12%
1960 44,187 49.82% 44,430 50.10% 70 0.08%
1956 51,670 61.95% 31,645 37.94% 91 0.11%
1952 51,437 59.39% 34,987 40.40% 186 0.21%
1948 44,176 60.11% 28,194 38.36% 1,122 1.53%
1944 40,671 53.00% 35,852 46.72% 221 0.29%
1940 43,505 47.05% 48,739 52.71% 231 0.25%
1936 44,353 43.95% 55,183 54.68% 1,385 1.37%
1932 32,492 46.88% 35,023 50.53% 1,790 2.58%
1928 46,033 53.05% 40,424 46.59% 311 0.36%
1924 34,578 64.44% 10,111 18.84% 8,967 16.71%
1920 30,259 59.46% 18,746 36.84% 1,882 3.70%
1916 17,806 55.03% 13,396 41.40% 1,155 3.57%
1912 3,557 11.09% 11,812 36.83% 16,706 52.08%
1908 18,758 52.57% 15,481 43.39% 1,440 4.04%
1904 21,046 65.10% 10,115 31.29% 1,167 3.61%
1900 15,327 50.73% 14,496 47.98% 392 1.30%
1896 17,045 52.60% 14,745 45.50% 617 1.90%
1892 11,426 44.94% 13,677 53.80% 321 1.26%
1888 12,522 48.20% 13,054 50.25% 404 1.56%
1884 11,272 46.87% 11,200 46.58% 1,575 6.55%
1880 9,337 40.01% 11,511 49.32% 2,491 10.67%


Colleges and universities[]

  • Penn State Schuylkill Campus, Schuylkill Haven
  • Alvernia University, Cressona
  • Lehigh Carbon Community College - Morgan Center, Tamaqua

Public school districts[]

Map of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts

  • Blue Mountain School District
  • Hazleton Area School District (also in Luzerne and Carbon Counties)
  • Mahanoy Area School District
  • Minersville Area School District
  • North Schuylkill School District (also in Columbia County)
  • Panther Valley School District (also in Carbon County)
  • Pine Grove Area School District
  • Pottsville Area School District
  • Saint Clair Area School District
  • Schuylkill Haven Area School District
  • Shenandoah Valley School District
  • Tamaqua Area School District
  • Tri-Valley School District
  • Williams Valley School District (also in Dauphin County)


Map of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Cities and Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated places (blue)

Farming near Klingerstown, Pennsylvania

Vraj Hindu Temple in Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania

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 Schuylkill County:



  • Ashland (partly in Columbia County)
  • Auburn
  • Coaldale
  • Cressona
  • Deer Lake
  • Frackville
  • Gilberton
  • Girardville
  • Gordon
  • Landingville
  • Mahanoy City
  • McAdoo
  • Mechanicsville
  • Middleport
  • Minersville
  • Mount Carbon
  • New Philadelphia
  • New Ringgold
  • Orwigsburg
  • Palo Alto
  • Pine Grove
  • Port Carbon
  • Port Clinton
  • Ringtown
  • Schuylkill Haven
  • Shenandoah
  • St. Clair
  • Tamaqua
  • Tower City
  • Tremont


  • Barry
  • Blythe
  • Branch
  • Butler
  • Cass
  • Delano
  • East Brunswick
  • East Norwegian
  • East Union
  • Eldred
  • Foster
  • Frailey
  • Hegins
  • Hubley
  • Kline
  • Mahanoy
  • New Castle
  • North Manheim
  • North Union
  • Norwegian
  • Pine Grove
  • Porter
  • Reilly
  • Rush
  • Ryan
  • Schuylkill
  • South Manheim
  • Tremont
  • Union
  • Upper Mahantongo
  • Walker
  • Washington
  • Wayne
  • West Brunswick
  • West Mahanoy
  • West Penn

Census-designated places[]

Census-designated places are unincorporated communities designated by the U.S. Census Bureau for the purposes of compiling demographic data. They are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law.

  • Altamont
  • Beurys Lake
  • Branchdale
  • Brandonville
  • Buck Run
  • Cumbola
  • Delano
  • Donaldson
  • Duncott
  • Englewood
  • Forestville
  • Fountain Springs
  • Friedensburg
  • Grier City
  • Heckscherville
  • Hegins
  • Hometown
  • Kelayres
  • Klingerstown
  • Lake Wynonah
  • Lavelle
  • Locustdale
  • Marlin
  • McKeansburg
  • Morea
  • Muir
  • New Boston
  • Newtown
  • Nuremberg
  • Oneida
  • Orwin
  • Park Crest
  • Ravine
  • Reinerton
  • Renningers
  • Seltzer
  • Shenandoah Heights
  • Sheppton
  • Summit Station
  • Tuscarora
  • Valley View

Other unincorporated communities[]

  • Adamsdale
  • Aucheys
  • Andreas
  • Barnesville
  • Blackwood
  • Boston Run
  • Brockton
  • Brommerstown
  • Brookside
  • Clamtown
  • Connerton
  • Drehersville
  • De Turksville
  • Fearnot
  • Frisbie
  • Fountain
  • Ginthers
  • Glen Carbon
  • Good Spring
  • Haddock
  • Hauto
  • Hecla
  • Irving
  • Joliett
  • Kepners
  • Leibeyville
  • Llewellyn
  • Locust Valley
  • Lofty
  • Lorberry
  • Mahoning Valley
  • Mantzville
  • Marstown
  • Mary D
  • Molino
  • Moyers
  • Newkirk
  • Orwin
  • Outwood
  • Owl Creek
  • Pitman
  • Quakake
  • Rauschs
  • Reedsville
  • Reevesdale
  • Rene Mont
  • Roedersville
  • Rough and Ready
  • Sacramento
  • Seek
  • Sheridan
  • Snyders
  • South Tamaqua
  • Spring Glen
  • Stanhope
  • Still Creek
  • Stonemont
  • Suedberg
  • Tamanend
  • Weishample
  • Zenners
  • Zion Grove

Population ranking[]

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Schuylkill County.[44]

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Pottsville City 14,324
2 Tamaqua Borough 7,107
3 Schuylkill Haven Borough 5,437
4 Shenandoah Borough 5,071
5 Minersville Borough 4,397
6 Mahanoy City Borough 4,162
7 Frackville Borough 3,805
8 Orwigsburg Borough 3,099
9 St. Clair Borough 3,004
10 Ashland (partially in Columbia County) Borough 2,817
11 Lake Wynonah CDP 2,640
12 McAdoo Borough 2,300
13 Coaldale Borough 2,281
14 Pine Grove Borough 2,186
15 Port Carbon Borough 1,889
16 Tremont Borough 1,752
17 Valley View CDP 1,683
18 Cressona Borough 1,651
19 Girardville Borough 1,519
20 Hometown CDP 1,349
21 Tower City Borough 1,346
22 Shenandoah Heights CDP 1,233
23 New Philadelphia Borough 1,085
24 Palo Alto Borough 1,032
25 Tuscarora CDP 980
26 Friedensburg CDP 858
27 Ringtown Borough 818
28 Hegins CDP 812
29 Gilberton Borough 769
30 Gordon Borough 763
31 Lavelle CDP 742
32 Auburn Borough 741
33 Deer Lake Borough 687
34 Ravine CDP 662
35 Marlin CDP 661
36 Altamont CDP 602
37 Renningers CDP 574
38 Park Crest CDP 542
39 Kelayres CDP 533
40 Englewood CDP 532
41 Mechanicsville Borough 457
42 Muir CDP 451
43 Cumbola CDP 443
44 Forestville CDP 435
45 Nuremberg (partially in Luzerne County) CDP 434
46 Reinerton CDP 424
47 Middleport Borough 405
48 Branchdale CDP 388
49 Seltzer CDP 350
50 Delano CDP 342
51 Donaldson CDP 328
52 Port Clinton Borough 326
53 Orwin CDP 314
54 Fountain Springs CDP 278
55 New Ringgold Borough 276
56 Newtown CDP 243
57 Grier City CDP 241
58 Sheppton CDP 239
59 Heckscherville CDP 220
60 Oneida CDP 200
61 Brandonville CDP 197
62 Locustdale (partially in Columbia County) CDP 177
63 Buck Run CDP 176
64 Summit Station CDP 174
65 McKeansburg CDP 163
66 Landingville Borough 159
67 Klingerstown CDP 127
68 Beurys Lake CDP 124
69 Mount Carbon Borough 91

Notable people[]

  • Boxing heavyweight great Muhammad Ali had his training camp in Deer Lake.
  • Charles Justin Bailey, commanding general of the 81st Division in World War I, was born in Tamaqua on June 21, 1859.
  • Gary Becker, 1930–2014, American economist. A professor at the University of Chicago, he was awarded the 1992 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for extending the scope of microeconomic analysis. Born December 2, 1930, Pottsville.
  • Francis Brennan, born in Shenandoah (May 7, 1894 – July 2, 1968), was a cardinal of the Catholic Church, Dean of the Sacra Rota Romana 1959–68, and prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments 1968. He was the first American to receive an appointment to the Roman Curia, or church court, the highest honor in the Roman Catholic Church.
  • Les Brown, born Lester Raymond Brown (March 14, 1912 – January 4, 2001) in Reinerton, outside of Tower City, leader of "Les Brown and the Band of Renown" that toured with Bob Hope for over fifty years.
  • Joseph James Bruno, 1883–1951, Republican Party leader and businessman in the Kline Township area, 1920s-30s. Convicted and pardoned for involvement in the Kelayres massacre, a political "parade" that turned deadly on November 5, 1934.[49]
  • Walter Ciszek, Roman Catholic priest, bestselling author, and gulag survivor; born to a Polish-American family in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. He is currently under investigation for possible Sainthood.
  • George Washington Deitzler, born in Pine Grove, November 30, 1826. Moved to Kansas and became a prominent member of the Free-State Party, Kansas Territorial Speaker of the House of Representatives, Territorial Senator, and Mayor of Lawrence, Kansas. Most notably, he raised the 1st Kansas Volunteer Regiment and was appointed colonel by Kansas Territorial Governor Charles Robinson. He went on to fight in several battles of the Civil War, including Vicksburg, but is most famous for his leadership of the Kansas Militia in the Battle of Westport.[50]
  • Tommy Dorsey and Jimmy Dorsey, jazz musicians and bandleaders; born in Shenandoah
  • David Horst (born October 25, 1985, in Pine Grove), soccer player who last played for Real Salt Lake in Major League Soccer
  • Judge John E. Jones III of the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District intelligent design trial
  • General George Joulwan, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, from 1993 to 1997; born in Pottsville
  • Danny Litwhiler, Major League Baseball player who played outfield from 1940 to 1951. He was the first Major Leaguer to have an error-free season. He was born in Ringtown.
  • The Molly Maguires, a clandestine society of Irish miners who engaged in a violent confrontation with Pennsylvania mining companies in the 19th century.
  • John O'Hara, short story writer, best-selling novelist and National Book Award recipient who brought Pottsville into the national spotlight through his "Gibbsville" stories, accounts of 1920s Pottsville socialites. O'Hara's single-family home is located at 606 Mahantongo Street, Pottsville.
  • Henry Pleasants (February 16, 1833 – March 26, 1880), coal mining engineer and a brigadier general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He is best known for organizing the building of a tunnel filled with explosives under the Confederate lines outside Petersburg, Virginia, resulting in the Battle of the Crater on July 30, 1864, an opportunity for Union troops to break the defense of Petersburg. He is buried in the Charles Baber Cemetery in Pottsville.
  • Darryl Ponicsan, novelist, born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. Ponicsan has written a number of novels, like 1973's, Andoshen, Pa, based on his hometown. Among his novels two were made into motion pictures (Cinderella Liberty and The Last Detail). Ponicsan has also written or co-written many screenplays for Hollywood movies, including Vision Quest, Taps, Nuts and Random Hearts. Mr. Ponicsan has been nominated for a number of awards, such as the Golden Globe and the Writer's Guild Award.
  • Pottsville Maroons, revolutionary NFL franchise in the 1920s who won the 1925 National Football League Championship only to have it taken away for playing an exhibition game against Notre Dame.
  • Conrad Richter, Pulitzer-Prize and National Book Award-winning American novelist. Books written by Richter include The Light in the Forest and The Awakening Land trilogy. He was born in Pine Grove.
  • Victor Schertzinger, born in Mahanoy City in 1888, was a musician who performed with John Philip Sousa and later became a film director and composer. He pioneered the use of original music for films, and his film One Night of Love won best musical score and sound recording Oscars in 1934.
  • John Walson, from Mahanoy City, developed the first cable television system in the United States, established in June 1948.

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
  • Mahantongo
  • Reading Company
  • Yuengling


  1. ^ In the 1760s, surveyors discovered anthracite coal in the vicinity of Pottsville and Minersville. The survey team was plotting the course of the King’s Highway from Reading to Sunbury.


  1. ^ "Schuylkill River - Definition of Schuylkill River in US English by Oxford Dictionaries". 
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. 
  4. ^ a b The History of Schuylkill County Pa. with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers, New York: W.W. Munsell and Co., 1881, p. 74
  5. ^ DAVIES,JOSEPH H. (CHAIRMAN), ENGLE CHARLES H., YOUNG, ELWOOD M., Area History: A Centennial History - Mahanoy City, (1963), p.9
  6. ^ a b c Old Schuylkill Tales: A History of Interesting Events, Traditions and ... - Ella Zerbey Elliott - Google Books. Retrieved on August 15, 2013.
  7. ^ a b The Legislation was signed by Governor Simon Snyder on March 18. See, History of Schuylkill County, Munsell, 1881, p.74
  8. ^ a b Dives, Pomeroy & Stewart, The History of Schulykill County in Honor of the County's Centenary (1911)
  9. ^ Hoover, Stephanie (2014). The Kelayres Massacre: Politics and Murder in Pennsylvania's Anthracite Coal Country. History Press. 
  10. ^ King of the Mountain: The Bruno Family Story, Bruce Boyd author, 2016, Ingram Press p. 167
  11. ^ Day, Sherman, History of Schuylkill County (1843)
  12. ^ Watson, J.F., Annals of Philadelphia, being a collection of memoirs, anecdotes, and incidents of the city and its inhabitants, Philadelphia: Cary and Hart (1830)
  13. ^ a b c d Munsell, W., History of Schuylkill County, New York: Macnamara, 1881
  14. ^ Pennsylvania Abstract, 1975 and Annual Coal Report 2016, USEIA (November 2017)
  15. ^ Annual Coal Report 2016, USEIA, US Energy Information Administration (November 2017)
  16. ^ Elizabeth Skrapits, Citizens’ Voice: "Anthracite mining remains vital in northeast Pa.", Pocono Record, 12 June 2015
  17. ^ a b State Maps], US Energy Information Administration
  18. ^ Usalis, John E. (15 April 2020). "Wind Farms in County Produce Electricity for Thousands of Homes". Republican Herald. 
  19. ^ "Wheelabrator Frackville". Wheelabrator Technologies, Inc. 2021. 
  20. ^ Munsell, W., History of Schuylkill County, Macnamara, New York (1881), pp. 80-81
  21. ^ Munsell, W., History of Schuylkill County, Macnamara, New York (1881), p. 46
  22. ^ "Tamaqua Railroad Station - History". 
  23. ^ a b USDA, Census of Agriculture Schuylkill County Profile (2012)
  24. ^ Pottsville Republican, Business successes wax, wane: Van Heusen heyday recalled in Schuylkill by L.L. Ward, (December 3, 1994)
  25. ^ Lehighton Times-News-Record, Death of an industry giant, Donald R. Serfass (April 26, 2013)
  26. ^ Smith Jr., J. K., Dublin, T., Hardy III, C., & Pencak W. (2011). A diversity of industries. See Explore Pennsylvania History
  27. ^ McGuigan, M. (Producer), & Migliore, M. (Director). (2008). A Shop on every corner: Memories of the garment industry [Motion picture]. United States: Poetic Stage Productions
  28. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. (2011). County Business Patterns (NAICS): United States Manufacturing 1999, 2005, 2011 [Data files]
  29. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. 
  30. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. 
  31. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. 
  32. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed (March 24, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. 
  33. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. 
  34. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. 
  35. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Health, Birth Age County Reports 1990, 1990
  36. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Health, Birth Age County Reports 2000, 2000
  37. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Health, Birth Age County Reports 2011, 2011
  38. ^ Center for Rural Pennsylvania, Number of Children Decreasing in Rural Pennsylvania, 2011
  39. ^ Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2016). "Pennsylvania Teen Births 2015". 
  40. ^ US Census Bureau (2015). "Poverty Rates by County Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates". 
  41. ^ Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (2012). "Student Poverty Concentration 2012". 
  42. ^ "Office of Management and Budget". 
  43. ^ "Archived copy". 
  44. ^ a b Bureau, US Census. "Decennial Census by Decades". 
  45. ^ Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of State. "November 2008 Voter Registration Statistics" (XLS). 
  46. ^ "Home". 
  47. ^ a b Center, Legislativate Data Processing. "Find Your Legislator" (in en). 
  48. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". 
  49. ^ Boyd, Bruce. King of the Mountain: The Bruno Family Story (2016), Ingram Press
  50. ^ Taken from article by Christopher Alan Edwards, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, website:

External links[]

Coordinates: 40°42′N 76°13′W / 40.70, -76.21

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.