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flag  History of Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA

Journey back in time to Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA

Visit Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA - Erie R.R. Depot, Franklin, Pa.

Franklin, Venango, PA

The site was early occupied by the Indian village of Venango and after 1750 by forts of the French (Fort-Machault), the British (Fort Venango), and the Americans (Fort Franklin). The U.S. fort, erected in 1787, was named for Benjamin Franklin; a town, laid out and incorporated as a borough in 1795, developed around it. Franklin was the site of Pennsylvania’s third oil gusher when in 1860 James Evans, a blacksmith, dug a well for water and found oil instead. Within two years Franklin, with nearby Oil City, emerged as the hub of an oil region producing more than 2,000,000 barrels annually. The boom lasted until about 1900, when the oil-production centre shifted to the American Southwest. Among those attracted by the boom was the magnate John D. Rockefeller; John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln, was a co-owner of one of the early Franklin wells.

There is MUCH more to discover about Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA. Read on!

Franklin Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Erie R.R. Depot, Franklin, Pa.
Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA

Erie R.R. Depot, Franklin, Pa.
City Hospital
Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA

City Hospital
Residences on Liberty St., Franklin, Pa.
Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA

Residences on Liberty St., Franklin, Pa.

Discover Franklin: History, News, Travel, and Stories

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1854 - Franklin
Franklin, a thriving post-borough, capital of Venango county, Pennsylvania, on the right bank of French creek, immediately above its entrance into the Alleghany river, 212 miles W. N. W. from Harrisburg, and 68 miles N. from Pittsburg. It is the southern terminus of a canal extending to Meadville. Small steamboats ply between this town and Pittsburg. Franklin contains a court house, 1 or 2 academies, and 2 newspaper offices; and has bridges across the river and creek. Fort Franklin was erected on this site in 1787: the town was laid out in 1795. Population in 1850, 936; in 1853, about 1200.
A New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States: Giving a Full and Comprehensive Review of the Present Condition, Industry, and Resources of the American Confederacy ... Thomas Baldwin (of Philadelphia.) Joseph Thomas January 1, 1854 Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Company 1854.
About half past eleven o'clock yesterday morning, a fire broke out in the Marshall House, situated at the Franklin end of the Suspension Bridge at that point, which connects the Allegheny Valley Railroad with the town. Though the most strenuous efforts were made to save the structure it was entirely destroyed. During the burning of the hotel the flames communicated to the bridge, upon which were from twenty to thirty individuals in the act of crossing, or watching the burning building.

Suddenly one of the large cables supporting the bridge parted, and in an instant the structure tipped, throwing all those upon the same into the river below, and then fell, burying them in its ruins. Although several were seen to escape it is supposed that some are still beneath the wreck, while, others must have drowned, and gone down the river beneath the ice which partially filled the channel at that point. From an eye witness of the disaster, we learn that the cable which parted was upon the... Read MORE...

1871 - Hotel Fire Results in Bridge Disaster
A hotel at Franklin, Pa., was burned the other day, and the flames set fire to the wood work of a wire bridge over the Allegheny river, and the cables, soon becoming red hot, parted from their anchorage, precipitating the bridge structure into the river. About twenty persons were on the bridge at the time, several of whom were fatally injured.
St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
January 7, 1871
1895 - Franklin
Franklin, a city, the capital of Venango co, Pa., is situated on the Allegheny River, at the mouth of French Creek, and on the Alleghany Valley Railroad and the Franklin Branch of the Atlantic & Great Western Railroad, about 65 miles direct (123 miles by railway) N. of Pittsburg, 9 miles S.W. of Oil City, and 28 miles S.E. of Meadville. The Jamestown & Franklin Railroad also passes through it. Franklin contains a court-house, 8 churches, 10 hotels, a national bank, 4 other banks, 4 oil-refineries, 2 or 3 machine-shops, 2 flouring-mills, and a brush-factory. Its growth has been greatly stimulated by the trade in petroleum, which is procured largely in the vicinity. One daily and 2 weekly newspapers are published here. It occupies the site of the French Fort Venango, built in 1753. Pop. in 1890, 6221.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
Franklin, Pa., Oct. 13. - An oil fire at the Eclipse refinery, Franklin, information of which appeared in the Herald of yesterday, was reported last night to be still burning, but under control. The loss is estimated approximately at $100,000. A large force of Franklin men fought the first all day Thursday.
Titusville Herald
Titusville, Pennsylvania
October 13, 1911
Franklin, a city, the capital of Venango co., Pa., Is situated on the Alleghany River, at the mouth of French Creek, and on the Alleghany Valley, the Erie and other railroads, 9 miles SW. of Oil City. Franklin contains a court-house, oil-refineries, machine-shops, etc., and has manufactures of iron-goods, boilers, steel-castings, oil-well supplies, bricks, and lumber. The growth of the city has been largely determined by its position as the centre of the chief oil region of the state. Natural gas is also abundant. The city occupies the site of the French Fort Venango, built in 17&3. Pop. in 1900, 7317.
Lippincotts New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns, Resorts, Islands, Rivers, Mountains, Seas, Lakes, Etc., in Every Portion of the Globe, Part 1 Angelo Heilprin Louis Heilprin - January 1, 1916 J.B. Lippincott - Publisher
2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Franklin:
DeBence Antique Music World:

Start your journey with a visit to this unique museum. It houses a vast collection of antique music boxes, phonographs, and other musical instruments. It's a treat for both music enthusiasts and history buffs.

Venango Museum of Art, Science, and Industry:

Dive into the rich history of the region at this museum. It showcases exhibits related to local industry, Native American artifacts, and the development of the oil industry that played a significant role in the town's history.

Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad:

Take a scenic train ride through the picturesque Oil Creek State Park. The narrated tour provides insights into the oil boom era, and you'll get to enjoy the beautiful landscapes along the way.

Riverfront Park:

Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Allegheny River at Riverfront Park. It's a perfect spot for picnics, family gatherings, or just to unwind while taking in the scenic views.

Justus Park:

Another great outdoor...

Discover MY Roots: Franklin Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were born or died in Franklin.

View Them Now (sorted by year of birth)

female ancestorAnna Marie AUMILLER (1700, Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA - 1799, Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA)
female ancestorRachel Elizabeth GROSVENOR (17 June 1894, Esperance, New York, USA (Sloansville) - 4 August 1976, Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA)
female ancestorJune KRANTZ (18 June 1926, , New York, USA - 20 February 2016, Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA)
male ancestorGeorge WALTERS (14 May 1932, Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA - 1996, Chillicothe, Ohio, USA)

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Updated: 10/15/2023 7:57:37 AM