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Mercer County is named for Hugh Mercer. A doctor, he achieved prominence fighting in the French and Indian War, serving as a general with George Washington in the early days of the Revolution. After crossing the Delaware River and participating in the victory at Trenton, Mercer was wounded at the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777, dying on January 12th.
Provisions of the Act of 1783 set aside tracts of land in the region to redeem certificates given as payment to Revolutionary War veterans for their service. By Act of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Mercer County was created on March 12, 1800.
Benjamin Stokely came to the area in 1796 to survey the county and soon moved his family here, as well as others that soon followed. Sharon got its' start with the arrival of William Budd, who settled by the Shenango River in 1796. Greenville's settlement occurred in the same year when Joseph Keck, Peter and Daniel Klingensmith and Andrew Christy filed claims. Benjamin Lodge, a surveyor of the donation lands, organized the land company of Lodge, Probst, and Walker, that laid out what was initially called West Greenville in 1797. Grove City traces its' origins to about the same period when Valentine Cunningham settled on Wolf Creek in 1798 and built both grist and saw mills. Being the county seat provided impetus to Mercer's growth, and construction of a courthouse began in October 1803.
By 1826, Pennsylvania had a plan for the Erie Canal, the main line of which would utilize the Beaver and Shenango Rivers, passing through the heart of Mercer County and utilizing ta feeder linking it to the Allegheny River.
During the second half of the nineteenth century, Mercer County experienced an industrial revolution with teh development of an extensive railroad system leading to a boom in the coal industry. The presence of coal paved the way for the development of the iron industry.
The area's first steel mill appeared in 1887 when F.H. Buhl, D. Hagan and Samuel McClure organized the Sharon Steel Casting's Company with an open-hearth furnace. Buhl played a crucial role in the development of the industry in the region. His influence extended far beyond his steel mills, making his name synonymous with philanthropic activity. Other companies also participated in the local steel scene. One of the most outstanding was the National Malleable and Steel Casting Company, which came to Sharon in 1900. A combination of several former steel casting manufacturers lead to first electric furnace in the United States.
From the very beginning, agriculture has been an economic strength of Mercer County. The rich farmland of the county brought settlers to create new lives for their families, and their children stayed on the land. In 1900, over 90% of the population lived on farms. Today, there are over a dozen "century farms," farms in production for over one hundred years and owned by the same family. There are even two bicentennial farms in Mercer County. Source: Mercer County Pennsylvania, A great place to visit, live, work and invest. by "Team Mercer County"
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