Uniontown, Pennsylvania

City: Uniontown

County: Fayette

State: Pennsylvania

Lat/Long: 39.9000, -79.7167

Located in southwest Pennsylvania, south-southeast of Pittsburgh, Uniontown is the county seat of Fayette County. English settlers from Virginia began moving into the area that would become Uniontown in the 1760s. In 1776, proprietors surveyed and laid out a plat for a village, and on July 4, posted notices for a lottery for plots. The new village was known as “the Town of Union,” or Beesontown, named for Henry Beeson, original proprietor of the land. The town was sparsely occupied and settled until after the American Revolution. When the Pennsylvania General Assembly established Fayette County in September 1783, Uniontown became the county seat. By 1790, its population had grown to 11,402. In April 1796, the General Assembly incorporated Uniontown as a borough. Congress' decision to route the National Road through Uniontown brought additional growth and prosperity, as shopkeepers, hoteliers, farmers, and town officials clamored to accommodate those traveling the thoroughfare. Situated as it was on the National Road, only twelve miles from Virginia, Uniontown became a natural focal point for the Underground Railroad. Uniontown began to decline with the advent of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, which supplanted the National Road as the main passenger route west.

Webster’s New Geographical Dictionary (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1988), 1250; Franklin Ellis, ed., History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, with Biographical Sketches of Many of its Pioneers and Prominent Men (Philadelphia: L. H. Everts, 1882), 279-80; James Hadden, A History of Uniontown the County Seat of Fayette County Pennsylvania (Uniontown, PA: James Hadden, 1913), 8-16, 424, 426; William J. Switala, Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole, 2001), 41.