1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Allegheny

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ALLEGHENY, formerly a city of Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., on the N. bank of the Allegheny and Ohio rivers, opposite Pittsburg; since 1907 a part of Pittsburg. Pop. (1890) 105,287; (1900) 129,896, of whom 30,216 were foreign-born and 3315 were negroes; of the foreign-born 12,022 were from Germany, 5070 from Ireland, 3929 from Austria, and 2177 from England; (1906, estimate) 145,240. Allegheny is served by the Baltimore & Ohio and the Pittsburg & Western railways, by the Pittsburg, Ft. Wayne & Chicago, the Western Pennsylvania, the Buffalo & Allegheny Valley, the Cleveland & Pittsburg, the Erie & Pittsburg, the Pittsburg, Youngstown & Ashtabula, and the Chautauqua divisions of the Pennsylvania railway system, and by Ohio river freight and passenger boats. Extending along the river fronts for about 61/2 m. are numerous large manufactories and the headquarters of the shipping interests; farther back are the mercantile quarters and public buildings; and on the hills beyond are the residence districts, commanding extensive views of the valley. Two of the principal thoroughfares, Federal and Ohio streets, intersect at a central square, in which are the city hall, public library, post office and the marketplace; and surrounding the main business section on the E., N. and W. is City Park of 100 acres, with lakes and fountains, and monuments to the memory of Alexander von Humboldt, George Washington and T. A. Armstrong. Farther out is Riverview Park (219 acres), in which is the Allegheny Astronomical Observatory, and elsewhere are a soldiers' monument and a monument (erected by Andrew Carnegie) in memory of Colonel Johnes Anderson. In Allegheny are the following institutions of higher learning:-the Allegheny Theological Seminary (United Presbyterian), opened in 1825; the, Western Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church, opened in 1827; and the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Presbyterians, opened in 1856. There is a fine Carnegie library with a music-hall. Among penal and charitable institutions are the Riverside State Penitentiary, three hospitals, three homes for orphans, a home for the friendless and an industrial school. Six bridges spanning the river and electric lines crossing them have brought Allegheny into close industrial and social relations with the main part of Pittsburg, and on the hills of Allegheny are beautiful homes of wealthy men. As a manufacturing centre Allegheny was outranked in 1905 by only two cities in the state-Philadelphia and Pittsburg; among the more important of its large variety of manufactures are the products of slaughtering and meat-packing establishments, iron and steel rolling mills, the products of foundries and machine shops, pickles, preserves and sauces, the products of railway construction and repair shops, locomotives, structural iron and plumbers’ supplies. In 1905 the total value of Allegheny’s factory products was $45,830,272; this showed an apparent decrease (exceeded by one city only) of $7,365,106, from the product-value of 1900, but the decrease was partly due to the more careful census of 1905, in which there were not the duplications of certain items which occurred in the 1900 census. But in the five years there was a decrease of 3865 in the average number of wage-earners, and the iron and steel output was much less. In 1905 Allegheny ranked first among the cities of the United States in the manufacture of pickles, preserves and sauces, the product ($6,216,778) being 20.9% of that for the whole country. An important industry is the shipment of coal, especially on barges down the Ohio.

Allegheny was laid out in 1788 on a portion of a tract which the state had previously reserved opposite Pittsburg, with a view to bringing some valuable land into the market for the payment of its soldiers’ claims. When ordered by the state to be laid out, it was also named as the site of the county-seat of the newly erected county of Allegheny, but the opposition of Pittsburg was so strong that by a supplementary act in the following year that town was made the county-seat. In 1828 Allegheny was incorporated as a borough and in 1840 it was chartered as a city. The city suffered severely in 1874 from a fire started by a fire-cracker on the 4th of July and from a flood caused by a great rain-storm on the 26th of the same month, but these calamities were followed by years of great prosperity and rapid growth. In 1906 the question of uniting Allegheny with Pittsburg under one municipal government was submitted to a joint vote of the electorate of the two cities, in accordance with an act of the state legislature, which had been passed in February of that year, and a large majority voted for the union; but there was determined opposition in Allegheny, every ward of the city voting in the negative; the constitutionality of the act was challenged; the supreme court of the state on the 11th of March 1907 declared the act valid, and on the 18th of November 1907 this decision was affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States.

See J. E. Parke, Recollections of Seventy Years and Historical Gleanings of Allegheny, Pennsylvania (Boston, 1886).