About This Place
New Castle is a city in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, United States, 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Pittsburgh and near the Pennsylvania-Ohio border just 18 miles (30 km) east of Youngstown, Ohio; in 1910, the total population was 36,280; in 1920, 44,938; and in 1940, 47,638. The population has fallen to 26,309 according to the 2000 census, and continues to decline with a Census Bureau estimate of 24,060 for 2009. It is the county seat of Lawrence County. New Castle is the principal city of the New Castle micropolitan area and a part of the Pittsburgh-New Castle Combined Statistical Area, which is the 18th largest in the United States. It is the commercial center of a fertile agricultural region.
In 1798, John Carlysle Stewart, a civil engineer, traveled to western Pennsylvania to resurvey the "donation lands" resurveyed lands, which had been reserved for veterans of the Revolutionary War. He discovered that the original survey had neglected to stake out approximately 50 acres (200,000 m2) at the confluence of the Shenango River and the Neshannock Creek, at that time a part of Allegheny County. Claiming the land for himself, he laid out what was to become the town of New Castle. Stewart laid out the town of New Castle in April of 1798. It comprised approximately 50 acres (200,000 m2), in what was then part of Allegheny County. New Castle became a borough in 1825, having a population of about 300. The city later became a part of Mercer County. On April 5, 1849 the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania signed an act creating Lawrence County named in honor of U.S. Navy Captain James Lawrence. New Castle became a city in 1869 and was headed by its first Mayor, Thomas B. Morgan. At that time, the population had increased to about 6,000.
In 1849, a group of Old Order Amish by families from Mifflin County, Pennsylvania settled just north of New Castle in New Wilmington. Later migrations from Holmes County, Ohio would make this Amish community one of the largest in Pennsylvania. Approximately 2,000 Amish live and work presently in the townships north of New Castle.