Schuylkill County,PA is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania where the Schuylkill River starts. It is located in the heart of the anthracite Coal Region of Pennsylvania. Schuylkill County was created on March 1, 1811, from parts of Berks and Northampton Counties and named for the Schuylkill River. As of 2000, the population was 150,336. Pottsville is the county seat.
The Reading and Pennsylvania railroad: In the early 1800s southern Schuylkill County was served by the Union Canal out of Pine Grove with connections west, and the Schuylkill Canal southward from Port Carbon. To the north, Broad Mountain was a natural barrier to navigation. Other means would be required to transport coal out of the rich basin of the Mahanoy Valley. Numerous railroads were begun north of the headwaters of the Schuylkill Canal.
Through the 1830s and 40s, short railroads sprouted up at numerous areas in the county. Of prime importance was the Mine Hill and Schuylkill Haven, which served the Schuylkill Canal. Chartered in 1831, tracks were laid from the “flats” in Schuylkill Haven along the river through Cressona and Minersville to Tremont. The railroad eventually reached Ashland and Locust Gap via the Gordon Planes.
Construction beginning in 1829, the Little Schuylkill Railroad ran from Port Clinton northward to Mahanoy Junction above Tamaqua. It would become the keystone of the Pennsylvania and Reading system, serving as a gauntlet for its eastern and western branches. Connecting with it were four important lines. The 146 mile (235 km) Catawissa Railroad operated from Mahanoy Junction to West Milton, providing access to the Mahanoy region by joining the northern terminus of the Little Schuylkill with connections to New York and Scranton. At Port Clinton, it connected with the P&R’s main line from Mount Carbon. Its most important connection would be with the Mahanoy and Broad Mountain Railway via Mahanoy Tunnel and East Mahanoy Railroad.
There was once over 1,000 miles (1600 km) of railroad track in Schuylkill County.
* Boxing heavyweight great Muhammad Ali had his training camp in Deer Lake, Pennsylvania.
* Charles Justin Bailey, commanding general of the 81st Division in World War I, was born in Tamaqua on June 21, 1859.
* Gary Becker, 1930–, American economist. A professor at the Univ. of Chicago, he was awarded the 1992 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for extending the scope of microeconomic analysis. Sociology, demography, criminology, and other areas of market and nonmarket behavior are included in his work. (born December 2, 1930, Pottsville)
* Shenandoah, Pennsylvania born, Francis Brennan (7 May 1894 – 2 July 1968) was a cardinal of the Catholic Church, Dean of the Sacra Rota Romana 1959-1968, and prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments 1968. Francis Brennan was the first American to receive an appointment to the Roman Curia, or church court, the highest honor in the Roman Catholic Church.
* Walter Ciszek, a Roman-Catholic priest, best selling author, and GULAG survivor was born to a Polish-American family in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. He is currently under investigation for possible Sainthood.
* George Washington Deitzler, Born in Pine Grove, November 30, 1826. Moved to Kansas and became a prominent member of the Free-State Party, Kansas Territorial Speaker of the House of Representatives, Territorial Senator, and Mayor of Lawrence, Kansas. Most notably, he raised the 1st Kansas Volunteer Regiment and was appointed Colonel by Kansas Territorial Governor Charles Robinson. He went on to fight in several battles of the Civil War including Vickburg but is most famous for his leadership of the Kansas Militia in the Battle of Westport. (Taken from Article by Christopher Alan Edwards, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, website: suvew.org/mollus)
* Tommy Dorsey and Jimmy Dorsey – famous jazz musicians and bandleaders were born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.
* Judge John E. Jones III of the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District intelligent design trial.
* General George Joulwan (retired), was Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, from 1993-97. General Joulwan was born in Pottsville.
* The Molly Maguires, a clandestine society of Irish miners who engaged in a violent confrontation with Pennsylvania mining companies in the 19th century.
* John O’Hara – a short story writer and best-selling novelist, brought Pottsville into the national spotlight through his “Gibbsville” stories, accounts of 1920s Pottsville socialites. O’Hara’s single family home is located at 606 Mahantongo Street, Pottsville.
* Darryl Ponicsan was born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. Mr. Ponicsan has written a number of novels, like 1973′s, Andoshen, Pa, based on his hometown. Among his novels two were made into motion pictures (Cinderella Liberty and The Last Detail). Mr Ponicsan has also written or co-written many screenplays for Hollywood movies, including Vision Quest, Taps, Nuts and Random Hearts. Mr. Ponicsan has been nominated for a number of awards, such as the Golden Globe and the Writer’s Guild Award.
* Conrad Richter, award-winning American novelist. Books written by Richter include The Light in the Forest and the Awakening Land trilogy. He was born in Pine Grove.
* Pottsville Maroons, revolutionary NFL franchise in the 1920s.
Pennsylvania law provides for four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, rarer cases, towns. Below are listed the cities, boroughs and townships located in Schuylkill County:
Census-designated places are geographical areas designated by the U.S. Census Bureau for the purposes of compiling demographic data. They are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law. Other unincorporated communities, such as villages, may be listed here as well.