Early History of Warren County, Pennsylvania                                                              
   Within the tapestry of Warren County history the threads of conflict and community are interwoven. The early history of this area was based on conflict, as Seneca, French, English and later, Americans struggled for control of the land. In the nineteenth century with the arrival of "settlers" from the new United States came the creation of new communities. Soon after came houses, farms, schools, businesses and industries, many of these early features are still visible in the landscape today. By the sixteenth century the Seneca, members of the Iroquois Indian Nation, controlled the area which is now Warren County. In the eighteenth century, the most noted Seneca was the famous Cornplanter, the son of a Dutch trader from Albany and a Seneca mother. After fighting for the British during the Revolution, Cornplanter switched his allegiance and became a defender of the new American government, and an instrument in establishing treaties between with the American government and the Iroquois Nation. Despite the opposition of some of his contemporaries, Cornplanter warded off Indian incursions from the West. He was rewarded for his efforts with an outright gift from the Pennsylvania Commonwealth of several parcels of land, one of which—the Cornplanter Grant—became his home until his death in 1836. Until the waters of the Allegheny Reservoir flooded all but the highest portion of the Grant in 1965, Cornplanter heirs lived on their ancestral land. The French, the first European Americans to deal with the Indians of the area, had traded annually with them prior to 1749. In that year, Celeron de Blainville led an expedition sent by the government of New France to establish French sovereignty over the Ohio Valley which was being threatened by increasing British incursions. Near the mouth of the Conewango Creek, on the south bank of the Allegheny River, he buried a lead plate signifying this sovereignty. During the ensuing years, after the French influence ended and the Revolution established American independence, men began to recognize the suitability of the land for permanent settlement. The fine bottomland at the confluence of the Conewango and the Allegheny was natural location for a town, and extensive pine forest offered a seemingly inexhaustible supply of timber. In 1795, the town of Warren—named for distinguished patriot, General Joseph Warren, killed in the battle of Bunker or Breed's Hill—was laid out by the surveying team lead by General William Irvine and Andrew Ellicott. Warren's first structure (which stood until 1840) was a log building erected by the Holland Land Company as a supply depot. In about 1806, the first settlers began to locate in Warren, and the town was incorporated as a borough in 1832. With few exceptions, the earliest inhabitants of Warren were Scotch-Irish, from southeastern Pennsylvania, and New Englanders. Successive waves of immigrants arrived from Germany, Sweden, and Italy during the remaining years of the century. Their descendants are numerous. The county, 902 square miles in area, was erected out of Lycoming and Allegheny Counties by an act of legislature in 1800. In 1805, it was attached to Venango for judicial purposes; but in 1819, after a sufficient increase in population, it was organized as a full-fledged county. It is bordered on the north by New York State, on the east by McKean County, on the west by Crawford and Erie Counties, and on the south by Venango and Forest Counties. Most of the land in the eastern and southern parts of the county is broken and hilly; the northwestern section is mostly glacial territory. Altitude ranges from 1200 to over 2000 feet above sea level. Originally, hardwood forest covered much of the western portion, while large stands of pine and hemlock grew in the creek alleys and southeast of the Allegheny River. The river and its three major tributaries in Warren county—the Conewango, Brokenstraw and Kinzua Creeks—were natural waterways for the rafting of lumber, which was the county's main industry for many years. Sawing and rafting of lumber continued to be a major activity late in the 1800s. Prior to 1830, only the keelboat provided two-way river transportation from Pittsburgh. Following 1830, with the arrival of the steamer "Allegheny," a succession of steamboats from Pittsburgh served as transportation until the early 1860s, just a few years after the Sunbury and Erie Railroad was completed from Erie to Warren. By 1883, Warren had the hub of a network of railroads leading in all directions. As the rafting of lumber declined, and as the arable land was cleared of its timber, farming began to flourish, particularly in the northwest section of the county. In addition, the manufacturing of furniture and other wood products expanded; the availability of hemlock bark led to the establishment of a large tanning operations in the Sheffield area; and the fabrication of products from iron began its steady climb. Concurrent with the arrival of the railroad in Warren, oil was discovered at Titusville. In a short time, an oil boom developed in Warren County. It added yet another major industry, and by the early 1900s there were 13 refineries within a six-mile radius of Warren. Sensational oil finds occurred in numerous locations, including Tidioute, Cherry Grove, and Clarendon. Oil production and refining still hold an important position in the county.