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Ross Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ross Township, Pennsylvania
Township of Ross
House in the historic Evergreen Hamlet neighborhood
House in the historic Evergreen Hamlet neighborhood
North Hills, Ross, McKnight
Location in Allegheny County and state of Pennsylvania
Location in Allegheny County and state of Pennsylvania
Coordinates: 40°31′35″N 80°1′19″W / 40.52639°N 80.02194°W / 40.52639; -80.02194
CountryUnited States
IncorporatedJune 26, 1809
Named forJames Ross
 • TypeBoard of Commissioners
 • President of the Board of CommissionersSteve Korbel (D)
 • Township ManagerDouglas Sample
 • Total14.47 sq mi (37.49 km2)
 • Land14.47 sq mi (37.49 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
 • Total31,105
 • Estimate 
 • Density2,124.01/sq mi (820.09/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
15116, 15202, 15209, 15212, 15214, 15229, 15237
Area code(s)412/878
FIPS code42-003-66264

Ross Township is a township in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States. Ross Township is a sprawling suburban community adjacent to the northern border of the city of Pittsburgh. While most areas of the Township are residential, a strong retail corridor is located along McKnight Road, along with business districts on US Route 19 and Babcock Boulevard. The population of the township was 31,105 at the 2010 census. Ross Township, along with the borough of West View, Pennsylvania, comprises the North Hills School District, and participates in the multi-municipality Northland Public Library. Ross Township is a member of the Girty's Run Joint Sewer Authority.


On June 26, 1809, John McKnight, along with 30 other residents of Pine Township petitioned the courts of Allegheny for the formation of a new township. In the November term, permission was granted and Ross Township was born. It was so called Ross after a prominent Pittsburgh attorney James Ross. He represented Western Pennsylvania at the convention to ratify the Pennsylvania Constitution in 1790. Ross was a United States Senator and the personal land lawyer to George Washington.

Many of the early settlers lived in fear of the Native American since many Indians did not agree with Chief Cornplanter's treaty with George Washington in 1784. For Ross Township was the Seneca tribe's hunting grounds and the “white” men were trespassers. Not until 1794 did Casper Reel decide to finally settle in the area, after being formally chased out by a group of Indians. His twin sons, David and Casper Junior became the first white men born north of Pittsburgh.[3]

One of Ross Township's earliest claims to fame was the roads that passed through the area. The Native Americans traveled the Venango Path, later called the Franklin Road, and was one of the most important routes used by Commodore Oliver Perry in the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812. After his victory, the road was once again changed to the Perrysville Plank Road. During this time the road had large wooden planks on one side to assist in traveling during inclement weather. It wasn't until State Senator Herman P. Brandt petitioned to have the road paved from the city line to Perrysville in the 1920s. The road changed names once again to what is now known as Perry Highway.

Along the road was built the Hiland Presbyterian Church around 1799. The church, which still stands today, served as the hub of the community with most of the early families worshiping there and as its use as the town meeting hall. Adjoined to church property was the Perrysville School. This was the setting of one of both Pittsburgh's and Ross Township's most infamous prison escapes. On January 30, 1902, Katherine Soffel, wife of the warden of the Allegheny Jail, helped the Biddle Brothers, whom she was in love with, escape. It was during this escape through a blinding snow storm that they found themselves on Perrysville Plank Road looking for shelter, transportation and something to eat. Having nowhere else to stay, they broke into the one room Perrysville school house and warmed up next to the pot-bellied stove still warm from the days classes. Wanting something to eat, the Biddle's traveled up the road to the White House Hotel where they requested six ham sandwiches and a pint of whiskey. Realizing they were short on cash, Ed Biddle pulled out a woman's pocketbook and paid for them. He did not have enough room in his coat so he pulled out his gun in full sight of the bartender, Christ Weller. After many failed attempts to steal horses and a buggy, they found an open barn along Three Degree Road where their attempt proved successful.[4] Word of their escape broke out in the morning of January 31 in which they were tracked and later caught up with in Butler County.[5] Along with these infamous strangers, some of the residence of Ross had fame in the lives as well. Herman P. Brandt was a State Senator, Casper Reel & Jacob Weitzel were famed Revolutionary War Soldiers, Simon Girty was a renegade traitor to the settlers and has been written about many times all over the world.[6]

In 1908, the Perrysville Volunteer Fire Company was formed.[7]

On August 1, 1962, Northway Mall in Ross Township opened with 62 stores. The unique mall was the site of the first enclosed mall in the state of Pennsylvania.[4][8][9] Today, it operates as The Block Northway.

In the summer of 1967, Jim Delligatti invented the Big Mac sandwich in the kitchen of his McDonald's located on McKnight Road.[4][10]

In 1984, the Pittsburgh Chinese Church purchased the original Perrysville church building at 4101 Perrysville Ave with a main grand entrance at 4050 Vinceton St. In 2001, the PCC left this location for its current building at 8711 Old Perry Highway.[11]

Ross' borders changed over the course of time when Allegheny City was formed to the south and Shaler Township was formed to the east. Both took place before the turn of the 20th century. In 1905 the borough of West View seceded from Ross and was formed in the southwest corner of Ross Township. Since then, the borders have remained relatively unchanged.


The North Hills School District's school tax millage rate (shared with West View Borough) in 2019 was 18.65. This ranked the 4th lowest out of Allegheny County's 45 school districts.[12]


  • Keown Station
  • Holly Hill
  • Berkeley Hills
  • Greybrooke
  • Kinvara
  • Perrysville
    U.S. Route 19 through Ross' Perrysville neighborhood
    U.S. Route 19 through Ross' Perrysville neighborhood
  • North Hills Estates
  • Laurel Gardens
  • Evergreen Heights
  • Highcliff
  • McKnight
  • McKnight Business District
  • McKnight Village
  • Northway
  • Babcock Business District
  • Evergreen Hamlet
  • White Oak Heights


Ross Township is located at 40°31′35″N 80°1′19″W / 40.52639°N 80.02194°W / 40.52639; -80.02194.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 14.4 square miles (37 km2). A small amount of land is covered with water.

Government and Politics

Ross Township is a First Class Township in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.[13] The Township is administered by an elected Board of Commissioners. The Board is composed of nine members who each represent a Ward in the Township. The current Board is:

  • Dan DeMarco (Ward 1) - Vice President
  • Steve Korbel (Ward 2) - President
  • Sarah Poweska (Ward 3)
  • Joe Laslavic (Ward 4)
  • William McKellar (Ward 5)
  • Jason Pirring (Ward 6)
  • Pat Mullin (Ward 7)
  • Vacant Seat (Ward 8)
  • Jack Betkowski (Ward 9)

Breakdown by Party and Term

  • [2017-2019] Democrats-5(Korbel,Laslavic,Pirring,Muller,Betkowski), Republicans-3(Avon,Stanko,Shaffer), Multiparty-1(DeMarco)[14]
Presidential Elections Results[15][16]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 50% 8,691 48% 8,410 2% 301
2012 53% 9,206 45% 7,813 2% 199

Neighboring and inner communities

Ross Township has eleven borders, including McCandless to the north, Hampton Township to the northeast, Shaler Township to the east, Reserve Township and the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Summer Hill, Perry North and Brighton Heights to the south, the borough of Bellevue to the southwest, Kilbuck and Ohio Townships to the west, and the borough of Franklin Park to the northwest. Ross Township also entirely surrounds the borough of West View.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2018 (est.)30,487[2]−2.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[17][18][19][20][21][22]

As of the census[23] of 2010, there were 31,105 people, 14,125 households, and 8,310 families residing in the township. The population density was 2,160.1 people per square mile (831.7/km2). There were 14,909 housing units at an average density of 1035.3/sq mi (398.6/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 94.0% White, 2.1% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 2.5% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.3% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.1% of the population.

There were 14,125 households, out of which 22.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.7% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.2% were non-families. 31.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 31.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the township the population was spread out, with 17.5% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 29.8% from 45 to 64, and 20.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.4 years. For every 100 females there were 88.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.3 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $57,354, and the median income for a family was $75,319. Males had a median income of $46,124 versus $32,529 for females. The per capita income for the township was $33,121. About 4.3% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.0% of those under age 18 and 9.2% of those age 65 or over.


Ross Township is served by the North Hills School District. The district also serves West View Borough.

North Hills High School consistently scores in the top 20% of Pennsylvania Public High Schools with its PSSA scores.[24]

  • 2015-2016 121st out of 674
  • 2014-2015 121st out of 674
  • 2013-2014 200th out of 674
  • 2012-2013 129th out of 674
  • 2011-2012 131st out of 674
  • 2010-2011 91st out of 674

See also


  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Aug 13, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Bureau, U. S. Census. "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. US Census Bureau. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  3. ^ Schalcosky, John D. (May 2, 2011). ASIN 0738574546. Pittsburgh: Arcadia Publishing. p. 28. ISBN 978-0738574547. External link in |title= (help)
  4. ^ a b c Brandolph, Adam (2011-06-02). "Ross historical society president authors book about township - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review". Archived from the original on 2013-01-31. Retrieved 2015-05-15.
  5. ^ Sebak, Rick (2009-02-01). "The escape of the Biddle Boys & Mrs. Soffel". WiesnerMedia. Retrieved 2014-05-15.
  6. ^ Schalcosky, John D. (2011). Ross Township. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-7454-7.
  7. ^ Perrysville Volunteer Fire Company, Station 248 on Facebook
  8. ^ The Grand Opening of Northway Mall.
  9. ^ "The Opening of Northway Mall".
  10. ^ Vanchieri, Barbara (1993-05-04). "Golden Arch Angel". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2015-04-04.
  11. ^ "Our History". Pittsburgh Chinese Church. 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-05-17. Retrieved 2014-05-15.
  12. ^ EL. "Allegheny County Treasurer". Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  13. ^ User, Super. "Ross Township - Board of Commissioners". Archived from the original on 2017-08-24. Retrieved 2017-09-01.
  14. ^ EL. "Allegheny Election Night". Allegheny County. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  15. ^ EL. "2012 Allegheny County election". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  16. ^ EL. "2016 Pennsylvani general election..." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  17. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  18. ^ "1870-1880 Population" (PDF).
  19. ^ "1890-1910 Population" (PDF).
  20. ^ "1910-1930 Population" (PDF).
  21. ^ "1940-1960 Population" (PDF).
  22. ^ "1970-1990 Population" (PDF).
  23. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
  24. ^ EL. "Schooldigger". Retrieved 9 January 2017.

External links

This page was last edited on 25 May 2021, at 22:25
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