In 1792, Peter McKinney moved to Butler County. A year or so later he settled in what is now Connoquenessing Borough. It was for this man that the settlement and resulting village were named McKinney’s Tavern, Petersburg and Petersville. McKinney’s Tavern proved to be a convenient stopping place for people from the lower part of the county when they found it necessary to journey to the county seat.
Throughout the years, businesses opened and the economy thrived, with the oil boom occurring in the late 1800’s. By the 1870’s, there were over seventy producing oils wells in the community.
In 1871, the name of the village was officially changed from Petersville to Connoquenessing, a Native American Indian name meaning “A Long Way Straight”.
In 1898, Connoquenessing was incorporated as a Borough. Throughout its history, Connoquenessing Borough has been blessed with dedicated leaders who have helped it to grow and flourish, as well as diligent and productive citizens who have helped it to become what it is today.
A Poem From The Past
A WAIL FROM CONNOQUENESSING
Written January 6, 1908 by Rev. J.M. McCalmont
My name is Connoquenessing but they call me Petersville.
They laugh and sport and joke and talk. And everything that’s ill:
It seems a shame to bring me here. Then treat me so cold and chill
By throwing away the adopted name. and calling me Petersville.
Although the oil excitement here has brought no little fame.
The nearest towns about the place scarce know me by my name.
Tho’ derricks, oil and gas and smoke are covering vale and hill.
When ‘ere you hear them speak of it, its always Petersville.
Incorporated years ago, enjoying Church and School.
They call me Connoquenessing, but they’ve disobeyed the rule:
They walk abroad and boldly speak in a manner that’s fit to kill
And boast about the little town, but call me Petersville.
Although there’s Punxsutawney and ther’s Zelienople too.
Of all the little towns around, its hard to spell, its true.
Then why in the name of common sense, when they went to fill the bill,
Did they call them Connoquenessing , instead of Petersville?
Our people go to the county seat and do much business there:
They buy and sell and once a year attend the Butler Fair:
And when the street car brings them home, in a voice so loud and shrill.
As they stop just near this famous spot, they call out Petersville, Petersville.
Our boys go ’round and play baseball, and sometimes loose a game:
But if they’d know the reason why, they’d know that they’re to blame:
For on the breast of every suit is a letter that bears me ill,
And this conclusion I must reach, that it stands for Petersville.
Our people travel through the land, and in going to and fro,
They’re asked the place of their abode, but seldom do they know:
For when they find it on the map, its Connoquenessing still.
They’re almost sure to hear it said, ‘Oh yes, that’s Petersville.’
So what’s the use of going on, and calling me what I’m not.
I now beseech my friends to give the name the Indians brought,
And though confusion it may give, I’m Connoquenessing still.
But that each one may know for sure, say Connoque-Petersville.