The History of Uniontown

Uniontown was founded by Henry Beeson on July 4, 1776, the same date as Independence Day.  It is said that Alexander McClean persuaded him to build a town because of the many immigrants that were beginning to move west. Uniontown was also once known as” The Town of Union”.

The National Road went through Uniontown in the early 1800s and the town grew along the road which is now US 40. It was the first major road in the United States to be built by the federal government and was approximately 620 miles long. The National Road also provided access to the west for thousands of settlers. It was later rebuilt in the 1830s.

Uniontown was actually involved in the Underground Railroad in the Civil War years.  It is commemorated by a marker on the corner of East Main Street and Baker Alley.  Some residents helped slaves escape from the south to freedom in the north.

Eventually, Uniontown was involved in the development of coal mines and the steel industry during the Bituminous Coal Miners’ Strike of 1894.  It was the place of clashes between coal miners that were on strike, and guards at the coke works.  Fifteen guards were armed with machine guns, and had to hold off 1,500 strikers.  Five people were killed and eight were wounded.

From 1887 to 1895, the Columbia Rolling Mill, which was an iron and steel works, was located in Uniontown.  The mill was the town’s best industry at the time.  But unfortunately, Uniontown’s economy went down in the early 1900’s, when the steel industry moved and many jobs disappeared.  This decline continued into the 21st century.

Some interesting things that Uniontown, Pennsylvania is known for :

There was a ship named the USS Uniontown (PF-65).   It was classified as a Tacoma ship and the ship was named after Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and was part of the United States Navy on August 16, 1944.

In 1967, Uniontown was the birthplace of the McDonald’s Big Mac sandwich.  In 2007, the Big Mac Museum was opened in North Huntingon, Pennsylvania and  it is still there today.

The history of Uniontown, Pennsylvania is very important because it shows how Uniontown formed over the many years, and it will never be forgotten.

Information source:



Uniontown High School online school newspaper Tomahawk Talk

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