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Beaver is a borough in and the county seat of Beaver County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It is located at the confluence of the Beaver and Ohio Rivers, approximately 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Pittsburgh. As of the 2010 census, the borough population was 4,531. The borough is a Tree City USA community.
Robert Linn was the mayor of Beaver for 58 years (1946–2004), making him one of the longest serving mayors in the United States. The borough was the home of influential U.S. Senator Matthew "Boss" Quay.
This area around Beaver was once home to Shawnee Indians, who were later displaced by groups such as the Mingoes and the Delawares. It was part of the Ohio Country that was in dispute during the French and Indian War.
Beaver became the site of Fort McIntosh, a Revolutionary War era Patriot frontier fort. After the war, the fort was the home of the First American Regiment, the oldest active unit in the US Army. The fort was abandoned in 1788 and razed a short time later. By then, the frontier had moved westward and there was no further need for a permanent garrison to protect the area.
The community was laid out in 1792. In 1800, it became the county seat of the newly formed Beaver County. The first county court was established in Beaver in 1804. Growth was steady until 1879 when the arrival of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad caused a major growth spurt. In February 1884 a massive flood caused extensive damage. In 1974, an archeological excavation was conducted at the site of Fort McIntosh.
In late 2007, local officials proposed the consolidation of Beaver with Brighton Township. According to a report by the Governor's Center for Local Government Services, the two municipalities would possibly derive a significant financial benefit from uniting. Also being considered was the type of combination: either merger, in which one of the municipalities would be annexed by the other, or consolidation, in which the two would become a single new municipality under a new name. Any union would have required voter approval.
Beaver is located at 40°41′38″N 80°18′29″W (40.693865, -80.307944).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2), of which 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km2) (13.89%) is water.
In 1996, almost the entire community was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district. Centered on Beaver's commercial Third Street, the buildings in the district date primarily to the nineteenth century, although some twentieth-century structures are present. Some of the district's most prominent buildings are five churches and the county courthouse, although most of the district consists of residential neighborhoods. Included in the boundaries of the district is the Matthew S. Quay House, the National Historic Landmark home of Beaver native Senator Matthew Quay, and the site of Fort McIntosh, a fort constructed in the 1780s.
Beaver has three land borders with Brighton Township to the north, Bridgewater to the east, and Vanport Township to the west. Across the Ohio River to the south, Beaver runs adjacent with Monaca to the southeast, Center Township to the south, and Potter Township to the southwest.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,775 people, 2,112 households, and 1,260 families residing in the borough. The population density was 5,119.3 people per square mile (1,982.4/km²). There were 2,297 housing units at an average density of 2,462.6 per square mile (953.6/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 96.44% White, 2.64% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.27% from other races, and 0.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.88% of the population.
There were 2,112 households, out of which 23.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.6% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.3% were non-families. 36.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.83.
In the borough the population was spread out, with 19.2% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 22.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.9 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $42,113, and the median income for a family was $57,208. Males had a median income of $43,198 versus $26,709 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $24,003. About 3.7% of families and 4.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.1% of those under age 18 and 2.2% of those age 65 or over.
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