McKean County Pennsylvania is presently a 1000 square mile tract of land located in the north central part of Pennsylvania. It is situated in the Appalachian Plateau province beyond the Appalachian Mountains. and was established on March 26, 1804, being set off from Lycoming. On December 13, 1805, Governor McKean appointed John Prevost, John Bell, and Thomas Smith trustees for the new county. When McKean County was established there was one known permanent settlement. It is unclear as to where the first settlement was established, but certain historians believe it to be Ceres. The Keating Land Company had purchased land from the William Bingham holdings and Francis King was sent to pioneer their acquisition. Governor McKean encouraged New England families to migrate to the area. In addition, settlers came from Germany, Sweden, France, England, Ireland, and Italy. The land was lush with heavy timber which aided in the development and economic livelihood of the 1800's and early 1900's,along with the discovery of coal, gas, and oil. The wilderness was beautiful with it's hills, valleys, waterways, and changing of the seasons, but it was also very harsh at times.
Sheila Barr Helser is coordinator for McKean County. This website is part of the PAGenWeb Project and the USGenWeb Project.