The tapestry of Warren County’s history is woven with threads of conflict and community. The early history of this area was based on conflict, with the Seneca, French, English, and later Americans fighting for control of the land. In the nineteenth century, with the arrival of “settlers” from the new United States, new communities were established. Homes, farms, schools, businesses, and industries soon sprang up, with many of these early facilities still visible on the landscape today. By the sixteenth century, the Seneca, members of the Iroquois Indian nation, controlled the area that is now Warren County. In the eighteenth century, the most famous Seneca was the famous Cornplanter, the son of a Dutch trader from Albany and Seneca’s mother.

After fighting for the British during the Revolution, Cornplanter changed his allegiance and became a defender of the new American government, as well as an instrument in establishing treaties between the American government and the Iroquois nation. Despite the opposition of some of his contemporaries, Cornplanter repelled an Indian invasion from the West. He was rewarded for his efforts with an outright gift from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania of several tracts of land, one of which, the Corn Planters Grant, became his home until his death in 1836. Until the waters of the Allegheny Reservoir flooded all but the highest part of the property. Grant in 1965, the Cornplanter heirs lived on their inherited land. The French, the first European Americans to deal with the Indians of this region, traded with them annually until 1749. That year, CĂ©leron de Blainville led an expedition sent by the government of New France to establish French sovereignty over the Ohio Valley, which was threatened by increasing British incursions. Near the mouth of Conewango Creek, on the southern bank of the Allegheny River, he buried a lead plate symbolizing this sovereignty. In the years that followed, after French influence ended and the Revolution established American independence, people began to recognize the land’s suitability for permanent settlement.

The beautiful lowland at the confluence of the Conewango and Allegheny was a natural site for a town, and the large pine forest offered a seemingly inexhaustible supply of timber. In 1795, the town of Warren – named in honor of the prominent patriot, General Joseph Warren, who was killed at the Battle of Bunker or Broad. The Hill – was developed by a surveying team led by General William Irvine and Andrew Ellicott. Warren’s first structure (which stood until 1840) was a log building erected by the Holland Land Company as a supply depot. Around 1806, the first settlers began to locate in Warren, and the town was incorporated as a borough in 1832. With few exceptions, the first residents of Warren were Scots-Irish from southeastern Pennsylvania and New Englanders. Successive waves of immigrants arrived from Germany, Sweden, and Italy during the remaining years of the century. Their descendants are numerous.