Article taken from the Sesquicentennial Souvenir Program published in 1956.
As Time Marches On (page 2)
By Willard L. Lewis
The year 1806, in which Connellsville was chartered as a borough, saw the return of those two explorers, Meriweather Lewis and William Clark, whom President Thomas Jefferson had sent to explore the newly purchased Louisiana Territory. In all of their reports they gave a great deal of credit to "The Bird Woman," Sacajawea, for her assistance in the expedition. They went to the Pacific and later on the government laid claim to Oregon Territory, partly through their explorations.
In 1806 the national government was experiencing difficulty in diplomatic relations with Great Brittain, due to seizure of American ships and impressment of American seamen. The War of 1812 resulted.
It was during this first 50 years that Connellsville's location, on the banks of the Youghiogheny, brought many people here. They were moving westward into the Ohio and Mississippi valleys. Three shipyards were located here and it was here that many obtained flatboats for trips down the rivers to the west.
It was also during this period that coal was discovered, and in 1833 the first coke oven was put to use. There probably never has been anything to place Connellsville in national prominence much as did its coke.
Also during Connellsville's first 50 years there were many inventions which were to mean much to the development of this section. To name only a few:
1828- B. & O. Railroad chartered.
1831- The reaper by McCormick.
1844- The telegraph by Morse.
1846- The sewing machine by Howe.
1846- Ether first used successfully.
During this period citizens of Connellsville kept in step with national trends in providing better homes, with wallpaper, running water and libraries with books written by Americans.