Highlights and History
Butler County is named after Richard Butler, a hero of the American Revolution. It is the location of Moraine State Park, with the glacial lake, Lake Arthur. Lake Arthur is used for fishing and sailing, and the surrounding park is used for hiking and hunting.
Some famous inventions and discoveries were made in Butler County. It was in Saxonburg, that the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge, John Roebling, invented his revolutionary "wire rope." At what is now known as Oil Creek, Butler County resident William Smith and Edwin Drake first proved that oil could be tapped from underground for consistent supply. The Jeep was developed in Butler County by American Bantam in 1941.
Famous politicians have lived in and traveled through Butler County. George Washington passed through during the French and Indian War. Butler's only U.S. Senator, Walter Lowrie, built a home in 1828 that still stands behind the Butler County Courthouse. The Butler County Historical Society's office is located in this home. Butler's highest ranked federal official ever is William J. Perry, Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton from 1994-1997. He graduated from Butler High School in 1945. In 1923, President Warren G. Harding's funeral train passed through Butler County on its way back to Washington D.C. John F. Kennedy delivered a speech in front of the Butler County Courthouse during the United States presidential election, 1960. Hubert Humphrey also spoke in Butler during this time period. Then in 2004, Vice President Dick Cheney delivered a speech in Saxonburg to rally support for President George W. Bush during the United States presidential election, 2004. Bret Michaels, lead singer of the rock band Poison was also born here in 1963.