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Bedford County, Pennsylvania

Bedford County is a county located in the U.S. State of Pennsylvania. As of 2000, the population is 49,984. The county seat is Bedford.

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History Robert MacRay opened the first trading post in Raystown[?] on the land that is now Bedford County in 1750. The settlers had a difficult time dealing with raids from Indians and the fighting between the French and the British.

In 1759, after the capture of Fort Duquesne in Allegheny County, A road was built between the fort (which was renamed to Fort Pitt) to the newly built Fort Bedford[?] in Raystown. The road turned from indian trails, into "Forbes Road", and still later into the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The area quickly increased in population once safety became more established. The land with its lush farmland and woodland became an attractive site. It also formed an important center on the way to Pittsburgh and farther west of Pennsylvania. George Washington stayed in the county in response to the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794.

The Bedford Springs Hotel[?] became an important site for the wealthy. Under President James Buchanan, the hotel became the summer White House. The U.S. Supreme Court met at the hotel once. It was the only time that the high court met outside of the Capital.

The 19th Century featured a population boom in the county with the population doubling in size between 1870 and 1890. Railroads passing through the town connected the county with the mining industry.

Geography According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,635 km² (1,017 mi²). 2,628 km² (1,015 mi²) of it is land and 7 km² (3 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.28% water.

Demographics As of the census of 2000, there are 49,984 people, 19,768 households, and 14,489 families residing in the county. The population density is 19/km² (49/mi²). There are 23,529 housing units at an average density of 9/km² (23/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 98.54% White, 0.36% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.16% from other races, and 0.54% from two or more races. 0.53% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 19,768 households out of which 30.70% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.70% are married couples living together, 7.70% have a female householder with no husband present, and 26.70% are non-families. 23.50% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.50% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.50 and the average family size is 2.95.

In the county, the population is spread out with 23.60% under the age of 18, 7.20% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 24.60% from 45 to 64, and 16.50% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 40 years. For every 100 females there are 97.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 94.40 males.

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