City Government History

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C ity Hall was originally constructed as a private residence c. 1865. Soon after its construction, the building was sold and then transformed into a hotel. Known as the “Bush House”, it became a landmark to an area in the heart of the oil region. Until 1872, the structure served as a center of social life for the city and the region. With the need of local governing authorities, the Bush House was acquired by the city and became Titusville City Hall. It has continued to serve in this capacity for over 140 years. The City of Titusville covers 2.6 square miles with approximately 30 miles of roadway, and has a population of 5,601. Titusville is known as “The Birthplace of the Oil Industry” and home to Drake Well Museum, site of the world’s first commercially successful oil well.

In 1847, Titusville was incorporated as a borough. In 1865, the discovery of oil brought tremendous industrial growth to the region and a population boom. The borough form of government soon proved ineffective. In 1866, the state legislature approved Titusville’s change to “city” status. Joel N. Angier became the first mayor and eight men were chosen to form a Common Council (two from each of the City’s four wards). During the first twelve years under this form of government, the mayor could only serve for one year.

>In 1878, a “Select Council” system was established, with a total of 16 council seats being available. Each ward received one seat, then the other twelve were divided according to the population of each ward. The mayor’s term was changed to two years. Eventually, the government evolved from a Mayor – Council to a Commission.

oil The most recent form of government, Council – Manager, was established in 1964. A council of five elected officials now governs the City of Titusville. After the elected council have been sworn into office, they appoint a Mayor and Deputy Mayor from the council. Council members are elected for a four-year term with no term limit. Titusville operates under Pennsylvania’s optional Council/Manager charter and employs a City Manager to administer the day-to-day operations of the City.