As a part of the land granted to William Penn by Charles The II of England, the district of North Versailles dates back to the 1680s. Penn wanted the land granted the name “Sylvania”, but the King insisted on adding Penn to the name in honor of Admiral Sir William, William Penn’s father.
Prior to the 1760s, the land that is now North Versailles was taken over by Indians. In hopes of bringing peace between the Indians and the Settlers, a Treaty with the Indians was created. However, massacres soon re-established, causing more problems with the Indians.
William Wallace was a settler who had some experience with the Indians. He obtained one of the first titles of land in what is now known as North Versailles Township. His stone home is still standing on Mosside Boulevard. Thankfully, there were no recorded serious Indian outrages after 1780. The District was soon clean of Indian trouble and white settlers began to populate the area. The territory was finally purchased from the Indians in 1768. As if there was no time to spare, a land office was opened the next year to sell off the land.
The area that is now known as North Versailles was once a part of Cumberland County. This vicinity included everything east and south of the Allegheny and Ohio River. Over the several years, Cumberland became a part of Bedford County, which finally formed Westmoreland County in 1773. The section now known as North Versailles Township was located in Westmoreland County.
On September 24, 1788, Allegheny County was formed from the West and Washington County formed easterly. The eastern boundary affecting North Versailles Township has remained the same over the years. On this same day, the first business of the County Court divided the Allegheny County into seven Townships: Moon, St. Clair, Mifflin, Elizabeth, Versailles, Plum, and Pitt. The French name Versailles was given to the Township as a gift for helping the French during the Revolutions.
The growth of the two villages of Fort Perry and Coulterville caused Versailles township to divide into north and south Versailles in 1869. The boundary lines for these areas were based on homes established along the land. Therefore, the boundaries of North Versailles became Turtle Creek, Monongahela River, South Versailles and Westmoreland County.
Many boroughs were formed from what was then North Versailles Township after the major dividing process of Versailles township. In 1890, Wilmerding became a borough and in 1895, a charter was granted creating East McKeesport. As the building of homes continued to increase in the 1900’s, Wall borough was created and the current boundaries of North Versailles Township were established in the 1930’s.
(Information gathered from data from John L. Sokol, and article was written by Kaitlyn Gida a summer intern.)