"West Liberty enters city as unique ward: Old borough was largest in the State, and comes into Pittsburgh to-day: Has area of 2,700 acres: Surplus in the treasury of $3,000 will go into school fund of new section." Pittsburgh Post, Jan. 6, 1908, p. 2. Newspapers.com 86554170.
West Liberty, unique in that it is the largest borough in the State and that it has not a cent of indebtedness, to-day becomes the Fifty-ninth ward of Greater Pittsburgh. It was originally intended as the Forty-fourth ward, but the consolidation of Allegheny gave the 15 wards of that city precedence.
The population of the new Fifty-ninth ward is estimated at 2,600. Registered voters at the last election numbered 672 and according to the rule the total population would be four times that number. The ward is rapidly building up, and it is expected before the first of next year the number of inhabitants will exceed 3,000.
The area of the ward is a little over 2,700 acres, which makes an average of one resident to the acre. For the most part the ward is rolling and hilly, but many of the highlands offer fine residence sites.
Last Meeting of Borough.
Saturday night the borough council held a final meeting, at the close of which they adjourned sine die. They paid all bills outstanding against the borough and had a balance in the treasury of $2,139.86. In addition to this amount there will be an income for some time from delinquent taxes, which will increase the surplus to over $3,000.
Under the law this surplus in the treasury will go to the school fund of the borough. None of it will be turned into funds of the city of Pittsburgh. Residents of the ward will have to pay no tax to help meet the bonded indebtedness of Pittsburgh, which exists at the time of formal annexation, which is to-day. They will have to pay only the tax levied for current expenses of municipal government and their share of bonded indebtedness contracted hereafter. This means that the tax levy in the ward during the coming year will probably not exceed eight mills.
Paved Streets and Sewers.
West Liberty has about three and one-half miles of paved streets and 15 miles of sewers. Sanitary conditions in the ward are good as a rule, although there are several dumping grounds at which the health bureau will probably look askance. Springs of clear, pure water bubble up on every hand. The place is practically free from typhoid fever and that it is a healthful locality is seemingly indicated by the fact that there is but one cemetery in the whole 2,700 acres, that attached to the orphan asylum maintained by the German Evangelical Lutheran Church, of Smithfield street.
There are three churches in the borough and numerous congregations which have not progressed sufficiently to erect houses of worship. The borough boasts of but one schooll [sic], situated in the middle of the community, but the building of another school house is being agitated.
Three Saloons Are Bunched.
Three saloons in the new ward are within a radius of a quarter of a mile, and there is rarely any serious disorder or disturbance.
One of the first improvements which councilmen from the ward will seek from the city will be the widening of West Liberty avenue to make it a boulevard. This is the main thoroughfare of the borough and is traversed by a double street car line. This street was originally planned to be 100 feet wide, but was not laid out to that width.
The sub-divisions of the new ward are Brookline, Beechwood, Paul Place, Lonergan Place, the Curan Angelo plan of lots and the Hughey plan.Four patrolmen have been assigned to protect the residents of West Liberty. The officers were detailed from the Southside police station and are A. R. McCloskey, Edward Casto, F. C. Blair and W. H. Fickley. As the territory to be covered is almost half as large as the entire Southside, additional patrolmen will be assigned to this district in the near future.