Emsworth Borough was originally part of land that was owned by the heirs of William Penn. The land first became available for purchase and development after the Revolutionary War.
John Wilkins was granted a tract of this land, and named it “Emsworth”, supposedly the name of an English Duke. The first settlers to the area arrived in 1802. One of the early settlers, William Courtney, built a stone home on the area now housing an athletic field along Ohio River Boulevard. Then President of the United States, Zachary Taylor, once paid a visit to this very home.
Emsworth, located close tot the banks of the Ohio river, attracted may settlers. The river offered transportation and the area was known for it’s scenic beauty. The Emsworth Lock and Dam, a crucial part of navigation on the Ohio river into and out of Pittsburgh is located there.