Monongahela dates its origin from April 17, 1769 when William Nowland, Peter Froman, and James Linnes purchased tracts of land at the mouth of Pigeon Creek on the Monongahela River, from a land office in Philadelphia on the strength of a 1768 treaty with the Indians. The land was divided into three areas: “Eden”, which encompassed Monongahela’s first ward from south of the city line to Factory and Walnut Streets was claimed by Nowland; “Paradise” (also spelled Paradice), north of “Eden” and bounded on the north by Pigeon Creek, went to Linnes; while “Gloucester”, encompassing the area from Fourth Street to Dry Run Road and from Sheridan Street to the riverfront, was purchased by Froman.
“Eden” was later owned by Major James Warne, who was the son-in-law of Joseph Parkinson. It is Parkinson, one of five brothers, who is officially credited with being Monongahela’s founder.
In 1771, Joseph Parkinson and the DeVore brothers built and operated competing ferries on opposite sides of the Monongahela River: Parkinson’s on the west bank, and DeVore’s on the east bank. Much river traffic occurred in the area. Parkinson recognized the need for a post office and, in 1782, the first and official listing of the town was Parkinson’s Ferry. In 1833, the name was changed to Williamsport, then officially to Monongahela on April 1, 1837. Monongahela is an Indian word for “falling banks”.
Monongahela changed from a borough form of government on March 24, 1873 when it was incorporated as a City. This ordinance provided for joint sessions of the Select and Common Councils. The City was incorporated as a City of the Third Class on September 30, 1912, when the Councils were consolidated, and the office of Controller was established.