Wilkinsburg, a borough bordering the eastern side of the City of Pittsburgh, was named for John Wilkins, Jr., a U.S. Army officer serving as Quartermaster General of the Army from 1796 through 1802.
Early European immigrants to the area were very religious, thus Wilkinsburg grew with a very large concentration of churches, mostly Protestant. The borough, originally part of the city of Pittsburgh, separated and became independant in 1871. One of the main reasons was to “maintain the religious integrity of the community.” At that time, Wilkinsburg was known by man as the “Holy City”.
One of the first Carnegie libraries in the nation, a branch of the Braddock library, was founded in Wilkinsburg in 1899. It also served as a meeting place for council and the local police department.
The first commercial radio station, KDKA, began to broadcast as an experimental station (8XK) from a garage owned by Frank Conrad in 1916. In 1920, it was launched officially as KDKA. Today, WTAE-TV (Channel 4 and an ABC affiliate) is located in the borough on Ardmore Blvd.
Recent years have seen the borough decline economically, by there are many efforts to change this. The WCDC (Wilkinsburg Community Develpoment Center) is active in bringing positive change to the neighborhood, assisting local business expansion.