Monaca is a borough in Beaver County, Pennsylvania along the Ohio River, 25 miles (40 km) west of Pittsburgh. Monaca was first incorporated as Phillipsburg. In 1892 the name of the borough was changed to Monaca in honor of a native American Indian Monacatootha. Fire clay is found in large quantities in the vicinity.
Earlier in the borough's history, manufacturers made tons of enameled porcelain ware, glass, tile, tubing, drawn steel and wire. Theil College was founded here in 1866 and moved to Greenville five years later.
The Borough of Monaca has a history dating back to the 18th century. A grant of land on which Monaca now stands was granted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by patent, bearing the date September 5, 1787, to Ephraim Blaine, grandfather of James G. Blaine. In the patent, this tract was called "Appetite." On August 1, 1813, the land was bought by Francis Helvidi, who is said to have been the first white settler in Monaca. He was a Polish nobleman, who was exiled from his native country and immigrated to America.
The origin of the town dates back to 1822 when Phillips and Grahan established their boatyards. This village was called "Phillipsburgh" for Stephen of the firm. In 1832, the entire tract of land was sold to the seceders of the Harmony Society at Economy, Pennsylvania. The secession took place as a result of the differences which arose in the Society between the founder, George Rapp, and a German adventurer named "Count de Leon." The Count and his 250 adherents went to Phillipsburgh and established a new colony under the name "New Philadelphia Society." Later, the large buildings erected by this Society were, in 1848, sold to Dr. Edward Archer for a sanatorium, known as "Watercure." In 1865, the buildings were bought by Rev. William G. Taylor for housing the Soldiers' Orphans School. The Town of Phillipsburgh was incorporated on March 6, 1840. On September 20, 1892, the corporate name of the Borough was changed to "Monaca", following petition to the Court of Quarter Sessions of Beaver County.
The town in the bend of the Ohio bears part of the name of Monacatootha, an Oneida warrior chief also known as Scaroyady. Monacatootha (which means "Great Arrow") was a representative of the Iroquois Confederacy with the authority to supervise affairs among the Delawares and Shawnees in that area. He met with Washington in Logstown in 1753. He was a strong friend of the English and campaigned against the French. Monaca Borough (formerly Philipsburgh until 1892) took its name from a P. & L E. Railroad station at the east end of town.