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Wyoming County, New York

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Wyoming County is a county located in the state of New York. As of 2000, the population is 43,424. The county seat is Warsaw. The name is from a modified Delaware Indian word meaning "broad bottom lands." Wyoming County was formed from Genesee County in 1841.

Contents

History

When counties were established in New York State in 1683, the present Wyoming County was part of Albany County. This was an enormous county, including the northern part of New York State as well as all of the present State of Vermont and, in theory, extending westward to the Pacific Ocean. This county was reduced in size on July 3, 1766 by the creation of Cumberland County, and further on March 16, 1770 by the creation of Gloucester County, both containing territory now in Vermont.

On March 12, 1772, what was left of Albany County was split into three parts, one remaining under the name Albany County. One of the other pieces, Tryon County, contained the western portion (and thus, since no western boundary was specified, theoretically still extended west to the Pacific). The eastern boundary of Tryon County was approximately five miles west of the present city of Schenectady, and the county included the western part of the Adirondack Mountains and the area west of the West Branch of the Delaware River. The area then designated as Tryon County now includes 37 counties of New York State. The county was named for William Tryon, colonial governor of New York.

In the years prior to 1776, most of the Loyalists in Tryon County fled to Canada. In 1784, following the peace treaty that ended the American Revolutionary War, the name of Tryon County was changed to Montgomery County in order to honor the general, Richard Montgomery, who had captured several places in Canada and died attempting to capture the city of Quebec, replacing the name of the hated British governor.

In 1789, Ontario County was split off from Montgomery.

Almost all of the land west of the Genesee River, including all of present day Wyoming County, was part of the Holland Land Purchase in 1793 and was sold through the Holland Land Company's office in Batavia, starting in 1801.

Genesee County was created by a splitting of Ontario County in 1802. This was much larger than the present Genesee County, however. It was reduced in size in 1806 by creating Allegany County; again in 1808 by creating Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, and Niagara Counties. Niagara County at that time also included the present Erie County.

In 1821, portions of Genesee County were combined with portions of Ontario County to create Livingston and Monroe Counties.

Genesee County was further reduced in size in 1824 by creating Orleans County.

Finally, in 1841, Wyoming County was created from Genesee County.

Points of Interest

  • Letchworth State Park, on the Genesee River forms part of the southeastern boundary of the county. A deep gorge with three major waterfalls characterize this scenic and historic area, created when the last Ice age glacier diverted the river and forced it to cut a new valley. It is the home area of Mary Jemison, the White Woman of the Genesee, who was captured as a young person by the Seneca tribe and became an important figure in negotiations between the tribe and the land companies.
  • Hilltop Inn opened originally as a spa at mineral springs on the hill above Wyoming village around 1841, has entertained many important persons.
  • Attica and Arcade Railroad is a restoration of a steam locomotive.
  • Attica maximum security prison is located in the northernmost part of the county.
  • Gaslight Village - downtown Wyoming is a historic village lit by gas street lamps. Deposits of natural gas and salt have been an economic factor in the development of the area.
  • Silver Lake - this tiny glacial lake is the only one of the Finger Lakes group of lakes that is west of the Genesee.

Geography

Wyoming County is in the western part of New York State, east of Buffalo and slightly west of due south of Rochester. The county is in the Holland Purchase Region.

The county is largely rural, dotted with small towns. Even the county seat, Warsaw is quite small. Much of the area is wooded, used for timber. Some that are predominantly maple are tapped each spring for the production of maple syrup. Agriculture is mostly small family dairy farms, or hobby farms for people who work in Buffalo or Batavia. Apple orchards were once a major agricultural endeavor, but only a few are left. The area is well known for outdoor sports, being an excellent area for fishing, hunting, and snowmobiling.

An active Geologic fault runs down the Dale valley through Linden, to the east of Batavia and out into Lake Ontario. Movement of the fault is an occasional source of minor earthquakes, which, at most, have toppled a couple chimneys. The Dale Valley has been developed as a source of salt by way of brine wells, for the chemical industry. A pipeline moves the brine to Niagara Falls.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,545 km² (596 mi²). 1,536 km² (593 mi²) of it is land and 9 km² (4 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.59% water.

Oatka Creek, an important tributary of the Genesee River has its source in the Town of Gainesville.

Demographics

As of the census2 of 2000, there are 43,424 people, 14,906 households, and 10,717 families residing in the county. The population density is 28/km² (73/mi²). There are 16,940 housing units at an average density of 11/km² (29/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 91.84% White, 5.52% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.37% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.32% from other races, and 0.67% from two or more races. 2.94% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 14,906 households out of which 34.20% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.30% are married couples living together, 9.20% have a female householder with no husband present, and 28.10% are non-families. 23.20% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.20% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.62 and the average family size is 3.08.

In the county the population is spread out with 24.10% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 32.80% from 25 to 44, 22.80% from 45 to 64, and 12.20% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there are 118.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 122.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $39,895, and the median income for a family is $45,088. Males have a median income of $31,973 versus $22,252 for females. The per capita income for the county is $17,248. 8.40% of the population and 5.80% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 11.60% of those under the age of 18 and 5.80% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Towns and Villages

  • Label in parentheses shows official level of government.

Adjacent counties and areas

Wyoming County is bounded on the north by Genesee County and on the west by Erie County. The eastern boundary is Livingston County. The south border of Wyoming county is shared between Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties.

External links


Flag of New York

State of New York

Capital:

Albany

Regions:

Adirondack Mountains | Capital District | Catskill Mountains | Central | Finger Lakes | The Holland Purchase | Hudson Valley | Long Island | Mohawk Valley | Shawangunks | Southern Tier | Upstate | Western

Major metros:

Albany | Binghamton | Buffalo | New York | Rochester | Syracuse | Utica

Smaller cities:

Amsterdam | Auburn | Batavia | Canandaigua | Corning | Cortland | Dunkirk | Elmira | Geneva | Glen Cove | Glens Falls | Gloversville | Goshen | Hornell | Hudson | Ilion | Ithaca | Jamestown | Kingston | Lockport | Malone | Massena | Middletown | New Paltz | Newark | Ogdensburg | Olean | Oneida | Oneonta | Oswego | Plattsburgh | Port Jervis | Poughkeepsie | Riverhead | Rome | Saratoga Springs | Warwick | Watertown

Counties:

Albany | Allegany | Bronx | Broome | Cattaraugus | Cayuga | Chautauqua | Chemung | Chenango | Clinton | Columbia | Cortland | Delaware | Dutchess | Erie | Essex | Franklin | Fulton | Genesee | Greene | Hamilton | Herkimer | Jefferson | Kings (Brooklyn) | Lewis | Livingston | Madison | Monroe | Montgomery | Nassau | New York (Manhattan) | Niagara | Oneida | Onondaga | Ontario | Orange | Orleans | Oswego | Otsego | Putnam | Queens | Rensselaer | Richmond (Staten Island) | Rockland | Saint Lawrence | Saratoga | Schenectady | Schoharie | Schuyler | Seneca | Steuben | Suffolk | Sullivan | Tioga | Tompkins | Ulster | Warren | Washington | Wayne | Westchester | Wyoming | Yates

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