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Chemung County, New York

Chemung County, New York
Chemung County Courthouse
Seal of Chemung County, New York
Map of New York highlighting Chemung County
Location in the state of New York
Map of the United States highlighting New York
New York's location in the U.S.
Founded March 29, 1836
Seat Elmira
Largest city Elmira
 • Total 411 sq mi (1,064 km2)
 • Land 408 sq mi (1,057 km2)
 • Water 3 sq mi (8 km2), 0.64%
 • (2010) 88,830
 • Density 218/sq mi (84/km²)
Congressional district 23rd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website .com.chemungcountywww

Chemung County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 88,830.[1] Its county seat is Elmira.[2] Its name is derived from the name of a Delaware Indian village (meaning "big horn").

Chemung County comprises the Elmira, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Elmira-Corning, NY Combined Statistical Area.

Many signs posted along roads in Chemung County refer to the area as "Mark Twain Country" because of the many years the author lived and wrote in Elmira.


  • History 1
    • Notable People 1.1
  • Geography 2
    • Adjacent counties 2.1
    • Major highways 2.2
  • Demographics 3
  • Government and politics 4
  • Cities, towns, villages, and other locations 5
  • Education 6
    • Public School Districts 6.1
    • Private Schools 6.2
    • Higher Education 6.3
  • Public libraries 7
  • Other 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


For the history of Chemung County prior to its creation by partition, see Tioga County, New York.

Chemung County was formed from 520 square miles (1,300 km2) of Tioga County in 1836.[3]

In 1854, Chemung County was divided and 110 square miles (280 km2) became Schuyler County, reducing Chemung to 410 square miles (1,100 km2), its current size.[4]

Notable People


Chemung County is in the southwestern part of New York State, along the Pennsylvania border, in a part of New York called the Southern Tier and is also part of the Finger Lakes Region.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 411 square miles (1,064.5 km2), of which 408 square miles (1,056.7 km2) is land and 3 square miles (7.8 km2) (0.64%) is water.[5]

The Southern Tier Expressway runs through the County east-west near the Pennsylvania border, between Waverly, New York and Corning, New York via Elmira, New York.

Adjacent counties

Major highways


At of the 2000 census,[7] there were 91,070 people, 35,049 households and 23,272 families residing in the county. The population density was 223 per square mile (86/km²). There were 37,745 housing units at an average density of 92 per square mile (36/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.96% White, 5.82% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.78% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 1.44% from two or more races. 1.77% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.4% were of German, 15.7% Irish, 12.5% English, 11.8% Italian, 7.8% American and 6.3% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000 [1]. Most of those claiming to be of "American" ancestry are actually of English descent and in upstate New York also in some cases of Dutch descent, but have family that has been in the country for so long, in many cases since the early seventeenth century that they choose to identify simply as "American".[8][9][10][11][12] 96.2% spoke English and 1.6% Spanish as their first language.

There were 35,049 households of which 31.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.80% were married couples living together, 12.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.60% were non-families. 27.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.97.

Age distribution was 24.40% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 28.30% from 25 to 44, 22.90% from 45 to 64, and 15.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 97.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.30 males.

The median household income was $36,415, and the median family income was $43,994. Males had a median income of $35,076 versus $24,215 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,264. About 9.10% of families and 13.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.40% of those under age 18 and 6.80% of those age 65 or over.

Government and politics

Before 1974, Chemung County was governed by a board of supervisors. On January 1, 1974, executive and legislative powers were split between a county executive and a 15-seat legislature.[13] All 15 members are elected from single member districts.

Chemung County Executives
Name Party Term
John H. Hazlett Republican January 1, 1974 – 1975
Morris E. Blostein Republican 1975–1979
Stanley Benjamin Republican 1979–1983
Robert G. Densberger Republican 1983–1991
G. Thomas Tranter, Jr. Republican 1991–2000
Thomas J. Santulli Republican 2000 –

In presidential elections Chemung County tends to vote Republican. It voted for John McCain a 1.23% win over Barack Obama. In 2012 Mitt Romney carried the county by 2.33%.

Cities, towns, villages, and other locations


Cities, villages and hamlets


Education in Chemung County is provided by various private and public institutions. High school students and adults have access to GST BOCES.[14] BOCES provides vocation-style training in a wide range of fields as well as adult education.

Public School Districts

Private Schools

  • Chemung Valley Montessori School[16]
  • Elmira Christian Academy[17]
  • Holy Family Middle School[18]
  • Saint Mary Our Mother School[19]
  • Notre Dame High School[20]
  • Twin Tiers Christian Academy[21]

Higher Education

Public libraries

Chemung County Library District

  • Steele Memorial Library
  • Horseheads Free Library
  • Big Flats Library
  • West Elmira Library
  • Van Etten Library
  • Chemung County Bookmobile[25]


See also


  • New York: Atlas of Historical County Boundaries; Compiled by Kathryn Ford Thorne and Edited by John H. Long.
  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 11, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ New York. Laws of New York.1836, 59th Session, Chapter 077, Section 1, Page 102.
  4. ^ New York. Laws of New York.1854, 77th Session, Chapter 386, Sections 1—4 & 6, Pages 913—915.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved October 11, 2013. 
  7. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  8. ^ Sharing the Dream: White Males in a Multicultural America By Dominic J. Pulera.
  9. ^ Reynolds Farley, 'The New Census Question about Ancestry: What Did It Tell Us?', Demography, Vol. 28, No. 3 (August 1991), pp. 414, 421.
  10. ^ Stanley Lieberson and Lawrence Santi, 'The Use of Nativity Data to Estimate Ethnic Characteristics and Patterns', Social Science Research, Vol. 14, No. 1 (1985), pp. 44-6.
  11. ^ Stanley Lieberson and Mary C. Waters, 'Ethnic Groups in Flux: The Changing Ethnic Responses of American Whites', Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 487, No. 79 (September 1986), pp. 82-86.
  12. ^ Mary C. Waters, Ethnic Options: Choosing Identities in America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), p. 36.
  14. ^ "About GST BOCES Bush Campus". GST BOCES. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Chemung County New York School Districts". Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "Chemung Valley Montessori School". Go Montessori. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "Elmira Christian Academy". Elmira Christian Academy. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "Welcome-Holy Family Junior High School (Elmira)". Diocese of Rochester. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  19. ^ "Welcome-St. Mary Our Mother School". Diocese of Rochester. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  20. ^ "Notre Dame High School". Notre Dame High School. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  21. ^ "Twin Tiers Christian Academy Home". Twin Tiers Christian Academy. Retrieved 7 Nov 2014. 
  22. ^ "Arnot Health". Arnot Health. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  23. ^ "Corning Community College Facilities". Corning Community College. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  24. ^ "Medical and Technical Career Training Programs - EBI Career Institute". Elmira Business Institute. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  25. ^ "Our Libraries". Chemung County Library District. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 

External links

  • Chemung County, New York site
  • Chemung County Chamber of Commerce
  • Early brief history of Chemung County
  • Elmira College
  • Chemung County Library District
  • Chemung County at DMOZ
  • Matthias Hollenback, Revolutionary War soldier, merchant in early Elmira, judge

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