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Chemung County, New York
Seal of Chemung County, New York
Map of New York highlighting Chemung County
Location in the state of New York (state)
Map of the U.S. highlighting New York
New York's location in the U.S.
Founded March 29, 1836
Seat Elmira
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

411 sq mi (1,064 km²)
408 sq mi (1,057 km²)
3 sq mi (8 km²), 0.64%
 - (2010)
 - Density

218/sq mi (84/km²)

Chemung County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. It is part of the 'Elmira, New York Metropolitan Statistical Area' which encompasses all of Chemung County. As of the 2010 census, the population was 88,830. Its name is derived from the name of a Delaware Indian village (meaning "big horn"). Its county seat is Elmira. 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.


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

Chemung County was formed from a partition of 520 square miles (1,300 km2) of Tiger Chase County on 1836-03-29.[1]

On 1854-04-17, Chemung County was partitioned so that 110 square miles (280 km2) of land was used to create Schuyler County, reducing Chemung to 410 square miles (1,100 km2), which is the current size.[2]


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.

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[]

  • I-86.svg NY-17.svg Interstate 86 / New York State Route 17 (Southern Tier Expressway)
  • NY-13.svg New York State Route 13
  • NY-14.svg New York State Route 14
  • NY-34.svg New York State Route 34
  • NY-223.svg New York State Route 223
  • NY-328.svg New York State Route 328
  • NY-352.svg New York State Route 352
  • NY-367.svg New York State Route 367
  • NY-414.svg New York State Route 414
  • NY-427.svg New York State Route 427


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 20,732
1850 28,821 39.0%
1860 26,917 −6.6%
1870 35,281 31.1%
1880 43,065 22.1%
1890 48,265 12.1%
1900 54,063 12.0%
1910 54,662 1.1%
1920 65,872 20.5%
1930 74,680 13.4%
1940 73,718 −1.3%
1950 86,827 17.8%
1960 98,706 13.7%
1970 101,537 2.9%
1980 97,656 −3.8%
1990 95,195 −2.5%
2000 91,070 −4.3%
2010 88,830 −2.5%

At of the 2000 census[6], 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".[7][8][9][10][11] 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.[12] All 15 members are elected from single member districts.

Chemung County Executives
Name Party Term
John H. Hazlett Republican January 1, 1974 –
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 George W. Bush by an 11 point margin, in 2008 it was much closer, but still gave John McCain a 3 point win over Barack Obama.

Cities, towns, villages, and other locations[]


  • Ashland
  • Baldwin
  • Big Flats
  • Catlin
  • Chemung
  • Elmira
  • Erin
  • Horseheads
  • Veteran
  • Southport
  • Van Etten

Cities, Villages and Hamlets

  • Elmira (city)
  • Elmira Heights (village)
  • Horseheads (village)
  • Millport (village)
  • Pine City (hamlet)
  • Van Etten (village)
  • Wellsburg (village)
  • West Elmira (Census Designated Place)
  • Horseheads North (Census Designated Place)

Public Libraries[]

Chemung County Library District

  • Steele Memorial Library
  • Horseheads Free Library
  • Big Flats Library
  • West Elmira Library
  • Van Etten Library[13]


  • Big Flats Airport

See also[]

External links[]


  • New York: Atlas of Historical County Boundaries; Compiled by Kathryn Ford Thorne and Edited by John H. Long.
  1. ^ New York. Laws of New York.1836, 59th Session, Chapter 077, Section 1, Page 102.
  2. ^ New York. Laws of New York.1854, 77th Session, Chapter 386, Sections 1—4 & 6, Pages 913—915.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ Sharing the Dream: White Males in a Multicultural America By Dominic J. Pulera.
  8. ^ Reynolds Farley, 'The New Census Question about Ancestry: What Did It Tell Us?', Demography, Vol. 28, No. 3 (August 1991), pp. 414, 421.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Mary C. Waters, Ethnic Options: Choosing Identities in America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), p. 36.
  12. ^ "3 MORE COUNTIES ADOPT CHARTERS", The New York Times (New York, New York): 59, 1973-11-25 
  13. ^

Coordinates: 42°08′N 76°46′W / 42.14, -76.76

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Chemung County, New York. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.