Otsego County, New York
Learn more about Otsego County, New York
|Otsego County, New York|
| Image:Map of New York highlighting Otsego County.png|
Location in the state of New York
|Formed||February 16, 1791|
2,597 km² (1,003 mi²)
sq mi ( km²)
32 km² (12 mi²), 1.21%
Otsego County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. The 2003 population estimate was 62,196, a 2.9% increase from 1990. The county seat is Cooperstown. The name Otsego is from an Indian word meaning "place of the rock."
When counties were established in New York State in 1683, the present Otsego 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 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 British governor.
In 1789, Ontario County was split off from Montgomery. The actual area split off from Montgomery County was much larger than the present county, also including the present Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Steuben, Wyoming, Yates, and part of Schuyler and Wayne Counties.
 The formation of Otsego County
Otsego County was one of three counties split off from Montgomery (the other two being Herkimer, and Tioga County). Otsego county was officially established on February 16, 1791, with Cooperstown as its county seat, even though the village of Cherry Valley was at the time much larger. The original county consisted of three large townships:
Otsego and Cherry Valley together roughly covered the area of modern Otsego County, while Harpersfield covered the area south of the current county, as far as the Delaware River.
The original appointments to Otsego County government positions, made by Governor George Clinton included:
- Richard R. Smith, county sheriff, from the Otsego township,
- Jacob Morris, county clerk, from the Otsego township,
- William Cooper, chief judge, from the Otsego township,
- Jedediah Peck, associate justice from the Otsego township,
- Edward Griswold, associate justice from Cherry Valley
- Platt Townsend, associate justice from Harpersfield,
- Alexander Harper, commander of the county militia, from Harpersfield.
 The founding of new towns
By 1793, four towns had been added to the county by division of the existing towns:
- The Otsego township had been divided into the towns of:
- Harpersfield had been divided into the towns of:
 Areas of Otsego County used to form new counties
The area of Otesgo County was reduced by a number of subsequent splits.
Otsego County is in central New York State, to the west of Albany, southeast of Utica, and northeast of Binghamton. The county is considered by some to belong to the Southern Tier region of New York State.
 Adjacent Counties
- Herkimer County, New York - north
- Montgomery County, New York - northeast
- Schoharie County, New York - east
- Delaware County, New York - south
- Chenango County, New York - southwest
- Oneida County, New York - northwest
- Madison County, New York - northwest
The Village of Cooperstown (home town of James Fenimore Cooper), located at the south end of Otsego Lake, attracts many tourists to the Baseball Hall of Fame and the New York State Historical Association museums. The City of Oneonta is the home of Hartwick College, the State University of New York at Oneonta, and the Soccer Hall of Fame. The county as a whole remains relatively rural, with dairy farming an important industry.
As of the census² of 2000, there were 61,676 people, 23,291 households, and 15,115 families residing in the county. The population density was 24/km² (62/mi²). There were 28,481 housing units at an average density of 11/km² (28/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.80% White, 1.75% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.63% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.50% from other races, and 1.05% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.90% of the population.
There were 23,291 households out of which 29.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.10% were married couples living together, 9.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.10% were non-families. 27.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the county the population was spread out with 22.70% under the age of 18, 14.40% from 18 to 24, 24.30% from 25 to 44, 23.60% from 45 to 64, and 15.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 93.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $33,444, and the median income for a family was $41,110. Males had a median income of $29,988 versus $22,609 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,806. About 8.80% of families and 14.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.80% of those under age 18 and 8.20% of those age 65 or over.
 Towns, Villages and Cities
 External links
- Official Otsego County site
- Lyman H. Butterfield, Cooper's Inheritance: The Otsego Country and its Founders
- Early history of Otesego County
|Otsego County, New York|
|Villages||Cherry Valley | Gilbertsville | Laurens | Milford | Morris | Otego | Richfield Springs | Unadilla|
|Towns||Burlington | Butternuts | Cherry Valley | Decatur | Edmeston | Exeter | Hartwick | Laurens | Maryland | Middlefield | Milford | Morris | New Lisbon | Oneonta | Otego | Otsego | Pittsfield | Plainfield | Richfield | Roseboom | Springfield | Unadilla | Westford | Worcester|
|Communities/CDPs||Schenevus | West End|