Herkimer County Courthouse
Location within the U.S. state of New York
New York's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Nicholas Herkimer|
|Largest village||German Flatts|
|o Total||1,458 sq mi (3,780 km2)|
|o Land||1,411 sq mi (3,650 km2)|
|o Water||46 sq mi (120 km2) 3.2%|
|o Density||46/sq mi (18/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|Congressional districts||21st, 22nd|
Herkimer County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 64,519. Its county seat is Herkimer. The county was created in 1791 north of the Mohawk River out of part of Montgomery County. It is named after General Nicholas Herkimer, who died from battle wounds in 1777 after taking part in the Battle of Oriskany during the Revolutionary War.
Herkimer County is part of the Utica-Rome Metropolitan Statistical Area.
In 1791, Herkimer County was created as one of three counties split off from Montgomery (the other two being Otsego and Tioga counties) as New York State was developed after the American Revolutionary War. Its area was much larger than the present county, however, and was reduced subsequently as more counties were organized.
Part of Herkimer County was included in the Macomb's Purchase of 1791, during the wide-scale sale of public lands after the state forced Iroquois tribes allied with the British during the war to cede their territory. Suddenly the state was selling 5 million acres (20,000 km2) of land in upstate, central and western New York.
In 1798, portions of Herkimer and Tioga counties were taken to form Chenango County.
The rural economy was first based on general agriculture and then wheat, but after the opening of the Erie Canal, Herkimer farmers found that they could not compete with grain farmers to the west. By the mid-19th century, they had begun to specialize in dairy farming and created a cheese industry that supplied the New York City market, among others.
By the late 20th and early 21st centuries, some small farmers had begun to revive an artisan cheese industry and sustainable dairy farming here and in other parts of the central state. In 2008 New York had the third-largest milk production in the nation and was fourth-ranking in production of cheese, according to Cornell University. It has several inter-disciplinary programs related to the dairy industry.
Herkimer County is in central New York State, northwest of Albany, and east of Syracuse. The northern part of the county is in the Adirondack Park. The Mohawk River flows across the south part of the county.
As of the census of 2000, there were 64,427 people, 25,734 households, and 17,113 families residing in the county. The population density was 46 people per square mile (18/km2). There were 32,026 housing units at an average density of 23 per square mile (9/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.83% White, 0.51% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.18% from other races, and 0.84% from two or more races. 0.90% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 20.6% were of Italian, 16.3% German, 13.9% Irish, 9.3% English, 7.7% Polish, 6.2% American and 5.2% French ancestry according to Census 2000. 95.2% spoke English, 1.2% Spanish and 1.1% Italian as their first language.
There were 25,734 households, out of which 30.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.20% were married couples living together, 10.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.50% were non-families. 27.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.40% under the age of 18, 8.30% from 18 to 24, 26.60% from 25 to 44, 24.00% from 45 to 64, and 16.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 94.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,924, and the median income for a family was $40,570. Males had a median income of $29,908 versus $21,518 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,141. About 8.90% of families and 12.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.60% of those under age 18 and 10.40% of those age 65 or over.
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The Herkimer County Legislature consists of 17 members, each elected from single-member districts.
Herkimer County is one of the most politically conservative counties in New York. In 2010, it was one of the few counties outside of Western New York to vote for Carl Paladino over Andrew Cuomo in the gubernatorial election.
The county is currently located in New York's 21st congressional district and is represented by Republican Elise Stefanik. She was first elected in the 2014 midterm elections by a large margin of 21.7%. Then 30, she was the youngest woman in United States history to be elected to the House of Representatives. It is also located in New York's 22nd congressional district and is currently represented by Democrat Anthony Brindisi.
Herkimer County Community College is located in the Village of Herkimer.
Passenger rail service by Amtrak is available at Utica, nearby to the west of the county. Up to the latter 1950s, New York Central Railroad trains such as the North Shore Limited (New York-Chicago) made stops at Little Falls. Until 1965, the New York Central operated passenger trains through Thendara in the upper part of the county.