Montgomery County, New York

Montgomery County, New York

Map of New York highlighting Montgomery County
Location in the U.S. state of New York
Map of the United States highlighting New York
New York's location in the U.S.
Founded March 12, 1772
Named for Richard Montgomery
Seat Fonda
Largest city Amsterdam
  Total 410 sq mi (1,062 km2)
  Land 403 sq mi (1,044 km2)
  Water 7.3 sq mi (19 km2), 1.8%
  (2010) 50,219
  Density 125/sq mi (48/km²)
Congressional districts 19th, 20th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Montgomery County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 50,219.[1] The county seat is Fonda.[2] The county was named in honor of Richard Montgomery, an American Revolutionary War general killed in 1775 at the Battle of Quebec. It was created in 1772 as Tryon County and in 1784 was renamed Montgomery County.[3]

Montgomery County comprises the Amsterdam, NY Micropolitan Statistical Area. The county borders the north and south banks of the Mohawk River.


In 1784, following end of the American Revolutionary War, the name of Tryon County was changed to Montgomery County. This change was to honor the general, Richard Montgomery, who had captured several places in Canada and died in 1775 attempting to capture the city of Quebec during the Revolutionary War. It replaced the name formerly honoring the last provincial governor of New York.

In 1789, Ontario County was split off from Montgomery. The area split off from Montgomery County was much larger than the present county, as it also included the present Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Steuben, Wyoming, Yates, and part of Schuyler and Wayne counties.

In 1791, Herkimer, Otsego, and Tioga counties were split off from Montgomery.

In 1802, portions of Clinton, Herkimer, and Montgomery counties were combined to form St. Lawrence County.

In 1816, Hamilton County was split off from Montgomery.

In 1838, Fulton County was split off from Montgomery.

In 2012, Montgomery County voters approved a charter, making it the 21st county in New York to do so. In 2013, Matthew L. Ossenfort was elected the first County Executive in the county's history. Ossenfort took office in 2014, the same year the charter went into effect. Under the terms of the charter, the Board of Supervisors was replaced by a nine-member County Legislature, with members elected from single-member districts. Thomas L. Quackenbush was elected the first Chairman of the new Legislature.

Congressional districts


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 410 square miles (1,100 km2), of which 403 square miles (1,040 km2) is land and 7.3 square miles (19 km2) (1.8%) is water.[4]

Montgomery County is located in the central part of the state, west of the city of Schenectady and northwest of Albany.

Adjacent counties

The Erie Canal runs through Montgomery County parallel to the Mohawk River, connecting to the Wood River to the west, which leads to Lake Ontario. Overall, the canal connected Great Lakes shipping with the Hudson River and the port of New York on the Atlantic Ocean. Several towns and villages developed along the canal, as it carried much trade and passenger traffic during its peak years. After the railroad was built through the state, along the same river plain, it superseded the canal, which was filled in some areas.

At the time of the canal's construction, Montgomery County was the only place where there was a break in the Appalachian Mountains. Called 'The Noses' because of canal construction, it became known as "the gateway to the West". In the mid-twentieth century, the NYS Thruway was constructed parallel to the former east-west routes of the canal and railroad. Today the Erie Canal and its lock system is used primarily for recreational boat use among locals and tourists.

Montgomery County is located in the heart of the state's Mohawk Valley region. Foothills of the Catskill Mountains dot the southern part of the county, while foothills of the Adirondack Mountains dot the north.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201549,642[5]−1.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2013[1]
Montgomery County population distribution by age and sex (2000 census)

As of the census[10] of 2010, there were 50,208 people, 20,073 households, and 13,131 families residing in the county. The population density was 123 people per square mile (47/km²). There were 22,522 housing units at an average density of 56 per square mile (21/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 92.87% (83.8% Non-Hispanic) (9.07 White Hispanic) White, 1.15% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 3.92% from other races, and 1.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.91% of the population. 19.0% were of Italian, 15.9% German, 13.5% Polish, 9.8% Puerto RIcan 9.1% Irish, 7.9% American and 6.4% English ancestry according to Census 2010. 86.8% spoke English, 9.3% Spanish,1.8% Italian and 1.1% Polish as their first language.

There were 20,038 households out of which 29.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.00% were married couples living together, 11.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.60% were non-families. 29.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.50% under the age of 18, 7.20% from 18 to 24, 26.30% from 25 to 44, 22.90% from 45 to 64, and 19.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 91.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,128, and the median income for a family was $40,688. Males had a median income of $31,818 versus $23,359 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,005. About 9.00% of families and 13.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.80% of those under age 18 and 9.89% of those age 65 or over.

Politics and government

Western Montgomery County lies in New York's 19th Congressional District, while the Eastern half lies in New York's 20th Congressional District, the latter of which is represented in Congress by Paul Tonko, a lifelong resident of Amsterdam. While Democrats have been elected to local office, Republican candidates have a +5 margin in Presidential elections.

In 2012, voters approved a county charter under New York's municipal home rule law which established an independent county executive to head its executive branch and replacing the board of supervisors with a nine seat county legislature.[11] Elections were held the next year and the county began operating under this charter on January 1, 2014.

County executives
Name Party Term
Matthew L. Ossenfort Republican January 1, 2014 – present





Census-designated place


Notable people

See also


  1. 1 2 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. "New York: Individual County Chronologies". New York Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2008. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  4. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  5. "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  6. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  7. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  8. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  9. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  10. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  11. "Montgomery County Charter Commission". Fonda, New York: Montgomery County Charter Commission.

Coordinates: 42°55′N 74°26′W / 42.91°N 74.44°W / 42.91; -74.44

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