Webster, New York

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Coordinates: 43°12′32″N 77°27′34″W / 43.20889°N 77.45944°W / 43.20889; -77.45944
Webster
Town
Motto: Where Life Is Worth Living
Country United States
State New York
County Monroe
Elevation 442 ft (134.7 m)
Coordinates 43°12′32″N 77°27′34″W / 43.20889°N 77.45944°W / 43.20889; -77.45944
Area 35.5 sq mi (91.9 km2)
 - land 34.0 sq mi (88 km2)
 - water 1.5 sq mi (4 km2), 4.23%
Population 42,641 (2010)
Density 1,271 / sq mi (490.7358435 / km2)
Established 1840
Town Supervisor Ronald W. Nesbitt (R; 2006-present)
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 14580
Area code 585
Location of Webster in New York
Location of New York in the United States
Website: www.ci.webster.ny.us

Webster is a town in the northeast corner of Monroe County, New York, United States. The town is named after orator and statesman Daniel Webster. The population was 42,641 at the 2010 census. The town's motto is "Where Life Is Worth Living."[1] The town contains a village also named Webster.

Geography[edit]

The town of Webster is bordered on the north by Lake Ontario, on the east by Wayne County, on the west by Irondequoit Bay, and on the south by the Town of Penfield.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 35.5 square miles (91.9 km2), of which 34.0 square miles (88.2 km2) is land and 1.5 square miles (3.8 km2) (4.09%) is water.

Webster Park covers 550 acres of the town's land along the Lake Ontario waterfront.[2]

Demographics[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census,[3] there were 37,926 people, 14,750 households, and 10,679 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,114.2 people per square mile (430.2/km2). There were 15,218 housing units at an average density of 447.1 per square mile (172.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 94.99% White, 1.10% Black or African American, 0.10% Native American, 1.95% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.

Among the 14,750 households, 34.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.5% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.6% were non-families. 23.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the town the population was spread out with 26.1% under the age of 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 25.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $58,746, and the median income for a family was $69,629. Males had a median income of $50,263 versus $33,197 for females. The per capita income for the town was $26,791. About 2.5% of families and 3.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.3% of those under age 18 and 4.9% of those age 65 or over.

History[edit]

On July 25, 1837, orator and statesman Daniel Webster spoke to a gathering of Whigs in nearby Rochester about the economy. Whig farmers from North Penfield, who were part of Webster's audience, were so impressed by his eloquence that when they petitioned the state legislature for separate town status from Penfield, they chose to name it in his honor. On February 6, 1840, the northern part of Penfield was officially established as the town of Webster with a population of 2,235.[4] Webster has its own museum dedicated to sharing the town's history with its citizens. The museum has many permanent historical displays, and also features changing displays for different times of the year.

Education[edit]

Webster's public schools are under the direction of the Webster Central School District (K-12). While all of its middle schools (Spry, Willink) and high schools (Thomas, Schroeder) are situated in the Town of Webster, only five of its seven elementary schools (DeWitt Road, Klem North, Klem South, Schlegel Road, State Road) are.

Additionally, there are several privately run schools:

  • Hillside Children's Center Halpern Education Center (grades 6–12), secular
  • Lakeside Alpha (grades 3–12), Christian Brethren
  • Rochester Christian School (grades pre-K–8), Calvinist
  • St. Rita School (grades pre-K–6), operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester
  • Webster Christian School (grades pre-K–12), non-denominational Christian
  • Webster Early Learning Center (grades pre-K–1), secular
  • Webster Montessori School (elementary), ¾ mile south of the town line in Penfield, serves students in the Webster school district

Sports community[edit]

On May 15, 2005, Webster was awarded the title of "Number 1 Sportstown in New York" by Sports Illustrated. SI Publisher David Morris said that "Webster's commitment to finding creative and resourceful ways to enhance sports for the well-being of its community fits perfectly with the principles of our Sportstown program, as well as the overall mission of our anniversary celebration."

The Webster Schroeder High School football team has won three New York State Championships in Class AA (a designation based on number of students). At one point, they had a winning streak of 31 games. In the USA Today High School football Super 25, Schroeder was, at one time, ranked #21 in the nation. At least five Webster players have gone on to play Division 1 college football at Syracuse, Michigan and Colgate, among others.

In March, 2008, the Webster Thomas High School hockey team, in only its sixth year of competition, won the New York State Championship in Division II, beating Thousand Islands by a score of 5-2. The Webster Thomas soccer team also has won the sectional title 3 years in a row and went on to the state finals in 2007. The soccer team has produced two division 1 soccer athletes both attending Colgate University. The men's lacrosse team won a sectional title in 2009 and has produced many division 1 athletes under Coach Rob Ruller. The women's Lacrosse team has also won a section V title in 2007.

Webster's sports facilities include two lighted stadiums, a hockey/soccer complex, an indoor track and an Olympic-size indoor pool.

Webster has several sports clubs including the Webster Cyclones (youth hockey), Webster Lacrosse Club, and Webster Soccer Association. The annual Webster Lakefront Classic, run by the Webster Soccer Association, is one of the largest soccer tournaments in the Greater Rochester area and takes place annually on Father's Day weekend.

Webster is also home to a summer collegiate wood bat team, the Lake Ontario Ridgemen. The Ridgemen play in the New York Collegiate Baseball League. Their home games are played at Basket Road Stadium. The Ridgemen are run by an organization called Athletes in Action.

Webster town hall

Public safety[edit]

The Webster Police Department protects the citizens of Webster as a New York State Law Enforcement Accreditation Council agency. Gerald Pickering is the current Chief of the Department. It consists of thirty two sworn officers and various other employees per the staff directory listed on the official town website.

Fire protection is covered by three agencies. In the west side of town, the West Webster Fire Department provides fire protection. It is an all volunteer department. Fire stations are located at Gravel, Backus, and Plank Roads.

The central and eastern parts of town, including the village, are protected by the Webster Volunteer Fire Department. It is an all volunteer department as it has been for over one hundred years. Fire stations located on South Avenue in the village and Plank Road in Penfield.

The easternmost portion of the town between Salt and County Line Roads is protected by the Union Hill Volunteer Fire Department, located at the border of Webster and Ontario.

Ambulance service is provided by West Webster in the west, and Union Hill in the east. North East Quadrant Advanced Life Support Inc. provides ALS care for all patients in need. Webster, West Webster, and Union Hill provide EMS separate from ambulance depending on the severity of the call.

Homicides[edit]

On December 7, 2011, a 15-year-old boy poured gasoline over his house in Webster and set it on fire killing his father and two brothers (16 and 12 years old) as his mother and teenage sister escaped with injuries. He is being tried as an adult and is represented by high profile criminal defense attorney James Nobles.

During the predawn hours of December 24, 2012, 62-year-old William Spengler ambushed volunteer firefighters from the West Webster Fire Department, shooting and killing two and seriously wounding two others as they arrived to put out a car fire on Lake Road. Investigators later determined the fire was started by Spengler. Ultimately seven homes were destroyed because fire fighters were unable to extinguish the flames until the scene was made safe by law enforcement. Volunteer fire fighters Mike Chiapperini (also a lieutenant with the Webster Police Department) and Tomasz Kaczowka died at the scene. Theodore Scardino and Joseph Hofstetter remained hospitalized with serious injuries. John Ritter, a policeman from nearby Greece, New York, happened to be in the area, and was injured by shrapnel.

Spengler had armed himself with three guns: a .38-caliber revolver, a 12-gauge shotgun, and a .223-caliber Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle outfitted with a flash suppressor.[5][6] Spengler had served 17 years in jail for manslaughter, having been convicted in 1981 of beating his 92-year-old grandmother to death with a hammer in 1980. He shot and killed himself as a SWAT team approached.[7] Later, human remains believed to be those of his elder sister, with whom he had feuded, were found in his house.[8] On December 28, 2012, Dawn Nguyen, 24, of Rochester, New York, was arrested and charged in connection with furnishing Spengler with certain weapons in his arsenal which were used in the ambush. She faces a state charge of filing a falsified business record.[9] The New York State Senate subsequently included a "Webster provision" in a gun control law passed in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, mandating life without parole for murderers of emergency personnel.[10]

Notable people[edit]

  • Grant Catalino - lacrosse player (University of Maryland); Denver MLL draft pick

Communities and locations in the Town of Webster[edit]

  • Avalon Estates – A neighborhood development located off Phillips Rd.
  • Forest Lawn – A neighborhood in the northwest part of the town, on the shore of Lake Ontario.
  • Glen Edith – A location on the west side of the town, on the shore of Irondequoit Bay.
  • Oakmonte – A large neighborhood in the central-southern part of the town consisting of private homes, apartments, and townhomes.
  • West Webster – A hamlet at the intersection of Ridge and Gravel Road.

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Dunn, Esther. Webster Through the Years. Webster, NY: Webster Town Board, 1971.

External links[edit]