Amherst, New York

Coordinates: 42°58′42″N 78°48′00″W / 42.97833°N 78.80000°W / 42.97833; -78.80000
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Town of Amherst
Amherst Municipal Building
Amherst Municipal Building
Flag of Amherst
Location of Amherst in Erie County, New York (left) and of Erie County in New York state (right)
Location of Amherst in Erie County, New York (left) and of Erie County in New York state (right)
Location of New York in the United States
Location of New York in the United States
Amherst is located in New York
Amherst is located in the United States
Amherst is located in North America
Coordinates: 42°58′42″N 78°48′00″W / 42.97833°N 78.80000°W / 42.97833; -78.80000
Country United States
State New York
IncorporatedApril 10, 1818
Named forJeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst
 • TypeTown council
 • SupervisorBrian Kulpa (D)
 • Deputy SupervisorDeborah Bruch Bucki (D)
 • Councilmembers
  • Jacqualine G. Berger (D)
  • Shawn Lavin (D)
  • Michael Szukala (D)
 • ClerkFrancina J. Spoth
 • Total53.58 sq mi (138.78 km2)
 • Land53.20 sq mi (137.78 km2)
 • Water0.39 sq mi (1.00 km2)  0.73%
594 ft (181 m)
 • Total129,595 Increase
 • Estimate 
 • Density2,364.58/sq mi (912.96/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
14068, 14221, 14226, 14228, 14231, 14260, 14261
Area code716
FIPS code36-029-02000

Amherst (/ˈæmhərst/ [3]) is a town in Erie County, New York, United States. It is a suburb of Buffalo. As of 2020, the town had a total population of 129,595.[4] This represents an increase from 122,366 as reported in the 2010 census.[5] It is the 14th most populated City/Town in New York.

The second-largest in area and the most populous suburb of Buffalo, the town of Amherst encompasses the village of Williamsville as well as the hamlets of Eggertsville, Getzville, Snyder, Swormville, and East Amherst. The town is in the northern part of Erie County and borders a section of the Erie Canal.

Amherst is home to the north campus of the University at Buffalo, the graduate campus of Medaille College, a satellite campus of Bryant & Stratton College, and Daemen College.


Amherst was created by the State of New York on April 10, 1818 from part of the town of Buffalo (later the city of Buffalo), which itself had previously been created from the town of Clarence. Amherst was named after Lord Jeffrey Amherst, commander-in-chief of the British army in North America from 1758 to 1763. Timothy S. Hopkins was elected the first supervisor of the town in 1819. Part of Amherst was later separated to form the town of Cheektowaga on March 22, 1839.[6]

The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 spurred Amherst's growth, bringing with it with new settlers and increased commerce. German immigrants settled in the northern part of the town as farmers, attracted by the fertile land in the area. The town's water resources encouraged the development of grist mills, saw mills, and other factories along Ellicott Creek.[7] Several communities and hamlets started to develop around this time, such as Williamsville (1810s), Eggertsville and Snyder (1830s), East Amherst and Swormville (1850s), and Getzville (1860s).


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 53.6 square miles (138.8 km2), of which 53.2 square miles (137.8 km2) is land and 0.39 square miles (1.0 km2), or 0.73%, is water.[8]

Much of Amherst was originally floodplain and marshland, portions of which have been drained in recent years to facilitate development of new homes and businesses.[citation needed] The central and southern parts of the town are heavily suburbanized. Despite this development, the hamlets of Eggertsville and Snyder and the village of Williamsville have managed to retain much of their original character. The northern part of the town is still relatively undeveloped, with the prominent exception of the portions along Niagara Falls Boulevard (U.S. Route 62) bordering the towns of Tonawanda and Wheatfield. Some sections of northern and eastern Amherst have experienced problems with collapsing residential foundations as a result of unstable soil conditions. A few active farms may still be found in the northern part of the town.[citation needed]

Amherst is bordered on the north by Tonawanda Creek and Niagara County. Ellicott Creek flows through the town.

Adjacent cities and towns[edit]


Areas within Amherst are referred to by the former post office station names and are not legally incorporated. During the 1990s, many of these regional post offices were closed and consolidated into the central Amherst 14226 post office on Bailey Avenue, leaving only a Williamsville (14221) post office on Sheridan Drive, a Getzville (14068) post office on Millersport Highway, and an East Amherst (14051) post office on Transit Road. Mailing addresses to areas within the town are Amherst, East Amherst, Eggertsville, Getzville, Snyder, and Williamsville. These postal districts are still recognized by the post office and widely referred to by citizens.

Some of these mailing addresses overlap: some areas of Clarence directly east of Transit Road have Williamsville addresses, although for the purposes of taxes, schools and community resources, these people are residents of the Town of Clarence.

The areas listed below are governed and run by the Town of Amherst except for the Village of Williamsville, an independent political entity.

  • Eggertsville -- a hamlet in the southwest part of the town, bordering on Buffalo and centered around Eggert Road. Daemen College is located on Main Street (Route 5). The community is named after early postmaster Christian Eggert.
  • Getzville -- a location near the center of the town adjacent to Campbell Boulevard (Route 270) and Dodge Road. The name comes from early resident Joseph Getz.
  • Audubon - A location in the center of the town situated around John James Audubon Parkway. The town police, courthouse, and main library are located here.
  • East Amherst (formerly Transit Station) -- An unincorporated community, or hamlet, in the eastern part of the town, shared with the Town of Clarence.
  • North Bailey -- A location at the junction of Bailey Avenue and Maple Road.
  • Snyder (originally Snyderville after postmaster Michael Snyder) -- A suburban community located between Eggertsville and the village of Williamsville.
  • Swormville - A hamlet in the eastern part of the town, shared with the Town of Clarence. Named for Adam Schworm, prominent landowner and businessman.
  • Williamsville - an incorporated village within Amherst, located in the southern part of the town.


Average high temperatures from May through October range from 60 to 81 degrees. Average high temperatures from November through March range from 31 to 47 degrees.[9]


Historical population
Historical Population Figures [10][11]

As of the census of 2010, there were 122,366 people, 48,894 households, and 29,840 families residing in the town. There were 51,179 housing units. The racial makeup of the town was 83.8% White, 5.7% African American, 0.2% Native American, 7.9% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.3% of the population.[12]

There were 48,894 households, out of which 26.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.4% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.0% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 31.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.98.[12]

The median income for a household in the town was $55,427, and the median income for a family was $68,951. Males had a median income of $51,667 versus $32,030 for females. The per capita income for the town was $27,647. About 4.2% of families and 6.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.6% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.[12]

51.7% of residents (aged 25 and over) have obtained a Bachelor's degree or higher, including 26.7% with a Graduate or professional degree.[12][13]


In July 2010, CNNMoney ranked Amherst 42nd in a list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in America.[14] In 2012, ranked Amherst 50th.[15] In 2011 and 2012, Amherst was selected as one of America's 100 Best Communities for Young People by America's Promise Alliance.[16]

National Fuel and Life Storage are headquarted in Williamsville.

Arts and culture[edit]

Many festivals are celebrated in Amherst throughout the year. The town is home to the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village.

The Town of Amherst Archival Research Center is located in the Harlem Road Community Center, 4255 Harlem Road, Amherst NY 14226 (previously housed in the Former Reformed Mennonite Church[17] which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.[18])


University at Buffalo Stadium

Amherst is home to the University at Buffalo Stadium, Alumni Arena, and Amherst Audubon Field, all utilized by the University at Buffalo Buffalo Bulls.

The Northtown Center is the town's ice hockey arena. The arena is the home of the Buffalo Beauts of the National Women's Hockey League, the University at Buffalo Bulls men's ice hockey team, and the Buffalo Wings, a professional inline hockey team competing in Major League Roller Hockey.


Crime and public safety[edit]

Town of Amherst police Ford Taurus

As of 2014, the Amherst Police Department employed 154 officers and 35 full and part-time civilian employees including the Chief, Assistant Chief, and eight captains.[19]

Amherst has been ranked as the "Safest City in America" 1996–1998, 2000–2003, and 2010.[citation needed] In many other years it ranked in the top 5. The ranking is based on annual reports by the FBI, including crime statistics in six categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and auto theft.

In 2006, Amherst was ranked the second safest city in the United States, after Brick Township, New Jersey.[20] In 2011, it ranked 6th safest out of 400 cities.[21] Most recently in 2014, Amherst was ranked the #1 Safest City in America with a population between 100,000 and 500,000.[22]


Higher education[edit]

There are five separate higher educational institutions with campuses in the town.

All university programs apart from architecture, planning, nursing, dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, and public health reside here.

Public schools[edit]

There are three separate public school districts within the town.

The largest district and comprises the eastern half of the town along with portions of the Town of Clarence. The district is ranked #1 out of 97 public school systems in Western New York.[23] Williamsville high schools were awarded Silver rankings according to 2013 U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools, and rank among the top 2-3% out of over 21,000 high schools nationally.[24]
Covering the southwestern portion of the town with its core in the Eggertsville and Snyder areas.
Covering the northwestern portion of the town along with portions of the Town of Tonawanda with its core in West Amherst and Getzville.[25]


The Amherst Bee installed Amherst's first telephone line.[26]

Amherst is served by the Amherst Bee newspaper. In 1969 Paul Kurtz founded the publishing house Prometheus Books in Amherst.


  • Interstate 90 (New York State Thruway) passes through the southern part of town.
  • Interstate 290 (Youngmann Memorial Highway) travels through the town diagonally from I-90 to US 62 and beyond to Tonawanda
  • Interstate 990 (Lockport Expressway), located entirely within the Town of Amherst, runs in a roughly north–south direction through the southwest and central part of Amherst until it ends at Millersport Highway (NY 263).
  • U.S. Route 62 marks the western town line as Niagara Falls Boulevard as the route heads north, then as Sheridan Drive then Bailey Avenue heading south out of town.
  • New York State Route 5 (Main Street) passes through the town.
  • New York State Route 78 (Transit Road) marks the eastern town line.
  • New York State Route 240 (Harlem Road) is a north–south road from Sheridan Drive (NY 324) south heading out of town.
  • New York State Route 263 (Grover Cleveland Highway, Millersport Highway) is a north–south road from Bailey Avenue (US 62) to Transit Road. (NY 78).
  • New York State Route 270 (Campbell Boulevard) is a north–south road from Millersport Highway (NY 263) north out of town.
  • New York State Route 277 (North Forest Road, Union Road) is a north–south road from Sheridan Drive (NY 324) south out of town.
  • New York State Route 324 (Sheridan Drive) is an east–west road through the town from Niagara Falls Boulevard (US 62) east out of town.

Millard Filmore Suburban Hospital is located in the center of town on Maple Road.[27]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  2. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  3. ^ "Amherst". Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  4. ^ United States Census Bureau, 2020 Census Report, Amherst, Erie County, New York
  5. ^ "US Census Bureau 2010" (PDF). Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  6. ^ Amherst Museum (1997). "A brief history of the Town of Amherst" (PDF). Town of Amherst. Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  7. ^ ""History of the town of Amherst" (1818 - 1965)".
  8. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Amherst town, Erie County, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved February 22, 2016.[dead link]
  9. ^ "Weatherbase Weather Data". Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  10. ^ " Fourteenth census of the United States, 1920, 1910, 1900" Department of Commerce and Labor. (1921), page 532. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  11. ^ "Decade of change - population and housing trends" (PDF). Town of Amherst. 2003. p. 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 24, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  12. ^ a b c d "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". U.S. Census. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
  14. ^ "Best Places to Live 2010". CNNMoney. August 2010. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  15. ^ "CNN Money Best Places to Live 2012". Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  16. ^ "America's Promise Alliance 100 Best Communities for Young people". Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  17. ^ Claire L. Ross (November 2002). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Former Reformed Mennonite Church". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Archived from the original on June 10, 2012. Retrieved July 17, 2009. See also: "Accompanying four photos". Archived from the original on June 10, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
  18. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  19. ^ "Town of Amherst, NY Official Website". Archived from the original on November 24, 2015. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  20. ^ City Crime Rankings by Population Group Archived 2007-01-05 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "CQ Press City Crime Rankings: 2010-2011". Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  22. ^ "Safest and Most Dangerous U.S. Cities, 2014".
  23. ^ Thomas, Scott. "2012 school district rankings for Western New York". Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  24. ^ "2013 U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools". Retrieved April 30, 2013.
  25. ^ "Town of Amherst Schools and Education". Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  26. ^ Grande, Joseph A. (September 1, 2004). Amherst. Arcadia Publishing. p. 39. ISBN 9781439615942.
  27. ^ "Town of Amherst website". Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  28. ^ "Anita Alvarez". Tokyo 2020. Archived from the original on July 30, 2021. Retrieved June 30, 2022.

External links[edit]