Sinclairville, New York

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Sinclairville, New York
Sinclairville is located in New York
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 42°15′44″N 79°15′43″W / 42.26222°N 79.26194°W / 42.26222; -79.26194Coordinates: 42°15′44″N 79°15′43″W / 42.26222°N 79.26194°W / 42.26222; -79.26194
Country United States
State New York
County Chautauqua
Towns Charlotte,
 • Total 1.6 sq mi (4.2 km2)
 • Land 1.6 sq mi (4.2 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,401 ft (427 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 588
 • Density 365/sq mi (140.8/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 14782
Area code(s) 716
FIPS code 36-67488
GNIS feature ID 0965303

Sinclairville is a village in Chautauqua County, New York, United States. The population was 588 at the 2010 census.[1] The village is named after Major Samuel Sinclear, its founder. Sinclairville is north of Jamestown and is on the border of the towns of Charlotte and Gerry.


The village was founded in 1809 after the American Revolutionary War by Major Samuel Sinclear as "Sinclearville". The area was previously inhabited for hundreds of years by the Seneca people of the Iroquois Confederacy (Haudenosaunee) who, as allies of the British during the war, were forced to cede most of their lands to the United States and New York state. Most of the Iroquois migrated to Upper Canada, where they were given lands by the Crown.

The village of Sinclairville was incorporated in 1887. Sinclairville calls itself "The Heart of Chautauqua County".

A Murder Never Solved[edit]

Approximately 100 years ago, the residents of Sinclairville awoke to horrifying news: a man had been murdered on the outskirts of town. Axel Lawson, a man of Swedish birth, approximately 30 years old was a well known peddler. He had boarded with a farmer, Grant Edson, who lived on Ellington Road approximately two and a half miles east of Sinclairville. Lawson bought produce from area farmers and sold it in Jamestown. He was known for making several trips a week to Jamestown. Axel Lawson was in Jamestown all day on Tuesday May 26, 1897. It was rumored he wanted to buy property in the Sinclairville area and went to Jamestown to withdrawal money from a bank for that purpose. Lawson left Jamestown at 10:30 PM. It was the last time anyone saw him alive. Those who know Axel Lawson said he would not have reached Sinclairville until 1 o'clock in the morning.

Grant Edson gave this account of the morning's events to a reporter for the Jamestown Evening Journal:

Lawson was a dealer in farm produce and made frequent trips between Sinclairville and Jamestown. He was at Jamestown yesterday. This morning at 5 o'clock, just after I got up to look at my stock, Lawson's horse came walking up to the place attached to the buggy which he used, but without a driver. On looking at the rig, I found the dash board splattered with blood. Thinking that some accident had happened, I immediately started toward Sinclairville, which is about two miles distant from my place. On reaching the village I found that Lawson had been there during the night and left some empty crocks which he had brought from Jamestown on two or three store porches. but so far as I could learn no one had seen him when he came into the village. There are two roads leading from my place to Sinclairville and I saw nothing of Lawson on my way down to the village. I started home by the other road and when about a quarter of a mile from the village I round Lawson's body lying beside the road. He was dead, with his face badly crushed and pockets of his clothing turned inside out. I immediately notified the undertaker and he at once informed Coroner Blood of Dunkirk and Distinct Attorney Green of Jamestown.

After a through investigation of the crime scene, the body was moved to the undertaking rooms of Taylor and Dingley. At 2 o'clock in the afternoon a post mortem examination was performed by Dr. Laban Hazeltine and Dr. William Marvin Bemus of Jamestown and Dr. C. S. Cleland of Sinclairville. Five dollars and one cent were found in Lawson's pocket. It was later learned that he had twenty dollars when he left Jamestown.

The sheriff and other law enforcement officials searched for evidence for several weeks. Their investigation centered around two men, Fred Romer and Fred Page. Blood was splashed over the dashboard of a buggy rented by the two men. They were also spotted in the vicinity at the time of the murder. However, lack of evidence led to their release after police questioning. Today the murder of Axel Lawson remains a mystery. It is the only murder ever recorded in Sinclariville History.

Notable people[edit]


Sinclairville is located in east-central Chautauqua County at 42°15′44″N 79°15′43″W / 42.26222°N 79.26194°W / 42.26222; -79.26194 (42.262227, -79.261975).[2] The center of the village and about two-thirds of its area are in the town of Charlotte, while the southern one-third is in the town of Gerry.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.2 km2), all of it land.[1]

Mill Creek, a tributary of Cassadaga Creek, runs through the town. Via Cassadaga Creek and then Conewango Creek, the village is part of the Allegheny River watershed.

The village is at the intersection of County Roads 64, 66, and 77. Jamestown on Chautauqua Lake is 12 miles (19 km) to the south, and Dunkirk on Lake Erie is 18 miles (29 km) to the north.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 540
1890 510 −5.6%
1900 577 13.1%
1910 542 −6.1%
1920 514 −5.2%
1930 589 14.6%
1940 585 −0.7%
1950 672 14.9%
1960 726 8.0%
1970 772 6.3%
1980 772 0.0%
1990 708 −8.3%
2000 665 −6.1%
2010 588 −11.6%
Est. 2015 565 [3] −3.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 665 people, 268 households, and 173 families residing in the village. The population density was 412.1 people per square mile (159.5/km²). There were 292 housing units at an average density of 180.9 per square mile (70.0/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 97.74% White, 0.15% African American, 0.45% Native American, 0.45% Asian, 0.15% from other races, and 1.05% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.90% of the population.

There were 268 households out of which 29.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the village, the population was spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.8 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $26,625, and the median income for a family was $32,955. Males had a median income of $34,167 versus $23,958 for females. The per capita income for the village was $14,415. About 21.2% of families and 22.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.7% of those under age 18 and 21.5% of those age 65 or over.

As of the census of 2010, there were 588 people (a decrease of 77 people or 11.58%) and 255 households (a decrease of 13 households or 4.85%) within the village. The population density was 367.5 people per square mile (140.0/km²). The racial makeup of the village was: 97.28% (572 people) white; 0.51% (3 people) Asian; 0.34% (2 people) Native American/Alaskan; 0.17% (1 person) other; and 1.70% (10 people) of two or more races. The Hispanic/Latino population of any race was 2.04% (12 people).

In the village, the population was spread out with 22.62% of the population under the age of 18, 3.23% of the population ages 18 and 19, 6.80% ages 20–24, 10.03% ages 25–34, 21.77% ages 35–49, 20.41% ages 50–64, and 15.14% of the population over the age of 65. Out of the population, 50.51% (297 people) were male and 49.49% (291 people) were female.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Sinclairville village, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved November 12, 2014. 
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  3. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "2010 US Census". Retrieved 14 September 2012. 

External links[edit]