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Towns and Villages of Monroe County

 


Monroe County at its Birth
Today there are 19 towns and 10 villages in Monroe County, as well as a number of hamlets. Monroe County itself was formed in 1821 from parts of Western New York originally in Ontario County. The two towns of Ontario County that became Monroe County were Northampton (west of the Genesee River) and Northfield (east of the Genesee). Northampton was formed in 1797, while Northfield was formed in 1796. In 1808 Northampton was divided into the four towns of Pulteney, Bayard, Fairfield and Northampton, while Northfield's name was changed to Boyle, then Smallwood.

The current towns of Monroe County were formed at various points in time. For example, Wheatland was created in 1821 when it separated from Caledonia in Livingston. Rush was formed in 1818 from Avon in Livingston County, while Mendon was formed from Bloomfield (Ontario County) in 1812.
Brighton (Town)

The first town meeting of Brighton was held in April 4, 1814 at the tavern owned by Orringh Stone. The town, which once stretched from the western banks of the Genesee River to Irondequoit Bay, and from Lake Ontario to the Henrietta town line, was named by William Billinghurst for his home in England. The town gradually became smaller beginning around 1823, when the City of Rochester began appropriating land. In 1905 the city annexed the Village of Brighton itself, located at the present-day site of Winton Road and East Avenue. The village had been incorporated in 1885. The village was moved to the Twelve Corners area, previously best known as the site of Rochester Brick and Tile Works. Sections of the Town of Brighton shown in the map collections include Allen Creek, Brighton Village, Brighton Centre, Rochester Brick and Tile Works and West Brighton.
Chili (Town)

The area of present-day Chili was originally part of Ontario County, then Genesee County. Chili was formed from a division of the Town of Riga in 1822. The first settler in Chili was Joseph Morgan, who came in 1792, built a house and began farming. Chili was possibly named after the country of Chile in South America. Sections of Chili shown in the map collections include Buckbee's Corner, Chili (later Chili Centre), Clifton North Chili and South Chili. Black Creek, an important tributary of the Genesee River, flows through the town.
Clarkson (Town)

Clarkson was formed from the Town of Murray in 1819. It was named after Revolutionary War general Matthew Clarkson, a large landowner who gave 100 acres to the town. Its first settler was probably Moody Freeman, who came circa 1803. Sections included in the map collections are East Clarkson and West Clarkson.
East Rochester (Village and Town)

East Rochester was originally named Despatch, after the first major company to locate in the area, the Merchants Despatch Transportation Company. It was part of the towns of Pittsford and Perinton. East Rochester was a pre-planned village, and saw much growth in the early part of the 20th century. It was renamed in 1907. In the 1970's and 80's it withdrew from the two towns, and is currently both a town and village.
Gates (Town)

The Town of Gates was originally known as the Town of Northampton in Ontario County. In 1813 it became known as Gates, named after General Horatio Gates, an officer of the American Revolution. Isaac Dean became the first settler around 1799. At several periods of time parts of the town were taken by Rochester. Sections of Gates included in the map collections are Genesee Rapids, Bethlem and Gates Centre.
Greece (Town)

The Town of Greece was established by the State Legislative on March 22, 1822. It was named for the people of Greece who had recently won their independence from the Turks. The first settler, in 1792, was William Hincher. Its most prominent settlement was Charlotte at the mouth of the Genesee River, named for Charlotte Troup, daughter of an early land agent. Charlotte eventually became part of the City of Rochester. Sections of Greece included in the map collections are Greece, North Greece, South Greece and West Greece.
Hamlin (Town)

Hamlin's first settlers were the Hascall or Haskell family, who came in 1806. Hamlin was originally part of Clarkson. It separated in 1852. At that time it was named Union. In 1861 it was renamed Hamlin in honor of Hannibal Hamlin, Abraham Lincoln's first Vice-President. Sections of Hamlin included in the map collections are Clarkson, Hamlin Centre, Kendall Mills, North Clarkson and North Hamlin.
Irondequoit (Town)

Irondequoit, originally a part of Brighton, held its first town meeting in 1839. Most of the original settlers lived in the area that later became known as Swaine's (or Swayne's) Corners. The name came from an Indian word meaning "bay". Maps of Irondequoit and Swaine's Corners are included in the map collections.
Mendon (Town)

Mendon, once a part of Bloomfield, Ontario County, was organized as a town in 1813. It was annexed when Monroe County was formed in 1821. Mendon was possibly named after a town in Massachusetts. Four hamlets grew in Mendon. Honeoye Falls (incorporated in 1838) was first known as West Mendon or Norton's Mills. Mendon was originally East Mendon. Mendon Centre, largely settled by Quakers, is in the northern section of town. Sibleyville, named for settler Colonel Timothy Sibley, is on the western side of the town.
Ogden (Town)

Ogden was formed from the southern part of Parma in 1817. It was named for William Ogden, a son of John Murray, The Village of Spencerport was named for Daniel Spencer. The Erie Canal is closely tied to the history of Ogden. Sections of Ogden included in the map collections are Adam's Basin, Ogden Centre, Spencerport and Town Pump.
Parma (Town)

Parma originally included the area of Ogden. The first settlers came to the area in 1796. They and other pioneers settled the areas of Parma Corners, Hick's Corners, Parma Centre, Hilton, Wright's Corners, North Parma, Hunt's Corners, Buritt's Corners, Knapp's Corners and more. Parma was named after the town and province in Italy. Sections of Parma included in the map collections are Parma Centre and Unionville (later Hilton).
Penfield (Town)

Penfield was purchased by Daniel Penfield, who bought Township 13, Range IV of the Phelps and Gorham tract. Penfield set up milling operations on Irondequoit Creek. The first settler, in 1791, was Jonathan Fassett. In 1813 the state created the Town from Townships 13 and 14. Areas included in the map collections are Lovett's Corner, East Penfield, Penfield's Four Corners area and Penfield Centre.
Perinton (Town)

The Town of Perinton was established in 1812. The early settlers of the town were William Walker and Glover Perrin. Area of settlement included in the map collections are Bushnell's Basin, Egypt and the Village of Fairport. The Village of Fairport was incorporated in 1867.
Pittsford (Town)

Pittsford began as the District of Northfield. In 1796 the district was organized as the Town of Northfield. The first permanent settlers were Israel and Simon Stone, in 1789. A series of divisions led to the Town of Pittsford being created in 1814. It was named in honor of the Vermont hometown of citizen Caleb Hopkins. Areas of Pittsford included in the map collections are Cartersville and the Village of Pittsford.
Riga (Town)

Riga was originally part of Northampton. Riga was officially organized in April 1809. Samuel Church and his brother Elihu were the first settlers of the area and the Village of Churchville was named after Samuel Church. Riga was possibly named after the then Russian city and the Gulf of Riga. Churchville, North Churchville and Riga Centre are included in the map collections.
Rush (Town)

The area was first settled by the Markham family in 1797. Rush was separated from the Town of Avon in 1818. Rush was named either after Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, or else after the rushes that grew along area waterways. Areas included in the map collections are East Rush, Hart's Corners (or North Rush), Rush and West Rush.
Sweden (Town)

The Town of Sweden was formed from a division of the Town of Murray in 1813 or 1814. At that time it also included Clarendon, of Orleans County. Sweden was probably named for the European country of that name. Areas represented in the map collections include the Village of Brockport, Sweden Centre and West Sweden. Brockport was incorporated in1829, and was named after landowner Hiel Brockway.
Webster (Town)

Webster was formed in 1840 when the area split off from the Town of Penfield. It was named in honor of Daniel Webster. The village of Webster was incorporated in 1905. Areas included in the map collections are the Village of Webster and West Webster.
Wheatland (Town)

Wheatland was formed from the Town of Caledonia (in Livingston County) in 1821 and was first known as Inverness. Later that year it was renamed Wheatland. Pioneers were Peter Sheffer and his sons; they came in 1789. Areas included in the map collections are Belcoda, Beulah, Garbuttsville, Mumford, Scottsville (incorporated in 1914) and Wheatland Centre.
Reference sources used:

HISTORIETTES OF THE TOWNS AND VILLAGES OF MONROE COUNTY, NEW YORK, Compiled by and for The Association of Official Historians of Monroe County, 1993.

HISTORY OF MONROE COUNTY, NEW YORK, by W.H. McIntosh, 1877.
   
· Click here for a digital version [pdf, 327 MB].
   
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LANDMARKS OF MONROE COUNTY, NEW YORK, by William F. Peck, 1895.

ROCHESTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY PUBLICATION FUND SERIES. Volume 5, pp. 49-77.

ROCHESTER ATLAS, published by MapWorks, Inc., 1999.