Amherst is a town in Erie
As of the 2000 census, the town had a total
population of 116,510. This represents an increase from the 1990
census figure of 111,711. The town is named for Jeffrey Amherst
, a British Army officer of
the colonial period who is famous for inventing biological
largest and most populous suburb of Buffalo, New
York, the Town of Amherst encompasses
most of the Village of Williamsville and the hamlets of Eggertsville, Getzville,
The town is in the northern part of the
county and borders a small section of the Erie Canal
Amherst is home of the Amherst campus of the State University of New York
Buffalo, the graduate campus of Medaille College
, a campus of Bryant and
Stratton College, and Daemen College
Millard Filmore Suburban Hospital is located in the center of town
on Maple Road.
The Town of Amherst was created by the State of New York on April
10, 1818. Amherst was formed from part of the Town of
Buffalo (later the City of Buffalo), which had previously been
created from the Town of Clarence.
Timothy S. Hopkins was elected the first
Supervisor of the Town of Amherst in 1819. Part of Amherst was
later used to form the Town of Cheektowaga in 1839.
According to the United
States Census Bureau
, the town has a total area of
53.5 square miles (138.6 kmÂ²), of which, 53.2 square
miles (137.9 kmÂ²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles
(0.7 kmÂ²) of it (0.50%) is water.
Much of Amherst was originally floodplain and marshland, much of
which has been drained in recent years to facilitate development of
new homes and businesses. The central and southern parts of the town
are heavily suburbanized, however the southernmost hamlets
(Eggertsville, 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 (US 62)
bordering the Town of Tonawanda and the Town of Wheatfield, New
Some sections of northern and eastern
Amherst have experienced problems with residential foundations as a
result of unstable soil conditions. A few active farms
may still be found in the northern part of the
bordered on the north by Tonawanda Creek and Niagara County, New York. Ellicott Creek
flows through the town.
Adjacent Cities & Towns
Major Highways in the Town of Amherst
Route 62, marks the west town line as
Niagara Falls Blvd. as the route heads north, then as Sheridan
Drive then Bailey Avenue heading south out of town.
- New York State Route 324 (Sheridan
Dr.), East-West Highway through the town from Niagara Falls Blvd.
(US 62) to Transit Rd. (NY 78)
Amherst Municipal Building
As of the census
of 2000, there were 116,510
people, 45,076 households, and 29,885 families residing in the
town. The population density
2,188.1 people per square mile (844.8/kmÂ²). There were 46,803
housing units at an average density of 879.0/sq mi
(339.4/kmÂ²). The racial makeup of the town was 89.28% White
, 3.90% African American
, 0.02% Pacific Islander
, 0.37% from
, and 1.09%
from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 1.36% of the
There were 45,076 households out of which 29.7% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 55.6% were married couples
living together, 8.3% had a female
householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families.
28.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.4% 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 3.01.
In the town the population was spread out with 22.2% under the age
of 18, 10.8% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to
64, and 17.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was
40 years. For every 100 females there were 89.3 males. For every
100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.2 males.
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.
47.4% of residents (aged 25 and over) have obtained a Bachelor's degree
or higher, including
22.6% with a Graduate or professional degree.
As of the 2005-2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S.
Census Bureau, White Americans made up 87.1% of Amherst's
population; of which 84.9% were non-Hispanic whites. Blacks or
African Americans made up 5.3% of Amherst's population; of which
5.0% were non-Hispanic blacks. American Indians made up 0.3% of the
city's population; of which 0.0% were non-Hispanic. Asian Americans
made up 7.6% of the city's population; of which 7.2% were
non-Hispanic. Pacific Islander Americans made up less than 0.1% of
the city's population. Individuals from some other race made up
0.7% of the city's population. Individuals from two or more races
made up 1.0% of the city's population; of which 0.9% were
non-Hispanic. In addition, Hispanics and Latinos made up 1.8% of
Amherst is among the top ten American cities (with a population
greater than 50,000) in average yearly snowfall making the region a
winter destination, particularly the ski slopes south of the
Communities and locations
The Amherst Bee
Amherst's first telephone line.
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 of Amherst 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
Communities and locations in the Town of Amherst
The areas listed below are governed by the Town of Amherst. The
Village of Williamsville also has its own Mayor and board.
- 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) â€“ An
unincorporated community or hamlet in
the eastern part of the town, shared with the Town of
Clarence. The East Amherst area is defined by the
14051 zip code with a post office located on Transit Road. Many of
the houses were built between 1960-1980.
- Eggertsville is a suburban community in
the southwest part of the town, bordering on Buffalo centered
around Eggert Road. The community is named after early
postmaster Christian Eggert. Many of the houses in Eggertsville
were built between 1900-1930.
- Getzville - A location near the center of the town by
Campbell Boulevard (Route
270) and Dodge Road. The name comes from early resident
Joseph Getz. The Getzville post office, located on Millersport Highway in the 14068
zip code, the Getzville Fire District, was originally a stop on the
Peanut Line railroad.
- Great Baehre Swamp State
Wetlands â€“ A conservation area with trails for nature viewing.
- North Bailey â€“ A location near the junction of Bailey Avenue and
Maple Road. The main post office for Amherst is located in
North Bailey in the 14226 zip code.
(originally Snyderville after postmaster Michael
Snyder) â€“ A suburban community located between Eggertsville and the
Village of Williamsville. The Snyder post office was
formerly located at Main and Chateau Terrace and was closed in the
1990s. Snyder is served by the Snyder fire department. Daemen College is located on Main Street
(NY Route 5).
- Swormville - A hamlet
in the eastern part of the town, shared with the Town of
Clarence. Named for Adam Schworm, prominent landowner and
businessman. Once also known as "Swormsville".
- West Amherst - A location in the northwestern
part of the town bordered by Niagara Falls Boulevard (US 62) to the west, Sweet Home Road to the east
and Maple Road to the south. Principally the section of the town
which comprises the ZIP code 14228. However, it should be noted
that "West Amherst" is not an acceptable locality name per States Postal Service mailing regulations.
- Williamsville - The incorporated Village of
Williamsville is mostly within the incorporated Town of Amherst,
located in the south central part of the town. Business and
residential addresses having ZIP code 14221 are often referred to
as being in Williamsville. However, it should be noted that this zip
code extends beyond the Village of Williamsville and includes a
large portion of the Town of Amherst and to a lesser extent
portions of the towns of Clarence and Lancaster.
There are four institutions of higher education located in Amherst.
The North Campus of the University
(housing all of the University programs apart from
architecture, planning, nursing, dentistry, and medicine), Daemen College
, and one of the three campuses
of Erie Community College
located there. Bryant and
offers two year programs. Both Medaille College and Canisius
College have satellite campus classrooms in
There are four separate public school districts within the town.
Central School District is the largest and comprises the
eastern half of the town along with portions of the Town of
A small portion of Amherst residents in the
southeast corner of the town are in the Clarence Central School
District. The Amherst
Central School District is the southwestern portion of the town with its
core in the Eggertsville and Snyder areas. The Sweet Home Central School
District is the northwestern portion of the town along with
portions of the Town of Tonawanda with its core in West Amherst and
- Amherst Museum is a historic
house museum dedicated to preserving and communicating the history
of the Town of Amherst. The Museum is an official department of the
Town of Amherst.
- Amherst Saxophone Quartet is affiliated with the SUNY Buffalo
Department of Music
- Amherst Symphony, founded in 1946. Volunteer amateur and
professional musicians of all ages; performs free concerts
throughout the year at various locations.
- Cabaret in the Square in Snyder offers musicals, concerts,
plays and dinner-theater packages.
- Central Station Dinner Theater in Williamsville
- Katherine Cornell Theatre at the University of Buffalo Amherst
campus seats 400 in the round and is used by speakers, for
educational programs and stage productions.
- Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo (north branch -
Benderson Family Building).
- Islamic Society of Niagara Frontier in Getzville.
- July â€“ Fourth of July Fireworks â€“ at the SUNY Buffalo Amherst Campus
- July â€“ Old Home Days â€“ four-day festival at Island Park
- August â€“ Savor the Flavor, food samplings from local
restaurants â€“ Island Park
- August â€“ Scottish Festival featuring Highland games, dancers
and entertainment â€“ Amherst
- September â€“ Harvest Festival and Craft Show â€“ Amherst Museum
Amherst Police patrol car
In 1819, Timothy S. Hopkins was elected the first supervisor for
the Town of Amherst. He appointed two Constables, Joseph Hershey
and Palmer Cleveland, These two men patrolled the present
boundaries of Amherst as well as portions of Cheektowaga, By 1883,
the number of the Town Constables had been increased to five.The
Village of Williamsville was served by Town Constables until it
wasincorporated in 1850. Early records show that no Constables
appeared on the election ballots until late in the 19th century.
Then, when speeders became a problem in 1918, the Village Trustees
hired two men, W. Carlton Baker and Jewett Hoffman, whose only
duties were to arrest speeders.In 1920, the Town and Village began
the practice of hiring special police officers.In June of that
year, Mr. Edwin Evans, a former State Trooper, was appointed
inWilliamsville. Charles Albert, Howard F. Voelpel and Hubert
Daniels were appointed to the Town post.Eggertsville was set up as
a police district in 1922, and Richard Maving was appointed to be
the officer. He left after a few months and was replaced by Earl E.
Speich.In 1924, the Town of Amherst Police and the Village of
Williamsville Police merged. Officer Speich was appointed to the
Amherst Police and Mr. Maving was rehired. Then Town Supervisor,
Mr. Wehrle, appointed Edwin Evans Chief of Police, a position he
held until 1956. By 1938, the Department had grown to thirteen
After World War II, additional men were appointed in 1947. One of
the men, Herbert E. Zimmerman, later replaced Mr. Evans as Chief of
Police in 1956 and served as Chief of Police for 31 years. In 2006,
the Police headquarters building was named after Chief
In January 1989, John B. Askey was appointed Chief of Police and
served in that capacity for 10 years. His goals included
maintaining the communityâ€™s status as one of the safest in the
nation and sustaining the police departmentâ€™s reputation as one of
the finest.In 1999, John Moslow took over the office of Police
Chief. Chief Moslow met with President George W. Bush in 2002 and
was in office to see the Bike Bath Rapist cases finally come to a
close, after a two decade crime spree.
In 2007, John Askey Jr. became Chief, after Moslow retired. The
department currently employs around 156 sworn officers, including a
Chief, Assistant Chief, seven Captains and at least 20
Crime in Amherst
statistics reported to the Federal
Bureau of Investigation, Amherst has frequently been ranked as the Safest
City in America (1996-1998, 2000-2003); many other years it ranks
within the Top 5.
The designation is based on crime
statistics for the year in six categories: murder
, and auto theft
. In 2006, Amherst was
ranked the second safest city in the United States, after Brick
In 2008, it dropped to 7th place.
- Scotty Bowman, former National Hockey League coach
- Harry Neale, hockey broadcaster and
former NHL coach
- Billy Sheehan, rock bassist
- Michael Snyder, Star Trek actor
- John Stevens, American Idol finalist (season 3, 2004)
- James Whitmore, American actor,
attended Amherst High School
- Keith O'Neil, former National Football League player,
Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts, Super Bowl XLI Champion