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HERKIMER COUNTY, NEW YORK
In 1791, Herkimer County was
created as one of three counties split off
from Montgomery (the other two being Otsego and Tioga counties)
as New York State was developed after the American
Its area was much larger than the present
county, however, and was reduced
subsequently as more counties were
Part of Herkimer County was included in
the Macomb's Purchase of 1791, during the
wide-scale sale of public lands after the
state forced Iroquois tribes allied with the
British during the war to cede their
territory. Suddenly the state was selling
5 million acres (20,000 km2)
of land in upstate, central and western New
In 1794, Onondaga County was split off from Herkimer
County. This county was larger than the
current Onondaga County, and included the
present Cayuga, Cortland, and part
of Oswego counties.
In 1798, portions of Herkimer and Tioga counties were
taken to form Chenango County.
Another part of Herkimer was split off to form Oneida
County. It was then larger than the current
Oneida County, including the
present Jefferson, Lewis, and part
of Oswego counties.
In 1802, parts of
Herkimer, Clinton and Montgomery counties
were combined to form the new St. Lawrence
The rural economy was first
based on general agriculture and then wheat,
but after the opening of the Erie Canal,
Herkimer farmers found that they could not
compete with grain farmers to the west. By
the mid-19th century, they had begun to
specialize in dairy farming and created a
cheese industry that supplied the New York
City market, among others.
During the American Civil
War, Herkimer contributed five companies to
the 34th New York Volunteer Infantry
Regiment, leading to the unit's nickname
"The Herkimer Regiment"
The Herkimer County Jail, constructed in 1834, was used
to hold the murderer Chester Gillette before
his trial at the Herkimer County Courthouse.
The jail is now disused, except for tours by
the Herkimer County Historical Society.
By the late 20th and early
21st centuries, some small farmers had begun
to revive an artisan cheese industry and
sustainable dairy farming here and in other
parts of the central state. In 2008 New York
had the third-largest milk production in the
nation and was fourth-ranking in production
of cheese, according to Cornell
It has several inter-disciplinary programs
related to the dairy industry.
* German Flatts
* Little Falls
1. St. Lawrence County
2. Hamilton County
3. Fulton County
4. Montgomery County
5. Otsego County
6. Oneida County
7. Lewis County
HERKIMER COUNTY FLAG
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