Amherst, New York

Amherst (/ˈæmhərst/ (listen)[3]) is a town in Erie County, New York, United States. Amherst is the most populated town in upstate New York, and an inner ring suburb of Buffalo. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 122,366.[4] This represents an increase of 5.0% from the 2000 census.[5]

The largest and most populous suburb of Buffalo, New York, 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 the county and borders a section of the Erie Canal. Most of the eastern side of the town is referred to as Williamsville, New York due to sharing the zip code (Buffalo, NY 14221) with the village and closeness.

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, New York
Flag of Amherst, New York

Location in Erie County and the state of New York.
Location in Erie County and the state of New York.
Location of New York in the United States
Location of New York in the United States
Coordinates: 42°58′42″N 78°48′00″W / 42.97833°N 78.80000°WCoordinates: 42°58′42″N 78°48′00″W / 42.97833°N 78.80000°W
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
CountyErie County
IncorporatedApril 10, 1818
Named forLord Jeffrey Amherst
 • TypeTown Council
 • SupervisorBrian Kulpa (D)
 • 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)
 • Total122,366
 • Estimate 
 • Density2,364.58/sq mi (912.96/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
14051, 14068, 14221, 14226, 14228
Area code(s)716
FIPS code36-029-02000


The town of Amherst was created by the State of New York on April 10, 1818; named after Lord Jeffrey Amherst. 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.[6]

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[7] which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.[8])


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.[9]

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 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 residential foundations as a result of unstable soil conditions. A few active farms may still be found in the northern part of the town.

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

Adjacent cities and towns


20090410 Amherst Municipal Building
Amherst Municipal Building

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 is a suburban community in the southwest part of the town, bordering on Buffalo 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 by 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 by 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.
  • 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 Sweet Home central school district.
  • Williamsville - Most of the Village of Williamsville is within Amherst, located in the south part of the town.


Amherst is among the top ten American cities (with a population greater than 50,000) in average yearly snowfall.[10] 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.[11]


In July 2010, CNNMoney ranked Amherst 42nd in a list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in America.[12] In 2012, ranked Amherst 50th.[13] In 2011 and 2012, Amherst was selected as one of America’s 100 Best Communities for Young People by America's Promise Alliance.[14]

Arts and culture

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


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


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 2017126,082[2]3.0%
Historical Population Figures [15][16]

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.[17]

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.[17]

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.[17]

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.[17][18]


Higher education

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

  • The North Campus of the University at Buffalo, a nationally ranked tier 1 research university. It is the only university in Amherst.
All university programs apart from architecture, planning, nursing, dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, and public health reside here.

Public schools

There are four 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.[19] 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.[20]
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.[21]


Crime and public safety

Town of Amherst Police 1
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.[22]

Amherst has been ranked as the "Safest City in America" 1996–1998, 2000–2003, and 2010. 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.[23] In 2011, it ranked 6th safest out of 400 cities.[24] Most recently in 2014, Amherst was ranked the #1 Safest City in America with a population between 100,000 and 500,000.[25]


20090410 Amherst Bee Newspapers
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.


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

Notable people


  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 4, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  3. ^ "Amherst". Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  4. ^ "US Census Bureau 2010" (PDF). Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  5. ^ Patrick, Klinck. "Census Results: Amherst Shows Modest Growth Since 2000". Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  6. ^ Amherst Museum (1997). "A brief history of the Town of Amherst" (PDF). Town of Amherst. Retrieved 2015-05-15.
  7. ^ 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. Retrieved 2009-07-17. See also: "Accompanying four photos".
  8. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  9. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Amherst town, Erie County, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  10. ^ Top 101 Snowiest Cities
  11. ^ "Weatherbase Weather Data". Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  12. ^ "Best Places to Live 2010". CNNMoney. August 2010. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  13. ^ "CNN Money Best Places to Live 2012". Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  14. ^ "America's Promise Alliance 100 Best Communities for Young people". Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  15. ^ " Fourteenth census of the United States, 1920, 1910, 1900" Department of Commerce and Labor. (1921), page 532. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  16. ^ "Decade of change - population and housing trends" (PDF). Town of Amherst. 2003. p. 12. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  17. ^ a b c d "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  18. ^ "American FactFinder - 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census. Archived from the original on 10 December 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  19. ^ Thomas, Scott. "2012 school district rankings for Western New York". Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  20. ^ "2013 US News and World Report Best High Schools". Retrieved 30 April 2013.
  21. ^ "Town of Amherst Schools and Education". Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  22. ^
  23. ^ City Crime Rankings by Population Group Archived 2007-01-05 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ "CQ Press City Crime Rankings: 2010-2011". Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  25. ^
  26. ^ Grande, p. 39
  27. ^ "Town of Amherst website". Retrieved 17 December 2012.

External links

2000 Buffalo Bulls football team

The 2000 Buffalo Bulls football team represented the University at Buffalo in the 2000 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Bulls offense scored 177 points while the defense allowed 452 points.

2007–08 Buffalo Bulls men's basketball team

The 2007-08 Buffalo Bulls Men's Basketball Team represented the University at Buffalo in the college basketball season of 2007–08. The team was coached by Reggie Witherspoon. The Bulls played their home games at Alumni Arena.

Alumni Arena (University at Buffalo)

Alumni Arena is a multi-purpose arena in Amherst, New York. The arena is home to the State University of New York at Buffalo men's and women's basketball teams, the women's volleyball team, and wrestling team. The facility has a capacity of 6,783 people for basketball games.

Amherst Central High School

Amherst Central High School (ACHS) is a public high school in Snyder, New York, a hamlet within the town of Amherst, which is within the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metropolitan area. It is the only high school in the Amherst Central School District. Its enrollment is approximately 802 students. The school opened in 1931; construction on the current building began in 1929.

Chris Hajt

Christopher William Hajt (born July 5, 1978) is a former Canadian-born American ice hockey defenceman and the son of former NHLer Bill Hajt.

Daemen College

Daemen College is a private liberal arts college in Amherst, New York. It also offers graduate programs in business, healthcare, and education.

Dan Gronkowski

Daniel Thomas Gronkowski (born January 21, 1985) is an American businessman and former football tight end. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He played college football at Maryland. He also played for the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns.

Duff's Famous Wings

Duff's Famous Wings is a restaurant in Amherst, New York, a suburb of Buffalo.

East Amherst, New York

East Amherst is a suburban hamlet 16 miles (26 km) northeast of downtown Buffalo, New York, Erie County, New York, United States. It straddles the towns of Amherst and Clarence, and comprises the majority of ZIP code 14051.

J. Francis Harter

John Francis Harter (September 1, 1897 – December 20, 1947) was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from New York.

Harter was born in Perry, New York. He attended the United States Army Officers' Training Camp at Camp Lee, Virginia during World War I.

He received a law degree from the University at Buffalo Law School in 1919 and practiced in Buffalo.

Harter was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1938 and served in the 67th Congress, January 3, 1939 to January 3, 1941. He ran unsuccessfully for reelection in 1940 against Alfred F. Beiter. He died in Eggertsville, New York on December 20, 1947, and was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo.

Keith O'Neil

Keith Daniel O'Neil (born August 26, 1980 in Rochester, Michigan) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants. He earned a Super Bowl ring with the Colts in Super Bowl XLI as they beat the Chicago Bears. He played college football at Northern Arizona.

Lake Tonawanda

Lake Tonawanda was a prehistoric lake that existed approximately 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age, in Western New York, United States.The lake existed on the southern (upper) side of the Niagara Escarpment east of the present course of the Niagara River between Early Lake Erie to the south and Glacial Lake Iroquois (the ancestor of Lake Ontario) to the north. During the retreat of the glaciers, the water levels of the Great Lakes were higher. Lake Tonawanda was created and fed by the elevated waters of Lake Erie. Lake Tonawanda itself was drained into Lake Ontario by a series of falls over the escarpment, including one at present day Lockport, New York.

The lake evaporated when the waters of Lake Erie dropped below the level of the feeder streams to the lake. Subsequently Lake Erie drained over the escarpment entirely through Niagara Falls, which marks roughly the western terminus of the former lake bed.

The remains of the previous falls, which rivaled Niagara Falls in grandeur, can be seen along the escarpment. The sinking of homes in the lakebed has been an ongoing problem in communities such as Amherst, New York.

Materialization (paranormal)

In spiritualism, paranormal literature and some religions, materialization (or manifestation) is the creation or appearance of matter from unknown sources. The existence of materialization has not been confirmed by laboratory experiments. Numerous cases of fraudulent materialization demonstrations by mediums have been exposed.

Michael Ranzenhofer

Michael H. Ranzenhofer (born August 15, 1954) is a Republican member of the New York State Senate, representing the 61st district. In addition to being a legislator, he is a partner with the law firm Friedman and Ranzenhofer.

Phil DeSimone

Philip DeSimone (born 19 March 1987 in East Amherst, New York) is an American of Italian heritage professional ice hockey center who plays for Stoney Creek Generals of the Allan Cup Hockey League (ACH).

Prometheus Books

Prometheus Books is a publishing company founded in August 1969 by the philosopher Paul Kurtz (who was also the founder of the Council for Secular Humanism, Center for Inquiry, and co-founder of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry). Prometheus Books publishes a range of books, focusing on topics such as science, freethought, secularism, humanism, and skepticism. Their headquarters is located in Amherst, New York, and they publish worldwide. The publisher's name was derived from Prometheus, the Titan from Greek mythology who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to man. This act is often used as a metaphor for bringing knowledge or enlightenment.

Authors published by Prometheus include Steve Allen, Molefi Asante, Isaac Asimov, Jeremy Bentham, Rob Boston, Ludwig Feuerbach, Antony Flew, R. Barri Flowers, Martin Gardner, Guy P. Harrison, Sidney Hook, Julian Huxley, S. T. Joshi, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, John Maynard Keynes, Philip J. Klass, Leon Lederman, John W. Loftus, Joe Nickell, Friedrich Nietzsche, Mario Perniola, Robert M. Price, James Randi, David Ricardo, Nathan Salmon, George H. Smith, John Steinbeck IV, Victor Stenger, Tom Toles and Ibn Warraq.

Prometheus Books obtained the bulk of the books and manuscripts of Humanities Press International. It has been building and expanding this into a scholarly imprint named Humanity Books. This imprint publishes academic works across a wide spectrum of the humanities.

In 1992 Uri Geller sued Victor J. Stenger and Prometheus Books for libel. The suit was dismissed and Geller was required to pay more than $20,000 in costs to the defendant.In March 2005, Prometheus Books launched the science fiction and fantasy imprint Pyr. In October 2012 it launched the crime fiction imprint Seventh Street Books.

As of 2006, the company and its various imprints have approximately 1,600 books in print and publish approximately 95–100 books per year. Since its founding, Prometheus Books has published more than 2,500 books.

In 2013 Prometheus Books partnered with Random House in an effort to increase sales and distribution.

Sweet Home High School (Amherst, New York)

Sweet Home High School (SHHS), sometimes called Sweet Home Senior High, is a New York State public high school located at 1901 Sweet Home Road in Amherst, New York. Sweet Home High School educates students in grades 9 through 12 and is one of seven schools in the Sweet Home Central School District. The district consists of one High School, one Middle School, four Elementary schools (Glendale, Heritage Heights, Maplemere, and Willow Ridge), and one Alternative School (Dexter Terrace). Nearly 4,000 students are enrolled in the District's seven schools.

In 2005, Sweet Home High school was listed at number 810 by Newsweek in their list of "The 1,000 Top U.S. Schools".


WKSE (98.5 FM, branded as KISS 98.5) is a Top 40 Mainstream station serving the Buffalo and Niagara Falls region of Western New York. The station's transmitter is located on Grand Island, New York. It has a sizable market in the Greater Toronto Area, but unlike the WBLK of old, does little marketing and promotion outside Western New York, but now has to compete with two CHR/Top 40 stations, (after the format change of CKIS) in the Greater Toronto Area; therefore, this will lower the number of listeners there. It is currently owned by Entercom Communications, with studios located on Corporate Parkway in Amherst, New York.

WKSE signed on as WHLD-FM in 1947. It changed its call sign to WZIR in 1980, WRXT in 1984, and the current call sign in 1985. It currently runs a Top 40 format, which has been in place since September 1984. Much of its playlist overlaps that of sister station Star 102.5 at times The 102.5 frequency was a CHR competitor of WKSE in the late 1980s and early 1990s as WMJQ "Majic 102". WKSE competes with longtime rival, 2Day FM 105.1 (formerly 2Day FM 105.1/101.1), which has a very similar format, However CJED switched formats on March 1, 2018. Currently, the ratings for WKSE is higher than 105.1 2Day FM in the Buffalo and Niagara Falls region, according to Nielsen Audio.

WKSE sold its broadcast tower to Vertical Bridge in March 2019; WKSE will continue to use the tower under a leasing arrangement.In 2006 Kiss 98.5 began streaming its programming over the internet.


WWWS (1400 AM) is a radio station broadcasting an urban oldies format. Licensed to Buffalo, New York, United States, the station serves the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area. The station is owned by Entercom and features programming from Westwood One. It is owned and operated by Entercom Communications. It has a transmitter in Buffalo, east of Delaware Park, while it has studios located on Corporate Parkway in Amherst, New York.

Municipalities and communities of Erie County, New York, United States

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