Steuben County History

Steuben County, named in honor of Major-general Frederick William Baron de Steuben, the celebrated tactician of the revolutionaryarmy, was taken from Ontario in 1796; boundaries since much altered; from Albany centrally distant SW. 216 miles, from New YorkW. 220; length and breadth 40 miles. The surface is broken and hilly, if not mountainous. Along the rivers, the general aspect of the county is uninviting, except that in some parts the alluvial flats are extensive and rich. The river hills are rocky, precipitous, and covered with evergreens; but the upland plains have a rich variety of trees,and fertile tracts principally of clayey loam. The staples of the courtyard lumber, grain, cattle, and wool. The lumbering is the chief business of the southern towns; but as the country cleared of its forests agriculture rises in importance. Chemung river is the great stream of the county; it was called by the Senecas Cononque, “horn in the water.” Its flats are said to be superior in fertility to the Mohawk. This county, excepting the town of Reading on the western shore of the Seneca lake, was included in the extensive cession of New York to Massachusetts, and passed from that state, through Messrs. Phelps and Gorham and Robert Morris, to Sir William Pulteney. It was mostly settled by Pennsylvanians, excepting Prattsburg, which was settled by New Englanders. The county is divided into 27 towns.

Source: Historical Collections of the State of New York, Past and Present, John Barber, Clark Albien & Co., 1851