Williamsville, New York

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Williamsville is a village in Erie County, New York in the United States. The population was 5,573 at the 2000 census. The village is named after Jonas Williams, an early settler. It is part of the BuffaloNiagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Williamsville is located mostly within the town of Amherst, but Creek Road and Creek Heights in the south part of the village are in the town of Cheektowaga. The village is in the northeastern quadrant of Erie County.

Williamsville is also a postal ZIP code: 14221 (14231 for PO Boxes); however, that zip code contains large sections of the town outside of the village and also includes significant commercial areas within Clarence.

The Williamsville Central School District is a school system covering Williamsville, most of the eastern part of Amherst, and a small portion of the western end of Clarence.

Contents

History

The community developed where the major road between Batavia and Buffalo crossed Ellicott Creek just above Glen Falls. The water power offered by the waterfall attracted millers. The first mill was built by Jonas Williams in 1811, giving the village its first name, "Williams Mills." It still stands today, next to Glen Park, and is known as the Williamsville Water Mill. Several other mills were built near Glen Falls during the 19th century. In 1841, a raceway was constructed to divert water from Ellicott Creek to the mills, creating an island known today as Island Park. A stage coach stop, tavern, and inn was built along the main road near Ellicott Creek by Oziel Smith in 1832. Today it is known as the Eagle House. The close crossing of the main road and Ellicott Creek's Glen Falls was the initial attraction, around which Williamsville grew. The village was incorporated in 1850.

St. John Neumann served as founder and first pastor of SS Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church from 1836 to 1840.

During the War of 1812, American troops were stationed in Williamsville in the area between Garrison Road and Ellicott Creek. American soldiers and British prisoners were treated in a field hospital and log barracks that lined Garrison Road. A small cemetery, located on Aero Drive between Wehrle and Youngs Road, was used to bury the men who did not survive their wounds or illnesses. General Winfield Scott used the Evans House as his headquarters in the Spring of 1813 when his entire army of 5,000-6,000 men were stationed in Williamsville. In 1813, when the British burned Buffalo, people fled to the safety of Williamsville and nearby Harris Hill.

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