Independence, New York

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Independence is a town in Allegany County, New York, United States. The population was 1,074 at the 2000 census. Interestingly enough the town of Whitesville was the birthplace of singer/songwriter Phil Collins.

The Town of Independence is in the southeast corner of Allegany County, southeast of the Village of Wellsville.



The first permanent settlement occurred in 1819 at Whitesville, although an attempt was made to settle the town in 1798. The Town of Independence was formed in 1821 from part of the Town of Alfred. Independence was reduced by the formation of the Towns of Andover, New York (1824) and Willing, New York (1851).

From November 16th, 1896, through June 1936 Whitesville was served by the New York & Pennsylvania Railway (and predecessors) as part of its Canisteo NY to Ceres NY (via Greenwood NY, Genesee PA, Oswayo and Shingle House PA) main line. Following severe floods in July 1935 the railroad was partially out of service and its abandonment in June 1936 was readily approved by the Interstate Commerce Commission which from an early date approved railroad abandonment to promote highway truck use. The loss of railroad service did much to promote the economic withering of the Whitesville area.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 34.5 square miles (89.3 km²), all of it land.

The southern town line forms a border with Pennsylvania and the eastern town line is the border with Steuben County, New York.

New York State Route 248 is a major east-west highway in the town that intersects with New York State Route 248A (Cryder Creek Road) west of the community of Whitesville.

Cryder Creek is a stream flowing out the southwest of the town and Chenunda Creek flows across the northern part of the town.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,074 people, 400 households, and 301 families residing in the town. The population density was 31.2 people per square mile (12.0/km²). There were 487 housing units at an average density of 14.1/sq mi (5.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.98% White, 0.37% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.09% Asian, and 0.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.37% of the population.

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