The Town of Aurelius is at the western edge of the county and borders the City of Auburn.
The Sullivan Expedition passed through to destroy the Cayuga villages in 1779. This region became part of the Central New York Military Tract, used to compensate New York soldiers for service in the military during the War for Independence. The first European-American settler of record arrived in the present limits of the Town of Aurelius in 1789. It is likely that others had made their homes in the vicinity on lands belonging to the native Iroquois. The Town of Aurelius, formed in 1789 was already an existing township when Cayuga County was carved out of Onondaga County in 1799. The Town of Auburn was established from a portion of the Town of Aurelius. (Auburn was incorporated as a village in 1815 and received a city charter in 1848; the west line of the city abuts the Town of Aurelius.)
Among the most prominent of the native sons of Aurelius were inventor Birdsill Holley and Miriam Angeline Works, first wife of Brigham Young, who led the "Latter-Day Saints" into the Great Salt Lake Valley in 1847.