Erie County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 919,040. The county seat is Buffalo. The county's name comes from Lake Erie, which in turn comes from the Erie tribe of Native Americans who lived south and east of the lake before 1654.
When counties were established in New York State in 1683 present-day Erie County was Indian territory and was not part of New York. Significant European settlement began ca. 1800 after the Holland Land Company extinguished Indian claims to the land, acquired the title to eight western-most counties of Western New York, surveyed their holdings, established towns, and began selling lots. At this time, all of Western New York was part of Ontario County. In 1802, Genesee County was created out of Ontario County. In 1808, Niagara County was created out of Genesee County. In 1821, Erie County was created out of Niagara County, encompassing all of the land between Tonawanda Creek and Cattaraugus Creek.
The first towns formed in present-day Erie County were the Town of Clarence and the Town of Willink. Clarence comprised the northern portion of Erie county, and Willink the southern part. Clarence still exists as a town, but Willink was quickly subdivided completely into other towns. When Erie County was established in 1821, it consisted of the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Boston, Clarence, Collins, Concord, Eden, Evans, Hamburg, Holland, Sardinia, and Wales.
The county has a number of properties on the National Register of Historic Places listings in Erie County, New York.
In 1861, the hamlet of Town Line located in the Town of Lancaster, voted 85 to 40 to secede from the Union and join the Confederate States of America; it sent five soldiers for the Confederate Army, and did not officially rejoin the Union until January 1946. The Town Line Fire Department supports the slogan "Last of the Rebels" due to their Confederate ties.