Fulton County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 55,531. Its county seat is Johnstown. The county is named in honor of Robert Fulton, who is widely credited with developing the first commercially successful steamboat.
In 1838, Fulton County was split off from Montgomery, shortly after the Montgomery county seat was moved to Fonda, New York. The creation of Fulton County was engineered by Johnstown lawyer Daniel Cady, whose wife was a cousin of Robert Fulton.
Fulton County was created on April 18, 1838 by a partition of Montgomery County, resulting in a county with an area of .
One adjustment has been made to the area of Fulton County. On April 6, 1860, on the northern border was transferred to Hamilton in the vicinity of Sacandaga Park. This resulted in the Fulton County that exists today.
In the mid-18th century, Sir William Johnson, founder of Fort Johnson in Montgomery County and of Johnstown, arrived in the area that would become Fulton County. Sir William Johnson, 1st Baronet, was an Irish pioneer and army officer in colonial New York, and the British Superintendent of Indian Affairs from 1755 to 1774. His homes, Fort Johnson and Johnson Hall are current New York State Historic Sites.
Fulton County was also home to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a central pioneer in the women's rights movement in America.
Shortly after the American Revolutionary War, the manufacture of gloves and leather became the primary industry of the area. At one point, Johnstown and Gloversville were known as the Glove and Leather capital of the world. The largest rise in population and growth came as a result of the fruits of these businesses.
Many residents of Fulton County can trace their ancestry back to the glove and leather trades. Today few glovers, tanners and leather dressers still exist in the area, although some companies have adapted to the changes in the market and kept themselves competitive.