Hornell is a city in Steuben County, New York, United States. The population was 8,563 at the 2000 census. The city is named after the Hornell family, early settlers. Its current population has not yet been released by the new census.
Hornell is nicknamed the "Maple City" after the large maple trees that once grew throughout the town and covered the surrounding hills of the Canisteo Valley. Hornell has the largest Saint Patrick's Day parade and celebration in the area, bringing many out to welcome spring and show their green. It has also become a tradition that Mayor Shawn Hogan finds an innovative way of making his way down main street on this particular day.
Hornell Municipal Airport (4G6) is located a few miles north of the city on Route 36. The airport has a hard surface runway capable of landing small jets, a rotating beacon and fuel.
What is now Hornell was first settled in 1790 under the name "Upper Canisteo" to distinguish it from the community of Canisteo, then known as "Lower Canisteo". The family of Benjamin Crosby were the first settlers in what is now Hornell. The area was incorporated as a town in 1820, as "Hornellsville." The name comes from early settler George Hornell Jr, who built the first gristmill here.
The terrible floods of 1935 put parts of the city under water, prompting the creation of a system of levees to prevent any more serious flood problems.
There used to be a city park called Union park that was destroyed by the urban renewal of the 1970s.
In 1950, Hornell had a population near 16,000 people.
The current mayor of Hornell is Democrat Shawn Hogan, who has held the position since January 1986. Hogan is the longest-serving current mayor in New York State.
In 2009 Kirk W. House produced Around Hornell, a historic photo book in Arcadia Publishing's "Images of America" series. Around Hornell also includes the surrounding rural communities of Canisteo, Dansville, Fremont, Hartsville, Hornellsville, and Howard.
Railroads and Hornell
The New York and Erie Railroad arrived in Hornell in 1850, which connected New York City and Dunkirk on Lake Erie via a southern tier route. Another route, the (Buffalo and New York City Railroad) was added in 1852, branching from Hornell northwestward to Buffalo. For the next hundred years Hornell enjoyed prosperity with its steam engine shop doing the repairs for the entire railroad line. The railroad then came upon hard times as trucking picked up more and more of the freight business. In 1972, the line filed for bankruptcy. Just a few days later floods from Hurricane Agnes destroyed about of roadbed along the Canisteo River, removing all hope of reorganizing the railroad.
Founders of Local Families