Depew, Chauncey Mitchell

Depew, Chauncey Mitchell

Depew, Chauncey Mitchell, 1834-1928, American orator, politician, and railroad president, b. Peekskill, N.Y. Admitted to the bar in 1856, he was a Republican member (1862-63) of the state legislature and then secretary of state of New York (1863-65). In 1866 he refused the ministry to Japan in favor of serving the railroad interests of Commodore Vanderbilt. He served as general counsel (1875-82), vice president (1882-85), president (1885-99), and chairman of the board (1899-1928) of the New York Central lines. Noted as an after-dinner speaker, he used his oratorical abilities to deliver nominating speeches at the Republican conventions of 1888 and 1896. He was elected U.S. Senator (1899-1911) but failed to secure reelection in 1910, partly because an investigation of life insurance companies revealed that he received an annual retainer from the Equitable Life Assurance Company.

See his memoirs (1922).

Depew is a village in Erie County, New York, United States. The population was 16,629 at the 2000 census. It is part of the BuffaloNiagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area. The name is derived from Chauncey Mitchell Depew, the President of the New York Central Railroad and former US Senator.

The Village of Depew village extends across the boundary between the towns of Lancaster and Cheektowaga. The village lies on both sides of NY Route 78 (Transit Road), a major north-south route.


"The Village of Unexcelled Opportunity"

Elected Officials

  • Barbara Alberti, Mayor
  • Linda Hammer, Trustee (Deputy Mayor)
  • William Dillemuth Jr., Trustee
  • Teresa Fusani, Trustee
  • Joseph Keefe, Trustee
  • William Maryniewski, Trustee
  • Carl Monti, Trustee
  • Hon. Gordon Willis, Village Justice


The site of the future village was settled in 1808. Named after "Railman" Chauncey Depew, the Village was founded as it become a hub of rapid growth. Founded in 1892 as a rail center, the Village of Depew was incorporated on July 23, 1894. The Depew economy in the 19th century was based primarily on railroad-related industries.

Depew also has a long-standing rivalry between themselves and Lancaster High School. This rivalry started back in 1919. The rivalry between has been strong and it is still a great battle between the smaller school versus the larger school despite the fact that Lancaster has won a majority of the games between the two rivals.

The poet Lucille Clifton was born and raised in Depew. She learned as a child to speak Polish as well as English.


Depew is located at (42.911758, -78.701600).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 5.1 square miles (13.1 km²), all of it land.

Depew straddles the towns of Lancaster and Cheektowaga and lies to the east of Buffalo, New York.

On the east, Depew borders the Village of Lancaster. The north border is Scajaquada Creek, and the south border is Cayuga Creek.

Adjacent Cities & Towns

Major Highways in the Village of Depew

  • U.S. Route 20 (Transit Rd., Broadway), U.S. Route 20 runs East-West, however when entering the Village of Depew concurrent with NY 78 on Transit, it runs North-South. US 20 ends concurrency with NY 78 at Broadway and turns east to travel into the Village of Lancaster.
  • New York State Route 78 (Transit Road), North-South route through Depew, runs concurrent with US 20 south of village.
  • New York State Route 130 (Broadway), East-West roadway through the village from the Cheektowaga town line at the west to NY 130's end at Transit Rd. (US 20/NY 78). Broadway continues east into Village of Lancaster as US 20.
  • New York State Route 952Q (Walden Ave.), East-West highway through the village from Cheektowaga to Lancaster. Walden is the longest non-parkway New York State Reference Route. Walden's reference route number is not signed, but still has reference markers, and is maintained by New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) as other signed routes are.


As of the census of 2000, there were 16,629 people, 6,832 households, and 4,625 families residing in the village. The population density was 3,282.0 people per square mile (1,266.4/km²). There were 7,101 housing units at an average density of 1,401.5/sq mi (540.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 97.94% White, 0.63% African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.40% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.18% from other races, and 0.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.73% of the population.

There were 6,832 households out of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.7% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.3% were non-families. 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the village the population was spread out with 22.0% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $42,232, and the median income for a family was $50,021. Males had a median income of $35,219 versus $25,604 for females. The per capita income for the village was $19,914. About 3.6% of families and 5.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.3% of those under age 18 and 3.0% of those age 65 or over.

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