Penfield, New York

Penfield is a town in Monroe County, New York, United States. The population was 34,645 at the 2000 census, increasing 14.6 percent from 1990.

The town was incorporated in 1810 by the proprietor, Daniel Penfield, who purchased the town lands in 1795 and moved to the area in 1809. Penfield is a suburb of Rochester, New York. The town's motto is "A Town of Planned Progress".


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 37.9 square miles (98.2 km²), of which, 37.5 square miles (97.1 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.1 km²) of it (1.11%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 34,645 people, 13,144 households, and 9,634 families residing in the town. The population density was 923.9 people per square mile (356.7/km²). There were 13,673 housing units at an average density of 364.6/sq mi (140.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 93.48% White, 3.05% Asian, 2.11% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 0.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.43% of the population.

There were 13,144 households out of which 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.4% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.7% were non-families. 22.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the town the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 4.8% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 27.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $63,223, and the median income for a family was $74,959. Males had a median income of $52,282 versus $33,365 for females. The per capita income for the town was $29,576. About 2.3% of families and 3.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.9% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.


Schools in Penfield

The Penfield Central School District has 4 public elementary schools, including one (Indian Landing) located in the Town of Brighton. The grounds of the Charles Finney School are adjacent to the grounds of Penfield High School as the building housing Finney housed the Penfield High School until it was moved to a newer structure during the 1960s.

The District was included by the American Music Conference in its list, the 2006 Best 100 Communities for Music Education.

School Type Grades
Penfield High School (PHS) Public High School 9-12
Southeast Christian Academy Christian School PK-12
Charles Finney School Christian School K-12
Bay Trail Middle School (BTMS) Public Middle School 6-8
Harris Hill Public Elementary School K-5
Cobbles Public Elementary School K-5
Scribner Road Public Elementary School K-5
Indian Landing Public Elementary School K-5
St. Joseph's Catholic Elementary School Pre-School - 6


The lands that now constitute the Town of Penfield were part of the hunting grounds of the Seneca Nation, a member of the Iroquois Confederacy. There is no evidence of Seneca settlements within Penfield, but the town does include the place now called "Indian Landing." From this landing on the shores of Irondequoit Bay, trails and water routes went throughout the region and beyond. This included a water route with only two portages leading from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.

Following the American Revolution the lands that became Penfield were included in the Phelps and Gorham Purchase. After passing through several hands, Townships 13 and 14 of Range IV of the Phelps and Gorham Purchase were acquired by Daniel Penfield in several transactions during the course of 1795.

The Town of Penfield was established in 1810 and the first Town Meeting was held on 2 April 1811. The town initially consisted of Townships 13 and 14 of Range IV. A portion of the southwest corner went to the Town of Brighton when it was established in 1814, and Township 14 became the Town of Webster in 1840. So modern Penfield is, with minor differences, Township 13 of Range IV of the Phelps and Gorham Purchase.

Emergency Response in Penfield

Access to emergency services is obtain by dialing 9-1-1, which connects the caller to the City of Rochester's Emergency Communications Department Center). For the Town of Penfield, the Monroe County Sheriff's Department provides primary law enforcement for the town's residents.

The volunteer Penfield Fire Company provides fire protection, rescue and non-transport emergency medical services to that part of the Town included within the Penfield Fire District. Northern parts of Penfield receive these services from the Webster Fire Department.

The Penfield Volunteer Emergency Ambulance Service (PVEAS) provides Basic Life Support with trained Emergency Medical Technicians. Advanced Life Support services are provided by the Southeast Quadrant Mobile Critical Care Unit (SEQ MCCU).


  • Penfield's Past 1810-1960 by Katherine Wilcox Thompson, Town Historian, published 1960 by the Town of Penfield
  • Penfield's Past Supplement 1960-1976 by Katherine Wilcox Thompson, Town Historian

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