Preble, Edward, 1761-1807, American naval officer, b. Falmouth (now Portland), Maine. In the American Revolution he ran away from home to serve on a privateer, entered (1779) the Massachusetts state marine as a midshipman, and saw service aboard the Protector, which was captured in 1781. After his release he joined the Winthrop and, when the Revolution was over, was engaged in the merchant service. Commissioned lieutenant in the U.S. navy in 1798, he was promoted (1799) to captain and given command of the Essex, which sailed to China and convoyed 14 merchant vessels to New York. In 1803, Preble was transferred to the Constitution and set out in command of a squadron for the Mediterranean, where he took a leading part in the Tripolitan War. After the Philadelphia of his squadron had been captured and held in the harbor of Tripoli, Preble blockaded that port and made a number of attacks, but he failed to capture the strongly fortified town. He was relieved of his command on the arrival of Commodore Samuel Barron. Many of those who served under Preble, such as David Porter and Stephen Decatur, rendered distinguished service in the War of 1812.

See biography by C. McKee (1972).

Preble is a town in Cortland County, New York, United States. The population was 1,582 at the 2000 census. The town is named after Commodore Edward Preble, a naval hero.

The Town of Preble is on the north border of Cortland County and is north of the City of Cortland.


Preble is within the former Central New York Military Tract.

The town was first settled around 1796.

The Town of Preble was organized in 1808, the year Cortland County was formed, from the Town of Tully (now in Onondaga County). Preble was one of the original towns of the county, when it was formed. The town was reduced in size by the later formation of the Town of Scott.

In 1865, the town's population was 1,267.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 27.5 square miles (71.4 km²), of which, 27.0 square miles (69.8 km²) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km²) of it (2.18%) is water.

Interstate 81, US Route 11, and New York State Route 281 extend north-south through the town. The West Branch of the Tioghnioga River flows southward through the town past the previously mentioned highways.

The north town line is the border of Onondaga County.


As of the census of 2000, there were 1,582 people, 615 households, and 437 families residing in the town. The population density was 58.7 people per square mile (22.7/km²). There were 703 housing units at an average density of 26.1/sq mi (10.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.85% White, 0.70% African American, 0.70% Native American, 0.06% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.06% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.44% of the population.

There were 615 households out of which 35.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.6% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.8% were non-families. 22.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the town the population was spread out with 28.3% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 27.6% from 45 to 64, and 9.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 105.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $41,908, and the median income for a family was $45,789. Males had a median income of $33,333 versus $25,109 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,983. About 5.2% of families and 7.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.0% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over.

Communities and locations in Preble

  • Baltimore -- A hamlet east of Preble village, located on US-11.
  • Cummings Crossing -- A hamlet on Route 11 by the north town line.
  • Goodale Lake -- A small lake by the south town line.
  • Preble -- The hamlet of Preble, located west of Interstate 81.
  • Slab City -- A hamlet on US-11, southeast of Preble village.
  • Song Lake -- A small lake by the north town and county lines, southwest of Tully Lake.
  • Song Mounatain-- A small mountain located along the northern town and county lines.
  • Tully Lake -- A lake at the north town line and partly in the town.
  • Upper Little York Lake -- A small lake west of Goodale Lake.


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