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Owego, New York
Courthouse Square, Owego
Courthouse Square, Owego
Owego, New York is located in New York
Owego, New York
Owego, New York
Location in New York
Owego, New York is located in the United States
Owego, New York
Owego, New York
Location in the United States
Country United States
State New York
County Tioga
Established 1791
 • Total 105.74 sq mi (273.87 km2)
 • Land 104.22 sq mi (269.93 km2)
 • Water 1.52 sq mi (3.94 km2)  1.51%
 • Total 19,883
 • Estimate 
 • Density 181.79/sq mi (70.19/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
FIPS code 36-107-55893

Owego is a town in Tioga County, New York, United States. The population was 19,883 at the 2010 census. The name is derived from the Iroquois word Ahwaga, meaning "where the valley widens".

Owego is in the southeastern corner of the county, west of Binghamton. The village of Owego is in the western part of the town.


The town was first settled around 1786. The "Original Town of Owego" was created at the time Tioga County was formed in 1791. This original town was reduced by formation of later towns in the county. The town's name is a derivative of the Iroquois word "Ahwaga," which means, "where the valley widens." This name came from the vast floods that run into the valley when the winter snows melt, which caused several deaths a year.

The current Town of Owego was formed as the "Town of Tioga" in 1800 from the Town of Union (now in Broome County).

Confusion over the location of the Village of Owego caused the legislature to have the Town of Owego and the Town of Tioga to switch names in 1813 so that Owego village was in the same-named town.

The Hiawatha Farm, Waits Methodist Episcopal Church and Cemetery, and Vesper Cliff are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 105.8 square miles (273.9 km²), of which, 104.2 square miles (269.8 km²) of it is land and 1.6 square miles (4.1 km²) of it (1.51%) is water.

The Susquehanna River flows across the town, dividing it into two parts. Owego Creek flows into the Susquehanna at Owego village and marks the west town line.

The Southern Tier Expressway (New York State Route 17) crosses the town on the river's south bank. New York State Route 17C follows the river along the north bank. New York State Route 38 and New York State Route 96 converge north of Owego village.

Adjacent towns and areas

The east town line is the border of Broome County, New York and the south town line is the border of Pennsylvania (Bradford and Susquehanna counties). Owego is in the Southern Tier of New York.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 1,741
1830 3,080 76.9%
1840 5,340 73.4%
1850 7,159 34.1%
1860 8,935 24.8%
1870 9,442 5.7%
1880 9,884 4.7%
1890 9,008 −8.9%
1900 8,378 −7.0%
1910 7,474 −10.8%
1920 6,707 −10.3%
1930 7,804 16.4%
1940 8,717 11.7%
1950 9,941 14.0%
1960 14,710 48.0%
1970 20,336 38.2%
1980 20,471 0.7%
1990 21,279 3.9%
2000 20,365 −4.3%
2010 19,883 −2.4%
2016 (est.) 18,946 −4.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 20,365 people, 7,733 households, and 5,761 families residing in the town. The population density was 195.5 people per square mile (75.5/km2). There were 8,226 housing units at an average density of 79.0 per square mile (30.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.78% White, 0.70% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 1.01% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 1.02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.11% of the population.

There were 7,733 households, out of which 34.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.0% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.5% were non-families. 21.4% 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 2.61 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 26.5% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $46,987, and the median income for a family was $53,735. Males had a median income of $40,677 versus $25,425 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,996. About 5.0% of families and 6.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.5% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.

Communities and locations in the Town of Owego

  • Apalachin – The hamlet of Apalachin is south of the Susquehanna River by the Expressway.
  • Campville – A hamlet on the north side of the river on NY-17C. It was originally called East Owego until renamed after soldier and settler Asa Camp.
  • Crestview Heights – A hamlet near the east town line, north of the river.
  • Flemingville – A hamlet north of Owego village on NY Route 38. It was named after soldier and settler David Fleming.
  • Foster – A location near the east town line, named after early settlers named Foster.
  • Gaskill Corners (or Gaskill) – A hamlet north of the river on County Road 39. It is named after early settler Joseph Gaskill.
  • Gibsons Corners – A hamlet south of the river near the west town line. It is named after Eli Gibson, an early settler.
  • Hiawatha Island – An island in the Susquehanna River east of Owego village and west of Apalachin.
  • Hullsville – A location north of Gaskill on County Road 39.
  • Oakley Corners – A location in the northeast part of the town, near Hullsville.
  • Owego – The Village of Owego is located on the north bank of the Susquehanna River by Owego Creek and the west town line.
  • Owego Creek – A stream that flows southward through the west side of the town and is joined by the Catatonk Creek before it enters the Susquehanna River.
  • South Apalachin – A location in the southeast part of the town on County Road 41.
  • South Owego – A hamlet near the south town line on County Road 27.
  • Waits – A hamlet in the southwest corner of the town, named after early settler Henry Waits.
  • Whittemore – A location by the east town line, named after early settlers named Foster. A descendant, Reverend Whittemore, preached at the Whittemore Hill church until sometime around the 1980s.

Flood of 2011

On September 8, 2011, the town of Owego was badly damaged by flood waters. Remnants of Tropical Storm Lee dumped massive amounts of rain over the region, causing the Susquehanna River to rapidly overflow its banks.

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