Bedford is a town in Westchester County, New York, United States. The population was 17,335 at the 2010 census.
The town of Bedford is located in the northeastern part of Westchester County, and contains the four hamlets of Bedford Hills, Bedford, Katonah, and Bedford Corners.
The town of Bedford was founded on December 23, 1680, when 22 Puritans from Stamford, Connecticut, purchased a tract of land three miles square known as the “Hopp Ground” from Chief Katonah and several other Native Americans for coats, blankets, wampum and cloth.
Bedford was made a part of Connecticut in 1697 when a patent fixed the boundaries as a six-mile square. Only when King William III of England issued a royal decree in 1700 settling a boundary dispute did Bedford become part of New York.
The town served as the county seat of Westchester County during the American Revolutionary War after the Battle of White Plains, until Bedford was burned by the British in July 1779. After the Revolution, Bedford was made one of two seats of county government, alternating with White Plains, until 1870. Westchester County’s oldest government building is the Court House in Bedford village, which was built in 1787 and renovated in the 1960s.
Stepping Stones – Historic Home of Bill & Lois Wilson (respective co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon Family Groups, Bedford Village Historic District, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, Palmer-Lewis Estate, and The Woodpile are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 39.4 square miles (102.1 km2), of which 37.2 square miles (96.3 km2) is land and 2.2 square miles (5.8 km2), or 5.70%, is water. The town is bordered to the west by Mount Kisco and the town of New Castle, to the south by Armonk in the town of North Castle, to the north by Lewisboro, and to the east by Pound Ridge.
The Town of Bedford’s Hamlet of Katonah has a two significant National Historic Landmarks, which are “Stepping Stones – Historic Home of Bill & Lois Wilson” (home of the Alcoholics Anonymous Co-founder “Bill W.” who died in 1971 and home of the Al-Anon Cofounder “Lois W., who died in 1988, and “John Jay Homestead,” home of one of the United States of America Founding Father and first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Some minor landmarks in Bedford are centered on the Bedford Green in the Town of Bedford’s Hamlet of “Bedford”, a small patch of green space at the center of the Bedford Village Historic District (along Route 22), including the former court house, the oldest government building in Westchester County, and now a museum. There is a small graveyard dating back to the founding of the town; the old one-room stone schoolhouse; and a few colonial-era houses, still lived in, which are kept painted white with black or green shutters.
Bedford Oak, July 2012
The Bedford Free Library is located in Bedford, on the Village Green, and is a member of the Westchester Library System. Bedford Hills and Katonah also have libraries that are members of the same system.
Along Route 22, at Hook Road, there is a large 300-plus-year-old oak tree known as the Bedford Oak.
The Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women is located in the town.
As of the census of 2000, there were 18,133 people, 5,731 households, and 4,395 families residing in the town. The population density was 486.9 people per square mile (188.0/km²). There were 6,020 housing units at an average density of 161.6 per square mile (62.4/km²). The racial/ethnic makeup of the town was 87.50% White, 7.12% Black, 1.98% Asian, and 1.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.57% of the population. 0.09% ethnic Native American. 0.08% ethnic Pacific Islander and 1.88% from other ethnicities.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
There were 5,731 households out of which 41.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.5% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.3% were non-families. 18.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.21.
In the town, the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 32.2% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.8 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $100,053, and the median income for a family was $118,820. Males had a median income of $88,561 versus $47,468 for females. The per capita income for the town was $53,046. About 2.4% of families and 4.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.9% of those under age 18 and 3.3% of those of age 65 or over.