Otsego County was set off from Montgomery County and organized as a separate county on Feb 16,1791 with Cooperstown designated as county seat. Otsego County is bounded by Oneida, Herkimer and Montgomery counties to the north, Schoharie and Delaware County to the east, Delaware County to the south and Chenango and Madison counties to the west. A part of Schoharie County was taken off in 1795, and a portion of Delaware County was set off in 1797. As it was first organized the county consisted of only two civil subdivisions: Otsego and Cherry Valley, both of which had been organized as parts of Montgomery County. Otsego was formed on March 7, 1788 and Cherry Valley on February 16, 1791.

Cooperstown was named after its founder Judge William Cooper, father of famed author James Fenimore Cooper. The first county officials were appointed on February 17, 1791 included: Judge- William Cooper; Surrogate- James Cannon; Clerk- Jacob Morris and Sheriff- Richard R Smith. Other early officials included District Attorney- Ambrose L Jordon, appointed in 1818, and Treasurer- Elihu Phinney. The first newspaper in Otsego County was the Otsego Herald or Western Advertiser, established April 3, 1795. It was the second paper west of Albany.

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