About Ossian, NY - A Brief History

Formation and Early Settlement

The Town of Ossian was formed as an independent town from the Town of Angelica, Allegany Co. on March 11,1808 by an act of the New State Legislature. For forty nine years it remained part of Allegany Co., when, in 1857 the Town of Ossian was annexed into Livingston County. Nestled in the southern border of the county, Ossian boasts a picturesque, hilly landscape, with its highest summits reaching 600 to 800 feet above the valleys. Sugar Creek meanders through the heart of the town.

The First Settlers

The town’s first settlement occurred at its center in 1804 when Judge Richard W. Porter and his brother, James Porter, arrived from New Jersey. They were soon joined by other early pioneers, including Richard N. Porter, James Haynes, James Croghan, Jacob Clendenin, Orrison Cleveland, William and John Gould, and Heman Orton, among others.

Milestones and Achievements

Places of Worship

Ossian is home to two churches: a Presbyterian congregation and a Methodist Episcopal church.

Geography and Demographics

Notable Person

Jasper Bisbee, one of the early rural musicians to produce a record, was born in and lived in Ossian until 1858.

Communities and Locations


The town’s economy has historically been rooted in agriculture, and it has adapted to modern economic realities while maintaining its rural charm.


Ossian values education, and its schools have played an important role in shaping the community.


We invite you to explore our town’s rich history and vibrant present through the various resources on this website. Ossian, NY, continues to evolve while cherishing its past, making it a unique and welcoming place to live, work, and visit.