Elmira, a city and the capital of Chemung co., New York, situated on both sides of the Chemung river, near the mouth of Newtown creek, about 160 m. W. S. W. of Albany, and 175 m. W. N. W. of New York; pop. in 1870, 15,863, of whom 3,391 were foreigners. It is handsomely laid out, in a broad and fertile val-ley. The Chemung canal connects it with Seneca lake, the Junction canal with central Pennsylvania, and the Erie and Northern Central railroads with New York, Philadelphia, etc. Newtown creek furnishes abundant water power. There are rolling mills and other iron works, flour mills, breweries, tanneries, and manufactories of boots and shoes, edge tools, agricultural implements, carriages, etc. The Elmira iron and steel works manufacture large quantities of rails, besides about 16,000 tons of locomotive and bridge iron annually. The railroad companies have extensive car shops here. There are four banks, a savings institution, 300 stores, a large number of warehouses, and several hotels. The city is governed by a mayor and a board of 12 aldermen, two from each ward. The fire department is under the charge of a chief engineer and two assistants.
There are 31 public schools, including a high and a normal school, which in 1872 had 56 teachers and an average attendance of 2,295 pupils; total expenditure for school purposes, $64,348, of which $31,-037 were for teachers' wages. The Elmira female college (Presbyterian), organized in 1855, had in 1872 12 professors and instructors, 123 students, a library of 3,000 volumes, and an endowment of $100,000. The Elmira free academy had 5 instructors and 128 pupils. There are two daily and two weekly newspapers, a quarterly periodical, a young men's Christian association, and 20 churches. - Elmira was settled about 1790. It was incorporated as a village under the name of Newtown in 1815, and received its present name in 1828. In 1864 a city charter was granted. Its use by the government during the civil war as a rendezvous for Union troops and as a depot for confederate prisoners materially aided its prosperity.