Cheektowaga, NY got its name from the original inhabitants of the Erie and Seneca describing the location, ji-ik-do-wah-hah meaning "place of the crabapple tree." After the Revolutionary war the Seneca were forced into giving up vast areas of forests and farms and placed on reservations. Most of the land that Cheektowaga encompasses was first purchased by the Holland Land Company from the newly established U.S. Government and settled by Europeans moving from the Atlantic Coast to setup farms and homesteads. The city was officially established in 1839. The current population of the city is estimated to be 94,019 (2000 U.S. Census). Up until the early 1900's the area was a thriving agricultural area.
Recent economic and cultural development has come from the construction of the New York State Thruway and its location in the Niagara/Buffalo area. The commercial success of Cheektowaga can be seen by the many tastefully constructed new business and industrial structures. The city boasts a strong and progressive citizen base who treasure its past and work toward future expansion and prosperity.
Cheektowaga is home to Empire State and Villa Maria Colleges. The Cheektowaga Historical Museum keeps the area's history alive with a collection from the estate of George Urban, a doctor's office from the 50's, artifacts from the local Indian history, and War of 1812 items. Several arts, cultural and historical organizations in the city contribute to the city's character and appeal. Some of these include the Cheektowaga Art Guild, Cheektowaga Community Chorus, Inc., Cheektowaga Community Symphony Orchestra, Cheektowaga Cultural Society Inc., Cheektowaga Garden Club, and the Cheektowaga Historical Association.