Amherst. 1 Town (2000 pop. 34,874), Hampshire co., central Mass., in a fertile farm area; inc. 1759. Named for Lord Jeffery Amherst, it is a college town. Emily Dickinson was born and lived there all her life. Helen Hunt Jackson was also born there, and Ray Stannard Baker, Eugene Field, Robert Frost, and Noah Webster lived in the town. It is the seat of the Univ. of Massachusetts, Hampshire College, and Amherst College. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is there.
2 Town (2000 pop. 116,510), Erie co., W N.Y., a large commuter suburb of Buffalo, est. 1818. It contains most of the village of Williamsville (inc. 1850) as well as Eggertsville, Getzville, Snyder, Swormsville, and East Amherst. Like its Massachusetts counterpart, it was named for Lord Amherst. The Erie Canal (1825) passed along the town's northern edge and encouraged settlement, largely by Germans who creaed a thriving farming community. Bungalows began to be built in the 1920s, and today Amherst is primarily residential. It is the site of the main campus of SUNY's Univ. at Buffalo, of Daemen College, and of campuses of Medaille and Canisius colleges.