Niagara Falls is a city in Niagara County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 50,193, down from the 55,593 recorded in the 2000 census. It is across the Niagara River from Niagara Falls, Ontario (also a city), both named after the famed Niagara Falls which they share. It is part of both the Buffalo–Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Western New York region.The European migration into the area began in the 17th century with missionaries and explorers. The first recorded European to visit the area was Frenchman Robert de la Salle, accompanied by Belgian priest Louis Hennepin, who was the first known European to see the falls. This influx of newcomers may have been a catalyst for already hostile native tribes to turn to open warfare in competition for the fur trade.The City of Niagara Falls was incorporated on March 17, 1892 from the villages of Manchester and Suspension Bridge, which were parts of the Town of Niagara. New York State Governor Roswell P. Flower signed a bill into law forming the city. Thomas Vincent Welch who was a member of the charter committee and then a New York state assemblyman, but more importantly a second-generation Irishman, was there when the bill was signed, and responsible for asking Governor Flower to sign the bill on St. Patrick’s Day. George W. Wright was elected the first mayor of Niagara Falls.