Dansville is a village in the town of North Dansville, with a small northern part in the town of Sparta in the eastern part of Livingston County. As of the 2010 census, the village population was 4,719. The village has a total area of 2.4 square miles and is located in a glacially formed valley, north of Stony Brook State Park.
The village is named after Daniel Faulkner, an early settler who founded the village in 1795. When Livingston County was created, the village was in the town of Sparta. Dansville became an incorporated village in 1845.
Clara Barton visited Dansville in 1866 to deliver a lecture and again in 1873. During this time she stayed at the Home On the Hillside to recuperate from the toil of nursing soldiers injured in the Franco-Prussian War. Between the years 1876 and 1886, she maintained a residence in Dansville. At this time she ran the effort to form the American Red Cross. The first American Red Cross chapter was established in the village in 1881 and is still located at 57 Elizabeth Street.
Other notable people who have resided in Dansville include; Millard Fillmore, President of the United States; James Caleb Jackon, creator of Granula, the world's first breakfast cereal; Nathaniel Rochester, founder of Rochester, NY.