Cicero was founded in 1790 on land reserved for colonization by Revolutionary War veterans. It was named by surveyor's clerk (and, later, land-board secretary) Robert Harpur, an enthusiast for classical literature who assigned Greco-Roman names to numerous communities in Central New York. Syracuse and Ithaca are the best-known, but there are also Hector, Ilion, Rome, and many others. For good measure there is even a Romulus!)
By the nineteenth century Cicero was an independent municipality on the south shore of Oneida Lake. Today it is a near-in Syracuse suburb.
Physician and abolitionist Hezekiah Joslyn came to Cicero in 1823. His home was a station on the Underground Railroad; he supported numerous reform projects, including an ill-fated freethinking utopian community. His daughter Matilda was born in 1826. Raised without gender stereotyping, she gained fame as the suffragist leader and freethinker Matilda Joslyn Gage. Hezekiah died in 1865 and is buried near his Cicero home site.