Benton County, Oregon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from History of Benton County, Oregon)
Jump to: navigation, search
Benton County, Oregon
Benton County Courthouse Greg Keene.jpg
Benton County Courthouse in Corvallis
Map of Oregon highlighting Benton County
Location in the state of Oregon
Map of the United States highlighting Oregon
Oregon's location in the U.S.
Founded 1847
Seat Corvallis
Largest city Corvallis
Area
 • Total 679 sq mi (1,759 km2)
 • Land 676 sq mi (1,751 km2)
 • Water 3 sq mi (8 km2), 0.37%
Population
 • (2010) 85,579
 • Density 126/sq mi (48.8/km²)
Congressional districts 4th, 5th
Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7
Website www.co.benton.or.us

Benton County is a county located in the Willamette Valley region of the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 census, the population was 85,579.[1] Its county seat is Corvallis.[2] The county was named after Thomas Hart Benton, a U.S. senator who advocated U.S. control over the Oregon Country.

Benton County is designated as the Corvallis Metropolitan Statistical Area, a designation it first received in 1999.[3]

History[edit]

Benton County was created from Polk County by an act of the Provisional Government of Oregon in 1847. The county was created out of an area originally inhabited by the Klickitat, who rented it from the Kalapuyas for use as hunting grounds. All Indian claims to land within Benton County were ceded in the Treaty of Dayton in 1855.

At that time, the boundaries began at the intersection of Polk County and the Willamette River, extended south as far as the California border and as far west as the Pacific Ocean. Later, portions of Benton County were taken to form Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Lane and Lincoln Counties, leaving Benton County in its present form.

The city of Marysville, later renamed Corvallis, was made the county seat in 1851. In 1862 Corvallis became the site of the Oregon State Agricultural College, known today as Oregon State University.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 679 square miles (1,758.6 km2), of which 676 square miles (1,750.8 km2) is land and 3 square miles (7.8 km2) (0.37%) is water.[4]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 814
1860 3,074 277.6%
1870 4,584 49.1%
1880 6,403 39.7%
1890 8,650 35.1%
1900 6,706 −22.5%
1910 10,663 59.0%
1920 13,744 28.9%
1930 16,555 20.5%
1940 18,629 12.5%
1950 31,570 69.5%
1960 39,165 24.1%
1970 53,776 37.3%
1980 68,211 26.8%
1990 70,811 3.8%
2000 78,153 10.4%
2010 85,579 9.5%
Est. 2012 86,430 1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
2012 Estimate[1]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 78,153 people, 30,145 households, and 18,237 families residing in the county. The population density was 116 people per square mile (45/km²). There were 31,980 housing units at an average density of 47 per square mile (18/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 89.16% White, 0.84% Black or African American, 0.79% Native American, 4.49% Asian, 0.24% Pacific Islander, 1.92% from other races, and 2.56% from two or more races. 4.66% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 18.2% were of German, 11.6% English, 8.9% Irish and 7.0% American ancestry. 91.1% spoke English, 4.1% Spanish and 1.0% Chinese as their first language.

There were 30,145 households out of which 28.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.40% were married couples living together, 7.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.50% were non-families. 26.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the county, the population was spread out with 21.30% under the age of 18, 20.20% from 18 to 24, 26.70% from 25 to 44, 21.40% from 45 to 64, and 10.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 99.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,897, and the median income for a family was $56,319. Males had a median income of $42,018 versus $29,795 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,868. About 6.80% of families and 14.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.60% of those under age 18 and 4.90% of those age 65 or over.

Benton County has the lowest church attendance per capita of any county in the nation (25% attendance).[7]

Economy[edit]

Along with Oregon State University, agriculture, lumber, wood products, and some printing technology research and development form the economic base of the county. A substantial portion of the nation's research in forestry, agriculture, engineering, education and the sciences takes place at OSU.

Government[edit]

Since 1972, Benton County has been an Oregon "Home Rule" County, meaning that the citizens have full control over the county charter, rather than using a standard constitution issued by the state.[8] The voters have chosen to eliminate the traditional elected county offices of Assessor, Treasurer, Surveyor, Justice of the Peace, and Clerk. Currently, they only elect three County Commissioners and a Sheriff.[9][10]

The three current Benton County Commissioners are Chair Annabelle Jaramillo, Vice Chair Linda Modrell, and Jay Dixon. They are all members of the Democratic Party and have served since 2001, 1999, and 2001; respectively. Jaramillo and Dixon's current terms expire in January 2017, while Modrell's is up in January 2015.[10][11][12][13] Linda Modrell has not yet announced if she will seek reelection in the November 2014 General Election. Local Democrat Quintin Kreth is the only candidate to have filed for the seat thus far.[14][15]

The current Benton County Sheriff is Scott Jackson. He was appointed to the office as of July 1, 2013 to fill the remainder of the term of retiring sheriff Diana Simpson, the first elected female sheriff in Oregon. He faces reelection in the November 2014 General Election.[16]

Communities[edit]

Incorporated cities[edit]

Lewisburg

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 14, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Office of Management and Budget (August 2, 1999). "Updated Statistical Definitions of Metropolitan Areas". Federal Register 64 (147). p. 41978. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved November 14, 2013. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ Reeves, Carol (2003-12-21). "Where are the faithful?". Corvallis Gazette-Times. Retrieved 2006-06-11. 
  8. ^ "County Government in Oregon". Oregon Blue Book. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  9. ^ Tollenaar and Associates. "COUNTY HOME RULE IN OREGON". Association of Oregon Counties. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Benton County Charter". Benton County Oregon. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Your 2013 Board of Commissioners". Benton County, Oregon. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Benton County". Oregon Blue Book. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "Current Democratic Elected Officials, Benton County". Democratic Party of Oregon. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  14. ^ "Kreth Announces Candidacy for Benton County Commission". The Tribune News. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  15. ^ Hall, Bennett (17 October 2013). "20-year-old files for County Commission". Corvallis Gazette-Times. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  16. ^ "Scott Jackson chosen as new Benton County sheriff". Corvallis Gazette-Times. 18 May 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  17. ^ 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Benton County, Oregon (Ancestry.com. Oregon, Compiled Census Index, 1841-1890 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999.)

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°29′25″N 123°25′57″W / 44.49028°N 123.43250°W / 44.49028; -123.43250