Oregon County, Missouri
|Oregon County, Missouri|
Location in the state of Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
|Founded||February 14, 1845|
|Named for||Oregon Territory|
|• Total||791.59 sq mi (2,050 km2)|
|• Land||791.40 sq mi (2,050 km2)|
|• Water||0.18 sq mi (0 km2), 0.02%|
|• Density||13/sq mi (5/km²)|
|Time zone||Central: UTC-6/-5|
Oregon County is a county located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,881. Its county seat is Alton. The county was officially organized on February 14, 1845, and was named for the Oregon Territory in the northwestern United States.
Home to a large area of the Mark Twain National Forest, Oregon County contains more national forest land than any other county in Missouri. It also contains the Irish Wilderness, the largest federally protected wilderness area in the state. Hiking and backpacking opportunities abound on the Ozark Trail and the White's Creek Trail. Canoeing and fishing are popular on the Eleven Point River, which is Missouri's only National Wild and Scenic River.
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 Education
- 4 Religion
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Cities and towns
- 7 Politics
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the county has a total area of 791.59 square miles (2,050.2 km2), of which 791.40 square miles (2,049.7 km2) (or 99.98%) is land and 0.18 square miles (0.47 km2) (or 0.02%) is water.
- Shannon County (north)
- Carter County (northeast)
- Ripley County (east)
- Randolph County, Arkansas (southeast)
- Sharp County, Arkansas (south)
- Fulton County, Arkansas (southwest)
- Howell County (west)
National protected area
- Mark Twain National Forest (part)
In July 1861, the Second Infantry Regiment of McBride's Seventh Division, Missouri State Guard was formed. Oregon County men made up Companies A, D, F, and G. On August 10, 1861 they fought at the Battle of Wilson's Creek near Springfield and were victorious.
In early 1862 the Missouri State Guard was disbanded and regular Confederate Army units were formed. During February and March 1862, Oregon County men were mustered into companies D and I of the Fourth Missouri Infantry Regiment. The Fourth Missouri was sent to Mississippi, where they took part in the Battle of Corinth on October 3–4, 1862. The Oregon County men suffered heavy losses to both disease and battle casualties, and surrendered with 30,000 other Confederates after the Siege of Vicksburg ended on July 4, 1863.
In the late winter and spring of 1864, Major Matthew G. Norman began organizing a regiment of cavalry. They would join with men from northern Arkansas men led by Lt. Colonel James H. Tracy to form Fristoe's Regiment, Missouri Cavalry. Colonel Edward T. Fristoe, a native of Rappahannock, Virginia, would lead his regiment during General Sterling Price's the ill-fated Missouri raid in the fall of 1864.
Other units Oregon County men enlisted in were Freeman's Regiment, Missouri Cavalry, and the Fifteenth Missouri Cavalry Regiment from neighboring Ripley County. Only a few Oregon County men joined the Union Army. Oregon County suffered greatly during the war from raids by Union troops, as well as from atrocities committed by bushwhackers supporting neither side.
- Alton R-IV School District - Alton
- Alton Elementary School (K-06)
- Alton High School (07-12)
- Couch R-I School District - Myrtle
- Couch Elementary School (K-06)
- Couch High School (07-12)
- Oregon-Howell R-III School District - Koshkonong
- Koshkonong Elementary School (K-06)
- Koshkonong High School (07-12)
- Thayer R-II School District - Thayer
- Thayer Elementary School (K-06)
- Thayer High School (07-12)
According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2000), OregonCounty is a part of the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the majority religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Oregon County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (36.10%), National Association of Free Will Baptists (34.45%), and Churches of Christ (9.81%).
As of the census of 2000, there were 10,344 people, 4,263 households, and 3,018 families residing in the county. The population density was 13 people per square mile (5/km²). There were 4,997 housing units at an average density of 6 per square mile (2/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.61% White, 0.10% Black or African American, 2.88% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.08% from other races, and 2.19% from two or more races. Approximately 1.09% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among the major first ancestries reported in Oregon County were 29.7% American, 13.4% English, 13.1% Irish, and 13.0% German, according to Census 2000.
There were 4,263 households out of which 29.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.80% were married couples living together, 8.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.20% were non-families. 26.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.86.
In the county the population was spread out with 24.30% under the age of 18, 7.00% from 18 to 24, 24.10% from 25 to 44, 26.50% from 45 to 64, and 18.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 96.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.80 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $26,119, and the median income for a family was $31,637. Males had a median income of $22,304 versus $16,353 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,043. About 16.30% of families and 22.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.20% of those under age 18 and 20.00% of those age 65 or over.
Cities and towns
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (June 2014)|
The Democratic Party predominantly controls politics at the local level in Oregon County. Democrats hold all but three of the elected positions in the county.
|Oregon County, Missouri|
|Elected countywide officials|
|Assessor||Charles Lon Alford||Democratic|
|Circuit Clerk||Ronda Hall||Democratic|
|County Clerk||Tracy Bridges||Democratic|
|Johnny D. Wrenfrow||Democratic|
|Prosecuting Attorney||Fred O'Neill||Democratic|
|Public Administrator||Mike Crawford||Republican|
|Sheriff||George R. Underwood||Democratic|
|Missouri House of Representatives - District 153 - Oregon County (2010)|
All of Oregon County is a part of Missouri's 33rd District in the Missouri Senate and is currently represented by State Senator Chuck Purgason (R-Caulfield). In 2008, Purgason defeated Democrat Eric Reeve 67.31-32.69 percent in the district. The 33rd Senatorial District consists of Camden, Howell, Laclede, Oregon, Shannon, Texas, and Wright counties.
|Missouri Senate - District 33 - Oregon County (2008)|
|2012||50.01% 2,200||46.85% 2,061||3.14% 138|
|2008||38.07% 1,742||59.22% 2,710||2.71% 124|
|2004||55.76% 2,579||42.16% 1,950||2.08% 96|
|2000||45.82% 1,938||51.70% 2,187||2.48% 105|
|1996||38.02% 1,466||59.23% 2,284||2.75% 106|
|1992||39.27% 1,635||60.73% 2,529||0.00% 0|
|1988||53.00% 1,978||46.60% 1,739||0.40% 15|
|1984||52.93% 2,087||47.07% 1,856||0.00% 0|
|1980||40.12% 1,542||59.82% 2,299||0.05% 2|
|1976||37.19% 1,350||62.73% 2,277||0.08% 3|
Oregon County is included in Missouri’s 8th Congressional District and is currently represented by Jason T. Smith (R-Salem) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Smith won a special election on Tuesday, June 4, 2013, to finish out the remaining term of U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson (R-Cape Girardeau). Emerson announced her resignation a month after being reelected with over 70 percent of the vote in the district. She resigned to become CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative.
|U.S. House of Representatives - District 8 – Oregon County (2012)|
|Republican||Jo Ann Emerson||3,061||70.42||+9.38|
|U.S. House of Representatives - District 8 - Special Election – Oregon County (2013)|
|Republican||James T. Smith||574||59.05|
|2012||65.28% 2,886||32.10% 1,419||2.62% 116|
|2008||57.77% 2,652||39.45% 1,811||2.78% 128|
|2004||59.26% 2,769||39.01% 1,823||1.73% 81|
|2000||59.56% 2,521||37.04% 1,568||3.40% 144|
|1996||39.10% 1,502||46.73% 1,795||14.16% 544|
|1992||33.10% 1,402||53.31% 2,258||13.31% 564|
|1988||45.59% 1,717||54.22% 2,042||0.19% 7|
|1984||49.41% 1,979||50.59% 2,026||0.00% 0|
|1980||39.07% 1,523||59.67% 2,326||1.26% 49|
|1976||30.23% 1,122||69.07% 2,564||0.70% 26|
At the presidential level, Oregon County is a fairly independent-leaning or battleground county. While George W. Bush carried Oregon County in 2000 and 2004, the margins of victory were smaller than in many of the other rural areas. Bill Clinton also carried Oregon County both times in 1992 and 1996. Like most of the other rural counties in Missouri, Oregon County favored John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008.
Like most rural areas throughout Southeast Missouri, voters in Oregon County generally adhere to socially and culturally conservative principles. In 2004, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman—it overwhelmingly passed Oregon County with 87.09 percent of the vote. The initiative passed the state with 71 percent of support from voters as Missouri became the first state to ban same-sex marriage. In 2006, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to fund and legalize embryonic stem cell research in the state—it failed in Oregon County with 56.78 percent voting against the measure. The initiative narrowly passed the state with 51 percent of support from voters as Missouri became one of the first states in the nation to approve embryonic stem cell research. Despite Oregon County’s longstanding tradition of supporting socially conservative platforms, voters in the county have a penchant for advancing populist causes like increasing the minimum wage. In 2006, Missourians voted on a proposition (Proposition B) to increase the minimum wage in the state to $6.50 an hour—it passed Oregon County with 73.14 percent of the vote. The proposition strongly passed every single county in Missouri with 75.94 percent voting in favor as the minimum wage was increased to $6.50 an hour in the state. During the same election, voters in five other states also strongly approved increases in the minimum wage.
Missouri Presidential Preference Primary (2008)
In the 2008 Missouri Presidential Preference Primary, voters in Oregon County from both political parties supported candidates who finished in second place in the state at large and nationally.
- Former U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York) received more votes, a total of 989, than any candidate from either party in Oregon County during the 2008 Missouri Presidential Preference Primary.
|Oregon County, Missouri|
|2008 Republican primary in Missouri|
|John McCain||242 (20.47%)|
|Mike Huckabee||696 (58.88%)|
|Mitt Romney||134 (11.34%)|
|Ron Paul||101 (8.54%)|
|Oregon County, Missouri|
|2008 Democratic primary in Missouri|
|Hillary Rodham Clinton||989 (71.77%)|
|Barack Obama||332 (24.09%)|
|John Edwards (withdrawn)||42 (3.05%)|
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "Census 2010 Gazetteer Files". Retrieved July 2, 2013.
- Eaton, David Wolfe (1917). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. p. 337.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Digitized 1930 Plat Book of Oregon County from University of Missouri Division of Special Collections, Archives, and Rare Books
- Geologic Map of the Piedmont Hollow Quadrangle, Oregon County, Missouri United States Geological Survey
- "Oregon, a S. county of Missouri". The American Cyclopædia. 1879.
||Shannon County||Carter County|
|Howell County||Ripley County|
|Fulton County, Arkansas||Sharp County, Arkansas||Randolph County, Arkansas|