Baker County, Oregon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Baker County
Baker County Courthouse in Baker City
Baker County Courthouse in Baker City
Official seal of Baker County
Seal
Map of Oregon highlighting Baker County
Location within the U.S. state of Oregon
Map of the United States highlighting Oregon
Oregon's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 44°43′N 117°40′W / 44.71°N 117.67°W / 44.71; -117.67
Country United States
State Oregon
FoundedSeptember 22, 1862
SeatBaker City
Largest cityBaker City
Area
 • Total3,088 sq mi (8,000 km2)
 • Land3,068 sq mi (7,950 km2)
 • Water20 sq mi (50 km2)  0.6%%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total16,134
 • Estimate 
(2019)
16,124
 • Density5.22/sq mi (2.02/km2)
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
Congressional district2nd
Websitewww.bakercounty.org

Baker County is a county in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 16,134.[1] The county seat and largest city is Baker City.[2] The county was organized on September 22, 1862 when a portion of Wasco County was partitioned off. The new county's area was reduced in 1864 when Union County was partitioned off, and again in 1887 when Malheur County was partitioned off. The county's lines were last adjusted in 1901 when a parcel was added to the county.

Baker County was named for Edward Dickinson Baker, a senator from Oregon who was killed at Ball's Bluff, a battle of the Civil War in Virginia in 1861. The county is part of the county definition of Eastern Oregon.

History[edit]

The first groups from the eastern U.S. following the Oregon Trail passed through the area on their way to the Willamette Valley, unaware of the potential wealth they passed over. At Flagstaff Hill, near Baker City, 15 miles (24 km) of wagon ruts left by immigrants can still be seen.

The previous Oregon Territory had achieved statehood in 1859. In 1861 gold was discovered in eastern Wasco County, and a gold rush ensued; the area quickly became the Northwest's largest producer of gold. In September 1862 the state assembly created Baker County from Wasco. Later, Union County and Malheur County were created from this county. The boundaries were adjusted for the last time in 1901, when the area between the Powder River and the Wallowa Mountains was returned to Baker County. The original county seat was at Auburn. While at first a booming mining town with 5,000 inhabitants, once the gold was mined out Auburn's population dwindled, and county citizens voted in 1868 to make Baker City the new county seat. Baker City was incorporated in 1874.

The population of Baker County nearly quadrupled from 1880 to 1910, largely due to the Sumpter Valley Railroad and several of its spur lines, which helped lumber and mining operations to develop.[3]

Most of Oregon uses the Pacific Time Zone. However, Malheur County, to the south of Baker, is the state's only county to observe Mountain Time.

In 1914 Fern Hobbs, on behalf of her employer Governor Oswald West, declared martial law in the Baker County city of Copperfield. This was the first declaration of martial law in the state since the American Civil War.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 3,088 square miles (8,000 km2), of which 3,068 square miles (7,950 km2) is land and 20 square miles (52 km2) (0.6%) is water.[4]

The terrain of Baker County is generally rugged, with 30% of the county covered with forest. The county's highest point is Red Mountain at around 9,560 feet ASL,[5][6] located 3 km from the county's northern line. The eastern boundary of the county is described by the southward-flowing Snake River, and the county terrain generally slopes to the Snake River's valley.[7]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18702,804
18804,61664.6%
18906,76446.5%
190015,597130.6%
191018,07615.9%
192017,929−0.8%
193016,754−6.6%
194018,2979.2%
195016,175−11.6%
196017,2956.9%
197014,919−13.7%
198016,1348.1%
199015,317−5.1%
200016,7419.3%
201016,134−3.6%
Est. 201916,124[8]−0.1%
US Decennial Census[9]
1790-1960[10] 1900-1990[11]
1990-2000[12] 2010-2019[1]

2000 census[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census,[13] there were 16,741 people, 6,883 households, and 4,680 families in the county. The population density was 6/sqmi (2/km²). There were 8,402 housing units at an average density of 3/sqmi (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was:

2.34% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 18.4% were of English, 17.4% German, 11.4% American and 9.1% Irish ancestry.

There were 6,883 households out of which 28.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.20% were married couples living together, 8.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.00% were non-families. 27.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.87.

The county population contained 24.20% under the age of 18, 5.80% from 18 to 24, 23.60% from 25 to 44, 27.30% from 45 to 64, and 19.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 98.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,367, and the median income for a family was $36,106. Males had a median income of $27,133 versus $20,480 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,612. About 10.10% of families and 14.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.80% of those under age 18 and 12.40% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 16,134 people, 7,040 households, and 4,430 families residing in the county.[14] The population density was 5.3 inhabitants per square mile (2.0/km2). There were 8,826 housing units at an average density of 2.9 per square mile (1.1/km2).[15] The racial makeup of the county was 94.6% white, 1.1% American Indian, 0.5% Asian, 0.4% black or African American, 0.1% Pacific islander, 1.0% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 3.3% of the population.[14] In terms of ancestry, 24.5% were German, 14.8% were Irish, 14.6% were English, and 8.1% were American.[16]

Of the 7,040 households, 24.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.7% were married couples living together, 8.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 37.1% were non-families, and 31.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.78. The median age was 47.9 years.[14]

The median income for a household in the county was $39,704 and the median income for a family was $50,507. Males had a median income of $43,849 versus $30,167 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,683. About 12.7% of families and 19.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.2% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.[17]

Politics[edit]

Like all counties in eastern Oregon, the majority of registered voters who are part of a political party in Baker County are members of the Republican Party. In the 2008 presidential election, 64.37% of Baker County voters voted for Republican John McCain, while 31.95% voted for Democrat Barack Obama and 3.66% of voters either voted for a Third Party candidate or wrote in a candidate.[18] These numbers have changed slightly from the 2004 presidential election, in which 69.2% voted for George W. Bush, while 29% voted for John Kerry, and 1.8% of voters either voted for a Third Party candidate or wrote in a candidate.[19]

Political orientations in Baker County, Oregon (2009).gif[20]

Presidential election results
Presidential elections results[21]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 70.8% 6,218 20.5% 1,797 8.7% 764
2012 67.5% 5,702 28.0% 2,369 4.5% 377
2008 64.4% 5,650 32.0% 2,805 3.7% 322
2004 69.2% 6,253 29.0% 2,616 1.8% 165
2000 68.0% 5,618 26.6% 2,195 5.4% 445
1996 51.6% 3,975 33.1% 2,547 15.3% 1,181
1992 38.0% 2,862 31.8% 2,395 30.2% 2,273
1988 54.2% 3,696 42.4% 2,896 3.4% 234
1984 66.6% 5,204 33.2% 2,591 0.2% 17
1980 59.2% 4,747 31.4% 2,515 9.4% 751
1976 48.3% 3,340 47.8% 3,306 4.0% 273
1972 55.3% 3,441 32.9% 2,047 11.8% 732
1968 52.9% 3,311 39.4% 2,464 7.7% 480
1964 40.6% 2,670 59.3% 3,903 0.2% 12
1960 48.5% 3,514 51.5% 3,734 0.0% 3
1956 51.9% 3,706 48.1% 3,431
1952 62.2% 4,253 37.5% 2,562 0.3% 23
1948 47.0% 2,841 50.3% 3,035 2.7% 164
1944 44.2% 2,494 55.2% 3,116 0.6% 31
1940 41.4% 3,101 58.1% 4,353 0.5% 39
1936 24.7% 1,768 69.8% 4,991 5.5% 392
1932 31.4% 2,097 66.2% 4,420 2.4% 157
1928 65.5% 3,721 32.8% 1,861 1.7% 97
1924 45.4% 2,803 32.5% 2,004 22.1% 1,365
1920 58.6% 3,495 36.4% 2,171 5.0% 295
1916 37.2% 2,541 57.0% 3,897 5.9% 400
1912 17.6% 648 37.9% 1,395 44.6% 1,643[a]
1908 46.8% 1,689 44.2% 1,596 9.0% 325
1904 59.8% 1,990 28.2% 938 12.1% 402

Economy[edit]

Gold mining was the original impetus for settlement in the area, and at one time the county was the largest gold producer in the Northwest. Gold dredging was conducted with the Sumpter Valley Gold Dredge. With the exhaustion of the gold fields, agriculture, stock raising, logging became the primary economic pursuits. In the last decades of the 20th century, tourism also contributed to the local economy, helped by attractions such as Eagle Cap Wilderness Area, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, and Anthony Lakes Ski Area. The National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center opened in 1993.

Communities[edit]

Incorporated cities[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost towns[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The leading "other" candidate, Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, received 1,120 votes, while Socialist Eugene Debs received 469 votes, Prohibition candidate Eugene Chafin received 54 votes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ William G. Robbins, Landscapes of Promise: The Oregon Story, 1800-1940. Seattle WA: University of Washington Press, 1997; p. 142.
  4. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". US Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  5. ^ Red Mountain ID (peakbagger.com, accessed November 9, 2019)
  6. ^ "What's the Highest Point in each of Oregon's 36 Counties?" (oregonlive.com, accessed November 9, 2019)
  7. ^ "Baker County OR" (Google Maps, accessed November 9, 2019)
  8. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved March 26, 2020.
  9. ^ "US Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  11. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". US Census Bureau. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). US Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". US Census Bureau. Retrieved 31 January 2008.
  14. ^ a b c "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  15. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  16. ^ "Selected Social Characteristics in the US – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  17. ^ "Selected Economic Characteristics – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  18. ^ http://www1.bakercounty.org/EResults.nsf/electionresults11042008?OpenFrameset Retrieved on 4/21/09
  19. ^ "Baker County, Oregon detailed profile - houses, real estate, cost of living, wages, work, agriculture, ancestries, and more". www.city-data.com. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  20. ^ "Oregon Secretary of State: Election Statistics". sos.oregon.gov. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  21. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 11, 2018.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°43′N 117°40′W / 44.71°N 117.67°W / 44.71; -117.67