Lewis County, Washington
Lewis County Historic Courthouse
Location within the U.S. state of Washington
Washington's location within the U.S.
|Founded||December 19, 1845|
|Named for||Meriwether Lewis|
|• Total||2,436 sq mi (6,310 km2)|
|• Land||2,403 sq mi (6,220 km2)|
|• Water||33 sq mi (90 km2) 1.4%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||32.5/sq mi (12.5/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−8 (Pacific)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−7 (PDT)|
Lewis County is a county in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, the county's population was 75,455. The county seat is Chehalis, and its largest city is Centralia. The county was created as Vancouver County on December 19, 1845, by the Provisional Government of Oregon, named for George Vancouver. In 1849, the county name was changed, to honor Meriwether Lewis. At the time, the county included all U.S. lands north of the Cowlitz River, including much of the Puget Sound region and British Columbia.
Geography and natural features
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,436 square miles (6,310 km2), of which 2,403 square miles (6,220 km2) is land and 33 square miles (85 km2) (1.4%) is water. One of the world's tallest Douglas fir trees was in the town of Mineral within Lewis County, attaining a height of 120 metres (390 ft).
- Cascade Mountains
- Chehalis River
- Cowlitz River
- Nisqually River
- Lake Mayfield
- Riffe Lake
- Big Horn, the highest point in Lewis county
- Boistfort Peak, the highest point in the Willapa Hills
- Walupt Creek Falls
National protected areas
- Gifford Pinchot National Forest (part)
- Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest (part)
- Mount Rainier National Park (part)
- Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument (part)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2010 Census, there were 75,455 people, 29,743 households, and 20,104 families residing in the county. The population density was 31.4 inhabitants per square mile (12.1/km2). There were 34,050 housing units at an average density of 14.2 per square mile (5.5/km2). The racial makeup of the county's population: 89.7% white, 1.4% American Indian, 0.9% Asian, 0.5% black or African American, 0.2% Pacific islander, 4.0% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 8.7% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 24.1% were German, 14.9% were Irish, 12.5% were English, 7.7% were American, and 5.1% were Norwegian.
Of the 29,743 households, 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.2% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.4% were non-families, and 25.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 2.97. The median age was 41.5 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $43,874 and the median income for a family was $53,358. Males had a median income of $43,695 versus $31,720 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,695. About 10.3% of families and 13.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.2% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 Census, there were 68,600 people, 26,306 households, and 18,572 families in the county. The population density was 28 people per square mile (11/km2). There were 29,585 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile (5/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 92.96% White, 0.38% Black or African American, 1.22% Native American, 0.69% Asian, 0.18% Pacific Islander, 2.55% from other races, and 2.01% from two or more races. 5.37% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 18.7% were of German, 11.8% United States or American, 11.1% English, 8.7% Irish and 5.7% Norwegian ancestry.
There were 26,306 households, 31.60% of which had resident children under age 18, 55.90% were married couples living together, 9.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.40% were non-families. 24.00% of households were made up of individuals, and 11.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.02.
The age distribution of the county's population: 26.50% under age 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 25.20% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, and 15.50% at or over age 65. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 98.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $35,511, and the median income for a family was $41,105. Males had a median income of $35,714 versus $23,453 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,082. About 10.40% of families and 14.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.60% of those under age 18 and 9.40% of those age 65 or over.
Government and politics
In modern times, Lewis County is arguably the most conservative county in western Washington. It is significantly more Republican than adjacent counties, with the possible exception of Yakima County. Unlike much of western Washington, it has a strong tinge of social conservatism. In 2000 George W. Bush received over 60% of the county's vote. In 2008 John McCain defeated Barack Obama by over eighteen percent — his only victory in a county west of the Cascades. McCain lost all the neighboring counties except Yakima. Since Washington's statehood in 1889 only three Democratic presidential candidates have carried the county – William Jennings Bryan in 1896, Franklin Delano Roosevelt three times in 1932, 1936 and 1940, plus Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
All told, as of 2021, 18 of the last 19 Republican presidential tickets successfully carried Lewis County, the only exception being that of Barry Goldwater who lost to the aforementioned Johnson.
As part of Washington's Third Congressional District it is represented by Republican Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler since 2011.
The county's government is the 20th district of the state. It is represented solely by Republicans.
- Senator John Braun—Republican
- Representative Richard DeBolt—Position 1, Republican
- Representative Ed Orcutt—Position 2, Republican
The county's government is solely Republican.
- Lewis County Assessor: Dianne Dorey—R
- Lewis County Auditor: Larry E. Grove—R
- Lewis County Clerk: Scott Tinney—R
- Coroner Warren Mcleod—R
- Lewis County Prosecuting Attorney: Jonathan Meyer—R
- Lewis County Sheriff: Rob Snaza—R
- Lewis County Treasurer: Arny Davis—R
- Sean D. Swope, District #1 – Republican
- Dr. Lindsey Pollock, District #2 – Republican
- Gary Stamper, District #3 – Republican
- Kosmos (former - now under Riffe Lake)
- Marys Corner
- Nesika (former, now inundated by S edge of Riffe Lake)
- Riffe (former, now inundated by Riffe Lake)
- Saint Urban
- Silver Creek
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 5, 2011. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- "Milestones for Washington State History — Part 1: Prehistory to 1850". HistoryLink.org. March 5, 2003.
- Oregon Spectator (Oregon City OR), "Name of Counties Changed", October 18, 1849, p. 3. Online at the University of Oregon Digital Archives
- "Action Bringing Lewis County Goes Back A Total of 115 Years". The Daily Chronicle. June 6, 1953. p. 10B. Retrieved July 26, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
- C. Michael Hogan (2008) Douglas-fir: Pseudotsuga menziesii, globalTwitcher.com, ed. Nicklas Strõmberg Archived June 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved April 11, 2020.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
- "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
- "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
- "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 – County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
- "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006–2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
- "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006–2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
- The New York Times Electoral Map (zoom in on Washington state)
- Menendez, Albert J.; The Geography of Presidential Elections in the United States, 1868–2004, pp. 332–334 ISBN 0786422173
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- The leading "other" candidate, Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, received 2,032 votes, while Socialist candidate Eugene Debs received 1,637 votes, Prohibition candidate Eugene Chafin received 410 votes, and Socialist Labor candidate Arthur Reimer received 36 votes.
- David Leip’s US Election Atlas
- Lewis County, Democrats Archived July 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Ware, Louisa Jackson (1865). Daily journal of Louisa Jackson, 1865.Available online through the Washington State Library's Classics in Washington History collection Daily diary for the entire year of 1865, recording the details of pioneer life in Washington Territory from the perspective of a 12-year-old girl who was part of a prominent Lewis County family. Brief entries document the activities of running the farm and the number of visitors and immigrants that stopped at the Jackson home.
- Early history of Lewis County on Drizzle.com