Sherman County, Oregon

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Sherman County
Sherman County Courthouse in Moro
Sherman County Courthouse in Moro
Map of Oregon highlighting Sherman County
Location within the U.S. state of Oregon
Map of the United States highlighting Oregon
Oregon's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 45°25′N 120°41′W / 45.41°N 120.69°W / 45.41; -120.69
Country United States
State Oregon
FoundedFebruary 25, 1889
Named forWilliam T. Sherman
SeatMoro
Largest cityWasco
Area
 • Total831 sq mi (2,150 km2)
 • Land824 sq mi (2,130 km2)
 • Water7.5 sq mi (19 km2)  0.9%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total1,870
 • Estimate 
(2021)
1,907 Increase
 • Density2.1/sq mi (0.8/km2)
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
Congressional district2nd
Websiteco.sherman.or.us

Sherman County is one of the 36 counties in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2020 census, the population was 1,870,[1] making it the second-least populous county in Oregon after nearby Wheeler. The county seat is Moro,[2] and the largest city is Wasco. The county is named for William Tecumseh Sherman, a Union general in the American Civil War.

History[edit]

A grain elevator along Gordon Ridge Road, Sherman County
Old grain elevator in Kent
A grain elevator at Highway 97 and Rosebush Lane, Sherman County

As the pioneers felt crowded in the new settlements of western Oregon, they turned east to the Columbia Plateau for new opportunities. The county's first white settler was William Graham, who located at the mouth of the Deschutes River in 1858.[3] Homesteaders, eager for land, arrived in the 1880s by steamboat, stagecoach and wagon. Soon farmers received government patents.

As the population grew, so did the sentiment for independence from Wasco County.[3] Sherman County was created on February 25, 1889, out of the northeast corner of Wasco County. The county's borders have been changed only once, in 1891, when the Legislative Assembly moved the county line 18 miles (29 km) farther south into Wasco County.

The town of Wasco was designated the county seat by the Legislative Assembly although this designation was contested between Wasco and Moro. Following the addition of a portion of Wasco County, Moro became the eventual winner.

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 831 square miles (2,150 km2), of which 824 square miles (2,130 km2) is land and 7.5 square miles (19 km2) (0.9%) is water.[4]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18901,792
19003,47794.0%
19104,24222.0%
19203,826−9.8%
19302,978−22.2%
19402,321−22.1%
19502,271−2.2%
19602,4467.7%
19702,139−12.6%
19802,1721.5%
19901,918−11.7%
20001,9340.8%
20101,765−8.7%
20201,8705.9%
2021 (est.)1,907[5]2.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790–1960[7] 1900–1990[8]
1990–2000[9] 2010–2020[1]
From 2000 to 2007, Sherman County lost 4.1% of its population, the second-lowest growth rate in the state.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 1,934 people, 797 households, and 545 families living in the county. The population density was 2 (2,3) people per square mile (1/km2). There were 935 housing units at an average density of 1 per square mile (0/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 93.59% White, 0.21% Black or African American, 1.40% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 2.79% from other races, and 1.55% from two or more races. 4.86% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 20.5% were of German, 17.3% American, 11.7% English, 8.7% Irish and 5.3% Norwegian ancestry.

There were 797 households, out of which 29.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.50% were married couples living together, 6.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.50% were non-families. 28.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.10% 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 2.97.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 26.40% under the age of 18, 5.80% from 18 to 24, 23.40% from 25 to 44, 26.10% from 45 to 64, and 18.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 102.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,142, and the median income for a family was $42,563. Males had a median income of $31,207 versus $21,579 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,448. About 12.30% of families and 14.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.20% of those under age 18 and 7.70% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 census, there were 1,765 people, 777 households, and 492 families living in the county.[11] The population density was 2.1 inhabitants per square mile (0.81/km2). There were 918 housing units at an average density of 1.1 per square mile (0.42/km2).[12] The racial makeup of the county was 93.4% white, 1.6% American Indian, 0.2% black or African American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 2.7% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 5.6% of the population.[11] In terms of ancestry, 22.6% were German, 16.5% were English, 13.0% were Irish, and 4.9% were American.[13]

Of the 777 households, 23.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.2% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 36.7% were non-families, and 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.84. The median age was 48.2 years.[11]

The median income for a household in the county was $41,354 and the median income for a family was $52,361. Males had a median income of $42,768 versus $32,386 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,688. About 13.9% of families and 20.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.2% of those under age 18 and 9.9% of those age 65 or over.[14]

Government and infrastructure[edit]

The Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Facility (Norcor), a short-term jail, serves Sherman, Gilliam, Hood River, and Wasco counties.[15] Although Sherman County is located in Central Oregon, its politics are more-aligned with the eastern parts of the state with most of its voters being affiliated with the Republican Party. No Democrat has carried this county in a presidential election since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. The last time a Democrat had won over 400 votes here was in 1996 with Bill Clinton, who lost the county to Bob Dole by a margin of 32 votes.

United States presidential election results for Sherman County, Oregon[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 921 76.24% 260 21.52% 27 2.24%
2016 732 71.98% 202 19.86% 83 8.16%
2012 678 66.08% 319 31.09% 29 2.83%
2008 634 60.55% 385 36.77% 28 2.67%
2004 694 62.86% 390 35.33% 20 1.81%
2000 679 63.94% 326 30.70% 57 5.37%
1996 476 44.61% 444 41.61% 147 13.78%
1992 424 37.99% 362 32.44% 330 29.57%
1988 555 54.63% 435 42.81% 26 2.56%
1984 828 67.48% 398 32.44% 1 0.08%
1980 677 57.86% 389 33.25% 104 8.89%
1976 567 51.13% 491 44.27% 51 4.60%
1972 677 64.91% 330 31.64% 36 3.45%
1968 646 59.32% 384 35.26% 59 5.42%
1964 494 36.51% 859 63.49% 0 0.00%
1960 659 56.57% 506 43.43% 0 0.00%
1956 671 61.50% 420 38.50% 0 0.00%
1952 747 67.48% 355 32.07% 5 0.45%
1948 532 53.20% 454 45.40% 14 1.40%
1944 475 47.69% 518 52.01% 3 0.30%
1940 575 46.07% 670 53.69% 3 0.24%
1936 337 27.78% 823 67.85% 53 4.37%
1932 423 38.04% 665 59.80% 24 2.16%
1928 759 66.35% 375 32.78% 10 0.87%
1924 756 55.92% 367 27.14% 229 16.94%
1920 893 65.57% 423 31.06% 46 3.38%
1916 717 46.86% 747 48.82% 66 4.31%
1912 244 34.86% 232 33.14% 224 32.00%
1908 437 58.27% 252 33.60% 61 8.13%
1904 701 71.10% 163 16.53% 122 12.37%

Economy[edit]

Sherman County is predominantly an agricultural county, its economy receiving some aid from ranching and tourism. Its farms primarily produce wheat and barley. It is also home to the Biglow Canyon Wind Farm, the largest project of its kind in Oregon.[17]

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ a b In the beginning, Sherman County Historical Society and Museum
  4. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  8. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 26, 2015. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  11. ^ a b c "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 February 23, 2016.
  12. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  13. ^ "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 February 23, 2016.
  14. ^ "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 February 23, 2016.
  15. ^ "Norcor Home Archived November 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine." Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Facility. Retrieved on November 22, 2011.
  16. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  17. ^ Hill, Gail Kinsey. Wind farm in gorge may blow others away. The Oregonian. August 1, 2005.

Further reading[edit]

Newspapers[edit]

  • Current - The Times-Journal

Moro Bulletin.

  • Moro Leader. (1898— )
  • Moro Observer/Sherman County Observer. (1897—1931)
  • Sherman County Journal. (1931— )
  • Sherman County News. (1927— )

Coordinates: 45°25′N 120°41′W / 45.41°N 120.69°W / 45.41; -120.69