Wheeler County, Oregon
|Wheeler County, Oregon|
Wheeler County Courthouse in Fossil
Location in the state of Oregon
Oregon's location in the U.S.
|Founded||February 17, 1899|
|• Total||1,715 sq mi (4,442 km2)|
|• Land||1,715 sq mi (4,442 km2)|
|• Water||0.5 sq mi (1 km2), 0.03%|
|• Density||0.8/sq mi (0/km²)|
|Time zone||Pacific: UTC-8/-7|
Wheeler County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,441, making it the least populous county in Oregon. The county seat is Fossil. It is named in honor of Henry H. Wheeler, an early settler who owned a farm near Mitchell.
Wheeler County is known for having a large depository of fossils, the most extensive in the state.
Wheeler County was created on February 17, 1899, from parts of Grant, Gilliam, and Crook Counties. There have been no boundary changes since its creation. Fossil was designated the temporary county seat at the time of the county's creation. In 1900 there was an election to determine the permanent county seat between the three towns of the county, which ended with Fossil winning the election.
- Gilliam County - north
- Morrow County - northeast
- Grant County - east
- Crook County - south
- Jefferson County - northwest
- Wasco County - northwest
National Protected Areas
- John Day Fossil Beds National Monument (part)
- Ochoco National Forest (part)
- Umatilla National Forest (part)
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,547 people, 653 households, and 444 families residing in the county. The population density was 1 people per square mile (0/km²). There were 842 housing units at an average density of 0 per square mile (0/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.34% White, 0.06% Black or African American, 0.84% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 3.49% from other races, and 1.94% from two or more races. 5.11% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 20.6% were of German, 18.0% English, 13.6% American, 8.2% Irish and 6.9% Scottish ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 653 households out of which 21.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.20% were married couples living together, 4.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.90% were non-families. 27.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.76.
In the county, the population was spread out with 22.70% under the age of 18, 3.40% from 18 to 24, 19.30% from 25 to 44, 31.40% from 45 to 64, and 23.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females there were 102.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $28,750, and the median income for a family was $34,048. Males had a median income of $29,688 versus $22,361 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,884. About 12.70% of families and 15.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.20% of those under age 18 and 4.20% of those age 65 or over.
Though Wheeler County is located in central Oregon, politically it falls in line with the eastern side of the state. The majority of registered voters who are part of a political party in Wheeler County, as well as most counties in eastern Oregon, are members of the Republican Party. In the 2008 presidential election, 61.33% of Wheeler County voters voted for Republican John McCain, while 34.61% voted for Democrat Barack Obama and 4.06% of voters either voted for a Third Party candidate or wrote in a candidate. These numbers show a small but clear shift towards the Democratic candidate when compared to the 2004 presidential election, in which 69.5% of Wheeler Country voters voted for George W. Bush, while 27.8% voted for John Kerry, and 2.7% of voters either voted for a Third Party candidate or wrote in a candidate.
Principal industries in this county are agriculture, livestock, and lumber.
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- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
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- Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
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- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- http://www.sos.state.or.us/elections/votreg/mar09.pdf Retrieved on 4/20/09
- http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/statesub.php?year=2008&fips=41069&f=0&off=0&elect=0 retrieved 4/20/09
- http://www.city-data.com/county/Wheeler_County-OR.html Retrieved on 4/21/09
Media related to Wheeler County, Oregon at Wikimedia Commons