Lincoln County
Lincoln County Courthouse
Lincoln County Courthouse
Map of Washington highlighting Lincoln County
Location within the U.S. state of Washington
Map of the United States highlighting Washington
Washington's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 47°34′N 118°25′W / 47.57°N 118.41°W / 47.57; -118.41
Country United States
State Washington
FoundedNovember 24, 1883
Named forAbraham Lincoln
SeatDavenport
Largest cityDavenport
Area
 • Total2,339 sq mi (6,060 km2)
 • Land2,310 sq mi (6,000 km2)
 • Water29 sq mi (80 km2)  1.2%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total10,876
 • Estimate 
(2021)
11,232 Increase
 • Density4.4/sq mi (1.7/km2)
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
Congressional district5th
Websitewww.co.lincoln.wa.us

Lincoln County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2020 census, the population was 10,876,[1] making it the fifth-least populous county in the state.[2] The county seat and largest city is Davenport.[3]

Lincoln County was created out of Whitman County in November 1883.[4] It is named for Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States.[5]

History

In 1883, Lincoln County was created from a portion of Spokane County, and four days later a portion of its area was peeled off to create Douglas County. There have been no further alterations to its boundary since that time.[6] Its 2,317 square miles make it #8 in size in the state.

Centuries ago, the area now covered by Lincoln County contained an east–west passageway used by indigenous peoples. A spring near the present-day Davenport created a large overnight camping place.

The early exploration of the Northwest Territory by Lewis and Clark did not reach as far north as the Lincoln County expanses. The first recorded entry by European explorers was of David Thompson, a scout for the North West Company, who traversed the area in 1811. He noted physical locations in present-day Lincoln County. He described Hell Gate Rapid (calling it 'Strong Rapid'). That stretch of the Columbia River is now tame, because of the presence of Grand Coulee Dam.[6] After this, there was considerable exploration by fur trappers and others, including famed Scotch botanist David Douglas in 1826.[6]

Possibly the first permanent non-indigenous resident of the area was R.M. Bacon, originally from Boston, who began raising cattle around Crab Creek in 1871. When the first post office was established in the county, Bacon was its postmaster.[6]

Emigration into the area accelerated in the late 1870s. Completion of the Northern Pacific Railway in 1883, and construction of Fort Spokane (1880-1882) hastened settlement.

Geography and climate

Lincoln County lies on the Channelled Scablands, known as the Big Bend Plateau. It lies 1,500-2,500 feet above sea level, with a system of channels eroded into bedrock by glacial rivers and streams, flowing from northeastern Washington.

Lincoln County climate is hot/dry in the summer, cold/moderately humid in the winter. Due to the relatively level terrain (about 1,200 feet difference from lowest to highest elevations), temperatures tend to vary little from east to west. Precipitation varies from an arid condition in the western part of the county to semi-arid in the northeast. The entire area lies in the dry intermontane basin between the Cascades and the Rocky Mountain System. Precipitation (10-20 inches annual rainfall) is a major controlling factor in agriculture. Precipitation in the Big Bend region is highly variable; from 8 inches in the west to 20 inches in the northeast.

Monthly temperature averages range from below freezing in mid-winter to highs of 65-71 °F in mid-summer.[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,339 square miles (6,060 km2), of which 2,310 square miles (6,000 km2) is land and 29 square miles (75 km2) (1.2%) is water.[7]

Geographic features

Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18909,312
190011,96928.5%
191017,53946.5%
192015,141−13.7%
193011,876−21.6%
194011,361−4.3%
195010,970−3.4%
196010,919−0.5%
19709,572−12.3%
19809,6040.3%
19908,864−7.7%
200010,18414.9%
201010,5703.8%
202010,8762.9%
2021 (est.)11,232[8]3.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790–1960[10] 1900–1990[11]
1990–2000[12] 2010–2020[1]

2000 census

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 10,184 people, 4,151 households, and 2,914 families in the county. The population density was 4 people per square mile (2/km2). There were 5,298 housing units at an average density of 2 per square mile (1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.64% White, 0.23% Black or African American, 1.63% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.58% from other races, and 1.61% from two or more races. 1.88% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 36.6% were of German, 10.5% English, 9.3% United States or American and 5.8% Irish ancestry.

There were 4,151 households, out of which 29.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.90% were married couples living together, 6.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.80% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.30% under the age of 18, 5.20% from 18 to 24, 23.20% from 25 to 44, 27.40% 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 98.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,255, and the median income for a family was $41,269. Males had a median income of $31,086 versus $22,444 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,888. About 8.40% of families and 12.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.60% of those under age 18 and 7.70% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 10,570 people, 4,422 households, and 3,059 families residing in the county.[14] The population density was 4.6 inhabitants per square mile (1.8/km2). There were 5,776 housing units at an average density of 2.5 per square mile (0.97/km2).[15] The racial makeup of the county was 95.0% white, 1.6% American Indian, 0.4% Asian, 0.3% black or African American, 0.5% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.3% of the population.[14] In terms of ancestry, 42.3% were German, 14.6% were Irish, 13.9% were English, 5.5% were Norwegian, 5.3% were Scotch-Irish, and 3.6% were American.[16]

Of the 4,422 households, 25.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.3% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 30.8% were non-families, and 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.85. The median age was 47.6 years.[14]

The median income for a household in the county was $45,582 and the median income for a family was $52,083. Males had a median income of $44,491 versus $30,617 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,757. About 7.1% of families and 12.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.5% of those under age 18 and 6.0% of those age 65 or over.[17]

Government and politics

The county is administered by a three-member Board of Commissioners.

Like neighboring Adams County, Lincoln County is one of the most conservative counties in Washington. The last Democratic presidential candidate to carry the county was Harry Truman in 1948. In 1964, it was one of only three counties in the state to be carried by Barry Goldwater, and was the nation's northernmost county or equivalent to vote for Goldwater.[18] In the last seven elections, no Democratic candidate for president has received more than 36 percent of the county's vote; the last Democratic gubernatorial nominee it backed was Booth Gardner in 1988, during a major drought and farm crisis.[19] In 2016, Donald Trump won over 70 percent of the county's vote.[20]

United States presidential election results for Lincoln County, Washington[21]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 5,150 73.23% 1,713 24.36% 170 2.42%
2016 4,108 70.09% 1,244 21.23% 509 8.68%
2012 4,063 68.74% 1,673 28.30% 175 2.96%
2008 3,803 63.30% 2,032 33.82% 173 2.88%
2004 4,015 69.09% 1,706 29.36% 90 1.55%
2000 3,546 68.23% 1,417 27.27% 234 4.50%
1996 2,587 51.40% 1,806 35.88% 640 12.72%
1992 2,152 43.59% 1,653 33.48% 1,132 22.93%
1988 2,689 57.89% 1,884 40.56% 72 1.55%
1984 3,474 66.90% 1,671 32.18% 48 0.92%
1980 3,324 62.28% 1,597 29.92% 416 7.79%
1976 2,925 57.57% 1,978 38.93% 178 3.50%
1972 3,647 69.14% 1,453 27.55% 175 3.32%
1968 2,994 59.25% 1,721 34.06% 338 6.69%
1964 2,911 55.84% 2,299 44.10% 3 0.06%
1960 3,211 58.77% 2,248 41.14% 5 0.09%
1956 3,114 57.77% 2,273 42.17% 3 0.06%
1952 3,422 63.31% 1,974 36.52% 9 0.17%
1948 2,348 47.68% 2,518 51.14% 58 1.18%
1944 2,723 53.75% 2,328 45.95% 15 0.30%
1940 2,627 47.32% 2,896 52.16% 29 0.52%
1936 1,325 26.14% 3,627 71.55% 117 2.31%
1932 1,748 38.04% 2,725 59.30% 122 2.66%
1928 2,718 59.62% 1,807 39.64% 34 0.75%
1924 2,042 46.16% 743 16.79% 1,639 37.05%
1920 3,038 65.04% 1,395 29.87% 238 5.10%
1916 2,356 43.06% 2,827 51.67% 288 5.26%
1912 691 14.46% 1,829 38.26% 2,260 47.28%
1908 2,025 55.19% 1,443 39.33% 201 5.48%
1904 2,472 67.41% 1,004 27.38% 191 5.21%
1900 1,414 45.58% 1,585 51.10% 103 3.32%
1896 781 30.18% 1,771 68.43% 36 1.39%
1892 915 39.19% 831 35.59% 589 25.22%


Economy

The county is dependent on agriculture, primarily wheat farming. Lincoln County is generally considered the second-largest producer of wheat in the United States (following Whitman County, Washington), sometimes producing 25 million bushels (680,000 t) per year.[22] Only about 500,000 of 900,000 acres (2,000 of 3,600 km2 (1,390 sq mi)) of farmland in the county are planted in any given year due to the practice of typically harvesting one crop every two years ("summer-fallow"), a necessity in a region with only 12 inches (300 mm) of precipitation annually.

Livestock husbandry is also a significant county activity, although to a significantly lower degree. For example, in 1954 the county was #3 in the state for crop income, but was only #21 in the state for income from livestock and livestock products.[6]

Communities

Cities

Towns

Unincorporated communities

Ghost towns

See also

Further reading

References

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  2. ^ Ahead of Ferry County (7,178), Wahkiakum County (4,422), Columbia County (3,952), and Garfield County (2,286).
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 187.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Lincoln County History
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  12. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  13. ^ 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 March 6, 2016.
  14. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 – County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ "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.
  17. ^ David Leip's Presidential Atlas Map for Washington by election
  18. ^ Dave Leip. "Gubernatorial General Election Map Comparison – Washington". Dave Leip’s U.S. Election Atlas.
  19. ^ David Leip's Presidential Atlas Map for Washington, 2016
  20. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  21. ^ United States Dept. of Agriculture

Coordinates: 47°34′N 118°25′W / 47.57°N 118.41°W / 47.57; -118.41