Wheeler County
Wheeler County Courthouse in Fossil
Wheeler County Courthouse in Fossil
Map of Oregon highlighting Wheeler 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°44′N 120°01′W / 44.73°N 120.02°W / 44.73; -120.02
Country United States
State Oregon
FoundedFebruary 17, 1899
SeatFossil
Largest cityFossil
Area
 • Total1,715 sq mi (4,440 km2)
 • Land1,715 sq mi (4,440 km2)
 • Water0.5 sq mi (1 km2)  0.03%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total1,451
 • Estimate 
(2021)
1,451
 • Density0.8/sq mi (0.3/km2)
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
Congressional district2nd
Websitewww.wheelercountyoregon.com
.mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  U.S. Forest Service land   Bureau of Land Management land   National Park Service land   Wilderness area
  U.S. Forest Service land
  Bureau of Land Management land
  National Park Service land
  Wilderness area

Wheeler County is a county in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2020 census, the population was 1,451,[1] making it Oregon's least populous county. It is named in honor of Henry H. Wheeler,[2] an early settler who owned a farm near Mitchell. The county seat is Fossil,[3] and Wheeler County is known for having Oregon's largest deposit of fossils.

History

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.

Henry H. Wheeler (born September 7, 1826, Erie County, Pennsylvania - died March 26, 1915, Mitchell, Oregon) arrived in Oregon in 1862, moved around, and settled near Mitchell, Oregon. He married Dorcas L. Monroe on 19 December 1875.[4]

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,715 square miles (4,440 km2), of which 1,715 square miles (4,440 km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) (0.03%) is water.[5]

Adjacent counties

National Protected Areas

Major highway

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
19002,443
19102,4841.7%
19202,79112.4%
19302,7990.3%
19402,9746.3%
19503,31311.4%
19602,722−17.8%
19701,849−32.1%
19801,513−18.2%
19901,396−7.7%
20001,54710.8%
20101,441−6.9%
20201,4510.7%
2021 (est.)1,451[6]0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2019[1]

2000 census

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 1,547 people, 653 households, and 444 families living 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.

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.

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 1,441 people, 651 households, and 408 families living in the county.[12] The population density was 0.8 inhabitants per square mile (0.31/km2). There were 895 housing units at an average density of 0.5 per square mile (0.19/km2).[13] The racial makeup of the county was 92.4% white, 1.2% American Indian, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 2.6% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.3% of the population.[12] In terms of ancestry, 28.4% were German, 24.0% were English, 20.0% were Irish, and 8.4% were American.[14]

Of the 651 households, 20.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 37.3% were non-families, and 32.4% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.70. The median age was 53.0 years.[12]

The median income for a household in the county was $33,403 and the median income for a family was $43,167. Males had a median income of $36,328 versus $31,792 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,598. About 9.1% of families and 11.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.0% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.[15]

Politics

United States presidential election results for Wheeler County, Oregon[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 711 73.68% 217 22.49% 37 3.83%
2016 591 72.25% 155 18.95% 72 8.80%
2012 545 63.52% 266 31.00% 47 5.48%
2008 498 61.33% 281 34.61% 33 4.06%
2004 612 69.55% 245 27.84% 23 2.61%
2000 584 69.44% 202 24.02% 55 6.54%
1996 418 47.83% 299 34.21% 157 17.96%
1992 357 41.51% 267 31.05% 236 27.44%
1988 367 54.53% 274 40.71% 32 4.75%
1984 504 66.58% 253 33.42% 0 0.00%
1980 442 54.70% 282 34.90% 84 10.40%
1976 355 45.57% 402 51.60% 22 2.82%
1972 474 60.31% 267 33.97% 45 5.73%
1968 443 58.14% 292 38.32% 27 3.54%
1964 340 42.61% 458 57.39% 0 0.00%
1960 566 54.84% 466 45.16% 0 0.00%
1956 605 51.53% 569 48.47% 0 0.00%
1952 719 60.52% 468 39.39% 1 0.08%
1948 414 49.23% 411 48.87% 16 1.90%
1944 544 56.55% 414 43.04% 4 0.42%
1940 705 51.84% 652 47.94% 3 0.22%
1936 502 42.18% 663 55.71% 25 2.10%
1932 519 44.55% 632 54.25% 14 1.20%
1928 677 75.06% 224 24.83% 1 0.11%
1924 685 68.43% 213 21.28% 103 10.29%
1920 797 76.56% 212 20.37% 32 3.07%
1916 629 51.73% 570 46.88% 17 1.40%
1912 307 44.75% 222 32.36% 157 22.89%
1908 418 61.65% 236 34.81% 24 3.54%
1904 462 69.58% 161 24.25% 41 6.17%
1900 426 62.01% 243 35.37% 18 2.62%


Wheeler County voters[17]
Wheeler County voters[17]

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,[17] and the last Democrat to win a majority in the county was Jimmy Carter in 1976.

In the 2016 presidential election, 72.25 percent of voters went for Republican Donald Trump, 18.95 percent for Democrat Hillary Clinton, 5.62 percent for Libertarian Gary Johnson, and the remainder were either write-ins or voted for other candidates.[18] In the 2012 presidential election, 63.52 percent of voters went for Mitt Romney, 31.00 percent for Barack Obama and 5.48 percent for other candidates.

In the 2008 presidential election, 61.33% of Wheeler County voters voted for Republican John McCain, while 34.61% voted for Obama and 4.06% of voters either voted for a Third Party candidate or wrote in a candidate.[19] In the 2004 presidential election, 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.[20]

Economy

Principal industries in this county are agriculture, livestock, and lumber.

Communities

Cities

Unincorporated communities

Ghost town

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  2. ^ "Page:Centennial History of Oregon 1811-1912, Volume 1.djvu/706".
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ a b McArthur, Lewis A.; McArthur, Lewis L. (1992) [1928]. Oregon Geographic Names (6th ed.). Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. p. 898. ISBN 978-0875952369.
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  9. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's atlas of U.S. Presidential elections". USElectionAtlas.org. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  17. ^ a b Voter registration comparison by county (PDF) (Report). Oregon Secretary of State. October 2018. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  18. ^ Wheeler County in 2016. USElectionAtlas.org (Report). Presidential election.
  19. ^ Wheeler County in 2008. USElectionAtlas.org (Report). Presidential election. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
  20. ^ "Wheeler County, OR". city-data.com. Retrieved April 21, 2009.

Further reading

Media related to Wheeler County, Oregon at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 44°44′N 120°01′W / 44.73°N 120.02°W / 44.73; -120.02