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California Counties

The U.S. state of California is divided into fifty-eight counties. On January 4, 1850, the California constitutional committee recommended the formation of 18 counties. They were Benicia, Butte, Fremont, Los Angeles, Mariposa, Monterey, Mount Diablo, Oro, Redding, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Sonoma, and Sutter. On April 22, the Counties of Branciforte, Calaveras, Coloma, Colusi, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Trinity, and Yuba were added. Benicia was renamed Solano, Coloma to El Dorado, Fremont to Yola, Mt. Diablo to Contra Costa, San Jose to Santa Clara, Oro to Tuolumne, and Redding to Shasta. One of the first state legislative acts regarding Counties was to rename Branciforte County to Santa Cruz, Colusi to Colusa, and Yola to Yolo.

The last California county to have been established is Imperial County in 1907.
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Butte County, California

Butte County Education, Geography, and HistoryButte County, Califronia Courthouse

Butte County is a county located in the state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 220,000. The county seat is Oroville.

Butte County comprises the Chico, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is located in the California Central Valley, north of the state capital of Sacramento. Butte County is known as the "Land of Natural Wealth and Beauty."

Butte County is watered by the Feather River and the Sacramento River. Butte Creek and Big Chico Creek are additional perennial streams, both tributary to the Sacramento. The county is the home of California State University, Chico and of Butte College.

Etymology - Origin of Butte County Name

Its name is derived from the Marysville or Sutter Buttes, which lay within the boundaries when it was created. The word butte is derived from the Teutonic word meaning "a blunt extension or elevation." In the French language, it signifies "a small hill or mound of earth detached from any mountain range."


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

County History

Butte County, the “Land of Natural Wealth and Beauty” was one of the original California counties, founded on February 18, 1850. Butte County was one of California's first counties, created at time of statehood. Part of the county's territory was given to Plumas County in 1854 and to Tehama County in 1856. Its name is derived from the Marysville or Sutter Buttes, which lay within the boundaries of the county when it was created. Butte County is the home of 210,500 people, living in the cities of Chico, Oroville, Gridley, Biggs, Paradise or other parts of the county.


According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,677 square miles (4,344 km2), of which, 1,639 square miles (4,246 km2) of it is land and 38 square miles (97 km2) of it (2.24%) is water.

The county is drained by the Feather River and Butte Creek. Part of the county's western border is formed by the Sacramento River. The county lies along the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, the steep slopes making it prime territory for the siting of hydroelectric power plants. About a half dozen of these plants are located in the county.

Neighboring Counties:

  • Northeast: Plumas County
  • Southeast: Yuba County
  • South: Sutter County
  • Southwest: Colusa County
  • West: Glenn County
  • Northwest: Tehama County


Public schools

There are roughly 90 public schools in the county according to the National Center for Educational Statistics. The schools are operated by the County Office of Education and 15 school districts, which are:

  • Bangor Union Elementary School District
  • Biggs Unified School District
  • Chico Unified School District
  • Durham Unified School District
  • Feather Falls Union Elementary School District
  • Golden Feather Union Elementary School District
  • Gridley Unified School District
  • Manzanita Elementary School District
  • Oroville City Elementary School District
  • Oroville Union High School District
  • Palermo Union School District
  • Paradise Unified School District
  • Pioneer Union Elementary School District
  • Thermalito Union School District

Colleges and universities

  • Butte College
  • California State University, Chico

Public libraries

Butte County Library provides library services to residents of the County through six branches in Biggs, Chico, Durham, Gridley, Oroville and Paradise. The mission of the Butte County Library is to provide all individuals, regardless of age, ethnic background, educational or economic level, with free access to ideas, information, and technology.

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