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Oregon Counties
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Oregon Counties

There are thyirty-six counties in the state of Oregon. The Oregon Constitution does not explicitly provide for county seats.

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Oregon Counties: History and Information

Find a brief history of Oregon CountiesBrief history of Oregon Counties: Flags of Our Nation

The individual county histories trace the establishment and evolution of each of the 36 county governments in Oregon. The histories include information concerning the creation and naming of the county; designation of county boundaries; location of the county seat; construction of the county courthouse; development of the county government; and description of the major industrial geographical, demographic, or historical features of the county.

Nine counties have adopted "home rule"charters, wherein voters have the power to adopt and amend their own county government organization. Lane and Washington were the first to adopt "home rule"in 1962, followed by Hood River (1964), Multnomah (1967), Benton (1972), Jackson (1978), Josephine (1980), Clatsop (1988) and Umatilla (1993).  

Twenty-four of Oregon's 36 counties, including the nine with charters, are governed by a board of commissioners comprised of three to five elected members. The remaining 12 less populated counties are governed by a "county court"consisting of a county judge and two commissioners.

Find a brief history of Oregon Counties
County 2000
Population
Square
Miles
County Seat Created
Baker County 16,741 3,068 Baker City 1862
Benton County 78,153 676 Corvallis 1847
Clackamas County 338,391 1,868 Oregon City 1843
Clatsop County 35,630 827 Astoria 1844
Columbia County 43,560 657 Saint Helens 1854
Coos County 62,779 1,600 Coquille 1853
Crook County 19,182 2,980 Prineville 1882
Curry County 21,137 1,627 Gold Beach 1855
Deschutes County 115,367 3,018 Bend 1916
Douglas County 100,399 5,037 Roseburg 1852
Gilliam County 1,915 1,204 Condon 1885
Grant County 7,935 4,529 Canyon City 1864
Harney County 7,609 10,135 Burns 1889
Hood River County 20,411 522 Hood River 1908
Jackson County 181,269 2,785 Medford 1852
Jefferson County 19,009 1,781 Madras 1914
Josephine County 75,726 1,640 Grants Pass 1856
Klamath County 63,775 5,945 Klamath Falls 1882
Lake County 7,422 8,136 Lakeview 1874
Lane County 322,959 4,554 Eugene 1851
Lincoln County 44,479 980 Newport 1893
Linn County 103,069 2,291 Albany 1847
Malheur County 31,615 9,888 Vale 1887
Marion County 284,834 1,185 Salem 1843
Morrow County 10,995 2,033 Heppner 1885
Multnomah County 660,486 435 Portland 1854
Polk County 62,380 741 Dallas 1845
Sherman County 1,934 823 Moro 1889
Tillamook County 24,262 1,102 Tillamook 1853
Umatilla County 70,548 3,215 Pendleton 1862
Union County 24,530 2,037 La Grande 1864
Wallowa County 7,226 3,145 Enterprise 1887
Wasco County 23,791 2,381 The Dalles 1854
Washington County 445,342 724 Hillsboro 1843
Wheeler County 1,547 1,715 Fossil 1899
Yamhill County 84,992 716 McMinnville 1843
County Resources
US Counties
Names given the counties, our most locally based jurisdictions, reflects the "characteristic features of this country!"
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