Missouri Counties
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Missouri Counties

Missouri has one hundred and fourteen counties and one independent city. St. Louis City is separate from St. Louis County and is referred to as a "city not within a county." Following the Louisiana Purchase and the admittance of Louisiana into the United States in 1812, five counties were formed out of the Missouri Territory at the first general assembly. Most subsequent counties were apportioned from these five original counties.

Oregon County, Missouri

Oregon County Education, Geography, and HistoryOregon County, Missouri Courthouse

Oregon County is a county located in the southern portion of the state of Missouri. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 10,881. Its county seat is Alton. The county was officially organized on February 14, 1845, and was named for the Oregon Territory in the northwestern United States.

Etymology - Origin of Oregon County Name

Named for the Territory of Oregon.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

History of Oregon County

Organized from Ripley County February 14, 1845, with a population of 750; and named for Oregon Territory. The controversy between Britain and the United States over the possession of this territory, which gave rise to the slogan "Fifty-four forty or fight," was a live issue at the time, finally settled in favor of the United States in 1846. Oregon Territory was organized in 1848, and became a state in 1859. It was named for the Oregon River, now the Columbia. The name is of Indian origin, but its precise meaning is uncertain. (Campbell, Gaz. of Mo. (1874) 407; Mo. Hist. Rev. (April, 1917) 337; Goodspeed, 181; W.E. Harrod; Clippings from THE SOUTH MISSOURIAN)

Source: Pottenger, Cora Ann. "Place Names Of Five Southern Border Counties Of Missouri." M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1945.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 792 square miles (2,050 km2), of which 790 square miles (2,000 km2) is land and 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2) (0.2%) is water. Arkansas is located to the south of Oregon County

Home to a large area of the Mark Twain National Forest, Oregon County contains more national forest acreage than any county in the state of Missouri. It also contains the Irish Wilderness, the largest federally protected wilderness area in the state. Hiking, backpacking, and horseback riding opportunities abound on the Ozark Trail and the White's Creek Trail. Canoeing, kayaking, jonboating, and fishing are popular on the Eleven Point River, which is Missouri's only National Wild and Scenic River.

Grand Gulf State Park is a Missouri state park just west of Thayer which includes a collapsed karst canyon.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Shannon County (north)
  • Carter County (northeast)
  • Ripley County (east)
  • Randolph County, Arkansas (southeast)
  • Sharp County, Arkansas (south)
  • Fulton County, Arkansas (southwest)
  • Howell County (west)


Of adults 25 years of age and older in Oregon County, 72.0% possesses a high school diploma or higher while 9.1% holds a bachelor's degree or higher as their highest educational attainment.

Public schools

Alton R-IV School District - Alton
Couch R-I School District - Myrtle
Oregon-Howell R-III School District - Koshkonong
Thayer R-II School District - Thayer

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