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Jefferson, Oregon
T. M. and Emma Witten Drug Store-House in Jefferson
T. M. and Emma Witten Drug Store-House in Jefferson
Location in Oregon
Location in Oregon
Country United States
State Oregon
County Marion
Incorporated 1870
 • Total 0.89 sq mi (2.29 km2)
 • Land 0.86 sq mi (2.22 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)
240 ft (70 m)
 • Total 3,098
 • Estimate 
 • Density 3,925.32/sq mi (1,516.10/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (Pacific)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 541
FIPS code 41-37250
GNIS feature ID 1163070
Website City of Jefferson

Jefferson is a city in Marion County, Oregon, United States. It is part of the Salem Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 3,098 at the 2010 census. It is home to the annual Mint Harvest Festival and is the self-proclaimed "Mint Capital of the World" as well as "Frog Jumping Capital of Oregon." The city sits on the right bank of the Santiam River between Salem and Albany along Oregon Route 164 east of Interstate 5.


The first name for this locality was Conser's Ferry, for Jacob S. Conser, an Oregon Trail pioneer of 1848 who ran a ferry across the Santiam River. Conser was also involved in the communities of Syracuse and Santiam City, which was about 2 miles (3 km) downstream of Jefferson. He established the ferry in 1851, and also served as the postmaster of Santiam City. When the Jefferson Institute was established in the vicinity (not the same as the Jefferson Institute in Polk County), the name Jefferson was eventually adopted by the community. Jefferson post office was established in 1861, with a name change from Syracuse, and previously, Santiam City. The 1854 Jacob Conser House, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, currently serves as the city's library. The current Oregon Route 164 bridge across the Santiam was designed by Conde McCullough and named in Conser's honor.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.77 square miles (1.99 km2), of which, 0.76 square miles (1.97 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.


This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F (22.0 °C). According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Jefferson has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 307
1900 273 −11.1%
1910 415 52.0%
1920 417 0.5%
1930 391 −6.2%
1940 479 22.5%
1950 636 32.8%
1960 716 12.6%
1970 936 30.7%
1980 1,702 81.8%
1990 1,805 6.1%
2000 2,487 37.8%
2010 3,098 24.6%
2019 (est.) 3,364 8.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 3,098 people, 1,057 households, and 820 families living in the city. The population density was 4,076.3 inhabitants per square mile (1,573.9/km2). There were 1,119 housing units at an average density of 1,472.4 per square mile (568.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 83.8% White, 0.2% African American, 1.7% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 9.6% from other races, and 3.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.2% of the population.

There were 1,057 households, of which 44.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.5% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 22.4% were non-families. 16.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.93 and the average family size was 3.27.

The median age in the city was 32 years. 30.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.3% were from 25 to 44; 22.8% were from 45 to 64; and 9.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.7% male and 51.3% female.


Public education in the city is provided by the Jefferson School District, which includes three schools: Jefferson Elementary School, Jefferson Middle School, and Jefferson High School.

A new Middle School was built in 2019. The school is located right beside the Jefferson High School.

Notable people

  • Jeff Gilmour, politician
  • Carol Menken-Schaudt, Olympic basketball player
  • Frederick Steiwer, politician


See also

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