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Union, Oregon
The Eaton House, a Victorian home in the Union Main Street Historic District
The Eaton House, a Victorian home in the Union Main Street Historic District
"City of Victorian Heritage"
Location in Oregon
Location in Oregon
Country United States
State Oregon
County Union
Incorporated 1878
 • Total 2.49 sq mi (6.45 km2)
 • Land 2.49 sq mi (6.45 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
2,791 ft (851 m)
 • Total 2,121
 • Estimate 
 • Density 892.33/sq mi (344.55/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (Pacific)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 541
FIPS code 41-75850
GNIS feature ID 1128409

Union is a city in Union County, Oregon, United States. The population was 2,121 at the 2010 census.


Union was platted on November 11, 1864 along the Oregon Trail. The name references the Union states, or Northern States, of the American Civil War.

La Grande was named the county seat when Union County was created in 1865. Due to the Thomas and Ruckle Road going through Union, it elected the county seat in 1872, but when the railroad was built it was put through La Grande instead of Union. La Grande became the bigger town within the county and regained the county seat in 1902. J. W. Shelton, a local attorney, chartered the Union Electric Power and Light Company in March 1890 to bring the railroad from Union Junction (2.5 miles away) to Union itself. The company was renamed the Union Railway Company in July 1890, and the rail spur was built into Union by August 1892. Shelton planned to build more lines, had a fight with his company partners (the Hutchinsons), then two competing firms were formed: Shelton's The Union Railway in January 1893, and Hutchinsons' Union Street Railway and Suburban Railway. Both companies competed to buy the Union Railway Company. Shelton maintained control until August 1905, when The Union Railway was renamed to the Union, Cove and Valley Railway. This company was bought the following year by a timber company from the East Coast.

During the 2006 November elections, Kyle Corbin, an 18-year-old college student, was elected mayor after a successful write-in campaign. He had promised to bring an end to the political chaos that had plagued the town for the last two years, which included three councilmen and mayor Deborah Clark being removed in recall elections. "I know the procedures and rules," he told an Oregonian reporter. "I've run a meeting with a bunch of high school kids." Since then, one newspaper reports that "talk around town about whether the young mayor will succeed ranges from skepticism to sunny optimism."


Union lies in the extreme southeast corner of the Grande Ronde Valley near the western edge of the Wallowa Mountains. Oregon Route 237 runs through the city between Cove to the north and North Powder to the south. Oregon Route 203 also passes through Union, linking it to La Grande, about 20 miles (32 km) to the northwest. Catherine Creek, a tributary of the Grande Ronde River, passes through the city.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.50 square miles (6.47 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 416
1890 604 45.2%
1900 937 55.1%
1910 1,483 58.3%
1920 1,319 −11.1%
1930 1,107 −16.1%
1940 1,398 26.3%
1950 1,307 −6.5%
1960 1,490 14.0%
1970 1,531 2.8%
1980 2,062 34.7%
1990 1,847 −10.4%
2000 1,926 4.3%
2010 2,121 10.1%
2019 (est.) 2,221 4.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 2,121 people, 859 households, and 603 families residing in the city. The population density was 848.4 inhabitants per square mile (327.6/km2). There were 933 housing units at an average density of 373.2 per square mile (144.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.6% White, 0.1% African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.3% of the population.

There were 859 households, of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.7% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 29.8% were non-families. 24.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.93.

The median age in the city was 43.8 years. 24.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 20.6% were from 25 to 44; 30.8% were from 45 to 64; and 17.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.2% male and 50.8% female.

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