Wheeler County, Oregon facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Wheeler County, Oregon
Map

Location in the state of Oregon
Map of the USA highlighting Oregon
Oregon's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded February 17, 1899
Seat Fossil
Largest City Fossil
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,715 sq mi (4,442 km²)
1,715 sq mi (4,442 km²)
0.5 sq mi (1 km²), 0.03%
PopulationEst.
 - (2015)
 - Density

1,358
0.8/sq mi (0/km²)
Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7
Website: www.wheelercountyoregon.com
Wheeler County
     U.S. Forest Service land      Bureau of Land Management land      National Park Service land      Wilderness area

Wheeler County is a county in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,441, making it Oregon's least populous county. The county seat is Fossil. It is named in honor of Henry H. Wheeler, an early settler who owned a farm near Mitchell.

Wheeler County is known for having the state's largest deposit of fossils.

History

Wheeler County was created on February 17, 1899, from parts of Grant, Gilliam, and Crook Counties. There have been no boundary changes since its creation. Fossil was designated the temporary county seat at the time of the county's creation. In 1900 there was an election to determine the permanent county seat between the three towns of the county, which ended with Fossil winning the election.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,715 square miles (4,440 km2), of which 1,715 square miles (4,440 km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) (0.03%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National Protected Areas

  • John Day Fossil Beds National Monument (part)
  • Ochoco National Forest (part)
  • Umatilla National Forest (part)

Major highway

  • U.S. Route 26
  • Oregon Route 19

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 2,443
1910 2,484 1.7%
1920 2,791 12.4%
1930 2,799 0.3%
1940 2,974 6.3%
1950 3,313 11.4%
1960 2,722 −17.8%
1970 1,849 −32.1%
1980 1,513 −18.2%
1990 1,396 −7.7%
2000 1,547 10.8%
2010 1,441 −6.9%
Est. 2015 1,358 −5.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,547 people, 653 households, and 444 families residing in the county. The population density was 1 people per square mile (0/km²). There were 842 housing units at an average density of 0 per square mile (0/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.34% White, 0.06% Black or African American, 0.84% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 3.49% from other races, and 1.94% from two or more races. 5.11% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 20.6% were of German, 18.0% English, 13.6% American, 8.2% Irish and 6.9% Scottish ancestry.

There were 653 households out of which 21.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.20% were married couples living together, 4.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.90% were non-families. 27.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.76.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.70% under the age of 18, 3.40% from 18 to 24, 19.30% from 25 to 44, 31.40% from 45 to 64, and 23.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females there were 102.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,750, and the median income for a family was $34,048. Males had a median income of $29,688 versus $22,361 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,884. About 12.70% of families and 15.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.20% of those under age 18 and 4.20% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,441 people, 651 households, and 408 families residing in the county. The population density was 0.8 inhabitants per square mile (0.31/km2). There were 895 housing units at an average density of 0.5 per square mile (0.19/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 92.4% white, 1.2% American Indian, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 2.6% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.3% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 28.4% were German, 24.0% were English, 20.0% were Irish, and 8.4% were American.

Of the 651 households, 20.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 37.3% were non-families, and 32.4% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.70. The median age was 53.0 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,403 and the median income for a family was $43,167. Males had a median income of $36,328 versus $31,792 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,598. About 9.1% of families and 11.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.0% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Cities

Unincorporated communities

Ghost town

Images for kids


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