Wheeler County, Oregon facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Wheeler County Courthouse in Fossil
Location within the U.S. state of Oregon
Oregon's location within the U.S.
|Founded||February 17, 1899|
|• Total||1,715 sq mi (4,440 km2)|
|• Land||1,715 sq mi (4,440 km2)|
|• Water||0.5 sq mi (1 km2) 0.03%%|
| • Estimate
|• Density||0.8/sq mi (0.3/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−8 (Pacific)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−7 (PDT)|
Wheeler County is a county in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2020 census, the population was 1,451, making it Oregon's least populous county. It is named in honor of Henry H. Wheeler, an early settler who owned a farm near Mitchell. The county seat is Fossil, and Wheeler County is known for having Oregon's largest deposit of fossils.
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.
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.
- Gilliam County - north
- Morrow County - northeast
- Grant County - east
- Crook County - south
- Jefferson County - northwest
- Wasco County - northwest
National Protected Areas
- John Day Fossil Beds National Monument (part)
- Ochoco National Forest (part)
- Umatilla National Forest (part)
- U.S. Route 26
- Oregon Route 19
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the 2010 census, there were 1,441 people, 651 households, and 408 families living 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.
Principal industries in this county are agriculture, livestock, and lumber.
Wheeler County, Oregon Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.