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Malheur County, Oregon

Malheur County
Malheur County Courthouse in Vale
Malheur County Courthouse in Vale
Map of Oregon highlighting Malheur County
Location within the U.S. state of Oregon
Map of the United States highlighting Oregon
Oregon's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 43°13′N 117°38′W / 43.21°N 117.63°W / 43.21; -117.63
Country United States
State Oregon
FoundedFebruary 17, 1887
Named forMalheur River
SeatVale
Largest cityOntario
Government
 • County JudgeDan Joyce
Area
 • Total9,930 sq mi (25,700 km2)
 • Land9,888 sq mi (25,610 km2)
 • Water42 sq mi (110 km2)  0.4%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total31,571
 • Estimate 
(2023)
32,044 Increase
 • Density3.2/sq mi (1.2/km2)
Time zones
primaryUTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−6 (MDT)
southern fifthUTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
Congressional district2nd
Websitewww.malheurco.org

Malheur County (/mælˈhɪər/ mal-HEER) is one of the 36 counties in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2020 census, the population was 31,571.[1] Its county seat is Vale,[2] and its largest city is Ontario. The county was named after the Malheur River, which runs through the county. The word "malheur" is French for misfortune or tragedy.[3] Malheur County is included in the Ontario, Oregon Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Boise Combined Statistical Area. It is included in the eight-county definition of Eastern Oregon.

History

Malheur County was created February 17, 1887, from the southern territory of Baker County. It was first settled by miners and stockmen in the early 1860s. The discovery of gold in 1863 attracted further development, including settlements and ranches. Basques settled in the region in the 1890s and were mainly engaged in sheep raising.[citation needed]

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 9,930 square miles (25,700 km2), of which 9,888 square miles (25,610 km2) is land and 42 square miles (110 km2), comprising 0.4%, is water.[4] It is the second-largest county in Oregon by area and the only county in Oregon in the Mountain Time Zone.

Pillars of Rome, from US 95 near Rome

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Highways

Railroads

The main railroad in Malheur County is the Oregon Eastern Railroad. This line goes from Ontario to the Celatom Plant in Vale.[5][6] This railroad is all that remains of the Wyoming Colorado Railroad, a shot line between Colorado, Wyoming and Oregon.

OERR locomotive at Vale

Time zones

Map of Malheur County
Map of Malheur County
Most of Malheur County (shown in red) is in the Mountain Time Zone; a small portion in the southern part of the county is in the Pacific Time Zone along with the rest of the state of Oregon and neighboring Nevada.

Malheur County is one of the few counties in the United States with two time zones. Most of the county is in the Mountain Time Zone, but a small portion in the south is in the Pacific Time Zone, indicative of that area's proximity to its main service town, Winnemucca, Nevada.

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
18902,601
19004,20361.6%
19108,601104.6%
192010,90726.8%
193011,2693.3%
194019,76775.4%
195023,22317.5%
196022,764−2.0%
197023,1691.8%
198026,89616.1%
199026,038−3.2%
200031,61521.4%
201031,313−1.0%
202031,5710.8%
2023 (est.)32,044[7]1.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790–1960[9] 1900–1990[10]
1990–2000[11] 2010–2020[1]

2020 census

As of the 2020 census, there were 31,571 people residing in the county.[1]

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 31,313 people, 10,411 households, and 7,149 families living in the county.[12] The population density was 3.2 inhabitants per square mile (1.2/km2). There were 11,692 housing units at an average density of 1.2 units per square mile (0.46 units/km2).[13] The racial makeup of the county was 77.5% white, 1.7% Asian, 1.2% American Indian, 1.2% black or African American, 0.1% Pacific islander, 15.5% from other races, and 2.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 31.5% of the population.[12] In terms of ancestry, 16.2% were German, 11.9% were English, 10.3% were Irish, and 9.9% were American.[14]

Of the 10,411 households, 34.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.3% were non-families, and 26.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.24. The median age was 36.2 years.[12]

The median income for a household in the county was $39,144 and the median income for a family was $46,136. Males had a median income of $33,234 versus $27,883 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,335. About 15.2% of families and 22.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.1% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.[15]

2000 census

As of the 2000 census, there were 31,615 people, 10,221 households, and 7,348 families living in the county. The population density was 3 people per square mile (1.2 people/km2). There were 11,233 housing units at an average density of 1 units per square mile (0.39/km2). The racial makeup of the county was:

25.62% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 14.2% were of German, 10.5% English, 8.4% American and 6.9% Irish ancestry. 79.4% spoke English and 19.4% spoke Spanish as their first language.

There were 10,221 households, out of which 36.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.30% were married couples living together, 10.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.10% were non-families. 23.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.28.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 27.60% under the age of 18, 10.60% from 18 to 24, 27.20% from 25 to 44, 21.00% from 45 to 64, and 13.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 116.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 121.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,241, and the median income for a family was $35,672. Males had a median income of $25,489 versus $21,764 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,895. About 14.60% of families and 18.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.80% of those under age 18 and 11.60% of those age 65 or over.

Malheur County is the poorest county in Oregon.[16] As of 2008, 21% of its residents live in poverty.[17]

Politics

[18]

Like most counties in eastern Oregon, the majority of registered voters who are part of a political party in Malheur County are members of the Republican Party. In the 2008 presidential election, 69.10% of Malheur County voters voted for Republican John McCain, while 28.47% voted for Democrat Barack Obama and 2.42% of voters voted for a third-party candidate. These statistics do not include write-in votes.[19] These numbers show a small shift towards the Democratic candidate when compared to the 2004 presidential election, in which 74.9% of Malheur Country voters voted for George W. Bush, while 23.8% voted for John Kerry, and 1.3% of voters either voted for a third-party candidate or wrote in a candidate.[20]

Malheur County is one of the dominant Republican counties in Oregon when it comes to presidential elections. It was one of only two counties in Oregon to give the majority of its vote to Barry Goldwater and has favored the Republican candidate for decades.[21] The last Democratic candidate to carry the county was Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940, and only by a margin of 29 votes.[22] Further every Republican candidate since 1996 has received more than 60% of the county's vote.[23] Malheur County is also one of the most reliably Republican counties in state elections, for example in the 1998 gubernatorial election it was the only county to vote for Bill Sizemore instead of John Kitzhaber, and in the 1998 U.S. Senate election, it was the only county to vote for state senator John Lim over Ron Wyden.

As part of Oregon's 2nd congressional district it has been represented by Republican Cliff Bentz since 2021. In the Oregon Legislature, Malheur County is within Oregon's 30th Senate district, represented by Republican Lynn Findley. It's also within the 60th District in the Oregon House, which is represented by Republican Mark Owens.

United States presidential election results for Malheur County, Oregon[24]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 8,187 69.36% 3,260 27.62% 357 3.02%
2016 7,194 68.94% 2,246 21.52% 995 9.54%
2012 6,851 68.81% 2,759 27.71% 346 3.48%
2008 7,157 68.60% 2,949 28.27% 327 3.13%
2004 8,123 74.89% 2,577 23.76% 146 1.35%
2000 7,624 73.28% 2,336 22.45% 444 4.27%
1996 6,045 61.11% 2,827 28.58% 1,020 10.31%
1992 5,374 50.40% 2,539 23.81% 2,750 25.79%
1988 6,285 66.56% 2,965 31.40% 193 2.04%
1984 8,441 76.24% 2,611 23.58% 19 0.17%
1980 7,705 67.80% 2,937 25.84% 722 6.35%
1976 5,682 59.13% 3,507 36.49% 421 4.38%
1972 5,908 67.36% 1,870 21.32% 993 11.32%
1968 5,447 65.16% 2,021 24.17% 892 10.67%
1964 4,177 52.32% 3,798 47.58% 8 0.10%
1960 5,043 59.86% 3,381 40.14% 0 0.00%
1956 4,981 61.25% 3,151 38.75% 0 0.00%
1952 5,414 70.45% 2,245 29.21% 26 0.34%
1948 3,265 55.36% 2,499 42.37% 134 2.27%
1944 2,797 55.08% 2,234 43.99% 47 0.93%
1940 2,929 49.40% 2,958 49.89% 42 0.71%
1936 1,385 31.41% 2,630 59.64% 395 8.96%
1932 1,589 42.33% 2,025 53.94% 140 3.73%
1928 2,164 67.35% 1,016 31.62% 33 1.03%
1924 1,671 51.94% 828 25.74% 718 22.32%
1920 2,352 64.97% 1,075 29.70% 193 5.33%
1916 1,682 42.38% 1,937 48.80% 350 8.82%
1912 648 33.77% 656 34.18% 615 32.05%
1908 800 54.42% 543 36.94% 127 8.64%
1904 799 63.82% 280 22.36% 173 13.82%

Economy

The county is 94% rangeland, with the Bureau of Land Management controlling 72% of the land. Irrigated fields in the county's northeast corner, known as Western Treasure Valley, are the center of intensive and diversified farming. Malheur County's economy also depends on tourism.

The county's two largest employers are Heinz of Ontario, a potato processor branded as Ore-Ida, and the Snake River Correctional Institution, five miles northwest of Ontario.[17]

Communities

A sugar beet plant of the Amalgamated Sugar Company in Nyssa

Cities

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Ghost towns

Education

K-12 schools

School districts include:[25]

There is a charter school in Ontario, Four Rivers Community School (4RCC).[30][31]

Private schools, both in Ontario, include:

Eldorado School, the first school in the county, was established in 1869.[33]

Previously Crane Union High School in Harney County served sections of Malheur County.[34]

Tertiary education

Treasure Valley Community College is in Ontario.

A portion of the county is in the TVCC district. The remainder is not in any community college district.[35]

Public libraries

Vale has the Emma Humphrey Library.[36] Ontario Community Library of the Ontario Library District is in Ontario.[37]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 17, 2023.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "malheur - traduction - Dictionnaire Français-Anglais WordReference.com". www.wordreference.com (in French). Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  4. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  5. ^ "Celatom Plant Vale, Oregon Location | EP Minerals". epminerals.com. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  6. ^ jagtransport (December 22, 2022). "Oregon Eastern Railroad". Jaguar Transport. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2023". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 24, 2024.
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  10. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 26, 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  13. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  14. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  15. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  16. ^ U.S. Census Data Archived September 23, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ a b Jacklet, Ben (April 2008). "Prisontown myth". Oregon Business magazine. Archived from the original on December 2, 2008. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
  18. ^ "Content Manager WebDrawer - 2009 March Voter Registration". records.sos.state.or.us. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
  19. ^ "Election Results - November 4, 2008 General Election | Malheur County". Archived from the original on August 4, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2009. Retrieved on April 21, 2009
  20. ^ "Malheur County, Oregon detailed profile - houses, real estate, cost of living, wages, work, agriculture, ancestries, and more". www.city-data.com. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
  21. ^ David Leip's Presidential Atlas (Maps for Oregon by election)
  22. ^ Geographie Electorale
  23. ^ The New York Times electoral map (Zoom in on Oregon)
  24. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  25. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Malheur County, OR" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved July 15, 2022. - Text list
  26. ^ "Home". Annex School District. February 24, 1999. Archived from the original on February 24, 1999. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  27. ^ "McDermitt". Vale, Oregon: Malheur Education Service District. Retrieved July 15, 2022. - Linked from "Schools We Serve"
  28. ^ "McDermitt School District". Malheur County Schools. September 3, 2006. Archived from the original on September 3, 2006. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  29. ^ LaLande, Jeff (2005). "Challenges Ahead". High Desert History: Southeastern Oregon. Oregon Historical Society. Retrieved March 11, 2024. The relatively few schoolchildren who[...] - Updated in 2014.
  30. ^ "Schools We Serve". Malheur Education Service District. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  31. ^ "Our History". Four Rivers Community School. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  32. ^ "Contact". St. Peter Catholic School. February 9, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2022. 98 Southwest 9th Street Ontario, OR 97914
  33. ^ "Malheur County Schools In History". Malheur County. Archived from the original on March 14, 2002. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  34. ^ "Head 'em up, Move 'em out, Board 'em". Farm Journal. February 1998. Archived from the original on October 10, 2006. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  35. ^ "Oregon Community Colleges and Community College Districts" (PDF). Oregon Department of Community Colleges & Workforce Development. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  36. ^ "Emma Humphrey Library". City of Vale. Retrieved July 16, 2022. Emma Humphrey Library Address: 150 A St E Vale, OR 97918
  37. ^ "Home". Ontario Library District. Retrieved July 16, 2022. 388 S.W. 2nd Avenue Ontario, Oregon USA 97914

43°13′N 117°38′W / 43.21°N 117.63°W / 43.21; -117.63

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Malheur County, Oregon
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