Umatilla County, Oregon

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Umatilla County, Oregon
Stafford Hansell Government Center in Hermiston
Map of Oregon highlighting Umatilla County
Location in the state of Oregon
Map of USA OR
Oregon's location in the U.S.
Founded September 27, 1862
Seat Pendleton
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

3,231 sq mi (8,368 km²)
3,215 sq mi (8,327 km²)
16 sq mi (41 km²), 0.49%
 - (2010)
 - Density

23/sq mi (9/km²)

Umatilla County (play /ˌjuːməˈtɪlə/) is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is included in the 8 county definition of Eastern Oregon. The county is named for the Umatilla River. In 2010, its population was 75,889. The county seat is Pendleton.

Umatilla County is part of the Pendleton–Hermiston Micropolitan Statistical Area.


Umatilla County was created on September 27, 1862, out of a portion of Wasco County. Adjustments were made to the county's boundaries following the creation of Grant, Morrow, Union, and Wallowa Counties. This legislative act also designated Marshall Station as the temporary county seat. An 1865 election selected Umatilla City, now known as Umatilla, as the county seat. With the development of wheat farming, population shifted to the north and east parts of the county, and a subsequent election in 1868 moved the county seat again to Pendleton.

The Umatilla Indian Reservation was established by the Treaty of Walla Walla in 1855. The Umatillas, Walla Wallas, and Cayuse tribes were resettled there, and is located immediately southeast of Pendleton.

EZ Wireless of Hermiston officially opened on February 4, 2004, one of the largest known Wi-Fi wide area networks in the United States, covering parts of Umatilla County, Morrow County and Benton County, Washington. Although created to facilitate communications among local police, firemen and EMT workers who immediately response to possible accidents or terrorist attacks on the Umatilla Chemical Depot, where the U.S. Army maintained a national arsenal of nerve gas, the network can be accessed in some places by the public for free.[1]


The gold rush of 1862 brought miners and stock raisers to the mountains and grasslands of Umatilla County. Another stimulus was the arrival of the railroad in 1881, opening the region to the development of dry land wheat farming. Water for irrigation has been key to economic diversification and growth, most recently in the Hermiston area, where lush watermelons and other products are grown. The annual Pendleton Round-Up rodeo held in Pendleton is an important tourist attraction.



State LegislatureEdit

Umatilla County contains two Oregon State House Districts: State House District 57, which is currently represented by Greg Smith, and State House District 58, which is currently represented by Bob Jenson. Umatilla County is also located in Oregon State Senate District 29, represented by David Nelson. Smith, Jenson, and Nelson are registered Republicans.[3]

Board of CommissionersEdit

Umatilla County is represented and governed by three County Commissioners. The Umatilla County Board of Commissioners is currently made up of Bill Hansell, Larry Givens, and Dennis Doherty.[4] Larry Givens, who serves as the boards Chair, is a former educator and was elected for his first term in 2006.[5][6] Bill Hansell is a former president of both the Association of Oregon Counties and the National Association of Counties. He was first elected in 1983, making him the longest serving Commissioner in Umatilla County's history. Dennis Doherty is a former Morrow County District Attorney and was first elected to the Board in 1997.[4] All three commissioners are registered Republicans.[7][8]

Make-up of Umatilla County votersEdit

Like all counties in eastern Oregon, the majority of registered voters who are part of a political party in Umatilla County are members of the Republican Party.[2] In the 2008 presidential election 59.77 percent of Umatilla County voters voted for Republican John McCain, while 37.16 percent voted for Democrat Barack Obama and 3.07 percent of voters either voted for a Third Party candidate or wrote in a candidate.[9] These numbers show a small but definite shift towards the Democratic candidate when compared to the 2004 presidential election, in which 65.8% of Umatilla Country voters voted for George W. Bush, while 32.8% voted for John Kerry, and 1.4% of voters either voted for a Third Party candidate or wrote in a candidate.[10]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 3,231 square miles (8,369 km²), of which 3,215 square miles (8,327 km²) is land and 16 square miles (41 km²) (0.49%) is water.

Adjacent countiesEdit


I-84 eastbound and McKay Reservoir in Umatilla County


Ontario trestle

Trestle seen off Sparks Station Rd at Pendleton Country Club, opposite of the McKay Reservoir, Pendleton, Oregon. Transportation linkages in Umatilla are one of the county's major advantages.[11]

Incorporated cities

Unincorporated communities and CDPs

National protected areasEdit


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 2,916
1880 9,607 229.5%
1890 13,381 39.3%
1900 18,049 34.9%
1910 20,309 12.5%
1920 25,946 27.8%
1930 24,399 −6.0%
1940 26,030 6.7%
1950 41,703 60.2%
1960 44,352 6.4%
1970 44,923 1.3%
1980 58,861 31.0%
1990 59,249 0.7%
2000 70,548 19.1%
2010 75,889 7.6%

As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 70,548 people, 25,195 households, and 17,838 families residing in the county. The population density was 22 people per square mile (8/km²). There were 27,676 housing units at an average density of 9 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 82.00% White, 0.82% Black or African American, 3.37% Native American, 0.75% Asian, 0.18% Pacific Islander, 10.67% from other races, and 2.21% from two or more races. 16.11% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 17.1% were of German, 13.0% American, 9.8% English and 6.8% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 84.4% spoke English and 14.3% Spanish as their first language.

There were 25,195 households out of which 35.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.10% were married couples living together, 10.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.20% were non-families. 23.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the county, the population was spread out with 27.80% under the age of 18, 9.40% from 18 to 24, 28.30% from 25 to 44, 22.20% from 45 to 64, and 12.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 104.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,249, and the median income for a family was $41,850. Males had a median income of $31,479 versus $22,325 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,410. About 9.80% of families and 12.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.20% of those under age 18 and 8.70% of those age 65 or over.

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

Coordinates: 45°22′31″N 118°45′05″W / 45.375131, -118.7513661

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Umatilla County, Oregon. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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