Coos County, Oregon

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Coos County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregon. In 2000, its population was 62,779. It is named after a tribe of Native Americans who lived in the region. The county was formed from the western parts of Umpqua and Jackson Counties. The county seat is Coquille.



It's unclear where the name Coos originated. Lewis and Clark noted Cook-koo-oose.[citation needed] Early maps and documents spelled it Kowes, Cowes, Coose, Koos, among others.[citation needed]

Although exploration and trapping in the area occurred as early as 1828, the first settlement was established at Empire City in 1853, now part of Coos Bay, Oregon, by members of the Coos Bay Company.

Coos County was created by the Territorial Legislature from parts of Umpqua County, Oregon and Jackson County, Oregon Counties on December 22, 1853. Curry County, Oregon was created from the southern part in 1855. The county seat was originally at Empire City. In 1895 the legislature permitted the citizens of the county to choose a new county seat. The 1896 vote resulted in moving the seat to Coquille.

The Territorial Legislature granted permission for the development of wagon roads from Coos Bay to Jacksonville, Oregon in 1854 and to Roseburg, Oregon in 1857.


Deposits of gold initially attracted people to the county in the nineteenth century. Between 1890 and 1910, large amounts of coal were mined in the county and shipped to California; production decreased after oil was discovered in that state, and no coal mines in the county have been in production since 1950. These coal fields have been explored for natural gas since 1938, although CDX Gas, a company based in Texas announced in 2003 that they would be drilling two test wells later that year.

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