Fossil, Oregon

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Fossil is a city in and the county seat of Wheeler County, Oregon, United States.[3] The name was chosen by the first postmaster, Thomas B. Hoover, who had found some fossil remains on his ranch. The population was 469 at the 2000 census.



The Fossil post office was established on February 28, 1876. The city was incorporated in 1891 and became the county seat upon the creation of Wheeler County in 1899. Winlock W. Steiwer and George S. Carpenter founded Steiwer & Carpenter Bank, the first bank in both the city and the county.[4]


The 45th parallel runs though Fossil, and a sign marking the latitude is posted on Oregon Route 19,[citation needed] which passes through the city.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), all land.[5]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 469 people, 208 households, and 128 families residing in the city. The population density was 614.5 people per square mile (238.3/km²). There were 245 housing units at an average density of 321.0/sq mi (124.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.24% White, 1.28% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.21% Pacific Islander, 2.13% from other races, and 1.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.62% of the population.

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