Union County, Oregon

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Union County 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 town of Union, which is located within its boundaries; in 2000, the county population was 24,530. The county seat is La Grande.



The northern end of the Grande Ronde Valley was the first to be settled.[1] Population growth in eastern Oregon during the early 1860s prompted the State Legislature to split Umatilla and Baker Counties from Wasco County in 1862. Further settlement in the Grande Ronde Valley led to the creation of Union County from Baker County on October 14, 1864.

The county doubled in population between 1880 and 1890.[1] The establishment of a county seat resulted in competition, based on geography and on economic and population growth, between La Grande and the city of Union. The county seat alternated between Union and La Grande until it permanently came to rest at La Grande in 1905. Between 1875 and 1913, adjustments were made between Union County's borders and the borders of Baker, Umatilla, and Wallowa Counties.

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