Wheeler County, Oregon

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Wheeler County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregon. In 2000, its population was 1,547. It is named in honor of Henry H. Wheeler, an early settler who owned a farm near Mitchell. The county's seat is Fossil.

Wheeler County is known for having a large depository of fossils, the most extensive in the state.

Contents

History

Wheeler County was created on February 17, 1899 from parts of Grant, Gilliam, and Crook Counties. There have been no boundary changes since its creation. Fossil was designated the temporary county seat at the time of the county's creation. In 1900 there was an election to determine the permanent county seat between the three towns of the county, which ended with Fossil winning the election.

Economy

Principal industries in this county are agriculture, livestock, and lumber.

Politics

Though Wheeler County is located in central Oregon, politically it falls in line with the eastern side of the state. The majority of registered voters who are part of a political party in Wheeler County, as well as most counties in eastern Oregon, are members of the Republican Party.[1] In the 2008 presidential election, 61.33% of Wheeler County voters voted for Republican John McCain, while 34.61% voted for Democrat Barack Obama and 4.06% of voters either voted for a Third Party candidate or wrote in a candidate.[2] These numbers show a small but clear shift towards the Democratic candidate when compared to the 2004 presidential election, in which 69.5% of Wheeler Country voters voted for George W. Bush, while 27.8% voted for John Kerry, and 2.7% of voters either voted for a Third Party candidate or wrote in a candidate.[3]

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