Heppner, Oregon

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The city of Heppner is the county seat of Morrow County, Oregon, United States. It was originally called Standsbury Flat for George W. Standsbury, one of the first white settlers in the area. It was later renamed to honor Henry Heppner, a Jewish pioneer who opened the first general store there in 1873. The population was 1,395 at the 2000 census.

Heppner is part of the PendletonHermiston Micropolitan Statistical Area.



Heppner was designated the temporary county seat at the time Morrow County was created and narrowly defeated Lexington in the election held in 1886 to determine the permanent county seat. It was incorporated the following year.

Heppner was almost destroyed by a flash flood on June 14, 1903.[3] The flood was precipitated by a sudden cloudburst and accompanying hail that caused a debris dam collapse and flash flooding, notably on Willow Creek.[3] A wall of water and debris swept down the creeks and canyons and through the city. It has been estimated that 238 people (a quarter of the city's population) drowned, making it the deadliest natural disaster in Oregon's history.[3] Property damage was reported at nearly $1,000,000. The nearby cities of Ione and Lexington also sustained significant damage.[3] In 1983, the Willow Creek Dam at the outskirts of the city was finished.[3]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.2 square miles (3.2 km²), all of it land.[4]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,395 people, 583 households, and 398 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,138.5 people per square mile (437.9/km²). There were 660 housing units at an average density of 538.7/sq mi (207.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.70% White, 1.00% Native American, 0.43% Asian, 1.51% from other races, and 0.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.58% of the population.

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