Independence, Oregon

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Independence is a city in Polk County, Oregon, United States, on the west bank of the Willamette River. The population was 6,035 at the 2000 census, with a population of 8,350 as of 2010.[3] It is part of the Salem Metropolitan Statistical Area. Thirty square blocks of the oldest part of Independence form the National Register of Historic Places-listed Independence Historic District.



Independence was founded by pioneers who migrated from Independence, Missouri. It was named by Mrs. Thomas Burbank, wife of one of the earliest pioneers, who settled two miles (3 km) south of the city.

Elvin A. Thorp arrived in the Independence area in 1845 and staked a claim north of Ash Creek in June of that year. He platted a small townsite that later became known as "Thorp's Town of Independence" or the "Original Town of Independence", now known as "Old Town".

In 1847, Henry Hill came across the plains looking for a level piece of ground on which to raise stock. On November 14, 1847, he found his location on the west bank of the Willamette River (south of Ash Street) and marked off his donation land claim, which was one mile (1.6 km) square.

In 1867, after returning from the California gold mines, Hill platted 40 acres (160,000 m2) for a townsite, thereafter to be referred to as Henry Hill's Town of Independence. The city charter bill of February 26, 1885, incorporated E.A. Thorp's Independence and Henry Hill's Independence. Henry Hill Elementary School was named in honor of the latter.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.3 km²), of which, 2.3 square miles (6.0 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (3.72%) is water.[4]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 6,035 people, 1,994 households, and 1,425 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,585.8 people per square mile (1,000.1/km²). There were 2,131 housing units at an average density of 913.1/sq mi (353.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 73.69% White, 0.41% African American, 1.49% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.36% Pacific Islander, 19.64% from other races, and 3.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 30.12% of the population.

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