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Home > Local > Counties > Union County

Union County

A barn on Highway 244 near Starkey.

A barn on Highway 244 near Starkey. (Oregon State Archives Photo)

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County Seat: Union County Commissioners, 1106 K Ave., La Grande 97850
Phone: 541-963-1001 (General); 541-962-9500, ext. 232 (Court Administrator)
Fax: 541-963-1079


Population (2016): 26,745
Established: Oct. 14, 1864
Elev. at La Grande: 2,788'
Area: 2,038 sq. mi.
Average Temp.: January 30.9° July 70.4°
Assessed Value: $1,859,413,405
Real Market Value: $2,937,637,140
Annual Precipitation: 18.79"
Economy: Agriculture, forest products, education and government


Union County map

Related resources
Historical Records Inventory
Scenic Image
"County QuickFacts" (population and economic data from U.S. Census Bureau)
County Seat Map (from Yahoo! Maps)
County Map (from ODOT)


Incorporated cities
Cove | Elgin | Imbler | Island City | La Grande | North Powder | Summerville | Union


Points of interest
Meacham and Tollgate winter sports areas, Grande Ronde Valley, Eastern Oregon University (La Grande)


History and general information
Union County was created in 1864 and named for the town of Union, which had been established two years before and named by its founders for patriotic reasons during the Civil War. The county comprised a part of the northern portion of Baker County. In 1899, Union County gave up its eastern portion to Wallowa County.

The Grande Ronde Valley in Union County is nearly table flat and is covered with the rich silt of an old lake bed. Highly diversified, with a 160-day growing season and an annual rainfall of 20 inches, the valley boasts of never having had a general crop failure. The county’s 1,092 farms average 473 acres a unit.

Union County’s front door opens to the rugged Wallowa Mountains. Its back door faces the Blue Mountains, which attract hikers, skiers and hunters.


County officials
Commissioners—Chair Steve McClure 2019, Donna Beverage 2021, Jack Howard 2019; Dist. Atty. Kelsie McDaniel 2019; Assess. Cody Vavra 2021; Clerk Robin Church 2021; Sheriff Boyd Rasmussen 2021; Surv. Rick Robinson 2021; Treas. Donna Marshall 2021; Co. Admin. and Chief Info. Officer Shelley Burgess


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