Crook County Information
Crook County History
- Was established on October 24, 1882. It was created from the southern part of Wasco County and named after U.S. Army Major-General George Crook, a hero of the Snake Indian Wars.
- Is situated in the geographic center of Oregon. It has been reduced from its original size of 8,600 square miles to 2,991 square miles by the creation of Jefferson County in 1914 and Deschutes County in 1916.
- Boundaries were established in 1927. Crook County is bounded by Jefferson and Wheeler Counties to the north, Grant and Harney Counties to the east, and Deschutes County to the south and west.
- Developed slowly in early years because the Cascade Mountains formed an imposing barrier to travel. But the discovery of the Santiam Pass in 1859 and the subsequent development of the Santiam Wagon Road helped spur the settlement of the Crook County area. Finally, in 1862 a supply train with cattle crossed the Scott Trail. This was also the first group of non-natives to spend the winter in this part of central Oregon.
- County seat, Prineville, was estabished in 1882 by the Legislative Assembly. The voters confirmed the choice of Prineville, the only incorporated town in the county, in the 1884 general election. Prineville was named in honor of the town's first merchant, Barney Prine.
- Courthouse was a one story wooden structure at the corner of West 5th and Main Streets. In 1885 a two story wooden structure was built for $5,474. By 1905 this building was considered unsafe to store the county's records, and a $16,526 bid was accepted to erect a new, brick and stone courthouse. The building was completed in 1909, at a cost $48,590, and remodeled in the early 1990s with structural enhancements.
- Census in 1890 showed a population of 3,244 excluding the Indians. The last several censuses have shown an increase in inhabitants with the 2006 population of 24,525 representing a 27.9% increase from 2000. The fast pace of growth in the nearby Bend-Redmond area has played a role in the rising population of Crook County.
Crook County Facts
- Crook County is located in the center of the state, approximately three hours from Portland, Salem, Corvallis and Eugene.
- Bend, the largest city in central Oregon, is approximately 40 minutes away.
- Geographically Crook County, with a population of approximately 26,845, is Oregon's most centrally located county.
- Founded in 1882, the county seat, Prineville, has a population of 10,370. It is the only incorporated population center within Crook County.
- Powell Butte, Post and Paulina are the other communities found within the County.
- Livestock, forest products, recreation, agriculture, manufacturing and wholesale trade comprise the major industries found within the county.
- Covering approximately 2,991 square miles, Crook County is rich in forests, rangelands and irrigated agricultural fields.
- The elevation of Prineville is 2,868 feet and receives an average of 10.5 inches of moisture per year. Nights are cool and daytime temperatures are moderate.
- Average temperature in January is 31.8 degrees; in July it is 64.5 degrees
Crook County Links