Whitman County, Washington

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Whitman County, Washington
Colfax Post Office.jpg
Map of Washington highlighting Whitman County
Location in the U.S. state of Washington
Map of the United States highlighting Washington
Washington's location in the U.S.
Founded 29 November, 1871
Named for Marcus Whitman
Seat Colfax
Largest city Pullman
Area
 • Total 2,178 sq mi (5,641 km2)
 • Land 2,159 sq mi (5,592 km2)
 • Water 19 sq mi (49 km2), 0.9%
Population (est.)
 • (2017) 49,046
 • Density 22/sq mi (8/km2)
Congressional district 5th
Time zone Pacific: UTC−8/−7
Website www.whitmancounty.org

Whitman County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, the population was 44,776.[1] The county seat is Colfax,[2] and its largest city is Pullman.

The county was formed from Stevens County in 1871.[3] It is named after Marcus Whitman, a Presbyterian missionary who, with his wife Narcissa, was killed in 1847 by members of the Cayuse tribe.[4]

Whitman County comprises the Pullman, Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

The area delineated by the future Washington state boundary began to be colonized at the start of the nineteenth century, both by Americans and Canadians. However, the majority of Canadian exploration and interest in the land was due to the fur trade, whereas American settlers were principally seeking land for agriculture and cattle raising. The Treaty of 1818 provided for dual control of this area by US and Canadian government officials. During this period, the future Washington Territory was divided into two administrative zones: Clark County and Lewis County (made official in 1845).

The dual-control concept was unwieldy and led to continual argument, and occasional conflict. The status of the Washington area was settled in 1846, when the Oregon Treaty ceded the land south of North latitude 49 degrees to American control.

In 1854, Skamania County was split from the original Clark County. Also in 1854, Walla Walla County was split from the new Skamania County. In 1863, Stevens County was split from Walla Walla County, and in 1871, a portion of Stevens County was set off to form Whitman County. The 1871 shape of Whitman County was considerably larger than its present boundary, as Adams, Franklin, and Lincoln counties were sectioned off from Whitman County in 1883. After, that, Whitman County retained its shape, including through the period after Washington became the 42nd state of the Union in 1889.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,178 square miles (5,640 km2), of which 2,159 square miles (5,590 km2) is land and 19 square miles (49 km2) (0.9%) is water.[5] Whitman County is part of the Palouse, a wide and rolling prairie-like region of the middle Columbia basin.

Rivers

Lakes and reservoirs

Summits and peaks

Notable parks

Adjacent counties

Major highways

Airports

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 7,014
1890 19,109 172.4%
1900 25,360 32.7%
1910 33,280 31.2%
1920 31,323 −5.9%
1930 28,014 −10.6%
1940 27,221 −2.8%
1950 32,469 19.3%
1960 31,263 −3.7%
1970 37,900 21.2%
1980 40,103 5.8%
1990 38,775 −3.3%
2000 40,740 5.1%
2010 44,776 9.9%
Est. 2017 49,046 [6] 9.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790–1960[8] 1900–1990[9]
1990–2000[10] 2010–2016[1]

2000 census

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 40,740 people, 15,257 households, and 8,055 families residing in the county. The population density was 19 people per square mile (7/km²). There were 16,676 housing units at an average density of 8 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 88.07% White, 1.53% Black or African American, 0.73% Native American, 5.55% Asian, 0.27% Pacific Islander, 1.22% from other races, and 2.63% from two or more races. 2.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 21.9% were of German, 9.8% English, 8.6% Irish, 8.3% United States or American and 6.6% Norwegian ancestry.

There were 15,257 households out of which 24.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.20% were married couples living together, 6.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.20% were non-families. 29.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the county, the population was spread out with 18.10% under the age of 18, 32.60% from 18 to 24, 24.00% from 25 to 44, 16.00% from 45 to 64, and 9.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females there were 102.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,584, and the median income for a family was $44,830. Males had a median income of $33,381 versus $27,046 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,298. About 11.00% of families and 25.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.50% of those under age 18 and 5.50% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 44,776 people, 17,468 households, and 8,130 families residing in the county.[12] The population density was 20.7 inhabitants per square mile (8.0/km2). There were 19,323 housing units at an average density of 8.9 per square mile (3.4/km2).[13] The racial makeup of the county was 84.6% white, 7.8% Asian, 1.7% black or African American, 0.7% American Indian, 0.2% Pacific islander, 1.4% from other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.6% of the population.[12] In terms of ancestry, 29.4% were German, 14.5% were English, 13.4% were Irish, 7.1% were Norwegian, and 4.1% were American.[14]

Of the 17,468 households, 20.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.4% were married couples living together, 5.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 53.5% were non-families, and 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.86. The median age was 24.4 years.[12]

The median income for a household in the county was $36,368 and the median income for a family was $61,598. Males had a median income of $46,663 versus $34,496 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,506. About 10.7% of families and 27.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.3% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.[15]

Politics

The county is traditionally Republican. It is part of Washington's 5th congressional district and is represented by Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Quite conservative, rural Whitman was one of only three counties in the state to be won by Barry Goldwater in 1964. Since that election, the county has been won by the winning candidate in all but three presidential elections, 1976, 2012, and 2016. Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush each won the county twice.

In 2008, Barack Obama received 51.57% of the Whitman County vote.[16] In 2012, he received 46.9% of the vote, with Mitt Romney winning with a 49.7% plurality.[17] Whitman was the only county in eastern Washington to approve same-sex marriage via Referendum 74. It was the only county to vote in favor of Referendum 74 while voting for the Republican candidate for president. Whitman County voters also approved marijuana legalization via Initiative 502.

Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results[18]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 41.1% 7,403 45.2% 8,146 13.8% 2,479
2012 49.3% 8,507 46.5% 8,037 4.2% 726
2008 46.1% 8,104 51.6% 9,070 2.4% 415
2004 52.2% 9,397 46.0% 8,287 1.8% 328
2000 55.5% 9,003 40.1% 6,509 4.5% 725
1996 42.4% 6,734 45.7% 7,262 11.9% 1,899
1992 36.8% 6,428 43.7% 7,637 19.5% 3,413
1988 50.1% 7,680 48.3% 7,403 1.6% 250
1984 59.5% 10,021 39.3% 6,621 1.2% 207
1980 50.7% 8,636 33.6% 5,726 15.6% 2,662
1976 54.2% 8,168 41.1% 6,197 4.7% 703
1972 58.7% 9,548 38.4% 6,248 2.9% 470
1968 56.6% 7,810 37.8% 5,218 5.5% 761
1964 50.0% 6,765 49.9% 6,760 0.1% 13
1960 59.6% 8,069 40.3% 5,458 0.1% 17
1956 63.8% 8,572 36.1% 4,854 0.1% 8
1952 65.7% 8,905 34.0% 4,611 0.3% 44
1948 50.3% 6,411 47.2% 6,015 2.5% 314
1944 52.2% 6,000 47.4% 5,449 0.4% 41
1940 49.7% 6,356 49.6% 6,351 0.7% 92
1936 33.0% 3,955 64.8% 7,753 2.2% 265
1932 42.9% 4,727 54.0% 5,945 3.1% 339
1928 69.9% 7,065 29.4% 2,969 0.7% 67
1924 52.1% 4,960 18.3% 1,745 29.5% 2,811
1920 64.7% 6,344 28.6% 2,806 6.7% 659
1916 43.8% 4,933 52.3% 5,888 3.8% 430
1912 20.0% 1,989 36.4% 3,621 43.6% 4,333[19]
1908 52.6% 3,376 37.2% 2,386 10.2% 656
1904 66.5% 4,090 24.7% 1,519 8.8% 543
1900 42.5% 2,366 50.8% 2,826 6.7% 373
1896 29.7% 1,592 68.8% 3,690 1.6% 85
1892 37.3% 2,131 36.1% 2,061 26.6% 1,517

Economy

Whitman County has highly productive agriculture. According to Heart of Washington, Whitman County produces more barley, wheat, dry peas, and lentils than any other county in the United States.[20]

The county is also home to Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories in Pullman.

Education

Pullman is home to Washington State University, the state's land-grant university.

Communities

Cities

Towns

Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

Ghost town

Images

Communities

Geography

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  3. ^ "Milestones for Washington State History — Part 2: 1851 to 1900". HistoryLink.org. 6 March 2003.
  4. ^ Meany, Edmond S. (1923). Origin of Washington geographic names. Seattle: University of Washington Press. p. 348.
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. 22 August 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
  12. ^ a b c "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Selected Social Characteristics in the United States – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  15. ^ "Selected Economic Characteristics – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  16. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections - Compare Maps". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  17. ^ "2012 Washington state election results". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  18. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  19. ^ The leading "other" candidate, Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, received 3,061 votes, while Socialist candidate Eugene Debs received 631 votes, Prohibition candidate Eugene Chafin received 617 votes, and Socialist Labor candidate Arthur Reimer received 24 votes.
  20. ^ Heart of Washington.com

External links

  • Whitman County official website
  • Whitman County Genealogical Society
  • Whitman County Historical Society
  • Whitman County Library with branches in 14 communities throughout Whitman County.
  • Whitman County Heritage A collection of historic materials from the Whitman County Library and local partners.
  • Whitman County @ State of Washington Office of Financial Management
  • Port of Whitman County and Green IT Alliance (GITA)

Coordinates: 46°53′N 117°31′W / 46.89°N 117.52°W / 46.89; -117.52

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