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Jackson County, Oregon

Jackson County is a county located in the U.S. State of Oregon. the county was named for the seventh president of the United States, Andrew Jackson. As of 2000, the population is 181,269.

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Economy The county's principal industries are lumber, agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. Jackson county has the fourth largest number of acres planted in orchards - 10,444 - and also shares with Josephine county the Rogue Valley and Applegate wine appellations. The mining of soapstone, a substance used in art sculpture, is a significant source of employment in Jackson county.

Geography According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 7,257 km² (2,802 mi²). 7,214 km² (2,785 mi²) of it is land and 43 km² (17 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.59% water.

Demographics As of the census of 2000, there are 181,269 people, 71,532 households, and 48,427 families residing in the county. The population density is 25/km² (65/mi²). There are 75,737 housing units at an average density of 10/km² (27/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 91.65% White, 0.40% African American, 1.09% Native American, 0.90% Asian, 0.18% Pacific Islander, 2.88% from other races, and 2.91% from two or more races. 6.69% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 71,532 households out of which 30.30% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.20% are married couples living together, 10.50% have a female householder with no husband present, and 32.30% are non-families. 25.10% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.00% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.48 and the average family size is 2.95.

In the county, the population is spread out with 24.40% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 25.50% from 25 to 44, 25.40% from 45 to 64, and 16.00% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 39 years. For every 100 females there are 94.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 91.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $36,461, and the median income for a family is $43,675. Males have a median income of $32,720 versus $23,690 for females. The per capita income for the county is $19,498. 12.50% of the population and 8.90% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 16.30% are under the age of 18 and 6.90% are 65 or older.

History Modoc[?], Shasta[?], Takelma[?], Latgawas[?], and Umpqua[?] Indian tribes lived within the present boundaries of Jackson County. Moreover, in the early 1850s, both the Klickitats[?] from the north and the Deschutes from the south raided and settled the area. Gold discoveries in the Rogue and Illinois River valleys in the 1850s and completion of a wagon road connecting the county with California to the south and Douglas County to the north led to an influx of non-native settlers.

The Territorial Legislature created Jackson County on January 12, 1852, from the southwestern portion of Lane County and the unorganized area south of Douglas and Umpqua Counties. It included lands which now lie in Coos, Curry, Josephine, Klamath and Lake Counties. The discovery of gold near Jacksonville in 1852 and completion of a wagon road, which joined the county with California to the south and Douglas County to the north, brought many pioneers.

Conflict between the miners and Native Americans led to war in 1853, which continued intermittantly until the final defeat of the last band under chiefs John and George by a combined force of regular army and civilians May 29, 1856 at Big Bend on the Illinois River. The Native Americans had received the worse of the fighting throughout this conflict, and as they began to surrender, they were herded to existing reservations, beginning in January, 1856 when one group was marched to the Grande Ronde Reservation[?] west of Salem. Over the following months, other groups were forced to leave until by May, 1857 almost all of the Shasta, Takelma, and Latgawas tribes had been located on the Siletz Reservation[?], where they remained.

Jacksonville was designated as the first county seat in 1853. However, the city declined due to diminishing returns in the local goldfields and the construction in the 1880s of the Oregon and California Railroad[?], which bypassed the city. Medford, located five miles east of Jacksonville, benefited from the location of the railroad and the accompanying commerce and development. Jacksonville fended off suggestions to move the county seat until 1927 when Medford was finally selected as the county seat.

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