Gilliam County

Contact

dark waters of John Day River
The John Day River at Cottonwood Canyon. (Oregon State Archives Photo)
County Seat: Courthouse, 221 S Oregon St., Condon 97823-0427
Phone: 541-384-2311 (County Clerk); 541-384-3303 (Court Administrator)
Fax: 541-384-2166 (County Clerk); 541-384-3304 (Courthouse)

About 

Population (2018): 1,985
Established: Feb. 25, 1885
Elev. at Condon: 2,844'
Area: 1,223 sq. mi.
Average Temp.: January 31.9° July 71.3°
Assessed Value: $786,000,000
Real Market Value: $917,000,000 (includes the value of non-taxed properties)
Annual Precipitation: 11.39"
Economy: Agriculture, recreation, environmental services, wind power generation, waste management and waste disposal landfills. Hunting, fishing and tourism are secondary industries. The largest individual employers in the county are Chemical Waste Management of the Northwest and Oregon Waste Systems.

Related Resources

Oregon county map with Gilliam County shaded
"County QuickFacts" (population and economic data from U.S. Census Bureau-enter county name)
County Seat Map (from Google Maps)
County Map (from ODOT)

Incorporated Cities

Points of Interest

Old Oregon Trail, Arlington Bay and Marina, Lonerock area, Condon historic district, tribal pictographs

History and General Information 

Gilliam County was established in 1885 from a portion of Wasco County, and named for Colonel Cornelius Gilliam, a veteran of the Cayuse Indian War. Alkali, now Arlington, was the first county seat. In 1890, voters moved the county seat to Condon, then named “Summit Springs.” A brick courthouse was built in Condon in 1903 which was destroyed by fire in 1954. The present courthouse was built on the same site in 1955.

In the heart of the Columbia Plateau wheat area, Gilliam County has an average farm size of about 4,200 acres, principally raising wheat, barley and beef cattle. 

With elevations of over 3,000 feet near Condon in the south of the county, and 285 feet at Arlington, 38 miles north, the county offers a variety of climates. Two major rivers, the John Day and Columbia, and Interstate 84 traverse the area east to west. Highway 19 connects the county’s major cities north to south and serves as the gateway to the John Day Valley.

County Officials

County Court—Judge Elizabeth A. Farrar 2023, Sherrie Wilkins (D) 2023, Leslie Wetherell (D) 2023; Dist. Atty. Marion Weatherford 2023; Clerk Ellen Wagenaar 2023; Justice of the Peace Cris Patnode 2021; Sheriff Gary Bettencourt 2023; Surv. Todd Catterson 2023; Treas. Nathan Hammer 2023; Assess. Chet Wilkins 2021