Jimi Hendrix Clara McCarty Captain Robert Gray Anna Louise StrongAnna Louise Strong Bailey Gatzert Home WWII Women Pilots
Search Encyclopedia
Facebook
Advanced Search
Featured Eassy Sponsor of the Week Book Store Donate Now
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search
6849 HistoryLink.org essays now available      
Donate Subscribe

Shortcuts

Libraries
Cyberpedias Cyberpedias
Timeline Essays Timeline Essays
People's Histories People's Histories

Selected Collections
Cities & Towns Cities & Towns
County Thumbnails Counties
Biographies Biographies
Interactive Cybertours Interactive Cybertours
Slide Shows Slideshows
Public Ports Public Ports
Audio & Video Audio & Video

Research Shortcuts

Map Searches
Alphabetical Search
Timeline Date Search
Topic Search

Features

Book of the Fortnight
Audio/Video Enhanced
History Bookshelf
Klondike Gold Rush Database
Duvall Newspaper Index
Wellington Scrapbook

More History

Washington FAQs
Washington Milestones
Honor Rolls
Columbia Basin
Everett
Olympia
Seattle
Spokane
Tacoma
Walla Walla
Roads & Rails

Timeline Library

< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Washington Territorial Legislature creates Klickitat County on December 29, 1859.

HistoryLink.org Essay 7776 : Printer-Friendly Format

On December 29, 1859, the Washington Territorial Legislature passes an act to create and organize the County of Clickitat. (In 1869 the spelling will be changed to Klickitat.) Only about 15 non-Indian families reside within the new county's established borders.

An Illustrated History of Klickitat, Yakima and Kittitas Counties, With An Outline Of The Early History of The State Of Washington, published in 1904, explained reason for the Territorial Government's eagerness to establish the county despite sparse settlement:

"The Klickitat country was so thinly settled in 1859 that it was generally considered by the citizens of the new district that the necessity for county organization had not yet arisen. Few people are anxious to hasten the time when they will be required to pay taxes, especially when no apparent benefit is to be derived from their payment. The territorial government, however, insisted that the settlers must organize and pay taxes" (p. 93).
The organizing Act defined the county's boundaries as "Commencing in the middle of the Columbia river, five miles below the mouth of the Clickitat river; thence north to the summit of the mountains, the divide between the waters of the Clickitat and Yakima rivers; thence east, along said divide, to a point north of the mouth of Rock creek; thence south to the middle of the Columbia river; thence along the channel of said river to the place of beginning" (An Illustrated History of Klickitat..., p. 93).

The county seat was located temporarily on Alfred Allen's land claim at Rockland Flats across from The Dalles, Oregon. Alfred Allen, Robert Tartar, and Jacob Halstead were appointed to the board of commissioners. James Clark was appointed sheriff, Willis Jenkins probate judge, Nelson Whitney county auditor, Edwin Grant assessor, William Murphy treasurer, and John Nelson justice of the peace, thus tapping nearly every family residing within the new county's borders. 

Klickitat County's new officers, little interested in their appointments, failed to qualify by taking oaths of office and thus could not execute their respective duties. No property assessment rolls were made, nor were county taxes levied. 

On January 31, 1861, the Territorial Legislature extended Klickitat County's borders as far north as the northeast corner of Skamania County. The county was enlarged again on January 19, 1868, then decreased on November 13, 1873. When Benton County was established on March 8, 1905, both Klickitat and Yakima counties lost area.

Sources:
An Illustrated History of Klickitat, Yakima and Kittitas Counties, With An Outline Of The Early History of The State Of Washington (Evansville, Indiana: Unigraphic, [1904] 1977); Newton Carl Abbott and Fred E. Carver, The Evolution of Washington Counties (Yakima: Yakima Valley Genealogical Society and Klickitat County Historical Society, 1978).


Travel through time (chronological order):
< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Related Topics: Counties |

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License


Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You


This essay made possible by:
The State of Washington
Washington State Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation


Upper Celilo Falls on the Columbia River, 1913
Photo by Albert Henry Barnes, Courtesy UW Special Collections (Neg. Barnes 423)


Old Klickitat County Blockhouse, 1856, moved to Courthouse Square, Goldendale, ca. 1930
Courtesy Early Klickitat Valley Days


Klickitat County, Washington
Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture


 
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search

HistoryLink.org is the first online encyclopedia of local and state history created expressly for the Internet. (SM)
HistoryLink.org is a free public and educational resource produced by History Ink, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt corporation.
Contact us by phone at 206.447.8140, by mail at Historylink, 1411 4th Ave. Suite 803, Seattle WA 98101 or email admin@historylink.org