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Ontario, Oregon

Ontario
City
Ontario, Oregon
Main Street (now Oregon Street) looking south, early 1920s
Main Street (now Oregon Street) looking south, early 1920s
Motto: Where Oregon Begins
Location in Oregon
Location in Oregon
Coordinates:
Country United States
State Oregon
County Malheur
Incorporated 1899
Government
 • Mayor Ronald Verini
Area[1]
 • Total 5.17 sq mi (13.39 km2)
 • Land 5.17 sq mi (13.39 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 2,150 ft (655 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 11,366
 • Estimate (2013)[3] 11,091
 • Density 2,198.5/sq mi (848.8/km2)
Time zone Mountain (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) Mountain (UTC-6)
ZIP code 97914
Area code(s) 541
FIPS code 41-54900[4]
GNIS feature ID 1125001[5]
Website City of Ontario

Ontario is the largest city in Malheur County, Oregon, United States. It lies along the Snake River at the Idaho border. The population was 11,366 at the 2010 census.[6] The city is the largest community in the region of far eastern Oregon, also known as the Western Treasure Valley.

Ontario is the principal city of the Ontario, OR-ID Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Malheur County in Oregon and Payette County in Idaho.

Ontario is approximately halfway between Portland and Salt Lake City. It is the closest city to the Idaho border along Interstate 84. The city's slogan is "Where Oregon Begins".

Contents

  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Climate 2.1
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 census 3.1
    • 2000 census 3.2
  • Economy 4
  • Education 5
    • Public schools 5.1
    • Private schools 5.2
  • Media 6
  • Transportation 7
  • Notable people 8
  • Sister cities 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12

History

Ontario was founded on June 11, 1883, by developers William Morfitt, Mary Richardson, Daniel Smith, and James Virtue. In March 1884, Richard Welch started a post office for the quarter of Ontario, so named by James Virtue after Ontario, Canada. Two months later Joseph Morton applied for a Morton post office at an island about one mile south of town, with Oscar Scott as postmaster. Unfortunately for Morton and Scott, merchants Morfitt and Richardson of Malheur City, gold miner Virtue, and lumberman Smith of Baker City acquired more land and were better financed. More importantly, Morfitt had negotiated a train depot for Ontario. All the settlers and speculators knew the railroad was coming and how important that would be to Ontario's future, so Scott closed his Morton post office and built a hotel at present-day Ontario. By December, Scott was Ontario's postmaster.

The town continued to grow with the arrival of the Oregon Short Line Railroad in later 1884, and freight and passenger service were added to the town's offerings. Soon after, stock began arriving from Eastern Oregon's cattle ranches to Ontario's stockyard for transshipment to markets throughout the Pacific Northwest. Ontario became one of the largest stockyards in the West. In addition, the construction of the Nevada Ditch and other canals aided the burgeoning agricultural industry, adding those products to Ontario's exports.

Ontario was incorporated by the Oregon Legislative Assembly on February 11, 1899.[7]

A city by the time of World War II, Ontario Mayor Elmo Smith allowed Japanese Americans to settle at a time when much of the West Coast supported their exclusion. Smith told the Associated Press "If the Japs, both alien and nationals, are a menace to the Pacific Coast safety unless they are moved inland, it appears downright cowardly to take any other stand than to put out the call, 'Send them along; we'll cooperate to the fullest possible extent in taking care of them.'" A population of about 134 in the city and surrounding county before the war ballooned to 1,000 as the county recruited farm workers during the war.[8]

Geography

Storm clouds leaving during a sunset over wheat fields in Ontario, Oregon. Wheat as well as onions are a popular crop in this area due to the arid climate.[9]

Ontario is located at an elevation of 2,150 feet (660 m) above sea level.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.17 square miles (13.39 km2), all of it land.[1]

Climate

Ontario has a cold desert dry-summer continental climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps.[10]

Climate data for Ontario, OR
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 64
(18)
66
(19)
85
(29)
94
(34)
103
(39)
108
(42)
114
(46)
113
(45)
104
(40)
94
(34)
78
(26)
66
(19)
114
(46)
Average high °F (°C) 34
(1)
43
(6)
55
(13)
65
(18)
74
(23)
84
(29)
93
(34)
91
(33)
81
(27)
66
(19)
47
(8)
36
(2)
64
(18)
Average low °F (°C) 18
(−8)
24
(−4)
31
(−1)
37
(3)
45
(7)
51
(11)
57
(14)
54
(12)
45
(7)
34
(1)
27
(−3)
20
(−7)
37
(3)
Record low °F (°C) −25
(−32)
−24
(−31)
10
(−12)
17
(−8)
25
(−4)
31
(−1)
34
(1)
32
(0)
24
(−4)
13
(−11)
−6
(−21)
−23
(−31)
−25
(−32)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.29
(32.8)
0.87
(22.1)
0.86
(21.8)
0.68
(17.3)
0.93
(23.6)
0.62
(15.7)
0.30
(7.6)
0.28
(7.1)
0.47
(11.9)
0.55
(14)
1.19
(30.2)
1.41
(35.8)
9.45
(239.9)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 3.40
(8.64)
1.20
(3.05)
0.30
(0.76)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.30
(0.76)
5.00
(12.7)
10.20
(25.91)
Source: http://www.intellicast.com/Local/History.aspx?location=USOR0258

Demographics

Downtown Ontario

2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 11,366 people, 4,275 households, and 2,678 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,198.5 inhabitants per square mile (848.8/km2). There were 4,620 housing units at an average density of 893.6 per square mile (345.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 69.5% White, 0.7% African American, 1.3% Native American, 2.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 22.6% from other races, and 3.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 41.3% of the population.

There were 4,275 households of which 35.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.3% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.4% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.28.

The median age in the city was 32.1 years. 28.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 12.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23% were from 25 to 44; 21% were from 45 to 64; and 14.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.3% male and 52.7% female.

2000 census

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 10,985 people, 4,084 households, and 2,634 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,459.3 people per square mile (948.8/km²). There were 4,436 housing units at an average density of 993.1 per square mile (383.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 69.27% White, 0.55% African American, 2.69% Asian, 0.88% Native American, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 23.09% from other races, and 3.39% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 32.05% of the population.

There were 4,084 households out of which 35.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.4% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.5% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.30.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.5% under the age of 18, 11.5% from 18 to 24, 24.0% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,173, and the median income for a family was $35,625. Males had a median income of $29,775 versus $21,967 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,683. About 16.4% of families and 20.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.0% of those under age 18 and 14.3% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

Southwest 4th Avenue overlooking Holy Rosary Medical Center

The region's primary industry is the cultivation of russet potatoes, sugar beets, and onions. The Heinz Frozen Food Company (formerly Ore-Ida), a subsidiary of H. J. Heinz Company, processes locally grown potatoes, and annually produces over 600,000,000 pounds (270,000,000 kg) of 75 different potato products, while employing approximately 1,000.[14] Ontario also has a growing retail-based economy which attracts shoppers from throughout the county and from Idaho's Payette County, particularly from the nearby cities of Payette, Fruitland, and New Plymouth. Big-box retailers Wal-Mart and Home Depot dominate the retail sector, however, the lack of a sales tax in the state attracts relocating retailers and shoppers from Idaho communities. Ontario also attracts employees, who benefit from a minimum wage that as of 2012 was 21% higher than the one paid in Idaho.

The Four Rivers Cultural Center, which was named by John and Chaundra Cammack, was named after the Snake, Malheur, Owyhee and Payette rivers, has a museum that traces the history of settlement in the area by the Northern Paiutes and Basque, Japanese American, Eskimos, Hispanic and European American immigrants. The center's theater and conference center contribute regional dollars to the local economy, as does Treasure Valley Community College, located near the cultural center.

St. Alphonsus Medical Center is a 49-bed, acute-care hospital, serving Ontario and the surrounding communities in Eastern Oregon and southwestern Idaho; it is part of the hospital system of Saint Alphonsus Hospital in Boise, Idaho.[15]

Education

Ontario is served by the Ontario School District (8C) public schools and by private schools.

Public schools

  • Ontario High School 9-12
  • Ontario Middle School 7-8
  • Aiken Elementary K-5
  • Alameda Elementary K-6
  • Cairo Elementary K-5
  • May Roberts Elementary K-6
  • Pioneer Elementary K-5

Private schools

Media

Ontario's daily paper is the Argus Observer.

Transportation

Bus
Air
Highway

Notable people

Sister cities

Ontario has one sister city, as designated by Sister Cities International:[19]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010".  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ a b "Population Estimates".  
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  6. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  7. ^ Leeds, W. H. (1899). "Special Laws". The State of Oregon General and Special Laws and Joint Resolutions and Memorials Enacted and Adopted by the Twentieth Regular Session of the Legislative Assembly (Salem, Oregon: State Printer): 683. 
  8. ^ Robert Kinoshita/Benjamin Tanaka/Augustus "Gus" Tanaka in "Resettlement and Return to the West Coast," Hirahara, Naomi and Jensen, Gwenn, eds., Silent Scars of Healing Hands (California State University, Fullerton: Center for Oral and Public History, 2004), p. 143
  9. ^ Ontario Chamber of Commerce, History
  10. ^ Climate Summary for Ontario, Oregon
  11. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  12. ^ Moffatt, Riley. Population History of Western U.S. Cities & Towns, 1850-1990. Lanham: Scarecrow, 1996, 214.
  13. ^  
  14. ^ Worksource Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development - Workforce Partners
  15. ^ About Us
  16. ^ Snake River Transit | Public Transit Serving Malheur and Payette Counties
  17. ^ "Eastern Point Schedule" (PDF). TAC Transportation. Retrieved July 24, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Greyhound". 
  19. ^ "Ontario, Oregon". Interactive City Directory. Sister Cities International. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 

External links

  • Ontario Chamber of Commerce
  • Ontario information from the Oregon Blue Book
  • Panoramic photos of Ontario from the Library of Congress
  • 1930s-1940s farming photos of Ontario from the Library of Congress
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