Gilliam County

Gilliam County Parks:
P.O. Box 427
Condon, OR 97823
This county does not have a web site.

History of the County

Gilliam County was created on February 25, 1885, from the eastern third of Wasco County. It was named after Colonel Cornelius Gilliam who commanded the forces of the provisional government in 1847-48, after the Whitman Massacre, in the campaign against the Cayuses. He was killed toward the end of the campaign, March 24, 1848, while drawing from a wagon a rope for his horse. The rope caught the hammer of a gun and discharged it.

In 1899 a portion of southern Gilliam County was used to form Wheeler County. Alkali (now Arlington) was selected as the temporary county seat, but Condon became the permanent seat of government in Gilliam County in 1890. Condon was originally known as Summit Springs, which in 1884 took the name of a young lawyer from Alkali, Harvey C. Condon, nephew of the state geologist and university professor Thomas Condon. In 1884 David B. Trimble took the steps necessary to secure a post office and was appointed the first postmaster. Gilliam County’s population was 1,750 in 1992 and increased to 2,100 in January 2000.

Gilliam county has two Nobel Prize Winners to boast about! Two-time winner of the Nobel Prize, Dr. Linus Pauling was raised in Condon, Oregon as was Dr. William P. Murphy.