County Seat: 408 SW Monroe Ave., Corvallis 97333, 205 NW 5th St., Corvallis 97330
Phone: 541-766-6800 (General); 541-766-6859 (Court Administrator)
Population (2011): 85,995
Established: Dec. 23, 1847
Elev. at Corvallis: 224'
Area: 679 sq. mi.
Average Temp.: January 39.3° July 65.6°
Assessed Value: $6,940,432,924
Real Market Value: $9,082,988,302
Annual Precipitation: 42.71"
Economy: Agriculture, forest products, research and development, electronics and wineries
Points of interest
Benton County Courthouse, Oregon State University Campus, Benton County Museum (Philomath), Alsea Falls, Mary’s Peak, William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, Peavy Arboretum, McDonald Forest, Jackson
History and general information
Benton County was created from Polk County by an act of the Provisional Government of Oregon in 1847. It is one of seven counties in the United States to be named after Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, a longtime advocate of the development of the Oregon Territory. The county was created out of an area originally inhabited by the Klickitat Tribe, who rented it from the Kalapuya Indians for use as hunting grounds. At that time, the boundaries began at the intersection of Polk County and the Willamette River, ran as far south as the California border and as far west as the Pacific Ocean. Later, portions of Benton County were taken to form Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Lane and Lincoln Counties, leaving it in its present form with 679 square miles of land area.
Oregon State University, agriculture, and lumber and wood products manufacturing form the basis of Benton County’s economy. A substantial portion of the nation’s research in forestry, agriculture, engineering, education and the sciences takes place at OSU.
Commissioners—Jay Dixon (D) 2017, Annabelle Jaramillo (D) 2017, Linda Modrell (D) 2015; Dist. Atty. John Haroldson 2017; Assess. Tami Woodward; Clerk James Morales; Sheriff Diana Simpson 2015; Surv. Joe Mardis; Finance Manager Mary Otley; Public Information Officer Rick Osborn