Wheeler County GenWeb


The US GenWeb Project

In March and April, 1996, a group of genealogists organized the Kentucky Comprehensive Genealogy Database Project. The idea was to provide a single entry point for all counties Kentucky, where collected databases would be stored. In addition, the databases would be indexed and cross-linked, so even if an individual were found in more than one county, they could be located in the index. At the same time, volunteers were found who were willing to coordinate the collection of databases and generally oversee the contents of the web page. Now the same thing is in the works for many states in the nation For more information about the USGenWeb Project click here

Your County Coordinator

I'm Jan Bony, the coordinator for Wheeler County GenWeb.
If you have questions or comments, please email me.

I do not live in Wheeler County, so will be unable to do specific lookups. Be sure to check out the Lookup page for volunteers who can do lookups for you. If you have any specific Wheeler Co. information you would like to see added, please email me.

I am grateful to the hard work and dedication of my predecessor Karla Halsan Mattila, for the information contained in these pages. Thank you Karla.

Wheeler County History

Wheeler County was established in February of 1899. It is 1,713 square miles and has a population of only 1,500. Wheeler County was named for Henry H. Wheeler, who came to Oregon in 1862 and located at The Dalles in 1867. After going to the Salmon River mines in Idaho, he drove a stage, but later began farming near Mitchell, where he remained until his death, March 26, 1915. He married December 19, 1875 to Dorcas L. Monroe. The County Seat is Fossil and the county contains large parts of the John Day Fossil Bed National Monument. Named by Thomas B. Hoover, who discovered fossil remains on his ranch. Fossil lies 20 miles south of Condon on Highway 19. The town of Spray was named for its founder and first postmaster, John Fremont Spray, who came to Oregon with his wife Mary in 1900.

The Fossil Museum contains a presentation of artifacts relating to Fossil's history. This includes the original post office windows from the Fossil Post Office on Hoover Creek, desk and church pews from the ghost town of Richmond, and the largest photographic collection of Wheeler County history in the state. Hours are Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 7 days a week. Open by appointment the rest of the year.

Wheeler Co. CourthousePhotograph of Wheeler County Courthouse (black & white) in Fossil built in 1901, courtesy of Oregon State Archives.

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