West Union, Oregon

West Union, Oregon

West Union is an unincorporated community in Washington County, Oregon, United States. Founded in 1851, the community had the first school district in the county, and also contains the oldest cemetery in the state and the oldest Baptist church west of the Rocky Mountains. It is located north of Hillsboro near the intersection of West Union Road and Cornelius Pass Road north of the Sunset Highway. The name comes from a grove of five oak trees that was used as a meeting place of early settlers, or the "union of the west." [West Union celebrates 125th year. "The Hillsboro Argus", October 19 1976.] West Union had a post office from 1874 to 1894. [Post offices, zip codes listed. "The Hillsboro Argus", October 19 1976.]


As defined by the county, the community is located south of West Union Road and north of the Sunset Highway (U.S. Route 26). [http://www.co.washington.or.us/deptmts/lut/planning/docs/westunion/cmp.htm West Union Community Plan.] Washington County, Oregon. Retrieved December 17 2007.] The eastern boundary is Cornelius Pass Road. West Union is situated on small hills and flat plains with Dawson Creek and Waible Gulch draining the area, both part of the drainage area of the Tualatin River.

The general community of West Union encompasses a larger area that includes areas to the north and east of the county-defined community area. Since 1983, portions of the community planning area have been annexed into the city of Hillsboro. The population in 1983 was 35 people.


There is no community government for West Union. The community is served by Clean Water Services for municipal sewer, and fire protection is provided by Washington County Fire District #2. West Union lies within District 4 of the Washington County Board of Commissioners and is represented by Andy Duyck. [ [http://www.co.washington.or.us/deptmts/cao/bd_comm/map/s_commap.htm Map of Commissioner Districts.] Washington County, Oregon. Retrieved December 17 2007.] Municipal water service is available from the Tualatin Valley Water District.


West Union started the first school district in Washington County. The first meeting of the school board was on November 12 1851.West Union claims oldest county school. "The Hillsboro Argus", October 19 1976.] School District No. 1 was directed by David Lenox, James W. Chamberlain, and Caleb Wilkens, and the school was built on the land claim of the Holcomb family.Buan, Carolyn M. "This Far-Off Sunset Land: A Pictorial History of Washington County, Oregon". Donning Company Publishers, 1999.] Classes began in October 1852 after a school was completed on May 17 1852. Miss E. H. Lincoln was paid $100 for a 12-week term to be the first teacher at the school.

In 1892, the original school was replaced; this second building remained in use until 1949. The current school building opened in 1948. [ [http://www.hsd.k12.or.us/schools/elementary_school.asp?ID=22 West Union Elementary School.] Hillsboro School District. Retrieved December 17 2007.] The school district was merged into the Hillsboro School District in 1996. [Franzen, Robin. Leaving nothing to chance. "The Oregonian", May 30 1996.] Liberty High School was built in the area in 2003.


West Union Baptist Church was founded in 1844 and the current building was completed in 1853, making it the oldest Baptist church west of the Rocky Mountains. The adjoining cemetery is the oldest in the state. The church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.


External links

* [http://www.wunderground.com/US/OR/West_Union.html Weather Underground]
* [http://photos.salemhistory.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/max&CISOPTR=598&REC=18 Picture of the West Union Baptist Church]

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