Grant County, Washington

Grant County, Washington
Ephrata, WA - Grant County Courthouse.JPG
Grant County Courthouse
Map of Washington highlighting Grant County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Washington's location in the U.S.
Founded February 24, 1909
Seat Ephrata
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

2,791 sq mi (7,229 km²)
2,681 sq mi (6,944 km²)
110 sq mi (285 km²), 3.95%
 - (2010)
 - Density

33/sq mi (12.8/km²)

Grant County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. In 2010, the population was 89,120. The county seat is at Ephrata. Its largest city is Moses Lake. It was named after U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant.

Grant County was formed out of Douglas County on February 24, 1909.[1]



Native American cultures in the area included the Interior Salish, Wenatchi, Okanagan. The first white settlers began to arrive in the mid-to-late-19th century, primarily with the goal of raising livestock. One government official described the area in 1879 as, "…a desolation where even the most hopeful can find nothing in its future prospects to cheer...".[citation needed]

When railroads arrived they also brought new settlers, and the economy began a shift from ranching to dryland farming. This transition required the people to have ready access to water, and irrigation became a necessity. The first large-scale irrigation attempts began in 1898, but it would be years before real success.

With the influx of dryland farming, the county soon boasted access to three major railway systems; the Great Northern Railway, Northern Pacific Railroad and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. In addition, the Columbia River in this area was navigable. This allowed crops to be transported out of the area easily. Towns like Wilson's Creek, Quincy and Ephrata began to thrive.

The Washington State Legislature officially created Grant County February 24, 1909, and named after President Ulysses S. Grant. The county seat was located in Ephrata. The population in the county at the time was only about 8700 people (compared to about 89,120 today).

The Columbia Basin Reclamation Project, which began as a group of businessmen from Ephrata began looking for ways to make the area more viable. One idea was to dam the Columbia River at Grand Coulee. Although the idea of the Grand Coulee Dam would not be approved until 1933 and still not implemented until 1939, the project would fundamentally change the region forever.[2][3][4]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,791 square miles (7,228.7 km2), of which 2,681 square miles (6,943.8 km2) is land and 110 square miles (284.9 km2) (3.95%) is water.

Geographic features

Major highways

  • I-90.svg Interstate 90
  • US 2.svg U.S. Route 2
  • WA-17.svg State Route 17
  • WA-28.svg State Route 28

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1910 8,698
1920 7,771 −10.7%
1930 5,666 −27.1%
1940 14,668 158.9%
1950 24,346 66.0%
1960 46,477 90.9%
1970 41,881 −9.9%
1980 48,522 15.9%
1990 54,758 12.9%
2000 74,698 36.4%
2010 89,120 19.3%

At the 2000 census[5], there were 74,698 people, 25,204 households and 18,676 families residing in the county. The population density was 28 per square mile (11/km²). There were 29,081 housing units at an average density of 11 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 76.54% White, 0.99% Black or African American, 1.16% Native American, 0.87% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 17.36% from other races, and 3.01% from two or more races. 30.09% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 15.1% were of German, 8.1% United States or American, 8.0% English and 5.4% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 72.0% spoke English and 25.3% Spanish as their first language.

There were 25,204 households of which 39.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.30% were married couples living together, 9.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.90% were non-families. 21.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.38.

32.00% of the population were under the age of 18, 9.80% from 18 to 24, 27.00% from 25 to 44, 19.70% from 45 to 64, and 11.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 104.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.40 males.

The median household income $35,276, and the median family income was $38,938. Males had a median income of $32,414 versus $24,310 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,037. About 13.10% of families and 17.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.30% of those under age 18 and 9.40% of those age 65 or over.

Census-recognized communities

Other communities

  • Adco
  • Adrian
  • Beverly
  • Lakeview Park
  • Mae
  • Ruff
  • Schawana
  • Stratford
  • Trinidad
  • Wheeler
  • Winchester

See also


External links

Coordinates: 47°13′N 119°28′W / 47.21°N 119.47°W / 47.21; -119.47

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