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Union County

Union County is named for the town of Union which was named for the “union of the states” during the American Civil War.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Umatilla County and Wallowa County

E – Wallowa County

S – Baker County and Grant County

W – Umatilla County


Created:  September 22, 1862               Map of Oregon highlighting Union County

County Seat: 

La Grande / Union   1864 – 1874

Union                       1874 – 1905

La Grande               1905 – present


Old County Courthouse – La Grande 


Location:  1008 K Street / 4th Street

Built:  1940’s

Style:  Modern / Art Deco

Architect:  Tourtelotte and Philips 

Contractor:  Works Project Administration


Description:  The building  faces north and is a four story white colored concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of La Grande. The building was formerly the Saint Joseph Catholic Hospital and is named the Joseph Building. The main entrance is on the east side of the north front and projects from the main building. On the roof, there is a narrow square tower rising behind the entrance section which formerly had a cross at the top. Belt courses stretch the length of each floor, a representation of speed and efficiency, while windows continued this horizontal visual momentum around corners. A central bay contrasted with this horizontality by featuring strongly vertical lines. The main four-story block had an external ground floor corridor connecting it with another two-story hospital building. The roof line is flat. The building was a  Works Project Administration project.


Note: The hospital group consisted of the hospital, convent, chapel, laundry and heater room; and additions were constructed. Exterior surfaces were given an ashlar effect by inserting wood strips in the plywood forms. When forms were removed, a brush coast of portland cement was applied. Into this, while still soft, was blasted fine granite sand to form an integral surfacing. Cost of project was $180,000 excluding land and equipment.


County Courthouse – La Grande 


Location:  1105 K Street / 5th Street

Built:  2014 – 2016

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Unknown

Contractor:  Mike Becker General Contractor of La Grande


Description:  The building  faces south and is a one story red colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of La Grande. The building is square shaped with the south front having a high projecting section with white colored portico and entrance on the first story. Above is a fanlight and a square red colored brick tower which rises above the roof line. The building has dormers on the hipped roof. 


See:  The 10th Judicial District includes Wallowa County.


History:  The county was created in 1862 and La Grande and Union were selected as the county seats in 1864. The first courthouses were rented structures in Union and La Grande. In 1974, Union was named the designated county seat and the first courthouse was a brick structure built in 1893. The county seat was moved to La Grande in 1905. The second courthouse was designed by Calvin Thornton and constructed by S A Haworth in 1903 to 1904 as the City Hall. The building was razed in 1998. Thornton and Haworth also designed and constructed the courthouse in  Wallowa County. The third courthouse was the former hospital constructed in 1938 to 1940. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed in 2014 to 2016 at a cost of $2,838,000.


County Clerk’s Office – La Grande 



Location:  1001 4th Street / J Avenue

Built:  1996 – 1997

Style:  Modern

Architect: Unknown

Contractor:  Unknown


Description:  The building  faces west and is a one story brick and concrete structure. The building is named the Chaplin Building. The main entrance on the west side has a semi-circular overhang supported by two columns. The north and south wings project from the main building. The roof line is flat.



County Courthouse – La Grande







Photos taken 2012