The structure of the Grant County government in the early days of Oregon changed frequently as the settlers experimented with various arrangements.

Administrative Powers

Administrative powers were transferred from the supreme court to circuit courts and then to district courts which were renamed county courts in 1845. Provisions were made for county courts when the Territory of Oregon was established in 1848.

Statehood & Administrative Functions

In general, during the 1850s, the county court became more of an administrative body, and the tendency was to separate administrative and judicial functions. After statehood in 1859, the Oregon Constitution provided that the county court be composed of a county judge, who served as chairman of the county court when transacting county business, and two elected county commissioners. The county clerk served as ex-officio clerk of the court. By the early 1960s most county courts no longer held judicial power (probate functions were transferred to the circuit court).

County Court & Responsibilities

The current county court acts as the governing body for the county, various service districts, councils, and committees. The County Court is responsible for county administration, management, and policy.


The court prepares and adopts county and service district budgets and provides administrative services, support, and liaison to service:

  • Cities
  • Districts
  • Federal and state officials
  • Oregon Legislative Assembly
  • Organizations
  • Public agencies


The court is responsible for enacting:

  • Contracts
  • Leases
  • Orders
  • Ordinances
  • Other legal agreements


The court is responsible for conducting:

  • Exchanges
  • Hearings
  • Private and public land sales
  • Public meetings
  • Road vacations