Provisional and Territorial Records Guide

Lane County History and Records

Lane County was created on January 24, 1851, from all of Linn County south of Benton County's southern boundary. In 1852, Douglas County was created from portions of west central Lane County. In December, 1853, Lane County was extended to the Pacific Coast when the northern part of Douglas County was annexed. In January, 1854, Lane County reached its present boundaries when Wasco County was created from all of Oregon Territory lying east of the Cascades. The county was named for Joseph Lane, who came to Oregon as the first territorial governor in 1849.

The first county election was held in June, 1851, and a territorial senator (serving both Lane and Benton Counties) and a representative were elected. The first district court in the new county was convened on March 15, 1852. In September the first session of the commissioner's court was held in Eugene City. Much of the court's time was spent issuing ferry licenses, forming election precincts, and hearing road petitions.

In 1853, more election precincts were established, the first grand and petit juries were impaneled, and the southern boundary of Lane County was resurveyed. After much debate Eugene City was designated as the county seat. Eugene City made an unsuccessful bid to become the state capital in 1856.

The first schools in Lane County were established and maintained by private individuals or churches. In 1854 the organization of public school districts began and the number of road districts partitioned reached sixteen. A courthouse was built in 1855 and a county jail was built in 1858.

Until 1854 the elected officers of the county were the legislative council member, the territorial representative, three county commissioners, the county judge, the sheriff, the county clerk, the treasurer, and the school superintendent. Additional justices were added and a county surveyor was named in 1858.

The Kalapuya, Suislaw, and Molalla tribes of the Lane County area signed treaties in 1855 which assigned them to the Grande Ronde Reservation.

Series Descriptions for Lane County

Assessment Rolls
Census Rolls
Estate Administrator and Guardian Index
Estate Administrator and Guardian Account Journal
Probate Court Journal
Probate Court Record
Tax Rolls
US District Court Case File Index
US District Court Case Records

QUICK LINK to the records inventories!

128. Assessment Rolls (LANCOUN007)

.1 cubic feet
Calendar Microfilm

Series used to assess real and personal property in order to determine tax liabilities. Assessment rolls show tax year, taxpayer's name, real and personal property values, taxes assessed, and assessor's name. Items assessed include gold dust, scrip, land, livestock, boats, and wagons. Series is not arranged.


129. Census Rolls (LANCOUN008)

.1 cubic feet
Calendar Microfilm

Series used to document county population and to report statistics to the territorial government. Census rolls show resident's name; number of legal voters, adult males and females, males aged 10 to 21, females aged 10 to 18. and males and females under age 10; totals; census date; and census taker's certification. Series is not arranged.


130. Estate Administrator and Guardian Index (LANCOUN002)

.1 cubic feet

Series is used to locate administrators and guardians named in the probate court journal. Index shows administrator's or guardian's name, estate or ward name, and journal page number. Series is arranged alphabetically by administrator's or guardian's name.


131. Estate Administrator and Guardian Account Journal (LANCOUN003)

.1 cubic feet

Series documents estate account funds paid to administrators and guardians for authorized expenses and credits to estate accounts. Journal shows notices of intent to sell property, notices of publication, inventories, notices to creditors, administrator or guardian bills of expenses, and guardianship petitions and orders. Series is arranged chronologically by transaction date.


132. Probate Court Journal (LANCOUN004)

.1 cubic feet
Microfilm Reel 9

Series records the proceedings and orders of the county probate court. Journal shows orders for the swearing in of county officers, bond executions, guardianship assignment orders, ferry license issuance orders, final estate allotment amounts, and acknowledgment of posting of estate sale notices. Journal also includes estate inventories and valuations. Series is arranged chronologically by session date.


133. Probate Court Record (LANCOUN005)

.1 cubic feet
Microfilm Reel 9

Series documents probate records filed with the probate court. Records include estate administrator bonds, certificates of election, oaths of office, and letters of administration. Series also includes an alphabetical index by estate name. Series is arranged chronologically by session date.


134. Tax Rolls (LANCOUN009)

.25 cubic feet
Calendar Microfilm

Series documents the collection of assessed taxes. Tax roll entries show taxpayer's name, poll tax owed, county tax owed, school tax owed, territorial tax owed, and total tax owed. Some years also include "paid" notations. Series is not arranged.


135. US District Court Case File Index (LANCOUN006)

.1 cubic feet

Series used to provide access to US District Court case records. Index shows plaintiffs name, defendant's name, and case number. Series is arranged alphabetically by plaintiffs surname.


136. US District Court Case Records (LANCOUN001)

2.1 cubic feet

Series documents cases heard in US District Court. Records include promissory notes, complaints, affidavits for publication, judgment confessions, statements, court decrees, bills of foreclosure, subpoenas, and depositions. Causes of action include trespass, claims for debt, theft, selling liquor to Indians or without a license, replevin, arson, divorce, murder, assault, and rape. Series is arranged numerically by case number.

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