Benton county, named after Thomas H. Benton of Missouri, was created and organized December 23, 1847, including at that time all the country on the west side of the Willamette River, south of Polk county and north of the northern boundary line of California. On the 15th of January, 1851, the present southern boundary was fixed. It contains 1,870 square miles, extending to the Pacific ocean, and including the harbor of Yaquina Bay. Population in 1879, 6,403. The amount of land under improvement in this year was 138,654 acres, valued at $3,188,251. The value of farm products was $716,096; of live-stock, $423,632; of orchard products, $16,404. Assessed valuation of real and personal property in the county, $1,726,387. Grain-raising is the chief feature of Benton county farming, but dairying, sheep-raising, and fruit-culture are successfully carried on. Coal was discovered in 1869, but has not been worked.

Corvallis, called Marysville for five or six years by its founder, J.C. Avery, is Benton's county seat, and was incorporated January 28, 1857. It is beautifully situated in the heart of the valley, as its name indicates, and has a population of about 1,200. It is the seat of the state agricultural college, and has connection with the Columbia, and the Pacific ocean at Yaquina Bay, and also with the southern part of the state by railroad. It is more favorably located in all respects than any other inland town. Philomath, a collegiate town, is distant about eleven miles from Corvallis, on the Yaquina road. It was incorporated in October 1882. Monroe, named after a president, on the Oregon Central railroad, Alseya on the head-waters of Alseya River, Newport on Yaquina Bay near the ocean, Elk City at the head of the bay, Oysterville on the south side of the bay, Toldedo, Yaquina, Pioneer, Summit, Newton, Tidewater, Waldoport, and Wells are all small settlements, those that are situated on Yaquina Bay having, it is believed, some prospects in the future.

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