In 1885 Gilliam County was established from a portion of Wasco County and was named after a veteran of the Cayuse Indian War, Cornelius Gilliam.

"Gilliam county is bounded on the north by the Columbia river, on the east by Morrow and Grant counties, on the south by Crook, and on the west by the counties of Sherman and Wasco. Condon is the Crook, and on the west by the counties of Sherman and Wasco. Condon is the county seat. This town is located near the geographical center of the county, and is in the midst of a rich farming district. Condon has a population of about 200, and it is a flourishing business point.
     The total area of Gilliam County is about 2,000 square miles. It fronts on the Columbia river for a distance of about 30 miles, and extends south for a distance of 70 miles to a spur of the Blue Mountains. Aside from the mountainous sections of the county, it is one vast valley stretch of arable land. Wheat, wool and live stock are the principal products of the county. In 1891 800,000 bushels of wheat were raised in Gilliam county, and the average price realized for this wheat was 78 cents a bushel. The average yield of wheat to the acre, as shown by statistics carefully compiled in that year, was 25 bushels. In the same year the shipments of wool from Gilliam county aggregated 2,000,000 pounds, and this wool brought an average price of 12 1/2 cents a pound. The shipments of live stock, during 1891, amounted to 62 carloads of horses, 49 carloads of cattle, and 15 carloads of sheep.
     Gilliam is one of the richest counties in natural resources in the state. Its present population is only 3,600, but from the fact that there are 600,000 acres of government land in the county still unoccupied, and that more than one-half of this unoccupied land is considered valuable for agricultural purposes, it is highly probable that the population of the county will be greatly increased during the next few years."

The Oregonian's Handbook of the Pacific Northwest 1894

Photo Crum Flour Mill built in 1885 near Olex by Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives.

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