Malheur County was established in 1887. It is the second largest county in the state and is located on the Oregon Trail. The Malheur County Circuit Court is the 9th Judicial District of Oregon. Malheur County's judicial district has two elected judges:
- Lung S. Hung, Presiding Judge
- Erin K. Landis, Circuit Court Judge
Malheur County is the only county in the Mountain Time Zone. The reason for the different time zone is due to Malheur County being tied geographically and economically to Idaho’s Snake River Valley.
Malheur County derives its name from the “Riviere au Malheur” or “Unfortunate River”, named by French trappers during an expedition to the Snake River country in 1825-1826, whose property and furs were stolen from their river encampment.
Malheur County was created on February 17th, 1887, when the 14th Oregon Legislature split it from the southern part of Baker County and designated Vale as the temporary county seat. Its first county courthouse was built in 1887 at a cost of $1,400. The second sandstone courthouse was constructed in 1902 for $10,000. The third, and current, red brick courthouse was completed in 1958.
Malheur County grows more acres of onions, sugar beets, and alfalfa hay than any other county in Oregon.