The area where the town of Halsey is now located was
settled as early as the mid 1840's. It became part of the Burlington
Precinct that was organized in 1850. In 1857, the town of Peoria was
organized and the district was renamed the Peoria Precinct. Halsey was
removed from this precinct in 1872.
The first map of the blocks and streets of Halsey, and depot
grounds of the Oregon and California Railroad was filed in Multnomah, County,
Oregon on May 18, 1871 by William L. Halsey, the Vice President of the
Willamette Valley Railroad Company. This company built the railroad
through the Willamette Valley in 1870 and 1871. It was completed to
Harrisburg in June 1871.
The first four additions to Halsey were filed in Linn County,
Oregon on June 6, 1871, by E. Hayes; on April 19, 1876, Seth W. and Seth S.
Hayes filed the second addition. The D.M. Cooper addition was filed on
January 13, 1877, and the southern addition was filed on, or before, June 29th,
1882. This completed the general shape of the City of Halsey that we know
The city of Halsey was established October 20, 1876 by
William L. Halsey. In June of 1871, William L. Halsey and Ben Holliday,
President of, Oregon-California Railroad, rode to the City of Halsey in a box
car, stopping to auction off plots of land.
In May of 1899, the Willamette Real Estate Company sold to
the city of Halsey the Halsey Memorial Park for a lump sum of $100.00 in the
understanding that the land would be kept a City Park forever and never
developed. Halsey has and is continuing to give this nearly 100-year-old
park the enhancements it needs to make it beneficial for the entire Halsey
By 1878 about 400,000 bushels of wheat were being shipped
yearly from Halsey. There were also a Planning Mill, a Grange Warehouse,
and a store. In 1880 the town had 306 residents. In 1900, it had
294. The next 20 years were apparently a time of growth and by 1920 the
population had grown to 573. It remained fairly constant in the years
after that. In more recent years, rye grass has become the leading farm
crop shipped from the warehouses in and around Halsey. This area leads the
world in production of this agricultural seed product and it is shipped
throughout the United States and to many foreign countries. William L.
Halsey, for whom the town was named died in Rochester, New York, on February 5,
1884. He had lived there since 1878; he last visited Oregon in September
1881, and owned considerable property in Portland.