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Washington Deed History

Washington State was admitted to the Union in 1889 as the 42nd state. The state was formed from the western part of the Washington Territory. The Washington Territory was created in 1853, but it had been ceded by Great Britain in 1846 as part of a settlement of the Oregon Boundary Dispute.

There are 39 counties in Washington State. The first counties were created from unorganized territory in 1845, and eight of the counties were created in 1854 by Oregon governments before Washington Territory was organized. The most populous county is King County, which was created in 1852. It also contains the state’s largest city, Seattle.

Clark County, officially formed in 1845, is thought to be the first county in Washington State. When it was first created, it covered the entire present-day state of Washington, and was known as the District of Vancouver. The name was changed to Clark County in 1849, and in 1850 the first county elections were held. William Ryan was named county auditor. The Donation Land Act of 1850 opened the entire Clark County for land claims and provided free land for settlers.