History of County Surveyors

Compiled:  October, 1979 by Anthony C. Klein
Updated:    May, 2005 by Randy Johnston
Updated:    March, 2016 by Brad Cross

Hood River County was created from a portion of Wasco County on June 23, 1908.  At the time, the Governor of the State of Oregon appointed all county officials to serve until the next election, and John L. Henderson was appointed as Hood River County Surveyor.  Prior to this date, all surveys performed in what is now Hood River County were done either by the Wasco County Surveyor or the United States General Land Office surveyors.

Some time between 1908 and 1913 John L. Henderson was replaced by Murray Kay.  Murray Kay was County Surveyor for only a short time and A. R. Cruikshank was appointed as County Surveyor in 1913 by the County Court.  I
t is not clear in the Commissioners Journals whether any of these surveyors were elected or appointed.

In 1923,A. R. Cruikshank was replaced by the appointment of C.M. Hurlburt.  Mr. Hurlburt may have also served as County Surveyor before that time, but some of the records were in conflict between 1908 and 1923.  The records show that in 1928 and 1938 Mr. Hurlburt was elected as County Surveyor in a regular election.  No other records of elections of County Surveyor were found until 1954, but there is evidence of D. A. Button resigning the position June 18, 1949.  Hobson may have been the Surveyor upon Button’s resignation.  In 1954 Mart C. Perkins was elected as County Surveyor and held that post until 1962.

In 1962 George Frey was elected as the Hood River County Surveyor, and this was the last time the County Surveyor would be an elected position.  Hood River County then became a Home Rule County and the only county officers elected were the Board of Commissioners, the District Attorney, and the Sheriff.  It was not definitely specified but it appeared that the duties of the County Surveyor were placed under the Department of Public Works.  George Frey was still regarded and referred to as the County Surveyor as late as November 1966 (Commissioner’s Journal Book 5, Page 140).

The Survey Department continued under the Department of Public Works with Buck Sharrah as Director.  George Frey was under the Department of Public Works until he retired in 1966.  In 1968, Buck Sharrah retired and Carlos Van Elsberg was appointed as Director of Public Works.  Between the retirement of George Frey and the hiring of Carlos Van Elsberg, there was no appointed or designated County Surveyor.  Dick King was a registered surveyor working for the Department of Public Works during that time, but there is no record that he was ever designated as County Surveyor or that he assumed the duties.  A young Richard Arnold started his career with the County in 1970.

Carlos Van Elsberg was designated as County Surveyor until he resigned in September of 1973.  From September 1973 to October 1974 there was no registered engineer or surveyor on staff for Hood River County.  During that time the Board of County Commissioners appointed the firm of Dielschneider Associates to act as County Surveyor with Anthony Klein of that firm performing the duties.

In October of 1974 Ronald Merry was appointed to the position of Director of Public Works and designated County Surveyor.  Ronald Merry resigned in July of 1977 and Anthony C. Klein, then a survey party chief for Hood River County was appointed to temporary County Surveyor until a new director was found.

Mr. James Dunn was appointed Director of Public Works in December of 1977 and resigned in May of 1978.  The state Legislators in 1977 passed a law that required all engineers doing boundary surveys to be registered as land surveyors.  James Dunn was not registered as a land surveyor, so Anthony C. Klein continued as temporary County Surveyor.

Upon the resignation of James Dunn, Anthony Klein was appointed temporary Director of Public Works.  Then in July of 1978, he was appointed to the position of Director full-time.  Jim Lyon was hired as an engineering technician in about 1978.  From July 1977 to late in 1983, Anthony Klein was designated as the County Surveyor, with Richard Arnold performing the duties of Deputy County Surveyor.  In July of 1983 Richard Arnold was registered as a surveyor in the State of Oregon, and that fall was appointed County Surveyor.

In July 1979, the County Commissioners adopted a new Administrative Code, again placing the duties of the County Surveyor under the Department of Public Works.  After Anthony Klein’s departure in the early 1980’s, Don Briggs assumed the role of Director.  In about 1987, Jim Lyon became Director of Public Works, and retired in 1999.  Richard Arnold took over as Director until his retirement in 2000.

In February 2000, Randy Johnston was appointed County Surveyor. After Mr. Johnston's retirement in December 2014, Hood River County entered into an Inter-Governmental Agreement with neighboring Wasco County to provide a County Surveyor.  In 2015, Dan Boldt (Wasco County Surveyor) was appointed as County Surveyor on a temporary basis, and later that year Bradly Cross (Wasco County Road Surveyor) was appointed as County Surveyor on a temporary basis.

Since Mr. Boldt's retirement shortly thereafter, Bradley Cross has served jointly as the Wasco County Surveyor and the Hood River County Surveyor on a permanent basis.