This town depended largely on the Columbia River Flour Milling plant, where flour, bran, shorts, and middlings are produced. It is also a shipping point for the San Foil mining district in the Okanogan country. Completion of the Grand Coulee Dam increased economic growth in Wilbur, but like the other communities in Lincoln County, it never reached boomtown capacity and remained a modest wheat-farming town. There is no longer a flour mill in Wilbur, but there are several interesting historic buildings remaining including the 1930s City Hall and Lauritzen Barn, constructed in 1918 by builders brought from Denmark.
It was founded by Samuel Wilbur Condit in 1887. The first name, Goosetown was for Sam Condit’s nickname, Wild Goose Bill, and was given to his trading post. He is presumed to have shot into a flock of wild geese, killing a neighbor’s gander. In 1889, the name was changed to its present form, for Condit’s middle name.