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Oregon Journal

  • US-OHY-OregonJournal
  • Corporate body
  • 1902-1982

The Oregon Journal was an afternoon newspaper based in Portland, Oregon. Originally founded in March 1902 by Alfred D. Bowen under the name Evening Journal, Charles Samuel (“Sam”) Jackson purchased the newspaper that July and renamed it the Oregon Journal. Originally located in the Goodnaugh Building, the Journal’s offices moved to the Jackson Tower in 1912, where they remained until 1948, when the paper moved into the Public Market building on Portland’s waterfront. The Jackson family retained ownership of the paper until the death of C. S. Jackson’s son Philip in 1953.

The Journal was known for some innovations. It shipped additional issues to Oregon’s coastal towns during the summer months as a means of boosting circulation. It was also the first newspaper in the United States to own a helicopter, and its waterfront building included a helicopter pad.

The Journal was considered a rival to Portland’s other major newspaper, the Oregonian, throughout its existence. The Journal’s editorials favored the Democratic Party, in contrast with the Oregonian’s Republican leanings, and expressed what some labeled an anti-establishment tone. However, the two papers became intertwined as time went on. In the 1950s, the Journal began to suffer from revenue losses, and discussed the possibility of sharing production facilities with the Oregonian. For the first five months of the protracted Portland newspaper strike which began in 1959, the Journal and Oregonian published joint issues. In August 1961, the Oregonian Publishing Company, by then owned by newspaper mogul Samuel I. Newhouse, purchased the Journal for $8 million. With this sale, the Journal offices and production facilities merged with those of the Oregonian on SW Broadway, although the Journal retained its own editorial department and tone.

The Journal’s highest circulation was at 201,000 in March 1948. By 1982, circulation had reduced to a little more than 100,000, and the paper struggled to remain relevant in an age where afternoon newspapers were considered obsolete. The Journal published its final issue on September 6, 1982. The paper’s staff and production were then absorbed into the Oregonian.

Portland General Electric Company

Portland General Electric Company was founded as Willamette Electric Company in 1888 by Edward L. Eastham and Parker F. Morey. Beginning with a hydro-electric generating plant on Willamette Falls, Station A, the company grew quickly. It acquired many of the other electrical interests in the Oregon City area and in 1892 it was reorganized as Portland General Electric. Between 1892 and 1906, PGE acquired many other small electrical utilities and electric railroads, growing its holdings rapidly.

In 1906, the company once again reorganized itself as Portland Railway Light & Power Company. It operated several electric streetcar lines, including an extensive system in the city of Portland. Ridership fell in the late 1920s and the company again reorganized itself into Portland Electric Power Company (PEPCO), with two subsidiaries: Portland General Electric as the electric utility and Portland Traction Company as the railroad. PEPCO went into bankruptcy in 1939, ultimately selling all of its railroad holdings to the Portland Transit Company in 1946 and reorganizing one final time into Portland General Electric (PGE) in 1948. It was bought by Enron in 1997 but as of 2006 PGE is independent.

PGE built many power generating plants in both Oregon and Washington. These plants were primarily hydro-electric, but they also built several steam plants, a gas plants, a coal-fired plant and a nuclear power plant

Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church (Portland, Or.)

  • n2009057110
  • Corporate body
  • 1944-

Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church first began as the First Baptist Church of Burton Homes, an urban African-American church in Vancouver, Washington. It was formed in 1944 under the Rev. James William Brown. Most church members were employees of the Kaiser Company, which operated shipyards and the housing project of Burton Homes, among others. Soon after its formation, 26-year-old Reverend Oliver Booker “O.B.” Williams came to the Northwest with his new bride, Willa Ida Jackson-Williams. He took over leadership of the congregation in March 1945.

When the Kaiser Co. closed its Washington operations and Burton Homes, the church and many members moved to one of its other housing projects, Bagley Downs. When this also closed a year later, the church migrated in 1946 to the Albina area of North Portland, temporarily holding services in the Prince Hall’s Masonic Temple building at N. Rodney and N. Russell Streets. Here, the church and the St. James Baptist Church (which also occupied the Masonic Temple space) merged, with Rev. Williams as its spiritual leader. In 1947 Rev. Williams located a condemned building at N. Vancouver and N. Hancock Streets in northeast Portland, and with the help of the entire congregation rehabilitated the structure into their new spiritual home, naming it the Vancouver Avenue Baptist Church. That year the church joined the National Baptist Convention of America, and in 1948, it became affiliated with the National Baptist Sunday School and the Baptist Young Peoples Union.

By 1950, rapid membership growth caused Rev. Williams to seek out a larger gathering place. He found it at 3138 N. Vancouver Ave., just blocks away from its current location. The original church and parsonage, built in 1909, could hold 600 worshippers. The church took possession in March 1951. Also that year, under Rev. Williams, the Baptist State Convention of Oregon was officially organized, uniting local churches. The Convention created four initial organizational auxiliaries, including the Senior Mission, the Junior Mission, the Brotherhood, and the Ushers. In 1959 neighboring states joined the organization, and the name was changed to the General Baptist Convention of the Northwest. In 1968, Rev. Williams was elected president of the General Baptist Convention of the Northwest for a life term, in honor of his dedication and leadership. As membership surpassed 800, in 1955 Rev. Williams embarked on a renovation and expansion plan. This was completed in 1958, making the church the largest African-American house of worship in Oregon.

The 1960s brought the civil rights movement, and the church was actively involved. The highlight was Dr. Martin Luther King’s visit to Portland in 1961, where he met with local African-American church leaders, including Rev. Williams. Vancouver Avenue became a central polling place in North Portland for African-Americans. Also by the 1960s, the church had an exceptionally strong choir program, with seven full-voice ensembles.

In 1970, on his 25th pastoral anniversary, Rev. Williams received an honorary doctorate degree in theology from the Central Theological Seminary. On May 18, 1993, he passed away after illness, at the age of 76. He was survived by his wife Willa, who also received great accolades for her support of her husband and dedication to the church. She was actively involved in the National and Regional Baptist conventions, and received the “Woman of Dedication” award for 1977-78 from Church Women United.

Rev. Williams was succeeded by two pastors before Pastor J. W. Matt Hennessee was elected. He served as the church’s leader beginning in 2005.

Denver Post

  • n81078265
  • Corporate body
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