This oral history interview with Frances McGill was conducted by Marian W. Kolisch at McGill's home in Portland, Oregon, from May 21 to October 31, 1991. The interview was part of a series conducted by Oregon photographer Marian W. Kolisch to accompany portraits of Oregon artists, businesspeople, and politicians. The sound quality for Tape 2, Side 1 is extremely poor. The interview was conducted in five sessions.
In the first interview session, conducted on May 21, 1991, McGill discusses her family background and early life in Portland, including her family's friendship with Julius Meier, people in her neighborhood, and spending time on the coast.
In the second interview session, conducted on July 22, 1991, McGill continues discussing her early life in Portland, including her family's association with the Ladd family and her education at St. Mary's Academy. She talks about her college experience at the University of Oregon, her mother's cancer diagnosis and treatment, and working as a teacher in Clatskanie and near Beaverton, Oregon. She then speaks at length about teaching high school for Portland Public Schools after finishing her degree in 1925. She also describes a trip she took to Europe in 1928, and a trip to Providence, Rhode Island, in 1940-1941. She talks about working conditions for teachers in Portland, including her salary; briefly discusses attending Columbia University; and speaks at length about working as a school counselor for Portland Public Schools. She also discusses the leadership of PPS superintendent Willard B. Spalding. She then talks about her involvement in various education- and counseling-related Oregon organizations.
In the third interview session, conducted on August 23, 1991, McGill discusses her involvement with the College Board. She speaks at length about her experience working as a school counselor on military bases in Germany, Italy, and Greece through the Department of Defense Schools after her retirement from Portland Public Schools in 1966. She describes her experiences living in Germany, Italy, and Greece, as well as traveling to France and the Middle East. She talks about her retirement in 1973 and traveling Europe for the next year.
In the fourth interview session, conducted on August 30, 1991, McGill continues discussing her travels around Europe after her retirement in 1973, including a purse snatching incident in Italy that landed her in the hospital for three months and her journey back to Oregon in 1974 to 1975. She then talks about how Portland changed during her time abroad. She discusses her involvement with the Portland Art Museum, the Northwest Pilot Project, and the Multnomah County Library. She then speaks about her political beliefs, particularly her opposition to Reaganism in regards to taxes, mental health care, and education. She also speaks about her opposition to cultural diversity. She talks about her association with the family of John Reed.
In the fifth and final interview session, conducted on October 31, 1991, McGill continues discussing her association with the family of John Reed. She closes the interview by reflecting on her life's favorite moments.
McGill, Frances D. (Frances Dwane), 1901-1999