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Japanese American Oral History Project

  • Japanese American Oral History Project
  • Collection
  • 1992-1998

A series of oral history interviews conducted between 1992 and 1998 with Japanese Americans in Oregon. Loen Dozono of the Japanese American Citizen's League (JACL) collaborated with OHS on this project. The interviews were conducted by JACL and OHS staff and volunteers. They aimed to interview Issei (first generation Japanese Americans), and ultimately also interviewed several Nisei (second generation Japanese Americans).

Portland Neighborhood History Project

  • Mss 2577-SR
  • Collection
  • 1976-1979

The Portland Neighborhood History Project was one of the first extensive oral history projects in Oregon. In the late 1970s, the Parks Department recruited volunteers to interview elders in their own neighborhoods in order to gather first hand accounts of the history and development of the various neighborhoods in Portland. The interviews were later donated to the Oregon Historical Society.

Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest Oral Histories

  • Mss 2988-SR
  • Collection
  • 2000 - 2013

The Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN) was established in Portland, Oregon, by Tom Cook in the early 1990s. Since then the organization has collected archival materials and oral histories from organizations and individuals active in lesbian and gay issues in the Portland area and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Many of these oral histories were gathered by Portland State University students, from the late 90s to present.

Rural Telephone Operators Oral History Series

  • Rural Telephone Operators Oral History Series
  • Collection

A series of oral history interviews and an essay by Anne Cummins. She interviewed individuals who worked as telephone operators in rural areas in the early part of the 20th century.

Oral history interview with Rudolph Luscher, by Susan Gaughan

  • SR 1038
  • Collection
  • 1984-08-16

Luscher discusses his family background and dairy farming in Clackamas County, Oregon, and the changes in milking technology and the dairy business over the 20th century. Bill Tegart was also present.

Luscher, Rudolph

Oral history interview with Tim Gauthier, by Jim Stassmaier

Gauthier discusses his personal and professional life, including his career in National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), with special attention to his role, in tandem with President Ed Barnes of I.B.E.W. 48 [International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers], in establishing the Market Recovery Program (M.R.P.) in 1982. He also discusses the union response to the economic downturn of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Strassmaier, James

Oral History Interview with Al Monner, by Don Sterling

  • SR 1068
  • Collection
  • 1993-02-25 - 1993-03-04

Monner discusses his career as a photographer for the Oregon Journal and the Oregonian. He discusses how he got his start taking aerial photos for Brubaker. He also talks about mountain climbing, his relationship with the Gypsies in Portland and the American Indians of the Warm Springs Reservation.

Monner, Al (Alfred Anthony), 1909-1998

Oral history interview with James McDonald, by Marian Wood Kolisch

McDonald discusses his family background and early life in Scotland, his experiences during World War I in the Royal Air Force stationed in France, moving to Canada and working on farms in Alberta and Saskatchewan, moving to the United States, getting into the timber business, and becoming the British Consul in Portland just before World War II.

McDonald, James, 1899-1989

Oral history interview with Dorothy Thornton, by Nancy Hawver

  • SR 1076
  • Collection
  • 1991-09-10 - 1991-12-13

Thornton discusses her family background, her father's involvement with the Tillamook Creamery Association, her childhood and education, her art and art collecting, her husband, Robert Y. Thornton, a trip to Europe in the 1930s, the Depression, high school sports, Bob's political career, her involvement in the creation of the Tillamook County Library, raising a family, their activities during World War II, and her involvement in various art organizations.

Thornton, Dorothy, 1913-2005

Oral history interview with Donald McInnis, by Mary Gorsline

  • SR 1087
  • Collection
  • 1992-08-25 - 1992-11-10

McInnis discusses growing up in the Portland Metropolitan Area in the early part of the 20th century, his parents life moving around the Washington and Oregon States, and homesteading near Reedville, Oregon.

McInnis, Donald

Days With Chief Joseph

  • SR 1096
  • Collection
  • 1954-08-21

Erskine Wood discusses summer vacations spent in household of Chief Joseph.

Wood, Erskine

Oral history interview with Maribel Cadmus

This oral history interview with Maribel Cadmus was conducted by Vinita Howard from April 9 to May 7, 1992, at Cadmus' home in Salem, Oregon. In the interview, Cadmus discusses her family background and early life in The Dalles and Pendleton, Oregon; attending Oregon State University during World War II and meeting her husband, George Cadmus; and George Cadmus' studies in animal husbandry. She also discusses raising a family on a farm in Turner, Oregon; and beginning to work at the Oregon Legislature. Cadmus talks about Oregon politics and her experiences as secretary of the state Senate, including: the transition to working with computers; the daily duties of the secretary of the Senate; the various committees she clerked for, including the Highway Commission; lobbyists and senators she worked with, including Tony Yturri, Norman Howard, Jason Boe, Debbs Potts, Harry Boivin, and John Kitzhaber. She also discusses working with Cecil L. Edwards, senatorial procedure, and her involvement with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Cadmus, Maribel, 1924-

Oral history interview with Barbara Hanneman

This oral history interview with Barabara Hanneman was conducted by Vinita Howard at Hanneman's home in Turner, Oregon, from March 26 to April 1, 1991. In the interview, Hanneman discusses her family history and early life, including meeting her husband, Gene Hanneman, his career as a forester, and moving to Salem, Oregon. She also discusses the lives of her three children, as well as her grandchildren. She then talks about working in the offices of the Oregon Legislature, starting with the Board of Control before her children were born, then returning to work as a desk clerk for the Legislature in 1955. She describes working for Maurine Neuberger, Bob Holmes, Bob Duncan, Al Ullman, Bob Straub, and others. Hanneman discusses clerking for various committees, campaigning, and legislative procedures. She also talks briefly about other clerks at the Legislature, including Cecil Edwards. Hanneman then discusses working for the Neil Goldschmidt administration. She closes the interview by discussing changes in state government during her career.

Hanneman, Barbara Lewis, 1922-2017

Oral history interview with Cecil L. Edwards

This oral history interview with Cecil Edwards was conducted by Irvin Luiten from May 18 to 26, 1988. In the interview, Edwards discusses his family history and early life in Salem, Oregon, including his education and early interest in government. He then talks about his experiences working for the Oregon Legislature beginning in 1933. He discusses the old Capitol building, which burned down in 1935; campaigns he worked on, and the role of lobbyists. He also talks about working as secretary for Governor Charles Sprague. Edwards then describes his service in the National Guard during World War II, particularly working with horses and dogs. He talks about returning to work in Oregon government after the war ended, including serving on the Racing Commission; being fired by Governor Mark Hatfield; lobbying for the Oregon Cattlemen's Association; and returning to the Legislature to work as a secretary. He discusses the numerous committees he was secretary for, including the agriculture committee, fish and game committee, and land-use board. Edwards next discusses his tenure as secretary of the Senate from 1965 to 1975, focusing on many of the legislators he worked with, including Clarence Barton, Debbs Potts, and Jason Boe. He also speaks at length about redistricting, as well as the duties of the secretary of the Senate and Senate rules.

Edwards, Cecil L.

Oral history interview with Debbs Potts

This oral history interview with Debbs Potts was conducted by James Strassmaier in a Super 8 Motel in Grants Pass, Oregon, and at an ExecuLodge in Salem, Oregon, from April 15, 1991, to May 28, 1991. In the interview, Potts discusses his family background and early life in Eastern Oregon, including his family's religious life, his education in one-room schools, and working various jobs as a young teenager. He also talks about the sawmill business, including owning and operating various sawmills. He then discusses his marriage to Bobbye Irene Michael, including their attempts to adopt children. Potts talks about his service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, including his training and life on a ship. He also discusses his time as mayor of Grants Pass from 1958 to 1960.

Potts then discusses serving in the state Senate from 1961 to 1984. He talks about his involvement with the Democratic Party; several prominent Democrats, including Harry Boivin and Jason Boe; and his early committee assignments, particularly the Ways and Means Committee. He discusses his campaigns, legislative procedure, and interpersonal politics. He also talks about legislation that came up during his tenure, including on taxes, reapportionment, and education. He discusses working with other legislators, including Monte Montgomery, Ben Musa, Lynn Newbry, and Ed Fadeley. Potts talks about serving as president of the Senate from 1967 to 1970, including the process of getting elected to that position, having Cecil Edwards as his secretary, and the duties of the president. He also discusses working with different governors' administrations, the Senate presidency of Jason Boe, and partisan politics. Potts talks briefly about his faith and his adopted children. He closes the interview with a discussion on his activities after serving in the Legislature, including running the Oregon Lottery.

Potts, Debbs (Eugene Debbs), 1908-2003

Oral history interview with Harry D. Boivin

This oral history interview with Harry Boivin was conducted by Clark Hansen in Boivin's office in Medford, Oregon, from July 25, 1991, to June 6, 1992. In this interview, Boivin discusses his family history and early life in Klamath Falls, Oregon, as well as his education at Santa Clara University in California. He then discusses getting started in his law career, including working for the district attorney in Dorris, California, and then working with Claude McColloch in Klamath Falls.

Boivin then talks about serving in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1935 to 1942, including serving as speaker of the House in 1937. He discusses partisan politics and coalition building; the old Capitol building and conditions after it burned down in 1937; his support of the New Deal; and his time as speaker. He discusses some of the legislators he worked with in the House, including Grace Peck. He also talks briefly about his activities after leaving the House, including trying to enlist during World War II, as well as serving on the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and the Board of Education.

Boivin goes on to discuss serving in the Oregon Senate from 1955 to 1972, including as Senate president from 1961 to 1966. Some of the issues he discusses include reapportionment, logging and forestry, taxation, and agriculture. He also talks about campaigning, committee assignments, and the duties of the Senate president. Boivin talks often about the Oregon Institute of Technology and his role in its formation. He also discusses his working relationship with the many governors that served during his political career. He discusses his fellow senators, including Monte Montgomery, Al Ullman, Wayne Morse, and Debbs Potts.

He closes the interview by discussing the changes in the Democratic and Republican parties, and politics in general, over the second half of the 20th century.

Boivin, Harry D. (Harry Dolan), 1904-1999

Oral history interviews with John P. Cooney, by Clark Hansen

Judge Cooney begins this interview by discussing his family history and his early years in Missouri. He explains the organization of professional baseball in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s and fondly recalls his time with the New York Giants. While he talks about law school and raising a family while achieving a career, the majority of this four-and-a-half hour interview focuses on Judge Cooney’s time with the District Court.

He discusses the unique role of the magistrate judge in Oregon, as well as the distinctions of Southern Oregon. Cooney explains the operation of the federal system, discusses the District Court’s jurisdiction in issues involving federal lands, and clarifies the kinds of cases tried by magistrate judges. He also talks about the roles of his two experienced law clerks, describing their duties and abilities and crediting them with an important place in court operations. In addition, Judge Cooney discusses relations between magistrates and Article III judges, the relationships between various agencies, and being a judge in a small town.

The impact of technological advances in the court’s operation is evident as Judge Cooney describes maintaining judicial collegiality in Southern Oregon through television appearances at the judges’ Monday lunches, teleconferences, and regular phone calls. The focus of the interview is on the types of cases tried, the court’s operations, and Judge Cooney’s experiences within that operation, rather than on specific cases. He describes the remodeling of the courtroom in Medford and the complexity and wonder of computers and monitors that provide new ways to present visual evidence. The interview closes with Judge Cooney’s perspective on family life, his travels with Eleanor-whom he also credits for his success-and his future retirement.

Cooney, John P.

Oral history interview with William L. Dickson

This oral history interview with William L. Dickson was conducted by Jim Strassmaier at Dickson's apartment in San Diego, California, from September 25-26, 1991. In this interview, Dickson discusses his family background and early life in Portland, Oregon, including contracting polio while in high school and his early interest in politics, including his admiration of Franklin D. Roosevelt as a fellow polio survivor. He then discusses attending Northwestern Law School and many of his professors; clerking at the probate court in Portland; his family's religious faith; and getting started in a law practice in Portland. He talks about his experience as a debt collector during the Depression; his first run for the Oregon Legislature in 1930; and meeting his wife, Dorothy Adelaide Unk, in 1931.

Dickson goes on to discuss his time in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1933 to 1936, and in the Oregon Senate from 1937 to 1939, including his desire to help people burdened by debt; coordinating with his uncle, Ashby Dickson, to pass a constitutional amendment making judges nonpartisan positions; and legislation he worked on, particularly on the probate and guardianship code. He also talks about the role of lobbyists; the pay scale for legislators; and many of the legislators he served with, including Nan Wood Honeyman, Monroe Sweetland, and Frank Lonergan. He discusses his involvement with the Democratic Party; the impact of the Depression on his politics and career; and New Deal legislation.

Dickson then discusses his career after leaving the Legislature. He talks about working for the federal Department of Justice during World War II, particularly his work on cases involving land condemnation for military use, and arguing before Judge James Alger Fee. He then talks about serving as a judge on the Circuit Court of Multnomah County from 1954 to 1973. He discusses cases involving mental health and guardianship. He then talks about the lives and careers of his children. Dickson closes the interview with a discussion of national politics in the 1990s.

Dickson, William L. (William Lucas), 1907-2002

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