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Strassmaier, James English
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Trails to Oregon Exhibit Oral History Series

  • SR Trails to Oregon
  • Collection
  • 1992-11-04/1993-02-05

The oral history interviews included in this oral history series were conducted in 1992 and 1993 for the purpose of inclusion in the Trails to Oregon exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society.

Strassmaier, James

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 Art S. Bimrose Jr., by Jim Strassmaier

  • SR 1752
  • Collection
  • 1989-04-26

This is an interview done in conjunction with a 1989 OHS exhibit of Bimrose's work. In the interview, he discusses his childhood and education, his early art career during the Depression, the process of creating cartoons, the cartoonist's intellectual autonomy, politics and his feelings on war.

Bimrose, Art, 1912-

Oral history interviews with Charles Lewis Hayward, by Jim Strassmaier

  • SR 2035
  • Collection
  • 1994-04-13/1994-05-04

A sequel to SR 9580, Hayward discusses his family background, early life and schooling, religion, sports, going to college with dreams of becoming a chemical engineer, experiences during World War I, his participation in the American Legion, life as a veteran, and a near encounter with Charles Lindbergh.

Hayward, Charles Lewis

Oral history interview with Emery Neale, by Jim Strassmaier

  • SR 339
  • Collection
  • 1988-02-10 - 1988-02-17

Neale discusses his family history and childhood, playing tennis at the Irvington Club, the history of indoor tennis in Portland, Oregon, discrimination at tennis clubs in the area, playing in tennis tournaments, his tennis career, being in the Army during WWII, and the People to People Tours.

Neale, Emery

Oral history interview with Mark Bocek, by Jim Strassmaier

  • SR 813
  • Collection
  • 1979-04-21

Bocek talks about his early life in Poland, moving to the United States, learning English, working in a cotton mill, joining the army, going to the Philippines with the US Army in 1909, playing the clarinet, returning to the United States, settling in the Pacific Northwest, Kaiser Shipyards, and his life living in Portland, Oregon.

Bocek, Mark

Oral history interview with Cecil L. Edwards

This oral history interview with Cecil L. Edwards was conducted by Jim Strassmaier at the Capitol building in Salem, Oregon, on October 31, 1991. In the interview, Edwards discusses the life and political career of Jason Boe, a conservative Democrat who was president of the Oregon Senate from 1973 to 1980. He discusses the improvements Boe made to the Capitol building; his political influence on the House; and his relationship to Governor Tom McCall. Edwards briefly discusses the balance of powers between the executive and legislative branches in Oregon. He talks about Boe's political ambitions, his efforts for school financing, and his role in passing some of the landmark legislation of the 1970s, including on land use. Edwards also describes Boe's personality and sense of humor. Edwards closes the interview by discussing his own career as legislative historian.

Edwards, Cecil L.

Oral history interview with Charles O. Porter

This oral history interview with Charles O. Porter was conducted by Jim Strassmaier at Porter's office in Eugene, Oregon, from July 18 to November 7, 1986. In this interview, Porter discusses his family background and early life in Eugene, including his education at Eugene High School, working for newspapers in the area, and his early political ambitions. He then talks about attending Harvard. He speaks at length about his experiences in Panama, and later in Europe, during World War II. He then talks about returning to Harvard, job prospects, and returning to Oregon to take a job on the state Highway Commission. He discusses practicing law in Eugene, including his experience with various judges, some of the cases he worked on, and the administration of justice. He then talks about getting involved in politics, including being offered the position of assistant to the U.S. attorney general by Monroe Sweetland. He turned down the offer and ran for Congress instead.

Porter discusses representing the Fourth District of Oregon in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1956 to 1960, particularly his campaigns. He talks about his fellow legislators, including Wayne Morse, Maurine Neuberger, Edith Green, and Joseph McCarthy. He discusses parliamentary procedure and legislation he worked on, particularly on foreign policy in Latin America. He also talks about his relationship with the press; his involvement with Amnesty International; and his activities as a lawyer after his 1960 re-election loss. He discusses many of the cases he worked on, including on prisoners' rights, fluoridation, sterilization, and a case against the Air Force. He closes the interview by talking about his family and the livability of Oregon.

Porter, Charles O. (Charles Orlando), 1919-2006

Oral history interview with Robert Y. Thornton

This oral history interview with Robert Thornton was conducted by Jim Strassmaier at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, from May 21 to September 10, 1990. In this interview, Thornton discusses his family background and early life in the Ladd's Addition neighborhood of Portland. He talks about his education, including his study of Japanese and music, and attending Stanford University. He also describes his experiences during the Depression and how it and the New Deal shaped his political views. He then discusses studying law at the University of Oregon and George Washington University. He discusses his career path, from working for Congress, the Court of Appeals, and the Interior Department in Washington, D.C., to his return to Oregon, where he practiced law in Medford and Tillamook. He briefly discusses some of the cases he worked on before he joined the U.S. Army in 1941. He talks about his military experience during World War II, particularly his work teaching Japanese and conducting interrogations of Japanese prisoners of war. He then talks about returning to law practice in Tillamook after his discharge in 1946. He mentions his continued occasional intelligence work for the U.S. Army throughout the interview.

Thornton discusses his political career, beginning with his term in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1951 to 1952. He talks about his involvement with the Democratic Party, his campaign, and his constituency. He discusses legislation he worked on, including on law enforcement, fishing, and relations with Japan. He also discusses some of his fellow legislators, including Dick Neuberger and Maurine Neuberger, and Rudie Wilhelm. He then discusses his service as Oregon attorney general from 1953 to 1967. He discusses his campaigns, his relationships with district attorneys throughout Oregon, and working with various Oregon governmental agencies. He talks about some of the cases he prosecuted, including on vice, particularly the Jim Elkins case. He also talks about his efforts toward a crime prevention program, as well as his observations on the corruption of law enforcement. He briefly talks about running for other offices during his term as district attorney, including his 1962 campaign for governor. He also discusses the court case surrounding his re-election defeat by Lee Johnson in 1966. He goes on to discuss his service as a judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals from 1971 to 1983. He speaks about the role and procedures of the judicial branch in Oregon. He also talks about his fellow judges, including George Joseph and Betty Roberts. He also gives his opinions on national politics of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, including the John F. Kennedy administration, the Vietnam era, and the economic policies of the Ronald Reagan administration. He closes the interview with a discussion of recent U.S. Supreme Court cases, particularly regarding gun control.

Thornton, Robert Y.

Oral history interview with Tony Yturri

This oral history interview with Tony Yturri was conducted by Jim Strassmaier at Yturri's office in Ontario, Oregon, from November 19-21, 1990. In this interview, Yturri discusses his family background and early life in Jordan Valley, Oregon, including Basque culture and his father's store. He talks about attending the University of Oregon, and discusses studying law, his social life, and his professors, including Orlando Hollis and Wayne Morse. He then talks about relocating to Ontario, Oregon, to work in the district attorney's office, and his experience as city attorney. He briefly talks about his military experience during World War II, from 1942 to 1946, particularly his counterintelligence work, and the adjustment to civilian life after the war.

Yturri then discusses his service in the Oregon Senate from 1963 to 1972. He talks about his campaigns, his involvement with the Republican Party, and his constituency. He describes the organization and procedures of the Senate. He talks about legislation he worked on, including on taxes, trucking, reapportionment, and water rights. He talks about his fellow legislators, including Monroe Sweetland, Bob Duncan, Vic Atiyeh, John Burns, Monte Montgomery, and Jason Boe. He describes working with the Mark Hatfield and Tom McCall administrations, the transportation commission under Glenn Jackson, and lobbyists. He also talks about his opinion on the Vietnam War; health issues that prevented him from considering a run for the governorship; and the rise of the conservative branch of the Republican Party. Yturri talks about serving as chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission from 1979 to 1987, particularly regarding a misunderstanding he had with the director of the Department of Transportation, Neil Goldschmidt. He closes the interview by talking about his retirement activities and family life.

Yturri, Anthony, 1914-1999

Oral history interview with Chester E. McCarty

  • SR 1222
  • Collection
  • 1985-11-12 - 1987-09-01

This interview with Chester E. McCarty was conducted by Bill Koen in Portland, Oregon, on November 12, 1985, and by Jim Strassmaier at McCarty's office in Portland from August 4 to September 1, 1987. In this interview, McCarty discusses his family background and early life in Stage Gulch and Portland, Oregon, including working on the family farm during summers, his memories of World War I, and his education in Portland. He talks about selling advertisement space for the Oregonian newspaper while attending the Northwestern College of Law, and about his marriage to Julia Caroline Gromoff. He speaks at length about serving in the National Guard, beginning at age 15, and in the U.S. Army field artillery branch.

He discusses serving as assistant attorney general of Oregon from 1930 to 1936, including representing the Game Commission and the state police. He also discusses working as a lawyer in private practice, where he focused on aviation law. He talks about being a commercial pilot on the side, and relates several anecdotes about emergency landings. He also discusses serving in the state Senate in 1942, including his friendship with Dorothy McCullough Lee, as well as resigning shortly after his election to serve in World War II.

He speaks at length about his service in the U.S. Army Air Corps training pilots, and later commanding troops in the Middle East. He also talks about the activities of his wife, Julia Caroline Gromoff, during World War II. He then talks about returning to civilian life after the war and continuing his law practice in Portland, where he acted as defense counsel in numerous courts-martial. He talks about some of the judges he argued before, including Gus Solomon and James Alger Fee. He also discusses continuing to fly planes, as well as his service on the Port of Portland Commission. He discusses accepting the command of the Oregon Army Reserves, getting activated for the Korean War, and his continued service in the Air Force until his retirement in 1966. He closes the interview by discussing serving with Glenn Jackson in North Africa during World War II.

McCarty, Chester E. (Chester Earl), 1905-1999

Oral history interview with Libby Solomon

This oral history interview with Libby Solomon was conducted by Jim Strassmaier at Solomon's apartment in Portland, Oregon, from October 25 to November 22, 1989. In this interview, Solomon discusses her family history and early life in Russia and Portland, including assimilating to American culture as a young child; the death of her older sister, Roza Willer; her Jewish upbringing; and her education. She then discusses her brief education at Reed College and her love for microscopic work. She briefly discusses her Democratic politics. She talks about working in medical labs with various doctors, particularly Edmund Sears. She discusses her involvement in the Democratic Party and the Oregon Commonwealth Federation, as well as the people she met through those organizations, including Monroe Sweetland, Ruth Haefner, and Gus Solomon, who became her spouse. She speaks at length about Gus Solomon's appointment to the U.S. District Court of Oregon. She discusses some of her later activities, including taking classes at the Portland Art Museum School, and serving on the Portland art and zoo commissions. She also talks about her and Gus Solomon's decision to quit all clubs and organizations that had discriminatory admittance policies. She closes the interview by discussing her work on integrated housing.

Solomon, Libby (Elisabeth), 1909-2004