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Oral history interview with Gerry Frank

  • SR 1002
  • Collection
  • 1991-07-16 - 1992-04-29

This oral history interview with Gerry Frank was conducted by Jim Strassmaier in Frank's office in Salem, Oregon, from July 16, 1991, to April 29, 1992. The interview was conducted in four sessions.

In the first interview session, conducted on July 16, 1991, Frank discusses his family background and how it intertwines with the history of the Meier & Frank Company. He talks about the company's founding in 1857 by his great-grandfather, Aaron Meier, and the growth of the store during the 19th century, including the store's Friday Surprise marketing strategy and the buildings the store inhabited. He then talks about the history of Meier & Frank during the early 20th century, including his uncle Julius Meier's term as Oregon governor from 1931 to 1935, competition with other department stores in Portland, and Meier & Frank's newspaper advertisements. He also talks about the life of his father, Aaron Meier Frank.

In the second interview session, conducted on November 6, 1991, Frank continues discussing the life of his father, Aaron Meier Frank, including his management of the Meier & Frank Department Store beginning in 1937. He also continues discussing Meier & Frank's newspaper advertisements. He talks about the use of credit lines in the department store, particularly during the Depression. He discusses the Meier & Frank board of directors, and begins talking about the expansion of the store into Salem.

In the third interview session, conducted on December 21, 1991, Frank continues discussing the expansion of the Meier & Frank Department Store into Salem. He talks about managing the Salem branch from 1955 to 1965, including tailoring merchandise to the Salem community, his involvement in Salem community organizations, and his relationship with his employees. He also talks about the store's seasonal events and his relationship with other Meier & Frank store managers.

In the fourth and final interview session, conducted on April 29, 1992, Frank discusses the conditions that led to the sale of the Meier & Frank Department Store to the May Company in 1965. He describes the family divisions surrounding the sale. He then talks about resigning as manager of the Salem branch and the effect of the sale on the store's personnel and customer base. He closes the interview by talking about his relationship with the management of the Meier & Frank Department Store at the time of the interview in 1992.

Frank, Gerry

Oral history interview with Timothy J. Gauthier

This oral history interview with Timothy J. Gauthier was conducted by Jim Strassmaier and recorded on video by Michael O'Rourke in the offices of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) in Portland, Oregon, on September 24, 2008. The interview was conducted as part of the Oregon Labor Oral History Program, which collects oral histories of individuals who have advocated for working people of Oregon.

In this interview, Gauthier discusses his family background and early life in Santa Barbara, California, including his memories of the anti-war protests during the 1960s, surfing, and his family's political and religious beliefs. He talks about his experience at Santa Barbara City College and at Southern Utah State College (now Southern Utah University). He discusses working for the NECA, including his job duties of working with local union chapters and conducting labor negotiations. He also talks about working with the IBEW. He describes the benefits the NECA provides to its members. He speaks about coming to Portland, Oregon, in the early 1980s and working alongside Ed Barnes of IBEW Local 48. He talks about how the recession of the early 1980s affected union members and labor negotiations, and describes NECA's and IBEW's response. He speaks at length about the establishment and success of the Market Recovery Program, which uses union dues to supplement union wages. He also talks about opposition and legal challenges to the program.

Gauthier discusses working with labor attorneys during labor negotiations. He talks about creating a drug testing program and explains the reasons why he felt drug testing was important for union members. He then describes the process of winning job contracts, including how the Market Recovery Program helps. He speaks about the mission and objectives of NECA; describes several of NECA's programs and organizational partnerships; and talks about national recognition for the Oregon-Columbia NECA chapter. He talks about the future of NECA, as well as NECA's charitable work. He closes the interview by discussing his family life.

Gauthier, Timothy J. (Timothy John), 1958-

Oral history interview with Bertha Holt

This oral history with Bertha Holt was conducted by Jim Strassmaier from November 4-17, 1992, for inclusion in the Trails to Oregon exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society. The interview was conducted in three sessions.

In the first session, conducted on November 4, 2017, Holt discusses her family background and early life on a farm in Iowa, particularly describing growing up in a large family, being brought up in the Plymouth Brethren branch of Christianity, and her education. She talks about studying nursing at the University of Iowa, including working in a hospital at the same time. She also discusses her social life and the diversity of the international student body. She then speaks more about her childhood, including games, household chores, and family trips. She talks about meeting Harry Holt and about their courtship and marriage, as well as his family background. She describes living on a farm in Firesteel, South Dakota, after their marriage, acting as the town's nurse, and her experience during the Dust Bowl drought.

In the second session, conducted on November 5, 1992, Holt continues discussing her experience during the Dust Bowl drought. She talks about relocating to Lane County, Oregon, where Harry Holt got involved in the timber business and started his own sawmill. She also revisits the topic of Harry Holt's family background and early life. She describes the community in Lane County, adapting to the Oregon climate, and getting involved with the Baptist Church. She talks about raising children and about Harry Holt's health, and how World War II affected his sawmill. She also discusses family trips to Alaska by boat. She speaks about a heart attack that Harry Holt suffered in 1950.

In the third and final session, conducted on November 17, 1992, Holt briefly revisits the topic of Harry Holt's early life, as well as her own. She then continues discussing a heart attack that Harry Holt suffered in 1950, his recovery, and his determination to dedicate his life to a higher purpose. She talks about Harry Holt's trip to South Korea in 1954, adopting eight South Korean children, and founding Holt International Children's Services. She speaks about the biblical passages that inspired their work, the orphanage that Harry Holt built in Daegu, South Korea, and her role in facilitating adoptions while in Oregon. She talks about raising eight children, and how it differed from raising her first four. She discusses the opposition the Holts faced, how racism affected their work, and how they matched children to families. She talks about lobbying Senators Dick Neuberger and Edith Green to change laws regarding international adoption; talks about teaching child evangelism classes; and shares stories about some of the children the Holts facilitated adoptions for. She talks about her biological children, their families, and their careers, particularly focusing on how they contributed to Holt International. She speaks at length about her oldest daughter, Wanda Holt, who died in 1961; talks about the final years of Harry Holt's life and his funeral in South Korea in 1964; and describes publishing her book, "The Seed from the East." She talks about operating Holt International after Harry Holt's death, including the staff, fundraising, and their annual picnics. She closes the interview by looking at and discussing family photographs with Jim Strassmaier.

The interview transcript includes a portion of the interview not present in the audio recording. In this portion, Holt talks about the Holt family home in Lane County, Oregon, and the wealth that Harry Holt's sawmill brought them.

Holt, Bertha

Oral history interview with Margaret Thiele Petti

  • SR 1074
  • Collection
  • 1987-03-26 - 1987-04-30

This oral history interview with Margaret Thiele Petti was conducted by Jim Strassmaier at the Henry Thiele Restaurant in Portland, Oregon, from March 26 to April 30, 1987, as part of the Oregon Historical Society Research Library's oral history program. The interview was conducted in four sessions.

In the first interview session, conducted on March 26, 1987, Petti discusses her family background and early life in Vernonia, Oregon, including her family's history in the hotel business, her education, and her experience during the Depression. She talks about living and working in Portland during the Depression and describes how she came to work for Henry Thiele. She discusses her relationship with and marriage to Henry Thiele. She also talks about participating in illegal gambling and going to speakeasies in the 1930s.

In the second interview session, conducted on April 2, 1987, Petti revisits the topic of her early life in Vernonia, including her family's history in the hotel business and taking piano lessons. She then continues discussing her marriage to Henry Thiele, and speaks at length about Thiele's life and career. She talks about managing the Henry Thiele Restaurant in Portland, about serving alcohol after 1952, and about catering for the Kaiser shipyards during World War II. She discusses the menu at the Henry Thiele Restaurant, and talks about working with food suppliers. She then looks at photographs and talks about them.

In the third interview session, conducted on April 9, 1987, Petti revisits the topic of her marriage to Henry Thiele and talks about their home in Lake Oswego. She talks about Henry Thiele's involvement with Christian Science. She also revisits the topic of managing Henry Thiele Restaurant, and discusses serving alcohol, talks about managing her staff, and shares the history of the restaurant. She shares her opinions on national politics. She describes a failed deal to sell the restaurant in 1986.

In the fourth and final interview session, conducted on April 30, 1987, Petti continues to discuss managing Henry Thiele Restaurant and talks about the restaurant's clientele. She also talks about her social life at the time of the interview in 1987. She then discusses her marriage to August Petti. She talks about her plans for the future and about traveling with August Petti. The interview closes with Petti looking at photographs and talking about them.

Petti, Margaret Thiele, 1916-2001

Oral history interview with Adam C. Heim and Clara C. Heim

  • SR 1086
  • Collection
  • 1989-07-26 - 1989-09-13

This oral history interview with Adam C. Heim and Clara C. Heim was conducted by Jim Strassmaier at the Heims' home in Portland, Oregon, from July 26 to September 13, 1989, as part of the Oregon Historical Society Research Library's oral history program. The interview was conducted in five sessions. Adam C. Heim was interviewed in sessions 1 and 2; Clara C. Heim was interviewed in sessions 3 and 4; and both were interviewed together in session 5.

In the first interview session, conducted on July 26, 1989, Adam C. Heim discusses his family background, including his Russian and German heritage and his father's career with the Union Pacific Railroad Company. He talks about his early life in the Albina neighborhood of Portland, including his education and recreational activities. He speaks about working on a sugar beet farm in Idaho; about the Portland harbor; and about his apprenticeship as a machinist for the Union Pacific Railroad.

In the second interview session, conducted on August 2, 1989, Adam C. Heim talks about his siblings, particularly his older brother, John Adams Heim. He continues to discuss his career with the Union Pacific Railroad. He talks about his marriage to Clara C. Heim and about raising their children. He speaks about his experiences living in Huntington, Oregon, during the Depression, including the death of one of his children from spinal meningitis. He also discusses returning to Portland in the 1940s; talks about his children, their families, and their careers; and describes being injured during a robbery.

In the third interview session, conducted on August 29, 1989, Clara C. Heim discusses her family background and early life in North Portland. She talks about her siblings, their families, and their careers. She discusses her health as a child, her education, and working as a telephone operator.

In the fourth interview session, conducted on September 7, 1989, Clara C. Heim continues to discuss her early life in North Portland. She talks about her marriage to Adam C. Heim, about raising a family, and about her experiences during the Depression. She discusses her children, their families, and their careers. She speaks about life in Huntington, and about her political beliefs.

In the fifth interview session, conducted on September 13, 1989, Clara C. Heim and Adam C. Heim discuss living in and raising a family in Huntington and in North Portland during and after World War II. They also talk about the Black population in North Portland. They speak about their relationship with their children, about the changes in the Catholic Church, and about their political beliefs. They close the interview by talking about their recreational activities.

Heim, Adam C. (Adam Clarence), 1902-1995

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 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

Oral history interview with Becky Johnson

This oral history interview with Elizabeth Johnson was conducted by Rick Harmon and Jim Strassmaier at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, from June 25, 1986, to March 31, 1993. In the interview, Johnson discusses her family background and early life in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Bellevue, Ohio, including her family's religious faith, and life under Prohibition and during the Depression. She then discusses attending Miami University, including joining a sorority, her involvement with the YWCA, and the discrimination she saw. She also discusses attending Wellesley College, then teaching English to high school students. Johnson then talks about her experience as a woman in the Navy during World War II, serving with the WAVES, particularly her time stationed in Portland and Astoria, Oregon.

Johnson then discusses, at length, the family background and early life of her husband, Oregon State Representative Sam Johnson. She discusses Sam Johnson's youth and his education in the San Francisco area and in France, as well as his struggle with hereditary gout. She talks about their marriage and settling in Redmond, Oregon, and Sam's career with his family's timber business, including a trip they took to Chile to explore timber opportunities there. She also discusses the S.S. Johnson Foundation.

Johnson goes on to talk about her involvement in Oregon politics, including her involvement with the Oregon Republican Women's organization, campaigning for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and particularly her role on the State Board of Education. She also talks about Sam Johnson's time in the Oregon House of Representatives, his relationship to the changing Republican Party, and legislation he was involved with. She also discusses his time as mayor of Redmond. Johnson closes the interview by talking about her family life.

Johnson, Becky (Elizabeth Avery Hill), 1913-2007

Oral history interview with Irvin Luiten

This oral history interview with Irvin "Irv" Herman Luiten was conducted by Jim Strassmaier from March 16, 1988, to January 19, 1990, at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon. In the interview, Luiten discusses his family background and early life on wheat farms in Ritzville and Edwall, Washington, including his early education and the struggles his family faced during the Great Depression. He then describes studying journalism at Washington State University in the late 1930s, including the evolution of his political views and his interest in radio broadcasting. He discusses his early career as a journalist for the Colville Examiner from 1940 to 1941 and for the Northwest Farm News in 1941. Luiten also talks extensively about his service during World War II, including acting as defense counsel for his battalion and about soldier morale. He talks about his work with the Military Intelligence Service to teach escape and evasion tactics to airmen and setting up lines of escape in France.

Next, he describes his post-war life, including taking the editorship of the Northwest Farm News; marrying Ellen Boyde and raising a family; taking a job at Washington State University; and beginning his career with the Weyerhaeuser Company, doing public relations work as a writer for Weyerhaeuser News. He talks about aspects of Weyerhaeuser that made him loyal to the company, including the company's forest management practices and the management style of Phil Weyerhaeuser. Luiten also describes his experiences as a lobbyist for Weyerhaeuser from 1953 to 1978. He talks about the primary issues Weyerhauser was concerned with, including taxes, particularly timber taxes; pollution; land use; environmental law; and labor laws. Luiten also discusses his involvement with the Izaak Walton League of America and his conservation work; the Clemons Tree Farm; the workplace culture at Weyerhaeuser; and the company's relationship with the public. He goes on to talk about working with lobbyists for other Oregon timber interests, the different timber harvesting philosophies between Weyerhaeuser and Georgia-Pacific, and how those philosophies affected the economy of the state. He speaks at length on the importance of public relations work. He also discusses working with legislators such as Mark Hatfield, Dick Neuberger, Clarence Barton, Dick Eymann, and Vic Atiyeh. He closes the interview by talking about his life in retirement.

Luiten, Irvin H. (Irvin Herman), 1915-1997

Oral history interview with Mary Jane Sills

This oral history interview with Mary Jane Sills was conducted by Jim Strassmaier from August 8-11, 2003. Administrative notes indicate additional interview sessions were planned but never occurred.

In this interview, Sills discusses her family background and early life in Portland, Oregon. She talks about moving often due to her father's construction business, discusses her early education, and speaks about her father's death in 1939. She discusses attending Reed College and dropping out in 1941 to join the civil service during World War II. She speaks at length about her experience working in Portland for the War Department from 1941 until the end of the war.

Sills discusses her experience working as an aide to U.S. Senator Richard Neuberger and U.S. Senator Maurine Neuberger from 1954 to 1967. She talks about their campaigns, their positions on environmental issues, and setting up Dick Neuberger's Senate office in Washington, D.C. She also talks about Dick Neuberger's role in the growth of the Democratic Party in Oregon, and about other prominent Oregon Democrats. Sills describes Maurine Neuberger's personality and talks about other members of the Neubergers' senatorial staff. She speaks at length about office management, including keeping the office supplied, handling correspondence, and managing staff. She closes the interview by describing her living situation in Washington, D.C., and caring for Muffet, the Neubergers' cat.

Sills, Mary Jane, 1922-2010

Oral history interview with Ambrose A. Oderman

  • SR 11275
  • Collection
  • 2005-04-05 - 2005-04-25

In this interview, Oderman discusses his family background and early life in Foxholm, North Dakota. He describes his experience during the 1918 flu pandemic, including the death of his father. He discusses his mother's remarriage and his early education. He talks about moving to Monroe, Oregon, in 1926, as well as his high school experience there. He then discusses studying business at the University of Oregon during the Depression, including his plans to become an accountant. He also tells several stories about growing up on a farm. He discusses working for the Public Utility Commission and the Bonneville Power Administration as an accountant and auditor. He talks about his family and his social life during that time. He then discusses his service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and living in Vanport, Oregon, after the end of the war. He discusses his service as western region audit director for the U.S. Interior Department. He closes the interview by discussing his retirement.

Oderman, Ambrose A. (Ambrose Adolph), 1912-2014

Oral history interview with Kathryn Boe-Duncan

This oral history interview with Kathryn Boe-Duncan was conducted by Jim Strassmaier on June 29, 1993. In this interview, Boe-Duncan discusses her memories of legislative historian Cecil L. Edwards. She talks about the close relationship between Edwards and her late husband, Oregon State Senator Jason Boe; Edwards' political beliefs; Edwards' retirement in 1976; and Boe's creation of the position of legislative historian for him. She shares several anecdotes about Edwards that demonstrate his personality and discusses her own relationship with him. She closes the interview by discussing what was expected of her as a legislator's wife.

Boe-Duncan, Kathryn, 1930-

Oral history interview with Kathryn Boe-Duncan

This oral history interview with Kathryn Boe-Duncan was conducted by Jim Strassmaier in Portland, Oregon, from October 15 to December 9, 1993, and on April 10, 2002. Robert Duncan was also present. In this interview, Boe-Duncan discusses her family background and early life in Portland, Oregon; her Lutheran upbringing; her early interest in music; her high school experience; and attending Pacific Lutheran University. She then discusses her marriage to Jason Boe and the difficulties involved in getting married at a young age. She talks about Jason Boe's early political career and involvement with the Democratic Party; daily life in Reedsport, Oregon, in the 1950s; and raising a family. She then discusses working as Jason Boe's secretary while he served in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1964 to 1970, including his campaigns. She also speaks about preparing the family to move to Salem, Oregon; social life in Salem, including her relationships with other politicians' wives; and the duties of a representative's secretary. She speaks at length about Jason Boe's legislative record in the Oregon Senate from 1970 to 1980, particularly his work advancing the legislative agenda of Governor Tom McCall. She also talks about his service as president of the Senate from 1973 to 1980, his work on improving the Capitol building, and his efforts in strengthening the power of the legislative branch. She also describes Jason Boe's political ambitions. Boe-Duncan then talks about Jason Boe's activities after leaving the Legislature, including his work as a lobbyist. She describes her career as a musician, which she began pursuing at age 40, as well as her work for the Oregon Historical Society from 1986 to 1989, and for Portland State University from 1989 to 1994. She closes the interview by talking about her marriage to Robert Duncan in 1995 and her family life.

Boe-Duncan, Kathryn, 1930-

Oral history interview with Allan Hart

  • SR 1200
  • Collection
  • 1986-04-15 - 1986-07-22

This oral history interview with Allan Hart was conducted by James Strassmaier at Hart's office in the KOIN Center in Portland, Oregon, from April 15 to July 22, 1986. In this interview, Hart discusses his family background and early life in Portland, Oregon, including his education at Moran School. He talks about his education at Stanford University and Yale Law School, including his social life, his friendship with Boyd McNaughton, working for the Stanford and Yale papers, and the relationship between Yale and Harvard. He then discusses returning to Portland, joining his father's law firm, and cases he argued. Hart talks about serving as an assistant U.S. attorney from 1936 to 1938 and cases he prosecuted, including liquor and narcotics cases. He also discusses the Lawyers Guild and the Oregon State Bar; his investigations into the Red Squad; the De Jong case; and his work on an antitrust case involving the American Medical Association. He then discusses his work as counsel for the Bonneville Power Administration from 1938 to 1941, including the beginnings of BPA, as well as dealing with private utilities and aluminum companies, particularly PGE and Alcoa. Hart also describes his experience during World War II as an officer in the Judge Advocate General Corps in the Pacific Theater, and then during the occupation of Japan.

Hart discusses his return to law practice in 1946. He talks about taking on the Kenji Namba v. McCourt case as a way to overturn the Alien Land Law. He briefly discusses his involvement with the Oregon Democratic Party, as well as raising a family. He talks about establishing the Hart, Davidson, and Veazie firm in 1956, including working with Jebbie Davidson, as well as the subsequent changes the firm underwent, which ultimately led him to the law firm of Lindsay, Nahstoll, Hart, and Krause. He discusses his involvement with the American Civil Liberties Union and civil rights cases that he worked on. He discusses his involvement with education, including serving on the board of the Sylvan School District from 1952 to 1956, and facing issues of school funding; serving on the State Board of Higher Education; and serving on the board of Catlin Gabel School. Hart speaks at length about discriminatory practices at many Portland social clubs, as well as U.S. District Court Judge Gus Solomon's efforts against them. He then discusses his relationships with Solomon and U.S. Supreme Court Justices William O. Douglas and Abe Fortas. Hart talks about his stymied aspirations of being appointed as a judge; political infighting in the Democratic Party; and additional cases he worked on. He revisits the topic of the Bonneville Power Administration, describing the changes it underwent after World War II, as well as the WPPSS crisis of the 1980s. Hart closes the interview by discussing his retirement activities.

Hart, Allan (Charles Allan), 1909-2002

Oral history interview with Wendell Gray

This oral history interview with Wendell Gray was conducted by Elizabeth Reichow and James Strassmaier from January 7, 1992, to October 28, 1993. In the first part of this interview, conducted by Elizabeth Reichow on January 7, 1992, Gray discusses his family background and early life on a ranch in Prineville, Oregon. He discusses having to quit law school at the University of Oregon due to appendicitis, returning to Prineville and working various jobs, and then attending the Northwestern College of Law in Portland, Oregon. He talks about his early law career as an insurance investigator while he was in law school, and about foreclosing mortgages with his uncle, Guy LaFollette, during the Depression. He then discusses practicing maritime law and the many clients he represented in the Portland area, particularly during World War II. He also discusses a trip he and his wife, Jean Patrick, took to East Asia in 1964. He goes on to talk about many of the maritime cases he worked on and the clients he represented over his career, as well as the other maritime lawyer in Portland, Erskine Wood. He talks about being on the board of directors of the Family Life Insurance Company; real estate investments; and chairing the Portland Chamber of Commerce.

In 1992, Wendell Gray narrated three tapes on his own. On these tapes, he speaks at length about "interesting people," including Dale, Mac, and Sib Smith of the Smith Brothers Office Outfitters; Orren Brownson; and Tom Cummins. He also talks about serving on the Portland School Board from 1948 to 1956, including the sale of the Lincoln High School building in downtown Portland.

The final part of the interview was conducted by Jim Strassmaier at Gray's home in Portland from October 26-28, 1993. Diana Gray was also present. In this portion, Gray discusses his education at the University of Oregon from 1925 to 1928, including his social life, his involvement with the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, and meeting his first wife, Jean Patrick. He then discusses some of his recreational activities, including his involvement with the Deschutes Club, golfing, and the various golf clubs in the Portland area. He discusses serving on the Portland School Board from 1948 to 1956, including his election, policies they adopted, funding, and construction of new school buildings. He also briefly talks about Judge Gus Solomon. He closes the interview by talking about his children and family life.

Gray, Wendell (Wendell Oliver), 1908-1995

Oral history interview with Orlando Hollis

This oral history interview with Orlando Hollis in Hollis's office in Eugene, Oregon, was conducted by Jim Strassmaier from January 27 to July 21, 1989. Audio is incomplete; Tape 4 was discovered to be blank in 2015.

In this interview, Hollis discusses his family background and early life in Eugene, Oregon, including his father's career with Southern Pacific Railroad, his childhood activities, and his memories of World War I. He also talks about his early education and about working at the First National Bank of Eugene while studying law at the University of Oregon. He also describes several prominent community members in Eugene. He discusses studying law at the University of Oregon, particularly his professors. He also talks about his friendship with University of Oregon Law School Dean, and later U.S. Senator, Wayne Morse.

Hollis discusses teaching at the University of Oregon Law School beginning in 1931, and serving as dean from 1945 to 1967. He talks about the administration of the university; how the Depression affected the law school; and students of his who went on to gain prominence, including Judge Ted Goodwin. He also talks about serving on the Eugene Water Board in the 1930s; judicial procedure; and changes in the law that affected how he taught. He also talks about his friendship with Judge James Alger Fee. Hollis discusses leading the Governor's Commission on Judicial Reform from 1971 to 1975, including legislators he worked with. He talks about constitutional law; the role of the judiciary; and appointments to the courts made by governors Mark Hatfield and Tom McCall. He describes his home and social life, particularly a trip to Moscow, Russia, in 1936. He closes the interview by discussing his activities since retiring as dean of the University of Oregon Law School in 1967.

Hollis, Orlando John, 1904-2000

Oral history interview with Otto Skopil

This oral history interview with Otto Skopil was conducted by Rick Harmon and Jim Strassmaier in Skopil's chambers at the Pioneer Courthouse in Portland, Oregon, from August 19, 1985, to November 27, 1989. The audio for this interview is incomplete; Tape 26 was discovered to be blank in 2020, but its contents are reflected in an incomplete transcript and in an index.

In the interview, Skopil discusses his family background and early life in Salem, Oregon, including his time at Salem High School and the effect of the Depression and the New Deal on the Salem area. Skopil talks about attending Willamette University in great detail. He discusses his World War II experience in the Navy from 1942 to 1945, between earning his bachelor's degree in economics and returning to Willamette earn his bachelor of laws. Skopil describes practicing law in Salem for 26 years, from 1946 to 1972, including partnering with his uncle, Ralph Skopil, and later with Bruce Williams. He discusses some of the cases he argued, particularly his only U.S. Supreme Court case, which involved State Farm Insurance. He then briefly discusses his personal life, including his two marriages, first to June Johnson, then to Jan Lundy, and his involvement in various religious and civic organizations, including the Board of Governors for the Oregon Bar. He also discusses his involvement with the Republican Party and his opposition to both the Korean and Vietnam wars, as well as how the draft affected his son, Ric Skopil. He talks about serving as a judge for the U.S. Circuit Court of Oregon, including his confirmation; the procedures of the court; sentencing; and the development of the magistrate system. He also discusses some of the cases he presided over on topics including the environment, white-collar crime, and securities. He talks at length about the case of Chuck Armsbury. He also discusses working with his fellow judges, particularly Gus Solomon and Robert Belloni, as well as his relationships with Mark Hatfield and Griffin Bell. Skopil then describes his time as a judge for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, including the relationship between that court and Congress; the increase of litigation during the 1980s; and the public perception of the court. He discusses some of the cases that came before the court on topics including mental health, capital punishment, timber, and drugs. He also talks about some of his fellow judges, particularly Ted Goodwin and James Browning. Skopil closes the interview by describing the importance of law clerks; discussing sentencing guidelines; and talking about his family life.

Skopil, Otto R. (Otto Richard), 1919-

Oral history interview with Helen M. Brunner

  • SR 1302
  • Collection
  • 1989-01-21 - 1989-01-21

This oral history interview with Helen M. Brunner was conducted by Jim Strassmaier on January 21, 1989, as part of the Oregon Historical Society Research Library's oral history program. In this interview, Brunner discusses her family background and talks about coming to Eugene, Oregon, in 1920. She talks about her education and studying to become an accountant at Eugene Business College. She discusses her early accounting jobs and experiences during the Depression. She then speaks about working as an accountant for Fred Meyer Inc. from 1940 to 1946. She talks about working with Herbert Retzlaff, shares her opinion on labor unions, and describes a typical work day. She speaks about the operations for Fred Meyer Inc., about the employee compensation, and about the Meyer family from the perspective of an employee. She closes the interview by discussing living in Portland during World War II.

Brunner, Helen M. (Helen Marie), 1905-2007

Oral history interview with Walter H. Evans, III

This oral history interview with Walter H. Evans, III, was conducted by Jim Strassmaier in Washington, D.C., from June 6-9, 1988. The audio is incomplete; Tape 3 was discovered to be blank in 2020. That portion of the interview is reflected in an incomplete transcript.

In this interview, Evans discusses his family background and early life in Portland, Oregon, including his early political beliefs. He speaks briefly about attending the University of Oregon and the Willamette University College of Law, then talks about working as a law clerk for Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice William Perry, as well as his role in the creation of the Oregon Court of Appeals. He also talks about his friendship with Gerry Frank and becoming part of U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield's staff. He describes his duties as a legislative aide, then a press aide, and as legal counsel to Hatfield. He talks about other members of Hatfield's staff; Hatfield's relationship with other senators; and Hatfield's opposition to the Vietnam War. He discusses legislation that Hatfield worked on, Hatfield's 1972 re-election campaign, and Hatfield's relationship with Oregon Governor Tom McCall and U.S. Senator Bob Packwood. He discusses appointments to federal offices in Oregon made during Hatfield's tenure and talks about communicating with the press. He also speaks further about Hatfield's opposition to the Vietnam War, and talks about Hatfield's handling of the Watergate scandal. Evans closes the interview by discussing Hatfield's home and family life.

Evans, Walter H., III (Walter Howard), 1941-2017

Oral history interview with Gerry Frank

This oral history interview with Gerry Frank was conducted by Jim Strassmaier at Frank's office in Salem, Oregon, from May 25, 1988, to May 2, 1990. In this interview, Frank discusses his family background and early life in Portland, Oregon, including his early education and the Meier & Frank department store, his family's business. He talks briefly about attending Stanford University, then discusses his Army service in Europe during World War II and his studies at Cambridge University in England. He talks about returning to Portland to work at Meier & Frank.

Frank speaks at length about Mark Hatfield's family background and early life. He talks about Hatfield's early political career, spirituality, and marriage to Antoinette Kuzmanich. He talks about the 1965 sale of Meier & Frank, and his subsequent deeper involvement with Hatfield's political career. He discusses his economic planning work on the Governor's Advisory Committee, working with Glenn Jackson, and the Republican Party in Oregon. He talks about Hatfield's elections; Hatfield's brush with the vice presidential nomination in 1968; and Hatfield's working relationships with Oregon state legislators. He describes Hatfield's opposition to the Vietnam War, as well of some of Hatfield's other controversial positions. He then talks about going to Washington, D.C., his duties as a member of Hatfield's staff, and other members of Hatfield's staff. He also talks about the conflict between Hatfield's liberal views and the increasing conservatism of the Republican Party. He speaks at length about running Hatfield's office, including managing correspondence and staff, and contracting with the Herman Miller company for furniture. He discusses the ways in which Hatfield remains connected to his constituency; the areas in which he disagrees with Hatfield; and how they handled a real estate scandal during Hatfield's 1984 re-election campaign. He discusses his personal activities, including writing an Oregon guidebook and his involvement with various organizations. He closes the interview by talking about how he first became acquainted with Mark Hatfield; Hatfield's political agenda; and issues contemporary to the interview session in 1990, including environmental concerns about logging and the proposed division of the Ninth Circuit Court.

Frank, Gerry

Oral history interview with Richard H. Jones

This oral history interview with Richard H. Jones was conducted by Jim Strassmaier from December 11, 1987, to January 13, 1988. In this interview, Jones discusses his family background and early life in Colorado, including his early education. He then discusses his memories of the Depression and coming to the West Coast to accept a teaching job at Stanford University in 1938. He then talks about teaching history at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and becoming acquainted with Mark Hatfield and Gerry Frank. He discusses his involvement in Hatfield's 1958 campaign for Oregon governor. He discusses appointments Hatfield made as governor, and the increasing conservatism of the Republican Party. He also talks about the differences and similarities between Mark Hatfield and Tom McCall. He describes Hatfield's accomplishments as governor, including on education; Hatfield's relationship with the state Legislature; and the attempt to revise the Oregon constitution in the early 1960s. He discusses Hatfield's involvement with national Republican politics in the 1960s, particularly his involvement in the Goldwater and Nixon presidential campaigns. He also talks about Hatfield's opposition to the Vietnam War, and how his own views aligned with Hatfield's; his involvement with Hatfield's senatorial campaigns; and Hatfield's relationship with U.S. Senator Bob Packwood. He closes the interview by discussing Hatfield's support for the National Rifle Association.

Jones, Richard H. (Richard Hutton), 1914-1998

Oral history interview with Wesley Granberg-Michaelson

This oral history interview with Wesley Granberg-Michaelson was conducted by Jim Strassmaier in Parkridge, Illinois, and in San Antonio, Texas, from October 18, 1988, to May 28, 1989. In this interview, Granberg-Michaelson discusses his family background and early life in the Chicago, Illinois, area, including his early education. He tells the story of meeting Oregon Governor Mark Hatfield at the 1960 Republican National Convention when he was a teenager. He speaks at length about his evangelical Christian faith, his involvement in the Young Life movement, and how both permeated his political views. He speaks about his experiences at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, including his views on the Vietnam War at that time. He then discusses his experience at the Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, including some of the courses he took and how his view of the Vietnam War evolved.

Granberg-Michaelson talks about meeting Mark Hatfield at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1968, and how that led to an internship with Hatfield, who had become a U.S. senator. He describes his duties as an intern, his promotion to full-time staff a year later, and working with other members of Hatfield's staff. He discusses his role as foreign policy advisor, particularly regarding the Vietnam War; Hatfield's relationship with President Richard Nixon; and Hatfield's relationship with his fellow members of Congress. He speaks at length about Hatfield's efforts to end the Vietnam War, including the McGovern-Hatfield amendment of 1970. He also talks about Hatfield's re-election campaign in 1972; Hatfield's spirituality; and Hatfield's opposition to nuclear weapons and power. He discusses his reasons for leaving Hatfield's staff in 1976.

Granberg-Michaelson discusses his personal life during his time as a member of Hatfield's staff, Hatfield's relationship with the evangelical community, and how Hatfield balanced his ideals with the need to compromise. He discusses his international travels, his marriage to Karen Granberg, and the protests against the draft and the Vietnam War. He speaks about the differences in management style between Sam Mallicoat and Gerry Frank, Hatfield's stance on Israel and Palestine, and a real estate scandal that affected Hatfield's 1984 re-election campaign. He discusses Hatfield's legislative efforts toward decentralizing government. He closes the interview by talking about Hatfield's family and personal life, and his own recent activities.

Granberg-Michaelson, Wesley

Oral history interview with Warne H. Nunn

This oral history interview with Warne H. Nunn was conducted by Jim Strassmaier at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, from October 20 to November 3, 1987. In this interview, Nunn discusses his family background and early life on a farm outside Salem, Oregon, including his memories of the Depression and his education. He talks about attending Willamette University, including his professors. He talks about his career in civil service for the state of Oregon, beginning with a job at the Civil Service Commission in 1945, on the Public Utilities Commission in 1952, and as director of the Department of Motor Vehicles in 1956. He speaks about working with Mark Hatfield as assistant secretary of state from 1957 to 1959, and describes the make-up of Hatfield's staff, including Travis Cross. He also talks about Hatfield's relationship with the Oregon Republican Party; Hatfield's campaigns for Oregon governor; and his own friendship with Hatfield.

Nunn discusses serving as chief of staff for Hatfield from 1959 to 1967, including Hatfield's efforts to reorganize the state government, and Hatfield's working relationship with the Legislature, as well as with lobbyists. He also describes Hatfield's views on the Vietnam War; efforts toward Oregon's economic development; and the 1968 Republican Convention when Hatfield was being considered as Richard Nixon's running mate. He also discusses Hatfield's involvement with Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign. Nunn then discusses serving as chief of staff for Hatfield for three months in 1967 after Hatfield was elected as a U.S. senator. He talks about setting up an office in Washington, D.C., and some of the people who made up Hatfield's new staff, including Sam Mallicoat and Gerry Frank. He closes the interview by discussing his departure from Hatfield's staff and his return to Oregon.

Nunn, Warne H. (Warne Henry), 1920-2007

Oral history interview with Travis Cross

This oral history interview with Travis Cross was conducted by Jim Strassmaier in Cross' office at St. Vincent's Hospital and at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, from October 8 to November 23, 1987. In this interview, Cross discusses his family background and early life in Salem, Oregon, including growing up in the same neighborhood as Mark Hatfield. He then talks about attending Willamette University at the same time as Hatfield, and how they became more closely acquainted. He talks about Hatfield's early life, military service during World War II, and college experiences at Stanford University and Willamette University. He talks about Hatfield's admiration for Herbert Hoover and Dwight D. Eisenhower; and about working at Willamette University at the same time as Hatfield.

Cross then discusses acting as an aide throughout Hatfield's Oregon political career, from 1957 to 1967. He discusses Hatfield as Oregon secretary of state, including helping with campaigns, and the make-up of Hatfield's staff. He describes the duties of the secretary of state, including running the elections division and serving on the board of control; some of their accomplishments during that time; and working with Governor Bob Holmes.

Cross talks about Hatfield as Oregon governor from 1959 to 1967. He discusses the appointment of Howard Appling as secretary of state, Hatfield's relationship with the Oregon Republican Party, and Hatfield's attempts to reorganize state government. He discusses working with the Oregon Legislature, appointments Hatfield made, and dealing with the press. Cross talks about Hatfield's political opponents, including Howard Morgan and Robert Y. Thornton. He also discusses Hatfield's opposition to the Vietnam War, and his support for Barry Goldwater during the 1964 Republican presidential primary. He talks about Hatfield's 1966 campaign for the U.S. Senate, and his decision to leave Hatfield's staff. He discusses Hatfield's Washington, D.C., staff, including Gerry Frank. He also describes Glenn Jackson and Monte Montgomery. Cross closes the interview by discussing his activities after leaving Hatfield's staff and their continued friendship.

Cross, Travis (William Travis), 1927-2004

Oral history interview with Charles L. Sauvie

This oral history interview with Charles L. Sauvie was conducted by Jim Strassmaier in Portland, Oregon, on May 3, 1988. In this interview, Sauvie briefly discusses his family background, early life, and early career as an economist. He then speaks at length about his career as an economist for the Oregon State Department of Planning and Development. He speaks about the report of the state's tax structure prepared by Professor Nicholas Sly; talks about his involvement on the Oregon Economic Advisory Committee; and describes some of the projects he worked on while in the planning department. He also talks about working with Governor Mark Hatfield and his staff, particularly Sam Mallicoat. He speaks at length about his efforts to attract business to Oregon. He closes the interview by talking about the role of Glenn Jackson in Oregon's economic development.

Sauvie, Charles L. (Charles Louis)

Oral history interview with Jim Towey

This oral history interview with Jim Towey was conducted by Jim Strassmaier on June 2, 1988. In this interview, Towey discusses his family background and early life in Jacksonville, Florida, including his Catholic upbringing. He talks about studying law at Florida State University, including working summer jobs and playing basketball. He then discusses his decision to forgo the practice of law and instead follow a spiritual calling to Washington, D.C. He describes how he came to be part of U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield's staff in 1982; his duties as a legislative assistant and later legislative director; and some of the other members of the senator's staff. Towey relates a few anecdotes regarding Hatfield's personality and spirituality. Using abortion legislation as an example, he describes the way the staff would engage with Hatfield on specific legislation and how the senator made decisions. He also describes working on improving conditions for refugees and the abuses he witnessed, as well as his feelings on President Ronald Reagan's agenda in general. Towey speaks at length about a real estate scandal during Hatfield's 1984 re-election campaign and how they dealt with it. He closes the interview by discussing Hatfield's spiritual life.

Towey, Jim

Oral history interview with Thomas R. Getman

This oral history interview with Thomas R. Getman was conducted by Jim Strassmaier in Getman's offices at World Vision in Washington, D.C., from June 3-8, 1988. In this interview, Getman discusses his family background and early life in Luverne, Minnesota, particularly the development of his religious and political beliefs. He then discusses attending Wheaton College in Chicago, Illinois, and working with Young Life ministries in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he heard Mark Hatfield speak for the first time. He talks about his longstanding admiration for Hatfield; his involvement with Young Life ministries in New England; and his work for Gerald R. Ford, including a story about being with the Ford family on the night of the 1976 presidential election. He then describes how he came to be on Hatfield's staff; discusses other staff members, particularly Doug Coe and Gerry Frank; and talks about how the staff and Hatfield interacted. Getman discusses his duties as legislative director, Hatfield's relationship with the Republican Party, and the senator's stance on several issues, including abortion. He speaks at length about Hatfield's personality, spirituality, and legislative agenda. He also talks about preacher Billy Graham, as well as the evangelical voting bloc. He discusses the Reagan administration's push for privatization and his own opinion on the limits of the private sector, particularly in regard to health care. He speaks about Hatfield's efforts to mitigate the damaging effects of privatization in his role as chair of the appropriations committee. He then talks about his work on legislation regarding Africa, particularly South Africa. He discusses the events surrounding Rajneeshpuram, and being in Africa on vacation during Hatfield's real estate scandal. He closes the interview by reflecting on the legacy and accomplishments of Hatfield's political career.

Getman, Thomas R.

Oral history interview with J. Keith Kennedy

This oral history interview with J. Keith Kennedy was conducted by Jim Strassmaier in Kennedy's office on June 8, 1988. In this interview, Kennedy discusses his family background and early life in Charlotte, North Carolina. He talks about his college education at Duke University in North Carolina, including influential professors. He then talks about interning for U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield from 1972 to 1973, writing speeches, researching issues and political opponents, and assisting Wes Michaelson. He discusses Hatfield's 1972 re-election campaign against Wayne Morse, and Hatfield's opposition to the Vietnam War, as well as Hatfield's feelings about President Richard Nixon's impeachment. He then discusses working as a legislative assistant for Hatfield from 1974 to 1977. Next, he speaks about his work on the Select Committee on Indian Affairs from 1977 to 1981, and on the Senate Appropriations Committee from 1981 to the time of this interview in 1988. Kennedy talks about Hatfield's legislative agenda and stance on some controversial issues, including the draft. He also talks about other members of Hatfield's staff, including Frank Cook. Kennedy closes the interview by discussing Hatfield's personality and spirituality, as well as Hatfield's relationship with his fellow legislators.

Kennedy, J. Keith

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