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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 Clement M. Risberg

  • SR 811
  • Collection
  • 1993-08-26 - 1993-10-13

This oral history interview with Clement M. Risberg was conducted by Linda Watkins at Risberg's home in Sherwood, Oregon, from August 26 to October 13, 1993. The interview was conducted in three sessions. In the first session, Risberg's cousin, Erik Åkerberg, was also present and frequently contributed to the interview.

In the first interview session, conducted on August 26, 1993, Åkerberg discusses the Risberg family background and his early life in Sweden in the early 20th century. Risberg talks about the reasons his parents immigrated to the United States.

In the second interview session, conducted on October 12, 1993, Risberg discusses his father's journey from Sweden to Portland, Oregon, in the early 20th century. He talks about his parents' marriage, and his early life in the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland, including his recreational activities, his family life and vacations, and his education. He also briefly talks about his service in the Oregon National Guard. He describes the various jobs he held after dropping out of high school, talks about cars and motorcycles he owned, and discusses his marriage to and divorce from Lucille Foster. He talks about working at Vandekamp's Bakery at the time it was bought out by Fred Meyer, Inc., and describes how that led to his starting a trucking business, Risberg Truck Service. He discusses working with Fred Meyer, Inc., and speaks about trucking logistics and innovations he instituted to streamline the shipment of goods. He talks about his marriage to Virginia Emma Karther, as well as how World War II affected his business.

In the third and final interview session, conducted on October 13, 1993, Risberg continues discussing his marriage to Virginia Emma Karther, their social life, and raising a family. He talks about expanding his trucking business to include truck rentals, warehouses, and distribution; buying out other trucking companies; and expanding the company to encompass all of Western Oregon. He speaks about his children, their families, and their careers. He also talks about his horse riding hobby. He then returns to the topic of expanding and running his trucking business, until its sale in 1978. He speaks about other businesses he started, including Commercial Employers Inc. and Risberg Investment, and talks about his continued involvement with Risberg Truck Service, Inc. He then talks about his marriage to Mary Courtney James. He discusses selling off his trucking contracts and businesses in the 1980s and 1990s; describes changes in the trucking industry since he began in 1934; and shares his thoughts about the future of trucking. He talks about his family life and activities at the time of the interview in 1993; reflects on his accomplishments and regrets; and talks about his health and hopes for the future. He closes the interview by talking about Mary Risberg's children and grandchildren.

Risberg, Clement M. (Clement Magnus), 1911-1996

Oral history interview with Fred G. Meyer

  • SR 9474
  • Collection
  • 1970-08-25

This oral history interview with Fred G. Meyer was conducted by Gerry Pratt on August 25, 1970. In this interview, Meyer discusses the reasons he settled in Portland, Oregon, in 1910. He talks about the history of Fred Meyer, Inc., including the growth of the company. He discusses inflation and tax increases, and how that has affected grocery prices and labor costs; shares his opinion on the younger generation; and speaks about a recent court case, FTC v. Fred Meyer Inc. He closes the interview by sharing his business philosophy.

Meyer, Fred G., 1886-1978

Oral history interview with Oran B. Robertson

  • SR 9496
  • Collection
  • 1980-02-20

This oral history interview with Oran B. Robertson was conducted by Linda S. Dodds on February 20, 1980, as part of the Oregon Historical Society Research Library's oral history program. At the time of the interview, Dodds' name was Linda S. Brody.

In this interview, Robertson briefly discusses his family background and early life in Salem, Oregon, then talks about working as an engineer for Boeing Aircraft in Seattle, Washington, from 1938 to 1945. He then discusses his career with Fred Meyer Inc. He speaks about Fred G. Meyer, and describes Meyer's personality and his personal and business philosophies. He discusses the operation of the company, the factors that led to the business's success, and the growth of the company since going public. He closes the interview by talking about the future of Fred Meyer, Inc. and reflecting on his career with the company.

Robertson, Oran B. (Oran Benjamen), 1917-1999