This oral history interview with Dorothy H. Thornton was conducted by Nancy Hawver from September 10 to December 13, 1991, 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 September 10, 1991, Thornton discusses her family background and early life in Tillamook, Oregon, including her parents' involvement with the Tillamook Creamery Association. She talks about her early education, her recreational activities, and her early interest in art. She discusses a trip she took to Europe in 1935. She talks about her experiences in high school and at the University of Oregon. She also revisits the topics of the Tillamook Creamery Association and her early life in Tillamook. She discusses her marriage to Robert Y. Thornton and talks about his legal and political career.
In the second interview session, conducted on October 17, 1991, Thornton discusses her experience during World War II and talks about working in the blimp factory in Tillamook. She also talks about Robert Y. Thornton's service in the U.S. Army during the war. She discusses Robert Y. Thornton's study of Japanese and her own study of art. She then discusses living in Tillamook at the end of the war, talks about her involvement in the Tillamook Library Board, and about raising her son, Thomas Wells Thornton.
In the third interview session, conducted on November 22, 1991, Thornton discusses living in Salem after Robert Y. Thornton was elected to the Oregon State Legislature in 1950 and talks about her experiences as a wife of a politician, her involvement with the Bush House Auxiliary, and her interest in art and photography. She also talks about cases Robert Y. Thornton worked on as state attorney general.
In the fourth and final interview session, conducted on December 13, 1991, Thornton continues to discuss living in Salem, including her involvement in early childhood education. She also continues to discuss Robert Y. Thornton's career as state attorney general. She talks about her involvement in the Arts in Oregon Council and other arts organizations; describes her cornea transplant surgery; and discusses taking art classes. She talks about a trip she took to Japan in the late 1950s, about attending attorneys general conventions, and about the establishment of the Grove of the States in 1967. She closes the interview by discussing her involvement with the Portland Art Museum and other arts organizations.
Thornton, Dorothy H. (Dorothy Haberlach), 1913-2005