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Oral history interview with Jean Black, by Karen Wingo

  • SR 9096
  • Collection
  • 1980-052-07

Black discusses his early life and education, studying in Rome, working in various research and academic libraries across the country, teaching library science, coming to Vanport, Oregon in 1946 to be a librarian at Vanport College, dealing with the aftermath of the 1948 flood, and the early history of the Portland State University library.

Black, Jean P.

Oral history interview with Jean L. Lewis

  • SR 9064
  • Collection
  • 1981-03-05

This oral history interview with Jean L. Lewis was conducted by Linda S. Dodds in Portland, Oregon, on March 5, 1981. At the time of the interview, Dodds' name was Linda S. Brody.

In this interview, Lewis discusses her family background and early life in Portland, Oregon. She briefly talks about studying at Northwestern College of Law, practicing law in Portland, and working on the staff of the U.S. Treasury General Counsel in Washington, D.C., during World War II.

She discusses serving in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1954 to 1956, and in the Oregon Senate from 1957 to 1961. She talks about legislation she worked on, including on capital punishment, education, government transparency, and carnival safety. She also talks about her experiences as a woman in the Legislature, and as the first woman to serve on the Ways and Means Committee and the Emergency Board.

Lewis talks about serving as a judge on the Multnomah County Circuit Court from 1961 to 1978. She describes her experiences as the first woman to serve on a circuit court in Oregon. She talks about specializing in domestic cases and about some of the cases she presided over, including cases on allowing single fathers to adopt children. She briefly lists some of the organizations she's been involved with. She closes the interview by talking about her reasons for retiring in 1978.

Lewis, Jean Lagerquist, 1914-1991

Oral history interview with Jeanne M. Radow, by Robert Watts

  • SR 9029
  • Collection
  • 1978-03-15

Radow discusses her involvement with Planned Parenthood, birth control, abortion, sex education, her early life in New York, serving in the Army Nurse Corps during World War II.

Radow, Jeanne M., 1921-2013

Oral history interview with John A. Silvertooth

  • SR 463
  • Collection
  • 1970

This oral history interview with John A. Silvertooth was conducted by Jack P. Steiwer at Silvertooth's store in Antelope, Oregon, around 1970. In this interview, Silvertooth discusses the history of Antelope and the Wasco County area. He talks about his family background and early life in Antelope in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He talks about the businesses he owned in Antelope, particularly the Idle Hours Tavern and a museum that burned down in 1964. He also briefly talks about his unsuccessful campaign for the Oregon Legislature. He speaks about homesteaders in the area, sheep and cattle ranching, and some of the families that lived in the area. Silvertooth tells a story about a bar brawl in his tavern; talks about some of the items in his store where the interview took place; and shares his memories of early automobiles and railroad lines in the area. He also talks about the origins of place names in Wasco County. He closes the interview by discussing running his tavern during Prohibition.

Silvertooth, John A. (John Addison), 1885-1972

Oral history interview with John C. Beatty

  • SR 3716
  • Collection
  • 1999-03

This oral history interview with John C. Beatty was conducted by two unidentified Riverdale High School students as part of series of interviews with Riverdale High School alumni in March 1999. In this interview, Beatty discusses his family background and early life and education at Riverdale High School in the Dunthorpe neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, in the 1920s and 1930s. He also briefly discusses his memories of the Depression and World War II, as well as the changes in the Dunthorpe neighborhood over the 20th century. He closes the interview by talking about his legal career and his experience being drafted during World War II.

Beatty, John Cabeen, 1919-

Oral history interview with John E. Dulin

  • SR 608
  • Collection
  • 1990-11-10 - 1990-12-16

This oral history interview with John E. Dulin was conducted by Nancy Budrow in Harrisburg, Oregon, from November 10 to December 16, 1990. The interview was conducted in five sessions. A woman identified only as Helen was also present for the final interview session.

In the first interview session, conducted on November 10, 1990, Dulin discusses his early life in Baker, Oregon, and in Dayton and Prosser, Washington, including living on an apricot orchard and his education. He then discusses his early life in Hamilton and Havre, Montana. He describes each of these towns, talks about living on farms, and talks about his recreational activities. He speaks about his father's career as a minister, his own after-school jobs, and his love of reading.

In the second interview session, conducted on November 11, 1990, Dulin discusses winters in Havre, Montana. He then talks about living in Worland, Wyoming, including his high school experience, his father's career as a minister, and the house they lived in. He describes the community, his recreational activities, and playing basketball. He talks about his brother's dentistry practice, a road trip to Missouri in 1921, and fishing and camping in Wyoming. He discusses his college experience at Linfield College, now Linfield University, in McMinnville, Oregon. He discusses meeting his wife, Emma Estel Maloney; jobs he worked; and getting expelled during his second year. He then discusses his college experience at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, including jobs he worked.

In the third interview session, conducted on December 1, 1990, Dulin revisits the topic of a road trip to Missouri in 1921. He also describes an old wedding tradition called a "shivaree." He then revisits the topic of his college experience at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, including the jobs he worked, his social life, and extracurricular activities. He talks about returning to Oregon, and about working as a high school teacher and basketball coach, first in McMinnville, then in Bozeman, Montana. He then describes a road trip he took from Montana to New England and back to Pullman, Washington, in the late 1920s. He describes research he conducted at the University of Washington in Seattle, working as a chemistry professor and basketball coach at Yakima Community College, and moving to California in 1930 to teach chemistry and algebra in Santa Monica. He talks about his experience during the Depression, including his involvement with the Works Progress Administration and teaching physics and chemistry at Burbank High School. He describes a trip to Montana to adopt a child.

In the fourth interview session, conducted on December 2, 1990, Dulin continues discussing adopting a child in Montana and talks about adopting a second child. He talks about choosing names for his children, raising a family in Burbank, and their family activities. He also describes driving and airplane trips to Oregon from Southern California; talks about his experience during World War II; and discusses his involvement with El Camino College in Torrance. He speaks about the El Camino Community College campus and his experience as a student counselor. He also describes a 1958 trip to Bozeman, Montana, which included visits to several of the towns he grew up in. He talks about his experience as a chemistry professor at El Camino College; speaks at length about his role in the development of the El Camino College Federal Credit Union; and briefly talks about budgeting for the college.

In the fifth and final interview session, conducted on December 16, 1990, Dulin continues discussing his role in the development of the El Camino College Federal Credit Union, particularly focusing on a board election that was held in Hawaii. He talks about receiving National Science Foundation grants and describes the research he conducted as a result, including at Oregon State University. He also talks about his interest in Native American history, as well as visiting Native American history museums. He discusses pursuing a doctorate in organic chemistry at the University of Southern California, visiting the Maloney family in Georgia, and researching with radioactive materials. He speaks at length about his collection of Native American artifacts and art. He discusses his health, tells stories about car troubles on road trips, and shares his opinion on college basketball at the time of the interview in 1990. He closes the interview by talking about his experiences living near Hollywood, California.

Dulin, John E. (John Eugene), 1903-1998

Oral history interview with John P. Meynink

  • SR 600-1
  • Collection
  • 1990-08-17 - 1990-08-24

This oral history interview with John P. Meynink was conducted by Jim Strassmaier at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, from August 17-24, 1990. The interview was conducted in two sessions.

In the first interview session, conducted on August 17, 1990, Meynink discusses his family background and early life in the Netherlands in the early 20th century, including working on farms. He then talks about his reasons for immigrating to the United States in 1923. He also briefly discusses his compulsory service in the Dutch Army. He describes his journey across the Atlantic and adjusting to life in the U.S., including learning English as a second language. He talks about the various jobs he held in Oregon and Washington, other immigrant groups in the area, and his experience during the Depression. He also discusses his political beliefs.

In the second interview session, conducted on August 24, 1990, Meynink continues discussing his political beliefs and his experience during the Depression. He talks about the various jobs he held in Oregon, including working at a bakery, running gas stations, and running the State Hotel in Astoria. He also discusses his marriage to Wanda Marie Rohrbough and running an ice cream shop in Newberg. He talks about becoming an accountant after moving to Portland in 1959; about his children, their families, and their careers; and about working as a tour guide in Portland. He discusses his interest in history and talks about both Dutch and Portland history. He closes the interview by talking about his affiliation with the Oregon Historical Society, about farming equipment, and about his health at the time of the interview in 1990.

Meynink, John P. (John Phillip), 1899-1995

Oral history interview with John P. Meynink

  • SR 600
  • Collection
  • 1990-06-06 - 1990-06-20

This oral history interview with John P. Meynink was conducted by Kellie A. Roche from June 6-20, 1990. The interview was conducted in two sessions. A microphone issue during session one caused audio distortion to Meynink's answers.

In the first interview session, conducted on June 6, 1990, Meynink discusses his family background and early life in the Netherlands, including his education, dairy farming, and his favorite childhood memories. He also talks about his experience as a civilian in Europe during World War I. He then discusses his reasons for immigrating to the United States in 1923, finding work in Hood River, Oregon, and learning English as a second language. He talks about some of the jobs he held in Oregon, including owning several Texaco gas stations; and about starting a family later in life with Wanda Marie Meynink.

In the second interview session, conducted on June 20, 1990, Meynink discusses his reasons for immigrating to the United States in 1923, his journey to New York, and adjusting to life in the United States, including learning English as a second language. He talks about some of the jobs he held in Oregon, including owning the State Hotel in Astoria and an ice cream shop in Newberg. He discusses his marriage to Wanda Marie Meynink and talks about becoming an accountant later in life. He then talks about working as a tour guide in downtown Portland after retiring in the 1970s and his interest in cast iron architecture. He closes the interview by discussing the changes in Portland over the decades, as well as return trips to the Netherlands beginning in the 1960s and the changes he noticed in that country since he left in 1923.

Meynink, John P. (John Phillip), 1899-1995

Oral history interview with John R. Leach

  • SR 758
  • Collection
  • 1968-02-22 - 1968-02-23

This oral history interview with John R. Leach was conducted by Jean S. Whitford from February 22-23, 1968. The interview was conducted in two sessions.

In the first interview session, conducted on February 22, 1968, Leach discusses his wife, Lilla Leach. He tells stories from his recently published autobiography, "Oxbows and Bare Feet," including his remembrances of Sam Warfield, known as "Uncle Sam"; Lorenzo Chapman; Joe Meeks; and others in the Lexington, Oregon, area. He also discusses the history of the Leach family and their journey west to Oregon.

In the second interview session, conducted on February 23, 1968, Leach discusses frontier life, folk medicine, and his childhood and early life in Eastern Oregon. He closes the interview by describing his adventures with Lilla Leach.

Leach, John Roy, 1882-1972

Oral history interview with Johnnie O. Maxey

  • SR 4000
  • Collection
  • 1994-02-25 - 1994-06-30

This oral history interview with Johnnie Maxey was conducted by Aaron Brand at Maxey's home in Portland, Oregon, from February 25 to June 30, 1994. Charles Britton Maxey was also present and occasionally contributed to the interview, which was conducted in five sessions.

In the first interview session, conducted on February 25, 1994, Maxey discusses her family background and early life on a farm in Kilgore, Texas. She speaks at length about raising and preparing food; describes her childhood home; and talks about her early education. She then discusses attending Texas College, including meeting Charles Britton Maxey. She also talks about her mother's health, attending the AME Church, and racism she experienced. She discusses relocating to Portland in 1943; talks about the jobs that Charles Britton Maxey held; and describes her journey by train.

In the second interview session, conducted on March 31, 1991, Maxey revisits the topic of her early life in Kilgore, Texas, including her experience with rheumatic fever as a child, celebrating Juneteenth, and the community she grew up in. She also talks about her siblings and their families. She then discusses her life in Portland, including her social life, raising her family, and Charles Britton Maxey's career as a barber. She also talks about discrimination faced by the black community in Portland, including the lack jobs open to black people after World War II, the hostility towards black people in some neighborhoods, and the aftermath of the Vanport Flood. She discusses running a small grocery store, called Maxey's Better Buy Grocery, next door to her husband's barbershop.

In the third interview session, conducted on April 25, 1994, Maxey continues discussing Charles Britton Maxey's career as a barber and running the Maxeys' grocery store. She also talks about the experience of having two barbershops and their home seized by the state for the construction of the I-5 freeway. She speaks at length about dealing with customers; talks about other grocery stores in the neighborhood; and discusses her involvement in the community, including serving as president of her local parent teacher association. She also talks about school segregation and busing. She speaks at length about raising her children, and talks about their careers, as well as the racism they experienced.

In the fourth interview session, conducted on June 10, 1994, Maxey continues to discuss raising her children. She also talks about her relationship with her neighbors. She discusses her involvement with La Femme, which taught traditional etiquette to young girls, and talks about her involvement in her church, including its choir and working to promote black history to its congregation. She talks about racism she experienced in Portland, and how conditions for black people in Oregon have changed since the 1940s. She then briefly discusses Charles Britton Maxey's involvement with the Republican Party; shares her opinion on busing; and describes issues she had with some of her children's teachers. She also shares her memories of the civil rights movement.

In the fifth and final interview session, conducted on June 30, 1994, Maxey continues sharing her memories of the civil rights movement, and talks about how conditions for black people have changed in Oregon. She talks about black-owned businesses in North Portland, changes in the neighborhood, and changes in Portland's black community. She also briefly shares her political opinions. She speaks at length about her children, their careers, and their families. She closes the interview by talking about her grandchildren and her hopes for the future.

Maxey, Johnnie O. (Johnnie Obina), 1919-

Oral history interview with Katherine O'Neill

  • SR 9481
  • Collection
  • 1980-03-14

This oral history with Katherine O'Neill was conducted by Linda S. Dodds at O'Neill's home in Portland, Oregon, on March 14, 1980. At the time of the interview, Dodds' name was Linda S. Brody. Admiral John H. Besson, who was a cousin of O'Neill's, and several unidentified women were also present and contributed to the interview.

In this interview, O'Neill discusses Smith and Watson Iron Works in Portland, a business operated by her grandfather, Charles Smith. She talks about the sorts of items the business produced, including steam donkeys and parts for the Kaiser shipyards in Portland. She also talks about the Schnabel family home that later became the Multnomah County Hospital; the family's ownership of the Congress Hotel and many of the hotel's famous guests; and the legal career of her father, Charles J. Schnabel, including his 1921 murder by a disgruntled client. She closes the interview by talking about her early life and education in the King's Hill neighborhood of Portland.

O'Neill, Katherine E. S. (Katherine Elizabeth Schnabel), 1899-1995

Oral history interview with Kirby S. Ross

  • SR 18
  • Collection
  • 1979-12-20

This oral history interview with Kirby S. Ross was conducted by Charles Pavlovich on December 20, 1979. Ross' son, Kenneth Nelson Ross, and a person identified only as Mr. Johnson were also present and occasionally contributed to the interview.

In this interview, Ross discusses his service in the U.S. Army in France and Germany during World War I, including capturing enemy soldiers, retrieving bodies of fallen Allied soldiers, and fighting in the trenches. He also talks about where he was during the signing of the armistice. He then talks about his civilian life and serving in the Oregon National Guard before the start of World War I, including being deployed to disrupt efforts by the International Workers of the World to unionize agricultural workers. He then revisits the topic of his service in the U.S. Army in France and Germany during World War I, and describes at length his experiences on the front lines. He closes the interview by discussing where to donate the oral history interview and related materials.

Ross, Kirby S. (Kirby Stewart), 1893-1984

Oral history interview with L. Raphael Geisler

  • SR 9394
  • Collection
  • 1976-06-10

This oral history interview with L. Raphael Geisler was conducted by Charles Digregorio at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, on June 10, 1976. In this interview, Geisler discusses his family background and early life in the Portland Heights neighborhood of Portland. He also briefly shares his memories of the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition.

Geisler discusses his experience as vice-consul to Cologne, Germany, and to Zurich, Switzerland, during World War I. He then speaks briefly about his career in banking after the war until the Depression, and then working as a patent lawyer in Portland. He discusses his involvement with Trinity Episcopal Church, including his memories of the 1902 fire that destroyed its original building on SW Sixth Avenue and SW Oak Street in downtown Portland. He closes the interview by speaking briefly about his parents.

Geisler, L. Raphael (Louis Raphael), 1890-1982

Oral history interview with Lawrence Leighton Smith, by Linda Brody

  • SR 9343
  • Collection
  • 1980-05-12

Smith discusses his early musical education, his career as a pianist and conductor, mostly in New England, and his experiences as conductor and music director for the Oregon Symphony in Portland, Oregon.

Smith, Lawrence Leighton

Oral history interview with Louis Bunce, by Charles Digregorio

  • SR 9323
  • Collection
  • 1978-06-01 - 1978-07-19

Bunce discusses education in art at the Museum Art School in Portland, Oregon , his influences, including Cezanne and Picasso, his involvement with the WPA during the Depression, working in the shipyards during World War II, his artistic style, and his career as an artist. He also discusses some of his exhibitions and a commission he was currently working on for the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, California.

Bunce, Louis, 1907-1983

Oral history interview with Margaret G. Fritsch

  • SR 9318
  • Collection
  • 1982-03-29

This oral history interview with Margaret G. Fritsch was conducted by Linda S. Dodds on March 29, 1982. At the time of the interview, Dodds' name was Linda S. Brody.

In this interview, Fritsch discusses her family background and early life in Salem, Oregon. She talks about studying architecture at the University of Oregon, including the discrimination she faced as a woman. She then discusses her career as an architect, including the process of obtaining a license and some of the buildings she designed early in her career. She also talks about serving as secretary of the Oregon State Board of Architect Examiners. Fritsch discusses some of the architects she worked with, including Jamieson Parker and A.E. Doyle. She also talks about the architecture career of her husband, Frederick Fritsch. She briefly talks about adopting a child after Frederick Fritsch's death in 1934. She describes the effect the Depression had on their careers. She talks about working as a city planner for Juneau, Alaska, and her retirement in 1974. She closes the interview by talking about working with craftspeople; designing plinths for public art; and changes in the field of architecture.

Fritsch, Margaret G., 1899-1993

Oral history interview with Margret D. Thomas

  • SR 3719
  • Collection
  • 1999-03

This oral history interview with Margret D. Thomas was conducted by an unidentified Riverdale High School student as part of the Riverdale School Oral History Series in March 1999. In this interview, Thomas discusses her family. She talks about coming to Portland, Oregon, in 1954, after her marriage to James "Jack" Randolph Thomas in 1942. She discusses Jack Thomas' career as a member of the Riverdale School Board, including the dances he helped to organize for parents. She also talks about life in the Dunthorpe neighborhood of Portland, including her memories of the 1962 Columbus Day storm. Thomas recounts her memories of World War II and the Depression. She then discusses her high school education in Los Angeles County, California, and her involvement with Riverdale School in Portland.

Thomas, Margret D. (Margret Dale), 1922-2011

Oral history interview with Marjorie McDonald, by Edna Kovacs

  • SR 6502
  • Collection
  • 1989-10-21

McDonald discusses her family background and early life in Indiana and Portland, Oregon, her poetry, learning and teaching Russian, living in London for a year,and her collage artwork.

McDonald, Marjorie

Oral history interview with Mark Bocek

  • SR 813
  • Collection
  • 1979-04-21

This oral history interview with Mark Bocek was conducted by Jim Strassmaier on April 21, 1979. Bocek's daughter, Rose Mary Bocek, also contributed to the interview.

In this interview, Bocek discusses his family background and early life in Poland. He talks about immigrating to the United States in 1905 and describes his experience as an immigrant in Pennsylvania and New York, including the jobs he worked. He talks about serving in the U.S. Army beginning in 1909, and describes spending 18 months stationed in the Philippines and playing clarinet in the Army band. Bocek and Strassmaier also talk about some photographs of Bocek's time in the U.S. Army. He briefly discusses his marriage to Rose White in 1914; his activities in the Army after returning from the Philippines in 1912; and settling in Portland, Oregon. He talks about his education in Poland, the jobs he held in Portland, including during the Depression, and building engines for Liberty ships during World War II. He then talks about his children, their families, and their careers. Bocek and Rose Mary Bocek also share their memories of the Tillamook Burn. Bocek closes the interview by discussing the dedication necessary to learn how to play an instrument.

Bocek, Mark, 1887-1984

Oral history interview with Mary E. Eyre

  • SR 812
  • Collection
  • 1989-10-06 - 1990-01-12

This oral history interview with Mary E. Eyre was conducted by Vinita M. Howard at Eyre's home in Salem, Oregon, from October 6, 1989, to January 12, 1990. The interview was conducted in three sessions.

In the first interview session, conducted on October 6, 1989, Eyre discusses her family background and early life in Buckley, Illinois. She talks about a family trip to Oregon in 1902 and tells a story about an escaped prisoner who was making headlines at the time. She discusses her first year of school in Illinois. She then talks about life in Salem, Oregon, including the family banking business, the family home, and their neighborhood. She also talks about her education in Salem.

In the second interview session, conducted on October 12, 1989, Eyre continues discussing the family home and neighborhood in Salem, and describes features that were common in houses in the early 20th century, particularly woodsheds. She talks about her education in Salem; describes the old Capitol building and businesses in downtown Salem; and talks about the family's first car. She also briefly talks about some of the floods that affected Marion County in the early 20th century. She talks about anti-Semitic attitudes, popular fashions, and attending church. She speaks again about her education in Salem. She talks about cultural events, particularly those organized by Chautauquas; the lead-up to World War I; and the education of her siblings, as well as their families and careers. She discusses attending Willamette University, and describes the campus and student body. She then talks about her career as a high school teacher in North Bend, Oregon, and at North Salem High School. She talks about some of her students, including Cecil L. Edwards, Edith Green, and Mark Hatfield. She also discusses her own political beliefs.

In the third and final interview session, conducted on January 12, 1990, Eyre discusses her fan collection, and also describes some of her travels. She then talks about her 1963 run for the Oregon Legislature and her involvement in various organizations, including the teachers' union. She talks about school funding, mandatory retirement ages for teachers, and what she believes makes a good teacher. She closes the interview by discussing grading, year-round schooling, and her hopes for the future of Oregon.

Eyre, Mary E. (Mary Eleanor), 1897-1999

Oral history interview with Maurine Neuberger

  • SR 9037
  • Collection
  • 1978-12-15

This oral history interview with Maurine Neuberger was conducted by Cynthia Harrison in Portland, Oregon, on December 15, 1978. A portion of the audio recording was accidentally erased circa 1980 during transcription. The missing portion of the audio was transcribed before it was erased, and the contents are reflected in an incomplete transcript of the interview.

In the interview, Neuberger discusses her legislative record on women's rights, including the Equal Pay Act of 1963, tax deductions for child care expenses, and the Equal Rights Amendment. She also discusses serving on the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women and the report it produced, particularly regarding the issue of reproductive rights. She talks about working with presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson; voting to include the word "sex" in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; and serving on the Citizens' Advisory Council on the Status of Women. She closes the interview by discussing the Senate Commerce Committee, which she did not serve on.

Neuberger, Maurine B. (Maurine Brown), 1907-2000

Oral history interview with Mercedes Deiz

  • SR 1256
  • Collection
  • 1981-02-05 - 1981-02-27

This oral history interview with Mercedes Deiz was conducted by Linda Dodds at the Multnomah County Courthouse in Portland, Oregon, from February 5-27, 1981. At the time of the interview, Linda Dodds' surname was Brody.

In this interview, Deiz discusses her family background and early life in New York, New York, including life in a large family, her experience during the Depression, and her education. She then talks about attending Hunter College in New York, and her marriage to, and later divorce from, Billy Owens. She discusses the reason she came to Oregon in 1949, and reflects on some of her civil rights activism in New York. She talks about her first impressions of Portland, including its social life and the racism she encountered. She discusses her civil rights activism in Oregon, and her work on public accommodation legislation. Deiz talks about working for the IRS, where she met Carl Deiz, as well as their subsequent marriage. She also often discusses the difficulty of finding affordable day care for her son. She talks about working at the law library at the Bonneville Power Administration, as a legal secretary for Graham Walker, and about attending the Northwestern College of Law. She then talks about failing to pass the bar on her first try. She describes some of the cases she tried and serving as a hearing officer in worker compensation cases. She then relates the story of being appointed to the U.S. District Court of Oregon by Governor Tom McCall. She discusses her campaign to hold that seat a few months later, as well as her campaign for a new position on the Oregon Circuit Court in 1972. She describes the kinds of cases she has heard on that bench, and press coverage. She closes the interview by discussing her involvement in various professional organizations.

Deiz, Mercedes F. L. (Mercedes Frances Lopez), 1917-2005

Oral history interview with Monroe Sweetland

  • SR 11131
  • Collection
  • 2000-03-11

This oral history interview with Monroe Sweetland was conducted by an unidentified woman on March 11, 2000. In this interview, Sweetland discusses moving to Milwaukie, Oregon, around 1949. He discusses his purchase of the Milwaukie Review newspaper, the houses he and his young family lived in, and life in the Island Station neighborhood. He talks about his children, their early education, their families, and their careers. He talks about his neighbors, including Milwaukie Mayor Joy Burges, as well as the changes in the neighborhood. He also speaks at length about growing lilacs and camellias. He talks about the livability of the Island Station neighborhood. Sweetland and the interviewer discuss the upcoming Milwaukie High School reunion. He goes on to talk about his wife, Lil Megrath, her involvement in progressive politics, and her government career. He also briefly discusses his family background. Sweetland then returns to discussing his children. He speaks at length about urban wildlife, particularly nutria, Canadian geese, and foxes, as well as Kellogg Creek in Milwaukie, particularly regarding its fish and clam populations.

Sweetland, Monroe, 1910-2006

Oral history interview with Monroe Sweetland

  • SR 11133
  • Collection
  • 2003-08-18

This oral history interview with Monroe Sweetland was conducted by John Moltman at Sweetland's home in Milwaukie, Oregon. The recording of Moltman's interview with Sweetland is incomplete. According to the audio, the interview was conducted in multiple sessions; this recording includes only one session, which was conducted on August 18, 2003. No other recordings from the interview were among those donated to the Oregon Historical Research Library in 2007.

In this interview, Sweetland discusses his involvement with the Student League for Industrial Democracy during the Depression and his parents' disapproval. He talks about meeting Lil Megrath and their subsequent marriage. He describes organizing Student L.I.D. conferences and establishing chapters across the country. He talks about advocating for civil rights and the opposition he faced, particularly in the South. He also talks about socialism and how it differs from communism, as well as the growing socialist movement among students and labor during the 1930s. He discusses his involvement with the Socialist Party, including his friendship with Socialist Party leader Norman Thomas, and the socialist underpinnings of the New Deal. He gives a brief history of the evolution of the Democratic and Republican parties over the 20th century, and of progressive political movements. He shares anecdotes about his activities with the Student L.I.D., including participating in sit-down strikes and being arrested.

Sweetland, Monroe, 1910-2006

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