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James F. Failing family papers

  • Coll 799
  • Collection
  • 1850-2009

James Frederick Failing was born in New York on March 24, 1842 to Josiah Failing and Henrietta Legge Ellison. His father and older brothers, Henry and John William, arrived in Portland in 1851, followed two years later in 1853 by James, their mother, and sister, Elizabeth. James completed his education at Portland Academy, then joined J. Failing and Co. as a clerk. The company was a wholesale hardware business started by Josiah and Henry Failing at the corner of first and Oak Streets. James later became a partner at Corbett, Failing and Company. The company operated under this name for 22 years, before later becoming Failing-McCalman Company, operated in part by James's three sons.

In 1877, James Failing became a director of the First National Bank in Portland, remaining a senior director until his death in 1920. He married Jane Johnson Conner in 1880. She was born in Albany, Oregon on February 14, 1855 to merchant John Conner (1820-1902) and his first wife, Martha Mariea Bancroft Whittlesey (1827-1861). Later, John Conner married James's sister, Elizabeth Ann Failing in 1863. Jane Conner and James F. Failing had five children: Edward Josiah (1881-1936), Kate Whittlesey (1883-1971), John Conner (1886-1951), Frederick Ellison (1892-1929), and Henrietta Chase, 1895-1989). Kate and Henrietta participated regularly in Portland civic life, volunteering with numerous organizations.

James Failing and his family were members of the First Baptist Church of Portland. He was involved in the development and construction of the church's Taylor Street building between 1892 and 1893, and was both a trustee and a deacon. His daughter Kate created scrapbooks documenting the history of the church. He was also a director of the Young Men's Christian Association and a trustee for McMinnville College (later known as Linfield College), and an active member of the Oregon Pioneer Society and the Auld Lang Syne Society. Both his father, Josiah, and brother Henry served as mayors of Portland. While James never held public office, he was regarded as a prominent individual in the Portland business and civic communities.

Failing, James F. (James Frederick), 1842-1920

Robertson, Burns, and Failing families papers

  • Coll 784
  • Collection
  • 1786-1988

Many of Portland's early settling families created long-lasting ties with one another through marriage and business relationships. Often leaving areas such as New England and San Francisco, the first generation of transplants found Portland to be a small town of new opportunities for trade and business from 1840-1855. Family relationships, such as those seen between the Robertson, Corbett, and Failing families beginning in the 1850s, often lasted for generations. Starting with the joint venture between Henry Winslow Corbett and brother-in-law Thomas Robertson (1817-1900), multiple other partnerships were later formed, including Robertson Heavy Hardware, Corbett, Failing and Company, Foster and Robertson and Corbett, Failing, and Robertson.

The Robertson family represented a crossroads of Portland familial relationships. Beginning with the arrival of Thomas Robertson and his wife Mary Freeland (Corbett) Robertson, from New York, multiple generations of the Robertson family went on to marry into different branches of other old Portland families, such Couch, Lewis, and Reed. Through these relationships, they also gained ties with several family lineages from the East Coast. Individuals in these families later attended elite schools, traveled widely and participated in family businesses to great success. They also contributed to Portland's civic life, becoming city or state officials, and serving as early supporters for institutions such as the Portland Art Museum and Reed College.

Robertson family

Portland Neighborhood History Project

  • Mss 2577-SR
  • Collection
  • 1976-1979

The Portland Neighborhood History Project was one of the first extensive oral history projects in Oregon. In the late 1970s, the Parks Department recruited volunteers to interview elders in their own neighborhoods in order to gather first hand accounts of the history and development of the various neighborhoods in Portland. The interviews were later donated to the Oregon Historical Society.

Oral history interview with Don Clark

  • SR 1166
  • Collection
  • 1994 August 30 - 1998 March 27

Clark discusses family heritage, education, and career beginnings in the criminal justice system; experiences as Multnomah County sheriff; campaign for the Multnomah County Commission; modernization of county government in Oregon; Mt. Hood freeway and regional transportation planning, Burnside Consortium, Columbia Villa, single-payer health care, and numerous other subjects of policy and politics of city and county in the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s.

Clark, Donald Edward, 1933-

Trails to Oregon Exhibit Oral History Series

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

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

Strassmaier, James

Oral History Interview with Bette Lee

  • SR 11258
  • Collection
  • 2014-06-17 - 2014-12-29

Bette Lee discusses her activism and career in photographing protests, beginning in the San Fransisco Bay Area in the 1980s, and later in Portland, Oregon. She discusses several specific photographs, many of which can be found in the transcript. Protests and movements discussed include the Portland Alliance, Indie Media, World trade Organization, Iraq War, Occupy Wall Street, Livermore Action Group, etc.

Lee, Bette

Oral History Interview with Vera Katz, by Linda Brody

  • SR 9044
  • Collection
  • 1992-04-28 - 1992-05-19

Vera Katz discusses her early life and education, and later political career through 1982. Her family immigrated to the United States during world War II and she grew up in New York, where she became involved in Modern Dance, studying under Martha Graham. After moving to Portland to support her husband's art career, she became involved in local politics, ultimately becoming a State Representative in 1972, where she was a part of the 1973 Women's Caucus, which passed many landmark pieces of legislation. She also discusses her plans for the future.

Katz, Vera, 1933-2017

Oregon Wine Oral History Series

  • SR Oregon Wine Oral History Series
  • Collection
  • 1990-2003

A series of oral history interviews collected between 1999 and 2003 with prominent winemakers in Oregon.

Herman Bohlman lecture notes, circa 1900-1920

  • Coll 542
  • Collection
  • 1900 - 1920

The collection consists of notes for lectures given by the nature photographer Herman T. Bohlman. Lectures include talks on birds in the Crater Lake region, on the California Condor, and wintertime birds. The collection additionally contains a handwritten schedule of talks, loose notes, the envelopes in which the notes were originally stored, and a photograph by Bohlman of a black chickadee family which was found with the notes.

Bohlman, Herman

William L. Finley Papers, 1899-1946

  • MSS Finley
  • Collection
  • 1899 - 1946

William L. Finley's papers primarily document his work as a wildlife conservationist, author, lecturer, photographer, and filmmaker from about 1900 to 1940. The collection also documents the work his wife Irene Finley and photography partner Herman Bohlman. The collection consists of published and unpublished manuscripts, lecture and field notes, reports, correspondence, photographs and motion picture films.

An addition to the collection (Accession 2014:062) is made up of correspondence and newspaper clippings documenting the wildlife conservation work of William and Irene Finley. Among the topics addressed in the correspondence include: song bird protection laws in Oregon, requests to Finley for use of his photographs, the forming of an Oregon Fish and Game Commission, biological surveys conducted by Finley, legislation in California repealing meadowlark protection, and letters by Finley to various organizations regarding the presentation of one of his lectures. A highlight among the correspondence is a thank you letter from Finley to President Theodore Roosevelt for his establishment of wild bird reservations. The clippings are newspaper articles written by Irene and William Finley about encounters with wildlife, nocturnal bird sounds, and their filming of wildlife at Paulina Lake. The four articles all appeared in editions of the "Oregon Sunday Journal."

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Rural Telephone Operators Oral History Series

  • Rural Telephone Operators Oral History Series
  • Collection

A series of oral history interviews and an essay by Anne Cummins. She interviewed individuals who worked as telephone operators in rural areas in the early part of the 20th century.

World War II Oral History Series

  • WWII
  • Collection
  • 1994-1997

A series of oral histories conducted in conjunction with an OHS museum exhibit. These interviews are mostly with veterans of WWII, and some are with individuals active in the war effort at home.

J.H. Horner Papers, 1889-1985

  • MSS 6031
  • Collection
  • 1889 - 1985

The collection consists principally of the typescript (with corrections in hand) of Horner's work, Wallowa River and Valley, dealing with regional history, as well as the Nez Percé Indians. Other papers include correspondence (ca. 1889-1985); legal documents (1898-1931); patents for window construction (1921-1922); and manuscript materials (undated). Horner's main correspondent is Otis Halfmoon, a Catholic Nez Percé who assisted with the author's manuscript. The collection also includes a list of other contributors that assisted Horner in his research

Horner, J. H., 1870-1953

Lee Owen Stone papers, 1903-1977

  • Mss 2423
  • Collection
  • 1930 - 1977

Collection includes: Correspondence, sermons, awards and certificates, files from his activity in the Urban League of Portland and other civil and philanthropic associations, Minutes of meetings for Men's Club of St. Philip's Church, missionaries' quarterly reports, etc.

Stone, Lee Owen, 1903-1977

Oregon Association of Colored Women's Clubs photographs, 1953-1988.

  • Org. Lot 587
  • Collection
  • 1953 - 1988

Photographs and other materials that were assembled for the Northwest Black Heritage exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society, documenting the history and activities of the Oregon Association of Colored Women's Clubs and its constituent groups. The photographs depict the presidents of the Oregon Association of Colored Women's Clubs, including Katherine Gray, the association's first president; state and regional conventions; affiliated clubs; community service activities; winners of the association's Katherine Gray Memorial Scholarship; and federated girls' clubs associated with the organization. Also included is a photograph of the exhibit panel and photocopies of newspaper clippings and other materials used in the exhibit panel.

Oregon Association of Colored Women's Clubs

Oregon Black History Project photographs collection, circa 1850-1960.

  • Org. Lot 679
  • Collection
  • 1850 - 1960

Photographs documenting African-​American history in Oregon, circa 1850-1960 that were collected during the Oregon Black History Project and some used to illustrate "A Peculiar Paradise: A History of Blacks in Oregon, 1788-1940," by Elizabeth McLagan. Subjects include portraits of African-​Americans in Portland and elsewhere in Oregon; residences of African-​Americans in Portland, including images of Vanport, Or. and the Vanport flood of 1948; African-​American clubs, social groups, sports, and other activities; and African-​American businesses in Portland, among other subjects. Some of the photographs are copies of images originally printed in newspapers such as the Portland Times and the Advocate.

Rev. Lee Owen Stone Collection

  • Org. Lot 651
  • Collection
  • 1903 - 1977

Photographs documenting the career of Rev. Lee Owen Stone, (4/24/1903-3/10/1977), at St. Philips Episcopal Church, 120 N. E. Knott St., Portland. Rev. Stone was Vicar of St. Philips from 1936 until his retirement in 1972. He was active in community agencies and the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon. Rev. Stone was a founder of the Portland Urban League. In addition, he established the St. Philips Church Cooperative (Lee Owen Stone) Preschool. Rev. Stone was Portland's first black Episcopal priest, and hist first wife, Leota A. Stone, was one of Portland's first black public school teachers.

Stone, Lee Owen, 1903-1977

Oregon Constitutional Convention records, 1857-1859

  • MSS 1227
  • Collection
  • 1857 - 1859

Documents created during the Oregon Constitutional Convention of 1857. Includes: committee reports, drafts of articles and schedules, general notes, corrections, and other materials. Sections of the constitution represented include: preamble and bill of rights; suffrage and elections; distribution of powers; Legislative Department; Executive Department; education and school lands; finance; militia; corporations and internal improvements; seat of government; general provisions; boundaries; schedules, and related papers. Also includes printed speech of James Hughes of Indiana, on the admission of Oregon, delivered in the House of Representatives, 1859 February 10.

Oregon. Constitutional Convention (1857)

Marian Wood Kolisch Oral History Collection

  • SR Marian Wood Kolisch Collection
  • Collection
  • 1974-06-17 - 2003-05-25

A series of interviews Oregon photographer Marian Wood Kolisch conducted with local figures in the arts, business, and politics. Many of these interviews were conducted at the same time she took portraits of these individuals.

Kolisch, Marian W.

Oral history interview with Charles Luce, by Gene Tolefson

  • SR 1571
  • Collection
  • 1984-09-07 - 1984-11-20

Luce discusses his early life, law school, and his work with the Bonneville Power Administration and public utilities, including legal cases, negotiations with Canada, and being appointed Administrator.

Luce, Charles F. (Charles Franklin), 1917-2008

Oral history interview with Cherie Hiser, by Jim Morris

  • SR 3125
  • Collection
  • 1981-12-06

Hiser discusses The Center of the Eye in Colorado, photographers she has worked with, photography techniques, portrait photography, her recent photography projects, including portraits of gay men and tattooed people, photography as therapy, studying photography with Minor White, and teaching photography.

Hiser, Cherie

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