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Oral history interview with Helen J. Frye

  • SR 1249
  • Collection
  • 1981-03-19 - 1981-03-19

This oral history interview with Helen J. Frye was conducted by Linda Dodds in Frye's chambers in Portland, Oregon, on March 19, 1981. In this interview, Frye discusses her family background and early life on a farm in Klamath County, Oregon. She talks about the difficult experience of a huge change in her family situation as a child, when she was reunited with her mother and brother after having been raised entirely by her grandparents. She then discusses attending the University of Oregon, including influential professors, and meeting and marrying William Frye. She talks about raising a family and how postpartum depression drove her to start her teaching career. She also discusses her involvement in politics, including William Frye's political campaigns. She then talks about attending the University of Oregon law school in 1963, including other women in her class, balancing family life, and starting to practice law.

She describes becoming a judge for the Lane County Circuit Court, including her appointment by Governor Tom McCall and her later campaign. She talks about how her gender affected the way defendants perceived her. She also discusses how this new position affected her marriage and her divorce in 1975. She talks briefly about serving as a judge for the U.S. District Court of Oregon. She closes the interview by discussing her current family life in 1981 and her plans for the future.

Frye, Helen J. (Helen Jackson), 1930-

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 Windsor Calkins

  • SR 470
  • Collection
  • 1986-07-07 - 1986-08-01

This oral history interview with Windsor Calkins was conducted by Jim Strassmaier in Calkins' office in Eugene, Oregon, from July 7 to August 1, 1986. In the interview, Calkins discusses his family background and early life in Eugene, including a 1922 trip on foot from Newport to Florence, Oregon, with his father. He also discusses his father's career as a court reporter, as well as his own interest in the law. Calkins talks about studying law at the University of Oregon, including taking classes from Wayne Morse. Calkins talks about practicing law in Eugene and some of the cases he argued, including bootlegging and murder cases. He also discusses the effect the Depression had on his family. He then talks about his experiences in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Calkins also talks about notable people from Eugene, including William G. East and other judges. He then discusses his work as a lawyer for the Eugene Water and Electric Board and Sacred Heart Hospital, as well as his involvement with the Lane County Bar Association, the Eugene City Health Board, and other civic organizations. He closes the interview with a description of malpractice lawsuits, as well as his family life.

Calkins, Windsor, 1910-1989

Oral history interview with Charles S. Crookham

  • SR 9062
  • Collection
  • 1978-11-25

This oral history interview with Charles S. Crookham was conducted by Charles Digregorio in Portland, Oregon, on November 25, 1978. In this interview, Crookham discusses his family background and early life in Portland. He briefly talks about his service in the U.S. Army during World War II, including his training and fighting in France under General George Patton. He mentions studying law at Stanford University and Northwestern College of Law, then speaks about practicing law in Portland. He then discusses serving as a trial judge on the Multnomah County Circuit Court; his stance on capital punishment; equity of the administration of justice; and some of the sentences he has handed down. He closes the interview by talking about his wife, Elizabeth Kelley, and their children.

Crookham, Charles S.

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 Betty Roberts

  • SR 9066
  • Collection
  • 1980-10-29 - 1980-11-14

This oral history interview with Betty Roberts was conducted by Linda S. Dodds in Portland, Oregon, from October 29 to November 14, 1980. At the time of the interview, Dodds' name was Linda S. Brody.

In the interview, Roberts discusses her early life in Texas, including her memories of the Depression and her childhood activities. She then talks about attending Texas Wesleyan University for a year; meeting Bill Rice and their subsequent marriage; and her early years as a housewife in Oregon, where she and Rice moved after World War II. She talks about returning to college in 1955 at Eastern Oregon College of Education (now Eastern Oregon University), then transferring to Portland State University. She talks about the difficulty of balancing school, a part-time job, and family life; her interest in both a teaching career and politics; and her involvement with the Lynch School Board from 1960 to 1966. She also talks briefly about studying at Northwestern College of Law.

Roberts discusses her service in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1965 to 1968, and in the Oregon Senate from 1969 to 1977. She also talks about her unsuccessful campaigns for the House in 1962 and her successful one in 1964. She discusses some of the legislation she worked on, including on universal kindergarten and victims' rights, and particularly regarding women's rights. She talks about her experiences as a woman in the Legislature. She describes her 1968 primary campaign against incumbent Senator Tom Mahoney; the casual sexism she observed; and the formation of the women's caucus in the 1973 legislative session. She discusses her committee assignments, including the judiciary committee and Ways and Means. She also gives a brief history of the coalition of Republicans and Conservative Democrats that controlled the Senate throughout the 1950s and 1960s. She then talks about her unsuccessful campaigns for governor in 1974, and the U.S. Senate later that same year. She describes the passage of the Bottle Bill in 1971 and the opposition the legislation faced.

Roberts closes the interview by discussing her service as a judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals from 1977 to the time of the interview in 1980.

Roberts, Betty, 1923-2011