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Oral history interview with Bill Hedlund

  • SR 1113
  • Collection
  • 1988-06-19

This oral history interview with Bill Hedlund was conducted by Richard McConnell on June 19, 1988. An unidentified woman was also present. In this interview, Hedlund discusses his experience in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1941 to 1942, and his experiences as a lobbyist. He discusses legislators and lobbyists he worked with, rules regarding lobbying activities, his involvement with the Democratic Party, and governors he served under while in the Legislature. He then looks at photographs and discusses them, his family history, and his early life in Portland. He discusses how he got interested in politics after he graduated from law school in 1935, and his jobs before running for the Legislature in 1940, including working for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

Hedlund, Bill (William Hancock), 1910-1994

Oral history interview with Allan Hart

  • SR 1200
  • Collection
  • 1986-04-15 - 1986-07-22

This oral history interview with Allan Hart was conducted by James Strassmaier at Hart's office in the KOIN Center in Portland, Oregon, from April 15 to July 22, 1986. In this interview, Hart discusses his family background and early life in Portland, Oregon, including his education at Moran School. He talks about his education at Stanford University and Yale Law School, including his social life, his friendship with Boyd McNaughton, working for the Stanford and Yale papers, and the relationship between Yale and Harvard. He then discusses returning to Portland, joining his father's law firm, and cases he argued. Hart talks about serving as an assistant U.S. attorney from 1936 to 1938 and cases he prosecuted, including liquor and narcotics cases. He also discusses the Lawyers Guild and the Oregon State Bar; his investigations into the Red Squad; the De Jong case; and his work on an antitrust case involving the American Medical Association. He then discusses his work as counsel for the Bonneville Power Administration from 1938 to 1941, including the beginnings of BPA, as well as dealing with private utilities and aluminum companies, particularly PGE and Alcoa. Hart also describes his experience during World War II as an officer in the Judge Advocate General Corps in the Pacific Theater, and then during the occupation of Japan.

Hart discusses his return to law practice in 1946. He talks about taking on the Kenji Namba v. McCourt case as a way to overturn the Alien Land Law. He briefly discusses his involvement with the Oregon Democratic Party, as well as raising a family. He talks about establishing the Hart, Davidson, and Veazie firm in 1956, including working with Jebbie Davidson, as well as the subsequent changes the firm underwent, which ultimately led him to the law firm of Lindsay, Nahstoll, Hart, and Krause. He discusses his involvement with the American Civil Liberties Union and civil rights cases that he worked on. He discusses his involvement with education, including serving on the board of the Sylvan School District from 1952 to 1956, and facing issues of school funding; serving on the State Board of Higher Education; and serving on the board of Catlin Gabel School. Hart speaks at length about discriminatory practices at many Portland social clubs, as well as U.S. District Court Judge Gus Solomon's efforts against them. He then discusses his relationships with Solomon and U.S. Supreme Court Justices William O. Douglas and Abe Fortas. Hart talks about his stymied aspirations of being appointed as a judge; political infighting in the Democratic Party; and additional cases he worked on. He revisits the topic of the Bonneville Power Administration, describing the changes it underwent after World War II, as well as the WPPSS crisis of the 1980s. Hart closes the interview by discussing his retirement activities.

Hart, Allan (Charles Allan), 1909-2002

Oral history interview with Chester E. McCarty

  • SR 1222
  • Collection
  • 1985-11-12 - 1987-09-01

This interview with Chester E. McCarty was conducted by Bill Koen in Portland, Oregon, on November 12, 1985, and by Jim Strassmaier at McCarty's office in Portland from August 4 to September 1, 1987. In this interview, McCarty discusses his family background and early life in Stage Gulch and Portland, Oregon, including working on the family farm during summers, his memories of World War I, and his education in Portland. He talks about selling advertisement space for the Oregonian newspaper while attending the Northwestern College of Law, and about his marriage to Julia Caroline Gromoff. He speaks at length about serving in the National Guard, beginning at age 15, and in the U.S. Army field artillery branch.

He discusses serving as assistant attorney general of Oregon from 1930 to 1936, including representing the Game Commission and the state police. He also discusses working as a lawyer in private practice, where he focused on aviation law. He talks about being a commercial pilot on the side, and relates several anecdotes about emergency landings. He also discusses serving in the state Senate in 1942, including his friendship with Dorothy McCullough Lee, as well as resigning shortly after his election to serve in World War II.

He speaks at length about his service in the U.S. Army Air Corps training pilots, and later commanding troops in the Middle East. He also talks about the activities of his wife, Julia Caroline Gromoff, during World War II. He then talks about returning to civilian life after the war and continuing his law practice in Portland, where he acted as defense counsel in numerous courts-martial. He talks about some of the judges he argued before, including Gus Solomon and James Alger Fee. He also discusses continuing to fly planes, as well as his service on the Port of Portland Commission. He discusses accepting the command of the Oregon Army Reserves, getting activated for the Korean War, and his continued service in the Air Force until his retirement in 1966. He closes the interview by discussing serving with Glenn Jackson in North Africa during World War II.

McCarty, Chester E. (Chester Earl), 1905-1999

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 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 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 Charles E. Wright

  • SR611
  • Collection
  • 1991-07-03

This oral history interview with Charles E. Wright was conducted by Elizabeth Buehler on July 12, 1991. In the interview, Wright discusses his education at Yale Law School, particularly studying corporate law with Professor William O. Douglas, who was later a U.S. Supreme Court justice. He briefly discusses returning to Oregon in 1932 and working as a lawyer in Portland; working for the regional office of the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission in Seattle, Washington; and returning to private practice in Portland. He then returns to the topic of William O. Douglas.

Wright, Charles E. (Charles Edward Pares), 1906-1999