Oral history interview with Caroline P. Stoel [Transcript]

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Oral history interview with Caroline P. Stoel [Transcript]


  • 2006-10-30 - 2006-12-05 (Creation)


Transcript; 68 pages

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Caroline Mary Stoel, nee Phillips, was born in Lexington, North Carolina, in 1914. She graduated fourth in her class at Duke University Law School. While at Duke law, she met fellow student Thomas B. Stoel, and they married in 1938; they later had four children. The couple settled in Portland, Oregon, and Caroline Stoel passed the Oregon bar in 1938. She was the only woman to do so that year. Due to discrimination, she was unable to practice law. She instead worked as a secretary for the Unitarian Church for many years. She later earned a master's degree in history at Portland State University. She was a published author and was active with the League of Women Voters of Portland, Planned Parenthood of the Columbia-Willamette, the Columbia River Gorge Trust, the Oregon Historical Society, and the PSU Foundation. She was the first woman to be president of the World Affairs Council. She was also chair of the Nature Conservancy's Oregon chapter and the Oregon Council for the Humanities, and a founding board member of the U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society and Portland Center Stage. She died in 2007.

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Transcript. This oral history interview with Caroline P. Stoel was conducted by Adair Law from October 30 to December 5, 2006. Along with the interview recordings, the collection includes an incomplete transcript. In this interview, Stoel discusses her family background and early life in Lexington, North Carolina, including her early education and childhood friends. She talks about attending Duke University, including her social life. She then talks about her experience as one the few women attending the Duke University Law School. She also discusses meeting Thomas B. Stoel and their subsequent marriage. She describes the sexism she faced when trying to begin her legal career in Portland, Oregon. She talks about working and raising young children while Thomas Stoel was serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. She discusses her involvement in her children’s education in the Riverdale School District; her acquaintanceship with Richard Nixon; and her decision to return to college. She closes the interview by talking about her children, their careers, and their families.

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Copyright for this interview is held by the estate of Caroline P. Stoel. In Copyright: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/

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  • English

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