Item SR1177_T01S2 - Oral history interview with Frankie Bell [Sound Recording 02]

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Oral history interview with Frankie Bell [Sound Recording 02]


  • 1992-11-12 (Creation)


Audiocassette; 00:29:32

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Biographical history

Frances "Frankie" Estelle Bell, nee Mueller, was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1937. She was largely raised by her maternal grandparents in Eugene, Oregon. She studied art at the University of Oregon, where she met Paul Hargis. They married in 1957 and had later two children. After her husband finished his degree, the young family moved to Salem. She and Paul divorced in 1964. In 1966, she began working at the Capitol building as a tour guide. In 1971, she and George H. Bell were married. She continued conducting tours, but also moved to working at the information desk at the Oregon Legislature in 1967, which she continued to do until she retired in 1998. After retiring, she continued to return to work each session for many years. She is currently on the board of the Oregon State Capitol Foundation.

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Tape 1, Side 2. This oral history interview with Frankie Bell was conducted by Vinita Howard from November 12-30, 1992. In this interview, Bell discusses her family background and early life in Eugene, Oregon. She discusses her education and attending the University of Oregon. She talks about the difficulty of starting a family while still attending college and trying to have a career. She discusses the various part-time jobs she held until she began working at the Capitol building in Salem, Oregon, in 1966 as a tour guide. She talks about working at the information desk at the Oregon Legislature from 1967 to the time of the interview in 1992, including facing sexism on the job. She describes her observations on the Legislature over her two and a half decades there, including on lobbyists, rumors, and inaugural changes. She also talks about the history of the Capitol building, as well as organizing holidays and exhibits at the building; the gift shop; and school tours. She closes the interview by speaking briefly about the personalities of many legislators over the years.

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Copyright is held by the Oregon Historical Society. Licensed under Creative Commons, BY-NC-SA:

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  • English

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40.6 MiB


March 10, 2020 11:22 AM

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