Item SR1326_T03S1 - Oral history interview with Loren D. Hicks [Sound Recording 05]

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Oral history interview with Loren D. Hicks [Sound Recording 05]


  • 1988-04-18 (Creation)


Audiocassette; 00:30:36

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Loren DeGuire Hicks was born in Salem, Oregon, in 1919. He attended Willamette University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1942. He was then drafted into the U.S. Army, and he operated hospitals in England and Scotland during World War II. While serving in Scotland, he met Muriel Thomson, and they married in 1947. They later had three children. After Hicks' discharge in 1946, he returned to Willamette University and earned his law degree in 1949. He practiced law in Salem from 1949 to 1957, then served as assistant attorney general from 1957 to 1959, while Mark Hatfield was Oregon secretary of state. After that, until 1965, Hicks served as legal assistant to Hatfield during Hatfield's governorship. He also served as judge on various courts in Oregon beginning in 1960, and as state court administrator from 1972 to 1980, after which he retired. He died in 2014.

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Tape 3, Side 1. This oral history interview with Loren D. Hicks was conducted by Michael O’Rourke from April 18 to May 6, 1988. The audio recording of the interview sessions is out of order, with the end of the interview on the last half of Tape 7, Side 1. In this interview, Hicks discusses his family background and early life in Salem, Oregon, including his early education. He talks about attending Willamette University for both his undergraduate and law degrees, including his social life, his Army service during World War II, and his marriage to Muriel Thomson. He discusses practicing law in Salem and running a farm. Hicks describes the beginnings of his association with Mark Hatfield. He discusses what he knows about Hatfield’s Navy service during World War II. He discusses serving as assistant attorney general during Hatfield's tenure as Oregon secretary of state, including cases he handled and the occasional conflict of interest that arose. He also talks about Hatfield’s 1960 campaign for Oregon governor. He then discusses serving as legal assistant to Hatfield during his governorship. He describes the other members of Hatfield’s staff; the difference between his position as legal assistant and as assistant attorney general; and some of the legal issues he handled for Hatfield. He talks about Hatfield’s rivalry with U.S. Attorney Robert Y. Thornton; negotiating with Shell Oil Company; and Hatfield’s relationships with Travis Cross and Gerry Frank. He speaks at length about a trip he took with Hatfield to South America, particularly describing Argentina and Brazil, as well as attending governors’ conferences. He talks about extraditions, death penalty cases, and the Seaside riots of 1962. He also talks about an explosion in Roseburg, the Columbus Day Storm, and a flood in 1964. He discusses some minor political scandals, many of the appointments Hatfield made as governor, and the lease of the property in Boardman to Boeing. He closes the interview with a discussion of his appointment as a judge on the Circuit Court of Marion County, as well as his continued association with Mark Hatfield.

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Joint copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society and Willamette University. Use is allowed according to the following license: Creative Commons - BY-NC-SA:

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  • English

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42 MiB


July 9, 2020 4:50 PM

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