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Oral history interview with Wendell H. Harmon and Florence E. Harmon
- 1983-03-16 (Creation)
.1 cubic feet; 1 audiocassette (29 min., 16 sec.)
Name of creator
Wendell Harold Harmon was born in Waverly, Iowa, in 1910. In 1932, he earned a bachelor's degree in forestry from Iowa State College, now known as Iowa State University. He graduated during the Depression with no job prospects. In 1933, he and Florence Elizabeth Thuirer were married. That same year, the couple moved to a homestead near Elk City, Oregon, and began operating a tree farm on the land. In 1935, Harmon accepted a job with the U.S. Forest Service. Though he worked largely in South Dakota, the Harmons kept the homestead in Oregon, dividing their time between the two places. After Wendell H. Harmon's death in 1999, an endowed research fellowship in forestry management was created in the Harmons' name at Iowa State University.
Name of creator
Florence Elizabeth Harmon, nee Thuirer, was born in Summit, Iowa, in 1909. In 1931, she earned a bachelor's degree in home economics from Iowa State College, now Iowa State University. After graduating, she became a teacher. In 1933, she and Wendell Harold Harmon were married. That same year, the couple moved to a homestead near Elk City, Oregon, and began operating a tree farm on the land. After Wendell H. Harmon's death in 1999, an endowed research fellowship in forestry management was created in the Harmons' name at Iowa State University. Florence E. Harmon died in 2010.
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This oral history interview with Wendell H. Harmon and Florence E. Harmon was conducted by Elizabeth Buehler at the Harmon home in Beavercreek, Oregon, on March 16, 1983. In this interview, the Harmons discuss their experience of graduating from Iowa State College, now Iowa State University, in the midst of the Depression with no job prospects in Iowa. Wendell H. Harmon describes choosing to leave Iowa for a homestead near Elk City, Oregon, in 1933. He talks about farming the land on the homestead, and Florence E. Harmon talks about their neighbors. She also talks about her experience being fired from her teaching job as a result of her marriage to Wendell H. Harmon. They discuss their experience setting up their homestead, including building and furnishing a house, preparing the land, and raising livestock. They talk about maintaining the homestead after Wendell H. Harmon accepted a forestry job in 1935 that involved work primarily outside Oregon, and about the process of acquiring the deed to the land. They close the interview by discussing tree farming, as well as the sale of their homestead.
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Copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society. Use is allowed according to the following statement: Creative Commons - BY-NC-SA, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/.
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Related archival materials
Reminiscence: Florence Harmon on Depression-Era Homesteading in Lincoln County, Oregon Historical Quarterly, Vol. 89, No. 1 (Spring, 1988), pp. 46-69.
Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Wendell H. Harmon and Florence E. Harmon, by Elizabeth Buehler, SR 1, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
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Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.