Oral history interview with Owen Panner

Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Video 01] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Transcript]

Identity elements

Reference code

SR 11152

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Oral history interview with Owen Panner


  • 2005-12-19 - 2005-12-19 (Creation)


.1 cubic feet 1 videocassette (42 min., 59 sec.) Mini-DV

Name of creator

Biographical history

Owen Murphy Panner was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1924. He grew up in Oklahoma during the Depression. He attended the University of Oklahoma, but in 1943, before graduating, he joined the U.S. Army, serving until 1946. He met his first wife, Agnes Gilbert, while stationed in Los Angeles, California. After serving, he returned to the University of Oklahoma, where he graduated from its school of law in 1949. He moved to Bend, Oregon, where he practiced law from 1950 to 1980, was vice president of the Oregon State Bar from 1961 to 1963, and was on the Judicial Reform Commission of Oregon from 1971 to 1974. During his years as an attorney, he represented the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. In 1979, he was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon, where he served from 1980 to 2018. He was chief justice from 1984 to 1990, and took senior status in 1992. During his time on the court, he met his second wife, Nancy Hanson, while horse riding in Hillsboro. He died in 2018.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This interview with Owen Panner was conducted by Michael O'Rourke in Portland, Oregon, on December 19, 2005. In the interview, Panner discusses mandatory sentencing and the effect of politics on the judiciary. He also talks about his plan to move to the District Court in Medford, Oregon. In addition, he discusses the structure and procedures of the District Court; technology in the courts; his involvement with the U.S. District Court Historical Society; and life on his Medford ranch.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Joint copyright is held by the Oregon Historical Society and the U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society. In Copyright – Educational Use Permitted: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-EDU/1.0/

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Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Languages of the material

  • English

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Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Gift of Donna Sinclair, Janaury 2008 (Lib. Acc. 26436).

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Notes element

General note

Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Owen Panner, by Michael O'Rourke, SR 11152, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

General note

Forms part of the United States District Court Oral History Project.

General note

Incomplete transcript (19 pages) available for in-person use at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

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Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.

Sources used

Archivist's note

Sarah Stroman

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