Name and location of repository
Level of description
Oral history interview with James K. Weatherford, Jr.
- 1991-08-15 - 1991-09-05 (Creation)
.1 cubic feet 9 audiocassettes (9 hr., 15 min., 23 sec.)
Name of creator
James Knox Weatherford, Jr. was born in Harrisburg, Oregon, in 1901. He grew up in Corvallis, Oregon, and graduated from the Oregon Agricultural College, now Oregon State University, in 1924 with a degree in civil engineering. He then attended George Washington Law School in Washington, D.C., but wasn't able to graduate. He then attended the University of Oregon School of Law. He met Margaret Cartwright while at the University of Oregon, and they were married in 1929; they later adopted one child together. They settled in Albany, Oregon, where Weatherford practiced law at the family law firm. He was a Democrat and represented Linn County in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1931 to 1934. He then served as district attorney for Linn County from 1935 to 1937. After leaving office, he continued practicing law until his retirement in 1991. He was also a member of the Albany and Union High School boards. He died in 1995.
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Scope and content
This oral history interview with James K. Weatherford was conducted by Michael O'Rourke in Weatherford's office in Albany, Oregon, from August 15 to September 5, 1991. In the interview, Weatherford discusses his family background and early life in Corvallis, Oregon. He talks about studying civil engineering at Oregon Agricultural College, including spending a summer in 1923 surveying for railroads in Alaska. He then talks about studying law at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., including his cross-country drive in 1924, and then at the University of Oregon. He briefly discusses the political and legal career of his grandfather, James K. Weatherford, for whom he was named. He discusses his time in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1931 to 1934, including his campaigns and his involvement with the Democratic Party. He briefly talks about his wife, Margaret Cartwright, and her family background. He goes on to talk about legislation he worked on, his fellow legislators, and lobbyists. He discusses his constituency; government versus the private sector; his committee assignments; and the income tax legislation of 1931. He also talks about the labor movements of the 1930s; public power; law enforcement; and education. He shares his impressions of Oregon governors Julius Meier, John Hall, and Charles Sprague. He speaks at length about Prohibition, and legislation regarding alcohol after its repeal. He discusses his fellow legislators, including Dorothy McCullough Lee and Homer Angell. He also speaks about his own experience during the Depression. Weatherford talks about serving as Linn County district attorney from 1935 to 1937, particularly dealing with banks and foreclosing on homes and farms during the Depression. He closes the interview by talking about serving on the Albany and Union High School boards.
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Conditions governing access
Copyright is held by the Oregon Historical Society. Licensed under Creative Commons, BY-NC-SA: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/
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Related archival materials
An additional oral history interview with James K. Weatherford, Jr. is held at the Oregon State University Special Collections & Archives Research Center in Corvallis, Oregon.
The papers of James K. Weatherford, Jr., designated Ax 062, are held at the University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives in Eugene, Oregon.
Preferred citation: Oral history interview with James K. Weatherford, Jr., by Michael O'Rourke, SR 1132, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Forms part of the Oregon Legislature Oral History Series.
Handwritten index (4 pages) is available for in-person use at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
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Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.