Name and location of repository
Level of description
Oral history interview with Loran L. Stewart
- 1992-10-29 - 1993-06-22 (Creation)
.1 cubic feet; 11 audiocassettes (10 hr., 55 min., 2 sec.)
Name of creator
Loran "Stub" LaSells Stewart was born in Cottage Grove, Oregon, in 1911. He grew up in logging towns in Lane County, except for a few years during World War I, when his family lived in Eugene. He studied forestry engineering at Oregon State University, graduating in 1932. The next year, he began working as a road locating engineer for the U.S. Forest Service in the Willamette National Forest. In 1936, he and Dorothy Elizabeth McDonald were married; they later had two children. He was called to active duty in 1942 and served in China during World War II. After his discharge in 1946, he returned to his job at the Forest Service, but left a few months later to work for Pope & Talbot Company. Later that year, he bought out Bohemia Lumber Company, but remained as an engineer for Pope & Talbot until 1950. He was a Republican politician and represented Lane County in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1951 to 1955. He continued to run Bohemia Lumber Company until his retirement in 1976, and he remained on the board until 1991, when the company was bought out by Willamette Industries. He also served on the forestry committee at the Oregon State University Research Laboratory, the Lane County Parks Commission, and the State Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. After his death in 2005, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department named a park after him. The L.L. "Stub" Stewart State Park was opened in Washington County, Oregon, in 2007.
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Scope and content
This oral history interview with Loran L. Stewart was conducted by Clark Hansen in Eugene, Oregon, from October 29, 1992, to June 22, 1993. In this interview, Stewart discusses his family background and early life in logging camps in Lane County. He talks about his early education, working at Booth-Kelly lumber mill, and his experience during the Depression. He talks about studying forestry engineering at Oregon State University and working as a road locator for the U.S. Forest Service in the Willamette National Forest. He describes his Army service in during World War II, including his journey through North Africa and South Asia to reach China, where he spent much of the war. He briefly talks about the 1992 election, which had just occurred at the time of the interview. Stewart describes his return to civilian life in 1946, including working as an engineer for forestry companies. He also talks about meeting his wife, Dorothy Elizabeth McDonald, and their subsequent marriage in 1936. He gives a brief history of the lumber industry in Oregon; describes his 1946 purchase of Bohemia Lumber Company, which he refers to as Bohemia Mills, as well as the running of the company; and the 1991 sale of Bohemia Lumber Company to Willamette Industries.
Stewart discusses his service in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1951 to 1955. He talks about his campaign and his support for term limits. He also describes the Order of the Antelope, as well as other fraternal organizations he was involved with. He talks about his committee assignments, his fellow legislators, and legislation that he worked on, particularly regarding taxation and forestry. He discusses the administration of Governor Paul Patterson; working with lobbyists; and interacting with his constituents. He also discusses his 1956 re-election loss.
Stewart talks about his activities since leaving elected office. He discusses serving as president of Bohemia Lumber Company. He speaks at length about the growth of the company, as well as the forestry products industry. He talks about the increasing environmental movement during the 1980s and how that affected the business. He also discusses serving on the State Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. He then reflects on Oregon legislators who served after his legislative service. He closes the interview by talking a little about his recreational activities and social life.
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Conditions governing access
Copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society. Use is allowed according to the following license: Creative Commons - BY-NC-SA: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/
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Related archival materials
Loran LaSells Stewart papers, Mss 1748, and Loran L. Stewart photographic collection, Org. Lot 400, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Loran L. Stewart, by Clark Hansen, SR 1137, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Forms part of the Oregon Legislature Oral History Series.
Incomplete transcript (288 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.