Name and location of repository
Level of description
Oral history interview with Beulah J. Hand
- 1991-11-05 - 1993-10-27 (Creation)
.1 cubic feet; 10 audiocassettes (9 hr., 40 min, 14 sec.) + 1 photograph (color)
Name of creator
Beulah Joan Caviness Hand was born in Baker, Oregon, in 1917. Her family moved to Portland, Oregon, around 1927. She majored in biology at Reed College for a year but had to quit due to financial hardship. She met Orville Floyd Hand, known as Floyd Hand, during her studies at Reed, and they married in 1937. After their marriage, she continued to take courses in biology at Reed College as a special student for another two years, but, again, financial hardship prevented her from finishing her degree. They settled in Portland after Floyd Hand was unable to find a job in Nevada or California. Around 1942, Floyd Hand enlisted in the Navy, and Beulah Hand traveled with him during his training. When Floyd Hand was deployed, she returned to Portland and worked in a shipyard during World War II, until Floyd Hand was reassigned stateside. She joined him in San Diego, California. In 1946, they returned to Portland, and Beulah Hand began to get involved in Oregon Democratic politics. She worked as a secretary for State Representative Richard Groener from 1956 to 1957, when she was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Tom Monaghan in the Oregon Legislature. She represented Clackamas County in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1957 to 1966. She ran for the Oregon Senate in 1966 but was defeated. She was also defeated in a second run for the Senate, as well as for secretary of state in 1970. As a private citizen, she advocated for public utility districts. She died in 2009.
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Scope and content
This oral history interview with Beulah J. Hand was conducted by Michael O'Rourke from November 5, 1991, to October 27, 1993. In this interview, Hand discusses her family background and early life in Baker and Portland, Oregon, including her early education and social life. She talks about attending Reed College, her marriage to Floyd Orville Hand, and her activities while Floyd was serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, including working in the Portland shipyards. She then talks about her involvement in local transportation issues, which led to her involvement with the Democratic Party. She talks about serving as a precinct committee person for the Democratic Party, and working with Monroe Sweetland. She also talks about serving as State Representative Richard Groener's secretary and about the practical jokes Groener played.
Hand talks about serving in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1957 to 1966. She discusses her campaigns, her committee assignments, and her fellow legislators. She talks about some of the legislation she worked on, including regarding public transportation, state parks, public utility districts, and civil defense funding. She talks about her experience contracting tuberculosis at age 30, her treatment, and her opposition to the closure of the Oregon State Tuberculosis Hospital in Salem, as well as her opinion of the level of care being provided by Fairview Hospital. She discusses friction with Speaker of the House Monte Montgomery; her opposition to the storage of nerve gas in Oregon; and the changes in the Legislature since the end of her service.
Hand talks about her activities since leaving the Legislature in 1966. She talks about lobbying for the National Association of Retired Federal Employees. She describes her unsuccessful campaigns for the Oregon Senate and Oregon secretary of state. She closes the interview by talking about her experience as a delegate to the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
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Conditions of access and use elements
Conditions governing access
Joint copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society and the estate of Beulah J. Hand. Use is allowed according to the following statement: In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-NC/1.0/
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Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related archival materials
Related materials at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library include the Beulah J. Hand collection, Accession 27213, and an additional oral history interview with Hand, SR 9043.
Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Beulah J. Hand, by Michael O'Rourke, SR 1142, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Forms part of the Oregon Legislature Oral History Series.
Incomplete transcript (65 pages) is available for in-person use at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Description control element
Rules or conventions
Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.