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Oral history interview with Dick Eymann
- 1993-12-02 - 1994-09-08 (Creation)
.1 cubic feet; 41 audiocassettes (39 hr., 53 min., 21 sec.)
Name of creator
Richard "Dick" Oswald Eymann was born in Alberta, Canada, in 1919. His father was a German immigrant and Baptist preacher. The family came to the United States in 1921 so his father could preach at a church in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. They later moved around the country, eventually settling in Dallas, Oregon, in 1928. Eymann attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, then was drafted in 1942 and served in the Air Force during World War II. After the war, he married Juanita Scott, and together they raised eight children. He returned to Oregon in 1947 and worked for the Weyerhaeuser Company for eight years. He then took part in various other business ventures, including a mining interest in Nevada and a chicken farm in Oregon, before entering politics. He represented Lane County in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1957 to 1974, serving as speaker from 1973 to 1974. After leaving the Legislature, he served on the board of the Emerald People's Utility District in Lane County. He died in 2005.
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This oral history interview with Dick Eymann was conducted by Clark Hansen at the Emerald PUD in Eugene, Oregon, from December 2, 1993, to September 8, 1994. In the interview, Eymann discusses his family background and early life in Saskatchewan, Canada; Scottsbluff, Nebraska; LaSalle, Colorado; Linton, North Dakota; Dallas and Portland, Oregon; and Anaheim, California. He also talks about his experiences studying political science at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, including his early political beliefs and registering as a Democrat. Eymann describes being drafted immediately after college and his experience as a U.S. Air Force airman in the Pacific theater during World War II, including training; deployment to Manila Bay, Philippines, and Okinawa, Japan; his thoughts on the atomic bomb; and serving with African-Americans. He then discusses raising a large family; working for the Weyerhaeuser Company in Springfield, Oregon, and his acquaintance with George Weyerhaeuser; and living on a chicken farm.
Eymann describes his experience representing Lane County in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1957 to 1974. He discusses legislation he worked on, including on taxation, particularly attempts to pass a sales tax; electrical utilities and nuclear power; Lane Community College; and agricultural labor laws. He also speaks about his tenure as speaker of the House. He describes his involvement with the Oregon Democratic Party and campaigning. He also discusses some of the people he worked with in the Oregon Legislature, including Keith Skelton, Clarence Barton, Nancy Fadeley, Debbs Potts, Jason Boe, Pat Dooley, and Stafford Hansell. Eymann relates his experience working under various Oregon governors, including Bob Holmes, Mark Hatfield, and Tom McCall. He closes the interview by discussing his life after politics, including his career with the Emerald People's Utility District in Lane County, Oregon.
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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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Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Dick Eymann, by Clark Hansen, SR 1146, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Forms part of the Oregon Legislature Oral History Series.
Handwritten index (82 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.