Name and location of repository
Level of description
Oral history interview with Monte Montgomery
- 1994-01-18 - 1994-06-16 (Creation)
.1 cubic feet; 12 audiocassettes (10 hr., 26 min., 14 sec.)
Name of creator
Finis "Monte" Firman Montgomery was born in Oklahoma in 1924. He studied engineering and design at the University of Oklahoma. After graduating, he worked for the Douglas Aircraft Company. In 1943, he and Lois Roberts were married; they later had three children. The year after their marriage, the couple moved to Oregon, and Montgomery worked as an insurance salesman in Eugene. He became involved in numerous civic organizations, as well as the Republican Party. He represented Lane County in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1959 to 1968. He was House minority leader from 1961 to 1963 and speaker from 1965 to 1968. He ran unsuccessfully for Oregon secretary of state in 1968, losing to Clay Myers. After leaving the Legislature, he worked in land development, insurance, and international trade. In 1977, he became executive vice president of the Association of Oregon Loggers. In 1979, he was appointed to the governing board of the State Accident Insurance Fund Corporation by Governor Vic Atiyeh. He resigned from the board in 1983 to create a workers' insurance plan for the Association of Oregon Loggers. In 1986, he was charged with eleven felonies and two misdemeanors, including fraud, related to the insurance plan, and he was found guilty on six counts. Later, Montgomery and his wife moved to Keaau, Hawaii, where he opened a travel business. Montgomery died in 2016.
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Scope and content
This oral history interview with Monte Montgomery was conducted by Clark Hansen at Montgomery's office in Eugene, Oregon, from January 18 to June 16, 1994. In this interview, Montgomery discusses his family background and early life in Oklahoma, including his memories of the Dust Bowl drought, his father's store, and his early education. He also discusses the racism he learned as a child and coming to terms with it later. He discusses studying engineering at the University of Oklahoma; his wife, Lois Roberts; and coming to Eugene, Oregon, in 1943. He also discusses jobs he held during this time, including working for the Douglas Aircraft Company and selling insurance. He talks about his involvement in the Junior Chamber of Commerce, the Eugene Planning Commission, the Jaycees, and other civic organizations.
Montgomery discusses his involvement with the Republican Party and his service in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1959 to 1968. He talks about his campaigns, committee assignments, and some of his fellow legislators, including Stafford Hansell, Grace Peck, Kitty Musa, and Tom Mahoney. He describes serving as House minority leader from 1961 to 1963, and speaker of the House from 1965 to 1968. He talks about making committee assignments, working with the Senate, and the administration of Governor Mark Hatfield. He also discusses legislation that he worked on, including on Daylight Savings Time, community colleges, taxes, and worker compensation. He talks about considering running for Oregon governor in 1966, as well as his unsuccessful 1968 campaign for secretary of state. He talks about his relationship with the press, as well as an interview program he hosted. He describes the circumstances surrounding the 1967 riot at the Oregon State Penitentiary.
Montgomery talks about his activities after leaving the Legislature. He discusses the various boards he served on, including Northwest Power and Gas. He talks about the changes in the Republican Party. He describes his involvement with State Accident Insurance Fund Corporation and Association of Oregon Loggers, as well as his subsequent fraud charges, his conviction for misappropriation of funds, and his sentence. He closes the interview by discussing his faith.
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Conditions of access and use elements
Conditions governing access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions governing reproduction
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
Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Monte Montgomery, by Clark Hansen, SR 1149, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Forms part of the Oregon Legislature Oral History Series.
Handwritten index (26 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.