Name and location of repository
Level of description
Oral history interview with Don E. Clark
- 1994-08-30 - 1998-03-27 (Creation)
.2 cubic feet; 42 audiocassettes (37 hr., 57 min., 42 sec.) + transcript (943 pages)
Name of creator
Donald Edward Clark was born in Silverton, Oregon, in 1933. His family moved to Oregon less than a year later, and then to San Miguel, California, in 1944. The family returned to Portland in 1945. In 1952, he and Barbara Bolin were married; they later had two children. Clark attended Vanport College, which later became Portland State University, and in 1953, he transferred to San Francisco State College, where he graduated in 1956 with a bachelor's degree in sociology. While at San Francisco State, he worked as a prison guard at San Quentin State Prison. In 1956, he returned to Oregon and worked as a deputy in the Multnomah County Sheriff's office. For six months in 1958, he acted as a jail counselor at Rocky Butte Jail. Around the same time, he earned a teaching credential from Portland State University, then taught elementary school while also serving as a deputy sheriff. He was elected Multnomah County sheriff as a Democrat in 1963 and served until 1966. From 1967 to 1968, he was assistant director of the Law Enforcement Program at Portland State University. In 1968, he was elected to position 4 on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners. In 1970, he and Barbara Clark divorced, and Don Clark remarried in 1971. In 1974, Clark was elected chair of the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, and he served in that role until 1979, when charter amendments changing the structure of county government took effect, and he became Multnomah County executive. After an unsuccessful run for the Democratic nomination for Oregon governor in 1982, he retired from county government. He was a consultant with Cogan, Sharpe, & Cogan (now known as Cogan & Associates) for one year. In 1984, he became executive director of the Burnside Consortium, now known as Central City Concern. In 1988, he became executive director of the Housing Authority of Portland. He retired in 1992.
Content and structure elements
Scope and content
This oral history interview with Don E. Clark was conducted by George M. Joseph at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, from August 30, 1994 to March 27, 1998. The interview was conducted over twenty-nine sessions, and the collection includes a transcript. Tape 13 of this interview is missing, and some sections of the interview have been restricted by Clark.
In sessions 1 through 5, Clark discusses his early life and career, including working as a prison guard at San Quentin State Prison in California and then as a deputy for the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office. In sessions 5 and 6, he discusses his 1962 campaign for Multnomah County sheriff. In sessions 7 through 9, he continues to speak about his campaign, and then discusses serving as Multnomah County sheriff from 1962 to 1966. In sessions 10 and 11, he discusses his 1966 re-election campaign for Multnomah County sheriff and his simultaneous campaign for chair of the Multnomah County board of commissioners; serving as assistant director of the Law Enforcement Program at Portland State University from 1967 to 1968, and his 1968 campaign for position 4 on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners. In sessions 12 through 15, Clark talks about serving on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, focusing on the years from 1969 to 1974. In sessions 16 through 20, he talks about campaigning for and serving as chair of the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners from 1975 to 1979. In sessions 21 through 24, Clark discusses serving as county executive from 1979 to 1982, and his 1982 campaign for Oregon governor. In sessions 25 through 29, Clark talks about his activities since leaving office, including serving as executive director of the Burnside Consortium, now known as Central City Concern, from 1984 to 1988, and as executive director of the Housing Authority of Portland, now known as Home Forward, from 1988 to 1992.
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use elements
Conditions governing access
Copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society. Use is allowed according to the following statement: Creative Commons - BY-NC-SA: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/
Parts of the interview have been restricted by Don Clark. Restricted segments have been redacted from the transcript and digitized audio files, and tapes 16, 18, 22, 25-28, 31, 32, 41, and 42 are restricted. The remainder of the interview is open for research.
Conditions governing reproduction
Languages of the material
Scripts of the material
Language and script notes
Acquisition and appraisal elements
Immediate source of acquisition
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information
Related materials elements
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related archival materials
Donald E. Clark papers, Mss 1373, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Don E. Clark, by George M. Joseph, SR 1166, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Handwritten index (106 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.
Subject access points
- Oregon--Politics and government--20th century
- Sheriffs--Oregon--Multnomah County
- Criminal justice, Administration of--Oregon
- Law enforcement--Oregon
- Health insurance--Law and legislation--Oregon
- Political campaigns--Oregon--Multnomah County
- Homeless persons--Services for--Oregon
- Public housing--Oregon--Management
Place access points
Name access points
- Joseph, George Manley, 1930-2003 (Contributor)
- California State Prison at San Quentin (Subject)
- Central City Concern (Portland, Or.) (Subject)
- Housing Authority of Portland (Or.) (Subject)
- Multnomah County (Or.). Board of County Commissioners (Subject)
- Multnomah County (Or.). Sheriff's Office (Subject)
- Goldschmidt, Neil E., 1940- (Subject)