Series SR 1169 - Oral history interview with George H. Bell

Oral history interview with George H. Bell [Sound Recording 01] Oral history interview with George H. Bell [Sound Recording 02] Oral history interview with George H. Bell [Sound Recording 03] Oral history interview with George H. Bell [Sound Recording 04] Oral history interview with George H. Bell [Sound Recording 05] Oral history interview with George H. Bell [Sound Recording 06] Oral history interview with George H. Bell [Sound Recording 07] Oral history interview with George H. Bell [Sound Recording 08]

Identity elements

Reference code

SR 1169

Name and location of repository

Level of description

Series

Title

Oral history interview with George H. Bell

Date(s)

  • 1994-10-31 - 1994-11-21 (Creation)

Extent

.1 cubic feet 4 audiocassettes (3 hr., 55 min., 27 sec.)

Name of creator

Biographical history

George Herbert Bell was born in California in 1927. Around 1930, his family moved to Klamath Falls, Oregon, where his father worked in a lumber mill throughout the Depression. Bell enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1945, just after graduating from high school, and he served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. After his discharge in 1948, he studied English at Southern Oregon College. He continued his education at the University of California Los Angeles, where he earned a master's degree. He met Trubee Wetterau while at Southern Oregon College, and they were married in 1949. They later had one child and divorced in 1960. Bell was a member of the faculty at Southern Oregon College for many years, then a political reporter for the Medford Mail Tribune. In 1963, he and Sarah Ellen Groves were married; that same year, he joined the staff at the Oregonian newspaper in Portland. He left in 1965 to become assistant to the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House. He then joined KGW-TV as editor and later anchor for the daily noon news show. In 1970, he and Sarah divorced, and in 1971, he and Frances "Frankie" Hargis were married. In 1972, when Clay Myers was appointed secretary of state by Governor Tom McCall, Myers hired Bell as his deputy secretary of state, a position Bell held until 1979. He then served as assistant director of the Oregon Department of Transportation under Governor Vic Atiyeh until 1987. Governor Neil Goldschmidt later appointed him to the Board of Trustees of the Oregon State Library. He continued to be active in many civic organizations until his death in 2015.

Name of creator

(1928-)

Biographical history

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This oral history interview with George Bell was conducted by Vinita Howard from October 31 to November 21, 1994. In this interview, Bell discusses his family background and early life in Klamath Falls, Oregon. He briefly discusses his experience in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theater during World War II, then goes on to describe his college experience at Southern Oregon College and U.C.L.A. He describes his early career as a high school teacher and college professor, and then the beginnings of his career in journalism at the Medford Mail Tribune and the Oregonian. He then discusses serving as assistant to the president of the state Senate and the speaker of the state House in 1965, including some of the legislation that came up during that session. He also talks about working alongside Monte Montgomery and Harry Boivin. He talks about his next career change, which was working for KGW-TV, first as a day editor and later as a news anchor. Next, he discusses serving as deputy secretary of state under Clay Myers from 1972 to 1979. He also briefly discusses each of his three marriages. Bell talks about serving as assistant director of the Oregon Department of Transportation under Governor Vic Atiyeh, including the department's efforts to boost tourism and the movie industry in the state, funding problems, and working under Glenn Jackson. He goes on to discuss his views on various Oregon political figures, including Mark Hatfield. He closes the interview by discussing his activities during retirement, particularly creative writing.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Collection is open for research.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright is held by the Oregon Historical Society. Licensed under Creative Commons, BY-NC-SA: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Accruals

Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Related descriptions

Notes element

General note

Preferred citation: Oral history interview with George H. Bell, by Vinita Howard, SR 1169, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

General note

Forms part of the Oregon Legislature Oral History Series.

General note

Typescript index (15 pages) is available for in-person use at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.

Sources used

Archivist's note

Sarah Stroman

Access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Accession area