Series SR 1195 - Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith

Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Image 01] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 01] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 02] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 03] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 04] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 05] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 06] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 07] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 08] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 09] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 10] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 11] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 12] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 13] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 14] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 15] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 16] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 17] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 18] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 19] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 20] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 21] Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith [Sound Recording 22]

Identity elements

Reference code

SR 1195

Name and location of repository

Level of description

Series

Title

Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith

Date(s)

  • 1993-09-23 - 1993-10-28 (Creation)

Extent

.1 cubic feet 12 audiocassettes (10 hr., 44 min., 12 sec.) + 1 photograph (color ; 5.5 x 4 in.)

Name of creator

Biographical history

Frank Leo Smith was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1903. He attended Columbia University (now the University of Portland); Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington; and Georgetown University Law School in Washington, D.C. He earned his law degree in 1928, and joined a law firm in Portland in 1929. He met Josephine Gleason after returning to Portland, and they were married in 1932; she died in 1960. Smith was elected as a Democrat to represent Multnomah County in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1939 to 1944. He left the Legislature to continue in private law practice, and later also worked as a lobbyist for the Oregon State Employees Association, helping to establish the Public Employees Retirement System. He also lobbied for the University of Portland and the Archdiocese of Portland. In 1957, he was appointed to replace Multnomah County district attorney William Langley, who was removed from office. Smith left that office in 1958. In 1960, he and Dorothy McMahon were married; she died in 1980. In 1995, he and Frances Ritz Donnerberg were married. He died in 1999.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This oral history interview with F. Leo Smith was conducted by Clark Hansen at Smith's home in Portland, Oregon, from September 23 to October 28, 1993. In this interview, Smith discusses the history of the Ku Klux Klan and anti-Catholic sentiment in Oregon. He then discusses the policies of the Democratic Party in the early 20th century, particularly in Oregon, and his involvement with the party. He describes his early law career in private practice during the Depression. He talks about his time in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1939 to 1944, including his campaigns, constituency, and committee assignments. He speaks at length about legislation he worked on in the House, particularly a bill on textbooks in public schools that was later overturned by the Oregon Supreme Court. He then discusses his brief term as Multnomah County district attorney, from 1957 to 1958, and the many vice cases he prosecuted. He also talks about his involvement with the Catholic Church as a member, lawyer, and lobbyist. He discusses his later career as a lobbyist, particularly his work on establishing the Public Employees Retirement System while lobbying for the Oregon State Employees Association, and in defeating a bill on abortion while lobbying for the Archdiocese of Portland. He closes the interview by talking about the changes in society over the 20th century.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Collection is open for research.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Joint copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society and the estate of F. Leo Smith. Use is allowed according to the following statement: In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-NC/1.0/

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

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Finding aids

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Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Accruals

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Existence and location of originals

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Related descriptions

Notes element

General note

Preferred citation: Oral history interview with F. Leo Smith, by Clark Hansen, SR 1195, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

General note

Forms part of the Oregon Legislature Oral History Series.

General note

Handwritten index (28 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

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Accession area