Name and location of repository
Level of description
Oral history interview with Neva Elliott
- 1992-04-10 - 1992-07-10 (Creation)
.1 cubic feet 5 audiocassettes (4 hr., 27 min., 35 sec.)
Name of creator
Neva Marline Elliott was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1908. After graduating from high school in 1925, she attended Reed College for two years. She then attended the Northwestern College of Law while working as a secretary for Charles Spackman, who ran the school. She earned her law degree in 1935. She met Neil Chinnock while in law school, and they married in 1939. They had no children, and he died in 1954. Elliott was an attorney in Portland from 1935 to 1993 and served as a pro tem judge on the Multnomah County District Court. She died in 2001.
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Scope and content
This oral history interview with Neva Elliott was conducted by S. Diane Rynerson from April 10 to July 10, 1992. In this interview, Elliott discusses her family background and early life in Damascus, Oregon, including social life and her father's store; she also discusses attending Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon. She then talks about attending Reed College, particularly her involvement in drama, then attending Northwestern College of Law in Portland while working as a secretary for Charles Spackman. She talks about working after graduation for U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Esta Snedeker as a court referee in Portland, then for lawyer Frank Seaver as a secretary. She discusses the challenges of finding a job as a lawyer as a woman. She then talks about starting her own law practice in Portland during World War II, when many men were serving in the military and the demographics of the city had changed. She also shares her memories of Judge Claude McCulloch. She talks about some of her cases as a lawyer, including being hired by a woman called as a witness against Chicago mobster Mickey Cohen, and the woman's subsequent murder. She then lists women lawyers she was acquainted with during her career. She briefly discusses serving as a pro tem judge on the Multnomah County District Court. She talks about the many clubs she's been involved with; her world travels; and her social life in Portland.
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use elements
Conditions governing access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions governing reproduction
Joint copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society and the U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society. Use of this interview is allowed according to the following statement: In Copyright – Educational Use Permitted: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-EDU/1.0/
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Immediate source of acquisition
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Related materials elements
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related archival materials
Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Neva Elliott, by S. Diane Rynerson, SR 1201, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Forms part of the United States District Court Oral History Project.
Audio is incomplete. The portion of the interview recorded on Tape 6 is reflected only in an incomplete transcript (77 pages) available for in-person use at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library. A handwritten index (10 pages) is also available for in-person use at the library.
Description control element
Rules or conventions
Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
- Rynerson, S. Diane, 1952- (Subject)