Series SR 1208 - Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni

Portrait of Robert C. Belloni Portrait of Robert C. Belloni Robert C. Belloni with Faye Dement at a retirement party for Dement Robert C. Belloni with Faye Dement near unidentified beach Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 01] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 02] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 03] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 04] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 05] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 06] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 07] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 08] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 09] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 10] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 11] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 12] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 13] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 14] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 15] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 16] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 17] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 18] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 19] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 20] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 21] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 22] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 23] Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni [Sound Recording 25]
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Identity elements

Reference code

SR 1208

Name and location of repository

Level of description

Series

Title

Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni

Date(s)

  • 1988-09-19 - 1989-07-28 (Creation)

Extent

.1 cubic feet; 15 audiocassettes (11 hr., 11 min., 24 sec.) + transcript (164 pages) + 8 photographs

Name of creator

Biographical history

Robert Clinton Belloni was born in Riverton, Oregon, in 1919. He attended the University of Oregon, graduating in 1941. He was then drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942 and served as a medical officer in the Pacific Theater. While in the Army, he met Doris Adams, and they were married in 1946. They later had two children. After World War II, Belloni returned to Oregon in 1946 and took a job in McMinnville as an administrator for a small hospital. He then studied law at the University of Oregon, graduating in 1951. He worked as a lawyer in Coos County, served as chair of the Democratic Central Committee of Coos County, and was mayor of Myrtle Point. He was appointed to the Circuit Court of Southern Oregon by Governor Robert Holmes, and served from 1957 to 1967. He then served as a U.S. District Court judge in Portland, Oregon, from 1967 until 1984, when he took senior status. He presided over Sohappy v. Smith, which was a landmark case for Native American fishing rights. He served as chief judge of the court from 1971 to 1976. He and Doris divorced in 1984. In 1989, Belloni and Faye Johnson Dement were married. He remained a senior judge until his death in 1999.

Name of creator

Biographical history

James "Jim" Strassmaier was the Oral Historian at the Oregon Historical Society from 1986 to 2001.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni was conducted by Jim Strassmaier from September 19, 1988, to July 28, 1989. In this interview, Belloni discusses his family background and early life in Coos County, Oregon, including his education. He talks about studying pre-med at the University of Oregon and his service as a U.S. Army medical officer in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He describes landing in Japan just as it surrendered. He talks about returning to civilian life and deciding to go to law school, attending the University of Oregon, and his friendship with Ted Goodwin. He discusses his early law career in Coos County. He also talks about his early political career, holding the offices of chair of the Democratic Central Committee for Coos County and mayor of Myrtle Point. He also talks about his relationship with Wayne Morse. He discusses serving as a Circuit Court judge in Southern Oregon from 1957 to 1967, particularly presiding over juvenile cases. He then discusses serving on the U.S. District Court of Oregon from 1967 to the time of the interview, including the politics of his appointment. He discusses his fellow District Court judges, including Gus Solomon, John Kilkenney, and Otto Skopil. He also talks about the variety of cases that came before him, including on land fraud, asbestos, consumer protections, and several cases involving Native American rights. He discusses his law clerks, judicial process, and ethics. Belloni discusses serving as chief judge on the District Court from 1971 to 1976, and the duties and responsibilities of that position, including his work in establishing the magistrate system and the sentencing council. He closes the interview by discussing changes in the court systems over the 20th century, his experience as a senior judge, and his personal life.

In addition to the audio recordings of the interview, this collection includes several photographs of Belloni and a signed photograph of Robert D. Holmes.

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 U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society. Use of the interview is allowed according to the following statement: In Copyright – Educational Use Permitted, http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-EDU/1.0/

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

Robert C. Belloni papers, Accession 25907, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

Related descriptions

Notes element

General note

Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni, by Jim Strassmaier, SR 1208, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

General note

Forms part of the United States District Court Oral History Project.

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