Series SR 1241 - Oral history interview with Owen Panner

Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 01] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 02] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 03] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 04] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 05] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 06] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 07] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 08] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 09] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 10] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 11] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 12] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 13] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 14] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 15] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 16] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 17] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 18] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 19] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 20] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 21] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 22] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 23] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 24] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 25] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 26] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 27] Oral history interview with Owen Panner [Sound Recording 28]
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Identity elements

Reference code

SR 1241

Name and location of repository

Level of description

Series

Title

Oral history interview with Owen Panner

Date(s)

  • 1994-11-24 - 1995-06-01 (Creation)

Extent

.1 cubic feet 24 audiocassettes (18 hr., 49 min., 15 sec.)

Name of creator

Biographical history

Owen Murphy Panner was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1924. He grew up in Oklahoma during the Depression. He attended the University of Oklahoma, but in 1943, before graduating, he joined the U.S. Army, serving until 1946. He met his first wife, Agnes Gilbert, while stationed in Los Angeles, California. After serving, he returned to the University of Oklahoma, where he graduated from its school of law in 1949. He moved to Bend, Oregon, where he practiced law from 1950 to 1980, was vice president of the Oregon State Bar from 1961 to 1963, and was on the Judicial Reform Commission of Oregon from 1971 to 1974. During his years as an attorney, he represented the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. In 1979, he was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon, where he served from 1980 to 2018. He was chief justice from 1984 to 1990, and took senior status in 1992. During his time on the court, he met his second wife, Nancy Hanson, while horse riding in Hillsboro. He died in 2018.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This oral history interview with Owen Panner was conducted by Michael O'Rourke in Panner's chambers in Portland, Oregon, from November 24, 1994, to June 1, 1995. In this interview, Panner discusses his family background and early life in rural Oklahoma, including his experiences during the Depression and the Dust Bowl, and his interest in playing golf. He also discusses the racism he observed during his childhood. Panner then talks about attending the University of Oklahoma and his service in the Army during World War II, including meeting his first wife, Agnes Gilbert, and moving to New York at the end of his service. He then discusses returning to the University of Oklahoma and studying law. Panner describes moving to Oregon and practicing law in Bend from 1950 to 1979, including his impressions of the area and people, and several cases he tried during his law career. He speaks at length about representing the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, particularly on cases regarding fishing rights at Celilo Falls, the development of Kah-Nee-Ta, and the termination of the Klamath tribe. Panner discusses national political events such as the Vietnam War, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the Nixon administration, as well as local politics in Bend, including the divorce of Oregon State Representative Al Ullman. Panner then describes his experience as a judge on the U.S. District Court in Portland from 1980 to 2018, including cases on civil rights, federal power, financial regulations, electrical utilities, and Tonya Harding. He also discusses the O.J. Simpson trial, mandatory sentencing, and the war on drugs. Panner discusses working with judges Otto Skopil, Robert Belloni, Gus Solomon, Jim Redden, and Edward Leavy. He also describes the relationship between the District Court and the Court of Appeals; the law system on the Warm Springs Reservation; and the day-to-day workings of the District Court. Panner closes the interview by discussing the modernization of the courts and his life outside the courtroom.

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 is held by the Oregon Historical Society and the U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society. In Copyright – Educational Use Permitted statement: 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

Related descriptions

Notes element

General note

Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Owen Panner, by Michael O'Rourke, SR 1241, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

General note

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

General note

Incomplete transcript (381 pages) and handwritten index (28 pages) available for in-person use in 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

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Genre access points

Accession area