Name and location of repository
Level of description
Oral history interview with Travis Cross
- 1987-10-08 - 1987-11-23 (Creation)
.1 cubic feet 10 audiocassettes (8 hr., 36 min., 14 sec.) + 3 photographs (black and white)
Name of creator
William Travis Cross was born in Salem, Oregon, in 1927. He attended Stanford University for a quarter in 1944, but left to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After his discharge, he continued his studies at Willamette University, where he met Beverly Jean Briggs. They were married in 1949 and later had four children. He returned to Stanford to complete his degree. While at Stanford, he became close with Mark Hatfield. After graduating in 1949, he worked in the chancellor's office at Willamette University, up until Hatfield became Oregon secretary of state in 1957. Cross joined Hatfield's staff and remained one of his closest advisors until Hatfield was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1967. After leaving Hatfield's staff, Cross worked in public relations for the University of California from 1969 to 1975, when he returned to Portland, Oregon, to continue public relations work for the Providence St. Vincent Medical Foundation. He retired in 1992. He also served on the Meyer Memorial Trust from 1982 to 1997. He died in 2004.
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Scope and content
This oral history interview with Travis Cross was conducted by Jim Strassmaier in Cross' office at St. Vincent's Hospital and at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, from October 8 to November 23, 1987. In this interview, Cross discusses his family background and early life in Salem, Oregon, including growing up in the same neighborhood as Mark Hatfield. He then talks about attending Willamette University at the same time as Hatfield, and how they became more closely acquainted. He talks about Hatfield's early life, military service during World War II, and college experiences at Stanford University and Willamette University. He talks about Hatfield's admiration for Herbert Hoover and Dwight D. Eisenhower; and about working at Willamette University at the same time as Hatfield.
Cross then discusses acting as an aide throughout Hatfield's Oregon political career, from 1957 to 1967. He discusses Hatfield as Oregon secretary of state, including helping with campaigns, and the make-up of Hatfield's staff. He describes the duties of the secretary of state, including running the elections division and serving on the board of control; some of their accomplishments during that time; and working with Governor Bob Holmes.
Cross talks about Hatfield as Oregon governor from 1959 to 1967. He discusses the appointment of Howard Appling as secretary of state, Hatfield's relationship with the Oregon Republican Party, and Hatfield's attempts to reorganize state government. He discusses working with the Oregon Legislature, appointments Hatfield made, and dealing with the press. Cross talks about Hatfield's political opponents, including Howard Morgan and Robert Y. Thornton. He also discusses Hatfield's opposition to the Vietnam War, and his support for Barry Goldwater during the 1964 Republican presidential primary. He talks about Hatfield's 1966 campaign for the U.S. Senate, and his decision to leave Hatfield's staff. He discusses Hatfield's Washington, D.C., staff, including Gerry Frank. He also describes Glenn Jackson and Monte Montgomery. Cross closes the interview by discussing his activities after leaving Hatfield's staff and their continued friendship.
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Conditions governing access
Joint copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society and Willamette University. Use is allowed according to the following license: Creative Commons - BY-NC-SA: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/
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Related archival materials
Travis Cross' papers, collection number WUA039, are held at the Archives and Special Collections of the Mark O. Hatfield Library at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.
Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Travis Cross, by Jim Strassmaier, SR 1333, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Forms part of the Senator Mark O. Hatfield Oral History Project.
Incomplete transcript (188 pages) is available for in-person use at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
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Rules or conventions
Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.