Name and location of repository
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Oral history interview with L. Jean Markham
- 1997-05-08 (Creation)
.1 cubic feet; 3 audiocassettes (2 hr., 3 min., 2 sec.)
Name of creator
Lotus Jean Markham, nee Eddins, was born in Colfax, Washington, in 1922. Her family moved often during her early life, finally settling in Centralia, Washington, around 1932. She attended the local community college, then transferred to the University of Washington in 1941. In 1943, she and William Edwin "Bill" Markham were married; they later had three children. They moved to Riddle, Oregon, in 1947. Bill Markham was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 1969, and Jean Markham acted as his principal staff person, first as a secretary and later as a legislative aide. She died in 1998.
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Scope and content
This oral history interview with L. Jean Markham was conducted by Jim Strassmaier on May 8, 1997. In this interview, Markham discusses her family background and early life in Washington, including her memories of the Depression and her high school education. She then talks about her experiences at a small community college and the University of Washington; her early political beliefs; and her relationship with William Edwin Markham, whom she married in 1943. She discusses starting a family and moving to Riddle, Oregon, in 1947; having polio when she was very young; her children's education; and her involvement in the Riddle community.
Markham discusses entering Republican politics with her husband, his service in the Oregon House of Representatives, and particularly her own work as his secretary. She describes the secretary orientation session, other legislative secretaries, and the expectations for freshman legislators. She describes her duties as a legislative secretary, including editing legislation by hand and handling correspondence, as well as her duties as a legislative aide. She also talks about the social lives of legislative secretaries, partisanship in the Legislature, and misconceptions the public has about the workings of Oregon government. She discusses Bill Markham's constituency, his position on several issues, and his temperament. She also talks about campaigning. She closes the interview by talking about her plans for retirement.
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Conditions governing access
Copyright is for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society. 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
Oral history with William Markham, SR 3927, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Preferred citation: Oral history interview with L. Jean Markham, by Jim Strassmaier, SR 3946, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Forms part of the Oregon Legislature Oral History Series.
Handwritten index (9 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.