Oral history interview with Virginia M. Kletzer

Oral history interview with Virginia M. Kletzer [Sound Recording 01] Oral history interview with Virginia M. Kletzer [Sound Recording 02] Oral history interview with Virginia M. Kletzer [Transcript]

Identity elements

Reference code

SR 9393

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Oral history interview with Virginia M. Kletzer


  • 1976-03-30 (Creation)


0.1 cubic feet; 1 audiocassette (58 min., 38 sec.)

Name of creator

Biographical history

Virginia Merges Kletzer, nee Margaret Virginia Merges, was born in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, in 1887. In 1900, her family relocated to Portland, Oregon. In 1906, she graduated from the Portland Academy, then worked as the school's secretary and librarian. In 1911, she and William Kletzer were married; they later had three children. After her marriage, she left the workforce. Later in life, she volunteered her time to multiple organizations. From 1933 to 1937, she served as president of the Parent Teacher Association, and was active in that organization's campaign for school lunch standards. During World War II, she was involved with the Commission for Children in Wartime and was a member of the national advisory committee on child labor for the U.S. Children's Bureau. From 1948 to 1958, she served as the executive secretary of the Oregon division of the American Cancer Society; she then continued to serve on the organization's boards and executive committees. She also served on the boards of the Volunteers of America, the Portland Federation of Women's Organizations, the Tri-County Day Care Committee, and the Portland Council of Girl Scouts, among several others. She received numerous awards from several of the organizations she volunteered with. She died in 1982.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This oral history interview with Virginia M. Kletzer was conducted by Charles Digregorio at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, on March 30, 1976, as part of the Oregon Historical Society Research Library's oral history program. Roy Feldenheimer and Henry C.C. Stevens were also present and occasionally contributed to the interview.

In this interview, Kletzer discusses her education at the Portland Academy, a private high school that operated from 1889 to 1916 and was located at SW 13th Avenue and SW Montgomery Street, in Portland, Oregon. She describes the curriculum of the school and talks about her teachers and classmates. She then speaks about her involvement with the Parent Teacher Association and the Oregon division of the American Cancer Society. She shares her memories of attending the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition and of spending a summer at the Cloud Cap Inn in 1910 with Portland Academy staff. She closes the interview by talking about her marriage to William Kletzer and raising a family on a ranch on the Jesse Applegate donation land claim.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Joint copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society and the estate of Virginia M. Kletzer. Use is allowed according to the following statement: In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted, http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-NC/1.0/

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Conditions governing reproduction

Languages of the material

  • English

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Finding aids

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Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Virginia Merges Kletzer papers, Mss 2681, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

Related descriptions

Notes element

General note

Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Virginia M. Kletzer, by Charles Digregorio, SR 9393, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

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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

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Accession area