Oral history interview with L. Raphael Geisler

Oral history interview with L. Raphael Geisler [Sound Recording 01] Oral history interview with L. Raphael Geisler [Sound Recording 02]

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Reference code

SR 9394

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Oral history interview with L. Raphael Geisler


  • 1976-06-10 (Creation)


.1 cubic feet; 1 audiocassette (50 min., 22 sec.)

Name of creator

Biographical history

Louis Raphael Geisler was born in 1890 in Portland, Oregon. He attended the University of Oregon and graduated in 1912, then taught high school for a few years. He then studied law at Columbia College (now Columbia University) in New York. During World War I, he served as U.S. vice consul to Cologne, Germany, from 1916 to 1917, and to Zurich, Switzerland, from 1917 to 1919. After the war ended, he returned to Columbia College and completed his law degree. He then worked in the foreign banking department of the Irving Bank and Trust Company, managing branches in London, England; Berlin, Germany; and Paris, France. In 1919, he and Gertrude Blackmar were married; they later had one child. When the Depression struck in 1929, the Irving Bank branches closed, and Geisler returned to the U.S. to become a patent lawyer. He returned to Portland around 1935. After Gertrude Blackmar's death in 1957, he and Florence Elton married in 1960. He died in 1982.

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Scope and content

This oral history interview with L. Raphael Geisler was conducted by Charles Digregorio at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, on June 10, 1976. In this interview, Geisler discusses his family background and early life in the Portland Heights neighborhood of Portland. He also briefly shares his memories of the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition.

Geisler discusses his experience as vice-consul to Cologne, Germany, and to Zurich, Switzerland, during World War I. He then speaks briefly about his career in banking after the war until the Depression, and then working as a patent lawyer in Portland. He discusses his involvement with Trinity Episcopal Church, including his memories of the 1902 fire that destroyed its original building on SW Sixth Avenue and SW Oak Street in downtown Portland. He closes the interview by speaking briefly about his parents.

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Conditions governing access

Collection is open for research.

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Conditions governing reproduction

Joint copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society and the estate of L. Raphael Geisler. 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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  • English

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Notes element

General note

Preferred citation: Oral history interview with L. Raphael Geisler, by Charles Digregorio, SR 9394, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

General note

Incomplete transcript (14 pages) is available for in-person use at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

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Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.

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