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Pittock Mansion remembered

  • SR 9319
  • Collection
  • 1983-08-15 - 1984-03-26

A series of interviews conducted by Linda Brody regarding Pittock Mansions.

Tape 1: Marjorie Wright discusses her time living in the gatehouse of Pittock Mansion with her parents from 1920 to 1945, including the work her father did as head gardener.

Tape 2: Betty L. Meier discusses her childhood as a granddaughter of Henry L. Pittock and her memories of visiting Pittock Mansion.

Tape 3 and 4: Louise Barry discusses her relationship to the Pittock family and her memories of Pittock Mansion.

Tape 5: Robert "Peter" Gantenbein discusses the Pittock family and living in the Pittock Mansion. Eric Ladd is also present.

Tape 6: Allyn Staley discusses the restoration of the Pittock Mansion in the 1960s.

Tape 7: Alexander Bolton Pierce discusses the political process involved in the purchase of the Pittock Mansion by the City of Portland and its restoration in the 1960s.

Wright, Marjorie, 1920-2012

Oral history interview with Louis Bunce, by Charles Digregorio

  • SR 9323
  • Collection
  • 1978-06-01 - 1978-07-19

Bunce discusses education in art at the Museum Art School in Portland, Oregon , his influences, including Cezanne and Picasso, his involvement with the WPA during the Depression, working in the shipyards during World War II, his artistic style, and his career as an artist. He also discusses some of his exhibitions and a commission he was currently working on for the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, California.

Bunce, Louis, 1907-1983

James F. Failing family papers

  • Coll 799
  • Collection
  • 1850-2009

James Frederick Failing was born in New York on March 24, 1842 to Josiah Failing and Henrietta Legge Ellison. His father and older brothers, Henry and John William, arrived in Portland in 1851, followed two years later in 1853 by James, their mother, and sister, Elizabeth. James completed his education at Portland Academy, then joined J. Failing and Co. as a clerk. The company was a wholesale hardware business started by Josiah and Henry Failing at the corner of first and Oak Streets. James later became a partner at Corbett, Failing and Company. The company operated under this name for 22 years, before later becoming Failing-McCalman Company, operated in part by James's three sons.

In 1877, James Failing became a director of the First National Bank in Portland, remaining a senior director until his death in 1920. He married Jane Johnson Conner in 1880. She was born in Albany, Oregon on February 14, 1855 to merchant John Conner (1820-1902) and his first wife, Martha Mariea Bancroft Whittlesey (1827-1861). Later, John Conner married James's sister, Elizabeth Ann Failing in 1863. Jane Conner and James F. Failing had five children: Edward Josiah (1881-1936), Kate Whittlesey (1883-1971), John Conner (1886-1951), Frederick Ellison (1892-1929), and Henrietta Chase, 1895-1989). Kate and Henrietta participated regularly in Portland civic life, volunteering with numerous organizations.

James Failing and his family were members of the First Baptist Church of Portland. He was involved in the development and construction of the church's Taylor Street building between 1892 and 1893, and was both a trustee and a deacon. His daughter Kate created scrapbooks documenting the history of the church. He was also a director of the Young Men's Christian Association and a trustee for McMinnville College (later known as Linfield College), and an active member of the Oregon Pioneer Society and the Auld Lang Syne Society. Both his father, Josiah, and brother Henry served as mayors of Portland. While James never held public office, he was regarded as a prominent individual in the Portland business and civic communities.

Failing, James F. (James Frederick), 1842-1920

Robertson, Burns, and Failing families papers

  • Coll 784
  • Collection
  • 1786-1988

Many of Portland's early settling families created long-lasting ties with one another through marriage and business relationships. Often leaving areas such as New England and San Francisco, the first generation of transplants found Portland to be a small town of new opportunities for trade and business from 1840-1855. Family relationships, such as those seen between the Robertson, Corbett, and Failing families beginning in the 1850s, often lasted for generations. Starting with the joint venture between Henry Winslow Corbett and brother-in-law Thomas Robertson (1817-1900), multiple other partnerships were later formed, including Robertson Heavy Hardware, Corbett, Failing and Company, Foster and Robertson and Corbett, Failing, and Robertson.

The Robertson family represented a crossroads of Portland familial relationships. Beginning with the arrival of Thomas Robertson and his wife Mary Freeland (Corbett) Robertson, from New York, multiple generations of the Robertson family went on to marry into different branches of other old Portland families, such Couch, Lewis, and Reed. Through these relationships, they also gained ties with several family lineages from the East Coast. Individuals in these families later attended elite schools, traveled widely and participated in family businesses to great success. They also contributed to Portland's civic life, becoming city or state officials, and serving as early supporters for institutions such as the Portland Art Museum and Reed College.

Robertson family

Photo Art Commercial Studio photographs

  • Org. Lot 791 - 1944
  • Collection
  • 1944

The Photo Art Commercial Studio Collection represents the work of one of Portland’s premiere commercial photography firms. The collection consists of hundreds of thousands of negatives, plus prints, slides, and film footage, from 1936 to 1998. This exceptional collection is rich in Northwest scenic views, portraits, photographs of community events and organizations, and business products and operations. Prominent Northwest photographers, such as Ray Atkeson, photographed for the studio.

Photo Art Studios was opened in 1925 by Claude F. Palmer who had operated a small photo studio as a teenager. Photo Art began as a photofinishing operation, expanding in later years to commercial and advertising photography, motion pictures, and photo murals. In 1959, John Patterson, an Oregonian who was studying photography, joined the staff of Photo Art. In 1965, Patterson became a partner in the business with Claude Palmer; Patterson assumed full ownership in 1978 after Palmer’s retirement.

Palmer, Claude F., 1899-1991

Theodore Roosevelt letter to George Himes, 1900 Feb 21

  • Coll 301
  • Collection
  • 1900

Typed note, signed, from Theodore Roosevelt when governor of New York, to George H. Himes, assistant secretary of the Oregon Historical Society, complimenting Himes and the Society on their work. This letter was a response to Himes' letter of February 13th, 1900, a transcript of which is included.

Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919

Abraham Lincoln letters

  • Mss 324
  • Collection
  • 1858-1861

One autograph letter, A.L.S., from Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Ill. to Simeon Francis in Oregon, 1860 Aug. 4, discussing the upcoming presidential election and prospects for the winning of various states. Collection also includes photostatic copies of three additional letters: Lincoln to James Thornton, 1858 Dec. 2; Simeon Francis to Lincoln, 1859 Dec. 26; and David Logan to Lincoln, 1861 Sept. 5.

Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865

Oral history interview with Stafford Hansell

  • SR 88
  • Collection
  • 1983-10-17 - 1986-06

This oral history interview with Stafford Hansell was conducted by Barbara Reynolds from October 17 to November 15, 1983, and in June 1986. In the interview, Hansell discusses his family history and early life on a farm in Umatilla County, Oregon, including having diphtheria and polio as a child and the long-term effects on his health. He also talks about his education at the University of Montana and Whitman College, including his involvement in athletics and drama. Hansell talks about the early years of his marriage to Mary Elizabeth Ennis; making ends meet during the Depression; farming with his father; hog farming with his brother, Bill; and adopting his son, John. He also discusses serving on his local school board from 1953 to 1957, including implementing kindergarten and increasing school funding. Hansell then discusses his involvement with the Republican Party and representing Umatilla County in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1957 to 1974. He discusses legislation on land-use planning, taxation, labor, reapportionment, education, agriculture, and marijuana. He also discusses his failed bid to become Speaker of the House in the 1967 session, as well as many of the representatives he served with. Hansell also discusses his role on the Ways and Means Committee; the Boeing Space Age Park and Boardman; salary increases for legislators; and the Mark Hatfield and Tom McCall administrations. He speaks briefly on his feelings regarding the impeachment of President Richard Nixon. He also talks about working for the administrations of Governors Bob Straub and Norma Paulus after leaving the Legislature, including serving on the Oregon Liquor Commission, the State Board of Education, and the Governor's Taskforce on Land Use Planning. He also discusses the Rajneeshees. Hansell closes the interview by talking about his personal life and family, as well as his involvement with the Oregon Historical Society and his interest in Native American cultures and art.

Hansell, Stafford (Marion Stafford), 1913-1995

Oral history interview with Norma Paulus

  • SR 3972
  • Collection
  • 1999-02-10 - 2000-11-02

This oral history interview with Norma Paulus was conducted by Clark Hansen at Paulus's home in Salem, Oregon, in Lincoln City, Oregon, and in Portland, Oregon; and at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, from February 10, 1999, to November 2, 2000, and from February 10 to 27, 2010. In the interview, Paulus discusses her family background and early life in Burns, Oregon, including life during World War II and contracting polio at the age of 19. She also discusses working as a secretary for the Harney County district attorney, Leland Beckham; moving to Salem to work for a law firm; working for Judge Earl Latourette; and going to law school. Paulus describes meeting Bill Paulus while attending law school; his family background; and their marriage. Paulus discusses her involvement with the Republican Party; working as an appellate lawyer for the Oregon Supreme Court; working on Wally Carson's campaign for the Oregon Legislature in 1965; and getting her first political appointment, to the Marion County Boundary Commission, where she focused on land-use and city planning issues. She focuses on managing a career in law and politics while raising two young children and building a house.

She then discusses her time in the Oregon House of Representatives, from 1970 to 1976, including environmental issues such as the Bottle Bill of 1971 and recycling; education; the criminal code; taxes; attempts to make Cape Kiwanda a state park; and the Rajneeshees. Paulus goes into detail about the women's caucus and the bills they focused on for women's rights, as well as efforts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. She describes working with Bob Smith, Paul Hanneman, Betty Roberts, Stafford Hansell, Jack Anunsen, Wally Priestly, Dick Eymann, Lynn Newbry, Glenn Jackson, Jason Boe, and Gretchen Kafoury. She also talks about being co-chair for Clay Myers' 1974 race for Oregon governor.

Paulus goes on to speak about her time as Oregon's first woman secretary of state from 1977 to 1985, including her first campaign in 1976 against Blaine Whipple; her efforts to increase voter turnout; and conducting audits, particularly of the Forestry Department. She also discusses the secretary of state's role as state archivist and the conflict between the Oregon State Archives and the Oregon Historical Society over which records belong with which institution. She also discusses working with Governor Vic Atiyeh. Paulus discusses running for governor against Neil Goldschmidt in 1986 and the challenges her campaign faced. She discusses her position on the Northwest Power Planning Council from 1987 to 1990, including working with Ted Hallock and Bob Duncan. She also discusses her position as Oregon superintendent of public instruction from 1990 to 1999, including her efforts to fund K-12 education. Paulus also relates a story about sharing an airplane with Moshe Dayan.

Paulus, Norma

Interview with Thomas H. Mercer

  • SR 3974
  • Collection
  • 1976

This interview with Thomas Mercer was conducted circa 1976. In the interview, Mercer, who was running against Al Ullman, discusses his current campaign for a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives. He also discusses his heart issues and how they have affected his career; gun control; and health care. In addition to the interview, there is a recording of a question-and-answer session with Mercer and voters during his campaign. In the session, Mercer addresses questions regarding abortion and taxation.

Also on the audiocassettes with the Mercer interview is a speech delivered by an unidentified man circa 1977, regarding his experience in the Oregon Legislature, and a discussion held in Salem, Oregon, also circa 1977. The speakers in the discussion include Robert Marx, Anthony Meeker, Margaret Dereli, Mae Yih, Bill Rutherford, Wally Carson, Ken Jernstedt, Tony Van Vliet, and other unidentified legislators. Topics include municipal-, county-, and state-level taxation; revenue sharing; correctional institutions; SB 100 and land use planning; and energy conservation. It is unknown what, if any, relationship these recordings have to the Mercer interview.

Mercer, Thomas H.

Oral history interview with Charles E. Wright

  • SR611
  • Collection
  • 1991-07-03

This oral history interview with Charles E. Wright was conducted by Elizabeth Buehler on July 12, 1991. In the interview, Wright discusses his education at Yale Law School, particularly studying corporate law with Professor William O. Douglas, who was later a U.S. Supreme Court justice. He briefly discusses returning to Oregon in 1932 and working as a lawyer in Portland; working for the regional office of the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission in Seattle, Washington; and returning to private practice in Portland. He then returns to the topic of William O. Douglas.

Wright, Charles E. (Charles Edward Pares), 1906-1999

OHS Maps Collection

  • OHS Maps
  • Collection
  • 1500 - ?

The OHS Maps Collection contains over 25,000 maps that focus on Western exploration and the Oregon Territory. Available types of maps include those of the Oregon Territory, the state, cities and counties, and special subjects such as mining, forestry, railroads, coasts and rivers, soils, farmlands, land claims, Native Americans and explorations.

Early Oregon census and tax records, 1842-1880

  • Mss 1
  • Collection
  • 1842-1880

This collection consists of early census and tax records from the Oregon provisional and territorial governments and early Oregon statehood. The materials in this collection were gathered from early, mostly pre-1958, Oregon Historical Society Research Library accessions of census and tax related records. The early census and tax records document demographic and economic data for what are now portions of Oregon and California. Original census records include Elijah White's 1842 census; a census (1849) of males over the age of 21; Jackson County census rolls (ca. 1854-1855, 1858); a Washington County census (1856); a Washington County tax roll (1852); and an agricultural census for Clackamas County (1870). Typescript and photostat reproductions of census records include Joseph Meek's Census of Oregon (1845); Charles Wells’ Benton County census (1854); the United States Census roll for Coos County (1860); and a partial typescript of the 1880 United States Census for Wasco County. The collection also includes reports of the 1850 census for Butte and Calaveras counties in California.

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