George H. Himes papers, 1852-1952  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Himes, George H., 1844-1940
Title
George H. Himes papers
Dates
1852-1952 (inclusive)
Quantity
17.65 cubic feet, (28 document cases, 1 card file box, 10 flat boxes, 4 custom boxes)
Collection Number
Mss 1462
Summary
Papers of George H. Himes of Portland, Oregon, first curator of the Oregon Historical Society and a printer by trade. The collection consists primarily of detailed diaries kept throughout Himes's life, plus records of his printing business and a small amount of correspondence and other documents. Diaries include information on daily activities, Oregon pioneers, local events, family members, and the development of the Oregon Historical Society.
Repository
Oregon Historical Society, Davies Family Research Library
Davies Family Research Library
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
97205
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
libreference@ohs.org
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Languages
English


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Historian, curator, and printer George Henry Himes was born on May 18, 1844 in Troy, Pennsylvania, and he came overland to the Oregon Territory with his family in 1853. They settled near Olympia, Washington, where Himes's father Tyrus took up farming. George attended rural schools and learned the printing trade, eventually working for the Washington Standard in Olympia. Coming to Portland in the mid-1860s, he was employed first by the Oregonian and later by printer William D. Carter, with whom he formed the company Carter & Himes. In 1870 Himes bought out Carter and continued in business as "Himes the Printer." Among his publications were the Daily Bee and the illustrated West Shore magazine, as well as H.O. Lang's History of the Willamette Valley, which sent his firm into bankruptcy in 1885. After a subsequent printing business failed, Himes devoted the rest of his life to documenting the history of Oregon. Always active in the Oregon Pioneer Association and other organizations, he helped to found the Oregon Historical Society in 1898. The following year he began work as the Society's first curator (precursor to the position of executive director), and he continued to operate the institution until 1938.

Himes was married in 1866 to Anna F. Riggs, and he eventually fathered 11 children. He began keeping a personal diary in 1858 and continued, with occasional gaps, until 1939, a year before his death. He was a deeply religious man and an active temperance advocate. Among his many historical writings was a history of Oregon written for the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition -- an event he helped to organize. He died in Portland in 1940 at the age of 96.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The papers of George Himes consist primarily of two groups of materials: Himes's extensive diaries, dating from 1858 to 1939, and records of Himes's printing businesses from the late 19th century. Also included are drafts of historical writings, reminiscences of Himes's childhood, reminiscence of Suzukie Kinzo, first Japanese American in Oregon, scrapbooks, lists of Oregon pioneers, minutes of the Portland Historical Society, minutes of the Native Sons of Oregon, and a small amount of general correspondence.

The diaries are most complete from the 1890s to the early 1930s. Entries often include information on local events, personal activities, notes on Oregon pioneers, activities involving the Oregon Historical Society, and accounts of travels. Also included are occasional reflections on history and on Himes's own life. Business records are largely financial in nature, but letterpress copybooks provide detailed information on day-to-day activities from 1870 to 1892. Also included are a small sample of printing examples.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The Oregon Historical Society is the owner of the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Research Library prior to any use of reproductions. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use of reproductions may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright holders.

Any publications based on the diaries in the collection must be reviewed by the descendants of George Himes prior to publication. Requests for review of publications can be submitted to the Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

Preferred Citation

George H. Himes papers, Mss 1462, Oregon Historical Society Research Library

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series A:  General papers and correspondence, 1859-1952Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Biographical information on George Himes and his daugheter Grace Rice
See also box 26, folder 1, for Himes's autobiography of childhood years.
1952; undated
1/2
Correspondence
Includes George Himes's reminiscence of Suzukie Kinzo, first Japanese American in Oregon.
1885-1924; undated
1/3
Patriotic broadside used as printing sample by Himes
1876
1/4
Printing samples
1863-1901
1/5
Pioneer listings
undated
1/6
General papers
circa 1862-1907
1/7
General papers, mounted on scrapbook pages
1859-1904

Series B:  Diaries, 1858-1939Return to Top

Box numbers are not in a straight numeric sequence due to the need to house volumes in appropriate-sized boxes.
Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/8
1858 October 1-1864 March
27/1
Includes cash account
1864
27/2
Includes notice of end of Civil War and assassination of Lincoln
1865
27/3
1866
2/1
Old volume 77. Includes diary entries, accounts, and notes
1866 September 6-1867 August 1; 1872; 1886 December 26
27/4
1867 January 1-December 31
2/2
1868 January 1-1871 December
27/5
Diary of a trip to Olympia, Washington
1869 June 4-19
2/3
1872
27/6
Contains few entries and includes accounts
1874
27/7
1877
27/8
Includes accounts
1879, January 1-April 27
27/9
1887
27/10
1888
27/11
1890
27/12
1891
27/13
1892
3/1
1894 January-August 23
3/2
1895 September-1896 July 23
3/3
1896 July 24-1897 June 20
3/4
1897 June-1898 March 12
3/5
1898 March 13-December 31
3/6
1899 January 1-September 26
3/7
1899 September 27-1900 May 20
3/8
1900 May 22-October 6
3/9
1900 October 6-November 16; 1900 February 19-1901 May 24
4/1
1900 November 16-1901 February 18
4/2
1901 May 25-August 31; 1901 September 18-November 4
27/14
Fragmentary entries and notes. On cover: "Notes in 1901 / References to trip to Portland, Me., Boston, N.Y., Newark, Phila., etc. that year -- Oct.-November."
1901
4/3
1901 August 31-September 17; 1901 November 5-1902 May 27
4/4
1902 May 28-November 3
4/5
1902 November 4-1903 March 18
27/15
Primarily household accounts and other notes
1902
4/6
1903 March 19-July 8
4/7
1903 July 9-December 13
5/1
1903 December 14-1904 August 31
5/2
1904 September 1-October 12; 1905 January 27-March 21
5/3
1904 October 13-1905 January 25
5/4
1905 March 22-July 11
5/5
1905 July 12-1906 January 12
5/6
1906 January 13-June 9
5/7
1906 June 10-November 25
6/1
1906 November 26-1907 April 1
6/2
1907 April 2-October 2
6/3
1907 October 3-1908 March 28
27/16
Includes diary of trip to Coos County, July 1907; transcripts from documents; and notes.
1907
6/4
1908 March 29-August 7
6/5
1908 August 8-1908 October 25
6/6
1908 October 26-1909 January 31
6/7
1909 April 26-October 29
7/1
1909 October 30-1910 July 12
7/2
1910 July 12-1911 January 23
7/3
1911 January 24-June 20
7/4
1911 June 21-November 18
7/5
1911 November 19-1912 May 20
7/6
1912 May 21-December 5
8/1
1912 December 6-1913 July 20
8/2
1913 July 21-1914 March 1
8/3
1914 March 2-1915 January 29
8/4
1915 January 30-August 16
8/5
1915 August 17-1916 April 14
8/6
1916 April 15-November 25
9/1
1916 November 26-1917 June 25
9/2
1917 June 26-1918 May 13
9/3
1918 May 14-1919 February 26
9/4
1919 February 27-1920 January 11
10/1
1920 January 12-August 28
10/2
1920 August 29-1921 November 15
10/3
1921 November 16-1923 March 15
10/4
1922 March 16-1924 April 17
10/5
1924 April 18-1925 April 29
11/1
1925 April 30-1926 March 17
11/2
1926 March 18-1927 January 19
11/3
1927 January 20-November 28
11/4
1927 November 29-1928 November 19
11/5
1928 November 20-1929 August 21
12/1
1929 August 22-1930 October 15
27/17
Accounts and notes only
1929
12/2
1930 October 16-1931 October 30
12/3
1931 November 1-1932 August 12
12/4
1932 August 13-1933 April 15
12/5
1933 April 16-1933 December 14
13/1
1933 December 15-1935 March 31
13/2
1935 April 1-1936 January 3
13/3
1936 January 2-1937 February 5
13/4
1937 February 6-1938 May 16
14/1
1938 July 29-1939 October 25
Typed transcripts of diaries
1858-1890
Box/Folder
40/1
1858
40/2
1860
40/3
1861
40/4
1862
40/5
1863
40/6
1864
40/7
1865
40/8
1866
40/9
1867
40/10
1868
40/11
1869
40/12
1870
40/13
1871
40/14
1872
40/15
1877
40/16
1879
40/17
1887
40/18
1890

Series C:  Business ledgers and other bound volumes, 1852-1944Return to Top

Box numbers are not in a straight numeric sequence due to the need to house volumes in appropriate-sized boxes.
Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
15/1
Day book (with samples) (old volume 1)
1864 December 21-1867 September 27
15/2
Day book (old volume 2)
1867 October 1-1869 April 5
15/3
Day book (old volume 3)
1869 April 5-1869 December 31
15/4
Cash book (old volume 4)
1869 April 30-1870 August 6
15/5
Estimates (old volume 5)
1869 December-1870 December
15/6
Day book (old volume 6)
1870 January 3-1873 February
15/7
Estimates (old volume 7)
1870 January 1-1873 January 13
16/1
Day book (old volume 8)
1870 April 20-1871 January 31
16/2
Estimates (old volume 9)
1871
16/3
Billings (old volume 10)
1871 February 1-December 30
31
Day book (old volume 11)
1871 January 1-1873 September 13
16/4
Cash book (old volume 12)
1872 November 11-1873 December 31
16/5
Cash book (old volume 13)
1873 January 2-1875 March 11
16/6
Billings (old volume 14)
1873 June 4-1874 March 14
17/1
Estimates (old volume 15)
1873
17/2
Estimates (old volume 16)
1873-1874
17/3
Cash book (old volume 17)
1873 September 15-1874 August
17/4
Ledger (old volume 18)
1874 January 1-1877 March 30
18/1
Day book (old volume 19)
1874 March 16-1874 August 31
18/2
Ledger (old volume 20)
1874 August 28-1876 June 30
18/3
Daybook (old volume 21)
1874 September 1-1875 July 26
18/4
Estimates (old volume 22)
1874-1877
18/5
Cash (old volume 23)
1874 December 31-1881 June 7
19/1
Day book (old volume 24)
1875 July 28-1876 September 26
19/2
Day book (old volume 25)
1875 October 15-1876 October 19
19/3
Cash book (old volume 26)
1875 December 15-1878 January 14
19/4
Cash book (old volume 27)
1875 December 15-1876 November 16
19/5
Ledger (old volume 28)
1876 July 1-1878 April 23
20/1
Cash (old volume 29)
1876 August 1-1879 October 31
20/2
Day book (old volume 30)
1876 September 29-1877 August 31
20/3
Day book (old volume 31)
1876 October 23-1878 July 31
20/4
Ledger (old volume 32)
1877 March 31-1879 December 31
21/1
Day book (old volume 33)
1877 September 1-1878 October 10
21/2
Cash book (old volume 34)
1878 August 5-1880 February 28
21/3
Day book (old volume 35)
1878 October 11-1879 December 31
21/4
Cash (old volume 36)
1879 October 31-1883 March 9
22/1
Day book (old volume 37)
1880 January 2-1881 February 16
22/2
Ledger (old volume 38)
1880 January 1-1882 July 1
22/3
Cash (old volume 39)
1880 December 24-1882 May 21
22/4
Day book (old volume 40)
1881 February 17-1882 March 9
22/5
Day book (old volume 41)
1881 April 2-1883 April 21
23/1
Ledger (old volume 42)
1881 Sept. 29-1882 July 1
35
Ledger (old volume 43)
1882 July 1-1886 December
23/2
Billings (old volume 44)
1882 May 3-1883 March 31
28
Cash (old volume 45)
1883 March 8-1887 January
23/3
Day book (incomplete) (old volume 46)
1884 December 20-1894 January 16
36/1
Day book (old volume 47)
1885 February 10-1885 September 23
36/2
Day book (old volume 48)
1885 September 23-1886 May 17
23/4
Merchandise sales (old volume 49)
1886 December 21-1890 July 31
37/1
Day book (old volume 50)
1887 March 2-November 16
37/2
Day book (old volume 51)
1887 November 16-1888 October 16
34
Ledger (old volume 52)
1888 January 2-1890 September 26
29
Invoices (old volume 53)
1888-1896
23/5
Estimates (old volume 54)
1891
30
Ledger (billing) (old volume 55)
1892-1893
24/1
Day book (old volume 56)
1894 January 2-May 31
38
Lewis & Dryden Lithography Co. specimens (old volume 57)
undated
Letterpress copy books (outgoing correspondence)
Box/Folder
24/2
Old volume 58
1870-1881
24/3
Old volume 59
1875-1880
24/4
Old volume 60
1885-1887
25/1
Old volume 61
1888-1889
25/2
Old volume 62
1889-1890
25/3
Old volume 63
1891-1892
42/1
Letterpress copybook
Presumably "Old volume 64."
1892 August 5 - 1893 August 23
42/2
Letterpress copybook
Presumably "Old volume 64."
1893 August 23 - 1895 May 23
43/1
Letterpress copybook
Presumably "Old volume 65."
1895 June 14 - 1897 February 19
43/2
Letterpress copybook
Includes membership reports of the Oregon Historical Society.
Presumably "Old volume 66."
1897 February 25 - 1901 January 10
Box/Folder
25/4
"Early history of newspapers" (old volume 64)
See also 41/11 for drafts and notes on history of newspapers and printing
1870-1881
25/5
"The press and literature of Oregon," given before Portland Historical Association (old volume 65)
1895 April 22
25/6
"History of early press of Oregon, 1839-1850" (old volume 66)
undated
26/1
Minutes of the Portland Historical Society, and transcript of book "The mountains of Oregon, Washington & Idaho" (old volume 68)
Includes minutes of the Portland Historical Society, 1893 June 26-1895 November 4; with Executive Committee minutes, p. 100 (1895 February 20-1895 September 14).
1893-1895
32
Minutes, Native Sons of Oregon (old volume 69)
1898 August-1902 May
33
Personal collection--news clippings, awards (old volume 70)
circa 1890
39
Personal collection--news clippings, awards (old volume 71)
circa 1932-1944
26/2
Accounts, 1852-1853, and autobiography of George Himes (old volume 72)
1852-1853; undated
26/3
"A trip through Nachess [sic] Pass" (diary) (old volume 73)
1910
26/4
Record, "Events of 1904" (old volume 74)
List of past historical events that occurred on selected days of the year.
1904
26/5
Household budget for 1871, and listing of Oregon counties (old volume 75)
1871; undated
26/6
Oregon churchman subscription list (old volume 76)
circa 1871-1875
26/7
Carter & Himes cash book (old volume 78)
1868 October-1871 April
27/18
Address book of Edward Albrecht (George Himes's son-in-law)
circa 1911

Series D:  Additional personal papers, 1869-1935Return to Top

The materials were originally filed in the Oregon Historical Society's institutional archives and were separated in April 2015.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
41/1
Biographical and genealogical materials relating to George Himes and the Himes family
1916-1933; undated
41/2
Business records
Includes donation land claim to George Himes in Thurston County, Washington, 1869; and contract between Himes and H. O. Lang for publication of History of the Willamette Valley
1869-1918
41/3
Dedication of George H. Himes Park--Invitation, program, text of speeches
1935
41/4
Reminiscences of Mrs. Emilene Himes (1821-1898)
1894
41/5
"When walking was good : how one boy came to Oregon" (typescript), by "a Miss Wilson?"
Incomplete fictionalized story of the Himes family's overland journey
1894
Writings and notes of George Himes
Box/Folder
41/6
"Beginnings of Christianity in Oregon" (typescript and page proofs)
undated
41/7
"The bird woman"--biography of Sacajaweah (typescript)
undated
41/8
Congregational Church materials
1900-1901; undated
41/9
Early weather records in Oregon
undated
41/10
"First company to start for Oregon"
Includes list of members of early wagon trains
undated
41/11
History of printing and newspapers in the Pacific northwest
undated
41/12
Immigration to the Puget Sound area
undated
41/13
"The Indians' last battles" (typescript)
undated
41/14
History of Oregon City (manuscript)
undated
41/15
Speech honoring John Miller Murphy of the Washington Standard
undated
41/16
Writings and notes, miscellaneous
undated

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Historians--Oregon
  • History--Societies, etc.--Oregon
  • Pioneers--Oregon
  • Printers--Oregon--Portland
  • Printing--Oregon--Portland
  • Publishers and publishing--Oregon--Portland
  • Personal Names :
  • Himes, George H., 1844-1940--Archives
  • Himes, George H., 1844-1940--Correspondence
  • Kinzo, Suzukie
  • Corporate Names :
  • Oregon Historical Society
  • Himes the Printer (Portland, Or.)
  • Family Names :
  • Himes family
  • Geographical Names :
  • Olympia (Wash.)--History
  • Oregon--Description and travel
  • Portland (Or.)--History
  • Washington (State)--Description and travel
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Autobiographies
  • Diaries
  • Ledgers
  • Letterpress copybooks
  • Other Creators :
    • Corporate Names :
    • Carter & Himes (Portland, Or.) (creator)
    • Native Sons of Oregon (creator)
    • Oregon Pioneer Association (creator)
    • Portland Historical Society (Or.) (creator)