Born in 1900 in England, Fred Merryfield came to the United States after serving as a pilot for the Royal Air Force in World War I. He completed his undergraduate education in civil engineering at Oregon Agricultural College in 1923. Specializing in the study of sanitary engineering (later known as environmental engineering), Merryfield was a faculty member in the School of Engineering from 1927 until 1966. With fellow Oregon State alumni Holly Cornell, Jim Howland, and T. Burke Hayes, Merryfield founded CH2M, an engineering consulting firm, in 1946. With a focus on sewage treatment projects and water engineering problems, Merryfield became well known as an advocate for pollution control and abatement. This led to his appointment by the Oregon governor to the State Water Resources Board in 1955. Merryfield died in 1977.
The Merryfield Papers consist of materials generated and assembled by Fred Merryfield. They document his teaching and research as an Oregon State engineering professor, his work as a founding engineer of the CH2M consulting firm, and his membership on the State Water Resources board and the State Planning Board Advisory Committee on Stream Purification. The Papers include publications, reports, article reprints, and conference papers; correspondence; meeting minutes; course materials; technical drawings; licenses; newspaper clippings; and certificates, plaques, and membership cards.
The reports include information about the Pacific Northwest Regional Pollution Control Laboratory and the sanitary engineering program at Oregon State. The publications include items from the American Water Works Association, descriptions of CH2M projects, and handbooks used by Merryfield during his World War II service and his later work. The collection also includes the report of a study of Willamette River pollution co-authored by Merryfield and issued by the Oregon State College Engineering Experiment Station.
The correspondence relates to honors received by Merryfield, his involvement in professional and civic organizations, and construction of his home at 3513 Willamette Avenue in Corvallis.
The drawings were produced by Merryfield in his work with CH2M and document municipal sewage treatment facilities and water systems for the towns of Forest Grove, Eugene, McMinnville, Toledo, Corvallis, and Hood River in Oregeon. Drawings for the Oaklawn Memorial Park in Corvallis are also included.
The photographs consist of an image of Hydraulic Engineering Department exhibits and one of an engineering student/faculty musical group (that includes Merryfield) taken in the 1920s. A group portrait photograph (circa 1960s) of the four CH2M founders is also included.