Oliver Greeley Hughson papers, 1882-1959  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Hughson, Oliver Greeley
Title
Oliver Greeley Hughson papers
Dates
1882-1959 (inclusive)
Quantity
9 cubic feet , (9 record cartons)
Collection Number
Mss 1712
Summary
Oliver Greeley Hughson, a retired building materials salesman, developed a successful program to teach young men construction skills. His Boy Builders Clubs and Minimalic Construction method became a model for schools and colleges throughout the United States and British Columbia. The bulk of Hughson’s papers chronicle the development of this training program from its inception in 1933 until his death in 1959. His personal papers include correspondence, his 1882 diary, day books, and family history.
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

Oliver Greeley Hughson (1864-1959) moved from his boyhood home in Broome County, New York to Stockton, California, where he apprenticed as a blacksmith. He subsequently enrolled in the University of Pacific where he earned his bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and classics from in 1892. Hughson began his career selling building materials in Oregon in 1896 and thus gained familiarity with the construction and logging industries, which he later described in anecdotes published in the Oregon Historical Quarterly (1959). He also became a labor organizer under the employment of the Builders Exchange Board of Directors (circa 1913). He and his wife, Rose Hudson (d. 1922) had one son, Robur S., born 1893.

Alarmed at the lack of opportunities for depression-era boys under sixteen years of age to gain experience in building construction, O.G. Hughson, then a sixty-nine year old retiree, developed the first Boy Builders Club in 1933 to teach all aspects of the trade through the creation of accurately-scaled minature buildings. He registered his business, the State Building Congress, with Multnomah County in 1937, and initially formed clubs via the State 4-H system. The program moved into the public school classroom and became a model for programs in schools and colleges throughout the United States as well as in British Columbia, reaching an estimated 50,000 young men. Hughson obtained waste lumber from many sources to be used in his " Minimalic Construction" projects, and set up a shop on the Lane County Fairgrounds to produce precision cut dimension lumber to be distributed free-of-charge to schools. He worked doggedly at this voluntary labor of love for the remainder of his life.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists primarily of materials related to the development, operations, and promotion of the Boy Builders Clubs and Minimalic Construction chronicled through correspondence, reports, publications, minutes, clippings, construction drawings, speeches, notes, scrapbooks and memorabilia. Correspondents include timber companies and organizations, educators, Oregon State College and State College of Washington. In addition, Oliver Greeley Hughson’s personal papers consist of correspondence, his 1882 diary, day books, family history, and other assorted items.

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.

Preferred Citation

Oliver Greeley Hughson papers, Mss 1712, 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:  Boy Builders Club Materials, 1915-1959Return to Top

8 cu. ft. (8 record cartons)

Correspondence, minutes, reports, memorabilia, construction drawings, and publications pertaining mostly to Boy Builders Club business.

Container(s) Description Dates
Subseries 1: Business Correspondence
Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.
These correspondence files also contain minutes, reports, memorabilia, and publications, some of which are noted in the file descriptions below.
Box/Folder
1/1
A
1935-1940
1/2
A
1941-1947
1/3
A
1948-1958 ; undated
1/4
B
1927-1940
1/5
B
1941-1947
1/6
B
1948-1954
1/7
B
1955-1959 ; undated
1/8
William A. Bakanis, instructor
1950-1959
1/9
Booth Kelly Lumber Company
1937-1959
1/10
Brooks-Scanlon Lumber Company
1950-1959
1/11
Building Clubs
Also includes minutes, financial reports, by-laws, property list, and contest materials.
1937-1941; undated
1/12
C
1935-1940
1/13
C
1941-1945
1/14
C
1946-1953
2/1
C
1954-1955
2/2
C
1956-1959; undated
2/3
Carpenters Apprenticeship
Also includes minutes.
1955-1957; undated
2/4
Conventions
1941-1954
2/5
Convention memorabilia
2/6
D
1936-1947
2/7
D
1948-1957; undated
2/8
Defense
1941
2/9
Douglas Fir Plywood Association
1940-1941
2/10
Douglas Fir Plywood Association
1942-1945
2/11
Douglas Fir Plywood Association
1946-1953
2/12
Douglas Fir Plywood Association
1954-1959; undated
2/13
Douglas Fir Plywood Association
1943-1954
2/14
E
1936-1958; undated
2/15
Evans Product Company
1942-1954
2/16
F
1936-1954
2/17
F
1945-1953
2/18
F
1954-1959; undated
2/19
Family Circle Magazine
1941
2/20
Forest Park, Committee of Fifty
Also includes minutes and newsletter.
1949-1959
2/21
Forestry Research Foundation
By-laws, articles of incorporation.
1945
2/22
G
1936-1947
2/23
G
1948-1959; undated
3/1
Inspector Walter M. Germain, Supervisor, Crime Prevention Division
1936-1951
3/2
S. L. Godard, Instructor
1937-1957
3/3
H
1953-1959; undated
3/4
H
1936-1952
3/5
Senator Rufus Holman
1936-1952 ; undated
3/6
Francis A. Hublou
1946-1958
3/7
I
1937-1959; undated
3/8
J
1935-1957; undated
3/9
Clifford C. Jenkins, 4-H Agent
1936-1943
3/10
K
1936-1947; undated
3/11
K
1948-1957; undated
3/12
L
1937-1946
3/13
L
1947-1956
3/14
L
1955-1959; undated
3/14
Mc-Mac
1935-1958
4/1
M
1936-1944
4/2
M
1945-1953
4/3
M
1954-1958 ; undated
4/4
Moore, George R.
1943-1950
4/5
N
1936-1947
4/6
N
1948-1958; undated
4/7
O
1937-1952
4/8
O
1953-1959
4/9
Oregon-America Lumber Corporation
1943-1950
4/10
Oregon State College
1937-1941
4/11
Oregon State College
1942-1944
4/12
Oregon State College
1945-1948
4/13
Oregon State College
1949-1953
4/14
Oregon State College
1954-1956
4/15
Oregon State College
1957-1959 ; undated
4/16
P
1930-1940
4/17
P
1941-1946
4/18
P
1947-1953
5/1
P
1954-1958; undated
5/2
Harold R. Phillips, Instructor
Also includes outline and dedication for Instructor’s Guide.
1953-1958
5/3
Popular MechanicsMagazine
1955-1956
5/4
Q
1947-1956
5/5
Rex Putnam, Supervisor of Public Instruction, Oregon
1938-1957; undated
5/6
R
1963-1945
5/7
R
1946-1953
5/8
R
1954-1958; undated
5/9
M. M. Ronig
1936-1958 ; undated
5/10
W. J. Rublin, Instructor
1950-1957
5/11
S
1936-1939
5/12
S
1940
5/13
S
1941-1943
5/14
S
1944-1945
5/15
S
1946-1947
5/16
S
1948-1951
5/17
S
1952-1954
5/18
S
1955
5/19
S
1956-1959 ; undated
6/1
H. C. Seymour, State 4-H Leader
1936-1937
6/2
H. C. Seymour, State 4-H Leader
1938-1939
6/3
H. C. Seymour, State 4-H Leader
1940-1941
6/4
H. C. Seymour, State 4-H Leader
1942-1953
6/5
State College of Washington, Pullman, Wash.
1946-1947
6/6
State College of Washington, Pullman, Wash.
1948-1951
6/7
T
1936-1942
6/8
T
1943-1947
6/9
T
1948-1953
6/10
T
1954-1955
6/11
T
1956-1958; undated
6/12
U
1936-1958 ; undated
6/13
V
1940-1956
6/14
Harold H.Vikre
1945-1949; undated
6/15
W
1936-1940
6/16
W
1941-1945
6/17
W
1946-1950
6/18
W
1951-1955
6/19
W
1956-1959; undated
7/1
West Coast Lumberman’s Association
1937-1938
7/2
West Coast Lumberman’s Association
1939-1940
7/3
West Coast Lumberman’s Association
Also includes financial reports and minutes.
1941-1942
7/4
West Coast Lumberman’s Association
Also includes financial records and minutes.
1943-1946
7/5
West Coast Lumberman’s Association
Also includes booklets and reports.
1947-1959; undated
7/6
West Coast Pine Association
Also includes newsletters.
1936-1959
7/7
Weyerhauser Timber Company
1937-1940
7/8
Weyerhauser Timber Company
1941-1951
7/9
Weyerhauser Timber Company
1952-1959
7/10
Willamette Valley Lumberman’s Association
1937-1949
7/11
W. W. Wheatly
1940-1943
7/12
X, Y, Z
1936-1958; undated
7/13
Miscellaneous Correspondence
1937-1955 ; undated
Subseries 2: Other Materials
Box/Folder
8/1
Monthly and Annual Financial and Progress Reports, State Building Congress
1933-1939
8/2
Monthly and Annual Financial and Progress Reports, State Building Congress
1940-1957
8/3
Minimalic Construction, Boy Builder Clubs of Oregon
1933-1942
8/4
Copies of papers, articles and letters bearing on Minimalic Construction
undated
8/5
Organizational notes, constitution and by-laws for Minimalic Construction Clubs and Sunnyside
undated
8/6
Clippings - Boy Builders Clubs
1938-1958 ; undated
8/7
Speeches, reports, notes, and articles - personal and business
1915-1958
8/8
Speeches, outlines, reports, notes, songs, and articles
undated
8/9
Quotations, speech outlines, and notes
undated
8/10
Lists, sponsors, classes, mailing; schools, etc.
1937-1947 ; undated
8/11
Blue prints, plans, specifications, and booklets
undated
8/12
Scrapbook
1947-1969
8/13
Compiled writings and correspondence
1915-1956
8/14
John Bedynek, “Miniature Carpentry,” unpublished report
1946
8/15
Wilma Morrison, “Public Schools: ‘Pressure’ Groups,” The Oregonian, 1951 May 21, 22, 23, and related materials
1951

Series B:  Personal Papers, 1882-1959Return to Top

1 cu. ft. (1 record carton)
Container(s) Description Dates
Subseries 1: Correspondence
Box/Folder
9/1
Personal Correspondence - A-B
1939-1958 ; undated
9/2
Personal Correspondence - C
1936-1959 ; undated
9/3
Personal Correspondence - D-G
1936-1959 ; undated
9/4
Personal Correspondence - H
1932-1949
9/5
Personal Correspondence - H
1950-1959 ; undated
9/6
Personal Correspondence - I
1939
9/7
Personal Correspondence - K-L
1937-1959 ; undated
9/8
Personal Correspondence - Mc,M
1938-1956 ; undated
9/9
Personal Correspondence - N
1938-1956
9/10
Personal Correspondence - O-R
1938-1959 ; undated
9/11
Personal Correspondence - S-T
1937-1959 ; undated
9/12
Personal Correspondence -W
1942-1959 ; undated
9/13
Miscellaneous personal correspondence
undated
9/14
Letters to the Editor
1918-1959
9/15
Letters to the Editor
undated
Subseries 2: Other personal and family papers
Box/Folder
9/16
Family record and biographical notes
1952; undated
9/17
Record of the California Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Pacific Grove and San Jose, California
1956
9/18
Personal legal papers
1941-1942
9/19
Diary
1882
9/20
Date Books
1917; 1918
9/21
Date Books
1919; 1920
9/22
Year Book
1930

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • 4-H Clubs--Oregon
  • Boy Builders Club--History
  • Boys--Societies and clubs
  • Miniature craft
  • Models and modelmaking
  • Vocational education--Oregon
  • Vocational education--Washington
  • Personal Names :
  • Hughson, Oliver Greeley--Archives
  • Corporate Names :
  • State Building Congress--Archives
  • Family Names :
  • Hughson family--Archives
  • Geographical Names :
  • Oregon - History - 20th century.
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Construction drawings
  • Correspondence
  • Diaries
  • Publications
  • Scrapbooks