Charles A. Sprague photographs collection, 1911-1972  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Charles A. Sprague photographs collection
1911-1972 (inclusive)
0.52 cubic feet, (260 photographic prints, 1 color contact sheet, 19 safety film negatives, 9 photomechanical prints, 2 letterpress mats, and 1 letterpress plate in 1 document box and 1 oversize folder)
Collection Number
Org. Lot 3
This collection contains photographs and negatives of Charles A. Sprague, governor of Oregon from 1938-1942, as well as his wife, Blanche Chamberlain Sprague, and their children, Wallace and Martha. There are photographs of Governor Sprague's political activities, as well as the Sprague family's private life.
Oregon Historical Society, Davies Family Research Library
Davies Family Research Library
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Charles Arthur Sprague (1887-1969) was born in Lawrence, Ks. and studied to be a teacher. In 1912, he married Blanche Chamberlain (1887-1976), and the couple had two children, Wallace and Martha. By the 1920s, Sprague was working in journalism, and in 1929, he acquired a two-thirds ownership interest in the Oregon Statesman newspaper in Salem, Or.

Charles A. Sprague was elected governor of Oregon in 1938 as Republican. His administration was noted for its progressive forestry policies and for Oregon's civil defense preparation during World War II. In 1942, Sprague lost the Republican nomination for governor to Earl Snell.

Sprague maintained his interest in forest management as a member of the Oregon and California (O & C) Advisory Board of the Bureau of Land Management (B. L. M.). The B. L. M. administered land taken over by the federal government from the nineteenth-century Oregon and California Railroad land grant and distributed part of timber sale proceeds to Oregon counties in which the land was located. Sprague also was interested in many civic and educational groups throughout his life, including the Community Chest, the Salvation Army, the YMCA, and Willamette University.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection contains studio portraits of Governor Charles A. Sprague and his wife, Blanche Chamberlain Sprague, as well as images of their official activities and private and family lives. The photographs also include images of their children, Wallace Sprague and Martha Sprague Hurley, and family homes; prominent political and public figures; Charles A. Sprague's involvement in the Oregon civil defense effort during World War II, including shipbuilding; and his activities with the O & C Advisory Board of the Bureau of Land Management. There is one oversize presentation album that features the Spragues' participation in the 1941 launching ceremony for the S.S. Star of Oregon.

Most of the images in this collection date from 1911-1972, though many were taken in the 1940s. Includes one hand-colored photograph, snapshot photographs, safety film negatives, one color contact print, photomechanical prints, postcards, and letterpress mats and plate. Photographers represented in this collection include Angelus Commercial Studio (Portland, Or.), Cronise Studio (Salem, Or.), Gladys Gilbert Studio (Portland, Or.), Photo-Art Commercial Studios (Portland, Or.), and wildlife photographer William L. Finley.

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

Charles A. Sprague Photographs Collection, Org. Lot 3, 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.

Container(s) Description Dates
1/1 Blanche Chamberlain Sprague
Includes photographs taken with Martha Sprague; Governor Goodwin J. Knight at Golden Gate Exposition in San Francisco, 1939; and at groundbreaking for C. A. Sprague High School and at Nelscott, Or., among other subjects.
1/2 Blanche Chamberlain Sprague
Includes studio portraits, as well as photographs taken at various events.
1/3 Charles A. Sprague
Includes photographs taken at various events, including Pendleton Round-Up and Portland Rose Festival, as well as with Governor Arthur Langlie of Washington, Col. Ann M. Schmeer of the Oregon Women's Ambulance Corps, and the O & C Advisory Board to the B. L. M., among other subjects.
1/4, 1/19 Charles A. Sprague
Includes safety film negatives.
Includes studio portraits, as well as photographs taken at various events, including O & C Advisory Board field trips.
1/5, Oversize B-1 Blanche Chamberlain Sprague and Charles A. Sprague
Includes photographs taken at the Portland Rose Festival, Camp Clatsop, and James R. Linn's 80th birthday in Salem, Or., as well as one oversize album containing photographs of the Spragues at the launchings of the S.S. Alexander Hamilton and Star of Oregon in 1941, among other subjects.
1/6, 1/19 Blanche Chamberlain Sprague and Charles A. Sprague
Includes safety film negatives.
Includes photographs taken on a camping trip, possibly in the Grand Canyon.
1/7 Blanche Chamberlain Sprague and Charles A. Sprague's fortieth anniversary celebration
Photographs of trip to Mt. Hood with Mr. and Mrs. Paul Jackson and Mr. and Mrs. Scellars.
1/8, 1/19 Sprague family and buildings
Includes safety film negatives.
Includes photographs of Martha Sprague Hurley, Wallace Sprague, and of the Sprague family home in Salem, Or.
circa 1922-1944
1/9, 1/19 Sprague family and buildings
Includes photographs of Wallace Sprague, Martha Sprague Hurley, and other members of the Sprague family, as well as Sprague family homes and the Sprague Brothers warehouse in Columbus Junction, Ia.
1/10 Public figures
Includes photographs of Franklin D. Roosevelt at Oregon Shipbuilding Cop. yard in Portland, Or., 1942; Wendell Wilkie, 1940; and Tom McCall.
1940-1942, undated
1/11, 1/19 Unidentified people
Includes safety film negatives.
1/12, 1/19 Oregon locations
Includes safety film negatives.
Includes views of Elk Lake, Seaside, and the Oregon Statesman building in Salem, Or., among other unidentified places.
1958, undated
1/13, 1/19 Non-Oregon locations
Includes safety film negatives.
Includes views of Thetford Hill, Vt., as well as an unidentified location in the Southwest.
1951, undated
1/14 Thirty-Second Annual Meeting of the Governors' Conference, Duluth, Minnesota (album)
1 vol.
1940 June 2-5
1/15 Miscellaneous--Waterfowl
Includes photographs of waterfowl taken by William L. Finley and others.
1/16 Miscellaneous--Other
Includes photograph of Oregon Newspaper Roll of Honor plaque.
1/17 Photomechanical reproductions
Includes postcards, lithographs, and etchings.
1/18 Letterpress mat and plate
Depicts portrait of Charles A. Sprague.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Governors' spouses--Oregon--Photographs
  • Governors--Oregon--Photographs
  • Shipbuilding--Oregon--Photographs
  • World War, 1939-1945--Oregon--Photographs
  • Personal Names :
  • Sprague, Blanche Chamberlain, 1887-1976--Photographs
  • Sprague, Charles A. (Charles Arthur), 1887-1969--Homes and haunts--Photographs
  • Sprague, Charles A. (Charles Arthur), 1887-1969--Photographs
  • Corporate Names :
  • United States. Bureau of Land Management. O & C Advisory Board--Photographs
  • Family Names :
  • Sprague family--Photographs
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Contact prints
  • Letterpress works
  • Photographic prints
  • Photomechanical prints
  • Postcards
  • Safety film negatives
  • Snapshots
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953 (photographer)
    • Corporate Names :
    • Angelus Commercial Studio (Portland, Or.) (photographers)
    • Cronise Studio (photographers)
    • Gladys Gilbert Studio (Portland, Or.) (photographers)
    • Photo Art Studios (creator)