Oswald West papers, 1856-1960  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
West, Oswald, 1873-1960
Title
Oswald West papers
Dates
1856-1960 (inclusive)
1895-1960 (bulk)
Quantity
1.8 cubic feet (4 document cases, 1 oversize folder)
Collection Number
Mss 589
Summary
Papers of Oregon Governor Oswald West, including a small amount of correspondence and other papers from his term as governor, 1911-1915, and materials relating to his research and writing of political and historical articles, 1942-1960. Included is correspondence with prominent Oregonians and other political figures, such as James A. Farley, Wayne Morse, and Richard L. Neuberger.
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
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Oswald West served as Oregon's fourteenth governor. He was born in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, in 1873, and came to Oregon with his family in 1877. His father was a cattle dealer who took his son on many travels throughout the Willamette Valley and Central Oregon. Oswald worked as a clerk and teller for the Ladd and Bush bank of Salem, and later the First National Bank of Astoria. In 1897 he married Mabel Hutton of Salem, and the couple had three children. West served as a State Land Agent in Salem from 1903-1907, and he helped to recover hundreds of thousands of acres of property that had been illegally taken from the state. When Oregon created the State Railroad Commission in 1907, West was appointed to that body by Governor Chamberlain, and he served until 1910. In that year West was elected governor of Oregon, serving until 1915. He championed progressive legislation and gained nationwide notoriety for his efforts to close saloons and vice establishments in the town of Copperfield in 1913. After leaving office West conducted a private law practice and wrote extensively on Oregon politics and history.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection contains a small amount of papers relating to West's term as governor, 1911-1915; general personal correspondence from 1940 to 1960; clippings, documents, ephemera, and other materials documenting West's career, Oregon history, political and personal matters. Letters include correspondence with or about Oregon governors, including George E. Chamberlain, Mark O. Hatfield, Charles H. Martin, Douglas McKay, Ben W. Olcott, Paul L. Patterson, Walter M. Pierce, Elmo Smith, Earl Snell, and Charles A. Sprague. Also included is correspondence with various national, state, and local political and civic leaders, writers and educators, including: Homer D. Angell, Clyde B. Atcheson, Curt Brown Barker, Orson R. Bean, R. A. Booth, William A. Bowes, Ralph L. Carr, Marshall N. Dana, Stanley W. Earl, James A. Farley, Guy Gordon, Ernest Haycox, Rufus Homan, Ben Hur Lampman, Dorothy McCullough Lee, Tom Mahoney, Tom McCall, Charles A. Moores, Wayne Morse, Maurine and Richard L. Neuberger, Frank Branch Riley, Robert W. Sawyer, Leslie W. Scott, Omar C. Spencer, A. L. Strand, Robert Y. Thornton, and William S. U'Ren.

Materials related to West's research and writing include: correspondence with the Oregon Historical Society and various state agencies; correspondence and other materials about the Columbia Valley Authority and other reclamation and dam projects; a report on the Oregon workmen's compensation law; and clippings and other data on various subjects.

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 before any publication use. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Oswald West papers, Mss 589, Oregon Historical Society Research Library

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series A:  Correspondence, 1856-1960Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Political correspondence and other papers
1910-1914
General correspondence
Box/Folder
1/2
1942-1949
1/3
1948-1949
1/4
1950-1951
1/5
1952
1/6
1953
1/7
1954
1/8
1955
1/9
1956
1/10
1957
1/11
1958-1959
Box/Folder
1/12
Achison, Clyde B. (former I.C. Commissioner)
1950-1951
1/13
Baldock, R. H., State Highway Engineer
1959-1956
1/14
Cooper, Genevieve (secretary to Senator Wayne Morse)
1949-1953
1/15
Dana, Marshall Newport (editor, Oregon Journal)
1950-1958
1/16
Devers, J. M. (Chief Counsel, Oregon State Highway Commission)
1948-1950
1/17
Duniway, David C. (State Archivist)
1953-1957
1/18
Farley, James A.
1943-1958
1/19
French, Boyd (believed to be last letter written by West)
1960
1/20
Haycox Ernest
1949
1/21
Hutton and Crandall families (copies of letters)
1856-1857
1/22
Johansen, Dorothy (Reed College professor)
1948-1960
1/23
McCollouch, Claude (judge)
1937-1952
1/24
McKay, Douglas (governor)
1948-1952
1/25
Morse, Wayne (U.S. Senator)
1944-1952
1/26
Neuberger, Richard L. and Maureen
1953-1958
1/27
Oregon Historical Society
1949-1960
1/28
Oregon State University
1919-1957
1/29
Patterson, Paul (governor)
1952-1953
1/30
Peterson, Emil R.
1957
1/31
Pierce, Walter M.
1950-1952
1/32
Rice, Dexter
1949-1950
1/33
Riley, Frank Branch
1951-1952
2/1
Roosevelt, Theodore (copy of letter and article from Outlook)
1911
2/2
Sawyer, Robert W. (The Bend Bulletin)
1948-1958
2/3
Scott, Leslie M.
1946-1955
2/4
Skipworth, G. F. (judge, letters and related clippings)
1950-1957
2/5
Snell, Earl (governor)
1943
2/6
Spencer, Omar C.
1951-1955
2/7
Strand, A. L. (president of University of Oregon)
1947-1952
2/8
Swift, George H. (St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Salem, Oregon)
1951-1957
2/9
Turnbull, George
1948-1952
2/10
West, Mabel (Mrs. Oswald West, letters to her)
1910 October

Series B:  Writings by and about West, 1893-1959Return to Top

All writings are by Oswald West, unless otherwise noted.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/11
"The 1897 legislative hold-up" and letter with remarks by Omar C. Spencer
1950; undated
2/12
"70 years : Ladd & Bush, bankers" (published by Ladd & Bush)
1939
2/13
Aging--Letters and remarks
1950
2/14
Battleship Oregon
1893-1956
2/15
"Ben Hayden"
1952
2/16
Brief biography of Oswald West and Mabel Hutton West
undated
2/17
Early Oregon politics
circa 1897-1951
2/18
Early Oregon stories
undated
2/19
"First proposed bridges" (in Portland)
undated
2/20
"Governor West and the convicts" (Atlantic Monthly), by Jennings Sutor
1911 October
2/21
"The James boys in Oregon"
1940
2/22
List of articles by Oswald West published in newspapers and other publications
1922-1952
2/23
"The looting of our public domain,"undated
2/24
Miscellaneous articles by West
1955; undated
2/25
Miscellaneous writings by West and others
circa 1911-1953
2/26
"An old plantation home"
1953; undated
2/27
Oregon & Central Railroad, land grant and titles
1905-1953
2/28
Oregon state affairs
1950; undated
2/29
Oregon workmen's compensation law
1913
2/30
Organization of the Republican Party
undated
2/31
"Our prison system in the old days"
undated
2/32
"The shore of the Ocean," by J. M. Devers
1950
2/33
"The slavery question in early Oregon"
undated
2/34
State banking laws
undated
2/35
"The story of French Prairie"
1942
2/36
Sweetland, Monroe (statements and notes)
circa 1950-1959
2/37
"The thoroughbreds of early Oregon"
undated
2/38
Tracy-Merrill break from the Oregon State Penitentiary
1946
3/1
Workmen's compensation law of Oregon (typescript of book and notes)
undated

Series C:  General files and clippings, 1893-1956Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
3/2
Cards, notes, photographs and pamphlets
1893-1955
3/3
Columbia Valley Authority (pamphlets, clippings)
1949-1952
3/4
Editorials, historical articles, general
1914-1957
3/5
Historical homes and buildings in Oregon
1940; undated
3/6
Oregon & Central land grants
1951-1954
3/7
Oregon's roads and highways
1937-1952
3/8
Various subjects
1915-1952
4/1-2
Various subjects
1917-1956
4/3
Duplicate materials
circa 1940-1956
Oversize folder
Certificates, and photograph of State Highway Commission
1903-1948

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Governors--Oregon.
  • History--Research--Oregon.
  • Reclamation of land--Oregon--History.
  • Workers' compensation--Oregon--History.
  • Personal Names :
  • Farley, James Aloysius, 1888- --Correspondence. (creator)
  • Morse, Wayne L. (Wayne Lyman), 1900-1974--Correspondence. (creator)
  • Neuberger, Richard L. (Richard Lewis), 1912-1950--Correspondence. (creator)
  • West, Oswald, 1873-1960--Correspondence. (creator)
  • Corporate Names :
  • Columbia Valley Authority.
  • Oregon. Governor (1911-1915 : West)
  • Geographical Names :
  • Oregon--Politics and government--1859-1950.
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Clippings
  • Letters (correspondence)