Oswald West papers, 1856-1960 PDF
- West, Oswald, 1873-1960
- Oswald West papers
- 1856-1960 (inclusive)18561960
- 1.8 cubic feet (4 document cases, 1 oversize folder)
- Collection Number
- Mss 589
- 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.
- Oregon Historical Society Research Library
1200 SW Park Avenue
- 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.
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
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.
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
Political correspondence and other papers
Achison, Clyde B. (former I.C. Commissioner)
Baldock, R. H., State Highway Engineer
Cooper, Genevieve (secretary to Senator Wayne Morse)
Dana, Marshall Newport (editor, Oregon Journal)
Devers, J. M. (Chief Counsel, Oregon State Highway Commission)
Duniway, David C. (State Archivist)
Farley, James A.
French, Boyd (believed to be last letter written by West)
Hutton and Crandall families (copies of letters)
Johansen, Dorothy (Reed College professor)
McCollouch, Claude (judge)
McKay, Douglas (governor)
Morse, Wayne (U.S. Senator)
Neuberger, Richard L. and Maureen
Oregon Historical Society
Oregon State University
Patterson, Paul (governor)
Peterson, Emil R.
Pierce, Walter M.
Riley, Frank Branch
Roosevelt, Theodore (copy of letter and article from Outlook)
Sawyer, Robert W. (The Bend Bulletin)
Scott, Leslie M.
Skipworth, G. F. (judge, letters and related clippings)
Snell, Earl (governor)
Spencer, Omar C.
Strand, A. L. (president of University of Oregon)
Swift, George H. (St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Salem, Oregon)
West, Mabel (Mrs. Oswald West, letters to her)
Series B: Writings by and about West, 1893-1959Return to Top
All writings are by Oswald West, unless otherwise noted.
"The 1897 legislative hold-up" and letter with remarks by Omar C. Spencer
"70 years : Ladd & Bush, bankers" (published by Ladd & Bush)
Aging--Letters and remarks
Brief biography of Oswald West and Mabel Hutton West
Early Oregon politics
Early Oregon stories
"First proposed bridges" (in Portland)
"Governor West and the convicts" (Atlantic Monthly), by Jennings Sutor
"The James boys in Oregon"
List of articles by Oswald West published in newspapers and other publications
"The looting of our public domain,"undated
Miscellaneous articles by West
Miscellaneous writings by West and others
"An old plantation home"
Oregon & Central Railroad, land grant and titles
Oregon state affairs
Oregon workmen's compensation law
Organization of the Republican Party
"Our prison system in the old days"
"The shore of the Ocean," by J. M. Devers
"The slavery question in early Oregon"
State banking laws
"The story of French Prairie"
Sweetland, Monroe (statements and notes)
"The thoroughbreds of early Oregon"
Tracy-Merrill break from the Oregon State Penitentiary
Workmen's compensation law of Oregon (typescript of book and notes)
Series C: General files and clippings, 1893-1956Return to Top
Cards, notes, photographs and pamphlets
Columbia Valley Authority (pamphlets, clippings)
Editorials, historical articles, general
Historical homes and buildings in Oregon
Oregon & Central land grants
Oregon's roads and highways
Certificates, and photograph of State Highway Commission
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Subject Terms :
- 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 :
- Letters (correspondence)