Joseph Drumheller papers, 1934-1970  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Drumheller, Joseph, 1900-1970
Joseph Drumheller papers
1934-1970 (inclusive)
1960-1970 (bulk)
2 cubic feet
Collection Number
1753 (Accession No. 1753-001)
Papers of an industrial chemist, and state legislator of Spokane, Washington
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access.

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Biographical NoteReturn to Top

A member of a pioneering family of the Pacific Northwest, Joseph Drumheller was born in Spokane, Washington on September 25, 1900. His father was Daniel M. “Uncle Dan” Drumheller, who came overland from Missouri to California in 1854. The elder Drumheller was at various times a prospector, rider for the Pony Express, miner, packer, cattleman, rancher, banker, farmer and investor. The younger Drumheller’s mother was Eleanor (Powell) Drumheller, daughter of Leonard J. Powell, president of the University of Washington from 1882-1887. Joseph Drumheller was educated in Spokane public schools and then attended the University of Washington in Seattle. He graduated from the University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering in 1923.

In 1924, Drumheller founded Drumheller Analytical Laboratories, a chemical manufacturing company in Spokane. He also married his first wife, Katharine Corbin in 1924. The couple had two children, Mary K. and Frederick C. The Drumhellers divorced in 1928, and in 1936, Drumheller married Dorothea Limacher. Twenty years later, he married Helen Elizabeth Chamberlain of Spokane. From 1935-1942, Drumheller served as a Democratic state senator representing the 7th District (Spokane County). Later, he served on the University of Washington Board of Regents from 1945-1950 and again from 1956-68. He was president of the Board of Regents in 1949-1950 and 1961-1962. Drumheller Fountain, in the center of Frosh Pond on the UW campus, was a gift from Regent Drumheller in honor of the University’s centennial celebration in 1961. Drumheller was also a regent at Gonzaga University in Spokane in the late 1950s. He was president of the Spokane Chamber of Commerce in 1948-1949. In addition, he was a director of Pacific Northwest Bell, Sunshine Mining Co., the First National Bank of Spokane and a number of other companies in the 1950s and 1960s. He was also a member of the Spokane City Council from 1960-1964. He died on April 18, 1970 in Spokane at the age of 69.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Correspondence, certificates, photographs, desk diaries, ephemera, family documents including materials relating primarily to Drumheller's activities as a regent of the University of Washington, activities in Washington Democratic Party politics, and family memorabilia.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Creator's literary rights not transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Regents--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Personal Names :
  • Drumheller, Joseph, 1900-1970--Archives
  • Rosellini, Albert D. (Albert Dean), 1910-2011
  • Corporate Names :
  • Democratic Party (U.S.)
  • University of Washington. Board of Regents
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Drumheller, Dan, 1840-1925 (creator)
    • Powell, Leonard J (creator)
    • Corporate Names :
    • Spokane Chamber of Commerce (creator)