Randall Vause Mills joined the University of Oregon English faculty in 1938. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Mills wrote two books and numerous articles on transportation in the Pacific Northwest. He also wrote articles on bridge construction and location. In addition, Mills was interested in folklore, and was the founder and first president of the Oregon Folklore Society. The collection largely consists of correspondence, manuscripts, research material and notecards, printed material, photographs, and scrapbooks pertaining to transportation in the Pacific Northwest and folklore.
William J. Smith (dates unknown) grew up in Detroit, Oregon, at the turn of the century, and went into the family timber business. The Smith and Smith Mill processed timber in the Macky Place area. The collection consists of 69 photographs documenting the mill, the original town of Detroit, and landscape, and include several shots of the transportation of a donkey engine across a river and up a steep slope in 1911.