Merton B. Folts papers, 1942-1961

Overview of the Collection

Folts, Merton Bryant, 1902-1967
Merton B. Folts papers
1942-1961 (inclusive)
1.1 linear feet, (3 containers)
Collection Number
Coll 060
Merton B. Folts (1902-1967) was an activist in conservative politics and riverine conservation in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, opposing construction of the Lookout Point dam and the City of Eugene's annexation of the Willakenzie area. The collection primarily contains documentation of Folts' activities in the Izaak Walton League.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 5413463068
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Reading Room.

Additional Reference Guides
Other Finding Aids note

See the Collective Name Index to the Research Collection of Conservative and Libertarian Studies for a cross-referenced index to names of correspondents in this collection, if any, and 37 related University of Oregon collections, including dates of correspondence. See index instructions on use.

See the Current Collection Guide for detailed description and requesting options.
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Merton Bryant Folts devoted his life to keeping Oregon's ecology healthy and its politics conservative. He was born in Odell, Oregon on March 27, 1902. Folts made his living managing commercial property he owned in Eugene. In the late 1940s and 1950s he became known in the Eugene area for his vociferous opposition to the construction of Lookout Point Dam on the Willamette River, and the City of Eugene's annexation of the Willakenzie district.

Merton Folts was an ardent member of the John Birch Society and several other right-wing organizations such as the Conservative Education Center and the Eugene Freedom Club. Politics, however, had to share time in his life with a keen interest in the outdoors. An enthusiastic conservationist, Folts fought hard for soil conservation, clean waters, and bountiful salmon runs. He was a member of the Izaak Walton League, the Eugene Sportsmen's Club, and the Outdoor Legion. He was married to Mildred McAlister. Merton B. Folts died in Eugene on May 12, 1967, at the age of 65.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Merton B. Folts papers contain a variety of materials that lightly delineate the major preoccupations in Folts' life. Included are his writings on politics and conservation, letters, newspaper clippings and sundry documents relating to organizations and issues in which he was involved, such as Eugene's annexation and parking policies.

The bulk of the papers consist of incoming letters and documents concerning the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA). The letters are mostly about soil conservation, the Lookout Point Dam and fishing problems, though political topics and IWLA organizational matters occasionally appear. Folts corresponded with Oregon politicians, both state and federal; Washington, D.C. officials; lumber company executives; and IWLA colleagues. Other IWLA materials include that organization's bylaws, legislative goals and initiation rituals. Twenty cartoons by Jay N. "Ding" Darling are included.

Six photographs show Folts as a speaker, a posed group, and an unidentified river. Numerous conservative publications gathered by Folts have been removed to the Conservative Publication Collection.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with . Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to . The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Merton B. Folts papers, Coll 060, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. Merton B. Folts in 1981.

Processing Note

Collection processed by John Minott, Manuscripts Processor, September 2006.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Separated Materials

Conservative publications have been removed to the Conservative Publications collection, Coll 254.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Correspondence, incoming and outgoing, 1942-1961Return to Top

Container(s): Box 1, Folder 1

Writings by Merton Folts, 1959-1965Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 2
"Freedom vs. Communism"
1 2
"Salmon snafu: Oregon's great shame"
1 2
"A report in protest of certain features of a proposed contact between the ... BLM and Long-Bell Lumber Co...."
1 2
1948 statement on conservation at a Eugene hearing by a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs
1 3
Clippings of Folts' letters to Oregon newspapers
1 4
Holographic speech by Folts on patriotic themes

Materials on 6th and 7th Street Protective Committee, 1959Return to Top

Container(s): Box 1, Folder 5

Materials on the Willakenzie annexation struggle, 1956-1957Return to Top

Container(s): Box 1, Folder 6

Materials on the Save the Salmon campaignReturn to Top

Container(s): Box 1, Folder 7

Izaak Walton League of America: Goals, legislative proposals, 1947-1950Return to Top

Container(s): Box 1, Folder 8

Izaak Walton League of America: Membership lists, initiation rituals, bylaws, cash receipts, undatedReturn to Top

Container(s): Box 1, Folder 9

Izaak Walton League of America: Convention programs, cartoons by Jay N. "Ding" Darling, 1947-1952Return to Top

Container(s): Box 1, Folder 10

Embryonic book manuscript on conservative matters, primarily a pastiche of article clippings, undatedReturn to Top

Container(s): Box 2, Folder 1

Conservative documents and newspaper clippings relating to Oregon, 1948-1958Return to Top

Container(s): Box 2, Folder 2

Miscellaneous financial records,, 1950-1958Return to Top

Container(s): Box 2, Folder 3

Documents relating to various organizations which Folts supported:Return to Top

Container(s): Box 2, Folder 4

Outdoor Legion, 1951-1952Return to Top

Container(s): Box 2, Folder 4

Conservative Education Center, 1958Return to Top

Container(s): Box 2, Folder 4

Eugene Sportsmen's Club articles of incorporation, 1946Return to Top

Container(s): Box 2, Folder 4

Freedom Club of Eugene constitution, 1953Return to Top

Container(s): Box 2, Folder 4

Directory of members, Oregon Gamma Phi chapter of Alpha Tau Epsilon, undated, 1946-1958Return to Top

Container(s): Box 2, Folder 4

Photographs of Folts speaking; posed with an unidentified group; and two negatives of a river landscape, 1940-1960sReturn to Top

Container(s): Box 2, Folder 5

Photographs (PH060)Return to Top

0.01 linear feet
Folts, Merton Bryant, 1902-1967
Container(s) Description
PH060_01: Group Shot
1.0 photographic print
7 x 9 inches
Typed description enclosed with photos "Reading from left to right: Standing -- Loran Smith, Lloyd Reinholdt, Colonel Spooner, Mrs. Al Gribble, Mert Folts, Mr. Stanich, unidentified, Mrs. Clark Bachman, unidentified, unidentified, Mrs. Bartlett, Mr. Schwartz, Mrs. Morrison, Mr. Bartlett, in rear, John Ebinger, Mrs. Terell, Clark Bachman, Mrs. Reinholdt, Lloyd Morrison, Noyes Terrell. Seated-- Mr. Al Gribble, Mrs. Spooner, Mrs. Ike Cory, Mrs. Kennedy, Fred Kennedy, O.K. DeWitt, unidentified.".
PH060_02: Group Shot
1.0 photographic print
7 x 9 inches
PH060_03: Mert at podium
1.0 photographic print
3.5 x 4.5 inches
PH060_04: Mert at podium
1.0 photographic print
4 x 5 inches
Mert at podium.
PH060_05: Riverbed
1.0 negative
3.5 x 2.5 inches
PH060_06: River
1.0 negative
4 x 3 inches

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Civic Activism
  • Conservation of natural resources--Oregon--Willamette River Watershed
  • Conservationists--Oregon
  • Conservatives--Oregon
  • Environmental Activism
  • Environmental Conditions
  • Eugene
  • Fisheries and Wildlife
  • Oregon
  • Photographs
  • Pollution
  • Water and Water Rights

Personal Names

  • Darling, Jay N. (Jay Norwood), 1876-1962

Corporate Names

  • Izaak Walton League of America. Oregon Division

Geographical Names

  • Eugene (Or.)--Politics and government
  • Lookout Point Reservoir (Or.)