Karl Onthank family papers, 1829-1969  PDF  XML

Overview of the Collection

Onthank, Karl William, 1890-1968
Karl Onthank family papers
1829-1969 (inclusive)
7.5 linear feet, (5 containers)
Collection Number
Ax 622
Karl Onthank worked on the staff of the University of Oregon from 1916 to 1957. Onthank and his wife, Ruth, were active conservationists. The collection consists of family history and personal correspondence, manuscripts, and photographs.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Additional Reference Guides

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

Born in Vineland, New Jersey in 1890, Karl Onthank moved to Hood River, Oregon with his family when he was thirteen. He entered the University of Oregon in 1909 and graduated in 1913. Onthank married Ruth McLaren in 1915. After a brief period during which he worked as a school teacher, principal, and superintendent in Hood River and Tillamook, Oregon, Onthank joined the University of Oregon staff in 1916 as executive secretary to President Prince Lucian Campbell. From 1924 to 1926 he was one of three members of an administrative team which took over during President Campbell's illness and began the search for his successor.

In 1930 Onthank was named dean of personnel administration for the university. In 1948 he became associate dean of students in charge of job placement, a position he held until his retirement in 1957.

Besides serving the university for many years, Karl Onthank was a lifelong conservationist. He and Ruth McLaren Onthank were active members of many conservationist groups and worked on various projects, such as the Oregon Dunes National Park. Karl Onthank died in 1968.

For Onthank's conservation papers see collection Ax 356.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Karl Onthank family papers consist of Onthank family history and genealogy, Karl Onthank's diaries from 1900 to 1911, his correspondence from 1895 to 1967, and various of his manuscripts, speeches, subject files, and memorabilia. The collection also contains Onthank family correspondence from 1829 to 1969, diaries of Alton W. Onthank and Elizabeth Buell Onthank (Karl Onthank's parents), manuscripts of Ruth M. Onthank, family memorabilia, and photographs. The correspondence is arranged in chronological order.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Conservation of natural resources--Oregon
  • Environmental protection--Oregon

Corporate Names

  • University of Oregon

Family Names

  • Onthank family

Form or Genre Terms

  • Correspondence
  • Genealogies (histories)