Donna Brown paper about Wendell Wyatt and related correspondence and clipping, 1965-1966

Overview of the Collection

Brown, Donna
Donna Brown paper about Wendell Wyatt and related correspondence and clipping
1965-1966 (inclusive)
0.1 cubic feet, (1 folder in shared box)
Collection Number
Coll 1033
College paper that Donna Brown (née Kemp) wrote about U.S. Representative Wendell Wyatt (1917-2009), two letters from Wyatt, and a clipping about Wyatt that was sent to Brown. Brown wrote the paper while on the Washington Semester Program as a student at Willamette University. Wendell Wyatt was a Republican U.S. Representative for Oregon from 1965 to 1975.
Oregon Historical Society Research Library
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Wendell William Wyatt was born in Eugene, Oregon, in 1917, and moved to Portland, Oregon, as a teenager. He studied at the University of Oregon, but dropped out and worked at the Oregonian newspaper as a copy aide. He later applied and was admitted to the University of Oregon Law School, despite lacking an undergraduate degree. After receiving his law degree, Wyatt worked as an FBI agent, and then served as a Marine Corps pilot in the Pacific theater during World War II. After the war, Wyatt moved to Astoria, Oregon, and worked at the law firm of Albin Norblad, a former governor of Oregon and the father of U.S. Representative Walter Norblad.

Wyatt's political career began when he served on the Oregon State Republican Central Committee from 1955 to 1957. In 1964, after Walter Norblad died, Wyatt was elected U.S. representative to fill Norblad's vacancy. As a representative, he was a member of the House Committee on the Interior, and then a member of the House Appropriations Committee. In the latter role, he worked on legislation that established the Tualatin Reclamation Project in Washington County; a shipping channel in the Columbia River from Astoria to Portland; the Cascade Head Scenic Area in Lincoln City, Oregon; and the purchase of ranchlands along the Snake River for public recreation. Wyatt retired from Congress in 1975, but remained active in Republican politics. After serving in Congress, he worked at the law firm Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, served as a commissioner for the Port of Portland, and worked as a lobbyist.

Wyatt married Anne Elizabeth Buchanan (1920-2000) in the early 1940s. The couple had three children: Ann, Jane, and Wendell "Bill" Jr. The couple later divorced, and in 1962, Wyatt remarried to Faye Hill (1917-2007). Wyatt died in 2009.

Sources: Obituary in the Oregonian, January 29, 2009; "Wyatt, Wendell, 1917-2009," Biographical Directory of the United States Congress,; vital and census records on

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The bulk of the collection consists of an 87-page college paper by Donna Brown (née Kemp) about U.S. Representative Wendell Wyatt titled "Wendell Wyatt of Oregon: A Case Study of the Orientation of a Freshman Congressman." The paper includes material from interviews that Brown conducted with Wyatt, his staff, his wife, and his colleagues; from observations she made of committee meetings; and from her own research. The paper also includes a 4-page bibliography. Other materials in the collection consist of two letters that Wyatt wrote to Brown in early 1966, both thanking her for a picture of Wyatt and his wife that she had sent; and a newspaper clipping about Wyatt that was sent to Brown, possibly by Wyatt.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

In 1965, Donna Kemp (later Donna Brown), a student at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, participated in the Washington Semester Program sponsored by American University. During her time in Washington, D.C., she interviewed U.S. Representative Wendell Wyatt, his staff, his wife, and his colleagues, and attended some of Wyatt's committee meetings. She used this as a basis for a paper, "Wendell Wyatt of Oregon: A Case Study in the Orientation of a Freshman Congressman."

Source: Information supplied by Donna Brown in 2024.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The Oregon Historical Society owns the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Donna Brown paper about Wendell Wyatt and related correspondence and clipping, Coll 1033, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Gift of Donna Brown, May 2024 (RL2024-032).

Related Materials

Other materials at the Oregon Historical Society relating to Wendell Wyatt include the Wendell Wyatt papers, Coll 894; oral histories with Wyatt conducted in 1988 (SR 1332) and 1992 (1228); a vertical file, Biography - Wyatt, Wendell; and Wendell Wyatt letters to Barbara Vatter in the Correspondence collection, Mss 1500.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Legislators--United States

Personal Names

  • Brown, Donna--Correspondence
  • Wyatt, Wendell William, 1917-2009
  • Wyatt, Wendell William, 1917-2009--Correspondence

Geographical Names

  • United States--Politics and government--20th century

Form or Genre Terms

  • clippings (information artifacts)
  • correspondence
  • term papers