Photographs of and letter to Effie Simmons, circa 1920-1930

Overview of the Collection

Simmons, Effie, 1874-1961
Photographs of and letter to Effie Simmons
circa 1920-1930 (inclusive)
0.1 cubic feet, (1 folder in shared box)
Collection Number
Coll 940
Three portrait photographs of Effie Simmons (1874-1961), and a letter to Simmons from Myrtle A. Johnson (1875-1935). Simmons was a member of the Portland Woman's Club, a regional director for the League of Women Voters, and the first woman to represent Multnomah County in the Oregon Legislature.
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

Effie Decker Simmons, nee Comstock, was born in 1874 in California. In 1897, she married Clayton B. Simmons. She was living in Portland, Oregon, by 1908, when she joined the Portland Woman's Club. Simmons was present at the founding of the National League of Women Voters in 1920 in Chicago, Illinois, and was appointed as a regional director with the task of organizing the organization's Oregon branch. In 1922, she was elected state representative for Multnomah County; she was the first woman to represent the county in the Oregon State Legislature. In 1924, she unsuccessfully ran to be a state senator. Simmons died in 1961.

Sources: Articles in the Oregonian and Oregon Journal, 1922-1986; vital records on; notice in the Oakland Tribune, December 18, 1897, accessed through

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of three portrait photographs of Effie Simmons taken between approximately 1920 and 1930, and a letter to Simmons from Myrtle A. Johnson (signed as Mrs. G. E. Johnson) dated February 10, 1923. In the letter, Johnson congratulates Simmons on her election to the Oregon House of Representatives and says that Simmons has been mentioned in the local papers of Boston, Massachusetts, where Johnson was residing. Johnson also says she misses her friends from Oregon, but expects to return there in 1924, when her daughter Helen has finished studying at the New England Conservatory of Music.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

Photographs of and letter to Effie Simmons, Coll 940, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

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.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Gift of Adrienne Zell, April 2021 (RL2021-018).

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Women legislators--Oregon

Personal Names

  • Simmons, Effie, 1874-1961

Form or Genre Terms

  • correspondence
  • photographs

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Johnson, Myrtle A., 1875-1935 (correspondent)