Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

W.J. Gilstrap Papers, 1897-1950

Scope and Content Note

The W.J. Gilstrap Papers consist of the Memoirs of W.J. Gilstrap and other materials written and asembled by Gilstrap reflecting his association with Oregon State University. The Memoirs were written by Gilstrap in 1947-1950 and edited by his descendants in 2010-2011. Gilstrap describes his childhood in Missouri, student experience at Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) in the 1890s, and his medical practice in various Oregon locales. He also explores his family history extending back to mid-18th century Scotland. Passages related to OAC include descriptions of Gilstrap's participation in college oratorical contests; military training; coursework in agriculture, veterinary science, anatomy, histology, physiology, and chemistry which prepared him for pursuing a medical degree; his work in the Zoology Department and association with Professor Arthur Cordley; and living arrangements in various rental houses adjacent to campus during his student years. Gilstrap provides information about the Oregon communities where he practiced medicine, including St. Johns, Sheridan, and the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation. Gilstrap also devotes chapters to his thoughts on socialization of medicine, medical and health care in Portland, allergies, early medical education in the Northwest, investing in the stock market, and human nature.

The Memoirs are only available online at: http://hdl.handle.net/1957/19922

The Papers also include publications reflecting Gilstrap's oratorical work as a student, his participation in alumni reunion activities, and his daughter Carlie's graduation from OSU in 1927. These materials include the November 1897 and June 1898 issues of the College Barometer. Gilstrap's commencement address, "Practical Education" was published in the June 1898 issue; an essay "Instinct or Reason, Which? An Interesting Discussion Concerning the Mental Powers of the Lower Animals" was published in the November 1897 issue. The oration given by Gilstrap at the State Oratorical Contest, "Brain and Brawn" was published in the March 1898 issue of the Albany College Student, which is also part of the collection.

Other publications are the 1927 commencement program; the June 5, 1948 issue of the Barometer campus newspaper; Silver Jubilee (25th) reunion booklets for the Class of 1898 (1923) and 1899 (1924); and several issues of the OAC Alumnus (1923 and 1925) and Oregon Stater (1948) alumni magazines.

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