Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

J.B. Horner Photograph Collection, 1846 - circa 1925

Biographical Note:

John B. Horner taught English and history at Oregon Agricultural College from 1891 until his death in 1933; founded the college museum; and wrote extensively on Oregon history and literature.

John B. Swadelnack was born on August 4, 1856 in central Texas to Frank and Mary Anna Swadelnack. He took the surname Horner after his widowed mother married Elias Horner in Walla Walla (Washington Territory). After attending Whitman College, Horner enrolled in Philomath College, receiving the BS degree (1877) and the MS degree (1879). He also attended Willamette University and received AB (1885) and MS (1887) degrees. In the 1880s, he taught school at several places in Oregon, including Buena Vista, Union, Brownsville, Roseburg, and Albany. He married Isabelle Skimpton on September 5, 1880; they had two daughters, Vera Delle and Pearl Alicia.

In 1891, he began a teaching career at Oregon State that lasted for more than 40 years. He taught English from 1891 to 1902 and history from 1902 until 1933. In 1925, Horner formally established the museum at Oregon State that was later named for him. He wrote several books on Oregon history and literature as well as numerous articles. Horner died on September 14, 1933 in Corvallis.


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