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Oral History Interviews, Personal Histories, and Sound Recordings Collection on Agriculture, Forestry, and Oregon History, 1908-2022

By Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Nielsen with updates from Chris Petersen.

Collection Overview

Title: Oral History Interviews, Personal Histories, and Sound Recordings Collection on Agriculture, Forestry, and Oregon History, 1908-2022

Predominant Dates: 1957-1991

ID: OH 005

Primary Creator: Gallagher, John H. (John Hubert) (1875-1961)

Extent: 0.8 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Series I in this collection has been devoted to transcripts, project files and an array of sound recording types, including SoundScriber discs and reel-to-reel audiotapes. The collection's audiocassettes are arranged into Series II.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Oral History Interviews, Personal Histories, and Sound Recordings Collection on Agriculture, Forestry, and Oregon History consists of various oral histories, personal and family histories, recollections, and sound recordings prepared by different individuals. The collection materials document forestry in Oregon and the Northwest, the history of Oregon State University, local Corvallis and Benton County history, and the activities of Oregon State alumni. Nearly all of the audiocassettes held in this collection have been digitized and are available upon patron request.

Scope and Content Notes

The Oral History Interviews, Personal Histories, and Sound Recordings Collection on Agriculture, Forestry, and Oregon History consists of 17 oral history interviews, personal histories, and sound recordings, as well as project files and a duplicated monograph created out of oral history interviews conducted by the University of California with Walter F. McCulloch. The unique interviews held in the collection are individually numbered OH05:01 thru OH05:16. Sound recordings and transcripts are available for 6 of the interviews. In 7 other instances, only transcripts are available. Only audio recordings remain extant for 3 of the recordings.

With the exception of Marko Haggard interviews tapes #4 and #5, which are damaged, all of the audiocassettes held in this collection have been digitized are available upon patron request.

The collection includes unique interviews with George Drake, Ross Finley, Marko Haggard, Ralph Hull, Robert MacVicar, Oliver M. Matthews, Donald MacKenzie, Kathreen Kirkpatrick Purchase, Bill Smith, Paul Snook, Tom Stephenson and Rex Wakefield; personal or family histories by Ben H. Pubols, Sr. as well as Jacob Henkle and Elizabeth Conger Henkle; a promotional sound recording by the Agricultural Information Trainee Program; and recorded recollections by Harriet Forest Moore. The collection also includes audio notes on the Applegate Trail recorded by Bob Zybach.

The interviews with George Drake (OH05:01) and Donald MacKenzie (OH05:05) were conducted by Elwood R. Maunder of the Forestry History Foundation in 1957-1958 and describe logging and forestry activities in Oregon and the Northwest. Gordon D. Marckworth, Dean of the College of Forestry at the University of Washington, also participated in the MacKenzie interview.

The interview of Oliver V. Matthews (OH05:02) was done in 1959 by W.R. Randall, a faculty member in the Oregon State College School of Forestry. The interview describes Matthews' work in identifying and photographing trees that are depicted in a series of images that Matthews donated to the School of Forestry.

Ross Finley (OH05:03) was interviewed by J.H. Gallagher; transcripts of the interviews were made in 1964 by Gallagher's office at the Corvallis Sand and Gravel Company. Recordings of the interviews on SoundScriber discs are part of the collection.

The Robert MacVicar (OH05:06) interview was recorded in 1984 at the end of his 14-year presidency at Oregon State University and includes his reflections on his years at Oregon State. The interviewer is not identified in the transcript.

The interview with Paul Snook (OH05:07) was conducted in 1983 by Susan M. Gaughan and Alison Otis. The transcript was prepared by Gaughan. It consists of personal and family history and includes information about the Snook family's role in the construction of several campus buildings and Paul Snook's later work in highway and bridge construction.

The Kathreen Kirkpatrick Purchase interview (OH05:10) was conducted by Martin (Skip) Haley of the Oregon State University College of Home Economics in 1994 and addresses a variety of topics including her experience as a home economics student at Oregon Agricultural College in the 1910s and her youth in Pendleton.

Recollections of a Professor in the Public Arena is the oral history of Marko Haggard (OH05:12), conducted in 1996 by Joella Werlin. It includes transcripts of interviews; five cassette audiotapes; and a vita, newspaper articles, and other background materials. A gift from KATU television in Portland to the OSU Foundation funded the preparation of this oral history.

The Res Wakefield interview (OH05:13) was conducted by Bob Zybach and Ken McCall, and touches upon his early experiences fighting forest fires as well as his lengthy career as a forester in Benton and Polk Counties.

The Tom Stephenson interview (OH05:15) was conducted by George Wisner and focuses upon Stephenson's experiences as a sawmill worker, his recollections of mill operator William R. Coote, and the history of the Dunn Forest.

The interview with Ralph Hull (OH05:16) charts the evolution of saw milling over the course of the 20th century. This interview set was conducted for the OSU Research Forests Sawmill History Project, and files documenting other activities initiated by the Sawmill History Project are included in this collection.

The collection includes a personal history for Oregon State alumnus Ben H. Pubols, Sr. (OH05:08), prepared in 1973, that describes his childhood and youth in Oregon, especially his farming experiences, and his attendance at Oregon Agricultural College in the 1920s. The family history of Jacob Henkle and Elizabeth Conger Henkle (OH05:09) was dictated in 1908 and includes recollections of the Henkle wagon train to Oregon in 1853 and the family's early years in Oregon.

The promotional sound recording for the Agricultural Information Trainee Program (OH05:04) was made in 1958. In addition to a reel-to-reel audiotape, a letter explaining the recording and a transcript prepared by the Oregon State University Archives are included. The 11-minute recording describes the summer Trainee Program for college students planning a career in agricultural journalism. The recording includes Jerry Carlson, a 1958 trainee, and George Loesing, a staff member in the USDA Radio Service and a 1956 trainee.

The Harriet Forest Moore materials (OH05:11) include sound recordings, transcripts, notes, and background materials pertaining to Moore's service as a physical therapist during World War I. The recordings were made by Moore in 1988-1990 to answer questions posed by Lettie Gavin, a researcher located in Seattle.

The Applegate Trail recording (OH05:14) was made by Bob Zybach and consist of commentary on the route taken by the trail through the Willamette Valley.

Two born digital oral history interviews with Bill Smith were conducted by Chris Petersen over Zoom in 2022.

Biographical / Historical Notes

George Lincoln Drake (1889-1979) was employed by the U.S. Forest Service from 1910 to 1930 and Simpson Logging Company in the 1930s and 1950s. Ross Finley was the nephew of William A. Finley, the first president of Corvallis College.

Marko Haggard served on the McCall Lecture Committee of the College of Liberal Arts and was a professor of Political Science at Portland State University beginning in 1954. Haggard served as a special assistant to Governor Tom McCall and, later, he and McCall both served as political commentators for KATU television in Portland.

Jacob Henkle led a party of 21 wagons to Benton County, Oregon, in 1953. Robert MacVicar served as President of Oregon State University from 1970 until 1984. Dendrologist Oliver Matthews (1892-1979) traveled extensively in Oregon for more than 40 years in pursuit of trees, particularly the biggest of each species. Donald MacKenzie (b. 1887) worked as laborer, foreman, and logging superintendent with Anaconda Copper Mining Company in Montana from 1909 to 1957.

Ralph Hull (1912-2002) was a forester and sawmill owner who founded what came to be known as the Hull-Oakes Lumber Company, based in Monroe, Oregon, in 1934.

Walter F. McCulloch (1905-1973) was dean of the School of Forestry at Oregon State from 1955 to 1967.

Harriet Forest Moore received training as a physical therapist at Reed College and served as a physical therapist at several posts immediately following World War I. She later enrolled at Oregon Agricultural College and earned BS (1922) and MS (1924) degrees in vocational education. Moore was Oregon State University's first archivist from 1961 to 1966.

Ben H. Pubols (1899-1978) was born on a farm near West Union, Oregon, and earned a BS in agriculture from Oregon State College in 1926. Kathreen Kirkpatrick Purchase graduated from Oregon Agricultural College in 1914 and, in 1996, was believed to be the oldest living Oregon State University graduate. Paul Snook was born in Oregon in 1899; he worked with his father, Harmon Snook, on the construction of several Oregon State Campus buildings. His sister was Ella Snook who operated Snook and Traver construction company with her husband Louis Traver.

Bill Smith (b. 1927) graduated from Oregon State College in 1951 with a degree in Forest Management, and went on to a long career in the timber industry, working primarily as the operator of a pole yard in Willits, California, and later as a resource manager for Georgia Pacific - Northern Coastal California.

Tom Stephenson (b. 1912) was a long-time resident of the mid-Willamette Valley who spent the majority of his life working in the region's sawmills.

Grant Troyer (b. 1950) was a Portland journalist. His uncle Coy Lansbery (1885-1979) and Coy's brother Paul Lansbery (1895-1991) worked as loggers and camp cooks for the Booth Kelly Lumber Company.

Rex Wakefield (1911-1994) was a member of the OSC Forestry Class of 1942. Following his graduation, Wakefield was hired by the U.S. Forest Service, and ultimately spent ten years as supervisor of the Siuslaw National Forest. In 1962, he was hired as general manager for the Rex Clemens forest products operations. He likewise served two terms on the Oregon State Board of Forestry and, in 1982, was elected a fellow of the Society of American Foresters.

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 33 audiocassettes, 6 SoundScriber discs, and 1 reel-to-reel audiotape; 4 boxes, 1.18 GB born digital

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: The materials were donated or transferred to the Archives in several accessions from the 1960s through 1997. Some of the sound recordings and copies of the transcripts were housed at the Horner Museum for a period of time and transferred back to the Archives from the Horner Museum collections in 1996.

Related Materials: Special Collections and Archives Research Center holdings include many collections that pertain to the topics in this oral history collection as well as the papers of two of the interviewees: the Robert W. MacVicar Papers (MSS MacVicar) and Oliver  Matthews Collections (MSS Matthews). Other related collections of special note are the William A. Finley Scrapbook (MSS FinleyWA), John H. Gallagher, Sr., Collection, Oliver Matthews Photographs (P 118), and Snook and Traver Ledger (MSS Snook). Extensive biographical information about Harriet Moore is available in the OSU Memorabilia Collection (MSS MC). Oral histories of other early Benton County residents are part of the Oregon Pioneers Oral History Collection (OH 001) and of other Oregon State alumni are included in the Oregon State University Alumni Oral History Collection (OH 013).

Preferred Citation: Oral History Interviews, Personal Histories, and Sound Recordings Collection on Agriculture, Forestry, and Oregon History (OH 005), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Processing Information: Collection processed by Elizabeth Nielsen and Chris Petersen.


Gallagher, John H. (John Hubert) (1875-1961)
Marckworth, Gordon D.
Maunder, Elwood R.
Moore, Harriet L. Forest
Pubols, Ben H. (Ben Henry) (1899-)
Randall, Warren R.
Werlin, Joella
Zybach, Bob

People, Places, and Topics

College presidents--Oregon--Corvallis.
Drake, George Lincoln, 1889-
Forests and forestry--Oregon.
Haggard, Marko L.
History of Science
Local History
MacVicar, Robert William, 1918-
Matthews, Oliver Vincent, 1892-1979
McCulloch, Walter Fraser, 1905-
Natural Resources
Oregon State University--Alumni and alumnae.
Oregon State University--Buildings
Pioneers--Oregon--Benton County.
University History

Forms of Material

Oral histories (literary genre)

Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: Transcripts, Project Files and Sound Recordings, 1908-2001
Extent: 2 boxes; 12 folders

Box-Folder 1.1: Drake, George, November 10, 1958
Interview is titled "Oral History Interview with George Drake, consulting forester; formerly logging manager for Simpson Logging Company, Shelton, Washington; and forester, U.S. Forest Service." Interview transcript includes an index of subjects and personal names. Subjects discussed include the Forest Service, logging camps, Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen, Pacific Logging Congress, Western Forestry and Conservation Association, Spark Arrester Committee, George Cornwall, Ed Hirst, tractor logging, forest fire prevention. [Item OH05:01, interview conducted by Elwood R. Maunder, Forest History Foundation, Inc.]
Box-Folder 1.2: Matthews, Oliver V., June 1959
Interview is titled "The Work of Oliver Matthews, Dendrologist Extraordinary." Subjects discussed include dendrology, unusual Oregon trees, forest photography and the Johnson fir. [Item OH05:02, interview conducted by W.R. Randall.]
Box-Folder 1.3: Finley, Ross, 1949-1956
Interview is titled "History of OSU -- Prior 1890." Folder includes six SoundScriber discs annotated as having been used for dictation of Finley's interview between 1949 and 1956. Transcript was created in 1964 at the offices of Corvallis Sand and Gravel Co. Subjects discussed include the Gibson Mine, William A. Finley, Marianna Mines and Corvallis College. [Item OH05:03, interview conducted by J.H. Gallagher.]
Extent: Six SoundScriber discs

Box-Folder 1.4: Agricultural Information Trainee Program promotional recording, United States Department of Agriculture, 1958
Folder includes a form letter from R. Lyle Webster, Director of Information, describing the trainee program and the purpose of the recording. Subjects discussed in the recording include the USDA Office of Information in Washington DC and the Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland]. [Item OH05:04, narrated by George Loesing and Jerry Carlson.]
Extent: 1 reel-to-reel audiotape; 11:00

Box-Folder 1.5: MacKenzie, Donald, October 31, 1957
Subjects discussed include Tom Roach, Bill Brian, Kenneth Ross, Frank Mallory, Thomas F. Walsh, Anaconda Company, 1909-1957; logging, Ouray, Colorado; Camp Birdmine; horse sleigh logging; Potomac, Montana; Seely Lake; Red Cross; Osgood portable loader; lumberjacks; Paul Bunyan stories; tall tales; "ten-day men." [Item OH05:05, interview conducted by Elwood R. Maunder, Forest History Foundation, Inc. Gordon D. Marckworth, Dean of the College of Forestry at the University of Washington, also participated in the interview.]
Box-Folder 1.6: MacVicar, Robert, June 3, 1984
Interview is titled "MacVicar Reflects - Transcription of Interview just before Graduation," conducted in connection with MacVicar's retirement from Oregon State University. [Item OH05:06, interviewer unknown.]
Box-Folder 1.7: Snook, Paul, August - September, 1983
A personal and family history focusing primarily on Snook's work in constructing campus buildings and in highway construction. Transcript includes a partial list of construction projects carried out by the Snook family. [Item OH05:07; prepared by Susan M. Gaughan with interviews conducted in part by Alison Otis.]
Box-Folder 1.8: Pubols, Ben H., Sr., June 15, 1973
Transcript is titled "Ancestry and Early Life of Dr. Ben H. Pubols, Sr." Folder includes a Washington Post obituary of Pubols, "Ben H. Pubols, Ex-Economist for USDA Research Service," December 21, 1978. [Item OH05:08]
Box-Folder 1.9: Henkle, Jacob and Elizabeth Conger Henkle, 1908
Transcript is titled "A Traditional Sketch of the Henkle Ancestry" and includes recollections of the Henkle wagon train on the Oregon Trail in 1853 and the family's early years in Oregon. [Item OH05:09; dictated in 1908 to Charlotte Shipley Bonebrake. Copied by Edith Connor Grutze, historian, in 1919. Re-copied by Terry Evelyn Staines Lovell in 1965.]
Box-Folder 1.10: Purchase, Kathreen Kirkpatrick, August 24, 1994
Purchase graduated from Oregon Agricultural College in 1914 and, by 1996, was believed to be the oldest living OSU graduate. [Item OH05:10, interview by Martin "Skip" Haley and Dawn Hawkins of the OSU College of Home Economics, with the assistance of Purchase's daughter, Elnor Purchase Akio.]
Box-Folder 1.11: Moore, Harriet Forest, 1988-1990
Transcripts, notes and background materials pertaining chiefly to Moore's service as a physical therapist during World War I. Recordings were made by Moore in answer to questions posed by Lettie Gavin, a Seattle researcher. Gavin asked Moore questions by telephone, who then recorded her answers onto cassette tapes and sent the tapes to Gavin in Seattle. Folder includes a summary of the Moore cassette tapes as prepared by Mark Tolonen of the Benton County Historical Museum. [Item OH05:11]
Box-Folder 1.12: Haggard, Marko, 1996
Interview is titled "Marko Haggard: Recollections of a Professor in the Public Arena." File includes the finished interview as well as a vita, newspaper articles, photo reproductions and other background materials. [Item OH05:12, interview by Joella Werlin.]
Box-Folder 2.1: Hull, Ralph, February - May, 1992
Interview is titled "Ralph Hull: A Life in the Sawmill Business, Benton County, Oregon, 1908-1994." Interview is also itemized as OSU Research Forests Sawmill History Project Monograph #1. [Item OH05:16, interviews conducted by George Wisner on February 6, 1992; February 11, 1992; and May 6, 1992.]
Box-Folder 2.2: Project Files: OSU Research Forests Sawmill History Project, 1992-2001
Files includes summaries of interviews conducted with Harold Cooper, Leroy Cooper, and Gordon Davis, ca. 1992, as well as notes on regional sawmills, and permissions forms for use by the project.
Box-Folder 2.3: Monograph: "Walter F. McCulloch: Forestry and Education in Oregon, 1937-1966", 1968
Monograph consists of an introduction, table of contents, interview transcripts, index and appendix. Interviews conducted by Amelia R. Fry of the University of California Regional Oral History Office in Berkeley.
Box-Folder 2.4: Wakefield, Rex, 1994
Folder contains table of contents and partial introduction for 1989 Wakefield interviews, as well as a partial transcript for the January 29, 1989 session.
Digital Folder 1: Grant Troyer, Coy Lansbery and Paul Lansbery, 1976

Three audio recordings created by Portland journalist Grant Troyer in 1976. One is with Coy Lansbery (1885-1979), who was Troyer's uncle. Coy Lansbery's interview focuses on his experiences as a logger from 1907-1912. A second is with Paul Lansbery (1895-1991), brother of Coy Lansbery and also a logger – the topic of this interview is logging camp cookery. The final recording is a recitation of research that Troyer conducted on the Booth Kelly Lumber Company's activities from 1900-1930. Also included is a .pdf file containing a biography of Coy Lansbery as published in the Fall 1983 issue of the Lane County Historian.

These materials were migrated to digital format prior to their transfer to SCARC.

Extent: 3 .mp3 files; 1 .pdf

Series 2: Audiocassettes, 1983-1997
Nearly all of the audiocassettes described in this series have been migrated to digital format and are available upon patron request. Marko Haggard interview tapes #4 and #5 are damaged and have not been migrated to digital format.
Extent: 33 items

Box-Item 3.1: MacVicar, Robert, June 3, 1984
[Item OH05:06]
Extent: 1 cassette

Box-Item 3.2-3.6: Snook, Paul, August - September, 1983
[Item OH05:07]
Extent: 5 cassettes

Box-Item 3.7-3.15: Moore, Harriet Forest, 1988-1990
[Item OH05:11]
Extent: 9 cassettes

Box-Item 4.1-4.11: Wakefield, Rex, January - May, 1989
[Item OH05:13. Interviews conducted on January 11, 1989 and May 23, 1989.]
Extent: 11 cassettes

Box-Item 4.12: "Applegate Trail", May 25, 1991
[Item OH05:14. Recording made by Bob Zybach and consisting of commentary on the route taken by the Applegate Trail through the Willamette Valley.]
Extent: 1 cassette

Box-Item 4.13: Stephenson, Tom, October 3, 1991
[Item OH05:15]
Extent: 1 cassette

Box-Item 4.14-4.18: Haggard, Marko, June 1996 - January 1997
[Item OH05:12. Interviews conducted on June 25, 1996; June 26, 1996; July 2, 1996; July 30, 1996; August 14, 1996; August 15, 1996; and January 30, 1997. Tape 4 (July 30/August 14) and Tape 5 (August 15/January 30) are both damaged.]
Extent: 5 cassettes

Series 3: Born Digital, 2022
Extent: 1.18 GB

Digital Folder 2: Smith, Bill, November 30, 2022
In this, the first of two interviews, Oregon State College (OSC) alumnus Bill Smith discusses his upbringing in San Francisco, his stint in the Navy during World War II, his experiences at San Francisco City College, and his memories of studying Forestry at OSC. Smith graduated from Oregon State in 1951 with a degree in Forest Management. Interview conducted by Chris Petersen.
Extent: 1:39:24

Digital Folder 3: Smith, Bill, December 1, 2022
In his second, Bill Smith reflects on his career in the timber industry, commenting on jobs that he had as a choker setter, operator of a pole yard, and resource manager for Georgia Pacific - Northern Coastal California. Interview conducted by Chris Petersen.
Extent: 1:30:53

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