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Eva Blackwell and William A. Frater Family Collection, ca. 1874-1955

By Finding aid prepared by Faye Harkins.

Collection Overview

Title: Eva Blackwell and William A. Frater Family Collection, ca. 1874-1955

Predominant Dates: 1895-1931

ID: MSS BlackwellFrater

Primary Creator: Blackwell, Eva (1900-1987)

Extent: 0.4 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The materials are arranged into seven series: I. Correspondence; II. Certificate and Diploma; III. Clippings and Newspapers; IV. Artifacts and Ephemera; V. Publications; VI. Pocket Calendars and Autograph Album; and VII. Photographs.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Eva Blackwell and William A. Frater Family Collection documents the activities of Eva Blackwell and her family, especially her grandfather, William A. Frater. Blackwell graduated from Oregon Agricultural College in 1924 and was employed in the Registrar's Office for more than 40 years. Frater served as postmaster for Roseburg, Oregon from 1898 until 1904 when he was removed from office for misappropriation of postal funds. The collection includes correspondence, clippings, newspapers and publications, emphemera, artifacts, and photographs assembled by Blackwell.

Scope and Content Notes

Series I consists of letters to William A. Frater on the topic of his appointment as postmaster and letters from United States senators regarding support of bills introduced that affected the state of Oregon. Series II contains the certificate of appointment as postmaster presented to William A. Frater, March 8, 1898, signed by President William A. McKinley and the high school diploma for Ida Isabella Blackwell. The clippings in Series III represent a variety of topics, many concerning local Roseburg and Douglas County topics including William A. Frater's indictment and trial for misappropriation of funds and removal from his position as Roseburg's postmaster. Series III also includes an 1895 issue of the Riddle Enterprise. Series IV contains assorted artifacts and ephemera, including an International Order of the Odd Fellows badge for the May 1911 meeting in Portland, Oregon. Series V contains publications, including a book of verse presented by William A. Frater to his daughter, Etta, on her wedding day. Series VI consists of pocket calendars recording various daily tasks and events. Series VII includes a photo of Frater and several unidentified children.

Biographical / Historical Notes

Alumna Eva Blackwell graduated from Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) in 1924. Blackwell was born March 13, 1900 in Riddle, Oregon and grew up on a dairy farm in Smith River in the lower Umpqua Valley. She graduated from high school in Riddle, Oregon in 1918. Blackwell took a 2-week milk testing course at Oregon Agricultural College and returned to the Gardiner area to work for a local dairy association testing milk for butter fat content. In 1920, she enrolled as an undergraduate student at OAC. After her graduation in 1924, she began working in the Registrar's Office and held various positions, including Assistant Registrar until her retirement in 1965. In the early 1950s, she was a member of the College's Archives Committee. She returned to work for the Registrar's Office in May of each year through 1981 to compile statistical data for the graduating class. Blackwell died in Benton County, Oregon, in 1987.

Blackwell's maternal grandfather, William A. Frater was born in Ohio in 1843. After serving as a 2nd Sergeant of Company E, 170th Ohio Volunteers during the Civil War, he operated a livestock business with his brothers in Ohio. Frater moved to Kansas in 1877 and to Roseburg, Oregon in the late 1870s. He served as Douglas County Treasurer from 1893 to 1898 and as postmaster in Roseburg from 1898 until 1903 when he was indicted for misappropriation of postal funds and removed from office. Frater's daughter, LaAmi Etta Frater, married Lincoln Blackwell in 1896 and lived in the lower Umpqua River Valley.

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 3 boxes

Related Materials: Photographs of Eva Blackwell are available in various photographic collections. Biographical information can be found in the News and Communications Services Records (RG 203) and the OSU Memorabilia Collection (MSS MC).

Preferred Citation: Eva Blackwell and William A. Frater Family Collection, Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center (MSS BlackwellFrater), Corvallis, Oregon.

Other URL: A preliminary container list was created for this collection on or before Decemeber 11, 2015.


Blackwell, Eva (1900-1987)
Frater, William A. (1843-1918)

People, Places, and Topics

Blackwell, Eva, 1900-1987
Douglas County (Or.)
Frater, William A., 1843-1918
Immortal Treasures of Choice Literature, Masterworks of Art and Superb Songs.
Postal service--Oregon--Roseburg
Riddle Enterprise.
Roseburg (Or.)
Smith River (Douglas County, Or.)
The Tale of Bunny Cotton-Tail.
Umpqua of Gardiner.
Umpqua River Valley (Or.)

Forms of Material

Photographic prints.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.