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Russell and Katherine Tegnell Scrapbook, 1931-1941

By Katy Roach, Chris Petersen

Collection Overview

Title: Russell and Katherine Tegnell Scrapbook, 1931-1941

Predominant Dates: 1931-1937

ID: MSS Tegnell

Primary Creator: Tegnell, Katherine

Extent: 0.15 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The scrapbook was arranged by the couple according to event, and remains in the same order in which it was constructed.

Date Acquired: 00/00/2002

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


Russell and Katherine (Smith) Tegnell were students at Oregon State College who met on campus and married in 1934, just before their fourth year of college. The Russell and Katherine Tegnell Scrapbook was compiled by the couple, and contains numerous newspaper clippings as well as a smaller number of photographic prints. Much of the material included in the scrapbook is related to Russell’s time as the President of the Memorial Union as well as Katherine’s academic achievements. Initiation and award certificates, and a blank class officers ballot are also included.

This scrapbook has been scanned and is available upon request.

Scope and Content Notes

The Russell and Katherine Tegnell Scrapbook is neatly arranged and consists primarily of newspaper clippings documenting the couple’s wedding, scholastic success, and Russell Tegnell’s various student positions at Oregon State College. It also includes certificates, a blank ballot for the 1933 OSC Junior Class Officers election, and nine 8x10 black-and-white photographs of Memorial Union events. These photographs include shots of a banquet, as well as decorations for the 1934 All College Formal dance. Several group shots of Memorial Union staff are included as well, with Russell Tegnell pictured in each. Likewise included are three images of Russell’s trip to Oakland, California in 1937, to attend the Real Silk Western Convention.

The news clippings pertain mostly to Russell Tegnell’s campaign to become president of the Memorial Union, as well as articles about events that he organized as Chairman of the Socials Committee. Of particular interest are articles and pamphlets related to the 1933 junior class play, “The Tavern,” which Tegnell presided over as business manager; various dance announcements; and two articles related to his budding military career. Tegnell, who enlisted in the Army after graduating from OSC, taught civilians how to handle live fire bombs, and also practiced gas warfare.

Several pages contain articles regarding Katherine Tegnell’s impressive academic achievements. She was a member of three honor societies - the Sophomore Spurs, Alpha Lambda Delta, and Phi Kappa Phi - and received numerous awards. Included in the scrapbook is a pamphlet from the ninth annual Women’s Day Celebration, in which Tegnell received the Phi Chi Theta award, given to the woman with the highest scholastic standing in the School of Commerce. Katherine also successfully ran for the position of Secretary of the Sophomore Spurs during her junior year at OSC, an achievement that is documented in the volume.

Biographical / Historical Notes

Lieutenant Colonel Russell M. Tegnell was born in Helena, Montana in 1910. In the years that followed, his family moved to Hillsdale, Oregon and he ultimately graduated from Benson Polytechnic High School in 1928.

Tegnell enrolled at Oregon State College in 1932, majoring in chemical engineering. A very active student while at OSC, Tegnell served as President of the Memorial Union for the 1934-35 academic year. He was also a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, the Blue Key Honor Society, and the Alpha Delta Sigma National Professional Advertising fraternity. In addition, Tegnell served as the business manager for the junior class play, manager of the Oregon State Technical Record magazine, member of the Board of Directors for the Memorial Union, chairman for the 1935 OSC Homecoming, chairman of the OSC Associated Student Dance, and chairman of the OSC Socials Committee. Even with his busy extracurricular schedule, Tegnell still maintained high marks and made several honor rolls.

Tegnell completed his chemical engineering degree in 1936 and enlisted into the US Army in 1940, serving for twenty-three years before retiring in 1963. The nature of Russell’s work was such that the Tegnell family moved often, and at various points Russell and Katherine lived in Colorado, Alabama, and Germany before finally settling in Maryland with their two daughters. Russell Tegnell passed away in 1983, at the age of 73.

Katherine J. Smith was born in Dallas, Oregon in 1912. She graduated from Dallas High School in 1931 and began attending Oregon State College that same year. She initially majored in commerce, but switched to home economics during her sophomore year. She married Russell Tegnell in 1934 at Westminster House in Corvallis, Oregon.

Katherine received many awards for scholastic achievement during her years at OSC. Before even entering college, she recorded the freshman class high score on the English entrance exam and also received an award for her excellent transcription skills. She was a member of, and secretary for, the Sophomore Spurs Honor Division, obtained the Phi Chi Theta award, and was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. Additionally, she was a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. She obtained her home economics degree from Oregon State in 1937. She passed away at the age of 86 in 1998.

Author: Katy Roach and Chris Petersen

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 9 photographs; 1 oversize box

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: The materials were transferred to the University Archives by the Oregon State University Department of Alumni Relations in 2002.

Related Materials:

The Special Collections and Archives Research Center holds multiple collections related to the Tegnell’s time at Oregon State College. After graduation, Lieutenant Colonel Tegnell was featured in the February 1956 issue of the Oregon Stater alumni magazine.Two photographs of him, stationed in Japan, are held in Harriet’s Photograph Collection (P HC), and appear in a 1946 issue of the Oregon Stater.

Tegnell acted as business manager for The Oregon State Technical Record, issues of which have been digitized and made available in Oregon Digital. The University Theatre Photographs Collection (P 112) also contains photographic material from the junior class play The Tavern, 1934, a production Russell helped put on as business manager.

Materials related to the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, of which Russell was a member, are contained in the Oregon State University Memorabilia Collection (MSS MC), and the Bill Tomsheck Scrapbook (MSS Tomsheck) includes photographs of the Phi Delta Theta house at Oregon State College. Tegnell was also a member of the Blue Key Honor Society (MSS BlueKey).

Records related to the groups that Katherine was a member of are also available in SCARC. The Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society is documented in the Phi Kappa Phi - OSU Chapter Records (MSS PhiKappaPhi), as well as the Oregon State University Memorabilia Collection (MSS MC) and the J. Kenneth Munford Collection (MSS Munford). The Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society is likewise documented in the Alpha Lambda Delta - Oregon State University Chapter Records (MSS AlphaLambdaDelta).

Preferred Citation: Russell and Katherine Tegnell Scrapbook (MSS Tegnell), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.


Tegnell, Katherine
Tegnell, Russell

People, Places, and Topics

Adult college students--Oregon--Corvallis.
Alpha Lambda Delta. Oregon State College Chapter
Blue Key (Fraternity)
College student government--Oregon--Corvallis.
Greek letter societies--Oregon--Corvallis.
Men--Oregon--Corvallis--Societies and clubs.
Oregon State College--Students.
Oregon State College. Memorial Union
Student activities--Oregon--Corvallis.
University History
Women--Education (Higher)--Oregon--Corvallis.
Women--Oregon--Corvallis--Societies and clubs.

Forms of Material

Photographic prints.

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