The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Memories of Clackamas County Extension

Two life history interviews conducted by Mike Dicianna.

November - December 2016


Merrily A. Enquist, a fourth-generation descendent of an Oregon pioneer family, was born in 1935 in Oregon City, Oregon and grew up on the family land near Molalla, Oregon. Involved with 4-H as a girl, Enquist found employment with the Clackamas County Extension Service following her graduation from high school. After one year in the workforce, she enrolled at Oregon State College, where she majored in Business Education and graduated with the class of 1959. From there, Enquist pursued a career as a teacher, working at Central Linn High School for a year and Portland Community College for more than a decade. Later on, Enquist returned to the Extension office in her native Clackamas County as Tree School coordinator while also assuming management of her family's acreage. A graduate of the OSU Extension Master Woodland Manager training program, Enquist has overseen the cultivation and harvest of Christmas tree crops as well as other timber stands on the 300-acre estate.

Harold M. Black was born in Canada in 1923 but grew up in Creswell, Oregon. Following the completion of his high school education, Black enrolled at Oregon State College, where he studied in the Farm Crops department. In Spring 1942, Black was accepted into the Navy V-12 program, at which point he left OSC and began a period of service in the Navy. Stationed in the Pacific during World War II, Black supported the war effort off the coasts of Japan and China. In 1946 he returned to OSC and he ultimately graduated with the class of 1947. From there, Black promptly began a career with the OSU Extension Service that lasted until his retirement in 1980. During his long tenure with Extension, Black worked primarily as a 4-H agent in Columbia County, Clackamas County and Multnomah County, while also serving stints as chairman agent in the latter two counties.