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Zorn-Macpherson Bill Collection, 1926-1933

By Elizabeth Nelsen

Collection Overview

Title: Zorn-Macpherson Bill Collection, 1926-1933

Predominant Dates: 1932

ID: MSS ZornMacpherson

Primary Creator: Zorn, Henry (1880-1971)

Extent: 0.75 cubic feet. More info below.

Languages of Materials: English [eng], German [ger], Finnish [fin]


The Zorn-Macpherson Bill Collection consists predominantly of newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and broadsides pertaining to the Zorn-Macpherson School Moving Bill.  The bill provided for the consolidation of the University of Oregon and the Oregon State College and other major changes to the organization of higher education in Oregon.  The bill was resoundingly defeated in the November 1932 general election.

Items from this collection have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital.

Scope and Content Notes

The Zorn-Macpherson Bill Collection consists predominantly of published materials pertaining to the Zorn-Macpherson School Moving Bill, an initiative petition on the Oregon general election ballot in November 1932. The collection includes clippings, pamphlets and broadsides; subject files; correspondence; and newspaper issues and other publications. The clippings, which comprise the bulk of the collection are from newspapers throughout Oregon and include articles, editorials, and advertisements. The clippings span from 1929 to 1932, but the bulk are from 1932. Newspapers represented include the Oregonian, Portland News-Telegram, and Corvallis Gazette-Times.

The pamphlets and broadsides include items both in favor of and against the Zorn-Macpherson School Moving Bill. One of the broadsides is a full-page advertisement from the St. Helens Sentinel. The subject files (1926-1932) include reports and statistics compiled by Oregon Agricultural College staff, information about the normal schools in Oregon, materials pertaining to higher education consolidation in other states, and reports prepared for the Survey Commission.

The correspondence consists primarily of exchanges during 1932 between G.H. Fullenwiler of Carlton, Oregon; W.A. Jensen, the Executive Secretary at Oregon State Agricultural College; and Dean James H. Gilbert at the University of Oregon regarding space available at both institutions for classrooms and laboratories.

The collection includes full issues of a selection of newspapers and other publications from throughout Oregon published in 1932-1933. In addition to several issues of the Oregonian, copies of neighborhood papers within Portland are available. These include the Southeast Portland Index, East Side Enterprise, Sellwood Bee, East Portland Post, and Rose City News. Of special note are the November 1932 issue of a Finnish publication Veljeys-Viesti (Astoria, Oregon); the October 28, 1932 issue of The Scribe -- a Record of Jewish Life and Thought (Portland, Oregon); and the November 3, 1932 issue of Nachrichten (Portland, Oregon) in German.

Copies of the Oregon Taxpayer for September through November of 1932 are part of the collection. The Oregon Taxpayer was a "monthly review of Oregon problems" published by Hector Macpherson.

In addition to information about this measure, the Collection includes materials pertaining to the re-organization of higher education in Oregon in the late 1920s through early 1930s, establishment of the Oregon State System of Higher Education, and appointment of William J. Kerr as Chancellor in 1932.

Items from this collection have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital.

Biographical / Historical Notes

The Zorn-Macpherson School Moving Bill (official title: Bill Moving University, Normal and Law Schools. Establishing Junior Colleges.) was an initiative petition on the November 1932 general election ballot. The bill provided for the consolidation of the University of Oregon and Oregon State College at the Corvallis campus to form the Oregon State University; moving of the normal schools from Monmouth, Ashland, and La Grande to the campus in Eugene; moving the law school from Eugene to Salem; closing of the normal school at Monmouth; and creation of junior colleges at Ashland and LaGrande. The Zorn-Macpherson initiative petition campaign was the largest and most expensive in Oregon educational history up to that time. The bill was resoundingly defeated by a vote of more than 6 to 1.

Henry Zorn was a farmer near Champoeg in Marion County and President of the Marion County Taxpayers Equalization League, one of the sponsors of the initiative petition.

Hector Macpherson was a faculty member in economics and sociology at Oregon Agricultural College from 1911 until 1926, when he resigned his faculty position to offer his services to the movement for reorganization of higher education in Oregon. He was elected to the State Legislature in 1927, 1929, and 1939.

The Zorn-Macpherson Petition, 1932: A Study of the Development of Higher Education in Oregon by J. David Cunningham (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Oregon) includes a detailed analysis of this initiative petition as well as biographies of Zorn and Macpherson.

Author: Elizabeth Nielsen

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 3 boxes, including 1 oversize box

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: The initial source of the materials is not known.  A component of the collection was transferred from the Memorabilia Collection in 2000.

Related Materials:

The President's Office Records of William Jasper Kerr (RG 013 - SG 07), the President's Office Records (RG 013), Board of Regents Records (RG 008), and the Edwin T. Reed Papers (MSS Reed) include materials pertaining to the reorganization of Oregon higher education in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Several other repositories in Oregon include materials pertaining to this initiative. The Oregon Historical Society holdings include the Hector Macpherson Papers. The University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives include other papers of Macpherson as well as the Register-Guard Records on Higher Education Consolidation.

Preferred Citation: Zorn-Macpherson Bill Collection (MSS Zorn-Macpherson), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.


Zorn, Henry (1880-1971)
Macpherson, Hector (1875-1970)

People, Places, and Topics

Advertising, Political.
Education, Higher--Oregon.
Kerr, William Jasper, 1863-1947
Oregon State System of Higher Education
Political campaigns--Oregon.

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