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E.B. Lemon Oral History Interview, March 20, 1979

Oregon State University
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JL: Dean Lemon, can you tell me what was happening on campus during World War I?

EL: I don't know just how to start out. There were lots of things happened, of course. In the first place the enrollment dropped way down because most of the boys went to war, you see. Then the military department of the government instituted a program—what did we call that program now? Anyway, they planned to locate here a considerable number of men of war service age to go to school 00:01:00and to take some military training. It really turned out that it was much more military training than anything else, but they were stationed and housed in the dormitories.

JL: The military men?

EL: Yes.

They were housed in the dormitories and other places; they had them in fraternity houses and so on, and they had regular classes and a lot of military training. The College Armory was fixed up as a big dining room and they were 00:02:00all fed there in the Army style.

JL: They were part of the military?

EL: They were part of the military. They were enlisted really. They enlisted in the military.

JL: Were they men outside of Oregon, or were they just Oregon fellows?

EL: Well, they were any students that came to college here. They were mainly Oregon people, I guess, but there have been others too, and it appealed to a large number of boys because it was a preliminary step to going right into the Army, you see. We recruited a lot of those boys. In midsummer President Kerr 00:03:00sent me to Portland to expedite the recruiting of these boys. Everybody was for it, you see, because it was taken for granted that these boys would either go right into the Army, or they would come here and get some preliminary training. So, it was a big business. I had a suite in the Imperial Hotel in Portland for about six weeks, and I signed up hundreds of boys.

JL: To come to OAC for military training?

EL: Well, to come for this special program, yes.

JL: What was the program called?

EL: Well, that's what I was trying to think. I guess it was the SATC, Student 00:04:00Army Training Corps. Well, those boys were actually enlisted in the service. They were here for a period of time and they were here when the war ended in 1918.

JL: What happened to the program? Did they remain here or were they sent other places?

EL: Oh, no, they were free to do whatever they wanted to then. As soon as the armistice was signed the military wanted to get rid of them as soon as they could, you know, because like all army training, it was a costly program.


JL: Did many of them stay at OAC then?

EL: Oh, yes, quite a lot of them stayed here. Quite a lot of them would have come anyway. If there hadn't have been a war many of these men would have been members of the freshman class of that year, or of other classes. I don't recall now how many there were [in the program] but there were a large number of them.

There were some good things about it and some bad things about it. The worst flu epidemic we've ever known in this part of the country took place during that time and it was terrific. You would have men go out to drill and keel over because they had the flu; and we weren't used to the flu. I never heard the word "flu" until World War I. It was kind of a new disease and it was very, very....Oh, I don't know that it was any worse than it is now, but we didn't have the means of treating it. We didn't know as much about it. Quite a few boys died. Quite a few other people died during the epidemic. I think we had at least 00:06:00a dozen deaths during that period; some one or two faculty people. It was bad.

JL: Was that due to the number of fellows that were here at OAC?

EL: Well, it hit places other than here but it was very bad here because we were crowded; and I don't know as we were too well prepared. We weren't expected to take care of as many boys as we had here.

JL: What were the fellows like? I mean did it affect your classroom instruction at all? Was it any different from before the war?

EL: Oh, yes, they didn't have very good study conditions. Not too good. They were too crowded and really the military took most of their time so they didn't get to study too much. They took about—I've forgotten, 12 hours I guess,--of 00:07:00college work but they were in [the] charge of regular army officers and we didn't have too much control of the boys except in the classroom. They were under military training, discipline, military management.

JL: What was the feeling of the campus towards these fellows?

EL: It was fine towards them. These boys were all right. I would say we didn't lower our admissions standards any to take them. When I was selecting them, I was selecting them just like I would college boys, but they flocked here because they were boys that were of the age that would get picked up if the war lasted 00:08:00any length of time, you see.

JL: You weren't registrar at the time?

EL: No, I wasn't registrar. It was while I was teaching.

JL: You became registrar in 1922?

EL: That's right I did.

JL: So you didn't have anything to do with the selection process then really?

EL: Oh, yes, I did. I was representing the institution. Representing the registrar, sure.

JL: Would you go out into the state, too?

EL: No, I was in Portland. I had a suite in the Imperial Hotel for two months and they came there. Lots of parents came in from outside of Portland as far as that's concerned. Brought their boy in to talk with me.

JL: Was every professor assigned an area to recruit students?

EL: Oh, no. No. No. Not at all.

JL: Just you?


EL: Well, I was in Portland. I was the only person, I think, off the campus that was enlisting, helping, students. It saved many, many students from coming here. I remember in 1918 there was still not very good transportation. And Portland, I guess, probably had half the high school students of the state anyway.

JL: Why were you chosen to do the recruiting in Portland?

EL: Oh, I don't know. Why was I chosen for anything? An administration that's got a job to do has to have men to do it.


JL: Speaking of Dr. Kerr. I'd like to have your opinion of him. What was he like?

EL: He was the greatest man I've ever known. And I'm not just talking about that, I thoroughly believe it. He's the greatest administrator that I've ever come in contact with. I've said publicly many times that he was the caliber of a man that should have been president of the United States instead of president of a college. He was just a very great man.

JL: What makes a great man, Dean Lemon?

EL: Personality and ability to get things done in the right way and the ambition to do them. I've known many college executives, many of them, here and 00:11:00elsewhere, and I've never seen one yet that I thought was his equal. I'm not alone in that. There are other people that feel that way, too, as far as that's concerned. His influence on the campus is still very evident to those of us who were familiar with his administration here and with the institution at that time.

JL: What was he like?

EL: A very dignified, a rather fine-looking man. Do you want to see a picture 00:12:00of him? All right.

JL: I understand it was said of you, "His greatest contribution was his role in helping hold the State System of Higher Education together and keep it running smoothly."

EL: (chuckles) Well, I wouldn't comment on that statement. That's somebody's judgment. I was involved in all the goings-on that brought about the State System of Higher Education, I guess. But, how much of a part I had in it or how influential I was, I wouldn't want to try to judge.

JL: Was that a difficult time for the College?

EL: That was a very difficult time. Extremely difficult.


JL: Tell me about that.

EL: Well, it was difficult for all the institutions in Oregon. It was a reorganization time for all of the institutions, particularly Oregon State and the University of Oregon at Eugene, because the State System was created by an act of the legislature [Higher Education Law of 1929] and so it had to be carried out; and the legislative act demanded that the administrations be unified to some extent and that duplication should be eliminated to the greatest 00:14:00extent possible.

So, it was a tearing up process as well as a building time. Duplicate courses, particularly in the major fields, came under the order; and the legislative act also provided that we were to have a non-partial commission, selected by the Board of Higher Education which was created by the act, to study and make recommendations. Well, that commission [Oregon Survey Commission] was selected and came to Oregon, and they were about a year making a study before we got 00:15:00their report.

JL: What year was this?

EL: This was 1932, I guess, well that was the year they made their report, but it might have been 1931 that the commission was here because the fireworks started, of course, when the commission's report was received, and we read what we were supposed to do. [Survey Report received March 30, 1931; the Board announced its program of reorganization, May 7, 1932.] For instance, the one great big decision they made was that U of 0 should be the liberal arts 00:16:00institution. So, that meant that science at the University was moved over here, everything above the lower division. Of course, they had some science so that the students could take some science courses as electives.

At the same time the big thing over here was the School of Commerce, and so the School of Commerce got moved to the University except for some lower division courses, see? And that alone was a terrific blow. Well, when you say blow that depends on who is judging it. But it caused a lot of turmoil as you can understand because here was a great block of faculty that had to move from one campus to another--move from Corvallis to Eugene and Eugene to Corvallis.


JL: What did the faculty think of these moves?

EL: They didn't like it very well. (chuckles) Most of them. At our place the science people were elated because that meant we got the School of Science for the first time, you see, and became the major school of science. The people in commerce were greatly disappointed because they lost a big school and they had to move to Eugene very largely. Well, that went on in many, many departments. We already had the School of Engineering, and the School of Forestry, and the School of Agriculture, and the School of Pharmacy, and the School of Home 00:18:00Economics. We had the major School of Home Economics, but the University had a Department of Home Economics and we were giving degrees in it so that got moved over here, and so on. Oh, it was a hectic time.

JL: And Kerr was president at the time?

EL: Kerr was our president, yes.

JL: Who was chancellor of the State Board of Higher Education?

EL: Well, let's see, that changed many times. When the vital decisions were made C. L. Starr, from Dallas, Oregon, a lawyer, was chairman of the Board of Higher Education. The presidents got kind of side-tracked because the Board of Higher Education made a decision at one time that there would be just one president for 00:19:00the whole system.

JL: For both universities?

EL: Both universities and the colleges of education and all. And we would have a head dean who would be in charge of the campus, but that didn't work. It was in operation for a little while but it didn't work long. Nothing but turmoil came out of that because it was just too diversified an organization with the feeling that had developed [during the reorganization].

JL: Who had they assigned to be the president of all these institutions?

EL: Well, it didn't come to that. The board got an executive secretary. They 00:20:00really put him in charge and he had a pretty rough time. He couldn't get any place with it and he had to resign after a little while. That's when they began to bring the presidents back.

JL: Was the State Board of Higher Education created from the Board of Higher Curricula? Was that the name formerly?

EL: No. Well, there was a Board of Higher Curricula. It had been in existence for some time [established in 1909] and had some power, but it wasn't in a position to do anything like the Board of Higher Education did after the Legislature acted. The Board of Higher Curricula passed on all new courses that any institution established. It meant that when we were preparing for a new 00:21:00year, for instance, and somebody come up with a new course of any kind that they wanted, or even a new curriculum, it had to go to the Board of Higher Curricula for approval. The Board did some things in ironing out some duplications but not very much.

JL: Tell me about the first eventful official meeting in 1932 of the State System of Higher Education.

EL: Gee, I don't know whether I remember much about the first one or not. I attended most of them.

JL: I read that members of the Board and deans met in Albany and they excluded the administrators and presidents.


EL: Yes, well, I attended that meeting. I don't think I'd better put it down on tape though.

JL: You don't want this on tape?

EL: No. I don't want it on tape. Not at the moment anyway. I don't suppose it makes any difference now but....You can get that from someplace else if you haven't got it.

JL: What was Dr. Kerr's feelings toward the State System of Higher Education? Well, he was president of Oregon State College and his job was to protect the institution. Our job was to try to hold it together and not let it be torn up and that was the whole thing. I worked on that with him and with others for 00:23:00months. We knew we had to go along with the legislative order, but there were a lot of directions you could go, and things that could be done, and we didn't need to create havoc like [we would by making a public announcement that we were probably going to fire 100 faculty people.

JL: That's why the meetings were so heated then?

EL: Well, that's one of the reasons. One of the reasons. They were heated with us. We didn't want to lose the School of Commerce, and of course, we finally got it back, you see, but after years and in a little different form [as the Division of Business and Industry in 1943 and the School of Business and Technology in 1948]. But those were hectic times.

JL: I read someplace that you said, "In the middle of the fight Dr. Kerr 00:24:00dominated. That was bad. That was the toughest time I could imagine for an institution." Why was it so tough?

EL: I don't think I said it that way or meant it that way. I think it's taken just a little bit out of context there. Dr. Kerr DID dominate! He was the strongest man in the....No question about it. But, he also tried to be fair and we had to go along with the legislative order whether we liked it or not, and 00:25:00when I say it was the toughest time I meant it's tough for education. I didn't mean that he made it tough.

JL: No. No. That wasn't the way it was meant. I think it was understood that you meant that Dr. Kerr was capable of handling the situation and did, and he was the leader.

EL: Yes, well, that's carried out by the fact that the final stroke in really getting the thing on an even keel was making him chancellor [in 1932].

JL: Tell me about that. How did his becoming chancellor come about?

EL: Well, I told you awhile ago that the Board selected an executive secretary, and that meant that the executive secretary was the Board's head man. He was 00:26:00supposed to have as much power as a chancellor would have. Well, he failed. Just wasn't able to make it go, and then there was a little turmoil around. We went ahead with our business the way that it had been left by the decisions that had been made up to that time, but one could see that wasn't going to work. They had to have a strong head, and so the Board of Higher Education finally concluded what people generally knew, that Dr. Kerr was the strongest man in the picture, and they'd better make him chancellor, and that's what they did.

JL: Do you feel he was capable as a chancellor?


EL: Oh, (pause) he saved the State System of Higher Education from just turmoil. That's all. He's the man that made it go. Made it work. He had a tough time. He moved from here over to Eugene. He didn't have to. He wasn't ordered to do that. They hadn't decided then where the chancellorship should be, but Dr. Kerr said, "If I'm going to work with those people that are so upset and fighting us, I must get over there and live with them, and let them find out that I plan to be fair in this situation."

JL: Who was leading the fight at Eugene?

EL: Oh, they had a president by the name of--oh heck, I can see him now as plain 00:28:00as I'm seeing you. What was his name? I can't get ahold of that name to save my life. It's a simple name, too. I'll think of it pretty soon. What in the world was his name? [The name was Arnold Bennett Hall.]

JL: He was trying to pull together his university, too?

EL: Oh, yes, he was doing just what Dr. Kerr was trying to do for Oregon State. He was trying to save the University of Oregon.

JL: And that created tension between the two institutions?

EL: Well, there was already great tension between the two institutions. In those days, you see, prior to the establishment of the State System of Higher Education, each institution had its own Board [of Regents], which is the common 00:29:00plan in states as yet.

JL: Yes.

EL: And these institutions out here [were competing for money], particularly the University and OAC, as it was then; they dominated the education in Oregon because they were the large stronger institutions. The state wasn't nearly as large as it is now, and money was hard to come by, and as a matter of fact the legislature made a wise move when it said we'd have to consolidate to save money. I've never disagreed with that; neither did Dr. Kerr and up till that time we had fared financially much better than the University. The reason for it 00:30:00was that Dr. Kerr was a better administrator. He didn't steal anybody's money. He just went to the legislature better prepared, the ablest man of the outfit, and so he came away with more nearly getting his full share of what he had asked for than any other president, and the University was fighting him on every hand.

JL: What happened between 1932 and 1934? I understand at both of the institutions there was not a president. Is that correct?

EL: Between 1932 and 1934? Well, there was a period of time when there wasn't a president at the institutions, (pause) It was a very short period of time, 00:31:00during part of the time that this executive secretary was in charge. President Kerr stayed on here as president until he was made chancellor. His authority in the State System wasn't very great because he was never given authority, you see, until he was made chancellor. We didn't go very long without presidents. We did probably a year or so, I don't remember, and I don't remember whether that was between 1932 and 1934. [It was from September 1932 until January 15, 1934.]


JL: Why was Kerr only chancellor for three years?

EL: (pause) Well, the University never accepted him, and they were fighting him all the way, and he was 68 years old. I think he just didn't want to stay at that age and fight it out and so he resigned; but the point is he had the System outlined and he had the main program adopted by the Board before that happened and it's still in existence.

JL: What part did you play in this situation, Dean Lemon?


EL: Oh, I was very close to Dr. Kerr and all that. I think probably I was as close to him as any man on our staff during that period. He used me that way, and I attended all the important meetings and all that, and had some important influence probably. I don't know as to any particular part that I would say that I played except that I was on the job all the time trying to help Dr. Kerr in every way that I could until he became chancellor.

JL: Didn't this take you away from your registrar duties?

EL: Oh, yes, but then everybody was upset in those days, (chuckles) These deans that were getting their schools torn up, too, and so on, they had extra problems 00:34:00to deal with. No, that wasn't the problem. Well, one thing I can say, the University had a registrar [who I could talk with]--a man by the name of [Earl M.] Pallett. He still lives in Eugene; he's still alive. He's two years younger than I. We were always able to understand each other pretty well. We didn't always agree during these hot fights because his position required him to do what his president wanted him to do to keep the University intact. Their plan was not to cooperate in those things that they didn't agree [with us] on, and it was pretty much the same thing over here.

Dr. Kerr and I practically always agreed; I never disagreed with him, very seldom at least. But, Pallett and I could sit down and talk to each other and 00:35:00get along and the presidents couldn't do that. They got to a point where they just couldn't get any place talking together. Pallett and I never got to the point where we couldn't meet and talk things through; maybe not agree but make some headway in ironing out some of the difficulty. So I think each of us had quite a part in finally getting things leveled off. But Dr. Kerr is the man who saved the day.

JL: Why was George Peavy chosen as president? [Peavy was president, 1934-1939.]

EL: Well, for about the same reason I've answered every time you ask that question. An administrator has to choose a man that he thinks can do the job, 00:36:00the best man available, and that's why he took Peavy. There was no political reason why he had to take Peavy. Peavy was just a man here that seemed to be in the best position to take things over. I told you the other day when we were discussing the School of Forestry that Peavy had been a very handy man. He was virtually dean of men for a long time, although we didn't have the position of dean of men then. He was just a man who had taken a general interest, and was prepared and capable of being president.

JL: How did the campus feel about him being the president of the College and the dean of School of Forestry? I understand he still retained that title.

EL: For a little while he did, but not for very long. Oh, I don't think the 00:37:00School had any feeling about that. I never heard that talk. He had an assistant by the name of [Earl G.] Mason that he ultimately appointed dean, and Mason practically took over even though Peavy retained the title for awhile. But I don't think that the institution had any feeling about that. I don't know why they would.

JL: Was George Peavy involved in the situation with the State System of Higher Education?

EL: Well, we were all involved, all of us who were in positions of leadership. Because of his position it was minor. There was no argument over the School of Forestry. Forestry had always been here and wasn't anything that the University 00:38:00wanted, so to speak. Well, of course, they knew that they couldn't get it. The same way with engineering. We had the School of Engineering and we had the School of Agriculture. Those schools really were involved only very indirectly. But Peavy was a man who was in on some of our councils that we had in order to arrive at general decisions about the stand the institution would take in these questions, and he was well prepared to be president.

JL: Do you remember anything about acquiring the McDonald Forest land?

EL: Oh, I have only a hazy recollection of the time it was acquired. Of course, Peavy is entitled to a good deal of the credit for that. Mrs. [Mary J. L.] 00:39:00McDonald's husband [of San Francisco] had died and Mrs. McDonald had quite an estate. She was interested in forestry and while her husband was living she'd gotten pretty well acquainted with Peavy. This tract of land out here was only part of the land that they owned; they were well-to-do foresters in this state. I suppose Peavy probably used some influence. I would think he did anyway. He probably initiated the first thought she had about it, and ultimately she donated it to the college.

JL: Were you involved in that?

EL: No. Not at all. I was partly involved in enlarging it later on. After World War II when Camp Adair had folded up out there, they had a lot of land that's 00:40:00now part of the McDonald Forest. I was very much involved in getting some of that.

JL: How were you involved?

EL: Just getting it. (chuckles) Well, I had been in charge of military programs for the campus during World War II and had been quite involved in taking over the hospital area at Camp Adair as additional housing for the campus after the War folded. That brought me in touch with the government people and military 00:41:00people who had operated Camp Adair. So it was more or less logical, I think, that I should have a hand in getting some of the land out there that they had to dispose of. They gave it to us, as far as that is concerned. Several thousand acres. I've forgotten now how much.

JL: Who were you working with when you acquired that land?

EL: Oh.... (pause) I can't tell you now. It's been so long I just haven't 00:42:00thought of it, but General Services Division had headquarters in Seattle and I made many trips to Seattle dealing with them, not only about this but a great many other things. The housing area we took over out there at Camp Adair was quite a project. We had 1,000 students living out there.

JL: I didn't know that.

EL: Yes. Yes. We had 1,000 students out there. The government extended aid to many places to help take care of the great number of people who wanted to go to college after World War II. We were rustling for [student] housing and finally 00:43:00decided on the hospital area at Camp Adair. We drew up our plan and finally got it approved, and we got a grant of money to remodel some of the hospital [buildings] into apartments. We had about 1000 people, all married students living out there at one time. It was quite a project.

JL: Who's idea was that?

EL: (laughter) Why it was the college administration's idea. We had to find a place for kids to live if we could.

JL: How did the government happen to give the land to the University?

EL: Oh, the government is pretty free with its land. War does some funny things, 00:44:00really. You see, Camp Adair was located out there. They had 60,000 men at Camp Adair at one time. Soldiers. We had nothing to do with them; they were soldiers. They bought up thousands of acres of land out there for that military reservation, and, of course, after the war was over, their job was to dispose of that. They had no use for it any longer. Of course, they sold most of it, but the public institutions, the state institutions, got a good deal. We got some big grants from it.

JL: Before we go onto the war years, I'd like to hear what effect the 00:45:00Depression had on you and on the University.

EL: Well, it had a terrific effect, a terrific effect, that and all the other things that come along about that time. We've been talking about the late twenties now and the early thirties, you see. We went through this reorganization thing we've been talking about; the Depression was the thing that forced that really. That's when the legislature felt they had to move to make 00:46:00some economy in administration, and they were right as far as that's concerned. So, there was one year there that we got down to a little over 2,000 students, and all the other institutions were the same way. We weren't any lower than any of the rest of them in the state. They all got hit, you see.

Nobody had any money. Lots of faculty were pulled off into other things ultimately because of World War II coming along and the extreme Depression, so we just come near going to pieces. All institutions did. We weren't the only 00:47:00ones. All over the country was pretty much that way, but I think we were extremely hit hard here because we were still a small state then; the growth in Oregon has been terrific since 1930. The only way I was affected personally was I took a 27 percent cut in salary.

JL: Good heavens.

EL: Like everybody else did. That's my share of it, and so everybody was affected. That Depression was a terrible thing. Well, especially for faculty members with the consolidation taking place at that time. A lot of them were losing their jobs, too.

JL: Yes, the consolidation thing came along at the same time.

EL: It was pretty bad.

JL: Do you remember the CCC [Civilian Conservation Corps] camps?


EL: CCC camps? Oh, yes. Yes. Of course, we had nothing to do with those but there were several camps here in the state. Yes, I remember them very distinctly.

JL: I understand they did some work in the area of McDonald Forest.

EL: Oh, yes, yes. They did quite a little work. They did work all over the state.

JL: They didn't have any association with the College?

EL: No, no, they weren't connected with the College at all.

JL: What effect did the Depression have on Corvallis?

EL: Oh, just like the effect it had on everything else. People didn't have any money to buy anything so that made quite a little difference in business and jobs were scarce, of course; in fact, there weren't any jobs you might say.


JL: In 1940 Peavy retired and Frank [L.] Ballard became president.

EL: Yes.

JL: Why did he stay such a short time?

EL: Well, he stayed such a short time because his health broke under it. I don't hesitate to say this: I've always felt that it was a great mistake in making him president. But, politics are politics, and the State Board selected him really. He was a good man in his field. He was an Extension man, director of Extension for us, a very good man, but he wasn't cut out to be a college president.


I made the statement to some of my friends when he was selected that he wouldn't last five years because he didn't have the background, and he wasn't cut out to be that kind of an administrator. I just picked the wrong five. I said five years; he lasted five months. He just cracked up mentally. I've used this illustration. I saw Frank Ballard sitting over in the president's office like being about in the same position I would [be] if they'd lead me down here and put me in the College heating plant and say you operate the plant.

JL: Why did they choose him?

EL: Oh, oh, why do they do a lot of things.

JL: It was political then?

EL: There was a lot of politics in it, yes.


JL: What about Extension at OAC?

EL: Well, I don't know how qualified I am to speak to that, but as I see it now, it fared better than most divisions of the institution because [the purpose of the] Extension Division is to help rural people--people who live out in the state, off campus; and goodness knows, they were the people that needed help because the market had gone to pieces for everything that they raised, and 00:52:00nobody had money to buy anything and so on. They needed help and the Extension people could be of real service to them.

JL: So the Extension workers were still active during the Depression years?

EL: Oh, yes, they were very active in Extension. In my judgment they fared the best of any part of the institution. They had their troubles. They had to curtail a lot, of course, because they didn't have money, but there was a demand for their services.

JL: After your Educational Exposition was discontinued, what happened to the high school-college relations?

EL: Well, the Educational Exposition was abandoned by order of the State Board of Higher Education during the time we were having these battles because the 00:53:00University objected to it very strenuously. At the same time the State Board made a blanket decision that no representative of the college should visit any high school for the purpose of recruiting students of any kind. It was just wiped out. Now that may not have been such a bad decision. It was terrible at the time, but it may not have been so bad because it would have been hard to untangle it, probably, and wipe it clean.

Well, Dr. Kerr reinstated recruitment after he [became chancellor]. I helped him a great deal on that. He set up a high school college-relations committee, and 00:54:00he made me chairman of that committee. It was a chancellor appointment. We set that up so that we would make a joint approach to the high schools, and I think the set-up was probably [my idea]. The committee that was put in charge [consisted of] the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the president of the High School Principal's Association, the president of the High School Superintendent's Association, a representative of the University of Oregon, a 00:55:00representative of Oregon State, and one man representing the three colleges of education that we had at that time; so we had the high schools represented as well as the institutions. That made a committee of six, and Dr. Kerr appointed me to represent Oregon State College and as chairman of the committee.

All the contacts that we made, well, any program that we took to the high schools, or held on the campus for high school people, was cleared by that committee. We first started by making joint visits to high schools. We committee 00:56:00members didn't necessarily go ourselves, though Pallett and I went on most of them, but we didn't need to. We could designate people to represent us as long as the committee agreed on who would be sent out, so we used a good many faculty people to go to the high schools. We had to because during that turmoil period the whole set-up broke down as far as relationships between the high schools and the colleges [were concerned] and we had to reestablish that again and start from scratch. And it worked out very well. It's still in operation, only a different organization now, but basically it's still the way we are doing it 00:57:00now. I was chairman of that committee for a year or two after I became dean of administration and then I released it. I read that when you were registrar, someone has said of you, "He probably has made more people mad than any other OSC faculty member in history."

JL: Why would they have said that of you, Dean Lemon? (chuckles)

EL: Well, that's just inevitable, (laughter) I take that as a compliment in a way. Yes, I think I know who said that. Seems like [Fred] Shideler said that in something he wrote about me sometime later. Well, it's pretty hard to find a registrar that's popular with students at the time that he has contact with them because he's saying, "No," pretty much of the time.

You've got to have a lot of standards. A registrar sets the standards at an institution—academic standards. We'd probably have a lot of argument, though, 00:58:00on the campus today if I should go down and stand up before the faculty senate or any other group and say that the registrar's responsible for the standards set; but it's just inevitable that he is because he's conducting the registrations. He's got the records and all of that, and he may not come right out and make the decision and get the credit for it when he makes it, but he's making the decision for the group that has made the decision.

I remember, in the second year I was registrar, I found sometimes that I was making decisions and the deans were overriding me--some deans. For instance, if 00:59:00I suspended a boy for scholarship deficiencies and the dean turned around and admitted him, we had a lot of trouble, and that happened in some cases.

I remember going before the Administrative Council when I was still a young registrar, and Dr. Kerr was presiding. I took quite a bit to make my presentation and I said, "It seems to me that the organization demands that this administrative body makes the rules that affect these matters, and it's the registrar's job to enforce them and administer them. Unless the registrar has made a mistake, this council should back him up." I remember how Dr. Kerr 01:00:00squared around and he said, "Does anybody know why that policy shouldn't be our policy?" (chuckles) And from that time on I never had any trouble. (chuckles)

And, oh, I had some hard problems that the current registrar doesn't have now--I don't know any harder than some he has, but they don't have this one very much any more. The Board [of Regents] set a non-resident fee for the first time. This was before the days of the State System even--let's see, I was registrar ten years before the System come into existence…

JL: What was happening on campus during World War II. What was the feeling?

EL: Well, first of all we had very few students. We got down again to, oh, 01:01:00just a little over 2,000 students not counting the military during World War II and 1,800 of those were women. There would be 300 or 400 of those [military]. Girls had a great time then.

JL: Do you think so--without men around?

EL: (chuckles) Well, they missed the men, I guess. Maybe I'd better say the men had a great time. I'm not conscious of the feeling at that time being anything unique. I think students in wartime feel about like other people. Greatly 01:02:00concerned, of course; and naturally the offerings got curtailed somewhat. We lost a lot of men to the war, I mean faculty, during World War II.

JL: You mean the men went off to war?

EL: Yes, a lot of them did. We'd had a lot of young men [on the faculty] by that time because we'd begun to grow, you know. And most of them went to war so our course offerings were quite restricted, I'd say, but there were fewer student problems. Students were a little more serious-minded, I think, about their class 01:03:00work. They really had to be because faculty didn't have much patience with kids in those days if they weren't delivering.

JL: What did the women students do for the war effort?

EL: Well, most of them moved out of dormitories to make room for the housing for these men we brought in. (chuckles)

JL: Where did they go?

EL: Some of them went to fraternity houses. I guess we didn't move any of the 01:04:00women out of sorority houses. We moved them out of the dormitories into the fraternity houses and put the soldiers in the dormitories. That's what we did.

JL: Was the student body all pulling together during the war years?

EL: No trouble about that. Less trouble about that type of thing than there is normally.

JL: Was it more difficult for the administrators?

EL: Everything is more difficult during war. I don't think we were particularly different than any other segment of society but it was different, of course. Everything is restricted and everybody is on edge because of the war. Men being 01:05:00killed in battle and that type of thing. It's a tough time.

JL: I know that you have two sons. Were either of them in the war?

EL: My older boy had 54 months and my second boy had 36 months. My older boy Berlan, who is now a professor in the School of Education, was in France when he was ordered to the Philippines, and he went out to Gibraltar and across through the Panama Canal to the Philippines. If he had gone by way of that little stretch from the Mediterranean up toward India, which is one-third the distance 01:06:00he went this other way, he'd have been around the world during the war. He ended up in Japan. He spent the last winter up in Hokkaido, which is the top island of Japan, in four feet of snow. (chuckles)

JL: Oh, my gosh. So you were quite involved in the war effort then?

EL: Oh, yes. Mrs. Lemon was one of three members of the ration board in Corvallis for the whole war period, and we just came home to sleep. The rest of the time we were doing other things. The boys were gone. She worked downtown all day, and I was at the College all day.

JL: What was happening in Corvallis? Can you say anything about that. Was 01:07:00the community pulling together, too?

EL: Oh, yes, there was no trouble. No trouble. Nothing like that. I wouldn't say this was any different then than it was in any other town. People, well, college people get upset about war and get concerned about war, have relatives in the war.

JL: Did you relax your standards of letting students into the school at that time?

EL: No, I don't think we had any occasion to relax them. There weren't very many that wanted to come. I told you we dropped down to about 2,000 students.

JL: What was the relationship of the military boys on campus and those at Camp Adair? Was there any relationship at all there?


EL: Oh, no, there was no relationship there. The Camp Adair boys were in a military training camp where there is something doing all the time. They just work the life out of a boy in training. You go to one of these military training camps when the war is on, and they're busy people. They were coming and going out there all the time.

JL: Do you have anything else to say about that time period?

EL: No, only I hope I never see another one.

JL: While the tape recorder was off, we were discussing Bill Hanley. Will you tell the story of Hanley again? [William Hanley was a picturesque, well-known rancher of Harney County.]

EL: Well, the first time I heard Bill Hanley speak--I think I heard him tell this, I think he said that his home was down about Roseburg and he was a boy about 17 or 18, something like that. In his boyhood days that was about the time 01:09:00that they were ready to go out on their own; his father gave him a couple of horses and he saddled up one horse and they put a pack on the other one. And he said, "My father went with me up to the top of the Cascades, a high point, and he pointed off towards the northeast corner of the state and said, 'Son, over there is a great country. You go over there and get all the land that you can get, and get it honestly.'" (chuckles) And he said, "Father and I shook hands. Then I went on, and he went back home." (chuckles)

JL: And where did he go?

EL: He went to Burns. Did you spot his ranch over there? Well, I don't know 01:10:00whether he took part of that ranch as his homestead, but I imagine he did.

JL: What kind of a man was he?

EL: Oh, he was a very interesting character. Of course, I suppose he was 65 years old when I heard him making that statement, and I thought of him as a big man. I don't think he was so tall, although he probably was 5 feet 10 inches, maybe 6 feet; I don't know, 5 feet 10 inches I expect; there weren't many 6 feet in that day. He had quite a bay window; well, he was on the heavy side and a big round-faced fellow. Wore a big cowboy hat and he was just quite a man all the 01:11:00way around. And he sure carried out his dad's instructions because he acquired lots of land and he got quite a lot of money. He was a very successful man.

JL: How did he happen to come here?

EL: Oh, I don't know. He was here with three or four other men. I don't know what the occasion was. I was quite a young man at the time; I wasn't in any official position around here. I guess it was when I was teaching; might have been while I was still a student. I remember in this party with him was Edgar B. Piper. Edgar B. Piper was one of the early-day editors of the Oregonian.


I'm answering your question now as to what Bill Hanley looked like and this is 01:13:00an apropos story. This was a student assembly, I think, or rather a campus assembly, students and faculty, and we were in the old Armory, what's now the playhouse, and there was a full house. People listened to speakers much more in those days than they do now; people would sit and listen to men who had something to say, indefinitely, and I remember this was quite a long meeting.

Edgar B. Piper was on the platform and he introduced Bill Hanley, and said, "People say, or some people say, that Bill Hanley looks like William Jennings Bryan. I'm going to introduce him by saying that William Jennings Bryan looks like Bill Hanley." (chuckles) I remember that statement that he made. And if you remember Bryan's pictures and so on [you will know what Hanley looked like]. I never saw Bryan but once, but he did look something like Bill, same type of man. You could mistake them if they were dressed up the same.

JL: That's interesting. Did you know Bill Hanley personally?

EL: Well, no. He wouldn't know me. I saw him in action and I've heard about him. 01:14:00He was a very prominent man when I was a young man.

JL: Thank you for repeating this story.