March: Women's History Month



January   February
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Women in Early Oregon

molalla kate

  Molalla Kate 
Molalla Kate Chantal—the daughter of Molalla Chief Yelkus, a signer of treaties with the United States in 1851 and 1855—was born in Dickey Prairie, near present-day Molalla, Oregon, in about 1844. One of the last speakers of the Molalla language, Chantal was a principal informant to anthropologists and linguists studying Pacific Northwest Native languages and culture in the early twentieth century. She was known for her basket making and for teaching young people the art of weaving and beadwork. Images of Molalla Kate appear in many books about the Indians of western Oregon.

Sacagawea was a member of the Agaideka (Lemhi) Shoshone, who lived in the upper Salmon River Basin in present-day Idaho. In about 1800, she was kidnapped by members of the Hidatsa tribe and taken to their homeland in the Knife River Valley, near present-day Stanton, North Dakota. A few years later, she was traded to or purchased by a French Canadian trapper named Toussaint Charbonneau. She was pregnant with his child when Meriwether Lewis and William Clark arrived at the Knife River villages in November 1804, on their mission to find a feasible route to the Pacific Ocean. 

Jane Barnes Robson

Jane Barnes is credited with being the first European woman to set foot in the Oregon Country. Originally a barmaid in Portsmouth, England, Barnes was recruited by North West Company partners John McDonald and Donald McTavish to sail aboard their company’s ship Isaac Todd as a seamstress, though it is believed she was also the mistress of one or both men. 


whitman   moffat brown
Narcissa Whitman
Missionary Narcissa Prentiss Whitman is probably Old Oregon’s most famous and tragic woman. Her reputation ranges from heroic to intolerant. In 1836, she moved west with her husband, Dr. 
Marcus Whitman, to establish a mission. Determined to Christianize and civilize the Cayuse Indians of the Columbia Plateau region, their goals were unreasonable, and eventually Narcissa became disillusioned. The Cayuse resisted the Whitmans' efforts and in angry reaction murdered her and her family in 1847, thereby sealing her place in Oregon and Pacific Northwest history.

Tabitha Moffat Brown
Of the 158 names inscribed in the legislative chambers of the Oregon State Capitol, only six are women. One of those is Tabitha Moffat Brown, named by the 1987 Oregon legislature as "The Mother of Oregon." The legislature proclaimed that she “represents the distinctive pioneer heritage, and the charitable and compassionate nature, of Oregon's people."



Charity Lamb 
Charity Lamb was the first woman to be convicted of murder in Oregon Territory. On Saturday, May 13, 1854, she struck her husband Nathaniel in the back of the head with an axe while he was eating supper with their five children. The Oregon Weekly Times, Oregon Spectator, and Oregonian newspapers branded her “a monster” and characterized the act as “cold-blooded,” “inhuman,” and “revolting."  

Alice Day Pratt 
Alice Day Pratt was forty years old in 1912 when she set out on her own to homestead on 160 acres in Crook County. After eighteen years of ranching and teaching in rugged central Oregon, she moved to New York and published her experiences in national magazines and in books. Born in Mankato, Minnesota, on June 16, 1872, Pratt moved to Elk Creek, South Dakota, at age fourteen and then to North Carolina. There, she taught school, but longed to "own a portion of the earth's crust in my own right and to tamper with it unrestrained," as she would later write. She researched land availability and dry land farming techniques and chose Oregon to begin her adventure. Free land was still available in the eastern and central areas of the state from the Enlarged Homestead Act of 1909.   

Katherine Sterrett Munra
Katherine Sara Sterrett Munra, known widely as "Grandma Munra," became famous for her skillful operation of fine dining rooms at railroad eating houses in early Oregon. She was noted for her cooking, charm, and hospitality. Being adept at treating patrons as honored guests, she remembered their names as they returned to eat. Katherine Sterrett was born on May 5, 1831, in Erie, Pennsylvania, to Catherine Riblet and Joseph Sterrett. Her father was a lawyer, judge and founder of the Erie Gazette. A requirement for employment at the Gazette was to live at the Sterrett residence, where Katherine's mother, Catherine, presided over the household. It was there that Katherine learned to cook and become a hostess.  

Woman Suffrage in Oregon


suffrage rally





The campaign to achieve voting rights (also called suffrage or the franchise) for Oregon women from 1870 to 1912 is part of a broad and continuing movement at the regional, national, and international levels to secure equality and full citizenship for women. Oregon has the distinction of placing the question of votes for women on the ballot six times—in 1884, 1900, 1906, 1908, 1910, and 1912—more than any other state. 
Read Kim Jensen's essay to learn more.


dunway   redmond   weeks  
Abigail Scott Duniway
Outspoken and often controversial, Abigail Scott Duniway is remembered as Oregon's "Mother of Equal Suffrage" and "the pioneer Woman Suffragist of the great Northwest." As lecturer, organizer, writer, and editor, Duniway devoted over forty years to the cause of women's rights.
  Harriet "Hattie" Redmond
Harriet “Hattie” Redmond was a leader in the long struggle for Oregon woman suffrage, especially during the successful campaign of 1912. The right to vote was especially important to Redmond as a black woman living in a state that had codified black exclusion laws in its constitution. Redmond’s work for voting rights helped lay the groundwork for the Black Civil Rights movement of the mid-twentieth century.
  Lizzie Weeks
Lizzie Koontz Weeks was an African American activist in Portland in the years after women in Oregon had achieved the right to vote in 1912. She organized black women to empower them to be successful voters and was an early candidate for local party office. Weeks was the first female African American social worker to be employed by Multnomah County.


Women in Journalism 


cannady   bryant

Beatrice Morrow Cannady
Beatrice Morrow Cannady was the most noted civil rights activist in early twentieth-century Oregon. Using her position as editor of the Advocate, Oregon's largest, and at times the only, African American newspaper, Cannady launched numerous efforts to defend the civil rights of the approximately 2,500 African Americans in the state (in 1930) and to challenge racial discrimination in its varied forms.

  Louise Bryant
A poet, playwright, and society columnist, Bryant was part of Portland’s “vest pocket” Bohemia. She worked as an illustrator for the Oregon Spectator and submitted articles and plays to radical publications such as The Masses. She spent a good deal of time with artists Carl and Helen Walters; the two women worked in local theaters and the Little Club, an artists’ hangout, and volunteered as visitors to women inmates in the county jail.
ruuttila   Bogle
Julia Ruuttila
In 1936, Ruuttila enlisted the support of the IWA to organize the Free Ray Becker Committee. Becker was the last Wobbly in prison following the events in Centralia, Washington, on November 11, 1919, when the American Legion and the IWW clashed and five men died. To publicize Becker’s case, she began writing for The Timberworker, the woodworker's union paper. Soon she was Oregon editor, a position she held until 1940.
  Kathyrn Hall Bogle
A freelance journalist, social worker, and community activist, Kathryn Hall Bogle is remembered as “one of Portland’s earliest and most passionate advocates of racial diversity.” She wrote articles for many African American newspapers, including the Pittsburgh Courier, the Seattle-based Northwest Enterprise, the Portland Observer, and The Skanner, and was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Portland Association of Black Journalists in 1993.

Women in Medicine

Esther Clayson Pohl Lovejoy
Physician Esther Clayson Pohl Lovejoy took an active and significant role in public health reform, suffrage, and politics in early twentieth century Portland. Lessons she learned in Oregon became the foundation for her subsequent career in transnational medical relief and international health.  


Katherine Manion
In 1903, Manion graduated with honors from the University of Oregon Medical Department, received her medical license, and established a practice in Portland, specializing in diseases of women and children. She joined the Medical Club of Portland, a society organized in 1900 to promote and support the work of women physicians in the city, and served as secretary of the club in 1905 and as president in 1908. She was also active in the University of Oregon Alumnae Association and was president of the Portland chapter for two years, from 1906 to 1908. A member of the Oregon State Medical Society and Portland City and County Medical Societies, Manion served as treasurer for both organizations and assisted in organizing events for visiting women at annual meetings in Oregon.


Mary Cachot Therkelson
Physician, businesswoman, and suffragist Mary Agnes Cachot Therkelsen contributed to Oregon's Progressive Era activism and created a bridge between local and national advocates for women's rights. By attaining a medical degree and engaging in business, she pushed the boundaries of women's participation in the economic and social life of the state. Mary Cachot was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Her father, San Francisco surgeon M.A. Cachot, had graduated from the Medical Department of the University of the Pacific, the predecessor to Cooper Medical College, in 1864, and served as resident physician of St. Mary’s Hospital in the city. Mary Cachot graduated from the Cooper Medical College in San Francisco in November 1889 and received her license to practice medicine in California in April 1890. She wrote her thesis on skin diseases and after her graduation supervised the infant ward at St. Mary’s Hospital.


thompson   Mary Anna Cooke Thompson
Controversial in her politics, yet honored in her lifetime as one of Oregon's pioneer doctors, Mary Anna Cooke Thompson practiced medicine in Portland for over forty years. Although she held no degree, Thompson began advertising in Portland newspapers in 1867 and was eventually known as "Portland's first woman physician."


Joanna M. Cain
Joanna M. Cain is an internationally known physician, teacher, and researcher in women’s health and gynecologic oncology. Cain joined the faculty of the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in 2001 as professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She worked to bring both top-notch researchers and clinical trials (research studies on new treatments) to the state, giving women in Oregon access to cutting-edge medical advances.


Mae Harrington Whitney Cardwell
Mae Harrington, the first woman to hold a position on a hospital staff in Oregon, was born in Cherry Hill, Pennsylvania, on July 23, 1853. A teacher at age fourteen, she married Dr. H.W. Whitney when she was sixteen years old. It is uncertain when and why that marriage ended. In 1877, she moved to the West Coast. She enrolled at Cooper Medical School in San Francisco in 1881 and graduated in 1883. With an additional M.D. from the Willamette University Medical Department in April 1885, she was hired to be a physician to the children’s ward of the Portland Hospital and a specialist in children’s diseases. She married Dr. James Robert Cardwell, a Portland dentist, on April 13, 1895.



Christine Karen Cassel
One hundred and fourteen years into its history, the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) School of Medicine named Christine Cassel its first woman dean. A national leader in geriatrics and medical ethics, Cassel literally wrote the book on academic geriatrics in the United States. As a student in the early 1960s, Cassel found herself drawn to science but was discouraged from considering medicine by teachers who thought women were unsuited to its rigors. She took an undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1967 but sensed that it wasn’t the right fit for her. On a trip to visit friends on Whidbey Island in Washington, Cassel fractured her elbow. It was her experience as an uninsured American seeking care that finally inspired her to pursue medicine.

Elizabeth Eggert
Elizabeth Avery Eggert, a homeopathic physician, businesswoman, and activist, helped secure the right to vote for Oregon women. She combined a career in medicine and business with social activism, contributing to local and national reform in suffrage, public health, and philanthropy. Born in Oxfordshire, England, in 1848, Elizabeth Avery was five years old when she immigrated with her parents to Connecticut. She attended the Ipswich Female Seminary in Massachusetts and in the late 1860s graduated from the Cleveland Homeopathic Hospital College for Women. As an alternative medical system, homeopathy had a strong following during this period and was especially welcoming to women students and practitioners.

Marie Equi 
Dr. Marie Equi was a fiercely independent Oregon physician who was engaged in the political turmoil and social change of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She was a fearless advocate for woman's suffrage, labor rights, and free speech, and her raucous protests against imperialism and war gave her a reputation inPortland as one of the most outspoken agitators in town.For all her boldness, Equi was a dedicated caregiver who held her profession so dearly that even her close companions called her "Doc." 


Lena Kenin
Lena Nemerovsky Kenin was born in Portland on November 5, 1897, the third youngest of six children born to David and Naomi (Swartz) Nemerovsky. Kenin attended Reed College and graduated from the University of Washington in 1921. That November, she married Philadelphian Harry Kenin and spent the next three years teaching school. She enrolled at the University of Oregon Medical School in 1924, earning her M.D. in 1929. After interning at Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, she set up a practice in obstetrics and gynecology that would flourish for over twenty-five years.

Harriet Lawrence
Harriet Jane Lawrence was one of the earliest female pathologists in the United States and the first known woman pathologist in Oregon. She was born in Kingsbury, Maine, on September 13, 1883. At the age of fifteen, she began teaching, walking several miles to the schoolhouse to earn three dollars a week. With money she saved, she put herself through college and medical school. In 1912, she graduated from the Boston University School of Medicine, one of six women in her class. She then worked for a few months as a resident pathologist in Boston before moving to Oregon that same year.

Carol A. Lindeman
September 1, 1976, was a red-letter day for the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center School of Nursing (now Oregon Health & Sciences University School of Nursing) in Portland. A new dean had arrived. Carol A. Lindeman, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., had been recruited to lead the school and to enlarge its solid regional reputation to one of national prominence. The only daughter of Edgar and Lynda Lehmann, Lindeman was born on January 16, 1935, in Racine, Wisconsin. She earned a diploma in nursing in 1955 from Evangelical Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing in Milwaukee, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Minnesota in 1957 and 1958, and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin in 1964.

Katherine Manion
As an activist and physician, Katherine Manion contributed to Oregon women's quest for complete citizenship in the early twentieth century. She also worked for a secure place for women physicians in Oregon medicine. Katherine C. Galbraith was born in Walla Walla, Washington, in 1867 and graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in Portland in 1888. She married James Manion, had a son, and was widowed. She may have sought a medical education to support herself and her son.


adair   sawtelle

Bethenia Owens Adair
Bethenia Owens-Adair overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to become a social reformer and one of Oregon's first women doctors with a medical degree. Some Oregon women, such as Dr. Mary Thompson, called themselves "doctor" but had not attended medical school and did not possess degrees. A few others, such as Owens-Adair and Mary P. Avery Sawtelle, earned medical degrees and established early practices in Oregon.


Mary Priscilla Avery Sawtelle
In 1848, the family traveled to Oregon Territory, where they settled on a claim in Marion County. In The Heroine of '49 (1891), a thinly veiled autobiography, Sawtelle wrote of life in Oregon, her medical studies, and her early efforts as a writer, speaker, and organizer for women's rights, including her special interest in women's property rights.


Grace Phelps
In 1909, Grace Phelps began an activist career that would define her significant contributions to Oregon nursing. Portland attorney Sylvanus Kingsley, her brother-in-law, would later say of her: “The betterment of conditions for nurses was in fact her primary objective in life.” Born to a large Quaker family in Westfield, Indiana, on September 5, 1871, Phelps trained as a nurse at Cincinnati General Hospital in Ohio, graduating in 1900. As was the case for all nurses at the time, she began practice as a private duty nurse. From 1905 to 1908, she advanced to the position of superintendent of a children’s hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana. She moved to Portland the next year, working as an office nurse and anesthetist for a local otolaryngologist.

Frances J. Storrs
Frances Storrs, an acclaimed physician and dermatologist, helped clear the path for generations of women physicians in Oregon and throughout the nation. When Storrs accepted a teaching position at Oregon Health & Science University’s Department of Dermatology in 1968, dermatology was “basically a men’s club,” said faculty member and dermatologist Richard Dobson. She had just finished her residency at the university, the first woman to do her entire training in the department. Her admission to the all-male faculty was a monumental shift in thinking, according to Dobson. “We debated a long time, and finally we decided that Fran would be OK.”

Elnora Thomson
Recruited to Oregon by Sadie Orr Dunbar in 1920, Elnora E. Thomson began the public-health nursing program at the University of Oregon’s Portland School of Social Work. A person with energy, talent, focus, and extensive organizational experience in public health, social work, and mental health, Thomson brought new perspective to public health nursing, a newly recognized health care need in Oregon. In a large state with far-flung population centers, providing preventive health care programs was a challenge. Thomson was the right person for the job.

Oregon Nurses Association 
The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) serves as a professional organization of registered nurses and as a collective bargaining agent for its members. ONA is part of the national American Nurses Association (ANA); both groups were founded around the turn of the twentieth century. ONA joined the ANA in 1911, but in 1906—even before Oregon's women citizens could vote—the group successfully lobbied the legislature for a Nurse Practice Act (NPA). This state legislation established a board that sets standards and administers licensure exams. Nurses who pass the test are legally "registered" and able to use the title "RN."

Women in Politics

clarke   towne   sleeth
Kathryn Clarke
Kathryn Clarke, the first woman to serve in the Oregon Senate, made worldwide news for her accomplishment. She was born in Douglas County in 1873, the daughter of John and Catherine McGregor Clarke, who had come to Oregon from Canada. She was born in the same year as her cousin,Oswald West, who would be elected governor of Oregon in 1910. The Clarke family was in the hotel business in Roseburg and Glendale. When she completed school, Kathryn followed in the family enterprise and managed the hotel in Glendale.
  Marian Towne
As the first woman elected to the Oregon House of Representatives (1914), and one of the first women in the state to serve with the Naval Reserve Corps in World War I, Marian Towne was a leader in expanding opportunities for Oregon women in the early twentieth century.
  Mattie Cone Sleeth
Mattie Cone Sleeth was a significant force for change in Oregon during the early decades of the twentieth century. A devoted minister’s wife, she arrived in Portland with her family in 1903 and established herself as a leader of the Oregon Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). She was an ardent supporter of woman suffrage, a licensed local preacher in Oregon for the Methodist Episcopal Church, and among the first woman jurors in the state.


Sarah Ann Shannon Evans
When Evans arrived in Portland in 1894, she helped establish the early clubs and projects that would be a vital part of the city’s Progressive Era reform, linking the city with national trends in women’s organized activism. She was a charter member of the Portland Woman’s Club (1896) and a founder of the Oregon Federation of Women’s Clubs (1899), serving as president from 1905 to 1915. In 1901, Evans led the efforts of the two organizations to achieve legislative funding for public libraries in Oregon. She was an effective lobbyist for the bill in Salem, moving and acting within the political system even before Oregon women achieved the vote in 1912.


harrison   Kathryn Harrison
Kathryn Jones Harrison of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde is one of Oregon's important tribal leaders. She is known especially for her work as a member of the Tribal Council of the Grand Ronde and for her contributions during the Termination era, a time when the Eisenhower Administration deprived tribes of formal "recognition."



lee   neuberger
Dorothy McCullough Lee
In 1947, the city of Portland crawled with gambling halls, strip joints, bars, and brothels. Violence and venereal disease rates were so high that sea captains refused sailors liberty time in the city. Crime rings paid off police and politicians, and there were suspicions that Portland Mayor Earl Riley was skimming off the protection money collected by local police. The influential City Club charged Riley with "negligence in stamping out vice in the Rose City." It was in this atmosphere that Portland City Commissioner Dorothy McCullough Lee began testing the waters for a run against the cigar-chewing, two-term mayor.

Maurine Neuberger
Maurine Brown Neuberger entered politics as an Oregon state legislator and, as of 2010, was Oregon’s first and only woman to serve in the United States Senate. Neuberger was an advocate for consumer rights and women’s issues, and she advanced the causes of the Democratic Party in Oregon and the nation.

betty roberts   gordly
Betty Roberts
Betty Roberts was a thirty-two-year-old housewife with four children when she went back to college in 1955. Her decision went against the wishes of her banker husband and the conventions of 1950s society. That marriage did not last, but Roberts’s step toward independence bore abundant fruit, putting her on the path to a long career in Oregon law and politics. She broke two significant gender barriers, becoming the first woman to serve on both the Oregon Court of Appeals and the Oregon Supreme Court.
  Avel Gordly
In 1996, Avel Louise Gordly became the first African American woman to be elected to the Oregon State Senate. Gordly was born in Portland on February 13, 1947. Her father, Fay Gordly, was a railroad worker active with the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and Maids; her mother, Beatrice Bernice Coleman Gordly, was a long-time member of Mt. Olivet Baptist church and a Grand Worthy Matron of the Eastern Star.
schwab   green
Mildred Schwab
A Portland city commissioner for fourteen years, Mildred Schwab was known for her sharp tongue, colorful personality, and frugality regarding city funds. A lover of music and an accomplished pianist, she played an important role as the commissioner in charge of the development of the Portland Center for the Performing Arts.
  Edith Starrett Green
Democrat Edith Starrett Green represented Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District from 1955 through 1974. During her twenty years in the U.S. House of Representatives, she gained a national reputation for her leadership in shaping federal education policy and her advocacy for equal rights for women. She was known for her independence, tenacity, and ability


LGBT flyer   Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement
Gays first began organizing in Portland in early March 1970. They advertised their cause in the pages of The Willamette Bridge, a counter-culture newspaper that began in 1968 and carried news about Vietnam, the Black Panthers, Students for a Democratic Society, rock concerts, alternative lifestyles, and the environment. Although the social element was important to these early activists, they immediately identified politics as central to their purpose. They outlined a plan to speak in college classes and to church and civil groups, to provide radio and television interviews, to write articles for the press, and to lobby for the abolition of legislation that oppressed gays. Gay Liberation in Portland also led to the formation of local organizations such as the Second Foundation, which on May 7, 1972, opened the first gay community center in Oregon.

Women and Libraries

Jennifer Gray Kyle
Late in his life, President Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) said the best advice he had ever been given came from Salem Sunday school teacher Jennifer Gray. She took Hoover to a lending library and borrowed a copy of Ivanhoe for him. A few days later, after he had finished the book and returned it, she borrowed David Copperfield. More books followed, and Hoover came to understand that “while textbooks are necessary to learning, it was those other books which stimulated imagination and a better understanding of life. They made the whole world a home. They broadened my scope and made me feel a part of the mighty stream of humanity.”

Agnes Sengstacken
Establishing a public library in Marshfield was a “labor of love” for Agnes Ruth Sengstacken. She "embraced progress," historian Stephen Dow Beckham writes, "and used it as a lever to improve the quality of life on Oregon's southwest coast." Her parents, Freeman and Esther (Selover) Lockhart, had immigrated to Oregon in 1851, traveling with a wagon train from Thompkins County, New York, and then to Coos County in 1853. Her mother was the first schoolteacher in the county, and her father was the first school superintendent. Agnes was one of the Lockharts' six children, born in 1859 in a two-room log cabin on her parents’ land claim, which eventually became the town of Myrtle Point.


Isom   pierce
Mary Frances Isom
Mary Frances Isom, perhaps Oregon’s most remarkable librarian, transformed the Portland Library Association of Portland from an insular organization with limited impact into a major community asset with an enviable national reputation. At the regional level, she achieved equal distinction, drafting changes to Oregon law that furthered the free library movement and spearheading the creation of several statewide and regional library organizations. 
  Cornelia Marvin Pierce
Born in 1873 into a middle-class family in Iowa, Cornelia Marvin attended public schools in Minnesota and Washington, received private tutoring in Boston, and pursued higher education at the University of Chicago and the Armour Institute library school. The library profession welcomed women in the 1890s, as the public library movement was spreading across the United States, and communities opened tax-funded libraries.

Women in Science


Florence Merriam Bailey
Florence Augusta Merriam Bailey was an ornithologist and nature writer whose fieldwork contributed significantly to the knowledge of the birds of Oregon. Best known for Handbook of Birds of the Western United States and Birds of New Mexico, she was called the First Lady of American ornithology. She was the first woman elected as a fellow of the American Ornithologists’ Union (1929); and in 1931, she won that society’s highest award, the William Brewster Memorial Award.



leach   gilkey   mason
Lilla Leach
Lilla Irvin Leach was an independent field botanist who, with her husband John, systematically collected plants throughout Oregon and other western states. She was particularly interested in the Siskiyou Mountains of Curry County in southwestern Oregon. She and John spent nine summers there between 1928 and 1938, exploring the heart of that rugged range where Lilla discovered several new species. 
  Helen Gilkey
Helen Margaret Gilkey was a nationally recognized mycologist, a talented botanical illustrator, and a watercolor artist. She was the first woman to obtain a Ph.D. in botany from the University of California, earning her advanced degree from Berkeley in 1915. She then established a career as one of North America's most distinguished botanists and was considered to be the American authority on truffles.
  Georgia Mason
Georgia Mason was unique among twentieth-century Oregon botanists in that she did not arrive in the Northwest nor begin her serious study of botany in the state until she was in middle age. The summers she spent botanizing alone in the rugged, isolated Wallowa Mountains were in the decade between 1961 and 1971. She published her well-respected Guide to the Plants of the Wallowa Mountains of Northeastern Oregon in 1975, with revisions five years later. 


Elizabeth Jacobs
Elizabeth D. Jacobs’s fieldwork with the Nehalem Tillamook and southwestern Oregon Athabaskans made significant contributions to the linguistic, ethnographic, and folkloristic documentation of the Native peoples of western Oregon. She was born Elizabeth Louise Derr in Heron, Montana, in 1903 but grew to adulthood near Clark Fork, Idaho. She graduated with a bachelor’s in English from the University of Washington in 1930, and then completed two years of pre-med courses. Planning to become a psychiatrist, she attended the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1932-1933, but her funds ran out, forcing her to leave school. Jacobs returned to Seattle and to her University of Washington anthropologist-husband Melville Jacobs, whom she had married on January 3, 1931. During the summer of 1933, she accompanied Melville on his yearly field research trip among the Indians of western Oregon. That experience changed her life.


Kwan Hsu 
Kwan Hsu arrived in Portland in 1964, a newly minted professor tasked not just with teaching at Portland State College (now Portland State University) but also with creating a new biophysics program in the Physics Department. When the United States normalized relations with China, Hsu’s connections on both sides of the Pacific Ocean placed her in a position to foster business and cultural connections between two very different worlds.