Thursday, August 31, 2006


I love it when a plan comes together--or in this case, a nagging question gets answered.

One of the items in
the Herbert Merton Greene Collection is a photograph of the 50th reunion of the Class of 1904. There stands Herbert, back row left, staring off into the distance with his haunting eyes. The rest of the people in the photo are identified by title and last name: Mr. Russell, Mr. Couch, Mr. Shelley, Dr. Wilson D.D.S., Mrs. Plumer, Miss Jones, Mrs. Walton.
When we first looked at the list of graduates from University of Oregon Medical School in 1904, only Greene's name matched up. Once we realized that one was clearly identified as a dentist, we were able to confirm that Ellis O. Willson did indeed graduate, from the North Pacific Dental College, in 1904. NPDC went on to become, eventually, the University of Oregon Dental School.

But what about the others? If one was a dentist, perhaps some were nurses? Unfortunately, the Multnomah Training School for Nurses, predecessor to today's School of Nursing, did not begin until 1910. Master's students? The UOMS catalogs did not list any master's students during those early years.

I thought this was a dead-end until I remembered that we have early alumni lists from the University of Oregon itself, original parent institution to our university. Bingo! Mr. J.O. Russell received his B.A. in 1904 and went on to work at YMCA; Mr. Leslie E. Crouch earned his LL.B. degree from UO in 1904; Ralph S. Shelley parlayed his 1904 B.S. into a Forest Service job; Mrs. Lulu Holmes Plummer earned her B.A. but went on to a (presumably contented) life as a housewife; Miss Louise Jones and Mrs. Pauline Walton both received B.A. degrees and then went into teaching.

One mystery down. What is infinity minus one? :-)

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