Oliver Greeley Hughson papers,

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1 Overview of the Collection Creator Hughson, Oliver Greeley Title Oliver Greeley Hughson papers Dates (inclusive) Quantity 9 cubic feet, (9 record cartons) Collection Number Mss 1712 Summary Oliver Greeley Hughson, a retired building materials salesman, developed a successful program to teach young men construction skills. His Boy Builders Clubs and Minimalic Construction method became a model for schools and colleges throughout the United States and British Columbia. The bulk of Hughson s papers chronicle the development of this training program from its inception in 1933 until his death in His personal papers include correspondence, his 1882 diary, day books, and family history. Repository Oregon Historical Society, Davies Family Research Library Davies Family Research Library Oregon Historical Society 1200 SW Park Avenue Portland, OR Telephone: Fax: Access Restrictions The collection is open to the public. Languages English Biographical Note Oliver Greeley Hughson ( ) moved from his boyhood home in Broome County, New York to Stockton, California, where he apprenticed as a blacksmith. He subsequently enrolled in the University of Pacific where he earned his bachelor s degree in liberal arts and classics from in Hughson began his career selling building materials in Oregon in 1896 and thus gained familiarity with the construction and logging industries, which he later described in anecdotes published in the Oregon Historical Quarterly (1959). He also became a labor organizer under the employment of the Builders Exchange Board of Directors (circa 1913). He and his wife, Rose Hudson (d. 1922) had one son, Robur S., born Alarmed at the lack of opportunities for depression-era boys under sixteen years of age to gain experience in building construction, O.G. Hughson, then a sixty-nine year old retiree, developed the first Boy Builders Club in 1933 to teach all aspects of the trade through the creation of accurately-scaled minature buildings. He registered his business, the State Building Congress, with Multnomah County in 1937, and initially formed clubs via the State 4-H system. The program moved into the public school classroom and became a model for programs in schools and colleges throughout the United States as 1

2 well as in British Columbia, reaching an estimated 50,000 young men. Hughson obtained waste lumber from many sources to be used in his " Minimalic Construction" projects, and set up a shop on the Lane County Fairgrounds to produce precision cut dimension lumber to be distributed free-of-charge to schools. He worked doggedly at this voluntary labor of love for the remainder of his life. Content Description The collection consists primarily of materials related to the development, operations, and promotion of the Boy Builders Clubs and Minimalic Construction chronicled through correspondence, reports, publications, minutes, clippings, construction drawings, speeches, notes, scrapbooks and memorabilia. Correspondents include timber companies and organizations, educators, Oregon State College and State College of Washington. In addition, Oliver Greeley Hughson s personal papers consist of correspondence, his 1882 diary, day books, family history, and other assorted items. Use of the Collection Restrictions on Use The Oregon Historical Society is the owner of the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Research Library prior to any use of reproductions. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use of reproductions may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright holders. Preferred Citation Oliver Greeley Hughson papers, Mss 1712, Oregon Historical Society Research Library Administrative Information Arrangement The collection is arranged in the following series: Series A: Boy Builders Club Materials Series B: Personal Papers Bibliography Oliver Greeley (Oil and Grease) Hughson, " When We Logged the Columbia," Oregon Historical Quarterly 60: Acquisition Information Library Accessions 8203 and Separated Materials 2

3 Photographs are cataloged as Org. Lot 81. Detailed Description of the Collection The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection. Series A: Boy Builders Club Materials, cu. ft. (8 record cartons) Correspondence, minutes, reports, memorabilia, construction drawings, and publications pertaining mostly to Boy Builders Club business. Container(s) Description Dates Subseries 1: Business Correspondence Arranged alphabetically by correspondent. These correspondence files also contain minutes, reports, memorabilia, and publications, some of which are noted in the file descriptions below. Box/Folder 1/1 A /2 A /3 A ; 1/4 B /5 B /6 B /7 B ; 1/8 William A. Bakanis, instructor /9 Booth Kelly Lumber Company /10 Brooks-Scanlon Lumber Company

4 1/11 Building Clubs Also includes minutes, financial reports, by-laws, property list, and contest materials ; 1/12 C /13 C /14 C /1 C /2 C ; 2/3 Carpenters Apprenticeship Also includes minutes ; 2/4 Conventions /5 Convention memorabilia 2/6 D /7 D ; 2/8 Defense /9 Douglas Fir Plywood Association /10 Douglas Fir Plywood Association /11 Douglas Fir Plywood Association /12 Douglas Fir Plywood Association ; 2/13 Douglas Fir Plywood Association /14 E ; 4

5 2/15 Evans Product Company /16 F /17 F /18 F ; 2/19 Family Circle Magazine /20 Forest Park, Committee of Fifty Also includes minutes and newsletter. 2/21 Forestry Research Foundation By-laws, articles of incorporation /22 G /23 G ; 3/1 Inspector Walter M. Germain, Supervisor, Crime Prevention Division /2 S. L. Godard, Instructor /3 H ; 3/4 H /5 Senator Rufus Holman ; 3/6 Francis A. Hublou /7 I ; 3/8 J ; 5

6 3/9 Clifford C. Jenkins, 4-H Agent /10 K ; 3/11 K ; 3/12 L /13 L /14 L ; 3/14 Mc-Mac /1 M /2 M /3 M ; 4/4 Moore, George R /5 N /6 N ; 4/7 O /8 O /9 Oregon-America Lumber Corporation /10 Oregon State College /11 Oregon State College /12 Oregon State College

7 4/13 Oregon State College /14 Oregon State College /15 Oregon State College ; 4/16 P /17 P /18 P /1 P ; 5/2 Harold R. Phillips, Instructor Also includes outline and dedication for Instructor s Guide /3 Popular MechanicsMagazine /4 Q /5 Rex Putnam, Supervisor of Public Instruction, Oregon ; 5/6 R /7 R /8 R ; 5/9 M. M. Ronig ; 5/10 W. J. Rublin, Instructor /11 S /12 S /13 S

8 5/14 S /15 S /16 S /17 S /18 S /19 S ; 6/1 H. C. Seymour, State 4-H Leader /2 H. C. Seymour, State 4-H Leader /3 H. C. Seymour, State 4-H Leader /4 H. C. Seymour, State 4-H Leader /5 State College of Washington, Pullman, Wash /6 State College of Washington, Pullman, Wash /7 T /8 T /9 T /10 T /11 T ; 6/12 U ; 6/13 V

9 6/14 Harold H.Vikre ; 6/15 W /16 W /17 W /18 W /19 W ; 7/1 West Coast Lumberman s Association /2 West Coast Lumberman s Association /3 West Coast Lumberman s Association Also includes financial reports and minutes. 7/4 West Coast Lumberman s Association Also includes financial records and minutes. 7/5 West Coast Lumberman s Association Also includes booklets and reports. 7/6 West Coast Pine Association Also includes newsletters ; /7 Weyerhauser Timber Company /8 Weyerhauser Timber Company /9 Weyerhauser Timber Company /10 Willamette Valley Lumberman s Association /11 W. W. Wheatly /12 X, Y, Z ; 9

10 7/13 Miscellaneous Correspondence ; Subseries 2: Other Materials Box/Folder 8/1 Monthly and Annual Financial and Progress Reports, State Building Congress 8/2 Monthly and Annual Financial and Progress Reports, State Building Congress /3 Minimalic Construction, Boy Builder Clubs of Oregon /4 Copies of papers, articles and letters bearing on Minimalic Construction 8/5 Organizational notes, constitution and by-laws for Minimalic Construction Clubs and Sunnyside 8/6 Clippings - Boy Builders Clubs ; 8/7 Speeches, reports, notes, and articles - personal and business /8 Speeches, outlines, reports, notes, songs, and articles 8/9 Quotations, speech outlines, and notes 8/10 Lists, sponsors, classes, mailing; schools, etc ; 8/11 Blue prints, plans, specifications, and booklets 8/12 Scrapbook /13 Compiled writings and correspondence /14 John Bedynek, Miniature Carpentry, unpublished report /15 Wilma Morrison, Public Schools: Pressure Groups, The Oregonian, 1951 May 21, 22, 23, and related materials

11 Series B: Personal Papers, cu. ft. (1 record carton) Container(s) Description Dates Subseries 1: Correspondence Box/Folder 9/1 Personal Correspondence - A-B ; 9/2 Personal Correspondence - C ; 9/3 Personal Correspondence - D-G ; 9/4 Personal Correspondence - H /5 Personal Correspondence - H ; 9/6 Personal Correspondence - I /7 Personal Correspondence - K-L ; 9/8 Personal Correspondence - Mc,M ; 9/9 Personal Correspondence - N /10 Personal Correspondence - O-R ; 9/11 Personal Correspondence - S-T ; 9/12 Personal Correspondence -W ; 9/13 Miscellaneous personal correspondence 9/14 Letters to the Editor

12 9/15 Letters to the Editor Subseries 2: Other personal and family papers Box/Folder 9/16 Family record and biographical notes 1952; 9/17 Record of the California Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Pacific Grove and San Jose, California /18 Personal legal papers /19 Diary /20 Date Books 1917; /21 Date Books 1919; /22 Year Book 1930 Names and Subjects Subject Terms : 4-H Clubs--Oregon Boy Builders Club--History Boys--Societies and clubs Miniature craft Models and modelmaking Vocational education--oregon Vocational education--washington Personal Names : Hughson, Oliver Greeley--Archives Corporate Names : State Building Congress--Archives Family Names : Hughson family--archives Geographical Names : Oregon - History - 20th century. Form or Genre Terms : Construction drawings Correspondence Diaries Publications 12

13 Scrapbooks Finding aid prepared by Shawna Gandy and George Miller 2011 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License: Creative Commons Licenses in Archives West: