William Straub papers 1970-2003
Creator: Straub, Robert William, 1920-2003
Title: Robert William Straub papers
Inclusive Dates: 1970-2003
Extent: ca. linear feet at Hamersley Library
Democratic governor of Oregon, 1974-1978. Papers include governor’s
personal papers including office correspondence, administrative
and subject files, staff files, campaign materials, photographs,
newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, video and sound recordings
Language: The materials are in English
Storage: The Straub papers are stored in the Straub Archives
at The Hamersley Library Western Oregon University.
Access and Use
Approximately 8 linerar feet of material
borrowed in 2000 for display in the Straub exhibit on the
third floor. It includes plaques, scrapbooks, photographs,
sampler and other objects including a homemade backpack. The
items were arranged as an exhibit taken from the Straub farmhouse
in West Salem.
15 feet of material was picked up in Springfield,
OR on July 17, 2002 consisting of photograph albums, photographs,
negatives, paintings, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, diary,
notebooks, ledgers, cards, correspondence, portraits and plaques.
There are 3 linear feet of oversize items.
7 feet of material was picked up in Springfield,
OR on September 11, 2002. It consists of photograph albums,
photographs, negatives, paintings, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings,
diary, notebooks, ledgers, cards, correspondence, Straub children's
papers and drawings, portraits and plaques and the personal
records and files of Gov. Straub. The material is in the order
found, however, some of it had been moved recently and rearranged
at that time by the family.
On September 2nd 2004 several family photograph
albums and memorabilia were returned to Mrs. Pat Straub in
Springfield Oregon at the request of the family.
Copyright to the papers held by the family as a long term
loan agreement with Western Oregon University.
Item, folder title, box no., Robert William
Straub Papers, Straub Archives, Western Oregon University.
Controlled Access Terms
Oregon – Politics and government – 1961-1970
Oregon – Politics and government – 1971- 1980
Oregon – Politics and government – 1981 –
Oregon – Politics and government – 1991 –
Straub, Robert William
Governors – Oregon
Collection Scope and Content Note
The Robert William Straub Papers document
Straub’s 25 years of service to the state of Oregon
including his early business career. The collection includes
correspondence, memoranda, reports, agenda and minutes, briefing
books, press releases and pubic statements, speeches, newspaper
clippings, photographs, oral histories, video tapes, transcripts,
audio tapes and printed materials that pertain to Straub’s
yeas as State Senator State Treasure and Governor.
Materials in the collection document the
conduct of state government including the various roles played
by Straub over his time in office including the senator’s,
treasure’s and governor’s role in legislative
activity and the administration of the executive office. The
papers provide a rich resource for the study of economic development,
civil rights and affirmative action, labor, energy, education,
urban development, and regional issues. The collection will
be of particular interest to researchers working the area
of environmental advocacy and reform. Environmental activist
Janet McLennan’s papers appear as a series within the
Straub collection and document the battle for the Oregon Beach
Bill in the early 1970’s. The papers also reflect Straub’s
considerable influence in establishing the Oregon Investment
Robert William Straub
May 6, 1920 - November 27, 2002
Straub began his political career in 1955
as Commissioner of Lane County, Oregon. He held that office
until elected to Oregon State Senate from 1959 to 1963, followed
by his tenure as State Treasurer from 1964 to 1972. He was
a Delegate to the Democratic Nation Convention in 1968. Straub
ran for governor in four consecutive terms. He lost twice
to Tom McCall in 1966 and 1970. In 1974 defeated Victor Atiyeh
by the largest margin recorded in Oregon history. In 1978
he lost the bid for re-election to Atiyeh.
Straub was known to be a forward-thinking
and powerful advocate for the environment. His work establishing
the Willamette Greenway became a national model. Famous too
is his work to fight repeal to Oregon’s land-use laws
in 1976. He worked to support the Oregon Beach Laws of 1967
and 1969 that guaranteed access and uninterrupted us of Oregon
ocean beaches. While state treasure he successfully blocked
the building of a state highway along the Nestucca Spit near
Pacific City. The spit was renamed Robert W. Straub State
More women, minorities and handicapped appointments
were made under his administration than any of the prior Oregon
governors. He expanded support for schools, reduced the unemployment
rate, increased property tax relief. He can also be credited
with attracting more than 50 “clean” businesses
to Oregon. He also managed to cut taxes by saving money in
state agencies where he consolidated services.
Robert William Straub was born on May 6,
1920 in San Francisco, California to Thomas J. Straub, Council
to Pacific Gas and Electric Company a conservative republican,
and Mary Tully Straub a trained teacher. The Straub family
lived on an apricot and prune orchard in Los Altos California.
Before attending Dartmouth College, Bob Straub worked two
summers in the woods of Northern California for Pacific Gas
and Electric and also in a logging camp near American River
California. He met his wife, Pat Stroud, in the summer of
1941 in New Hampshire. They were married in the fall of 1943
in San Antonio, Texas following his graduation from O.C.S.
He served in Europe in WWII and returned home in 1945 to his
then one year old son Jeff. He holds both a BA and MA from
Dartmouth College. After his graduation in 1947 he took the
position of safety officer for Weyerhaeuser Timber Corporation
in Springfield Oregon while establishing a building contracting
business. He also ranched and worked woodlots.
Bob Straub’s early success in
business, love of the outdoors, and desire to serve the public
set the stage for his political career. Straub was known as
an enigmatic liberal visionary with a reputation for being
fiscally conservative. He instituted many of the policies
and programs that have attracted international attention and
made Oregon a model for natural resource management, conservation,
and urban planning. While serving as State Treasurer he helped
establishe the Oregon Investment Council, one of the first
government agencies to invest public funds in the stock market.