Biography of Hon. Oswald West
Oregon Biographies





Hon. Oswald West, governor of Oregon from 1911 until 1915 and now engaged in the practice of law in Portland, was born in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, May 20, 1878, a son of John Gulliver and Sarah (McGregor) West. The removal of the family to Oregon in his early boyhood enabled him to pursue his education in the public schools of Salem and of Portland and later he took up the study of law. He started out in the business world as a bank clerk and following his graduation from law school entered upon the active practice of the profession, to which he has given more or less of his time since, according as the duties of public office to which he has been called have permitted. It would be tautological to enter into any series of statements concerning his constantly developing powers and the ability that has brought him to a point of leadership, for these things are shadowed forth between the lines of this review. In 1903 he was called to the office of state land agent and continued to fill that position for four years, when in 1907 he was made railroad commissioner, a position which he occupied until 1910. In that year he was made the democratic nominee for the office of governor and was elected, entering the office in 1911 for the four years' term. The history of that period gives tangible evidence of his faithfulness and devotion to duty and his businesslike administration, which carefully safeguarded the interests of the commonwealth.

On the 22d of September, 1897, Mr. West was married in Salem, Oregon, to Miss Mabel Hutton, a daughter of Owen D. and Sarah Hutton of that place, who had two daughters, Mabel and Orlene, both of whom married men who became governors of their state. To Mr. and Mrs. West have been born two children: Helen and Jean.

Fraternally Mr. West is identified with the Masons, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Artisans, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Woodmen of the World. Something of the nature of his recreation is indicated in the fact that he has membership in the Portland Hunt Club. He also belongs to the Portland Chamber of Commerce and the Portland Civic League and is keenly interested in all those problems which have to do with municipal progress, with civic advancement and the welfare of commonwealth and country. He has carried his investigations far and wide into the realms of polities, sociology and economics, keeping abreast at all times with the best thinking men of the age, while his reputation as a Portland lawyer is indicated in the liberal clientage accorded him.

From:
History of Oregon Illistrated
Vol. 3
BY: Charles H. Carney
The Pioneer Historical Publishing Company
Chicago - Portland 1922


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