Arthur Honeyman was born in 1940 to Elizabeth and Charles Honeyman. He was raised in Sharon, MA. Because of his cerebral palsy he was not allowed to attend public school. His family insisted the school system provide him an education and beginning in 1947 he was provided with a tutor for homeschooling. In 1952 he began attending Massachusetts Hospital School - a school for crippled children - as a sixth grader. He graduated high school from the Hospital School in 1959.
In 1949 his mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia and his father committed her to a private care facility. After Arthur's graduation, Charles Honeyman moved himself and his four children (Arthur, Elizabeth, Barbara, and Douglas) to Reno, NV and then to Portland, OR. With the help of his father, Arthur persuaded Portland State College to allow him to attend classes beginning in 1960. He graduated with a Bachelors of Science in History in 1965 and later earned his Masters in Arts in English from Portland State University in 1974.
He began writing in his 20s and published numerous volumes of poetry and children's stories for Wheel Press, a company he cofounded with his first wife, Jo Ann, in 1977. The couple sold his writings and her handmade papers and books at the Portland Saturday Market. His first Wheel Press book, a children's story called Sam and His Cart, was picked up by EMC Publishing and later adapted into a movie by director Daniel Hoffman in 1981.
Honeyman became involved with communal living in the 1960s beginning with an urban commune and later as part-owner of a communal farm along the northern coast of Oregon. During this same period he became involved in anti-Vietnam War activism and civil rights. He burned his draft card; was arrested three times for protesting the Trojan Nuclear Plant; pushed his wheelchair from Portland to Salem to protest the lack of wheelchair access on busses; and ran twice for the Oregon State Legislature on a "Spastic Power" platform.
Honeyman worked as a teaching assistant between 1975 and 1978 at John Adams High School in Portland. In 1979 he became a research analyst for the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry before moving on to serve on the Commission for the Handicapped board from 1983-1984.
During the later portion of his life, Honeyman commuted almost daily from his home in Gresham to Portland State University campus to visit with friends and distribute his writings. He passed away in December of 2008 while visiting friends in Seattle, WA.
The Arthur Honeyman Papers are comprised primarily of Honeyman's writings as well as photographs and newspaper clippings related to his life and works. Of particular note are various manuscripts of his autobiography, tentatively titled: Art for Arts Sake: An Autobiography of a Spastic.
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This collection is organized into 6 folders: Autobiography Manuscripts; Wheel Press Publications; Writings; Photographs; Newspaper Clippings; and Miscellaneous.
Detailed Description of the Collection