Guide to the Eva Blackwell and William A. Frater Family Collection
ca. 1874-1955

Print this Finding Aid | Email this Finding Aid


Overview of the Collection

Creator: Blackwell, Eva, 1900-1987
Title: Eva Blackwell and William A. Frater Family Collection
Dates: ca. 1874-1955 ( inclusive )
1895-1931 ( bulk )
Quantity: 0.4 cubic ft. (The materials are housed in two document boxes and one 20x24 oversize box.)
Collection Number: Consult repository.
Summary: The Eva Blackwell and William A. Frater Family Collection documents the activities of Eva Blackwell and her family, especially her grandfather, William A. Frater. Blackwell graduated from Oregon Agricultural College in 1924 and was employed in the Registrar's Office for more than 40 years. Frater served as postmaster for Roseburg, Oregon from 1898 until 1904 when he was removed from office for misappropriation of postal funds. The collection includes correspondence, clippings, newspapers and publications, emphemera, artifacts, and photographs assembled by Blackwell.
Repository: Oregon State University Libraries, Special Collections & Archives Research Center
Contact Information: Special Collections & Archives Research Center
121 The Valley Library
Oregon State University
Corvallis OR
Telephone: 541-737-2075
Fax: 541-737-8674
Languages: Materials in English. 

Biographical Note

Alumna Eva Blackwell graduated from Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) in 1924. Blackwell was born March 13, 1900 in Riddle, Oregon and grew up on a dairy farm in Smith River in the lower Umpqua Valley. She graduated from high school in Riddle, Oregon in 1918. Blackwell took a 2-week milk testing course at Oregon Agricultural College and returned to the Gardiner area to work for a local dairy association testing milk for butter fat content. In 1920, she enrolled as an undergraduate student at OAC. After her graduation in 1924, she began working in the Registrar's Office and held various positions, including Assistant Registrar until her retirement in 1965. In the early 1950s, she was a member of the College's Archives Committee. She returned to work for the Registrar's Office in May of each year through 1981 to compile statistical data for the graduating class. Blackwell died in Benton County, Oregon, in 1987.

Blackwell's maternal grandfather, William A. Frater was born in Ohio in 1843. After serving as a 2nd Sergeant of Company E, 170th Ohio Volunteers during the Civil War, he operated a livestock business with his brothers in Ohio. Frater moved to Kansas in 1877 and to Roseburg, Oregon in the late 1870s. He served as Douglas County Treasurer from 1893 to 1898 and as postmaster in Roseburg from 1898 until 1903 when he was indicted for misappropriation of postal funds and removed from office. Frater's daughter, LaAmi Etta Frater, married Lincoln Blackwell in 1896 and lived in the lower Umpqua River Valley.

Content Description

Series I consists of letters to William A. Frater on the topic of his appointment as postmaster and letters from United States senators regarding support of bills introduced that affected the state of Oregon. Series II contains the certificate of appointment as postmaster presented to William A. Frater, March 8, 1898, signed by President William A. McKinley and the high school diploma for Ida Isabella Blackwell. The clippings in Series III represent a variety of topics, many concerning local Roseburg and Douglas County topics including William A. Frater's indictment and trial for misappropriation of funds and removal from his position as Roseburg's postmaster. Series III also includes an 1895 issue of the Riddle Enterprise. Series IV contains assorted artifacts and ephemera, including an International Order of the Odd Fellows badge for the May 1911 meeting in Portland, Oregon. Series V contains publications, including a book of verse presented by William A. Frater to his daughter, Etta, on her wedding day. Series VI consists of pocket calendars recording various daily tasks and events. Series VII includes a photo of Frater and several unidentified children.

Use of the Collection

Preferred Citation :  

Eva Blackwell and William A. Frater Family Collection, Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

The materials are arranged into seven series: I. Correspondence; II. Certificate and Diploma; III. Clippings and Newspapers; IV. Artifacts and Ephemera; V. Publications; VI. Pocket Calendars and Autograph Album; and VII. Photographs.

Custodial History :  

This collection was donated by Eva Blackwell in 1979.

Related Materials :  

Photographs of Eva Blackwell are available in various photographic collections as well as biographical information in the News and Communications Records (RG 203) and the Memorabilia Collection.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I:  Correspondence, 1897-1900

^ Return to Top

Series II:  Certificate and Diploma, 1898-1924
2 Certificate of Appointment of William A. Frater as Postmaster of Roseburg, Oregon, 1898
apx 20x24 in.
1 Diploma to Ida Isabella Blackwell from Smith River High School, Reedsport, Oregon, 1924

^ Return to Top

Series III:  Clippings and Newspapers, ca. 1874-1931
1 Newsclippings, ca. 1874-1931
2 Riddle Enterprise, May 25, 1895
apx 20x24 in.
2 Oregon State Barometer, November 1, 1930
apx 20x24 in.
2 Oregon State Barometer, April 1, 1931
apx 20x24 in.

^ Return to Top

Series IV:  Artifacts and Ephemera, 1898-1930
2 folders

^ Return to Top

Series V:  Publications, 1895- ca. 1955
1 Immortal Treasures of Choice Literature, Masterworks of Art and Superb Songs, 1895
Presentation copy to "Etta" from William A. Frater on their wedding day, December 22, 1896.
1 The Tale of Bunny Cotton-Tail, by Laura R. Smith, 1905
Presentation copy to Eva Blackwell from her teacher, L.A. Lyster, August 31, 1906.
1 Umpqua of Gardiner, 1917-1918
1 Industrial Club Work of Oregon Boys and Girls, 1918
1 Songs of OSC, ca. 1955

^ Return to Top

Series VI:  Pocket Calendars and Autograph Album, 1880-1929

^ Return to Top

Series VII:  Photographs, ca. 1900-1920
3 Two children, ca. 1900
3 Baby, ca. 1900
3 Dairy cow ("Midget"), ca. 1910
3 Postcard print of K.V. Kruse, ca. 1920
3 William A. Frater, ca. 1900
Photo by H.D. Graves, Roseburg, Oregon.

^ Return to Top


  • Personal Names :
  • Blackwell, Eva, 1900-1987.  ( creator)
  • Frater, William A., 1843-1918.
  • Geographical Names :
  • Douglas County (Or.)
  • Roseburg (Or.)
  • Smith River (Douglas County, Or.)
  • Umpqua River Valley (Or.)
  • Subject Terms :
  • Postal service--Oregon--Roseburg
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Diaries.
  • Photographs.
  • Titles within the Collection :
  • Immortal Treasures of Choice Literature, Masterworks of Art and Superb Songs.
  • Riddle Enterprise.
  • The Tale of Bunny Cotton-Tail.
  • Umpqua of Gardiner.
    • Other Creators :
    • Frater, William A., 1843-1918.

    ^ Return to Top