Guide to the W. Lester Powell Photograph Collection

Print this Finding Aid | Email this Finding Aid


Overview of the Collection

Creator: Powell, William Lester, 1893-
Title: W. Lester Powell Photograph Collection
Dates: 1913-1956 ( inclusive )
1913-1917 ( bulk )
Quantity: 0.25 cubic foot, including 317 photographs (1 box)
Collection Number: P 192
Summary: The W. Lester Powell Photograph Collection consists of images taken and assembled by Powell documenting Powell's student years at Oregon Agricultural College (OAC). Powell attended OAC from 1912 to 1917.
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

W. Lester Powell attended Oregon Agricultural College during the 1912-1913 through 1916-1917 academic years. He enrolled initially as a forestry student, but changed to horticulture in 1915; he did not complete a degree from OAC. Powell was a photographer for the 1916 Orange yearbook and also for Ball Studio in Corvallis. During the 1920s and 1930s, he lived with his family on Kiger Island near Corvallis. William Lester Powell was born February 18, 1893 and graduated from Citrus High School in Azusa, California, in 1912. He died in 1978 in Medford, Oregon.

Powell's daughter, Mary Lou (known as Lou), was born July 21, 1918, in Seattle. She graduated from Corvallis High School in 1936 and attended Oregon State College in 1936-1937 and 1937-1938. Her married name was Lou Richards.

Content Description

The W. Lester Powell Photograph Collection consists of images taken and assembled by Powell, primarily during his student years at Oregon Agricultural College in the mid 1910s. The photographs depict campus activities, including pageants; athletics, especially football; and forestry students and faculty in forest campus and on forestry trips. The collection also includes images of Corvallis and Benton County; of special note are images of the small town of Wells, in north Benton County, that was removed in the early 1940s in order to establish Camp Adair. Images of land being cleared for Grant Street in Corvallis are also included.

Almost all of of the images are from Powell's student years at OAC; however, the collection includes a photograph of a 1935 pruning class at Oregon State College and a reunion photograph of the Class of 1916, probably in 1956.

The collection consists primarily of photographic prints. Most of the prints (210 items) are affixed to album pages; the remainder of the prints (89) were originally affixed to album pages and have been removed; 18 copy negatives are also included in the collection. Several of the images were published in the 1916 Orange yearbook.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation :  

W. Lester Powell Photograph Collection (P 192), Oregon State University Special Collections & Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

The W. Lester Powell Photograph Collection is arranged in 3 series: I. Photographic Prints, circa 1913 - circa 1956; II. Album Pages, circa 1913-1917; and III. Copy Negatives, circa 1913-1917.

Custodial History :  

W. Lester Powell's daugher (Lou Richards) loaned the collection to Bob Zybach in 1990 for his research of the Soap Creek area. Richards identified materials that she was willing to have donated to the Archives and other items that she was willing to have duplicated and the originals returned to her.

Acquisition Information :  

The photographs were donated to the OSU Archives in 1990 by Bob Zybach.

Related Materials :  

The Special Collections & Archives Research Center includes many collections documenting the activities and experiences of Oregon Agricultural College students during the 1910s. These include the Leslie Miller Scrapbook and the John W. Trigg (P 227), Marshall S. Wright (P 276), and J. Llewellyn Spriggs (P 285) Photograph Albums.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I:  Photographic Prints, circa 1913 - circa 1956
89 photographs

Series I consists of snapshots, photographic postcards, and a few professional photographs; most have been removed from album pages. The photographs depict Oregon Agricultural College students participating in student activities and attending athletic events; Powell's fraternity brothers; forestry students and faculty, including George W. Peavy, in forest camps; and Marys Peak and forest scenes. Of special note are several duplicate prints of Wells, Oregon, a small town in north Benton County that was evacuated and demolished in the early 1940s to establish Camp Adair.

1 P192:001: Folk dancing woman
1 P192:002: Women performing folk dances at OAC
1 P192:003: May Pageant at OAC
1 P192:004: Mines Building
Batcheller Hall
1 P192:005: Working in college iron foundry, Summer of 1913 or 1914
1 P192:006: Gathering of students and faculty in front of Benton Hall
1 P192:007: Delta Upsilon Fraternity brothers
Includes W.L. Powell.
1 P192:008: Class of 1916 reunion, circa 1956
1 P192:009: Women engaged in tug of war competition,
1 P192:010-P192:011: Crowd next to freight train
1 P192:012: Group of posing men,
1 P192:013-P192:014: Fraternity group
1 P192:015: Ahneek recruits
1 P192:016: Group of posing men,
1 P192:017-P192:019: Participants in minstrel show
1 P192:020: Fraternity group
1 P192:021: OAC runner
1 P192:022-P192:024: OAC baseball players
1 P192:025: Three OAC track runners
1 P192:026: Athletes standing outside armory,
1 P192:027-P192:028: Serpentine lines,
1 P192:029: Student body - pre-football game activity
1 P192:030: Serpentine line,
1 P192:031: OAC vs. Whitman football game
1 P192:032: Halftime show
1 P192:033: Football game
1 P192:034: Track athlete
1 P192:035: Football at OAC
1 P192:036: OAC athlete
1 P192:037: Football at OAC
1 P192:038: Shot putter
1 P192:039: Student body - pre-football game activity
1 P192:040-P192:041: Serpentine line
1 P192:042: Halftime show
1 P192:043: Pruning class, 1935
1 P192:044: Marys Peak timber, circa 1915
1 P192:045: Forest river
1 P192:046: Forestry cooking school
1 P192:047: George W. Peavy at top of Marys Peak, circa 1915
Published in 1916 Orange yearbook, p. 442.
1 P192:048: OAC faculty member at top of Marys Peak, circa 1915
Published in 1916 Orange yearbook, p. 442.
1 P192:049: Marys Peak foresters camp, circa 1913
1 P192:050: Sawmill
1 P192:051: Rhododendron excursion to Newport, 1915
1 P192:052-P192:053: Guarding the fountain, 1914
Published in 1916 Orange yearbook, p. 446.
1 P192:054: Stacked wood
1 P192:055: Oregon wilderness
1 P192:056: Gamma Tau Beta fraternity house
Burned after frat moved to 22nd St.
1 P192:057: Forestry building in Portland (Lewis and Clark Exhibition)
1 P192:058-P192:059: Forestry students in camp
1 P192:060: OAC foresters, circa 1915
1 P192:061-P192:062: Forestry camp
1 P192:063: Foresters, 1913
1 P192:064: Marys Peak
1 P192:065: Les Powell's car at Big Sulphur Springs, 1915
1 of 3 cars on the OAC campus.
1 P192:066: Logs held for rafting
1 P192:067: Foresters at Windriver Nurseries, Washington
Published in 1916 Orange yearbook, p. 452.
1 P192:068: Wind River Nursery, Washington
1 P192:069: Timber in Wind River, Washington, area,
1 P192:070: Foresters, circa 1915
Published in 1916 Orange yearbook, p. 452.
1 P192:071: Foresters cooking
1 P192:072: Foresters
1 P192:073-P192:074: Along the Redwood highway, California
1 P192:075: Forest
1 P192:076-P192:077: Mountain views
1 P192:078: Willamette River, Corvallis
1 P192:079: Oregon wilderness
1 P192:080: Man in boat on Marys River, circa 1915
1 P192:081: Man in forest
1 P192:082: Forestry camping trip
1 P192:083: Forest and cabin (Probably California Redwoods)
P192:289-P192:292: Wells, Oregon, 1917
4 duplicate prints made in 1990
1 P192:289: Wells warehouse
Photograph taken from Coffin Butte of area before Camp Adair. Cleve Williamson house. Large block walnut- Stelmaker place just south of the tree. Church about center.
1 P192:290: Wells Dale, Oregon Freight Depot
1 P192:291: Old electric train going through Wells
Also depicted in this photograph are Jonny Carter's store and houses belonging to Coleman and then Yenkel.
1 P192:292: Wells warehouse
1 P192:293: Grant St. and Catholic Hill area
1 P192:294: OSU forestry students at Washington camp

^ Return to Top

Series II:  Album Pages, circa 1913-1917
210 photographic prints

Series II consists of photographs affixed to black paper album pages. Most of the photographs are snapshots or photographic postcards. The photographs depict Oregon Agricultural students; athletes and athetic events; intramural teams; pageants; student events and activities; and picnics, camps, and outings. This series includes numerous images of football players and football games as well as the OAC freshman baseball team and individual players. Also of note are images of land being cleared for Grant Street in Corvallis.

1 P192:084-P192:106: OAC women performing folk dances at college May Pageant, circa 1914
1 P192:107-P192:108: OAC "Rooters", OAC vs U.W. Football Game, October 31, 1914
1 P192:109: Serpentine on football field
1 P192:110-P192:111: OAC "Rooters", OAC vs U.W. Football Game, October 31, 1914
1 P192:112-P192:114: O.A.C women performing folk dances at college May Pageant,
1 P192:115: OAC football player,
1 P192:116: Billie Brewer, OAC football player
1 P192:117: Darius H. "Hungry" Smyth, OAC football player
1 P192:118: Football game; goal posts
1 P192:119: Football game, 1914
Published in the Orange yearbook, p. 153.
1 P192:120: Billie Brewer
1 P192:121: Steve Schuster
1 P192:122: Pete Anderson
1 P192:123: Frank "Prunes" Moore
1 P192:124-P192:127: Individual football players
1 P192:128: OAC Football Squad, 1914
1 P192:129: Football players including place kicker
1 P192:130: Football player
1 P192:131: Paul Frank Hoerline
1 P192:132: Man on football field
1 P192:133: Thomas Everett May
1 P192:135: Football player
1 P192:136: "Art" Lutz
1 P192:137: Frank "Prunes" Moore
1 P192:138: Football player
1 P192:139: Men on football field
1 P192:140: Punter
1 P192:141: Paul Frank Hoerline
1 P192:142: Peck Huntley
1 P192:143: Leo Laythe
1 P192:144: Football player
1 P192:145: Students
1 P192:146: Students
1 P192:147-P192:149: Group of women
1 P192:150-P192:153: Freshman-Sophomore bag rush, 1914
1 P192:154-P192:155: Gathering at bandstand, circa 1915
1 P192:156: Freshman-sophomore bag rush, 1914
1 P192:157: OAC vs U.of O. scrimmage football game, 1914
1 P192:158: Football game
1 P192:159: OAC vs U.W. football game, October 31, 1914
1 P192:160: Football game
1 P192:161: Fans in stands at football game
1 P192:162: Football game
1 P192:163: Football game
1 P192:164: Football game
1 P192:165: Football game
1 P192:166: OAC vs U.W. football game, October 31, 1914
1 P192:167: Football game
1 P192:168: OAC freshman baseball team
1 P192:169: OAC freshman baseball player
1 P192:170: Roy Houck, OAC freshman baseball player
1 P192:171-P192:172: Football game
1 P192:173: OAC vs U.W. football game, October 31, 1914
1 P192:174-P192:175: Football players
1 P192:176: Football game
1 P192:177: Football game
1 P192:178-P192:182: Football game
1 P192:183: Female athlete
1 P192:184: Women running low hurdles
1 P192:185: Female shot putter
1 P192:186: Female relay runners
1 P192:187: De Witt Yeager
1 P192:188: "Billie" King
1 P192:189: Gus Hofer, Team Captain, 1914
1 P192:190-P192:195: Fans at OAC vs University of Oregon football game, 1914
1 P192:196: Forest with auto
1 P192:197: River
1 P192:198: Automobile
1 P192:199: Man and auto
1 P192:200-P193:201: Man fishing on river
1 P192:202: River
1 P192:203-P192:211: Women performing in a May Day pageant
1 P192:212-P192:222: Snow scenes
On campus and in Corvallis; dogs playing in snow.
1 P192:223: River
1 P192:224: Auto in woods
1 P192:225: Woman and two men picnicking
1 P192:226: Man and women leaning against fence
1 P192:227: Woman and man picnicking
1 P192:228: Two men posing with car
1 P192:229: Two men in the woods
1 P192:230: Two men posing with car
1 P192:231: Car traveling beside river
1 P192:232: Car parked at side of road
1 P192:233: Car traveling beside river
1 P192:234: Two men and at a campfire
1 P192:235-P192:236: Land clearing for Grant Street in Corvallis
Dynamiting tree stumps (?).
1 P192:237-P192:238: One of three cars on campus
1 P192:239: Cleared field
1 P192:240: One of three cars on campus
1 P192:241: Cleared field
1 P192:242-P192:243: Powell brothers in California
Studio portrait photographs of two boys.
1 P192:244: Parade
1 P192:245: Woman posing on stump
1 P192:246: Man and dog
1 P192:247: Dog in man's clothing
1 P192:248-P192:250: Land clearing for Grant Street in Corvallis
1 P192:251: House
1 P192:252: Men posing with tennis racquets
1 P192:253: House
1 P192:254: Man with tennis racquet
1 P192:255: House
1 P192:256: Car, probably one of the three on campus
1 P192:257: Mountain lake
1 P192:258: Camp
1 P192:259: Mountain
1 P192:260: Mountain lake
1 P192:261: Car camping
1 P192:262: Gamma Upsilon football team
1 P192:263: Osolito Club
1 P192:264: Popular members of an OAC club
1 P192:265: Football coach
1 P192:266: Gamma Upsilon vs. Ahneek, Scientific Football Game
1 P192:267: Ahneek Recruits
1 P192:268: Ahneek "Semi-Pro" scientific football team
1 P192:269: Foresters football team OAC, 1914
1 P192:270-P192:271: End of Ahneek, Gamma Upsilon football game
1 P192:272-P192:278: Mountain scenes with snow
1 P192:279-P193:280: May Day festival
1 P192:281-P192:282: Posing women
1 P192:283: May Day festival
1 P192:284: Men in graduation regalia
1 P192:285: Dogs by lake
1 P192:286: May Day festival
1 P192:287: Men in graduation regalia clowning around
1 P192:288: Camp in forest

^ Return to Top

Series III:  Copy Negatives, circa 1913-1917
18 copy negatives

Series III consists of copy negatives made in 1990 by the OSU Archives of snapshot photographic prints that were retained by the donor. These negatives depict Oregon Agricultural College students participating in campus activities. Of special note is an image labeled as bachelor's quarters and an image of a group of bachelors sitting at a dining table.

1 P192:295: Female runners
1 P192:296: Couple on a motorbike
1 P192:297: Woman dancing
1 P192:298: Group of standing men
One of the men in this image has his arms and legs bound.
1 P192:299: OAC Bookstore shortly after construction
1 P192:300: Lunch Counter, Kandy Kitchen, Ka-Jaz, G.S. Kerr
Perhaps this is a Corvallis business.
1 P192:301: Upstairs bachelors quarters, 1913
1 P192:302: Woman posing in a dress covered in flowers
1 P192:303: OAC Football Team
1 P192:304: Women and team of horses
1 P192:305: View of track and field
1 P192:306: Baseball game
1 P192:307: Bachelors, 1913
1 P192:308: Female hurdlers
1 P192:309: Group at the Lady of the Fountain
1 P192:310: Runners emerging from the Armory
1 P192:311: Women participating in tug-of-war
1 P192:312: Heating plant and shops

^ Return to Top


  • Corporate Names :
  • Oregon Agricultural College--Students.
  • Subject Terms :
  • College sports--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • College students--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • Forestry schools and education--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • Student activities--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • Geographical Names :
  • Corvallis (Or.)
  • Wells (Or.)
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Film negatives.
  • Photograph albums.
  • Photographic prints.

    ^ Return to Top