Merton B. Folts (1902-1967) was an activist in conservative politics and riverine conservation in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, opposing construction of the Lookout Point dam and the City of Eugene's annexation of the Willakenzie area. The collection primarily contains documentation of Folts' activities in the Izaak Walton League.
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Collection materials are in English.
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Merton Bryant Folts devoted his life to keeping Oregon's ecology healthy and its politics conservative. He was born in Odell, Oregon on March 27, 1902. Folts made his living managing commercial property he owned in Eugene. In the late 1940s and 1950s he became known in the Eugene area for his vociferous opposition to the construction of Lookout Point Dam on the Willamette River, and the City of Eugene's annexation of the Willakenzie district.
Merton Folts was an ardent member of the John Birch Society and several other right-wing organizations such as the Conservative Education Center and the Eugene Freedom Club. Politics, however, had to share time in his life with a keen interest in the outdoors. An enthusiastic conservationist, Folts fought hard for soil conservation, clean waters, and bountiful salmon runs. He was a member of the Izaak Walton League, the Eugene Sportsmen's Club, and the Outdoor Legion. He was married to Mildred McAlister. Merton B. Folts died in Eugene on May 12, 1967, at the age of 65.
The Merton B. Folts papers contain a variety of materials that lightly delineate the major preoccupations in Folts' life. Included are his writings on politics and conservation, letters, newspaper clippings and sundry documents relating to organizations and issues in which he was involved, such as Eugene's annexation and parking policies.
The bulk of the papers consist of incoming letters and documents concerning the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA). The letters are mostly about soil conservation, the Lookout Point Dam and fishing problems, though political topics and IWLA organizational matters occasionally appear. Folts corresponded with Oregon politicians, both state and federal; Washington, D.C. officials; lumber company executives; and IWLA colleagues. Other IWLA materials include that organization's bylaws, legislative goals and initiation rituals. Twenty cartoons by Jay N. "Ding" Darling are included.
Six photographs show Folts as a speaker, a posed group, and an unidentified river. Numerous conservative publications gathered by Folts have been removed to the Conservative Publication Collection.
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Preferred Citation :
[Identification of item], Merton B. Folts papers, Coll 060, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon
Acquisition Information :
Gift of Mrs. Merton B. Folts in 1981.
Processing Note :
Collection processed by John Minott, Manuscripts Processor, September 2006.
This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
Separated Materials :
Conservative publications have been removed to the Conservative Publications collection, Coll 254.
Typed description enclosed with photos "Reading from left to right: Standing -- Loran Smith, Lloyd Reinholdt, Colonel Spooner, Mrs. Al Gribble, Mert Folts, Mr. Stanich, unidentified, Mrs. Clark Bachman, unidentified, unidentified, Mrs. Bartlett, Mr. Schwartz, Mrs. Morrison, Mr. Bartlett, in rear, John Ebinger, Mrs. Terell, Clark Bachman, Mrs. Reinholdt, Lloyd Morrison, Noyes Terrell. Seated-- Mr. Al Gribble, Mrs. Spooner, Mrs. Ike Cory, Mrs. Kennedy, Fred Kennedy, O.K. DeWitt, unidentified.".