General Brice Pursell Disque (1879-1960) is best remembered for his distinguished service as the U.S. Army officer in charge of the Spruce Production Division of the Bureau of Aircraft Production, and as the President of the United States Spruce Production Corporation, 1917-1919. Under his leadership the chaos that characterized seasonal spruce production in the Pacific Northwest was transformed into an orderly operation. A high degree of organization was necessary to meet the needs of the United States and the needs of the allied nations for ship and railway timber, commercial lumber, shingles and aircraft frames. Disque consulted with the woodworkers and the Proceedings of the Lumberman's Protective League show he established the eight hour working day, formulated regulations for governing labor conditions, and participated in arbitration of disputes. Equal representation of employers and employees on all councils was also established. The Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumberman (LLLL) was formed, thus resolving Industrial Employees Union which emerged with the AFL. For his service with the Spruce Production Division Disque was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.
In his civil career, General Disque served as president of a number of corporations such as the Anthracite Equipment Corporation, G. Amsinck and Co., and the Sulphide Ore Process Company. He also served on various private and public boards and commissions such as the Anthracite Institute and the Solid Fuels Administration for War. In 1917 he served as Warden of the Michigan State Prison. He corresponded widely, particularly in touch with many of his associates of World War I days. General Disque died in 1960.
The Brice P. Disque Papers reflect both his military and civil careers. General Disque was a careful preserver of his major papers, particularly the records of his Spruce Production service, and his life is well documented. The papers, which consist of correspondence, business records, public speeches and radio addresses, autobiographical drafts, and photographs, have been retained in the file order devised by Disque.
The bulk of the collection is arranged alphabetically by individual, organization, or subject and consists largely of correspondence and business records. Major subjects within this series are the Coal Consumers Protective Association, labor relations, the Solid Fuels Administration for War, the U.S. Army, and U.S. Spruce Production Corporation. U.S. Spruce records include monthly records of the wood shipped to United States allies during World War I. Correspondents of interest include Fred G. Clark, Merwin K. Hart, Robert B. Dresser, Herbert Clark Hoover, Fiorella La Guardia, Edward A. Rumley, Wendell Wilkie, Theodore Roosevelt, and Samuel Gompers and conservative political organizations such as the American Economic Foundation, the Committee for Constitutional Government and Sons of the Revolution. This general series is contained in seven boxes ending with a chronological sequence of correspondence in several folders designated "Miscellaneous" by Disque, meaning less than a folder's worth of material on each topic.
Following is a series of Disque's speeches and radio addresses made between 1905 and 1940, arranged chronologically. Subjects covered are commerce, labor, industry, history, military preparedness, poverty, prisons, and international trade. A 1933 speech to the House Ways and Means Committee contains testimony on the equalization of the tariff.
The collection is rounded out by two boxes of what Disque considered personal material. Box 9 contains an assortment of material, including two small series of correspondence separated out from the main series by Disque. First in the box is a file containing handwritten drafts of an autobiography and a scrapbook. Next comes the first series of correspondence named by Disque "Personal. General Correspondence." It covers matters such as the privately financed aspects of the volunteer cavalry. This correspondence is arranged chronologically, 1910-1917. There follows a second series of correspondence which Disque designated the "201 File." It contains letters and telegrams apparently of special significance to Disque, several of which are listed in the Conservative and Libertarian Name Index: one from Theodore Roosevelt regarding the Voluntary Cavalry forces, one from Herbert Clark Hoover discussing the U.S. Food Administration regulations, and one from Samuel Gompers, AFL. The box also contains miscellaneous items such as a carved wooded plaque from the Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen and a resolution of the LLLL bearing the seal of the organization. There follows a box which contains a series of nine numbered scrapbooks of news clippings about Disque and his career.
A final box of material was received in 1967. This addendum contains manuscripts of addresses and articles, and correspondence. A list of the titles of the writings and of the correspondence is included in the inventory. Three additional folders containing letters pertaining to Disque's resignation from the Anthracite Institute and from the Solid Fuels Coordination Office conclude the collection.
The collection includes nine albums and some loose images. Eight of the albums are official U.S. Army documentation of the spruce production effort, and include many photographs by Prentiss, some by Kinsey, and some by Cress-Dale. A ninth album holds snapshots of a cavalry encampment in Ohio in 1912. Miscellaneous images include spruce production, inmate recreation and general scenes of Jackson Prison, and scenes related to Disque's later life.
Image numbering is composed of the collection number, the album number, and the page number: PH159_9_34.
Restrictions on Access :
Collection is open to the public.
Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.Restrictions on Use :
Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.
Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.
Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.
If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.Preferred Citation :
[Identification of item], Brice P. Disque papers, Coll 115, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.
Collection is organized into the following series: Series I. Alphabetical Listing of Files; Series II. Scrapbooks; Series III. Addenda Acquired in December 1967; Series IV. Photographs.
Detailed Description of the Collection