Preliminary Guide to the John T. and Virginia E. Merrifield Collection

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Merrifield, John T.
Title: John T. and Virginia E. Merrifield Collection
Dates: 1916-2008 ( inclusive )
1945-1990 ( bulk )
Quantity: 1.7 cubic feet, including 80 photographs (4 boxes, including 2 oversize boxes)
Collection Number: MSS Merrifield
Summary: The John T. and Virginia E. Merrifield Collection documents their student years at Oregon State College and John's career as a civil engineer with the firm of Moffatt, Nichol, & Bonney in Portland, Oregon. Virginia graduated from Oregon State College in 1941 and John in 1942.
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

John T. Merrifield and Virginia Broderson attended Oregon State College and earned degrees in 1941 (Virginia) and 1942 (John). They were married in 1942. After serving in the Navy during World War II, John returned to Corvallis to work as an engineer at the CH2M engineering firm, where Virginia was also employed as a secretary. In 1948, the Merrifields moved to Portland where John began a long and distinguished career as a civil engineer with the firm of Moffatt, Nichol, and Taylor Structural Engineers. During his career, he designed a number of prominent structures in Portland, including the Memorial Coliseum, Morrison Bridge, Hilton Hotel, and Good Samaritan Hospital. John was active and held leadership positions in several professional engineering organizations, including the Structural Engineers of Oregon, the Oregon Building Congress, and the American Society of Civil Engineers. John retired in 1989 as a vice president of Moffatt, Nichol, and Bonney. Virginia died in January 2007 and John in October 2007.

Content Description

The John T. and Virginia E. Merrifield Collection documents the Merrifields' student years at Oregon State, John's career as a civil engineer and involvement in professional engineering organizations, and their family. The collection includes artifacts, a baby book, certificates, correspondence, curriculum vitae, notebooks, plaques, publications, scrapbooks, sound recordings, and a student paper.

The two scrapbooks were assembled by Virginia and contain correspondence, event programs, photographs, newspaper clippings, and publications documenting John's engineering career and the military service of Virginia's father, Arthur Broderson, in World War I. The baby book reflects the childhood of the Merrifields' daughter, Kathy, and is housed in a box with examples of Kathy's art, newspaper clippings, and a photograph. Correspondence sent to Kathy after her father's death in 2007 include stories about John from friends and former co-workers.

The materials from the Merrifields' student years include a paper written by John, A Quantitative Survey of the Corvallis Sewage, as an undergraduate thesis in civil engineering and a notebook generated by Virginia for a shorthand class. John's paper was selected as the best student paper by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), for which he received a one-year free membership in the organization.

The collection includes a wallet designed by Arthur Broderson for John and a registered professional engineer rubber stamp. Two audiocassette tapes include a recording of John's funeral service in 2007.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation :  

John T. and Virginia E. Merrifield Collection, Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Processing Note :  

This collection is not fully processed; this guide is preliminary.

Acquisition Information :  

The collection was donated by Kathy Merrifield, the Merrifields' daughter.

Related Materials :  

The Archives' holdings include collections from many Oregon State alumni, including several engineering alumni. Most notable are the papers of John W. Green, a civil engineer in bridge design, primarily in California; James C. Howland and Fred Merryfield, founders of the CH2M engineering firm; and Samuel H. Graf. Materials pertaining to civil engineering instruction and research at Oregon State are available in the College of Engineering (RG 062) and the Civil Engineering Department (RG 030) Records.


  • Personal Names :
  • Broderson, Arthur.
  • Corporate Names :
  • Oregon State University--Alumni and alumnae.
  • Subject Terms :
  • Bridges--Oregon.
  • Civil engineering--Oregon.
  • Civil engineers--Oregon.
  • Sewerage--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • World War, 1914-1918--Veterans--Oregon.
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Audiocassettes.
  • Photographic prints.
  • Scrapbooks.
    • Other Creators :
    • Merrifield, Virginia E.

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