Louis Edward Oberson
Charter Member Louis Edward Oberson was born on a wheat ranch in the famous Palouse Country noted as the "Breadbasket of the nation" at Lancaster, Washington on April 25, 1904. His family later moved closer to Colfax where he and his brother, Henry, started their education. Early in his life, he became interested in the rich loess soil on their farm and took great pride in growing vegetables, flowers, and farm animals. As a 4-H Club member, he entered them in the county fairs at Colfax, Yakima, and Spokane and took many blue ribbon prizes. During the summers he and his brother worked with steam engine threshing crews and earned money to attend college.
In the fall of 1924, the boys left for Salem, Oregon, where they enrolled at Willamette University. They worked their way through college doing janitorial work, running the university bookstore, and working at the State Highway laboratory. After earning their B.A. degrees in 1928, the brothers went their separate ways: Henry to the Harvard Medical School and Louis to Stanford University. After receiving his M.A. degree in education and psychology in 1930, Louis began his teaching career at the Milwaukie Union High School. In 1936, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps where he served as educational advisor at Camp Sherman on the beautiful Metolius River near Sisters, Oregon.
His love of the out-of-doors led him to join the Mazamas, the Trails Club, and the Audubon Society for which he has served as a director for many years. He has also participated in the annual Christmas nation-wide bird census for about thirty years.
Louis first became acquainted with geology when he read an account in the Oregonian that Dr. Edwin T. Hodge was going to teach a course in geology at the Old Lincoln High School. Being a member of the Mazamas and having climbed both Mt, Hood and Mt. St. Helens each twice, he wanted to learn more about these mountains and their landscapes as well as the great Willamette Valley which had seemed such a contrast to him from the Horse Heaven hills of eastern Washington. He attended the class and was so impressed by the friendly learning atmosphere that he decided to become a charter member of the society that was formed to continue the post class studies. There was so much enthusiasm for this new activity that the students elected their popular teacher to become the first president of the organization that they voted to name the Geological Society of the Oregon Country.
While teaching biology at Roosevelt High school, Louis met and fell in love with Viola Lagasse who came to teach English and drama. They were married on December 18, 1938. After they established a home near Grant High School where Viola had been transferred and after Dr. John Cyprian Stevens had employed her to be his assistant in initiating a campaign to build a museum of science and industry for Oregon, their daughter, Mary Louise, was born on February 7, 1946.
Louis has held most of the chairs in the Portland Men's Garden Club from 1947 to the presidency in 1955; he was secretary then president of the Pacific Northwest Region from 1953 to 1960; and finally director of the National Men's Garden Clubs of America from 1961 to 1964. Besides earning two green thumb awards he has received a certificate in 1965 and a plaque in 1968 for outstanding service to the Men t s Garden Clubs of America. In 1948 he was awarded a Conservation scholarship to the University of California at Santa Barbara by the Portland Women’s Federated Garden Clubs, and in 1951 he was appointed by Governor Douglas McKay as Chairman of the State Liberty Garden Committee. In 1958 he received the Silver Trophy award from the Union Carbide Company for the "Oregon Gardener of the Year.“ In 1961 he was the biology and geology counselor for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry Youth Tour of Central Oregon. In the spring of that year he was selected to be the biology pilot teacher of his school for the following year and was awarded a scholarship to the American Institute of Biological Sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
He was retired from teaching in the Portland Public Schools in June of 1969, and since that time he has been Soil Consultant for the Multnomah Intermediate Education District Outdoor School at the seven week sessions each fall and spring. He continues to serve as test counselor for Boy Scouts who are completing their studies for the Nature Merit Badge.
Recognizing Oregon's talented geologists seemed most important to the life of the Geological Society during Louis' year of presidency. He decided to hold his President’s Campout on Condon' s First Island in the Siskiyou Mountains, in honor Of Oregon's first state geologist. Dr. Paul W. Howell, professor of geology at Portland State University, assisted by Len Ramp, geologist of the State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries at Grants Pass, were the field trip leaders during the week-long session. Robert Gamer of Salem and Norman Peterson of Grants Pass, both able geologists and locally knowledgeable of the area, also assisted with their fine leadership in explaining the geology both on the field trips and at the Campfire briefings.
All of the speakers at the Friday night membership meetings during the 1970—1971 year have been Oregon men and women experts in their fields of science. The Library Night in-depth discussions and mini lectures have also been drawn from our own membership specialists. He chose Dr. John Eliot Allen, head of the earth science department at Portland State University, for his annual banquet speaker especially to challenge him to accept the mantle of his former teacher, Dr. Edwin Hodge, in the future leadership of the Society.
By using the talent of local earth scientists both amateur and professional, Louis feels he was helping to contribute to the good climate which is conducive to the study of geology in Oregon and to the fulfillment of the aims of the Society.
Please see The Geological Newsletter, Vol. 36, No. 9, Sept. 1970, for Campout story and pictures.
Archie Kelly Strong
Archie Kelly Strong was born in Marcola, Oregon, on February 20, 1910. His parents were both born in Oregon of pioneer families. His mother was born in Riddle, Oregon, and his father in Myrtle Creek, Oregon. When Arch was a small infant, his parents moved from Marcola to the small town called Reuben in the area of Glendale, Oregon. They settled on a homestead where his father was employed in the sawmill and railroad industries. During the World War I years, Reuben, which is now a ghost town, boasted of a post office, a general store, a sawmill, and logging and railroad activities. There was then a population of some 200 people. Arch attended elementary school at Reuben, but it closed upon the year of his graduation. He attended high school in Glendale, where he was graduated in 1928, then attended Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, and received his B.A. degree in biology.
The following ten years were divided between graduate studies in forestry and wildlife at Oregon State University, high school science teaching and coaching, and the U.S. Forest Service. He was employed in forestry and wildlife work in the Siskiyou forest in Grants Pass, Oregon, the Fremont forest in Lakeview, Oregon, and in the Superior forest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From 1939 to 1943, he was Junior Biologist in charge of fish and wildlife management on the Fremont National Forest. During the World War II years, he was granted deferment to engage in engineering work at the Oregon Shipyard in Portland, Oregon. His work consisted in the testing of engine room equipment and performance during trial runs on the Willamette River and subsequent ship delivery to the Navy Department in Astoria.
In 1946, Arch returned to high school as a teacher of science in the Portland area where he taught until 1955. He received his Master of Education degree from the University of Oregon in 1950. From 1955 until his retirement he has been in the employ of the City of Portland and the Multnomah County Public Health Departments in mosquito control work and in other insect control and research activities. In 1945 he married Miss Marion McCarthy who died in 1962. Laura and Arch were married in 1966. Laura has a daughter, Joyce Raines, Of Winterhaven, Florida, and a deceased son who was the father of Laura's two grandchildren.
Arch's major hobbies and interests center largely around nature and the out-of-doors, whether it be the seashore, the mountains, or the high plateau country. He is also interested in many of the organized sports and sporting events. He has held membership in the American Forestry Society, the Society of American Engineers, Oregon State and National Educational Associations, and currently belongs to the American Mosquito Control Association. His publications work has been limited primarily to research study reports in forestry, wildlife, and mosquito projects.
His interest in geology dates back to his boyhood years which were spent in a gold mining locality of Oregon. Curriculum demands did not permit geological study while he was regularly enrolled in college. Evening courses in geology were taken at PSU under Dr. Ruth H. Keen.
In the spring of 1965 and 1964, Arch and Mark Perrault joined the PSU Earth Science field trips to Camp Hancock. Interest developed on these trips and the influence of Mark who had previously joined the Geological Society resulted in Arch's joining the Society in 1964. He became vice president in 1970 and was subsequently elected the 37th president in 1971.
F. McNeal Fahrion
F. McNeal Fahrion was born November 13, 1915 at Crestline, Ohio.
Married Ellen Lawrence February 18, 1940. Have three daughters and three grand children.
Was employed as Purchasing Agent by the Commission of Public Docks and the Port of Portland for 36 years and retired in 1981.
Special interest is in Masonic work. Became a member of Unity Lodge 191 in 1943. Was Master of Research Lodge for two years 1977-78. Organized and directed their Masonic Education Program. Director on board of the Clinic for Childhood Aphasia and Language Disorders, a charity of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. Librarian for the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. Active also on programs of Al Kader Shrine.
Special interest has been in study and research of Qabalistic and Masonic Philosophy. Conducted a special Research and Study Group in Qabalistic Philosophy for over twenty five years.
Became affiliated with the Geological Society in 1969. Served as Vice President in 1971 and President in 1972. Held president’s camp out of the Society in 1972 on the north side of the Wallowas.
George Edgar Malin
George Edgar Malin, Sr., was born February 14, 1912 to Joseph E. and Orpha Malin in Three Forks, Montana. His father, a native lowan, and his mother, of Scotch Canadian lineage, were part of the migration caused by the opening of Montana lands to homesteading shortly after the turn of this century.
George, and also his sister Alice, went to grammar school (1917-1920) in Montana, and after a move by the family to Oregon, continued their education at Lincoln High School (1924-1928) in Portland, Oregon. A year at Oregon Institute of Technology (1929) in Portland, completed his childhood formal schooling.
July 1, 1933 he married Lynn Esther Goldson. George Jr., Joan, Jerry, Patricia and David are their children, and their children's children now number fourteen.
He worked, in early career years, for the Southern Glass Company, and after their merger, for the Illinois Pacific Glass Company, in the glass container industry. In 1935 at the time the Illinois Pacific Company merged with the Owens Illinois Company, he switched careers to the retail building materials field, and worked for several years for the W. J. McCready Lumber Yards. In 1939, deciding that nothing ventured, nothing gained, he founded the Park Place Lumber Company which he operated until 1961. The following year was spent, first in building a "radiation fallout shelter", (remember what those were for?), next, in rebuilding a 40 foot commercial salmon troller, and finally, after the fish bug bit, as crew on the troller 'Anna May' for three months. In 1962 he entered the employ of the Clackamas County Assessor as an appraiser. He currently has the position of chief appraiser in that office.
George became interested in the Boy Scouts of America when in high school, and while a member achieved the rank of Star Scout. He served scouting in later years as a committeeman and several years as scoutmaster of Troop 251 in Gladstone, Oregon. He is a long time member of the Gladstone Church of Christ and served many years on that churches' board of deacons.
He is a member, and past officer at both the Clackamas County and state levels, of the Society of Certified Appraisers of Oregon. A member and past vice president of the Association of Federal Appraisers, Oregon Chapter, and a member of the International Association of Assessing Officers. He was the 1973 president of the Clackamas County Employee's Association.
His hobbies include Lynn, and he does help his artist wife with her ceramics, also carpentry, boat-building, fishing, hunting and camping. These outdoor hobbies led to his interest in the natural sciences, in particular structural geology. In pursuing this hobby, he saw advertised and attended a series of lectures at OMSI in 1969, and thereby got acquainted with and joined the GSOC. George and Lynn have been active members and have profited greatly from their association with the society. They have both taken a course in geology at the Clackamas Community College, and George also has studied oceanography and anthropology at the college.
Francis Clair Stahl
Francis Clair Stahl was born October 25, 1913, to Charles Myron and Evadna Elizabeth Stahl in Philomath, Oregon. His Iowa father and Oregon mother were both teachers in Oregon schools. At 16 Clair changed his name to Clair Francis Stahl.
Graduating from Bellfountain High School in 1932, he was employed in the lumber industry at various places in Oregon. His enlistment in the 29th Engineer Topographic Battalion, U.S. Army in 1938 where he learned topographic mapping and photogrammetry, started him on his career. After being honorably discharged from the Army in 1945, he studied Civil Engineering at Vanport Extension Center and enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Clair and Marguerite S. Shatter were married in Vancouver, Washington on August 24, 1946.
Leaving school in 1948, he received a U.S. Civil Service appointment with the Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, as a surveyor. Transferring to the Pacific Northwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service in 1955, he continued his career as a topographer and photogrammeterist.
Clair became interested in geology upon trying to explain the topographic features he saw on topographic maps and aerial photographs that he used in his profession. After several night classes in geology at Portland Extension Center, he joined the Geological Society of the Oregon Country in 1965.
Clair retired from the U.S. Army Reserve in 1973. He is a life long Democrat (Conservative, he says). Photography used to illustrate and explain natural history, especially invertebrate paleontology is one of his special interests. Another is the study of intertidal life. Geology is one of his special studies since it is also part of his profession.