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Merton B. Folts papers

Identifier: Coll 060

Scope and Contents

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.


  • Creation: 1942-1961


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and 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 and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

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.


1.1 linear feet (3 containers)

Language of Materials



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.

Other Finding Aids

See the Collective Name Index to the Research Collection of Conservative and Libertarian Studies for a cross-referenced index to names of correspondents in this collection, if any, and 37 related University of Oregon collections, including dates of correspondence. See index instructions on use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Merton B. Folts in 1981.

Separated Materials

Conservative publications have been removed to the Conservative Publications collection, Coll 254.

Processing Information

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.

Guide to the Merton B. Folts Papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by John Minott
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English.
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA