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William D. Rutherford papers

Identifier: Coll 299

Scope and Contents

The William D. Rutherford Papers contain a vast array of materials relating primarily to his political career and, to a lesser extent, his family and other career experiences. Materials include correspondence, speeches, campaign materials, newspaper clippings, and photographs. Also represented in the collection are other political documents including Senate Bill information and campaign records.

The collection has been arranged into eight different series: I. Political Career; II. Personal Papers; III. Other Career Records; IV. Videotapes; V. Audiotapes; VI. Artifacts; VII. Photographs; and VIII. Oversize.

The Oregon State Treasurer materials consist of correspondence from constituents and political figures, information and data about elections and the political landscape of Oregon, survey reports, speeches from 1983-1987, political memos, facts and figures about Oregon's economy, information about Rutherford's political opponents (such as David Chen, David Cargo, and Grattan Kerans), information concerning ballot measures, and Treasury annual reports. There are also political manuals detailing the rules and regulations of the Treasury office. Also included are documents that contain the raw election results from Rutherford's election campaigns.

The Personal Papers series consist mainly of correspondence and some artifacts, some of which belonged to Rutherford's father during his time in the army in World War II. Additionally, there are family photographs of Rutherford's grandparents, his parents, and Rutherford's wife and children, as well as Rutherford's high school, college, and graduate school records and memorabilia (graded term papers, yearbooks, notebooks, newspaper clippings).

The other Career Records series consists of documents during Rutherford's time as attorney, his work as a member of the House of Representatives, his work on the House Judiciary and Election Committees, and his work for ABD International Management Corporation. Records of the Oregon Ethics Commission's investigation of Rutherford, along with papers (itineraries, schedules, speeches) relating to trips Rutherford has taken to Japan, Germany, England, and around America are in this series. There are also files with newsclippings and notes on political opponents, political friends, newspaper columnists, and newspaper themes on various subjects. Additionally, this series contains summaries, descriptions, notes and occasional news articles and speeches relating to Senate Bills 1-213. Assorted speeches, files, and notes exist on other political issues (for instance, the death penalty and abortion). Rutherford's work to develop downtown McMinnville is recorded in blueprints, letters, and notes. Finally, copies of Rutherford's campaign pamphlets and publicity information have been retained.

The videotapes are all political, recorded for use in Rutherford's election campaigns by the corporation Moba Media.

The photographs are personal and political.

Oversize materials include campaign posters, banners, signs, bumper stickers, as well as oversize photographs.


  • Creation: 1931-1996


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. Collection includes sound recordings, moving images, and digital files to which access is restricted. Access to these materials is governed by repository policy and may require the production of listening or viewing copies. Researchers requiring access must notify Special Collections and University Archives in advance and pay fees for reproduction services as necessary.

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

William Drake Rutherford, former legislator and treasurer for the state of Oregon, was born on January 14, 1939, in Marshalltown, Iowa. His family moved to Oregon in 1946 where his father, William Donald Rutherford, was a successful businessman and community leader in McMinnville, owning numerous variety stores and discount stores around Northwestern Oregon.

Rutherford grew up in McMinnville, and attended public schools there. He was voted president of his high school class four times and was enrolled in the National Honor Society. He later attended the University of Oregon where he majored in history, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in 1961. While studying at the University of Oregon, he was a member of the fraternities Sigma Phi Epsilon and Phi Eta Sigma, the Druids and Friars. He studied law at Harvard University, graduating in 1964 with a J.D. degree. He was admitted to practice law in the state of Oregon the same year, but instead served in the army for two years as a First Lieutenant QMC. In 1965 he married Janice Willilams, a 1963 graduate of the University of Oregon. They later divorced. He returned to Portland in 1966 and was employed in the firm Maguire, Kester, and Cosgrave, which practiced general litigation and business law. In 1969 Rutherford left the Maguire firm and joined the stock brokerage house May & Co., Inc., for which he was house counsel. Rutherford later became CEO for May & Co. In 1971, Rutherford became a self-employed attorney in McMinnville and Newberg, and was a member of the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange. He was also a partner in the firm of Rutherford, Hansen, and Mahr, located in Newberg and McMinnville. Rutherford has had a private practice in McMinnville since 1971.

Rutherford is a member of the American Bar Association, the Yamhill County Bar Association, and the Oregon State Bar Association, and was admitted to practice before Oregon courts and the Federal District Court of Oregon. He has been on member committees concerning administrative law, environmental law, and the future of the legal profession. He is also registered with the Harvard Law School Alumni Association and was President of its Oregon Chapter from 1974-1975. He was previously on the board of directors of the Kiwanis Club in McMinnville, president of the McMinnville Chamber of Commerce, and chairman of the Committee to Redevelop Downtown McMinnville.

Rutherford was elected a member of the Oregon House of Representatives in 1977, 1979, 1981, and 1983. In the 1979 session he was named the "Outstanding Legislator of the Ten Mid-Valley Representatives." During the 1979 session he was chosen to conduct business with Governor Atiyeh's office and had weekly meetings with Atiyeh concerning legislation. Rutherford has been the Vice-chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, a member of the House Elections Committee, and a member of the Pensions Committee of the National Conference of State Legislators.

In 1984 Rutherford was elected State Treasurer of Oregon, having run against Democrat Grattan Kerans.

In 1986 Rutherford was Chairman of the Oregon Investment Council.

In June 1987 Rutherford resigned as State Treasurer of Oregon. His reason for leaving was the need to pay college tuitions for his two children. Prior to his resignation, Rutherford had been investigated by the Oregon Ethics Commission, citing conflict of interest, but in February 1988, the Ethics Commission cleared Rutherford of ethical violations and the investigation was dropped. From 1987 to 1989 Rutherford was President and Chief Executive Officer for ABD International Management Corporation, as well as a Member of the Board of Directors and the Investment Policy Committee.

In 1990, Rutherford was President of the Societe Generale Touche Remnant Corporation, as well as a member of the Investment Policy Committee, and the Board of Directors. From 1994 to 1995, Rutherford was Director of Special Projects, functioning as Chief Operating Officer, for Metallgesellschaft Corporation, an international trading, oil, and gas company. Metallgesellschaft Corporation is Europe's 10th largest company. From 1995 to 1996, Rutherford was Principal of Macadam Capital Partners.

In 1995 Rutherford ran unsuccessfully for Congress on the Republican ticket.

In 1997, Rutherford was Chief Executive Officer for the Fibreboard Asbestos Compensation Trust. Honors include mention in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World. Rutherford has been quoted and published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Money ManagementForum, The Christian Science Monitor, The Baltimore Sun, Chief Executive Magazine, CNBC, Reuters, Smart Money Magazine,London Guardian and Bloomberg. Rutherford is the author of Who Shot Goldilocks?: How Alan Greenspan Did in Our Jobs, Savings, and Retirement Plans.

William D. Rutherford is currently President of Rutherford Investment Management, based in Portland, Oregon. He has been Chairman of Metro One Telecommunications since 2000; he has also been a member of the Nature Conservancy and the Oregon Community Foundation Investment Board.

Rutherford is married to Karen Anderson, the former President of Clinique. He is the parent of two children: Wayne, Master of Education, Stanford University, Headmaster of the international school in Sapporo, Japan; and Dr. Mel Rutherford, assistant professor of psychology at McMaster University near Toronto, Canada.


36.5 linear feet (43 containers)

Language of Materials



William D. Rutherford (January 14, 1939- ) was a State Legislator and State Treasurer for Oregon. The collection includes papers regarding his tenure as Legislator and Treasurer, as well as other career records and family papers.


Collection is organized into the following series: Series I. Political Career Subseries A. State LegislatorSubseries B. State TreasurerSubseries C. Campaign for U.S. Congress Series II. Personal Papers Subseries A. School/College RecordsSubseries B. WWII and Family Series III. Other Career Records Subseries A. AttorneySubseries B. ABD InternationalSubseries C. Congress 1996 Series IV: VideotapesSeries V: AudiotapesSeries VI: ArtifactsSeries VII: PhotographsSeries VIII: Oversize Materials

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of William D. Rutherford in 2002.

Physical Description

43 containers, 1 flat file drawer

Processing Information

Collection processed by Justin Neville Kaushall.

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 William D. Rutherford papers
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Finding aid prepared by Justin Neville Kaushall
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

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

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA