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Lee D. Drake papers

Identifier: Ax 027

Scope and Contents

The Lee D. Drake papers consists of correspondence, clippings, financial reports, business reports, ephemera, and photographs relating to Drake’s work as an active newspaperman and civic promoter. Business and community organization files include those for the East Oregonian Publishing Company, Astoria Budget, Blue Mountain Baseball League, Castilloa Rubber Plantation Company, Idaho Evening Times, Oregon General Mortgage Company, Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association, and Umatilla County Civil Defense, among others.

Photographs in the collection depict Native Americans, the Pendleton Round-Up (including rodeo participants, rodeo events, spectators, parades, and related activities), family and friends of Lee D. Drake, Umatilla County (these prints are primarily of Pendleton, but other areas such as Hermiston and Echo are also present), other Oregon events (such as Miss Oregon Pageant contests and the Oregon State Fair), and travel (including trips to Oregon Trail stops and to Victoria).


  • circa 1880s-1957


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

Lee D. Drake (1882-1957) was born to James Adelbert Drake and Josephine Georgette Ann (Dolsen) Drake and lived most of his life in Umatilla County, primarily in Pendleton, Oregon. A newspaperman and promoter in Astoria and Pendleton, Oregon, Drake was associated as manager, owner, or editor with the Astoria Budget, the Pendleton East Oregonian, and the Twin Falls Idaho Evening Times. Drake was also one of the founders of the Northwestern Publishers' Syndicate.

Drake used his administrative and technical expertise to support several newspapers, work with some of the most influential men in Oregon journalism history, and help advance the unified action of Oregon newspapers through service with regional organizations. He was also an active civic promoter, serving on several Chambers of Commerce (including the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce, 1922-1928), assisting with political campaigns, helping found and support the Pendleton Round-Up and the Happy Canyon pageant, playing in several bands, serving in the National Guard and running civil defense, managing baseball teams and creating leagues, and taking leadership in the Elks.

Lee Drake demonstrated an interest in historical materials and a longstanding commitment to preservation. He served as vice president of the Old Oregon Trail Association for Umatilla County in 1951, and that year "started taking pictures of all the prominent Indians." He was responsible for placing the images of photographers Walter S. Bowman (PH004) and Lee Moorhouse (PH036) at the University of Oregon Libraries, establishing a core group of Northeastern Oregon images that remains an unparalleled documentary source.


9.61 linear feet (10 containers) : 4 manuscript boxes, 3 oversize flat boxes, and 3 photo boxes

Language of Materials



Lee D. Drake (1882-1957) was a newspaper owner and civic promoter in Pendleton and Astoria, Oregon. The Lee D. Drake papers consists of correspondence, clippings, financial reports, business reports, ephemera, and photographs regarding Drake’s business and community involvements.


Materials in the Lee D. Drake papers are arranged in two series: 1. Business and community organization files (1905-1955), and 2. Photographs (circa 1880s-1957). Series 2. Photographs is arranged in five subseries: 2.1. Native American portraits (circa 1920s-1957), 2.2. Pendleton Round-Up (circa 1920s-1957), 2.3. Family and friends (circa 1890s-1957), 2.4. Umatilla County (circa 1880s-1957), and 2.5. Oregon events and travel (circa 1930s-1957).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of James Robert Drake, 1958.

Existence and Location of Copies

Selected items are available online in the Lee D. Drake photographs, ca. 1910-1957 in Oregon Digital.

Related Materials

Photographs from this collection form part of the Pendleton Group, a series of photograph collections and materials from the Pendleton area, 1880s-1940s. Images from certain photographers, such as Bowman, may be found in many of these collections. The Pendleton Group includes the Lee Drake photographs (PH021), the Lee Moorhouse photographs (PH036), the Charles W. Furlong photographs (PH244), the Walter S. Bowman photographs (PH004), and the Electric Studio/O.G. Allen photographs (PH033). Related images are also held in the Oregon Print Collection (PH035) and the Park Weed Willis photographs (PH288).

Processing Information

Collection processed by manuscripts staff. Photographs processed by Normandy S. Helmer, February 2004. Revisions completed by Liliya Benz, 2019.

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 Lee D. Drake papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by University of Oregon Libraries, Archivists' Toolkit Project Team. Revised by Liliya Benz.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

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

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA