Lampman, Ben Hur, 1886-1954

Alternative names
Birth 1886-08-12
Death 1954-03-02

Biographical notes:

Ben Hur Lampman was born in Wisconsin in 1886 and died in 1954.

From the guide to the Ben Hur Lampman papers, 1936-1952, (Oregon Historical Society Research Library)

Ben Hur Lampman was born to a Barron, Wisconsin newspaper family in 1886. Leaving home at the age of fifteen, he found work as a tramp printer at a variety of North Dakota newspapers. As a young man, he founded a newspaper called The Michigan Arena in Michigan City. During this time, he married Lena McEwen Sheldon, a schoolteacher and former New Yorker. After six years running The Arena, Lampman joined his father and brother at The Gold Hill News, the family’s latest journalistic endeavor in southern Oregon. In Gold Hill Lampman acted as an editor and printer, publishing his prose and poetry frequently in The News. In 1916, he accepted a position at The Oregonian, where he served as reporter, editorial writer and columnist. His essays and stories were also printed in the Saturday Evening Post . Lampman published a number of books, some featuring his poetry. His most widely read books were How Could I Be Forgetting, Here Comes Somebody, and At the End of the Car Line . Much of Lampman’s work celebrates nature and everyday life in Oregon. At the urging of the Oregon Newspaper Association, Lampman was selected as Oregon’s Poet Laureate in 1951 and retained the title until his death in 1954.

From the guide to the Ben Hur Lampman Collection, 1920-2009, (Lewis & Clark College Special Collections and Archives)

Ben Hur Lampman was born in Wisconsin in 1886 and died in 1954.

When he was young, he worked in his father's print shop. Later he moved with his family to Gold Hill, Oregon, where he worked for the local newspaper. In 1916, he moved to Portland to become a reporter for The Oregonian. In 1920 he published an account of the 1919 Centralia Massacre. In 1921 he was appointed to the editorial page. His stories and essays also appeared in national magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post. In 1951 he was appointed the Oregon poet laureate.

From the description of Ben Hur Lampman papers [manuscript], 1936-1952. (Oregon Historical Society Research Library). WorldCat record id: 739994620


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  • Journalism--Oregon
  • Journalism
  • Newspaper editors--Oregon
  • Literature
  • Journalists--Oregon
  • Oregon
  • Newspaper editors
  • Journalists


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  • Oregon (as recorded)