McNary, Charles Linza, 1874-1944

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Charles Linza McNary was not considered much of a campaigner. He gave one or two speeches when he ran for office, preferring to spend the campaign season on his Salem area farm. Despite this understated approach to campaigning, McNary won re-election to the United States Senate five times and became one of the country's leading political figures.

McNary was born on a farm just north of Salem in 1874. By age nine, both of his parents had died, leaving his twenty-six year old college educated sister, Nina, to raise him. After working on the farm for his first 19 years, McNary entered Stanford University. Stanford was expensive, however, so he returned north to attend Willamette University in 1897 and graduated in 1898 with a law degree. McNary was admitted to the Oregon bar the same year. He entered politics six years later when his brother was elected district attorney of Marion County and gave him a position as deputy district attorney. He served as dean of Willamette University's law school from 1908 to 1913, while still serving as district attorney. Soon after Oswald West took office as Governor in 1911, he appointed McNary special counsel to the State Railroad Commission. In 1913 West appointed him to a vacant seat on the Oregon Supreme Court. In his 1914 re-election campaign, McNary lost his seat to Henry Benson by one vote, 34, 608 to 34,609. McNary went on to become chairman of the Republican State Central Committee in 1916.

When Senator Harry Lane (who had previously served as mayor of Portland) died in office in 1917, Governor James Withycombe appointed McNary to the United States Senate. Over the next 26 years, McNary supported farm relief, forest conservation, and public hydropower projects along the Columbia River. Franklin Roosevelt befriended McNary in 1936 and, as Senate minority leader from 1933 to 1944, McNary supported most New Deal programs. When Roosevelt attempted to pack the Supreme Court in 1937, McNary prevented the debate over the proposal from becoming partisan and ultimately contributed to its defeat. In 1940 McNary ran for vice president on Wendell Willkie's unsuccessful ticket. Extremely popular among his colleagues, McNary was reelected minority leader in 1944, even as he convalesced in Florida after a brain tumor operation.

McNary died in Florida in 1944. The McNary Dam near Umatilla is named for him. He is, perhaps, best remembered for his support of agriculture and co-sponsorship of the McNary-Haugen bill, attempting to stabilize farm prices, a version of which President Herbert Hoover signed in 1929.

McNary married Jessie Breyman in 1902. After Jessie's 1917 death, he married Cornelia Morton in 1923. The two adopted a child in 1935.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Washburn, Robert Charles, d. 1938. Robert Washburn papers [manuscript], 1884-1944. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Ekern, Herman Lewis, 1872-1954. Herman Lewis Ekern papers, 1872-1954. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Hand, Learned. Learned Hand papers. 1840-1961. Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Neal, Steve,. Steve Neal collection on Oregon politicians [manuscript], circa 1965-1989. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Haines, Lynn, 1876-1929. Lynn Haines papers, 1909-1931. Minnesota Historical Society Library
creatorOf McNary, Charles Linza, 1874-1944. Charles Linza McNary papers [manuscript], 1876-1944. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf McNary, Charles Linza, 1874-1944. Charles L. McNary letter to J. Tracy Barton [manuscript], 1941 November 1. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Henry M. Hanzen papers, 1917-1960 Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries
referencedIn National Forestry Program Committee. National Forestry Program Committee records, 1920-1928, 1945-1947. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Letter from Harry S. Truman to Bess W. Truman Harry S. Truman Library
referencedIn Arthur E. Scott photograph collection, 1910-1976 George Mason University. Special Collections and Archives.
referencedIn Reno, Milo, 1866-1936. Papers, 1928-1937. State Historical Society of Iowa, Library
creatorOf McNary, Charles Linza, 1874-1944. Charles Linza McNary papers, 1921-1944. Library of Congress
referencedIn Richard Brown Scandrett papers, 1907-1966, 1907-1951 (bulk) Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn McNary family. McNary family letters [manuscript], 1859-1936. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf Charles L. McNary letter to Grace C. Kantz, 1933 April 17 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn The Sybil Westenhouse Research papers on Oregon and the City of Salem, 1818-2009 Willamette University University Archives and Special Collections
referencedIn Joseph Alsop and Stewart Alsop Papers, 1699-1989, (bulk 1937-1989) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Alsop, Joseph, 1910-1989. Papers of Joseph and Stewart Alsop, 1699-1989 (bulk 1937-1989). Library of Congress
creatorOf McNary, Charles Linza, 1874-1944. Charles L. McNary papers, circa 1900-1960. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Lewis, Victoria J. Victoria J. Lewis scrapbook, 1940-1944 (inclusive). Florida State University
referencedIn Dwight D. Eisenhower Library Oral History Collection. 1962 - 1998. Oral History Transcripts. 1962 - 1998. Oral History Interviews with Ralph H. Cake United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Dodd, Elmer Perry, b. 1869. Elmer Perry Dodd papers [manuscript], 1900-1957. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Oral History Interviews with Ralph H. Cake Dwight D. Eisenhower Library
creatorOf Charles Linza McNary papers, 1921-1941 Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries
creatorOf Charles L. McNary papers, circa 1900-1960 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Grace Wick Papers, 1888-1962, 1928-1951 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Wick, Grace, 1888-1958. Grace Wick papers, 1888-1962 (bulk, 1928-1951). Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Thomas Brues Neuhausen papers, 1850-1936 Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries
referencedIn Stevens, John Daniel 1847-1932. John Daniel Stevens letters [manuscripts], circa 1895-1930. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Reel 16 [recollections of Charles L. McNary, Charles Curtis, Kenneth S. Wherry, Senator Robert M. LaFollette, Sr. and Jr., George W. Norris, Woodrow Wilson's love for vaudeville, Marian Anderson at the White House, etc.] Harry S. Truman Library
Washington Post Newspaper Article, "Text of McNary's Address Accepting Nomination" Harry S. Truman Library
creatorOf McNary, Charles T. Charles T. McNary Address, 1948. Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Tech
referencedIn Scandrett, Richard Brown, 1891-1969. Richard Brown Scandrett papers, 1907-1966, 1907-1951 (bulk). Cornell University Library
referencedIn Knighton & Howell (Firm),. C. L. McNary residence plans [manuscript], 1926. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Scott, Arthur E., 1917-1976. Arthur E. Scott photograph collection, 1910-1976. George Mason University, Fenwick Library
creatorOf Charles L. McNary letter to J. Tracy Barton, 1941 November 1 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn John D. M. Hamilton Papers, 1935-1972 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Handwritten Draft Speech of Senator Harry S. Truman Delivered at Jefferson City, Missouri Harry S. Truman Library
creatorOf Charles Linza McNary papers, 1876-1944 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alsop, Joseph, 1910-1989. person
associatedWith Alsop, Joseph W. (Joseph Wright), 1876-1953 person
associatedWith Alsop, Stewart. Joseph Alsop and Stewart Alsop papers. 1699-1989 person
associatedWith Arthur E. Scott, 1917-1976 person
correspondedWith Barton, J. Tracey, family
correspondedWith Barton, J. Tracey, 1890-1981 person
correspondedWith Cake, Ralph H. (Ralph Harlan), 1891- person
correspondedWith Couzens, John person
correspondedWith Dodd, Elmer Perry, b. 1869. person
associatedWith Ekern, Herman Lewis, 1872-1954. person
associatedWith Haines, Lynn, 1876-1929. person
associatedWith Hamilton, John D. M., 1892-1973 person
associatedWith Hand, Learned, 1872-1961 person
associatedWith Hanzen, Henry M., 1879-1967 person
correspondedWith Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964 person
correspondedWith Johnson, Hiram, 1866-1945 person
correspondedWith Kantz, Grace C. family
associatedWith Knighton & Howell (Firm), corporateBody
associatedWith Lewis, Victoria J. person
correspondedWith McNary, Charles Linza, family
correspondedWith McNary, Charles Linza, family
associatedWith McNary, Charles Linza, family
associatedWith McNary, Charles Linza, family
associatedWith McNary family. family
associatedWith McNary family. family
correspondedWith McNary family. family
associatedWith National Forestry Program Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith Neal, Steve, person
correspondedWith Neuberger, Richard L. (Richard Lewis), 1912-1960 person
associatedWith Neuhausen, Thomas Brues, 1872-1944 person
correspondedWith Nye, Gerald P. (Gerald Prentice), 1892-1971 person
associatedWith Oregon. Supreme Court. corporateBody
correspondedWith Peterson, Ben person
associatedWith Reno, Milo, 1866-1936. person
associatedWith Republican Party (Or.) corporateBody
associatedWith Richard Brown, Scandrett 1891-1969. person
associatedWith Scandrett, Richard Brown, 1891-1969. person
associatedWith Scott, Arthur E., 1917-1976. person
almaMaterOf Stanford university corporateBody
correspondedWith Stevens, John Daniel 1847-1932. person
correspondedWith Tumulty, Joseph P. (Joseph Patrick), 1879-1954 person
associatedWith United States. Congress. Senate. corporateBody
correspondedWith Washburn, Robert Charles, d. 1938. person
associatedWith Westenhouse, Sybil person
correspondedWith White, Wallace H. (Wallace Humphrey), b. 1877 person
correspondedWith Wick, Grace, 1888-1958. person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Willamette university corporateBody
correspondedWith Willkie, Wendell L. (Wendell Lewis), 1892-1944 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Salem OR US
Fort Lauderdale FL US
Subject
Legislators--Oregon
Conservation of natural resources
Post office stations and branches--Oregon--Testament Creek
Politics and politicians
Industrial safety committees
Politics and government
Rivers--Law and legislation--Oregon
Draft
Public works--Law and legislation--United States
Law
World War, 1939-1945
Agriculture
Neutrality--United States
Oregon
Vice-presidents--Election
Legislators--United States
Politicians--Oregon
Legislators
Harbors--Law and legislation--Oregon
Lend-lease operations (1941-1945)
Politics and government--Oregon
Congresses and conventions
Neutrality
World War, 1939-1945--Economic aspects
Courts
Tariff
Photographs
Government and Politics
Indians of North America--Government relations
Occupation
Jurists
Deans (Education)
Lawyers
Senators, U.S. Congress--Oregon
Professor
Function

Person

Birth 1874-06-12

Death 1944-02-25

Male

Americans

English

Information

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