Saturday, April 15, 2017

Taylor Hall at Linfield College

According to the Linfield website: "Taylor Hall-- When it was brought to the Linfield campus in 1947 from its service as a World War II army mess hall in Portland, this building was meant to be used by the chemistry department as laboratory and classroom space. Today, the building is home to the business department. As such, the building contains six classrooms, three of which are designed to hold at least 35 people."

A photo cutline in the 2012 book

McMinnville/Images of America says, Many former Portland Air Base buildings were moved to the college, including a theater, single-family dwellings, and the wings of the science building which once served as a mess hall.” (Portland Air Base was a base of the U.S. Army Air Corps and, later, the U.S. Army Air Forces. The U.S. Air Force as a separate military service was established in 1947.)
Taylor Hall named for Luther Taylor. 

Henry Lever biography posted at Wildcatville includes a mention of Luther Taylor.

As a job in the summer of 1942 -- in the early part of World War II -- Henry Lever's engineering background was helpful when he was involved in the construction of what is now McMinnville Municipal Airport. He and Luther Taylor, a Linfield chemistry professor, were runway grade inspectors. There were two runways. He inspected one runway and Taylor inspected the other. Construction was a wartime project funded by the U.S. Army.

Wildcatville photos 4/15/2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Art Holten at Linfield info/photos posted 4/12/2017

Art Holten -- a 1933 grad of Westport (Clatsop County, Oregon) High School and a member of Linfield Class of 1938-- Art played football and basketball for Linfield College teams coached by Henry Lever.
--Art apparently played football for Linfield in 1933 season and basketball in 1933-1934 season.

--Art apparently played football for Linfield in 1934 season (an Oregonian story from Nov. 1934 mentions him as a member of the Linfield football team) and basketball in 1934-1935 season.

--Art apparently played football for Linfield in 1935 season and basketball in 1935-1936 season. He's mentioned in a lot of basketball stories during the 1935-1936 season as being a sophomore.

--It appears Art did not attend Linfield immediately after graduating from Westport (Clatsop County, Oregon) High School in 1933. It’s assumed he started at Linfield as a freshman in the fall of 1934 instead of in the fall of 1933. If so, that would jibe with sports stories in 1935-1936 saying he was a sophomore.

3/7/1935 -Story (headlines, “Pacific Wins Closing Game, Score 36-30 Victory Over Wildcats”) in March 7, 1935, McMinnville Telephone-Register includes a scoring summary showing Holton and Harrington leading the Linfield team in scoring with nine points each.

12/5/1935 -Story (headline “Wildcats Turn Out For Basketball; 2 Games Scheduled”) in Dec. 5, 1935, McMinnville Telephone-Register includes that returning lettermen include “Holton, forward.”

1/16/1936 -Story (headlines “Pilots To Meet Wildcats Here,” College Slate Opens Saturday Night”) in Jan 16, 1936, McMinnville Telephone-Register includes, “Art Holten, high-scoring center who has paced the way in virtually every game this season, topped the scorers with 23 points.”

3/12/1936 -Cutline for photo (headline “Marksman”) of Art wearing a Linfield men’s basketball team uniform (apparently posing outside on the Linfield campus) in the March 12, 1936, McMinnville Telephone-Register: “Art Holten, Linfield’s high-scoring sophomore center, who has tallied 302 points in the Wildcats’ 22 basketball games this season for what is believed to be a Pacific Northwest Record. He also was chosen by Coaches ‘Nig’ Borleske of Whitman and ‘Spec’ Keene of Willamette on their all-Northwest conference quintet this season.”

3/12/1936 -Photo (headline “Bring Championship to Linfield”) in March 12, 1936, McMinnville Telephone-Register has this cutline: Unbeaten in their Northwest conference games and victors in all but five of their 16 non-conference games, Henry Lever’s Wildcats won the conference co-championship with Whitman this year. In the picture from left to right, are: Purcell, Helser, Holton, Swenson, Durham, Robins, Strang, Harrington, Morris, Hipple and Coach Lever. Holding the ball is Logan, manager.”

8/21/1938 --Story ‘LINFIELD GRIDMEN GET DRILL ORDERS’ in Sunday Oregonian, Aug. 21, 1938,previewing Linfield’s 1938 football season mentions the “non-return of veteran Art Holten.”

Sunday, April 09, 2017

In 1947, Coach Henry Lever led Linfield NW Conference baseball title, its first

Questions/comments about this story: 

--Was 1947 Linfield baseball the first baseball team to win a NWC title or the first Linfeld team of any sport to win a NWC title? The story notes mentions Gene Peterson receiving the Jack Dempsey Trophy for being the outstanding athlete at Linfield. 

--The cutline with photo of Coach Henry Lever (first name Henry, not Jack) shows Steve Thomas with the Jim Thorpe Trophy. Apparently the Dempsey and Thorpe trophies no longer exist.
Lever led 'Cats to first conference baseball title

By ALLEN MOODY of the McMinnville News-Register/N-R, 7/28/2005

The 1947 Linfield Wildcats entered the baseball season with some pretty high expectations and they proved the pundits correct by capturing the school first Northwest Conference title.

The Wildcats had 40 players out for the team, including 15 lettermen, some of whom played for the Wildcats during the previous year, while others played for Linfield before serving in the armed forces.

"Many of us were veterans," said Cecil Golden, a member of the Wildcats' 1947 team. "I only had one year in the service. When I came to college, guys like Steve Thomas was much older than I was."

The season didn't start out quite the way Linfield had hoped, as the Wildcats dropped a 13-12 decision to Vanport College of Portland in its opener and followed that up by dropping a pair of games to Oregon State College, 5-0 and 6-1.

Gene Peterson threw a shutout in a 6-0 victory over Montana to put the Wildcats in the win column, only to see Montana come back and take the nightcap 6-4.

Ron Dunn pitched the Wildcats past Vanport 4-1 in a rematch and the Wildcats were ready for conference play.

"Gene Peterson was an awfully good pitcher and Ron Dunn was too," Golden, a left-handed pitcher said. "Bert Burr, the catcher could call throw the ball harder back to me if I got in the game."

Burr's ninth-inning single scored Dewey Halsey with the winning run in the 'Cats' conference opener against Willamette, but Linfield dropped two of its next three games and was 2-2 in conference. But those would turn out to be the final two losses of the season for the Wildcats, who won their final four conference games of the season to finish at 6-2.

At that time, the NWC was split into divisions, meaning the Wildcats would square off against Whitman for the conference title.

"We had a very primitive baseball diamond, but Henry Lever worked us hard to keep it up to shape for games," Golden said. "All three conference championship games were played at Linfield."

The first game of the series proved to be pivotal, as Linfield scored an unearned run in the bottom of the 13th inning to grad a 4-3 victory. Thomas hit a one-out single and Halsey walked, which brought Lee Reeder to the plate. His ground ball to the second baseman went into the outfield, allowing Thomas to score and bring the game to an end.

Peterson pitched all 13 innings, allowing just five hits to earn the win on the mound.

The second game was all Linfield in the beginning, as the Wildcats took a 5-1 lead after three, but four unearned runs in the fourth inning tied the game at 5. Golden came in to relieve Dunn in the fifth inning and allowed just two hits while holding Whitman scoreless the rest of the way to earn the win. Thomas and Halsey scored in the seventh inning to give Linfield the 7-5 victory.

With the conference championship wrapped-up, the Wildcats defeated Whitman 6-4 in the final game behind Dunn.

"There was no big, giant celebration because it was the end of the school year," Golden said. "We didn't have big turnouts for games in those days like they do now."

Peterson was awarded the Jack Dempsey Trophy for being the outstanding athlete at Linfield.

Thomas was the team's leading hitter, batting an impressive .472, while Halsey was second on the 'Cats, hitting .297. Petersen hit .292 and Clarence Mellbye finished the season at .291.

"I would say we were more of a running team," Golden said. "Steve Thomas only had one home run, I believe."

NOTES: Thomas and Dunn each had trophies named after them. The Steve Thomas Memorial Trophy went to the baseball team's most valuable player from 1978 to 1995 and the Ron Dunn Memorial Trophy has gone to the Wildcats' outstanding pitcher every year since 1983. ... Golden's high school coach at Rainier High School for several years was none other than Roy Helser.

In July 2005, Paul Durham returned to Linfield for a day

Durham returns to Linfield for a day

By ALLEN MOODY of the McMinnville N-R/News-Register, 7/14/2005
Most people in McMinnville know that they Linfield Wildcats are closing in on their 50th consecutive winning season in football and many would be able to tell you that Jay Locey is the Wildcats' head coach. 

There also are plenty of people in the area that could tell you who the head coach was when the Wildcats starting their streak of consecutive winning seasons - Paul Durham.

On Wednesday, a good-sized crowd of friends and former players gathered for a luncheon at Linfield College to pay tribute to Durham, who leaves his Hawaii home annually to return to the region for a week.

"It's a wonderful thrill," Durham said of seeing his former players. "I look forward to it. I don't know how could get any better."

Now in his early 90s, Durham is still sharp as ever and the former coach's speech was well-received and often interrupted by laughter at some of his stories, including several jabs at basketball referees. His son, Terry, was a former longtime NBA official and also was in attendance.

"We're in stitches listening to him," said Tigard's Bill Dressel, a former player of Durham's. "We have a speaker and then we let Paul speak so he can rebut any of the speakers and throw in his two cents worth."

Dressel said it was the ninth luncheon that was held for Durham and it's grown throughout the years.

"It started out being for anybody that played for Paul in all the years that he was football coach and then it involved into anybody that played for him or were friends of his," he said. "We just opened it up because people were asking if they could come. It's just a mutual admiration society of Paul. He's so amazing."

Durham, who also served as the sports editor for the News-Register for several years while coaching the Wildcats, said the thing he is most proud of is the type of players that he was able to recruit to represent Linfield.

"You have to have good people," he said. "A lot of them of them have done wonderful things after college. I claim a lot of them as my sons."

Durham became the athletics director at the University of Hawaii after leaving Linfield and has lived in Honolulu for the past 37 years.

"Obviously I think it's pretty nice," he said.

Durham said that he stays in touch with quite a few of his former players.

"A lot of them come to Hawaii and we have lunch and tell a few lies," he said. "I'm lucky that way."

Durham may break with his tradition and make two trips to McMinnville this year, as his 1961 team, which was the first undefeated, untied team in school history, is being inducted into the Linfield Hall of Fame.

"I think they were the best team that I ever coached," Durham said. "That's my opinion."
While the event was winding down a number of players were making plans to be back next year for the 10th annual luncheon.

"Just seeing Paul is the highlight," Dressel said. "I see him once a year and seeing all the old coaches and players and hearing all the old stories is great. Every year you hear something new. It's a great reunion of Linfield players."

Durham said he appreciated the way the people of McMinnville treated him and wanted them to know that Mac will always have a special place in his heart.

"Thank you for being so nice to me and my family while I went to college here from 1932 to 1936 and when I lived here after that for 20 wonderful years," he said. "I was lucky."

Durham's official Linfield Hall of Fame biography:

Over 20 years since he left Linfield to become athletic director at the University of Hawaii, Wildcat coaches continue to pass down to their athletes Durham's positive values of sportsmanship and scholarship. Now retired and living in Honolulu, Durham coached football at Linfield for 20 seasons, compiling a disguished record of 122-51-10 (.694).

He guided the Wildcats to six conference titles and two appearances in the NAIA national championship game. His most outstanding seasons as coach came in 1961 and 1965. In 1961, Durham's Wildcats capped the first unbeaten, untied season in school history with a trip to the "Camellia Bowl" played in Sacramento, Calif. 

Linfield was the first school from the Northwest Conference to participate in the NAIA football playoffs. The Wildcats narrowly lost the national championship game, 12-7 to Pittsburg State of Kansas. Linfield again finished unbeaten and untied in 1965 and beat Sul Ross State 30-27 in the semifinals before losing to St. John's of Minnesota 33-0 in the so-called "Champion Bowl" played in Augusta, Ga. 

In the season-opening football game of 1967, Durham brought the Wildcats to Honolulu, where they beat the University of Hawaii, 15-13, at rainy Honolulu Stadium. After the season - Durham's last as a Linfield coach - Hawaii hired him as its athletic director thanks to that upset win and for other reasons.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Do you know about the Westport-Linfield Pipeline?

The connection between Hartford, Connecticut, and Linfield is well known.

It’s called the “Hartford Pipeline.” High school grads from Hartford went on to study and (many of them) compete for the Linfield Wildcats. Learn more in a Wildcatville story linked here.
Do you know about the Westport-Linfield Pipeline?
(This Westport is on the Columbia River in Clatsop County, Oregon. Don’t confuse it with Westport, Washington, in that state’s Grays Harbor County on the coast.)
Westport High School closed in 1952. But, until that happened and even after it closed and Westport students started attending high school about 10 miles away in Clatskanie, Oregon, a number of Westporters attended Linfield.
Larry Hermo -- a Linfielder (Class of 1959), who lived in Westport, studied at Westport  and graduated from Clatskanie High after Westport High closed -- recalls as those among former Westport High School students who studied at Linfield being Art Holten, Art Verment, Ben Sorensen, Dick Brooke, Don Stensland, Don Nelson, Duane Hoagland, Ed Walters, Bob Luoto, Jerry Luoto, Jim Luoto, Larry Hermo, Norm Welch, Orlin Culbertson, Woody Lovelace and Don Miller. Many of them were athletes in high school and college.
Read about Art Holten in a Wildatville story linked here.

How did the Linfield connection to Westport High School (Clatsop County, Ore.) happened?

Based on research and assumptions, the connection happened because of  something like this ….

John King, Linfield Class of 1929, became Westport’s principal. A lineman, he played four years (1926-1927-1928-1929) on the Linfield football team and was team captain as a junior. See him in photo above, wearing an academic cap and gown.

(His brother, Lee King, Class of 1930, was also a Linfield football player. The Kings were from Buhl, Idaho. After Westport, John King became superintendent of the Oakridge, Ore., School District.)

John King hired Ted Stensland, Class of 1928, as Westport boys’ basketball coach. Later, Stensland, succeeded King as principal.

Succeeding Stensland as basketball coach was Don Nelson, Class of 1948.

At some point -- presumably hired by John King – Lucile Beswick, Linfield Class of 1932, became a teacher at Westport. One of her early duties was apparently coaching girls’ sports. Later, after Westport High closed and Westport students began attending Clatskanie High School, she joined the Clatskanie School District, initially as a teacher and later as librarian.

As a Linfield student, Lucile was a member of the L.C. Club, a woman’s organization which sponsored four coed sports and directed the women’s athletic program.

Possibly born and/or lived in Ashland, Ore., she may have moved to McMinnville prior to starting at Linfield.

Lucile Beswick eventually married Clarence Hansen. They had a daughter and son, Jim Hansen. Jim graduated from Linfield, said Larry Hermo, a 1954 Clatskanie High grad, who attended Westport High for two years before it closed.

Larry said Lucile was his English teacher for all four years of high school. He said she was an “excellent teacher of grammar.” His wife, Sharon Hermo, a 1960 Clatskanie High grad, also had Lucile as English teacher. Lucile encouraged Sharon to attend Linfield. Sharon did and graduated from the college in 1964.

Oh, by the way … In February 1962, Westporter/Linfielder Larry was discharged from the U.S. Army. A week after discharge he was hired as baseball coach at Yamhill-Carlton High School by its principal Ted Stensland.



--John King’s photo and information listing as a Linfield graduating senior in 1929.

--Lucile Beswick on the far right as member of a Linfield junior-senior women’s basketball team. and in a student photo.

--John King (front row far right) and his brother (second row wearing glasses) as members of Linfield’s Knights of the Order of the Old Oak.

--Ted Stensland as a member of the Linfield men’s basketball team.

--Don Nelson as a member of the Linfield men’s basketball team.

All photos from Linfield Oak Leaves yearbook.