Oral Histories Published To Date


The Members of the Oral History Advisory Committee choose candidates based on established criteria. The mission of the Program is to document and preserve the history of the Legislature, so longevity of service, involvement in leadership, participation in decision-making and significant events, and authorship of key legislation are all considered. The ability of a narrator to remember and explain events with reasonable clarity and accuracy is essential. Committee members also strive to balance party affiliation, geographic location, points of view and areas of service. As is common in oral history practice, the Program makes a special effort to interview people who can relate stories from the most distant past before their recollections are lost.


Notification of intention to quote from one of our publications is not necessary, but is a courtesy appreciated by the Program. Please use the following citation format when quoting from an oral history:

Name of Interviewee
Interviewed by Name of Interviewer
Name of Publication
Washington State Oral History Program
Olympia, WA
Date of Publication


Six Speakers of the House Former Reps. Robert Shaefer – 49th District, William Polk – 41st District, Wayne Ehlers – 2nd District, Joe King – 49th District, Brian Ebersole – 29th District, Clyde Ballard – 12th District
Rosa Franklin Former 29th District State Senator and Representative
Leonard Sawyer Former 25th District Representative, former Speaker of the House
Ruth Fisher Former 27th District State Representative
R. Lorraine Wojahn Former 27th District State Senator/Representative, President Pro Tempore
Helen Sommers Former 36th District State Representative
Jeannette Hayner Former 16th District State Representative/Senator and Majority/Minority Leader
Thomas L. Copeland Former 11th District State Representative and Speaker Pro Tempore
Don Eldridge Former 40th District State Representative and Speaker of the House; Liquor Control Board member
R. Frank Atwood Former 42nd District State Senator
R.R. "Bob" Greive Former 34th District State Senator and King County Council Member.
Wilbur G. Hallauer Former State Representative/State Senator and Director of the State Department of Ecology
Joel Pritchard Former 36th District State Representative/Senator; U.S. Representative and Lieutenant Governor
Sam Smith Former 37th District State Representative and Seattle City Council Member
August Mardesich Former 38th District State Representative/Senator
Ray Moore - PDF (1.5M) Former 36th District State Senator
James M. Dolliver - PDF (599k) Former Supreme Court Chief Justice
Frank "Buster" Brouillet - PDF (462k) Former 25th District Representative and state Superintendent of Public Instruction
Robert Bailey - PDF (655k) Former 19th District State Senator/Representative and member of the state Utilities & Transportation Commission
Richard Barnes - PDF (393k) Former 33rd District State Representative
Albert Canwell - PDF (1.5M) Former 5th District State Representative
William Gissberg - PDF (283k) Former 39th District State Senator
Robert Goldsworthy - PDF (429k) Former 9th District State Representative
Charlie Hodde Former 2nd District State Representative/Speaker of the House and director of the state Departments of Revenue and General Administration
Elmer Huntley - PDF (205k) Former 9th District State Senator/Representative and member of the state Utilities & Transportation Commission
Margaret Hurley Former 3rd District State Senator/Representative

Projects in Progress
  • Alan Thompson – Former Chief Clerk, former 18th District State Senator and Representative
  • Speakers of the House of Representatives biographical studies
  • Dan McDonald – Former 48th District Senator and Representative