Tigard Librarian Sean Garvey takes you back in time through key events in Tigard’s history. Participate by sending ideas for the feature, asking questions, or sharing historic photos of Tigard. Sean can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Centennial of the 19th Amendment - Updated 3/8/20
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment. The amendment states that the right of citizens to vote “shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on the account of sex.”
Female advocates known as Suffragists fought for the right to vote for years, until finally President Woodrow Wilson proposed the Amendment to the House of Representatives. After months of continued advocacy by Suffragists nationwide, the United States of America officially adopted the 19th Amendment on August 26, 1920. Oregon voted to ratify the 19th Amendment over eight months earlier on January 14, 1920.
Despite the years of rejection prior to the 19th Amendment, women all over the nation continued to demonstrate for their right be heard. The display below highlights a few of Tigard’s fearless female advocates and their contributions to the people and places of Tigard and Metzger.
La Verne Sharp (1921 – 1986)
Tigard Historical Association / John Tigard House
La Verne Baurer was born in Tigard to Ella Brandt and Jacob Baurer. Ella’s family, the Brandts, first arrived in Tigardville in 1888 and settled on 20 acres along Taylor’s Ferry Road where La Verne was born. Laverne’s father grew up in Sherwood.
La Verne attended Tigard grade school and later Tigard Union High School. In school she was active in the Radio Shorthand Club, the Public Speaking Club and an officer in the Girls League. Outside of school, La Verne helped teach Sunday School classes at the Emanuel Evangelical Church in Tigard.
La Verne worked for many years, first as a switchboard operator for the Montgomery Ward department store in Portland and later as an office manager/executive assistant for Cummins Diesel.
In December 1977, Ms. Sharp helped form the Friends of the Museum in Tigard and became the organizations first chairperson (president). The Friends of the Museum was formed for the purpose of helping the Washington County Museum collect local artifacts and historical documents to help preserve Tigard’s history. A donation of pictures, books and documents by the family of Charles F. Tigard was the first donation to the group.
The Friends of the Museum also envisioned a permanent museum for the group somewhere in Tigard area. In April 1978 the group had identified the John Tigard House (c. 1880) as a potential property and by August 1979 had successfully relocated the home from its original site at Pacific Highway and Gaarde Street to SW Canterbury Lane at 103rd Avenue.
The Friends of the Museum were also successful in having the property listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the City of Tigard’s first property to have that distinction. About this time the group also changed their name to the Tigard Area Historical and Preservation Association (TAHPA, often known as The Tigard Historical Society).
On September 25, 1982, TAHPA held a historic site marking ceremony at the John Tigard House celebrating completion of the restoration and the presenting of a Legend Plaque by Tualatin Valley Heritage. La Verne, functioning as TAHPA’s secretary, offered opening remarks at the ceremony attended by Tigard Mayor Wilbur Bishop, State Senator James Simmons and many Tigard residents.
Neva Root (1901 – 1999)
Tigard School Teacher and Local Historian
Neva Root was an elementary school teacher in the Tigard, Oregon School District for twenty-two years. Following her retirement from teaching in 1966, Ms. Root, a Tigard resident since 1922, became active in several local civic affairs. Neva was instrumental in documenting the early history of Tigard. The Tigard Public Library dedicated a puppet stage to her in appreciation of her many years of service to the children of Tigard.
- Neva Root was born in Oglala, South Dakota, to William Root and Josephine Goudy.
- Neva was raised in Vancouver, Washington, and graduated from Vancouver High School. After graduating high school, she attended and graduated from Oregon Normal School (now known as Western Oregon University) and Willamette University where she received her teaching degree.
- Neva first taught in Yankton, Oregon, and Sherwood, Oregon, before returning to Tigard in 1944. She taught at Charles F. Tigard School for twelve years and Phil Lewis School for ten years.
- Neva retired from teaching in 1966 and became active in Tigard civic affairs. She became involved with United Good Neighbors (The United Way). She was the chair person for their funding drive in 1967. She was also a member of the Yankton and Tigard granges and served as chaplin, treasurer, and lecturer in those organizations. Neva was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, an honorary society of outstanding women educators, and served as local chapter president and as Portland area council president.
- Neva was also a member of the Tigard United Methodist Church where she taught Sunday school.
- Neva volunteered at the Tigard Public Library for twenty years and was instrumental in researching and documenting the Tigard area’s early history.
- In September 1987 the Friends of the Tigard Library dedicated a puppet stage in her name to the library in appreciation of her many years of service to the children of Tigard.
Patricia D. Whiting (1940 – 2010)
Patricia D. Whiting was a state legislator from Metzger who was elected to the Oregon State Legislature in 1972. She served three terms as a state representative for the Tigard-Metzger area and resigned in 1978. As a State Representative for the Oregon State Legislature, Whiting helped pass eleven explicitly feminist pieces of legislation, including the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, and legislation centered on civil rights, employment, family planning, and childcare.
- Patricia joined the Oregon State Legislature in 1972. She was a member of the 1973 Oregon Legislative Session, which was one of the most progressive sessions in the history of the state. The 1973 session saw a bipartisan group of female legislators work to pass eleven explicitly feminist pieces of legislation.
- Patricia’s key legislative acts included: The world’s first bans on ozone depleting spray cans and smoking; Oregon’s ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment; The Willamette Greenway; prohibiting smoking in state rooms; bottle and beach bills; and Saving Metzger Park. Patricia was featured on NBC’s Today Show where she defended the ozone bill in a debate that lead to the worldwide Kyoto and Montreal protocols.
- When the Metzger community celebrate its centennial in 2011, Metzger Park’s community center was officially renamed the Patricia D. Whiting Hall.
Awards and Honors
- Eagleton Institute of Politics/Rutgers University/Carnegie Foundation Top 10 U.S. State Legislation Award (1975).
- The Izaak Walton League of America Conservationist of the Year (1979).
- The Washington County/Oregon State University Extension Service Pioneer Citizen Stateswoman Award.
- Distinguished Service Award from the City of Tualatin.
- Harold M. Hayes Award for citizen involvement in Washington County (2009).
25 years ago
Tigard High School’s girls soccer team began their season looking for an unprecedented 4th consecutive 4A state title. Despite the loss of six graduated seniors, the team finished the season with a 13-4 record, placed second in the Metro League, but did not make the state playoffs. (1994, September 1). Four in a Row? Tigard Times, p. B1.
50 years ago
The City of Tigard unveiled plans for improvements to Cook Park. Upgrades included construction of baseball fields, a boat launching facility, nature trails, a playground for children, picnic areas and tennis courts. A road into the park and parking areas were also constructed. Cook Park, named for Tigard resident and former Mayor John Cook, Sr., is Tigard’s premier park. (1969, September 4). Cook Park Schematic Plan. Tigard Times, p.2.
75 years ago
Second Lieutenant Arthur H. Vincent of Tigard, in the weeks preceding D-Day, was assigned to register and safeguard hundreds of secret documents and plans related to the invasion. Mr. Vincent worked as a banker in Tigard for 29 years and later opened his own real estate firm in town before his retirement in 1965. (1944, September 8). Tigard lieutenant D-Day plan guard. Tigard Sentinel, p.1.
100 years ago
The East Butte School on Pacific Highway in Tigard hired Margaret Summers of Salem as principal to succeed Mr. C. White. Summers was a graduate of the state college in Kansas and had several years’ experience teaching in Oregon schools at the time of her appointment. (The East Butte School was located on the property where Charles F. Tigard Elementary now stands on Grant Avenue.) (1919, August 11). Woman is named new school principal at Tigard. Daily Capital Journal, p.1.