Sunday, February 1, 2009

Governor West on Governor Lord & John Minto

Towards the end of his life, Oswald West wrote or dictated (these read like oral history) a series of anecdotes and stories for the Oregon Historical Quarterly. This one ran in September 1949. "Klinger and Beck's brewery" is the Capital Brewery. On the Sanborn map, it looks like the center bay holds a saloon. I'll have to research that more.

West was a big ol' Prohibitionist - so he was probably jealous in addition to being disapproving! (Just what were his secret vices? To have been so zealous, he must have had some skeleton in his closet!)

W. P. Lord and John Minto
Judge Lord became Governor in January, 1895....The Governor gave his old friend John Minto some job at the State House. They both lived in South Salem on Mission Street. They would leave the State House together in the afternoon, stopping in at the bank [Ladd & Bush, where West was "paying teller," at that time] usually a little after closing time. Lord would draw five dollars - no more, no less. They would then repair to Klinger and Beck's brewery, just beyond the Marion (then Chemeketa) Hotel, where they would drink beer until it was time to leave for home and supper. They were usually pretty well lit.

Often on the way home from the bank I would drop in behind them - as their route was mine for a few blocks. Lord was very hard of hearing and Minto had a high piping voice. To make the old Governor hear, old John had to shout. He was long on quoting Burns to the old Governor. I learned much about Republican politicians through listening in - a block to in the rear.
Minto's home on Saginaw, just off Mission.


  1. I stumbled across this blog because of the OHQ reference (thanks for the link), and now I'm planning a historical beer tour of Salem. Thanks!

    Eliza Canty-Jones

  2. We love editors who like beer! Thanks for stopping by - if you have any juicy stories about Governor West, please share!