Sunday, September 5, 2021

Historian Scott McArthur Passes Away

A selection of news bits

Shoot, the paper today has an obituary for Scott McArthur, a notable local historian. The obituary focuses on his legal career and says little about the history work. He had a full life!

Scott McArthur's obituary today

He'd contributed a couple of pieces, one on Ben Maxwell of course, to the Oregon Encyclopedia, and with a little different focus his capsule bio there says:

Scott McArthur, Monmouth author and retired lawyer, worked with Ben Maxwell on the staff of the Salem Capital Journal from 1959 to 1964. McArthur was raised in Tacoma. He is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound, University of Oregon, and Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College. He practiced law for 40 years, and before that taught in the public schools and at Mt. Angel College, and was a writer for the Capital Journal, Albany Democrat-Herald, Associated Press and United Press International. McArthur is the author of three self-published local history books, one of them a collection of Ben Maxwell's writings.

See this 2013 piece in the Itemizer-Observer, "Scott McArthur: Monmouth's Answer Man," for more on the journalism and history side.

On the Civil War here

The book on the Civil War has been of interest, but I have not yet read it. I am particularly interested in the chapter on the Knights of the Golden Circle, the pro-Confederacy paramilitary group, which may have counted early Salemite J. B. McClane as a member. (See here on McClane and the suggestion about his membership in the Knights.)

According to that Itemizer-Observer piece,

While McArthur wasn't part of the campaign to legalize beer and wine in Monmouth in 2002 and hard liquor in 2010, he has played a key role during Monmouth's dry history.

While serving as Monmouth City Attorney in 1969, he convinced city leaders to draft a bill that was eventually introduced to the Oregon Legislature to allow Monmouth to share in state liquor revenues -- as a dry town, Monmouth was previously denied those funds up to that point.

Oregonian, September 19th, 1920

That's a little ambiguous, but since Independence, and the greater Monmouth area, was such a center of the Hop industry, a beery toast in his memory seems appropriate.

No comments: