Skip to main content

Robert "Bob" Freeman Smith papers

Identifier: WUA025

Scope and Contents

Smith’s papers contain committee hearing minutes, personal correspondence, travel files, and campaign materials from Smith’s 1992 run for Congress. The congressional materials come primarily from the One Hundred First and One Hundred Second Congresses, 1989 through 1993. These materials include hearings on NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement); various Agriculture Committee hearings and materials related to the Oregon Wilderness Act of 1984 and Newberry Crater and the Newberry Volcanoes National Monument. There is a set of briefing books for Congressional trips Smith took in 1987 and 1989, materials from Smith’s consideration of a gubernatorial campaign in 1994, and memorabilia and photographs from Smith’s time in as a member of Congress.


  • 1982-1994


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Papers are open to researchers. Books have been removed from the collection for preservation purposes.

Conditions Governing Use

Library acts as “fair use” reproduction agent.

For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library.

Copyright Information: Before material from collections at Willamette University Archives and Special Collections may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permission. Persons wishing to quote from materials in any collections held by University Archives and Special Collections should consult the University Archivist. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.

Biographical / Historical

Robert Freeman “Bob” Smith was born in Portland, Oregon on June 16, 1931. Smith grew up in Burns, Oregon where he attended public schools. He attended Willamette University, graduating in 1953 with a B.A. in Economics.

Smith is a lifelong rancher and legislator, first serving in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1960 to 1972 as the representative of Oregon’s 2nd District. He was Speaker of the House for the 1969 and 1971 sessions. During his time in the state legislature, Smith also served as Oregon's representative on the President's Public Land Review Commission (1965-1969).

In 1982 Smith, a Republican, won election to represent Oregon’s 2nd District in the United State House of Representatives, replacing Denny Smith who had won election to represent Oregon’s new 5th District. Bob Smith served in Congress for twelve years, choosing not to run in the 1994 election. Following a brief retirement, Smith was called back to replace Wes Cooley who had been asked to step down in 1996. During his final term in Congress, Smith served as chair of the Committee on Agriculture. He retired in 1999.

Smith worked on a wide range of legislative initiatives during his time in Congress. Highlights include the creation of an amendment to the Drought Relief Act in 1988, co-sponsoring a rural health care law, and negotiating a $105 million wheat sale to Turkey. Smith received many awards and certificates recognizing his work for the people of Eastern Oregon. Among these is the Cooperator of the Year Award from the Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association in 1999. The Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association presents the Cooperator of the Year award each year to elected officials who have demonstrated their support of electric cooperatives.

Smith and his wife, Kaye Tomlinson Smith, have three children - Tiffany Smith McNaught, Christopher Smith, and Matthew Smith. Since retiring from Congress, the Smiths live in eastern Oregon.


16 Linear Feet (16 boxes)


Robert Smith’s papers contain campaign materials from his 1992 run for Congress, committee hearing minutes from his time as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Oregon’s 2nd District, personal correspondence, and travel files.


The Robert Freeman “Bob” Smith papers comprise 16 linear feet and are arranged in five series: Political/Office Records, Legislative Records, Briefing Books, Appointment and Guest Books, and Memorabilia. Specific arrangements for each series and subseries are described in the series descriptions below. Folders maintain original order whenever possible, and there is a certain amount of subject overlap between series, as well as duplicate materials in various folders. Researchers are encouraged to examine the entire collection in order to cover all material addressing their interest.

Physical Location

Mark O. Hatfield Library

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 2009
Guide to the Robert "Bob" Freeman Smith papers, 1982-1994
Finding aid processed by Rose Marie Walter and Bria Robertson.
© 2010
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Willamette University Archives and Special Collections Collection Descriptions

Mark O. Hatfield Library
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 United States