Guide to the Alvin E. Olson Papers 1902-1970
Cage 288

Summary Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Olson, Alvin E.
Alvin E. Olson Papers
Cage 288
Date [inclusive]
4.0 boxes
General Physical Description note
5 linear feet of shelf space.
Correspondence, financial and tax records, legal documents, and other records, principally of the family farm, which was assumed by J. Forrest Olson upon his father's retirement in the 1940s.

Preferred Citation note

[Item Description]. Cage 288, Alvin E. Olson Papers. Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

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Biographical/Historical note

Alvin Emel Olson was born in 1877 near Stockholm, Sweden, and emigrated to the United States in 1883. He lived on his father's farm near Harrington, Washington, for some years before acquiring a farm of his own in Whitman County near Pullman in 1908. Olson and his wife, Ella Cecelia Lybecker, had six children, three of whom reached adulthood.

Elected to the Washington State House of Representatives in 1923, Olson served as chairman of the Educational Institutions Committee, and was a member of the Banks and Banking, Dairy and Livestock, Public Morals, and Roads and Bridges committees. During his approximately twelve years in the Legislature he was noted for supporting the interests of Washington State University.

In addition to farming and holding public office, Olson was also a director and later vice president of the First National Bank of Pullman. He served as a lobbyist in the Legislature for the Washington State Cooperative Council in the 1940s, at which time he was also president of Pullman Grain Growers, Inc. When he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the 1940s, his son, J. Forrest, assumed management of the farm. Alvin E. Olson died 19 January 1950.

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Arrangement note

The collection is arranged in six series. Letters written by A.E. Olson and his wife, Ella Cecelia, are included in the first series with correspondence to Olson and his family. Miscellaneous papers of considerable age and unique nature, mainly personal items of A.E. and J. Forrest Olson as well as First National Bank and Pullman Grain Growers materials, comprise the second series. Olson's legislative materials make up a series unto themselves, followed by non-financial records of the Olson farm. Legal documents and financial materials of A.E. and J. Forrest Olson, their families, and the Olson farm make up the final two series.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries © 1978
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The papers of Alvin E. Olson were donated to the Washington State University Library by Sally Jo Hatley in 1976 (76-9).

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Farmers--Washington (State)--Whitman County--Records and correspondence

Personal Name(s)

  • Olson, Alvin Emel, 1877-1950 --Archives


  • Government and Politics
  • Washington (State)

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Collection Inventory

Correspondence 1906-1965 

Box Folder

Letters of A.E. Olson 1929-1949   23.0 items.

1 1

Letters of Ella Cecelia Olson 1940-1949   8.0 items.

1 2

Correspondence to A.E. Olson and family 1906-1965   24.0 items.

1 3

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Box Folder

Miscellaneous Papers 1907-1954   27 items.

1 4

Legislative Materials 1922-1948   7.0 items.

1 5

Farm Materials 1921-1968   21 items.

1 6

Legal Documents 1902-1968   42 items.

1 7

Financial Records 1905-1970 

Box Folder

Financial Materials 1914-1966   70.0 items.

1 8

Tax Materials 1905-1965   70.0 items.

1 9-10

C. Cash, Account, and Employees' Time Books 1907-1970   46.0 volumes.


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