Description: This is Part 7 of 13 of an interview with Alfred J. Schweppe. This interview was conducted by John Rupp, Marian Galllagher, and Junius Rochester in April 1985 and January 1986. This part of the interview was conducted by Marian Gallagher on April 29, 1985.
Alfred J. Schweppe (1895-1988) came to Seattle from Minnesota as a young lawyer. At age 31, he became dean of the University of Washington School of Law, and three years later, opened a private practice. In 1933 Schweppe, who was instrumental in drafting the State Bar Act, served as the first executive secretary of the newly formed Washington State Bar Association, and was later the association’s president. Often called “The Great Dissenter,” Schweppe is credited with crafting some of the most important legislation in the state's history, but was better known for his strict constitutionalist stands in opposition to a wide range of public projects. At 90 years of age, Schweppe still went each day to his downtown law office, Schweppe, Doolittle, Krug, Tausend and Beezer.
Among his civic activities, Schweppe served as president of Ryther Child Center and the Northwest Opera Association, chairman of the Seattle Crime Prevention Advisory Committee, and was an organizer of the Seattle Opera Guild. He served on the board of Whitman College and the University of Puget Sound law school, and was a member of the Rainier Club, Seattle Golf Club, Seattle Tennis Club, Broadmoor Golf Club, Overlake Golf & Country Club, the Tacoma Club and the Lawyers Club of New York City.
This interview is part of the Donald Schmechel Oral History Collection. Don Schmechel, who was a member of the Seattle Public Library Foundation board, began this project with Seattle Public Library in 1984, with the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) brought on board as a partner in early 1985. Schmechel himself worked to raise the funding for the project, and he volunteered his time to manage the project and to conduct interviews along with a crew of volunteers. Originally titled the Videotaping Historic Figures (VHF) Program, the project interviewed 91 people, and MOHAI holds the interviews for 32 of these individuals.The interviews conducted with these Seattle civic, business and cultural leaders in 1985 are valuable first-hand accounts that provide insight into developments taking place in the mid-twentieth century.
Digitization of this videotape material has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.
Transcribed from handwritten notes on videotape case. Due to trimming of video leader, time stamps are approximate:
0:00 Otto Rupe - self taught
01:00 Naval officer; Graduate school at Princeton Dean West, June 1914; German Kaiser -archeology dig
06:00 Dean at UW Law School; taught Constitutional law
08:30 Charlie Horowitz - best student - Rhodes Scholar
10:00 Women in law schools, firms. Mary Ellen Kruge
16:50 Labor law; Blacks in American Bar Association
This oral history recording may be used for research only. For other uses, please contact the Museum of History & Industry at firstname.lastname@example.org.