Paul and Gus Moelly oral history recording


Paul and Gus Moelly oral history recording


An audio recording of an oral history of Gus Moelly about C.C. Ruth and Company, a feed store in Cornelius, Oregon. Moelly grew up in South Dakota working on a farm. When offered a position to work for the feed store in Oregon in about 1936, he took it. The feed store was run by Charlie Ruth, who took over the manager position in about 1934. Moelly describes how Ruth ran the feed plant, buying and selling grain, and eventually starting his own brand of animal feed, later named Champion Brand. Ruth started selling the Purina “checkerboard square” Feeds in about 1946. Before taking over the store, Ruth was an instructor at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. Moelly talks about the decrease in small production farms and the increase in large production farms and small, suburban interest in livestock. It was an “exit” from the farm. There was also an explosion in ownership of horses in Washington County. As tractors replaced the need for horses on the farms, there was an increased interest in horses for riding purposes. Moelly talks about how the store was only a feed store and though people sometimes called on them, they were not veterinarians or county agents and did not sell produce like other feed stores might have done. Moelly talks about his retirement from the store that was happening in the coming weeks after the recorded interview and how his son, Jerry, was going to officially take over. A change that Jerry was planning on implementing followed the community’s demands to sell more horse tack in the store. Moelly and the interviewer finish by talking about Charlie Ruth again and describing his physical and personal characteristics as well as the C.C. Award that was introduced to the Washington County Fair. At the time of the recording, it was the oldest continuous, rotating award at the fair and they mention a few of the first people who won the award.


Moelly, Paul
Moelly, Gus


Washington County (Or.) -- History
Moelly, Paul
Moelly, Gus


Washington County (Or.)
Cornelius (Or.)


1 sound cassette (30 min.)






In Copyright


Washington County Museum