Fogle, Crystal Bryan

From Lane Co Oregon

Crystal B. Fogle was a historian focusing on Springfield. She was born May 14, 1905 and died February 15, 1986. She was buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery. On her plaque is stated: "Beloved Wife and Mother".

[edit] Springfield News, Tuesday, September 11, 1979

Before Joe and Maude Bryan and daughter Crystal started on a trip to San Diego in 1917 they had printed a Springfield, Oregon sign to fit below the windshield of their Buick touring car.

"Dad and mother were proud of their hometown and wanted everyone to know about it," Crystal Bryan Fogle recalled 52 years later.

"In those days when Interstate 5 was years in the future, the road up the hot central valley of California was dusty and full of chuckholes."

"We didn't encounter much traffic, but our sign got a lot of attention," she said.

Mrs. Fogle credits her parents with instilling in her a sense of pride for Springfield, which has made her the city's unofficial historian.

"Dad, who owned a grocery store, was on the school board two different times when new schools were constructed and was a sparkplug in the Commercial Club, the city's chamber of commerce in those days," Mrs. Fogle said.

"At the same time mother was very active in the Civic Club, a woman's adjunct of the Commercial Club, and even more important to me, active in the Springfield Pioneer Club, organized in the 1930s.

"I went to meetings with mother and it was fascinating talking to people who were here in the early days and actually knew Elias Briggs, Sringfield's founder," Mrs. Fogle commented.

Her visits at the meeting with Herbert Walker, son of Albert Walker, Springfield's first mayor in 1893, weer especially enjoyable and at one meeting he drew her a map of the city, "as it actually was in 1879."

Mrs. Fogle recalled that one day in the early 1950s, Walker came to her door with some early photos of the city and said, "Crystal, please keep these pictures until I call for them."

"I really felt that he was giving them to me so I would save them for future generations,: Mrs. Fogle said.

Another vivid key in Mrs. Fogle's interest in history came in 1948. "My mother and I owned several buildings in the 300 block of Main Street, which had grown unattractive and we decided to tear them down and put up a new structure," she said.

Mrs. Fogle said her mother pointed to one of the timeworn buildings and asked, "Crystal, did you know that was the first bank building in Springfield, operating almost 50 years ago?"

"I realized that history was being destroyed before my eyes," Mrs. Fogle recalled.

Commemoration of two city centennials took place because of Mrs. Fogle's eagle-eyed interest in her hometown.

In 1949 she realized it was 100 years since the Briggs family settled down near the future city's namesake spring, "and nobody was doing anything about it." To marke the event Mrs. Fogle wrote an extensive series of articles, "The First 100 Years," which appeared in the December 1 issue of The Springfield News.

"Six years later, I discovered that the first school had been established in Springfield a century before," she said, "So with the help of my husband, Victor, we set up a display for a PTA eeting at Springfield High School.

"We had some of my pictures spread across the back of the stage and had antique, like jewelry, tools and early motion picture slides on display."

For many years Mrs. Fogle, an elementary teacher here for 0 years was in demand for historical programs at school assemblies. "I presented programs for third graders through high school, and I was especially pleased because the best reception came from junior high kids, an age group often turned off by stories of the past.

"All this time, I had wonderful help from my husband," Mrs. Fogle said. "He loaded pictures into my car, got many of the best pictures enlarged, and when my thusiasm lagged, he was the one who urged me to keep going."

Mrs. Fogle probably has a thousand historical pictures and negatives and one of her largst troves came from Howard Photo Studio, which gave her about 10 years of negatives covering all of the commercial pictures it took from 1946 to 1956, when it went out of business.

Mrs. Fogle said several attempts to establish a museum have been made, but all failed. A near succesful try came in 1965 when the Springfield Historical Society signed a lease with the Springfield School District and began converting a former school administration building at 10th and G Streets into a community museum.

"Then the project was dropped when the district got federal funding fora children's clinc and took the building back," she said.

"I've realy enjoyed living my life in Springfield, and I've made a lot of friends," Mrs. Fogle commented. One longtime friend, Lane County Commisioner Vance Freeman, said, "She has good rapport with all people, and if I could pick a person outside my family to be a relative, it'd be Crystal."

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