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Isaac Lee "Ike" Patterson, (September 17, 1859 – December 21, 1929) was the 18th Governor of Oregon from 1927 to 1929. An Oregon native, he served in the Oregon Legislative Assembly from 1918 to 1922, and was a farmer in the Willamette Valley.

Isaac L. Patterson
Isaac L. Patterson.jpg
18th Governor of Oregon
In office
January 10, 1927 – December 21, 1929
Preceded byWalter Marcus Pierce
Succeeded byA. W. Norblad
Member of the Oregon Legislative Assembly
In office
Personal details
Born(1859-09-17)September 17, 1859
Benton County, Oregon
DiedDecember 21, 1929(1929-12-21) (aged 70)
Eola, Oregon
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Mary Elizabeth Woodworth


Early lifeEdit

Patterson was born on September 17, 1859 on his family's Kings Valley estate in rural Benton County, Oregon. His parents, Francis A. and Caroline (née Tatum) were emigrants to the Oregon Territory, having made the overland trip from their previous home of Bellevue, Illinois.[1][2] Until he reached the age of 18, he worked his father's farm. He later attended Monmouth's Christian College, for one year. Patterson supported himself as a grocery clerk in Independence, later earning his way into a position there as a business partner. His participation in the grocery store would last for 22 years. On May 12, 1886 he married the former Mary Elizabeth Woodworth, and they would have two children.[1]

Entry into politicsEdit

In 1898, Patterson entered politics, gaining election to a seat in the Oregon State Senate representing Marion County. At the time, he was one of the youngest State Legislators ever elected, having been sworn in at age 32. President William McKinley appointed Patterson to the post of Collector of Customs, Portland District in 1898, and was reappointed by Theodore Roosevelt in 1902, serving there until 1906.

In 1899, Patterson sold off his share in the grocery store, and purchased a 300-acre (1.2 km2) ranch in rural Polk County. The farm would prove profitable, and paved the way for Patterson's later venture into a successful wool and hide business in Portland.

After serving out his term as collector of customs, Patterson managed his business affairs and kept working politically inside the Republican Party. In 1918, the citizens of Benton and Polk Counties elected him to represent their district, returning him to the state senate. In the senate, he moved his way up and served as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.


Patterson attempted to secure the Republican nomination for governor in 1922, coming in a distant third in the primary in a five-man race.[2] Despite this poor showing, Patterson had strong ties with the party's old guard. He won the chairmanship of the Oregon State Republican Party Central Committee in 1924, going on to chair Calvin Coolidge's Presidential campaign in Oregon.

His profile statewide rose, and this secured him the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 1926. He would go on to defeat Walter M. Pierce in that year's general election.

Using President Coolidge as an inspiration, Governor Patterson would govern the state in a financially conservative manner; streamlining agencies of the state and vetoing legislation which would threaten balancing the state's finances. By 1920, the state balanced its budget for the first time in its history. His administration notably continued improving state roads and highways, established the state's system of higher education, and directed the state prison system to house adult and juvenile criminals separately.

He was considered a popular and well-respected figure by rivals and supporters alike, but suddenly died in office of pneumonia on December 21, 1929, and was buried in Mount Crest Abbey Mausoleum in Salem.


  1. ^ a b Corning, Howard M. Dictionary of Oregon History. Binfords & Mort Publishing, 1956.
  2. ^ a b "Governors of Oregon: Isaac Lee Patterson". Oregon State Library.
  • Klooster, Karl. Round the Roses II: More Past Portland Perspectives, pg. 126, 1992 ISBN 0-9619847-1-6

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Walter M. Pierce
Governor of Oregon
Succeeded by
A. W. Norblad
Party political offices
Preceded by
Ben W. Olcott
Republican nominee for Governor of Oregon
Succeeded by
Phil Metschan Jr.