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Oakes Mortimer Plummer | 1941

Railroad executive and founder of the Pacific International Live Stock Exposition.

1869--1945 | Artist: Othmar J. Hoffler (1893-1954)

Impact & Accomplishments

Born in Bradford, Maine, O. M. Plummer moved to the opposite coast as a teenager. He worked for a shipping company and the Oregon-Washington Railroad, and then spent ten years at the Southern Pacific Railroad Company.

In 1897, Plummer took a position with Union Stock Yards in Portland, being elected secretary and treasurer in 1902 and serving through 1917. In 1911, Plummer established the Pacific International Live Stock Exposition at the stock yards, becoming show manager. Under his twenty-six-year leadership, the Pacific International grew to prominence. The United States Department of Agriculture created Camp Plummer for boys and girls club activities at the exposition, and Plummer sponsored prizes for the best club work. The Plummer Memorial Scholarship continues in 4-H today.

During World War I, Plummer served in the U. S. Food Administration, and he held leadership roles in the American National Live Stock Association and the National Live Stock and Meat Board. He was a long-time school board member and an organizer of the eugenics movement and “better babies” contests at fairs.

Did You Know?

Canning team making sandwiches at the Pacific International Livestock Show, Portland, Oregon , November 7-12, 1921. Original Collection: Extension Service Photographic Collection (P 62) Courtesy of Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives.

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