How does a self-proclaimed "nerdy" guy newly arrived from Nampa, Idaho, meet up with the all-American girl-next-door from a dairy farm in Rickreall, Oregon? Through the newspaper, of course! Our guests Bill Mainwaring and Mary Bell Mainwaring have been actively involved in our area for many years, and the dynamic partnership begun during their college years continues strong!
The story goes that a co-worker of Bill's at the Capital Journal newspaper, where Bill worked in the summers during his college years, was a relative of Mary and really sang her praises. Bill sucked up his courage and asked her out, and to his surprise she agreed! The story gets even sweeter when they learned later that Mary's dad had a hand in their first date as well! It seems that all grand stories need an unassuming but pivotal beginning, as the Mainwaring's story demonstrates.
Bernard Mainwaring's family came to the Newberg area from Wisconsin in 1912. The Mainwarings purchased several small newspapers and were actively publishing one in Nampa, Idaho, prior to their purchase of the Capital Journal in 1953.
The maternal side of Mary's family, the Packets, came to Oregon over the Oregon Trail. Her maternal Grandfather Ulen was a shipbuilder based in Portland. The Bell side of her family arrived in the valley in the early 1900s from Pennsylvania, settling two miles south of Rickreall where they built a dairy business. Mary's parents, Burton Charles & Anne Eugenia Ulen Bell, were married 69 years.
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We feel certain that both Bill and Mary would agree that their crowning achievement is their family: daughters Anne Marie and Julia, son Douglas, and their extended families, all of whom live in the Pacific Northwest. Bill admits to being a die-hard Ducks fan who has never missed a Rose Bowl in which they played, and is doing his best to ensure this attribute continues through the next generations. Mary has become a Duck fan by default, yet secretly enjoys hearing that the Beavers of her alma mater have done well.
All the wonderful people we have interviewed in our Yesterday's Voices series have demonstrated the same spirit of service to family, community, and country we found with the Mainwarings. This commitment beyond oneself helped build our pioneer communities, carried us through great national trials, and continues to undergird strong communities. May we continue to give selfishly of ourselves going forward. When we do, we all win--especially future generations.