An interesting question about a seminal figure on the University of Oregon campus in the early 20th century came in last week. We received an email from a researcher in Patrickswell Town, County Limerick, Ireland that sought more information about Colonel John Leader, the man who formed the ROTC program on the University of Oregon campus and played an integral role in preparing Oregon for World War I. Below is a paraphrased summary of the request:
We have a building which we have been advised belongs to the family of Lieutenant-Colonel John Leader 16th (Service – Pioneer) Battalion. We are trying to protect this building for future generations and have it claimed as a listed building before some friendly local developer decides to tear it down and build some modern apartment block or something worse!! We’re hoping to use this building as the local community hall that would serve the good of the local village, young and old alike, but I’m not very good at searching the net I’m afraid.
If you could provide some background or pictures on Lieutenant-Colonel John Leader, that would be just amazing and all I can offer is a heartfelt thank you and possibly an invite to the opening of the centre once we secure the building as a listed building and have it restored to its natural beauty. I cannot offer much more by way of begging… Our little village is tiny in size — 3 pubs, 3 food stores and petrol stations, 2 hair dressers, 1 chemist, 1 school, 1 local GAA hall, and a very much needed building that reminds us all where we came from.
This inquiry led us to investigate deeper in the stacks. What we learned was the story of a remarkable man who lived a remarkable life.