Daniel Joseph Shepard, “A Town on Fire: The Copperfield Affair of 1914” (M.A. thesis, Portland State University, 2015).


In 1914, Copperfield, Oregon was militarily occupied by order of the governor, Oswald West. Its town government was deposed, the city officials were arrested, and the town’s saloons were closed and all liquor and gambling devices were seized. The town, previous to Governor West’s interdiction, had seen a breakdown into violence and arson between two competing saloon cliques. The resulting martial law of Copperfield and subsequent court battles between the governor and Copperfield’s saloonkeepers would become known as the Copperfield Affair.