Document Type



Oregon Health & Science University

Table of Contents

Biographical Information; Dillehunt Family History; Education of R.B. Dillehunt; Kenneth Mackenzie; Dean Dillehunt; Work at Shriners Hospital; Personalities on Marquam Hill; Dillehunt’s Management Style; Unusual Fundraising; AKA Kenneth Nesbitt; Health and Retirement; Honors For Service; Town-Gown Relations; Dillehunt’s Legacy; Index


Ted H. Willhite reminisces about his uncle, Dean Emeritus, Richard B. Dillehunt, sharing anecdotes about Dillehunt's life, medical career, the Dillehunt family, and the many physicians Dillehunt befriended. Among those anecdotes is his version of the events leading up to the purchase of the parcel of land atop Marquam Hill where the medical school was built - called Mackenzie's Folly. Dillehunt was appointed Dean of the medical school in 1920 upon Dean Mackenzie's death. Ted Willhite was born in Decatur, Illinois in 1922. He moved to Oregon in 1940 and attended University of Oregon and Reed College. Richard Benjamin Dillehunt was born in Decatur, Illinois in 1886. Dillehunt was educated at the University of Illinois and Rush Medical College (M.D., 1910). He completed an internship and residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago in 1911. Dillehunt then moved to Oregon in 1911 and opened a private practice. He joined the faculty of the University of Oregon Medical School in 1912 as Professor of Anatomy and Assistant Dean. He served with the 46th Base Hospital in World War I, 1917-1919. He became Dean of UOMS and Clinical Professor of Surgery in 1920. He also served on staffs at Shriners, Multnomah County, Doernbecher, and Emanuel Hospitals. Dillehunt was named Portland's First Citizen in 1937. He retired in 1943 and passed away in 1953.


Transcript of oral history interview with Ted H. Willhite, conducted on January 8, 1999 by Linda A. Weimer


OHSU Oral History Project




School of Medicine


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