A Guide to the Phoebe Orebaugh Papers, 1969-2001 Orebaugh, Phoebe 13

A Guide to the Phoebe Orebaugh Papers, 1969-2001

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number BCSC-13


Special Collections, Bridgewater College

Special Collections
John Kenny Forrer Learning Commons, Library Services
Bridgewater College
402 E. College St.
Bridgewater, VA 22812
Phone: 540-828-8018
Email: sgardner@bridgewater.edu
URL: https://libguides.bridgewater.edu/c.php?g=940573

© 2010 By Alexander Mack Memorial Library, Bridgewater College. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Marian Noble

Special Collections, Bridgewater College
Collection Number BCSC-
Phoebe Orebaugh Papers 1969-2001
3 c.f. (4 boxes and 2 oversize folders)
Phoebe Orebaugh

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions


Preferred Citation

Phoebe Orebaugh Papers, 1969-2001 (bulk 1983-1991), BCSC-13, Special Collections, Alexander Mack Memorial Library, Bridgewater College, Bridgewater, Va.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Phoebe Orebaugh.

Biographical/Historical Information

Phoebe Carolyn May (Orebaugh) was born in Rockingham County, Va., Aug. 26, 1935. After graduating from Broadway High School, she entered Bridgewater College in 1952. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in French in 1955, then returned to Broadway High School and taught there until retiring in 1990. During her 34-year career, Orebaugh taught French, English, U.S. Government, U.S. History, and World History. She married Robert Orebaugh in 1958; they were later divorced.

A member of the Republican Party, Orebaugh was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1982 by defeating Rockingham County attorney Roger Ritchie. She represented the 27th District for two terms, 1983-1985. Although she won reelection in 1984 by defeating another Rockingham County teacher, Nancy Jones, she lost to Paul Cline in 1986. In 1988, she successfully challenged Cline for her old seat and served until 1991. During her time in the House of Delegates, she sponsored a number of important bills, including one to legalize the medical use of heroin for terminally ill cancer patients. She also sponsored bills to increase the penalty for organizing dog fights from a misdemeanor to a felony and to require the state to draw up annual plans for child care. She planned to run for the 6th U.S. Congressional District seat in 1992, but later withdrew from consideration.

Scope and Content

This collection documents the legislative career of Phoebe Orebaugh, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1983-1985 and 1988-1991. The collection was donated by Orebaugh and includes legislative materials, campaign materials, correspondence, speeches, newspaper clippings, radio transcripts, biographical information, photographs, business cards, and notes. The collection is contained in four boxes and two oversize folders. The collection consists of approximately 3 cubic feet of materials and is topically arranged in seven series.

Series I, Legislation, is the largest series in the collection and is arranged topically. Included are notes, bill drafts, resolutions, clippings, and correspondence pertaining to various bills that Orebaugh worked on in the House of Delegates. Correspondents include local citizens interested in the bills, as well as experts on the subjects of the bills. The largest amount of materials in this series pertains to bills to legalize heroin as medical use for terminally ill cancer patients, House redistricting, and hunting. Other legislation includes bills for riding in pick-up trucks under the age of 16, state annual plans for day care centers, and limiting the amount of bills that representatives can propose in a session. The series also contains Virginia General Assembly voting and attendance records as well as conservative ratings of representatives.

Series II, Campaign Materials, is topically arranged and includes election results, political advertisements, reports of contributions and expenditures, and campaign brochures and pins. Of particular interest are materials pertaining to Democrat opponent Paul Cline and information on local political supporters such as "Educators for Orebaugh" and "Women for Orebaugh." In addition to campaign pins for Orebaugh, the series also contains pins for fellow Republicans Nathan Miller, Paul Trible, Kevin Miller, and John Warner.

Series III, Speeches, is primarily arranged chronologically, followed by miscellaneous materials and undated drafts. Speeches date from 1988 to 1999 and include subjects such as Orebaugh's heroin bill, leadership, the importance of being involved in government, the duties of a House of Delegates member, and the role of women in today's society. Orebaugh spoke to organizations, churches, and schools in Rockingham County, the Shenandoah Valley, and other locations throughout Virginia, both during and after legislative career ended.

Series IV, Clippings, is arranged chronologically from 1982 to 1993 and pertains to Orebaugh's political campaigns and her legislative career. Most of the articles are from the "Daily News-Record," in Harrisonburg, and the "Richmond Times-Dispatch."

Series V, Miscellaneous, is arranged topically and includes biographical information sheets for Orebaugh, transcripts of radio broadcasts by her on various legislative subjects, and various materials (3 folders) pertaining to her brother, Joe May, who also served in the Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 33rd District. These materials include press releases prepared by Orebaugh while working as her brother's press secretary and information on May's legislative activities during 2001. One folder of materials contains legal documents pertaining to the Republican Party of Virginia vs. Governor L. Douglas Wilder, which was a civil suit concerning the 1991 redistricting of the House of Delegates; included in these materials are Orebaugh's answers to questions submitted by the defendant. The series also contains eight pieces of correspondence dated 1982-2000, including a form letter (June 1, 2000) from U.S. Senator George Allen with a personal note to Orebaugh ("It was sure good to sing 'Back in the Saddle Again' again with you in Toms Brook").

Series VI, Photographs, consists of studio photographs of Orebaugh, images of her while the Virginia House of Delegates was in session, individual photographs of other political leaders, and photographs taken of Orebaugh with other state and national political figures. Also included is a certificate of appreciation given to Orebaugh from the Republican leadership of the 104th Congress featuring photographs of the party's six ranking Congressional leaders. Other individuals in the photographs include Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Charles Robb, John Warner, George Allen, and Oliver North.

Series VII, Oversize Materials, consists of maps of Virginia, maps of House of Delegates districts, a sample ballot, and campaign posters. Also included is a handmade poster showing precinct results in Rockingham County for Orebaugh and other candidates during the 1982 election.

Contents List (Box-Folder)

Series I:: Legislation
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Series II:: Campaign Materials
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Series III:: Speeches
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Series IV:: Clippings
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Series V:: Miscellaneous
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Series VI:: Photographs
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Series VII:: Oversize Materials
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