Lane County commissioners considering changing county name

Video Credit: KEZI - Published
Lane County commissioners considering changing county name
Lane County commissioners considering changing county name

This week lane county commissioners took the first steps towards renaming the county --- in light of protests over sis-temic racism across the country.

They say the idea has been brought up before, but the effort is now organized and will soon have its own committee.

Kezi 9 news reporter jacob roberts shows us why some want to distance our area from the name 'joseph lane'.

:00 marc carpenter/ historian says,'i think a lot of people will be horrified that their county is named after this ma?

Historian marc carpenter has spent much of his professional career digging into the history of one man & joseph lane.

The oregon policitian and military figure rose to prominence after the mexican american war, becoming oregon first territorial governor and later one of the first senators.

But he perhaps most famous for running as the vice presidential candidate on the southern democratic ticket in 1860.

A party known known to be staunchly pro- slavery, which made him unpopular in oregon.

Marc carpenter says, he was very very pro- confederate in addition to pro-slavery.

And so the narrative is he retired in disgrac?

:34 jacob roberts says,?carpenter says lane county namesake spoke approvingly of killing native civilians and while on the campaign trail even joked about participating in the rape of native wome?

Marc carpenter says,?it was so common to be in favor of the murder of indigenous people in the 1850s that it passes without comment for many people.

That was a normal thing for white oregonians to believe in in that period?

Carpenter says lane even had what are essentially slaves of his own.

So now, many are questioning whether the name of a man with that legacy should live on.

1:05 pete sorenson/lane county commissioner?why are we named for joseph lane?

Why aren named for some other good lane?

Lane county commissioners directed staff to form a committee and look into the possibility of renaming lane county.

A move some say is the right choice.

1:19 jennifer hammock/ in favor of name change?i think it right on time with where we are in this nation// butted//we name streets after leaders who have good moral character and we really enshrine them by naming things after them so their legacy can live on.

So if we want to have his legacy continue on, that really the question people need to ask themselve?

Still, some have concerns about what it would take to actually change the county name.

1:44 sherrlyn bjork/ eugene resident'i don know if we should spend millions of dollars changing every sign around lane county that could be used to help people in other way?

Commissioners plan to take lots of public input before making any decisions.

In eugene, jr, kezi 9

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