Our History

History - Business Law in Mcminnville, OR
 
The law firm, known today as HAUGEBERG, RUETER, GOWELL, FREDRICKS & HIGGINS, P.C. has traced its origin back to the year 1860. In August of 1858, George B. Currey was admitted to the bar of Oregon and eventually established a law practice in Lafayette, Oregon. The earliest reference of his practice of law is found in Oregon case law in the year 1860. In 1868, Mr. Currey formed a partnership with Hartwell Hurley after Mr. Hurley was admitted to the bar of Oregon in September of that year.

In 1875, Mr. Currey withdrew from the practice of law in favor of other business pursuits. A. M. Hurley joined his brother in the practice of laws in 1875 and the firm name was changed to Hurley and Hurley while continuing its operation at the Lafayette, Oregon location. LaFayette, Oregon, as it was known during the years referenced above, was the county seat for Yamhill County.

By 1885, Hartwell Hurley had become a Yamhill, Oregon County Judge and the firm incurred another name change when James McCain, formerly of Dallas, Oregon and A. M. Hurley were merged forming the partnership of McCain and Hurley in Lafayette. Mr. Hurley left the firm in 1892 and J. E. Magers appeared as a partner with Mr. McCain. Also in 1885 the firm moved its offices to McMinnville, Oregon. The new office was located in the upstairs of a building at the corner of Third and Davis Streets, where it remained until 1960. As a side note, the county seat moved from Lafayette, Oregon to McMinnville, Oregon in 1889, according to information found in Yamhill County, Oregon history.

Sometime around 1898 Mr. Magers moved to Portland, Oregon, and Oliver H. Irvine and William T. Vinton were added to the partnership, which then conducted business under the name of McCain, Irvine and Vinton.

In 1902 the partnership became known as McCain and Vinton, and in 1912 Frances V. Galloway joined the firm practicing under the name of McCain, Vinton and Galloway. In 1914, Mr. Galloway withdrew and James E. Burdett became a partner; the firm name changed to McCain, Vinton and Burdett.

When Mr. McCain passed away in 1919 Mr. Vinton formed a partnership with Walter L. Tooze, Jr. During the year 1926 Eugene E. Marsh joined Mr. Vinton as Mr. Tooze had moved his practice of law to Portland, Oregon. 10 years later, in 1936 Mr. Marsh’s twin brother Frances E. (Frank) Marsh became a partner and the firm was then known as Vinton, Marsh and Marsh. The name changed again in 1945 to Marsh and Marsh when Mr. Vinton passed away.

In 1952, after having been an associate with the partnership for several years, William H. Dashney became a partner and the name of the firm then read Marsh, Marsh and Dashney. In 1960 the firm moved into new offices at 525 E. 4th Street in McMinnville to be closer to the courthouse and have room to grow the firm in accordance with the city’s population. Another associate of the firm became a partner, with the firm name changing to Marsh, Marsh, Dashney and Cushing.

In 1965 David C. Haugeberg became an associate and became partner in 1972. In 1974 Mr. Dashney passed away and a short time later Mr. Cushing withdrew. The firm continued as a partnership under the name of Marsh, Marsh and Haugeberg and continuing with this name in 1976 when it was incorporated as a Professional Corporation.

Norman A. Phillips became an associate in 1975 and a shareholder in 1977. Gary A. Rueter joined the firm in 1976 as a trial lawyer; having previously been the Yamhill County District Attorney, after Mr. Rueter and Mr. Phillips became shareholders the firm was known as Marsh, Marsh, Haugeberg, Rueter and Phillips, PC. Upon Mr. Phillips move to Portland, Oregon the organization name was once again changed to Marsh, Marsh, Haugeberg and Rueter, P.C.

In 1980 the Marsh brothers determined that after 57 or so years of practicing law it was time to retire. In 1981 the firm name changed to Haugeberg and Rueter, PC.

More changes were to follow as the years marched on and in 1983 Ronald W. Stone was added to the marquee. Mr. Stone had been an associate with the firm since 1977 and became a shareholder in 1983. Shortly thereafter another associate, Walter R. Gowell became a shareholder and the name chanced once more; Haugeberg, Rueter, Stone and Gowell, PC in 1984.

In 1987 Douglas S. Fredricks an associate became a shareholder and the firm was known as Haugeberg, Rueter, Stone, Gowell and Fredricks, P.C.

In 2000 Ronald W. Stone was elected Yamhill County Circuit Court Judge and in 2001 and after he left to take that position the name changed to Haugeberg, Rueter, Gowell Fredricks & Higgins, PC, with the addition of a new shareholder; Robert G. Higgins had been an associate prior to becoming a shareholder.


John N. McKeegan an associate of the firm became a shareholder in 2005 and his name was added to the organizations name which at that time read Haugeberg, Rueter, Gowell, Fredricks, Higgins and McKeegan, PC. In 2010 Mr. McKeegan withdrew and after all of these name changes the shareholders agreed to once again change the corporate name. With the addition of David Haugeberg's daughter, Dianne L. Haugeberg-Shea (in 2006) and Samuel R. Justice (in 2009) as shareholders, it was agreed that the name should become static and as of this writing the firm name reads Haugeberg, Rueter, Gowell, Fredricks and Higgins, P.C.