Oregon has been called the “Hard Case State” because life for its earliest settlers was very hard. Inhabitants of Oregon were called “Hard Cases” by at least May 1845.
“Hard Case State” was rarely used in the 20th century and the nickname is of historical interest today.
The Hard-case State
or “The Land of Hard Cases” was a nickname that was given to Oregon because of the hardships encountered by early settlers in the area.
“The Hard-case State” or “The Land of Hard Cases”
There are several theories as to the origin of these Oregon nicknames:
1) The first theory focus on the challenges and hardships that met early settlers - you needed to be tough to settle down and make a living in the new land.
2) The second theory points to the dubious and poor character of some of the settlers. Oregon being located so far west, was as far away from previous misdeeds as possible.
22 May 1845, Cleveland Daily Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), pg. 4, col. 2:
From Cist’s Cincinnati Advertiser.
Oregon, Hard Cases.
3 May 1881, The Daily Bee (Omaha, NE), “State Nicknames,” pg. 3, cols. 4-5:
... Oregon, Web Foot or Hard Case; ...
September 1893, The Teachers World, “For Interesting the Geography Class” by Gertrude E. Thompson, W. Medford, Mass., pg. 17, col. 2:
Oregon— White Fort State; “Hard Case State”; Beaver State; Pacific State.
24 March 1901, Daily Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA), “Nicknames of People,” pg. 3, col. 3:
Oregon, Web-foot; Hard cases.
Oregon (Beaver State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Monday, June 18, 2012 • Permalink