• Oregon State Representative, 1949-1950.

About Rep. Sell

Rep. John Sell grew up in Wisconsin, and his banking career began in 1930, when he was hired as a messenger boy for First Wisconsin National Bank. After working for the bank for a few years, he and a friend headed west to Portland in 1936. He took a job at First National Bank of Portland, and later got transferred to The Dalles branch. 

While living in The Dalles, constituents in Wasco County elected Rep. Sell to the Oregon House of Representatives. He was in office for one term, and served on both the Tax and Medical Affairs committees. 

In his oral history interview, Rep. Sell highlighted the importance of studying bills, being honest with constituents and respecting other legislators even if they voted differently than him. He also focused on the valued relationships he made during his time in the legislature. He felt that it was a privilege to serve and represent the citizens of Oregon. 

Following his time in the legislature, First National Bank’s Salem branch appointed him as manager. In 1969, Rep. Sell returned to Portland and served as the bank’s representative to the Oregon State Legislature. He also served as president of Oregon Tax Research and the Salem Chamber of Commerce.  

– Interview recorded February 27, 2005