About Bill

William A. “Bill” Lansing is the retired President and CEO of Menasha Forest Products Corporation headquartered in North Bend, Oregon. He and his wife Ann have made their home in North Bend since 1969, raising two sons Brent and Kurt.

Bill grew up in a rural part of northern California and attended a small elementary school and was in the first four-year graduating class of Colfax High School. From there, he went on to receive college degrees from Sierra College, Humboldt State College and Yale University.

His interest in public education was sparked years ago when asked to assist with developing a state-wide curriculum for Oregon’s public education system. Not satisfied to work within the “system”, Bill formed a group of like-minded business people coupled with educators and built a program called “Relevancy in Education – an Oregon Experiment”. Simply put, the
program matched educators with public and private business people in a way that opened communication between those who educate and those who employ.

Over the course of a decade, the program grew and expanded even to the point where Bill encouraged his employees to take time from their busy work schedules to volunteer time in the classroom – he called this program “Dollars for Doer’s” and once the requisite number of hours were attained, money was given to the classroom where his employees volunteered – no strings attached.

For his dedication to the public schools of Coos County, the Oregon Education Association honored Bill with its distinguished award of “Citizen of the Year for the State of Oregon” in 2005. Researching, writing and publishing Remember When – Coos County Schools 1850 – 1940 is a fitting addition to Bill’s passion for public education.

The Mills That Built Coos Bay, Oregon

My new book, The Mills That Built Coos Bay and the Men Who Made It Happen, has finally arrived. It is a history of the mills that populated the shores around Coos Bay, Oregon from the mid-1850’s to around 2020. It includes a 1923 base-map of the bay upon which each mill and their successors are labeled with dates of operation during this 170-year time frame. Without the map, documenting the Coos Bay mills would have been impossible. I needed the map in order to keep myself on track in describing those mills as they were built, burned down, went bankrupt, refinanced and rebuilt again during the cycles of the lumber, plywood and paper industries in our area.

Pioneer Doctors of Coos County

I undertook research into the Pioneer Doctors of Coos County in order to capture the history of the trained medical doctors (and other “doctors”—since some never had a medical degree!) who found their way to Coos County in the early years of the area’s development. A few came to settle for the long term, making a career out of serving the communities of our county and retiring after decades of practicing medical science; while others came and then, for numerous reasons, left the region after a few short years.