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Guide to the Walter Eugene Packard papers, 1819-1973 (bulk 1907-1966)
BANC MSS 67/81 c  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Contents of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Walter Eugene Packard papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1819-1973
    Date (bulk): (1907-1966)
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 67/81 c
    Creator: Packard, Walter E. (Walter Eugene), 1884-1966
    Extent: Number of containers: 16 cartons, 4 oversize boxes Linear feet: 25
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Walter Eugene Packard papers, BANC MSS 67/81 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    Theophilus Packard's Account book and diary (from oversize box 3) are also available on microfilm (BANC FILM 2620).

    Material Cataloged Separately

    • Photographs transferred to Bancroft Pictorial Collections. (Photographic materials classified as
      Identifier/Call Number: 1967.009--PIC.
      Others transferred to
      Identifier/Call Number: BANC PIC 1964.075--PIC
    • Copies of letters to Sophia Maria (Smith) Leonard from Richard Realf removed to the Richard Realf Papers
      Identifier/Call Number: (BANC MSS 80/139 z)

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Packard, Walter E. (Walter Eugene), 1884-1966--Archives
    Packard, Emma Lou Leonard, 1884-
    Packard, Emmy Lou, 1914-
    Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957
    Packard family
    Leonard family
    United States. Agricultural Adjustment Administration
    United States. Farm Security Administration
    United States. Resettlement Administration
    United States. American Mission for Aid to Greece
    Mexico. Comisión de Irrigación
    Central Valley Project (Calif.)
    Delhi State Land Settlement
    University of California (1868-1952). College of Agriculture.
    Iowa State College--Photographs
    Reclamation of land
    Public utilities--California
    Land use--Puerto Rico
    Imperial Valley (Calif. and Mexico)
    Packard, Emma Lou Leonard,1884-, creator
    Packard, Theophilus, 1802-1885, creator
    Packard, S. W. (Samuel Ware), 1847-1937, creator
    Packard, Emmy Lou, 1914-, creator
    Heise, Ellen Harris, 1848-1938, creator
    Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957, correspondent
    Online Archive of California
    Manuscripts for publication

    Administrative Information


    No additions are expected.

    Acquisition Information

    The Walter Eugene Packard papers were gifted to The Bancroft Library by Mr. Walter Eugene Packard in 1966 shortly before his death, with additions from Mrs. Emma Packard thereafter.

    Processing Information

    Initial processing in 1967; additional processing by Lara Michels in March 2104.


    Walter Eugene Packard was born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1884, the son of Clara Adelaide (Fish) and Samuel Ware Packard. After high school he attended Iowa State College at Ames, graduating in 1907 with the degree of Bachelor of Scientific Agriculture. In 1909 he received his M.S. degree from the University of California at Berkeley and married Emma Lou Leonard, also a 1907 graduate of Iowa State College. Their first home was in El Centro where Packard worked for the University of California College of Agriculture to establish and then supervise the Imperial Valley Experimental Farm. In 1917 he moved to Berkeley as Assistant State Leader of Farm Advisors. He was granted leave of absence from April to July, 1919 to serve in the Army Education Corps as consultant to returning soldiers interested in obtaining land. While still on leave he both studied and taught economics at Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Shortly after returning to Berkeley, Packard accepted the position of superintendent of the Delhi State Land Settlement, a University of California sponsored project. He resigned in 1924 and became a private consultant. From 1926 -1929 he worked for the Mexican government as Jefe del Departamento Agronómico de 1a Comisión Nacional de Irrigación, making reconnaissance studies of potential irrigation projects. Returning to California he spent the next several years engaged in consulting work including a study of potential benefits of the proposed Central Valley Project and the feasibility of the Columbia River Basin Project. From 1933 to 1938 Packard worked with the Agricultural Adjustment Administration and then the Rural Resettlement Administration becoming Regional Director and finally National Director. Consulting work from 1939 to 1945 included a study of Linn County, Oregon for the Farm Security Administration and a report on the Central Valley Project for the Haynes Foundation. In 1945 he became land consultant to Rexford Guy Tugwell, Governor of Puerto Rico, and in 1948 went to Greece, first as irrigation specialist for the American Mission for Aid to Greece and then as chief of land reclamation for the Economic Cooperation Administration. The Packards returned to their Berkeley home in 1954 when Mr. Packard retired. Until shortly before his death in 1966 Mr. Packard remained actively involved in numerous organizations and projects concerned with public power, conservation, world peace, improved conditions for the farm laborer, and other social and economic problems.

    Contents of Collection

    The collection is organized into nine series: Correspondence; Projects; Projects, post-retirement; Writings, manuscripts; Writings, printed; Newspaper clippings and press; Personalia; Emma Lou (Leonard) Packard papers; and Other family papers. The correspondence includes both outgoing and incoming letters. Outgoing correspondence is arranged chronologically and incoming correspondence is arranged alphabetically (with a list of correspondents at the end of the finding aid). Project files include chronologically arranged materials from Packard's work on a range of projects in places such as California's Imperial Valley from 1909-1917; California's Central Valley; Mexico; Greece; Puerto Rico; and Venezuela. Among these files are significant materials documenting Packard's work for the Resettlement Administration's Rural Division and the Farm Security Administration during the Great Depression; Packard's work on the Central Valley Project during the early 1940s; and some files on the question of settling Eastern European Jewish immigrants in Baja California (circa 1939). Materials relating to Packard's projects can also be found in the manuscripts and printed writings in the collection (which are arranged alphabetically by title).
    The collection also includes materials created by relations of Walter Eugene Packard, including his wife, his father and grandfather, his daughter, and others. One series in the collection contains the correspondence, school and university materials, diaries (including one entitled Dairying on the Delhi State Land Settlement and one documenting the Packard's tour of Southern Resettlement Projects in the mid-1930s). Also included in the collection are a few files of materials documenting the work of Walter Eugene Packard's father, Samuel Ware Packard, a prominent Chicago attorney and father of Walter Eugene Packard (see Series content note for details). A small number of items in the collection document the work of Walter Eugene Packard's daughter, Emmy Lou Packard, Bay Area artist and social activist (see Series content note for details). The earliest materials in the collection were created by Walter Eugene Packard's grandfather, Theophilus Packard, who was a Calvinist minister, mainly in Illinois, and husband of Elizabeth Parsons Ware. These materials include an account book of "every college expense" kept by Theophilus Packard during his years at Amherst College and the Princeton Theological Seminary (1819-1824). as well as the Autobiography and Diary of Theophilus Packard. The autobiography (100 pages) appears to have been written over a period of time and covers his life from his childhood until 1872. The diary (82 pages), bound with the autobiography, starts in January of 1829 and goes through 1872. Entries are monthly between 1828 and 1933 and then become more irregular. Included in the autobiography are Theophilus Packard's memories about the process of having his wife involuntarily admitted to an Illinois insane asylum.