Scope and Content
Title: Samuel Brooks Morris Papers
Collection Number: Consult repository.
Morris, Samuel Brooks
88 linear feet
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Abstract: The Samuel Brooks Morris Papers are items collected by Samuel Morris during his long career as a civil engineer specializing
in water issues. Morris spent most of his life in Southern California and was particularly active with the Pasadena Water
Department and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The collection includes correspondence, speeches, technical papers,
and other material from his work and professional life.
Language of Material: The records are in English.
Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information,
please go to following
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material,
nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder,
if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
[Identification of item], Samuel Brooks Morris Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
The bulk of the material was donated in 1993 by John Morris, grandson of Samuel Morris.
Upon graduation from Stanford University in 1911 with a degree in civil engineering, Samuel Morris returned to Pasadena and
took a job as a field engineer with the North Pasadena Land and Water Company. This company was one of the private water companies
that were purchased and merged to form the Pasadena Water Department (PWD). He was an Assistant Engineer in the PWD in 1912,
and became Chief Engineer in 1913. He remained with the PWD until 1935. While at the PWD, he designed and built the Pine Canyon
Dam, later renamed in his honor as Morris Dam. The Morris Dam was made of reinforced concrete poured 328 feet high and was
dedicated by Herbert Hoover in 1934.
Morris was appointed to a civil engineering professorship at Stanford University in September 1935. In May 1936, he became
the Dean of the School of Engineering. In October 1944, Morris was appointed the General Manager and Chief Engineer of the
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Morris worked for LA DWP until his retirement in October 1955.
One of Morris' duties as General Manager of LA DWP was to serve on the Colorado River Board. Near the end of his tenure at
LA DWP, President Dwight Eisenhower offered Morris the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley
Authority. Morris refused the position. After his retirement from LA DWP, Morris continued to consult on engineering projects
until his death on March 6, 1962.
Scope and Content
The collection deals primarily with Pasadena and Los Angeles engineering concerns, in addition to some California and national
issues, largely related to water reclamation, dams, hydrogeology, water litigation, and a wide range of related technical
publications. The material consists of a highly diverse mix of manuscripts and printed materials, including correspondence,
maps, notes, charts, fliers, and brochures, often interspersed within each folder. The correspondence is primarly to and from
colleagues, but also includes discusion with government officials at all levelsd. The collection includes a small number of
The collection is divided into series:
- Financial Data
- Technical Data and Papers
- Miscellaneous Items, Maps and Charts
Pasadena (Calif.) Water and Power Dept.
Los Angeles (Calif.) Dept. of Water and Power.
Feather River Project (Calif.)
Tennessee Valley Authority