Although William Hammond Hall served as State Engineer only until 1889, the Hall Papers cover the years 1878 to 1907 because
the records were housed until 1991 as documents still in use by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) where they became
somewhat intermingled with those of later time periods. The majority of the records, however, date to 1889, and only a few
scattered reports, field books, and maps are from later time periods.
William Hammond Hall served as California's first State Engineer from 1878 to 1889. During those years, Hall surveyed and
reported on the state's water resources, both calling attention to problems and recommending solutions. Hall's examinations
still serve as the most extensive study of California's water systems to date, the scale of which, considering the fiscal
situation of California's state government, is likely never to be matched.1 Franklin Harper, editor, Who's Who on the Pacific Coast (Los Angeles: Harper Publishing Company, 1913), 243-44; Press Reference Library (Western Edition), Notables of the West (New York: International News Service, 1913), 421.
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