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Inventory of the Wells A. Hutchins Papers, 1917-1967
MS 79/6  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Arrangement
  • Scope and Content
  • Access Points
  • Biography
  • Introduction
  • Index

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Wells A. Hutchins Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1917-1967
    Collection number: MS 79/6
    Creator: Hutchins, Wells A. (Wells Aleck), 1888-1970
    Extent: 15 linear ft. (13 cartons)
    Repository: Water Resources Collections and Archives
    Riverside, CA 92517-5900
    Shelf location: This collection is stored off-campus at NRLF. Please contact the Water Resources Collections and Archives staff for access to the materials.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Water Resources Collections and Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Water Resources Collections and Archives 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], Wells A. Hutchins Papers, MS 79/6, Water Resources Collections and Archives, University of California, Riverside.


    Papers organized into four sections:
    • I. Published and unpublished writings of Hutchins.
    • II. Conference papers and other public addresses.
    • III. Correspondence.
    • IV. Report and other research materials grouped by state.

    Scope and Content

    Correspondence, writings, speeches, and report materials. Hutchins served for 62 years in various bureaus and offices of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture; his major work dealt with water laws and water rights in the Western States. He also lectured on water law and institutions at the University of California.

    Access Points

    Water rights -- West (U.S.)
    Irrigation laws -- West (U.S.)
    Water -- Law and legislation -- West (U.S.)
    Irrigation -- Economic aspects -- West (U.S.)
    Water districts -- Law and legislation -- West (U.S.)
    Drainage -- Law and legislation -- West (U.S.)
    Groundwater -- Law and legislation -- West (U.S.)


    Wells A. Hutchins, a nationally recognized authority on Western water laws, had completed over 62 years of service with the Department of Agriculture at the time of his death in Berkeley, California, on September 19, 1970. As an employee of Natural Resource Economics Division, he was completing the final draft of his comprehensive, multi-volume work, State Water Rights Laws of the Nineteen Western States.
    Mr. Hutchins began his government career in 1908, when he joined the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Soils as an irrigation economist. Over the years he worked with a number of other agencies in the Department, including the Office of Extension Service, Office of Public Roads and Rural Engineering, Bureau of Public Roads, Bureau of Agricultural Engineering, Soil Conservation Service, and lastly, Economic Research Service and predecessor agencies. After reaching retirement age in 1958, following nearly 50 years of Federal service, Mr. Hutchins was reemployed each year so that he could complete his important book on the law of water rights in the Western States. He received recognition for 60 years of Federal service in 1968. The occasion was marked by special recognition from the Secretary of Agriculture.
    Mr. Hutchins wrote dozens of books, papers, and articles on water laws and water rights in the Western States. His Selected Problems in the Law of Water Rights in the West has been a classic in its field since 1942. Another major work, California Law of Water Rights, has been widely acclaimed as a masterpiece of exposition and analysis. He also wrote studies of water laws of Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Texas, and Utah. He helped many states draw up improved water laws and in the 1940's served as chairman of the National Reclamation Association's committee to formulate desirable water law principles for the West. He also lectured on water law and institutions at the University of California at Davis and Berkeley.


    Wells A. Hutchins's eminent career with the Department of Agriculture culminated with the publication of "Water Rights Laws in the Nineteen Western States,"* a three-volume work which began to appear a year after his death in 1970. The collection of primary materials described in this key was amassed over a period spanning approximately half a century, and it includes much of the data used in Water Rights Laws in the Nineteen Western States. It also includes Mr. Hutchins's own earlier publications and addresses, work-related documents, and correspondence. Altogether this collection amounts to thirteen cartons of materials. Most of the printed materials collected by Hutchins in the course of his work are not described in this key; they are, however, cataloged into the collection of the Water Resources Collections and Archives (Berkeley) and can be accessed through the card catalog at the Archives.
    The collection has been organized into five sections. The first section contains both published and unpublished writings by Hutchins; the published materials include virtually all of the works cited in Hutchins's own listing of publications (see File No. 1), with only a few exceptions. Variant states of many of these works, such as type-written drafts, proofs, and reprints, are also found here. The items are in alphabetical order by title.
    The second section contains Hutchins's prepared public addresses. These are, for the most part, papers read at various conferences and meetings. Some were published and others are closely related to separate publications found in the first section. These also are arranged alphabetically by title.
    A vast amount of correspondence occupies the third section of the collection. Many items of small significance, such as requests for publications and acknowledgements of publications received, are to be found here. Some important documents, however, are also present; these deal with questions of law, the drafting of legislation, the development of publications, Hutchins's personal affairs, etc. This correspondence serves to supplement materials found in other sections. The arrangement of correspondence dealing with water law is alphabetical by state; other correspondence is grouped by specific topic. Within each folder, the correspondence is placed chronologically.
    The fourth section contains research materials bearing on water law in the West. Items here are in order by state and are then further gathered into one of six possible categories, as follows:
    • I. Laws, statutes, legislative bills, court proceedings
    • II. Agency rules, regulations, by-laws, articles of incorporation
    • III. Articles, circulars, reports, newspaper clippings, memoranda, conference proceedings, etc.
    • IV. Maps, sketches, photographs, diagrams, tables
    • V. Hutchins's notes, drafts, summaries, manuscript corrections
    • VI. Miscellaneous items
    Not all states have items for all categories and, consequently, numbering of sub-sections (I-VI) is not always consecutive. Arrangement within categories is chronological except in certain instances (e.g., Valmont case, #472A-S) where it appeared advisable to follow a single proceeding through.
    The final section of the collection contains general and/or miscellaneous items not included in the other sections. It is divided into the same categories as those for the individual states in the fourth section.
    Throughout sections three through five of the collection, loose items which were initially attached together with paper clips (presumably by Hutchins) have been stapled together in order to preserve their integrity. An item, in collation statements, refers to a single unit: either one document or a number of documents which are attached. For example, a folder of correspondence which contains 9 items could conceivably have 20-30 documents gathered into nine bundles. This may be useful to remember.


    *Completed by Harold H. Ellis and J. Peter DeBrall, Washington, D.C.: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Economics Division, 1971-1977, 3 v.


    References are to file numbers.
    Albonico v. Madera Irrigation District 156
    Alhambra (City of) 168
    Alves, John F. and Mary 154
    American Association for the Advancement of Science 90
    American Farm Bureau Federation, Institute of Irrigation Agriculture 591
    American Institute of Mining Engineers 60, 88
    American Petroleum Institute 614
    American Society of Agricultural Engineers 62, 91
    American Society of Civil Engineers 69, 87
    American Water Works Association, California Section 170
    Anderson, Ralph P. 522
    Arizona. State Land Department 135
    Arizona. State Engineer 130, 136
    Arizona. State Water Commission(er) 129, 131, 132
    Arkansas. State Department of Public Utilities 145
    Arkansas River Valley 202
    Association of Western State Engineers 68, 71, 82
    Baker, Donald M. 168
    Barlowe, Raleigh 271, 272, 273, 274
    Baumann, J. H. and Marquerite Marie Jacobson v. Robert V. Smrha 251
    Bennett, James S. 162
    Bennett, N. B., Jr. 578
    Bishop, L. C. 566, 570
    Blalock, W. R. 468A, 472B
    Bliss, John H. 340
    Bond, J. B. 226
    Boquillas Land and Cattle Company, New Mexico 363
    Boyd, George R. 586
    Boyden, John S. 524
    Brannan, Charles F. 592
    Burns, C. V. 265
    Busby, M. W. 265
    California. Coast Roads Conference Committee 160
    California. Conservation Commission 180
    California. Department of Natural Resources 597, 600
    California. Department of Public Works. Division of Water Resources 165
    California. Division of Land Settlement 163
    California. Railroad Commission 96.7
    California. State Engineer 6
    California. State Water Rights Board 176
    California. University. Agricultural Experiment Station 29, 30
    California. University. Agricultural Extension Service 80
    California. University. College of Agriculture 27
    California. University. Division of Agricultural Sciences 64
    California-Michigan Land and Water Company 153
    California Sprinkler Irrigation Conference, San Luis Obispo, California 1956, 77
    Cameron County Water Control and Improvement District, Texas 468B, 472Q
    Canales, J. T. 479
    Canyon County, Idaho 232
    Carey Act 235, 240, 241, 242, 434, 504, 509, 510
    Carlsbad Mutual Water Company, New Mexico 348
    Cartwright, L. J., et al v. Public Service Company of New Mexico 343
    Chandler, A. E. 307
    Chase, Marvin 529, 531, 533
    Chilson, Hatfield 196
    Chuck, Spasoje N....[et al] v. John F. Alves and Mary Alves 154
    Clark, Robert Emmet 359, 360, 361, 362, 371
    Cochran, George T. 439
    Codding, G. A. 417
    Colorado. State Engineer 195
    Colorado. State University. Experiment Station 200
    Colorado Bar Association 199
    Colorado-Big Thompson Project 198
    Colorado River Basin Water Quality Control Project 602
    Columbia Interstate Compact 282, 543
    Commonwealth Club of California 173, 174
    Conference of Technical Workers of the Division of Irrigation and Water Conservation, Logan, Utah 1948, 76
    Conference on the California Ground Water Situation, Berkeley, California 1956, 70
    Conference on Water for Texas 1958, 73
    Conkling, Harold 87
    Connally, John (Governor of Texas) 493
    Conservancy Act of Colorado 189
    Cook, Alma S., et al v. Robert H. Evans, et al 445
    Craig, Gavin M. 169
    Cuba (Republic of) 596
    Cunningham, Fred J. 536, 551
    Cupper, Percy A. 416, 431
    Davenport, Harbert 479, 480
    Delhi State Land Settlement, Merced County, California 163
    Dent, O. F. 488
    Denver-St. Vrain Municipal Irrigation District, Colorado 194
    Dille, J. M. 198
    Dority, Bert Troy 340
    Dunbar, Robert G. 288
    Ellis, Harold H. 245, 605
    Ely, Northcutt 171
    Emerson, Frank C. 560, 562
    Enersen, Burnham 601
    Ettleman, W. I. 363
    Evans, Robert H. 445
    Farm Credit Administration 22, 36, 41
    Farmer, Edward J. 200
    Feather River, California 171, 186
    Fellows, A. L. 75
    Ferrier, Hugh W. 172
    Field, John E. 595
    Fischer, Harry O. 473
    Four States Irrigation Council 201
    Furness, L. W. 265
    Gaffney, M. Mason 604
    Gebhardt, A. E. 417
    Grand Valley Project, Colorado 188
    Grimes, Elwood 232
    Grimes, J. W. 449
    Hale, Heber Q. 235
    Halseth, Odd S. 137
    Hanson, Ivan 406
    Harris, Charles D. 356
    Hart, Donald H. 552
    Hart, R. A. 586
    Hawaii. Board of Water Supply 20, 210, 218, 222
    Hawaii. Irrigation Authority 205
    Hawaii. University. Legislative Reference Bureau 214
    Hawaii. Water Authority 208, 216, 217
    Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association 211, 212, 213, 220
    Hawthorne case 326
    Hemingway, Ambrose D. 576
    Hesston and Sedgwick (cities of), et al v. R. V. Smrha 254
    Hewes, L. I. 179
    Hidalgo County Water Improvement District, Texas 468, 472Q
    Hindman, A. C. 225
    Holsinger, Henry 170, 176
    Honnold, A. R. 188
    Houston, Virginia Taylor 472C,D
    Howell, I. M. 530
    Howser, Fred N. 167
    Hughes, William F. 483, 484
    Hydroelectric Act of Oregon 425
    Idaho. Department of Finance. Blue Sky Bureau 238
    Idaho. Irrigation and Drainage Code Commission 225
    Idaho. Public Utilities Commission 237
    Idaho. State Board of Land Commissioners 224, 235
    Idaho. State Department of Reclamation 21, 227, 228, 229, 231, 232
    Idaho. State Engineer 223, 236
    Imperial Northside Water Company 2
    Imperial Water Company No. 3, 2
    Institute of Irrigation Agriculture 591
    International Law Association 122
    Irrigation Districts Association of California 66, 77.1, 78 167
    Ivanhoe Irrigation District v. All Parties 156
    Jabelmann, Louise 580
    Jacobson, Marguerite Marie 251
    Jensen, Dallin W. 59
    Jones, Lewis A. 598
    Kansas. Board of Irrigation, Survey, Experiment and Demonstration 246
    Kansas. State Board of Agriculture 247, 248, 251, 254, 258, 261
    Kansas. Water Resources Board 262, 263, 265
    Kansas (State of) v. Kansas State Board of Agriculture, et al 247
    King, Keith Creighton 175
    Knapp, George S. 248, 258
    Knight, W. W. v. J. W. Grimes, et al 449
    Lambert, Hubert C. 523
    Lanning, S. A. 340
    Laylin, John G. 599
    Lea, Samuel H. 454
    Legal Problems in Water Resources [conference], Berkeley, California, 1957 72
    Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District, Alberta, Canada 587
    Lewis, John H. 432, 435
    Lewis and Clark County, Montana 289
    Little River Drainage District, Missouri 598
    Luper, Rhea 419, 421, 422
    Luttes, J. W., et al v. State of Texas 471
    McBride, Don 391
    McClintock, A. G. 564
    McMahon, George H. 385
    Madera Irrigation District, California 156
    Magee, A. C. 483, 484
    Mann, Dean E. 139
    Mann, Fred L. 245
    Mead, Elwood 437
    Mexico. General Archives of the Nation 472C
    Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, New Mexico 369
    Midwestern States Flood Control Conference, East Lansing, Michigan, 1954 79
    Miller, David J. 201
    Modig, Merlyn E. 28
    Moffat Tunnel Improvement District, Colorado 190
    Montana. Agricultural Experiment Station 33, 287, 289
    Montana. Irrigation Commission 285
    Montana. Public Service Commission 278
    Montana. State Engineer 287, 289, 290
    Montana. State Planning Board 287
    Montana. State Water Conservation Board 280, 287, 289, 292
    Morgan, Edward J. 219
    Motl v. Boyd (Texas) 482
    Mower, S. Clare v. J. B. Bond 226
    National Reclamation Act 239
    National Reclamation Association 15, 84, 86, 601
    Nebraska. Bureau of Irrigation, Water Power and Drainage 311
    Nebraska. Department of Public Works 300, 301, 302, 303
    Nebraska. Department of Roads and Irrigation 304, 313
    Nebraska. State Board of Irrigation 295, 296
    Nebraska. State Board of Irrigation, Highways and Drainage 297, 298, 299, 310
    Neches River Conservation District (Texas) v. Brigadier General L. E. Seeman, et al 473
    Nelson, Gilbert F. 197
    Nevada. Department of Conservation and natural Resources 332
    Nevada. Division of Water Resources 327, 328
    Nevada. State Engineer 38, 314, 315, 316, 318, 320, 321, 322, 325, 326, 331
    Nevada. University. Agricultural Experiment Station 330
    Nevada Water Conference (10th) 331
    New Mexico. Board of Water Commissioners 335, 336
    New Mexico. Stater Corporation Commission 334
    New Mexico. State Engineer 39, 336, 340, 342, 344, 346, 347, 349, 350, 351, 352
    New Mexico A & M College. Agricultural Experiment Station 356
    New Mexico Water Conference (2nd) 1957 356
    New Mexico Water Conference (3rd) 1958 357
    New Mexico Water Conference (4th) 1959 47, 358, 371
    Noe, Warden L. 248, 258
    Norman, L. A., Jr. 597
    North Dakota. State Engineer 384
    North Dakota. State Water Conservation Commission 377, 379, 380, 381, 382, 383
    Northern Colorada Water Conservancy District 198
    Oklahoma. Division of State Planning 390
    Oklahoma. Planning and Resources Board 40, 390, 391, 392, 393
    Oklahoma. State Water Study Committee 404
    Oklahoma. Water Resources Board 398, 402, 403, 405, 407
    Onate, Santiago 472G
    Oregon. Agricultural Experiment Station 56
    Oregon. Conservation Commission 436
    Oregon. Hydroelectric Commission 425
    Oregon. State Committee on Natural Resources 430
    Oregon. State Engineer 416, 419, 421, 422, 423, 428, 429, 431, 432, 433, 435, 438
    Oregon. State Land Board 434
    Oregon. State Water Board 412, 413, 414, 431
    Ostrander, R. E. 537
    Osuna, Benjamin 353, 354
    Parmelee, Edward M. 589, 590
    Parshall, A. J. 557
    Pasadena (City of) v. California-Michigan Land and Water Company 153
    Pasadena (City of) v. City of Alhambra (1950) 168
    Payette-Boise Water Users' Association 239
    Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 221
    Peaslee, J. H. 165
    Pillsbury, George 160
    President's Water Resources Policy Commission 54
    Price River area, Utah 28
    Public Utilities Commission Act of Utah 511
    Rank, Everett G., et al v. (Krug) United States of America, et al 155
    Regional Water Resources Committee 81
    Reynolds, S. E. 342, 344
    River Basin Development, Symposium 4
    Roe, J. W. 179
    St. David Cooperative Commercial and Developing Association, New Mexico 363
    St. Germain Irrigation Company v. Hawthorne Ditch Company, et al 456
    Sanders, T. T. 371
    Santa Barbara County Water Agency v. All persons 156
    Santo Domingo de Hoyos 472D
    Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce 365
    Santa Genoveva Community Acequia, New Mexico 345
    Sargent, Frederic O. 485, 489
    Scofield W. C. U. Project 28
    Seeman, L. E. 473
    Shamberger, Hugh A. (Nevada State Engineer) 326
    Sharkoff, M. 276
    Shaw, Arvin B. 167
    Shawver, C. D. 561
    Slaughter, James T. 474
    Smith, G. E. P. 591
    Smith, Garland F. 472Q
    Smith, Robert L. 31
    Smrha, Robert V. 31, 251, 254
    South Dakota. State Engineer 441, 453, 458
    South Dakota. State Planning Board 444
    South Dakota. State Water Conservation Commission 451
    South Dakota Irrigation Committee 455
    South Dakota Reclamation Association 452, 455
    Southern Canal Company v. State Board of Water Engineers (Texas), et al 469
    Southern Pacific Company 161
    Southwestern Social Science Association 67
    Southwestern Water Company, Arkansas 145
    Stahl, Elmer G. 173
    Stanley, Lewis A. 428, 429
    Steele, Harry A. 4, 125
    Stewart, Edwin T. 132
    Stricklin, Charles E. 423, 438
    Sturrock, J. E. 481
    Swezey, J. A. 213
    Talent Irrigation District, Oregon 56
    Taylor, S. D. 241
    Teele, R. P. 584
    Texas. Agricultural Experiment Station 483, 484
    Texas. Attorney General 472H
    Texas. Governor. John Connally 493
    Texas. Planning Board 478
    Texas. State Board of Water Engineers 57, 459, 469, 474, 475, 476, 500, 501
    Texas. Water Commission 477
    Texas Agricultural Workers Association 89
    Texas Research League 491
    Texas (State of) v. Hidalgo County Water Control and Improvement District No. 18, et al 468
    Texas (State of) v. Valmont Plantations 472
    Texas Water Conservation Association 463, 464, 465, 499
    Texas Water Law Conference, Austin, Texas, 1956 85
    Thomas v. Lacotts (1953) 148
    Thurtell, Henry 330
    Tracy, Joseph M. 514, 515
    Trelease, Frank J. 603
    True, Gordon H. 330
    True, James B. 558
    Tyson, L. R., Jr. 566, 569
    Uintah Basin, Utah 63
    U. S. Department of Agriculture 11, 14, 18, 24, 25, 26, 26.1, 34, 43, 49, 51, 55, 406, 585, 586
    U.S. Department of Agruculture. Bureau of Agricultural Engineering 22, 56
    U.S. Department of Agriculture. Farm Economics Research Division 31, 33
    U.S. Department of Agriculture. Office of Experiment Stations 454
    U.S. Department of Agriculture. Natural Resource Economics Division 59
    U.S. Department of Agriculture. Office of Information. Radio Service 75
    U.S. Department of Agriculture. Production Economics Research Branch 21, 38, 39, 40
    U.S. Department of the Interior 151
    U.S. Geological Survey. Water Resources Division 552
    U.S. Office of Experiment Stations 50, 180
    U.S. Office of Public Road and Rural Engineering 2
    U.S. Reclamation Service 188
    U.S. Soil Conservation Service 26.1, 45, 53, 76
    U.S. War Department. Office of the Chief of Engineers 437
    U.S. (Army). Corps of Engineers 473
    United States of America v. States of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida 470
    Upper Missouri River Basin Water Users Association 201
    Utah. Agricultural Experiment Station 37
    Utah. State Board of Land Commissioners 504
    Utah. State Engineer 59, 513, 514, 515, 517, 518, 519, 520
    Utah. State Land Commissioner 509, 510
    Utah Water Storage Association 521
    Valmont Plantations 472
    Wadsworth, H. A. 211, 212, 213
    Wagner, Ed, et al v. Elwood Grimes 232
    Walker, A. W., Jr. 494
    Walker, H. B. 202
    Ward, Ethelbert 188, 588
    Warren, Earl, Jr. 175
    Washington. Department of Conservation and Development 534, 536, 540, 550
    Washington. Department of Conservation and Development. Division of Hydraulics 538, 539
    Washington. Department of Conservation and Development. Division of Water Resources 533, 541, 544, 545, 547
    Washington. Department of Public Works. 537, 554
    Washington. Office of the State Hydraulic Engineer 529, 531
    Washington. Secretary of State 530
    Washington. Water Code Commission 528
    Washington Irrigation Institute 549
    Washington State Land Settlement Association 548
    Water Conservation Conference, 1935 87
    Water Law Conference on Riparian and Appropriative Rights, Austin, Texas, 1954 74
    Water Law Institute, Salt Lake City, Utah 52, 83
    Watson, Ed H. 514
    Watson, Henry G. 574
    Welles, P. I. 161
    Welling, Milton H. 512
    Western Farm and Home Hour 75
    Western Resources Conference, Boulder, Colorado, 1960 92
    Western State Engineers Convention, Seattle, Washington, 1957 523
    White, A. A. 482
    Whiting, John A. 563
    Widtsoe, John A. 587
    Wiley, Loman 340
    Williams, A. B. v. City of Wichita, Kansas 251A
    Wilson, Will 482
    Wyoming. State Board of Control 580
    Wyoming. State Engineer 555, 556, 557, 558, 559, 560, 561, 562, 563, 567, 568, 569, 570, 571, 579
    Wyoming Reclamation Association 565
    Wyoming (State of) v. State of Colorado 191
    Yeo, Herbert W. 364
    Yohe, H. S. 585