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Packard (Walter Eugene) Papers
BANC MSS 67/81 c  
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Collection Overview
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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 (approximately 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).
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.
25 linear feet (16 cartons, 4 oversize boxes)
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.
Collection is open for research.