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Samuel Brooks Morris Papers
mssMorris, Samuel papers  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Samuel Brooks Morris Papers
    Dates: 1910-1962
    Collection Number: mssMorris, Samuel papers
    Creator: Morris, Samuel Brooks
    Extent: 176 boxes (88 linear feet)
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains the papers of Samuel Brooks Morris (1890-1962), a Southern California civil engineer specializing in water issues, who worked for the Pasadena Water Department (1912-1934), as a Stanford University Professor (1935-1944), and for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (1944-1955). The collection includes correspondence, speeches, technical papers, and other material from his work and professional life.
    Language of Material: The records are in English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Samuel Brooks Morris Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Acquisition Information

    The bulk of the material was the gift of John Morris, grandson of Samuel Morris, in 1993.

    Biographical Note

    Samuel Brooks Morris (1890-1962) was born in Los Angeles, California. Upon graduating from Stanford University in 1911 with a degree in civil engineering, Morris took a job as a field engineer with the North Pasadena Land and Water Company in Pasadena, California. 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 (LA DWP). 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

    This collection contains the papers of Samuel Brooks Morris (1890-1962), a Southern California civil engineer specializing in water issues. 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 primarily to and from colleagues, but also includes discussion with government officials at all levels. The collection includes a small number of photographs.


    The collection is divided into series:
    • Consulting (Boxes 1-63, Boxes 156-160, and Addenda Box)
    • Employee (Boxes 64-83, Boxes 158, 161-162)
    • Financial Data (Boxes 84-86)
    • Legislative (Boxes 87-93)
    • Memberships (Boxes 94-123, 132, 163, and Addenda Box)
    • Professor (Boxes 124-127)
    • Speeches (Boxes 128-129)
    • Technical Data and Papers (Boxes 130-140, and Addenda Box)
    • Personal (Boxes 143-152)
    • Miscellaneous Items, Maps and Charts (Boxes 152-155, 164-172)

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Corporate Names

    Pasadena (Calif.) Water and Power Dept.
    Los Angeles (Calif.) Dept. of Water and Power.
    Feather River Project (Calif.)


    Tennessee Valley Authority
    Morris, Samuel Brooks, 1890-1962.
    American Public Power Association.
    American Society of Civil Engineers.
    American Water Works Association.
    Colorado River Board of California.
    Feather River Project (Calif.)
    Los Angeles (Calif.). Department of Water and Power.
    Pasadena (Calif.). Water and Power Department.
    Stanford University. Department of Civil Engineering.
    Tennessee Valley Authority.
    United States. Water Resources Policy Commission.
    Civil engineering -- California -- Los Angeles County.
    Civil engineers -- California -- Archives.
    Water -- California, Southern -- Supply.
    Water resources development -- California.
    Water resources development -- United States.
    California -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
    Colorado River Aqueduct.
    Los Angeles County (Calif.) -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
    Pasadena (Calif.) -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.


    Charts-- United States -- 20th century.
    Ephemera-- United States -- 20th century.
    Letters (correspondence)-- United States -- 20th century.
    Manuscripts-- United States -- 20th century.
    Maps-- United States -- 20th century.
    Notes-- United States -- 20th century.
    Photographs-- United States -- 20th century.
    Reports-- United States -- 20th century.
    Speeches-- United States -- 20th century.
    Technical reports-- United States -- 20th century.