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Settlers Ditch Company. Records, 1874-1900.
MANUSCRIPT Boxes 2328-2329
Collection Overview


Records, 1874-1900
Settlers Ditch Company records, 1874-1900


Settlers Ditch Company, creator


The collection consists of a variety of records dating from 1874 to 1900, with the bulk 1875 to 1885. These records have been organized into five series: General Administrative; Accounts of Labor; Legal; Financial; and Related Ditch Companies. Graphics on some of the financial documents are representative of contemporary printing design. Many of the papers are fragile or of irregular size, and extra care is requested in handling the collection.
General Administrative: Correspondence and reports, 1874-1899; Shareholder list; Proposed changes to by-laws. -- Accounts of Labor: 1875-1899. -- Legal: General; Proxies; Transfers of stock; Requests for duplicate stock certificates; Notices of prior appropriation; Setters Ditch v. Hays and Crane. -- Financial: Annual reports, 1875-1900; Invoices; Receipts issued to Settlers Ditch Company; Receipts issued by Settlers Ditch Company; Scrip, Notes, Promises to pay; Damage claims; Bank documents. -- Related Ditch Companies: Lakeside Ditch Company; Peoples Ditch Company.


1874 (issued)


Box 2328: General Administrative; Accounts of Labor. -- Box 2329: Legal; Financial; Related Ditch Companies.


Settlers Ditch Company -- Records and correspondence
Ditches -- California -- Tulare County
Irrigation -- California -- Tulare County
Hanford (Calif.) -- History


The Settlers Ditch Company was an association of settlers in the Eureka School District of Tulare County (presently in Kings County) formed to improve the area farmland by constructing a ditch for irrigation. The Company was incorporated June 24, 1874 with a capital stock of $10,000 (increased to $15,000 in 1878). Construction and maintainence of the ditch were also financed by assessments on the capital stock as needed. The work was done in part by the stockholders who were paid in scrip which could then be used to pay off the assessments. For a time, this scrip also circulated in the local economy as "money".
The ditch drew water from Cross Creek at a point northwest of Goshen. Jonesa, often referenced in the collection, was located along the ditch about three miles northeast of Hanford. Water first flowed into the ditch on Dec. 1, 1875 and, by the early 1880s, the ditch provided water to almost 8,000 acres producing wheat, barley, and alfalfa. After the passage of the Wright Act in 1887, which enabled localities to establish irrigation districts and levy taxes on the general populace for their operation, the Settlers Ditch Company sold its Cross Creek water rights to the Tulare Irrigation District, and the headgate was moved to the Kaweah River northeast of Visalia. At this time the Settlers Ditch Company bought into the Peoples Ditch Company, which drew water from the Kings River. As a result, the stockholders were able to receive water for a longer period each year. The charter of the Settlers Ditch Company expired, without renewal, in 1924.
The Tulare School District was in the Mussel Slough area, scene of the infamous conflict between local settlers and the Southern Pacific Railroad. Ditches, such as the Settlers Ditch, figured prominently as the "improvements" which affected the disputed land values. Several of the original stockholders in the Settlers Ditch Company were involved in the Mussel Slough Affair, notably Thomas J. McQuiddy. William J. McQuiddy, also an early stockholder, was prominent in the later development of Hanford.
Settlers Ditch Company records.
Unrestricted. Please credit California State Library.



Physical Description:

2 ms. boxes (ca. 500 items) : ill.




MANUSCRIPT Boxes 2328-2329



Copyright Note:

Unrestricted. Please credit California State Library.