Series 185
Governor Bamberger Water rights and irrigation records

Dates: 1919.

0.21 cubic foot and 1 microfilm reelSkip to Containers

These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.

Historical Note

An agency history is available.

Scope and Content

This series consists of correspondence to and from the Governor's Water Rights Commission created under Chapter 37 of the Laws of Utah, 1917; a report for proposed irrigation in Springville and Mapleton, (Strawberry Reservoir Project); and the Dixie Project report, a report proposing irrigation for Hurricane, Utah. These records document Utah's response to the federal Reclamation Program and the solution to providing arable land for soldiers returning from war, a national concern during Bamberger's term and after.

These proposed irrigation projects were spurred by the Federal Reclamation Program of 1902. According to F. Hewell, the first director of the federal Reclamation Service, the purpose of the Act was:

". . . not so much to irrigate the land, as it is to make homes . . . It is not to irrigate the land which now belongs to large corporations, or even to small ones; it is not to make these men wealthy, but it is to bring about a condition whereby that land shall be put into the hands of the small owner, whereby the man with a family can get enough good land to support that family, to become a good citizen, and to have all the comforts and necessities which rightfully belong to an American citizen." (Peter Barnes, "The Great American Land Grab." Reprinted in The Progress Report from a series written for the New Republic 1971-1972.)


Alphabetical by subject, thereunder chronological.

Research Note

The law creating the Water Rights Commission was passed in 1917; the members were appointed by the Governor. The membership of the Commission expired on 1, March 1919. It is unknown if additional Water Rights Commission records exist.

Related Records

Administrative records from the Governor Bamberger, Series 183, include scrapbooks which contain newspaper articles about the Soldier Land Settlement and the correspondence also contains information on obtaining irrigable land for the returning soldiers.

Reports from the Governor Mabey, Series 21976, contain information on the Dixie Project.

Access Restrictions

This series is classified as Public.

Preferred Citation

Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.

Processing Note

This series was processed by Wendy Checketts. These records were removed from the Administrative records because of their completeness of content and subject. The series was microfilmed and the inventory updated in 2002.

Indexing Terms

  • Bamberger, Simon, 1846?-1926
  • Arid regions agriculture—Utah.
  • Utah—Veterans.
  • Utah—Reservoirs.
  • Utah—Water rights.

Container List

1 1 1 Utah Water Rights Commission
1 1 2 Petition for Strawberry Reservoir
1 1 3 The Dixie Project
1beginning splice 7 1 Maps

Page Last Updated October 18, 2012.