Guide to the Melville Irrigation Company Papers,
1907-1930

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Melville Irrigation Company
Title: Melville Irrigation Company Papers
Dates: 1907-1930 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 3 boxes (1.5 linear feet)
Collection Number: USU_COLL MSS 140
Summary: Papers relating to water development on the Sevier River, especially the town of Delta, Utah. Includes payroll records, court cases, correspondence, water data, maps, and blueprints.
Repository: Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives
Manuscript Collection

Merrill-Cazier Library
Utah State University
3000 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-3000
Phone: 435 797-2663
Fax: 435 797-2880
Email: scweb@usu.edu

Languages: Material in English 

Historical Note

The Melville Irrigation Company was established in 1907 in order to assist the Desert Irrigation Company in building the Yuba dam. The company was also in a position to take advantage of federal land grants to aid in developing western farm lands. Thus in 1908, the company joined in partnership with the Oasis Land and Irrigation Company, a Salt Lake City firm, in order to speculate in land development. This company aided in the building of the Hinckley Ditch, which would deliver water from the Sevier River Bridge Dam to the town of Burtner, later called Delta.

In order to deliver the water to this newly built canal, it necessitated the construction of a diversion dam. This diversion dam during the years 1909 and 1910 washed out twice and had to be rebuilt. Thus one of the earliest sets of documents in the collection are the records from the summer of 1909 reconstruction effort. These documents are primarily in the form of payroll records. Most of the laborers were stockholders of the Melville Irrigation Company. These records are found in box two of the collection.

Because of the failure of the diversion dams the Oasis Land and Irrigation Company went out of business in 1912 and was replaced by the Delta Land and Irrigation Company. This new company actually was comprised of the same officers as the Oasis company. The documents in the collection from 1913 to 1930 contain information about the activities of the Delta Land and Irrigation Company. Primarily however they document various court cases that the Melville company was involved with, as well as documenting different construction projects that occurred over the two decade period.

During the year 1916 a major problem occurred in the Delta area from irrigation water. This being that the water brought out alkaline in the soil and the farms began to fail. In answer to this problem there began an effort to drain the lands of the area. An outgrowth of this drainage work was the Millard County Drainage District #4.

This district operated under similar rules to a water conservancy district, and taxed land owners in order to pay for the tile drains.

Content Description

The Melville Irrigation Company Papers chronicles water development on the Sevier River primarily in the Delta area of Millard County. The collection covers the years 1907-1930, focusing on three different time periods.

The significant topics covered in the collection are three.

First, are records from the companies beginning and its first four years of existence.

Second, are documents that examines the companies operation between the years 1913 through 1930.

The final set of documents pertain to the Millard County Drainage District #4. The last set of written records in the collection concern the workings of this drainage district during the 1920s. In addition the collection contains a large map of the drainage the drainage district, showing where the different drains are located in relation to landowners. This map is not dated, but was likely drawn in the 1920s. It appears to have had information added onto it over the years.

In addition to the documents the collection also contains a variety of maps and reports. Include here are two reports from Brice McBride, the water commissioner of the Sevier River and several construction blueprints from various projects.

Though the collection is far from a complete history of the Melville Irrigation Company or the Sevier River area, it does give a good overview of water development in the area during the first thirty years of this century. Three secondary sources and one primary source are housed at Special Collections that also shed light upon water development in the area. The primary source document is a volume from the Desert Irrigation Company. The volume found at Special Collections is a record of the board of directors form the company during the 1910s. Of the secondary sources the most compete history of the topic is the monograph by Dudley C. Crafts entitle History of the Sevier River Bridge. The book is primarily a compilation of the different court cases that occurred during the construction of this dam. Gertrude Baker has written a good contemporary account of life on a Delta area farm. The Bakers came to Delta in 1912 to buy a tract of land offered by the Delta Land and Irrigation Company and stayed for the next 25 years. Finally, William Jensen's 1972 master's thesis written at Utah State University describes three areas of land - irrigation speculation in Utah, one being the town of Delta.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

No restrictions on use, except: not available through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Use :  

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

Permission to publish material from the Melville Irrigation Company Papers must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation :  

Initial Citation: Melville Irrigation Company Papers, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library. Logan, Utah.

Following Citations:USU_COLL MSS 140, USUSCA.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Mostly arranged chronologically.

Processing Note :  

Processed in May of 2006

Acquisition Information :  

Acquisition information is unknown.>


Detailed Description of the Collection

Business Records
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
1 McBride, Brice
Report of Water Commissioner Sevier River.
1922
Folder
1 1 Specifications for the Melville Dam and Spillway 1907 November
1 2 Oasis Land and Irrigation Company Correspondence 1910
1 3 Oasis Land and Irrigation Company Correspondence 1911 February
1 4 Oasis Land and Irrigation Company Correspondence 1911 March
1 5 Oasis Land and Irrigation Company Correspondence 1911 April
1 6 Contract
With Delta Land and Water Company, Sevier River Land and Water Company, Sevier River Land and Water Company, Deseret Irrigation Company, and Melville Irrigation Company.
1912 December and 1913 April
1 7 "Proposed Plans and Procedure for Enlarging and Strengthening the Sevier Bridge Dam" Circa 1914
1 8 Melville Irrigation Company Board of Directors meeting minutes 1915 April
1 9 Minutes from a meeting of interested parties in the Sevier River Bridge Reservoir 1915
1 10 The Deseret Irrigation Company vs. Samuel McIntyre
Order approving accounts by the 5th judicial court.
1915 November 12
1 11 Application from the Melville Irrigation Company
Requesting a change of Point of Diversion, Place and Nature of Use.
1916 January 17
1 12 Tax notices 1917
1 13 Classification and valuation of the lands of Hyrum Domgard that would be submerged by the Sevier Bridge Reservoir project 1918 July 25
1 14 List of Millard County Irrigation Companies 1919 September
1 15 Melville Irrigation Company correspondence 1920-1921
1 16 Melville Irrigation Company
Regarding a Protest to applications No. a539, a541, a549, a540.
1920 August 2
1 17 Document relating to Water uses of the Sevier River 1923 April 17
1 18 Melville Irrigation Company Correspondence 1923-1924
1 19 Sevier River Water users draft of Articles of Association and Sevier River Bridge Reservoir Statistics 1925 January 23 and 1925
1 20 Melville Irrigation Company Correspondence 1925
1 21 Mellville Irrigation Company Correspondence 1926-1927
1 22 Sevier River Bridge Reservoir information 1930 April 1

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Millard County Drainage District #4
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
1 23 Millard Drainage District #4 Correspondence 1921
1 24 Millard Drainage District #4 Correspondence 1925-1930
1 25 Court case concerning the Millard County Drainage District #4 1918
1 26 Documents concerning the Millard County Drainage District #4 Undated
1 27 Tax notices sent to the Drainage district 1926
1 28 Two quit claim deeds to the drainage district Undated
1 29 Progress Report Millard County Drainage Investigations
Prepared by the Division of Agricultural Engineering
1924 January
1 30 Statues Relating to the Drainage Districts Being the Drainage District Law to Date 1921

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Oasis Land and Irrigation Company
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
1 31 Profile of a Preliminary Line run from the Lower Portal of Out-Let Tunnel of Sevier Bridge Reservoir Undated
1 32 List of land owners in the Delta, Utah area.
Includes property description and land value.
Undated
1 33 Oasis Land and Irrigation Company blank contract Undated
Oasis Land and Irrigation Company Payroll Documents 1909 Summer and Fall
Box
Folder
2 1 Payroll Documents 1909 June
2 2 Payroll Documents 1909 July
2 3 Payroll Documents 1909 August
2 1 Payroll Documents 1909 September
2 1 Payroll Documents 1909 October

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Maps and Blueprints

Contains maps and blueprints from various companies associated with the Sevier River Bridge Reservoir.

Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
3 Item 1: "Plat Showing Lands Owned by the Sevier River land and Water Company Millard County" 1917 April
3 Item: 2: "Millard County Drainage District No. 4."
Map showing location of Drains and Outlets
3 Item: 3: Oasis Land and Irrigation Company "General Plans of Sloping Concrete Drops for Laterals"
2 copies. One has notations written on it.
1909 December
3 Item: 4: Consolidated Sevier Bridge Reservoir Company. "Location of Guides on Lifting Rods in Well" 1914 May
3 Item: 5: Delta Land and Water Company and Melville Irrigation Company, "Details of Headgates for Concrete Spillway" 1911 May
3 Item: 6: "Year 1912...Flow of the Sevier River at Sevier Bridge Dam Also Flow through Reservoir Gates and Rate of Increasing or Decreasing Storage in Acre Feet Per Day."

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Subjects

    • Personal Names :
    • Badger, Rodney T.
    • Domgard, Hyrum.
    • Lyman, Richard R.
    • Maxfield, H. E.
    • McBride, Brice.
    • McIntyre, Samuel.
    • Moody, Walter I.
    • Moody, Walter.
    • Prout, Henry B.
    • Snow, George A.
    • Stephens, Frank B.
    • Strain, F. M.
    • Corporate Names :
    • Delta Land and Irrigation Company.
    • Deseret Irrigation Co.
    • Melville Irrigation Company (Utah)|vRecords and correspondence.
    • Millard County Drainage District No. 4 (Utah).
    • Oasis Land and Irrigation Company.
    • Sevier River Land and Irrigation Company.
    • Sevier River Water Users.
    • Subject Terms :
    • Irrigation canals and flumes--Utah--Millard County.
    • Irrigation--Utah--Delta.
    • Water resources development--Utah--Millard County.
    • Water resources development--Utah--Sevier River.
    • Geographical Names :
    • Delta (Utah)--History.
    • Sevier River (Utah)

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