Guide to the Utah Resettlement Project Papers,
1910-1937

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Utah Resettlement Project.
Title: Utah Resettlement Project Papers
Dates: 1910-1937 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 2 boxes (1 linear foot)
Collection Number: USU_COLL MSS 146
Summary: Records pertaining to Utah projects of the New Deal resettlement agencies. Included are records from Price River, Green River, Elberta, Blue Bench, Ashley Valley, LaSal, Ivin's Bench, Price, and Midvale. The records were obtained from the National Archives.
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

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration dispensed federal funds to establish rural rehabilitation communities for farmers who had been displaced by the Depression to encourage the development of self-sustaining farm families.

One of the New Deal's most ambitious schemes for agricultural reform was the rural resettlement program. Four New Deal agencies - the Division of Subsistence Homesteads, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, the Resettlement Administration, and the Farm Security Administration - participated in the effort. Thereunder, the government was to purchase submarginal farmland nationwide and resettle its inhabitants on viable farms. In Utah, the resettlement agencies proposed to buy 5,280 submarginal farms and resettle 1,200 farm families. In practice, the agencies permanently resettled fewer than fifty of the state's farm families, centering their activities in Widtsoe, a small town twenty miles north of Bryce Cannon. None of the projects proposed within this collection were ever implemented by the resettlement agencies. Nonetheless, the papers in this collection are valuable, for they reveal much about the nature of the New Deal resettlement program and about environmental, social, and economic conditions in southern eastern Utah during the Great Depression. It is fitting that these documents should be available at Utah State University since the university served as headquarters for the Resettlement Administration duding the 1930s

Content Description

This collection consists of two boxes of material, 21 folders, discussing the following projects of the New Deal resettlement agencies: Price River, Green River, Elberta, Blue Bench, Ashley Valley, Lasal, Ivin's Bench, Price Suburban Homesteads, and Midvale Suburban Homesteads. The entire collection is composed of photocopied documents, the originals being in Record Group 96 of the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

The original filing order system has been maintained to preserve the integrity of the collection. The somewhat hasty manner in which documents were filed says much about the hustle and bustle of the New Deal resettlement agencies. Working with the collection, one can sense the frustration that the massive bureaucracy and endless paperwork of New Deal government provoked. The collection is small enough that preserving the original filing order will not inhibit the researcher's ability to use the documents.

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 Utah Resettlement Project must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation :  

Initial Citation: Utah Resettlement Project USU_COLL MSS 146, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library. Logan, Utah.

Following Citations:USU_USU COLL 146, USUSCA.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Documents are generally arranged by project. For the three major projects - Price River, Green River, and Elberta - documents are further divided into 0-1000-level papers just as they were filed by the Resettlement Administration.

Processing Note :  

Processed in May of 2006

Acquisition Information :  

Acquisition information is unknown.

Related Materials :  

Additional sources of information: The best general work on the resettlement program is Paul K. Conkin, Tomorrow a New World: The New Deal Community Program (Ithaca, NY, 1959). (HD1761 .C66)

Brian Q. Cannon, "Remaking the Agrarian Dream: The New Deal's Rural Resettlement Program in Utah" (master's thesis, Utah State University, 1986), provides an overview of the Utah resettlement experience. Chapters 3 and 4 of that thesis extensively utilize the documents found in this collection.

Utah Resettlement Project oral histories, COLL MSS 401


Detailed Description of the Collection

"Price River Resettlement Project Report", 1936 July

78-page document discussing the location, physical features, social circumstances, and economy of the proposed project site, as well as photographs of the site. Also, a soils classification map of the project.

Container(s)
box
folder
1 1

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000-100-Level Correspondence and Reports, Undated

Project progress reports and correspondence re: equipment, personnel, and salaries

Container(s)
box
folder
1 2

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200-Level Correspondence
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 3
Item 1: Preliminary Legal Report of the project
(4 pp.)
Undated
Box
Folder
1 3 Item 2: Report of John M. Knighton, Ephraim Bergeson, and William Peterson to Governor Henry H. Blood
Regarding problems in the Price River irrigation districts (12 pp.)
Undated
1 3 Item 3: Untitled report of the project by C. O. Stott (acting director of the RA in Utah)
(12 pp.)
Undated
1 3 Item 4: Court Proceedings, Tidwell Canal Company v. Pioneer Ditch Company
(10 pp.)
1910 May 6
1 3 Item 5: Correspondence
Regarding land project land acquisition
1936
1 4 Item 1: John E. Guernsey and John P. Sparks, "Soil Report, Price Project, Utah"
(7 pp.)
1936 July 1
1 4 Item 2: R. C. Pixton and Glenn F. Cowan, "Supplemental Agricultural Economic Report: Price River Resettlement Project"
(2 pp.)
1934 June 30
1 4 Item 3: R. Earl Storie, "Preliminary Soil Report"
(2 pp.)
1936 May 1
1 4 Item 4: J. Winter Smith, "Engineering Report"
(31 pp.)
1934 June 30
1 4 Item 5: Correspondence
Regarding soils, economy, and maps of project
1936
1 5 Item 1: Correspondence
Regarding project costs, funds, wages, hours
1936
1 5 Item 2: F. O. Youngs and D. S. Jennings, "Preliminary Report on Land Classification of the Price River Area, Utah"
(5 pp.)
Undated
1 5 Item 3: Informative transcript of telephone conversation between William I. Palmer, O. M. Johnson, and Omer Mills
Regarding status of Utah resettlement projects.
1936 April 12

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400-Level Correspondence, 1936

Regarding project funds, payroll, and proposed refinancing of the Price River Irrigation District by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. The Resettlement Administration hoped that the RFC would refinance the irrigation district, because that would enable the RA to gracefully extricate itself from the region's economic morass.

Container(s)
box
folder
1 6

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700-Level Correspondence, 1936-1937

Regarding the project's fate. Also, correspondence with the Soil Conservation Service regarding soil maps and reports of the project area. Also, general correspondence regarding project progress reports

Container(s)
box
folder
1 7

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Green River Resettlement Project RR-UT-10, 1936
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
2 1 0-200-Level Papers
Discusses wages, hours, equipment, personnel, budgets, land acquisition, and engineering
Item 1: J. Winter Smith, "Engineering Report"
(16 pp.)
1936 July 15
2 2 400-1000-level paper
400-level Payroll Undated
700-level: General Correspondence, including correspondence regarding project cancellation
900-level: Glenn F. Cowan, "Community Manager's Report" (Preliminary Plan Book)
Includes reports on soils, socioeconomic conditions, and copies of letters by local residents regarding the proposed project.
1936
1000-level: Land acquisition options and appraisals Undated
2 3 Resettlement proposal and budget Undated
2 4 "Preliminary Plan Book"
Maps of proposed project.
1936

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Elberta Resettlement Project RR-UT-13, 1936
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
2 1 0-100-level papers
Discusses project costs, personnel, wages, and hours.
1936
"Labor Advisor's Statement on Elberta Project
(11 pp.)
1936
Map of project lands Undated
J. Winter Smith, "Brief Progress Report"
(4 pp.) Discusses soils, water, topography, economic and social surveys, appraisals, options, findings, and recommendations.
1936
2 2 200-level papers
Budgets, correspondence requesting project data, progress reports on studies of soil and water.
1935-1936
Abstract of Clyde and Israelson, "Utah Elberta Project"
(21 pp.)
Undated
C. O. Stott, "General Discussion of Elberta Area"
(3 pp.)
1935
2 3 400-700-level papers
400-level: Payroll Undated
500-level: Relations with clientele Undated
700-level: Correspondence
Regarding maps, land acquisition, progress reports, and requests by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics for information on project lands
Undated

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Blue Ranch Resettlement Project RR-UT-15, 1935-1936
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
2 1 General Correspondence regarding project 1935-1936
"Outline of Proposed Resettlement Project" Undated
"Project Proposal"
(4 pp.)
1936
Budget Undated

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Ashley Valley Resettlement Project RR-UT-16, 1936
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
2 1 General Correspondence 1936
2 1 "Outline of Proposed Resettlement Project"
(2 pp.)
Undated
2 1 "Project Proposal"
(4 pp.)
Undated
2 1 Budgets Undated

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Lasal Resettlement Project RR-UT-17
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
2 1 General Correspondence 1936
"Outline of Proposed Resettlement Project"
(2 pp.)
Undated
2 1 "Project Proposal"
(5 pp.)
Undated
2 1 Budgets Undated

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Ivins' Bench Resettlement Project RR-UT-18
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
2 1 General Correspondence 1936
2 1 "Outline of Proposed Resettlement Project"
(2 pp.)
Undated
2 1 "Project Proposal"
(5 pp.)
Undated
2 1 Budgets Undated

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Price Suburban Homesteads Resettlement Project SH-UT-6
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
2 1 General Correspondence
Regarding the project and its fate
1937

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Midvale Suburban Homesteads Resettlement Project SH-UT-8
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
2 1 General Correspondence 1935-1936

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Miscellaneous, 1936
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
2 1 Omer Mills to William I. Palmer
Requesting final plans for the Widtsoe project
1936 February 11
2 1 Eunice E. Broyles to William I. Palmer
Inquiring regarding survey of project participants
1936 June 24
2 1 List of correspondence
Regarding the Strawberry Land Utilization Project (LA-UT-5)
1936

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Subjects

    • Corporate Names :
    • Midvale (Utah) Suburban Homesteads Resettlement Project.
    • Price (Utah) Suburban Homesteads Resettlement Project.
    • United States--Federal Emergency Relief Administration
    • United States--Resettlement Administration
    • Utah Resettlement Project.
    • Subject Terms :
    • Land tenure--Utah.
    • New Deal, 1933-1939--Utah.
    • Geographical Names :
    • Ashley Valley (Utah)--History.
    • Blue Bench (Utah)--History.
    • Elberta (Utah)--History.
    • Green River (Wyo.-Utah)--History.
    • Ivin's Bench (Utah)--History.
    • La Sal (Utah)--History.
    • Midvale (Utah)--History.
    • Price (Utah)--History.
    • Price River (Utah)--History.

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