Guide to the Teton Dam disaster collection,
1976-1991

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Thomas, Janet
Title: Teton Dam disaster collection
Dates: 1976-1991. ( inclusive )
Quantity: 1.75 linear feet
Collection Number: USU_FOLK COLL 27
Summary: 197 folders of letters (originals and copies), and seven interviews on tapes, with an accompanying transcription/catalog for most interviews. The letters are originals and copies of originals from victims of the Teton Dam disaster and from volunteers or family members associated with the flood, solicited as research for the book, That Day in June, edited by Janet Thomas, et al. (published 1977). The taped interviews are of adults who experienced the disaster as children, conducted in 1991 by Anne F. Hatch for her graduate research and Plan B thesis, "Some dam funny stories."
Repository: Utah State University. Merrill-Cazier Library. Special Collections and Archives.
Fife Folklore Archives

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: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Historical Note

Teton Dam was located in Fremont County, Idaho, in the Teton River Canyon above Wilford. It had just been completed in 1976. On June 5, 1976, the earthen dam failed and an estimated 80 billion gallons of water swept downriver. The flood of water swept through Wilford, Sugar City, and Rexburg. Ricks College in Rexburg was spared for the most part, as it is located on a hill. Many residents of Rexburg and Sugar City spent the rest of the summer in Ricks College dorms. Further down the Snake River Valley, Idaho Falls had almost two days to get ready for the water. Trenches were dug around the end of the Broadway Bridge, dynamite was used to blast log jams that pushed against the bridge, and sand bags were piled along the riverfront. By the time the water reached Blackfoot, the National Guard had been called in to help. Out in the Pingree area, ditches filled with water, but no damage was done. The American Falls Dam was old and stood between the flood waters and the rest of the Snake River Plain, so officials began releasing water immediately. In the end the American Falls Dam held, and the flood was over. Cleanup would take the rest of the summer. Thousands of volunteers from the region, especially Utah, came in on buses to help.

Content Description

The letters are from victims of the Teton Dam flood and from volunteers or family members associated with the flood, solicited as research for the book, That Day in June, edited by Janet Thomas, et al. (1977). The interviews are of adults who experienced the disaster as children, and were conducted in 1991 by Anne F. Hatch, as part of her graduate research and Plan B thesis, "Some Dam Funny Stories."

The contents of each box is listed by folder. Each folder lists the name of the informant, location of residence, gender, and status. There are seven (7) interviews contained within six (6) tapes, and an accompanying transcription/catalog for most interviews. The informants are listed alphabetically by last name. Listed first in the finding aid are the informants who contributed letters (Boxes 1-3). Next is the list of informants interviewed by Anne Hatch in 1991, the contents of which are in boxes 4 and 5.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  Restrictions

Open to public research. To access the collection a patron must have the following information: collection number, series number, sub-series number, if applicable, box number and folder number (or image number).

Restrictions on Use :  Copyright

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Utah State University Libraries, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Permission to publish material from the September 11, 2001 USU student documentary collection must be obtained from the Curator of the Fife Folklore Archives and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation :  

Teton Dam disaster collection, 1976-1991. (FOLK COLL 26). Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives Department.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Contributed letters and interview transcripts are listed alphabetically by informant/narrator's last name.

Acquisition Information :  

This is a collection of letters and interviews by individuals who experienced the Teton Dam disaster of June 5, 1976, in southeastern Idaho. The letters are originals and copies of originals from victims of the flood and from volunteers or family relatives associated with the flood, solicited as research for the book, That Day in June, edited by Janet Thomas, et al. The interviews are of folks who experienced the disaster as children, and were interviewed about the event as adults. The interviews were conducted in 1991 by Anne F. Hatch, as part of her graduate research and related to her Plan B "Some Dam Funny Stories."

Processing Note :  

Collection processed by Anne F. Hatch. Finding aid created by Susan Gross, May 2004; updated by Randy Williams, March 2012.


Detailed Description of the Collection

Teton Dam Disaster contributed letters
Container(s)
Description
Box
Folder
1 1 ANONYMOUS - Sugar City, ID; unknown, adult
1 1 ANONYMOUS - Rexburg, ID; unknown, adult.
1 1 ANONYMOUS - unknown; unknown, adult.
1 1 ANONYMOUS - unknown; unknown, adult.
1 1 ANONYMOUS - unknown; unknown, adult.
1 1 ANONYMOUS - unknown; unknown, adult.
1 1 ANONYMOUS - Bountiful, Utah; female, volunteer.
1 1 ANONYMOUS - Salem, ID; female, adult.
1 1 ANONYMOUS - Rexburg, ID unknown, adult. (Poem)
1 2 ABEGGLEN, Ivan - Wilford, ID; male, adult.
1 3 ALLEN, Barbara - Blackfoot, ID; female, adult.
1 4 ANDERSON, Clyde W. - Rexburg, ID; male, adult.
1 5 ANDERSON, Jerry, et al - unknown; male, adult.
1 6 ANDERSON, Michelle L. - unknown; female, youth.
1 7 ARAVE, Brian - unknown; male, youth.
1 8 ARAVE, Vanica - Newdale, ID; female, youth.
1 9 ARNELL, Martha - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
1 10 ARNOLD, Mildred V. - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
1 11 ARNOLD, Verla - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
1 12 ASHCRAFT, Helen - Sugar City, ID; female, adult
1 13 BAIRD, Katie - Rexburg, ID; female, adult.
1 14 BALL, Keith and Betty - Salem, ID; male, female, adults.
1 15 BALL, Val - Salem, ID; male, adult.
1 16 BARCLAY, Michael - Riverside, ID; male, adult.
1 17 BARKER, Ruth - Idaho Falls, ID; female, volunteer.
1 18 BARRUS, Ruth - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
1 19 BAUER, Conn - Wilford, ID; male, adult.
1 20 BELNAP, Joseph Francis - Rexburg, ID; male, adult.
1 21 BENHAM, Elva - Idaho Falls, ID; female, adult.
1 22 BENNETT, Mrs. Clea - Rexburg, ID; female, adult.
1 23 BIRCH, Alice - Wilford, ID; female, adult.
1 24 BIRCH, Connie Baron - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
1 25 BIRCH, Rayola - Wilford, ID; female, adult.
1 26 BIRCH, Wilda - Idaho Falls, ID; female, volunteer.
1 27 BLACK, Martha - St. Anthony, ID; female, adult.
1 28 BOWEN, Nada - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
1 29 BRIGGS, Marion - Sugar City, ID; male, adult.
1 30 BROCK, Gary - Rexburg, ID; male, adult.
1 31 BROWN, Florence K. - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
1 32 BROWNING, Orsena - Newdale, ID; female, adult
1 33 CAPSON, Glen and Rayola - Blackfoot, ID; male, female, adults.
1 34 CAZIER, Janet - Rexburg, ID; female, youth.
1 35 CHRISTENSEN, Lloyd and Reana - Mink Creek, ID; male, female, volunteers.
1 36 CLEVERLEY, Carol N. - Francis, ID; female, adult.
1 37 CONNELL, Gerald and Connie - Ammon, ID; male, female, adults.
1 38 COX, Zina - Shelley, ID; female, adult
1 39 DALLING, Dorothy H. - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
1 40 DALLING, Susan - Salem, ID; female, adult.
1 41 DALLING, Val - Rexburg, ID; male, adult.
1 42 DANSIE, Fay Evans - Rigby, ID; female, adult.
1 43 DAVENPORT, Effie S. - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
1 44 DAVIS, Marie W. - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
1 45 DAYTON, Earl - Teton, ID; male, adult.
1 46 DEARING, Frances - Sugar City, ID; male, adult.
1 47 DERR, Dawna - Rexburg, ID; female, adult. (Poem)
1 48 DILWORTH, Asael E. - Twin Falls, ID; male, volunteer
1 49 EGBERT, Elva Rae - Murtough, ID; female, adult.
1 50 ELDRIDGE, Mrs. Wallace - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
1 51 ESPLIN, Jean - Blackfoot, ID; female, adult.
1 52 FARLEY, Wendy - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
1 53 FELT, Edna - Blackfoot, ID; female, adult.
1 54 FIELD, Daisy - Rigby, ID; female, adult.
1 55 FORSYTH, Grace G. - Sugar City, ID; female, adult. (Poem)
1 56 FREDERIKSEN, Mary L. - Rexburg, ID; female, adult.
1 57 FREEMAN, Janice - Firth, ID; female, adult.
1 58 FRIEDLI, Jerilyn - Logan, UT; female, volunteer. (Poem)
1 59 FULLENWIDER, Eileen - Firth, ID; female, adult.
1 60 FURNESS, Vicky - Sugar City, ID; female, adult
1 61 GARNER, Carolyn - Idaho Falls, ID; female, volunteer.
1 62 GARNER, Virginia - Idaho Falls, ID; female, volunteer.
1 63 GOODMAN, Verla - Murtough, ID; female, adult.
1 64 GRANDY, LaVon G. - Victor, ID; male, volunteer.
1 65 GRIFFITH, Rosalie - Idaho Falls, ID; female, volunteer.
1 66 GULBRANSEN, Mercy - Rexburg, ID; female, adult.
1 67 GUNTER, Esther B. Wright - Sugar City, ID; female, adult
1 68 HALL, Zelma H. - Rigby, ID; female, adult volunteer. (Poem)
1 69 HANSEN, Evelyn B. - Logan, UT; female, volunteer. (Poem)
1 70 HANSON, Annie - Annis, ID; female, volunteer.
1 71 HANSON, Hortense - Shelley, ID; female, adult.
1 72 HARKER, M. - Shelley, ID; female, volunteer
2 1 HARRIS, Annie - Blackfoot, ID; female, adult.
2 2 HARRIS, Mila I. - Salem, ID; female, adult.
2 3 HARRIS, Mrs. Mont - Idaho Falls, ID; female, volunteer.
2 4 HAWKES, Leah Belle - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
2 5 HAYCOCK, Margaret - Logan, UT; female, volunteer.
2 6 HEDELIUS, Janet - Idaho Falls, ID; female, volunteer.
2 7 HEER, Douglas - unknown; male, youth.
2 8 HEER, Patrice - unknown; female, youth.
2 9 HEER, Mrs. - unknown; female, adult.
2 10 HENDRICKS, Mr. and Mrs. Donald - Sugar City, ID; male, female, adults.
2 11 HIBBERT, Janet - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
2 12 HILL, Jan S. - Salem, ID; female, adult.
2 13 HILL, Milrhea - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
2 14 HILLMAN, Vaun and Avon - Rexburg, ID; male, female, adults.
2 15 HIRSCHI, Donna - Salem, ID; female, adult.
2 16 HOLMAN, Marva - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
2 17 HOLMAN, Mrs. Norman - Rexburg, ID; female, adult.
2 18 HOLMAN, Yvonne - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
2 19 HOWELL, Jeanette - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
2 20 HUGHES, Clifford and Mary - Wilford, ID; male, female, adults
2 21 JACKSON, LuRay - St. Anthony, ID; female, adult.
2 22 JEMMETT, Mildred - Blackfoot, ID; female, adult.
2 23 JENSEN, Dora J. - Rexburg, ID; female, adult.
2 24 JENSEN, Keith and Florence - Sugar City, ID; male, female, adults.
2 25 JENSEN, Mona - Rexburg, ID; female, adult.
2 26 JENSEN, Penny - Salt Lake City, UT; female, adult volunteer.
2 27 JEPPSON, Joan - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
2 28 JOHNSON, Doris - Shelley, ID; female, adult volunteer.
2 29 JOHNSON, Dorothy - Pocatello, ID; female, adult volunteer.
2 30 JOHNSON, Mrs. Errol - Teton, ID; female, adult.
2 31 JOHNSON, Flora Belle - Hibbard, ID; female, volunteer.
2 32 JOHNSON, Pat - Firth, ID; female, adult.
2 33 JOHNSON, Ruth J. - Sugar City, ID; female, adult
2 34 KING, Sally - Driggs, ID; female, adult
2 35 LAIRD, Vella - Rexburg, ID; female, adult.
2 36 LAPRAY, Ruby - Logan, UT; female, volunteer.
2 37 LARSEN, Betty - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
2 38 LARSEN, Evelyn - Logan, UT; female, volunteer.
2 39 LAYTON, Robyn - Rigby, ID; female, adult.
2 40 LOVE, William - Shelley, ID; male, adult.
2 41 LUKE, Merl - Sugar City, ID; male, adult.
2 42 LUSK, Keith - Sugar City, ID; male, adult.
2 43 LUSK, Verda - unknown; female, adult
2 44 MAESER, LaRee - Idaho Falls, ID; female, volunteer.
2 45 MARTIN, L.J. and Chris - Rigby, ID; male, female, adults.
2 46 MATHIE, Mrs. Ivan - St. Anthony, ID; female, adult.
2 47 MAUGER, Alice - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
2 48 McCLURE, Deanna - Firth, ID; female, adult.
2 49 MECHAM, June and Sherm - Firth, ID; female, male, adults.
2 50 MEYERS, Evelyn M. - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
2 51 MEYERS, Mary F. - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
2 52 MEYERS, Nancy - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
2 53 MORTENSEN, Vernon C. - Salem, ID; male, adult.
2 54 MORTENSEN, Zelda - Salem, ID; female, adult.
2 55 MOSER, Calvin and Sharon - unknown; male, female, adults.
2 56 MOSES, Roma - Riverside, ID; female, adult. (Poem)
2 57 MUIR, Lynette - Rexburg, ID; female, adult
2 58 NAISBITT, Jean - Salt Lake City, UT; female, adult.
2 59 NELSON, Judy - Rexburg, ID; female, adult.
2 60 NEWSOME, et al, Ira - Bountiful, UT; male, female, volunteers.
2 61 NICKELS, Cheryl Fisher - Twin Falls, ID; female, adult volunteer
2 62 OLSSON, Bob and Gwen - Mink Creek, ID; male, female, volunteers.
2 63 OTTLEY, Earl H. - Logan, UT; male, volunteer
2 64 PARK, Mrs. Steven L. - St. Anthony, ID; female, adult.
2 65 PARKER, RaNee B. - Logan, UT; female, volunteer.
2 66 PERRENOUD, Tamara - Rexburg, ID; female, adult.
2 67 PETERSON, Faye Johnson - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
2 68 PETERSON, Lynette B. - Salem, ID; female, adult.
2 69 PINCOCK, Noreen - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
2 70 PINCOCK, Phyllis - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
2 71 PORTER, Elaine - unknown; female, adult.
2 72 POTTER, Ivy - Wilford or Teton, ID; female, adult
3 1 PRICE, Brent - Rexburg, ID; male, adult.
3 2 PRICE, Louise - Rexburg, ID; female, adult.
3 3 PROVOLT, Donna - Nampa, ID; female, volunteer
3 4 RAAT, Iris Calkins - St. Anthony, ID; female, adult.
3 5 RICE, George and Margie - Liberty, UT; male, female, adult volunteers.
3 6 RIGBY, Barbara - Idaho Falls, ID; female, adult.
3 7 RIGBY, Truman and Jessie - Mink Creek, ID; male, female, adult volunteers.
3 8 ROMRELL, Helen T. - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
3 9 ROWSELL, Marlene - Rexburg, ID; female, adult.
3 10 RUMSEY, Lillian - Rigby, ID; female, volunteer.
3 11 RYDALCH, Mary R. - Newdale, ID; female, volunteer
3 12 SAMFORD, Carol - Rexburg, ID; female, adult.
3 13 SANDERS, Sandy - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
3 14 SATTERTHWAITE, Gwen - Logan, UT; female, volunteer.
3 15 SCHICK, Beth Manwaring - Bountiful, UT; female, volunteer.
3 16 SCHMITT, Mary - St. Anthony, ID; female, volunteer.
3 17 SCOTT, Maureen - Annis, ID; female, adult volunteer.
3 18 SEIPORT, Carolyn - Rexburg, ID; female, adult.
3 19 SHIRLEY, Nile - Shelley, ID; male, adult.
3 20 SHIRLEY, Verla - Murtough, ID; female, volunteer.
3 21 SHUMWAY, Linda - Ammon, ID; female, adult.
3 22 SMITH, Carol - Blackfoot, ID; female, volunteer.
3 23 SOMMER, Reed - Hibbard, ID; male, adult.
3 24 SONDEREGGER, Marilyn H. - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
3 25 SORENSEN, LaMar - Logan, UT; male, volunteer.
3 26 SOUTHWICK, Marilyn - Rexburg, ID; female, adult.
3 27 SPAULDING, Lisa Derr - Logan, UT; female, volunteer.
3 28 STAKER, Karen - Newdale, ID; female, adult.
3 29 SUNDERS, Jerry W. - Sugar City, ID; male, adult.
3 30 SWANN, Al and Velna - Preston, ID; male, female, volunteers.
3 31 SWENSON, June - Sugar City, ID; female, adult
3 32 TAYLOR, Ray and Carol - Post Fall, ID; male, female, volunteers.
3 33 THOMAS, Rhea S. - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
3 34 THOMPSON, Donna Murdock - Victor, ID; female, adult.
3 35 THOMSON, Irene - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
3 36 TIMOTHY, Wendy - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
3 37 TREMELLING, Ruth - Idaho Falls, ID; female, volunteer
3 38 VAIL, Alice - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
3 39 VICTOR, Dorothy McBride - Driggs, ID; female, adult volunteer
3 40 WALDEN, Janet - Blackfoot, ID; female, adult.
3 41 WASDEN, Kaye - Salem, ID; female, adult.
3 42 WATTS, Winston - Logan, UT; male, volunteer.
3 43 WEATHERSTON, Carol T. - Rexburg, ID; female, adult. (Poem)
3 44 WEBSTER, Della - Pocatello, ID; female, volunteer.
3 45 WEBSTER, Donna - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
3 46 WIDDISON, Warren R. - Rexburg, ID; male, adult.
3 47 WILDING, Alice K. - Rexburg, ID; female, adult.
3 48 WILDING, Mona P. - Sugar City, ID; female, adult.
3 49 WILLIAMS, Allie Mae - Rexburg, ID; female, adult.
3 50 WILLIAMS, Vera June - Idaho Falls, ID; female, volunteer.
3 51 WYCETT, Carolyn - Providence, UT; female, volunteer
3 52 YANCEY, Judson - Blackfoot, ID; male, adult.
3 53 YANCEY, Marion - Blackfoot, ID; male, adult

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Teton Dam Disaster Interviews
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
4 1 BOWEN, Cindy
Includes tape catalog, biographical sketch, collector and informant release forms.
(5/31/1991)
4 2 BROWN, Clare
Includes biographical sketch, collector and informant release forms [NO tape catalog].
(6/04/1991)
4 3 KERSHAW, Kim
Includes tape catalog, biographical sketch, collector and informant release forms.
(5/15/1991)
4 4 KINGHORN, Brian
Includes tape catalog, biographical sketch, collector and informant release forms.
(5/30/1991)
4 5 OLIPHANT, Judy and Mark
Includes tape catalog, biographical sketches, collector and informant release forms.
(4/11/1991)
4 6 WILLIAMS, Ken and Tim KERSHAW
Includes tape catalog, biographical sketches, collector and informant release forms.
(3/12/1991)
4 7 WILLIAMS, Kenneth
Includes tape catalog, biographical sketch, collector and informant release forms.
(2/20/1991)

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Teton Dam Disaster Interview Audio Tapes
Container(s)
Description
Box
tape
5 1 BOWEN, Cindy
5 1 BROWN, Clare
5 2 KERSHAW, Kim
5 3 KINGHORN, Brian
5 4 OLIPHANT, Judy and Mark
5 5 WILLIAMS, Ken and Tim KERSHAW
5 6 WILLIAMS, Kenneth

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Subjects

    • Personal Names :
    • Hatch, Anne F.  ( contributor)
    • Subject Terms :
    • Dam failures--Idaho--History--Sources.
    • Flood damage--Idaho--History--Sources.
    • Teton Dam Failure, Idaho, 1976--Personal narratives.

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