Guide to the William I. Palmer Papers,
1936-1982

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Palmer, William Isom, 1907-
Title: William I. Palmer Papers
Dates: 1936-1982 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 11 boxes (5.25 linear feet)
Collection Number: USU_COLL MSS 331
Summary: William I. Palmer's correspondence, water, crop, and soil information, publications and articles, and documents from Palmer's various domestic and international projects.
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 

Biographical Note

William Isom Palmer was born in Cedar City, Utah, on May 14, 1907. He graduated with an Associates degree from the Branch Agricultural College in Cedar City in 1927, and subsequently served a mission for the LDS Church from 1927 to 1930 and married Virginia Corry in 1931. They had two children, Dr. W. Martin Palmer and Mrs. Robert W. Squire. Palmer attended Utah State Agricultural College in Logan, Utah, now Utah State University, starting in 1934 and graduated with a B.S. degree in Agricultural Economics in 1940.

From 1930-1934, Palmer worked for the Southern Utah Power Company. In 1935 he began working for the Department of Agriculture as Project Manager of the Widtsoe Land-Use Adjustment Project, which included supervising resettlement projects in the Southwest and working with county groups and colleges to establish soil conservation programs. From 1936-1938, Palmer was the Regional Chief of the Project Development and Land Acquisition Divisions for the Bureau of Agricultural Economies. From 1938-44, he worked for the Soil Conservation Services in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. In 1944 Palmer began work with the Bureau of Reclamation, where he became Chief of the Division of Irrigation in 1958, and in 1959 was made Assistant Commissioner. Palmer played a key role in the initial report of the Pacific Southwest Water Plan. He was later awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Department of the Interior.

In 1964, at the request of Senator Carl Hayden (D-Arizona), Palmer transferred to the Senate to be a resource development advisor. The following year he transferred to the Agency for International Development to become the Development Finance Officer for Agriculture. In 1967 Palmer retired from Federal employment and began working with the Ralph M. Parsons Company as Chief Agricultural Economist. He was a lecturer at Utah State University in 1970, and in 1971 began to work for the Council of United States Universities for Soil and Water Development in Arid and Sub-Humid Areas, and in January of 1972 became the Executive Director. Also in 1972, Palmer began working with the Harza Engineering Company. In 1973 Palmer was elected Chairman of the United States Committee on Irrigation, Drainage, and Flood Control. Palmer retired on July 1, 1973 but continued to provide consulting services to various countries and organizations. William I. Palmer died on November 20, 1982 in Saint George, Utah, at age 75.

Content Description

This eleven-box collection consists of William I. Palmer's correspondence, water, crop, and soil information, publications and articles, and documents from Palmer's various domestic and international projects. The collection is arranged into four sections: 1) records and correspondence, 2) papers written by Palmer and by others (arranged alphabetically), 3) information relating to the various institutions where Palmer worked (arranged chronologically), and 4) the project papers, arranged alphabetically. Within each folder, documents are arranged by date.>

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 William I. Palmer Papers must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation :  

Initial Citation: William I. Palmer Papers USU_COLL MSS 331, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library. Logan, Utah.

Following Citations:USU_COLL MSS 331, USUSCA.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Arranged by subject and chronologically.

Processing Note :  

Processed in April of 2008

Acquisition Information :  

This collection was donated to Utah State University Special Collections in 1994 by Mrs. William Palmer.

Related Materials :  

For further information, see Box 1, Folder 1. Also see: Water projects in the West; an oral history interview by Glen Shagren (FILE MSS 333).

Separated Materials :  

Several aerial photos were removed and given to the photo curator (Taos, south of Salt Lake City, unidentified).


Detailed Description of the Collection

Personal and career info, correspondence, speeches and publications, 1936-1975
(15 folders)
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
1 1 Curriculum Vitae, career and biographical data Undated
1 2 Citation for Distinguished Service Undated
1 3 Photo-William I. Palmer, Hershey (?), Dean Peterson, Calvin Clyde Undated
1 4 Personnel files Undated
1 5 Correspondence 1936-1955
1 6 Correspondence 1956-1960
1 7 Correspondence 1961-1964
1 8 Correspondence 1965-1978
1 9 Contacts Undated
1 1 Deseret News Correspondence Undated
1 11 Utah State University Undated
1 12 Papers, speeches, addresses ,untitled, drafts, etc. (Palmer) 1959-1966
1 13 Papers, speeches, addresses (Palmer) 1968-1971
1 14 Reports, bulletins, Congressional Records Undated
1 15 "Irrigation: Engineering and Maintenance" (publication)- articles by Palmer Undated

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Papers and reports, Palmer, 1950-1964
(22 folders)
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
2 1 Reports submitted by Palmer for Senior Agricultural Program Analyst Undated
1): An Analysis of the Widtsoe Land-Use Adjustment Project Undated
2): Preliminary Report on the Central Utah Project and Service Activities in the Surrounding Area Undated
3): Proposal for the Extension of the Boundaries of the San Simon Project Undated
2 2 Reports while Chief Economist in the 1950s 1950
2 3 "Analyzing Agricultural Economic Phases of Irrigation Development" Undated
2 4 "Development of International Rivers" (Palmer) Undated
2 5 "Fryingpan-Arkansas Project" (speech, Palmer) 1961
2 6 "Glen Canyon–Challenge to Progress" (Palmer) 1961
2 7 "Guidelines for the Preliminary Appraisal of Projects in the Agricultural Sector" (Palmer) Undated
2 8 "Impact of Bureau of Reclamation Program on State Economic Development" (Palmer) 1963
2 9 "Observations on Water Right and Water Law Development in the United States" (Palmer) Undated
2 10 "Operation and Maintenance Responsibilities" Undated
2 11 "Problems and Opportunities" (Palmer): Rome Plow Company Latin-American Development Seminar 1966
2 12 "Processing, Packaging, and Storage Systems" 1968
2 13 Remarks on "The Processing, Packaging, and Storage Systems" (Palmer) 1968
2 14 Companion research materials for "The Processing, Packaging, and Storage Systems" Undated
2 15 "The Small Reclamation Projects Act" (Palmer) 1961
2 16 "Views of Water Users on Federal Reclamation Projects" (Palmer) 1958
2 17 "Water-for Six Billion People" (Palmer and Johnson) Undated
2 18 "Water in Nevada's Past, Present, and Future Development" (Palmer) 1964
2 19 "Water Resources: Development and Uses" (Palmer) Undated
2 20 "Water Resources for Agriculture" (Palmer) Undated
2 21 "United States and Canada: Water and Peace" (Palmer) Undated
2 22 Miscellaneous speeches/addresses (Palmer) Undated

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Papers and reports by Palmer's colleagues, 1978
(17 folders)
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
3 1 Papers by others: Energy Undated
3 2 Papers by others: Food Supply and Production Undated
3 3 Papers by others: Land and Water Resource Development-General Undated
3 4 Papers by others: Water quality, environmental issues, water pollution Undated
3 5 Papers by others: Water Resources in Western States Undated
3 6 "Work Studied in Switzerland" Undated
3 7 "Notes on the Nevada Mining Industry"- Mineral Resource Development Undated
3 8 "Scheduling Irrigations using Computers" (Marvin E. Jensen) Undated
3 9 "Report on A Demonstration Program for Low-Head Hydroelectric Development" 1978
3 10 Low-Head Hydroelectric Technology Undated
3 11 Subterranean Irrigation-A.M. Timpe Undated
3 12 Water law, irrigation requirements, and ground water data- Latin American countries Undated
3 13 Reclamation Standard Procedures Undated
3 14 Notes-Agricultural Index, Soil Appendix Undated
3 15 United Western Investigation Undated
3 16 "Mobilization of Private Resources for World Agriculture"- Seminar schedule Undated
3 17 Utah Scientific Research Foundation, Logan, UT: Designs for 3x6 Four Cylinder Single Acting Plunger Pump, James A. Hardman Undated

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Career and business files, 1968-1982
(14 folders)
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
4 1 A.I.D-Agency for International Development Undated
4 2 Ralph M. Parsons Company Undated
4 3 Ralph M. Parsons Co. Key Personnel List Undated
4 4 NAWAPA-North American Water and Power Association Undated
4 5 NAWAPA-Water and Power Facts, Oil Statistics and Energy Needs Undated
4 6 Clyde-Criddle-Woodward: Second Major Progress Report on Water-Use Improvement Study of the Truckee-Carson River Basin Undated
4 7 CUSUSWASH-Council of United States Universities for Soil and Water Development in Arid and Sub-Humid Areas Undated
4 8 Harza Engineering Company Undated
4 9 I.C.I.D. and U.S.C.I.D. Correspondence 1968-1971
4 10 I.C.I.D. and U.S.C.I.D. Correspondence 1972
4 11 I.C.I.D. and U.S.C.I.D. Correspondence 1973-1974
4 12 I.C.I.D. and U.S.C.I.D. Correspondence 1976-1982
4 13 I.C.I.D. and U.S.C.I.D. miscellaneous Undated
4 14 Southern California Agricultural Consulting Company Undated

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General: water, crop, reclamation subject files, Undated
(15 folders)
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
5 1 Water and Reclamation reference field book Undated
5 2 Water and crop data, general (1st folder) Undated
5 3 Water and crop data, general (2nd folder) Undated
5 4 Water and crop data, western states Undated
5 5 Water plans/charts Undated
5 6 World population and grain production, general Undated
5 7 Energy needs and requirements, general Undated
5 8 Land clearing seminar Undated
5 9 Project repayment Undated
5 10 Benefits and costs, general Undated
5 11 Farm Budget Procedures Undated
5 12 Bureau of Reclamation, miscellaneous Undated
5 13 Miscellaneous business receipts, expense reports, etc. Undated
5 14 Charts and plans, miscellaneous Undated
5 15 Misc. handwritten notes Undated

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Project files, international, 1961-1980
(29 folders)
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
6 1 Afghanistan 1975-1976
6 2 Afghanistan: "Economies of Agricultural Production in Helmand Valley" 1975-1976
6 3 Algeria Undated
6 4 Bangladesh 1977-1978
6 5 Bangladesh 1977-1978
6 6 Colombia 1973
6 7 Colombia 1973
6 8 Egypt 1975
6 9 Honduras 1977
6 10 Honduras: "Assessment of Institutions in Support of Irrigated Agriculture" 1977
6 11 India 1969-1970
7 1 Jordan: memoranda, correspondence, pamphlet 1976
7 2 Jordan: Stage 2 report and discussion 1976
7 3 Jordan: Appendix H– Economic Analyses 1976
7 4 Jordan: draft (report) 1976
7 5 Jordan, 1976: feasibility report Undated
7 6 Libya: reports, outlines, etc. Undated
7 7 Libya: correspondence 1973-1974
7 8 Libya: correspondence 1975-1979
7 9 Libya: crop information Undated
7 10 Libya: invoices, expense reports, etc. Undated
7 11 Libya: miscellaneous Undated
7 12 Mexico 1969
7 13 Mexico: list of delegates Undated
7 14 Treaty with Mexico: water problems– Molino, San Antonito, Taos communities Undated
8 1 Morocco: Water-Use Program Undated
8 2 Philippines: Upper Pampanga River Project 1965
8 3 Puerto Rico: reports, plans Undated
8 4 Puerto Rico: water law Undated
8 5 Puerto Rico: correspondence 1961-1967
8 6 Puerto Rico: notes, miscellaneous Undated
8 7 Saudi Arabia: plans and proposals 1968-1970
8 8 Saudi Arabia: irrigation system designs and costs Undated
8 9 Saudi Arabia: correspondence 1968-1980
8 1 Saudi Arabia: miscellaneous Undated
8 11 Sri Lanka: correspondence and announcements 1979
8 12 Sri Lanka: project appraisal 1977
8 13 Sri Lanka: project appraisal, Annex 1-Annex 7 Undated
8 14 Sri Lanka: project appraisal, Annex 8- Annex 13 Undated

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Project files, international ctd. and domestic, 1962-1965
(17 folders)
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
9 1 Thailand: reports, briefings 1962-1965
9 2 Thailand: correspondence 1964-1965
9 3 Thailand: "Report of the U.S. Delegate to the UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East" 1962
9 4 Thailand: "A Compendium of Major International Rivers in the ECAFE Region" Undated
9 5 Thailand: miscellaneous Undated
9 6 Central Arizona Project (CAP): plans, analyses, reports, etc. 1963-1965
9 7 Central Arizona Project (CAP): articles and bulletins Undated
9 8 Central Arizona Project (CAP): correspondence– letters and memoranda Undated
9 9 Central Arizona Project (CAP): water, irrigation, and reclamation info. Undated
9 10 Central Arizona Project (CAP): miscellaneous Undated
9 11 Central Utah Project 1953
9 12 Central Valley Project 1960-1962
9 13 Chief Joseph Dam Project, Columbia River, Chelan 1960
9 14 Lower Colorado River Basin Project: general info. Undated
9 15 Lower Colorado River Basin Project: reports, memoranda Undated
9 16 Lower Colorado River Basin Project: correspondence 1960-1965
9 17 Lower Colorado River Basin Project: "Arizona and the Colorado: How Not to Win a River by Trying Very Hard" Undated
9 18 Colorado River Diversion Project: Navajo Water and Power Company Undated

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Project files, domestic, 1936-1956
(8 folders)
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
10 1 Price River Resettlement Project: Book with photos and charts 1936 July
10 2 Salinas River Basin Project Undated
10 3 Trans-Sierra Diversion: reports, memoranda, etc. 1949-1950
10 4 Trans-Sierra Diversion: data, charts Undated
10 5 Utah Exploration Survey, 1850: from LDS Church records 1954
10 6 Ventura River Project 1956
10 7 Widtsoe Land-Use Adjustment Project: reports, proposals, data 1935-36
10 8 Widtsoe Land-Use Adjustment Project: Book Undated

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Water for Peace program, 1965-1967
(3 folders)
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
11 1 Water for Peace: reports, memoranda, addresses, etc. 1965-1967
11 2 Water for Peace: budget and costs Undated
11 3 Water for Peace: list of participants Undated

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Subjects

    • Personal Names :
    • Palmer, William Isom, 1907-
    • Palmer, William Isom, 1907--Correspondence.
    • Subject Terms :
    • Agricultural economists--Utah.
    • Conservationists--Utah.
    • Irrigation projects--History--Sources.
    • Water conservation--History--Sources.
    • Water resources development--History--Sources.

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