Manuscript Collections - Delph E. Carpenter Papers


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2 linear feet, 2 linear inches (5 manuscript boxes)
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library


1877 Born May 13. Son of Leroy S. and Martha Allen (Bennett) Carpenter, near Greeley, Colorado.

1896 Student-literature department, Denver.

1897-99 Student law department, Denver.

1899 LLB, Denver.

1899-1908 General law practice.

1901 June 5, married Michaela Hogarty

1908-1951 Engaged in irrigation and interstate river law

1908-1912 Member Colorado Senate

1909-1911 Chairman, Commission Interstate Water Investigations

1910-1919 Counsel in original proceeding in case of Wyoming vs. Colorado, involving appropriation of waters of the Laramie River.

1918 Special assistant attorney general of Colorado in charge interstate water litigation.


Managing and director counsel for Colorado in South Platte litigation between Nebraska and Colorado; special counsel for Colorado in Republican River litigation between Nebraska and Colorado; counsel for Colorado in interstate boundary, New Mexico vs. Colorado.

Special envoy Governor of Colorado to Governor of New Mexico to submit LaPlata River interstate water controversy to interstate compact commission; originator program exercise treaty powers of states in interstate  river controversies; drew legislation, 1920-21, enacted by California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Wyoming, providing for formulation by interstate treaty commission of compact between the seven states respecting the future use and disposition of waters of the Colorado River and tributaries, and prepared congressional legislation providing for a national representative on same commission.

Appointed interstate compact commissioner for Colorado, to serve on commissions respecting settlement of future use and disposition of Colorado, LaPlata, Arkansas, South Platte and Laramie rivers.

Special counsel for Colorado for reargument Laramie River and Republican River cases before U.S. Supreme Court.

1922 Concluded Colorado River compact, also LaPlata River compact (Colorado and New Mexico)

1923 Appointed treaty commissioner Colorado, use and disposition waters of Rio Grande, Arkansas, South Platte and North Platte rivers.

1923-1927 In charge of all interstate river controversies for Colorado


Concluded compact between Colorado and Nebraska in waters South Platte; reappointed, counsel for Colorado, Rio Grand controversy with New Mexico, Texas and U. S.


Aug. and Sept. Commissioner for Colorado at Conference of  governors and commissioners of Colorado River states at Denver.

Engaged in negotiations respecting North Platte and Colorado rivers, and in miscellaneous interstate river work.

Included compact between Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, respecting waters of the Rio Grand river.

Counsel for Colorado in suit of Arizona vs. California, et al, before U.S. Supreme Court.

Commissioner for Colorado, North Platte River compact negotiations (Colorado and Wyoming)

1927 LLD, University of Colorado.

1951 Died February 27; buried Linn Grove cemetery, Greeley, Colorado

Box Contents


Colorado River Commission

Correspondence, 1922-1927 (14 folders)


Correspondence, 1928-1933 (10 folders)
Arizona vs. California, et al., 1936
Clippings, 1922-1932
Denver Meeting, 1929
Gila Valley and Pilot Knob [protest against], 1936
Mexican Water Claims [statement of L. Ward Bannister], 1935
Power Permits and Licenses, 1927-1930


Printed material

Ernest Carman, ‘Sovereign rights in control of American waters’
William Kelly, ‘A river is a treasure’ ABA Journal
Wayne Williams, ‘Colorado river and the constitution’ ABA Journal


Colorado River Aqueduct, 1933
Denver's Water Needs, 1929
Price and Utilization of Colorado River Power, 1929
Report of Colorado River Commission of Arizona, 1931-1932

San Juan River Compact, 1929-1930
Statements and Articles by Carpenter, 1926-1928 and undated
Taylor Bills (H.R. 200,201,202,203), 1930
Upper Colorado River Compact, 1929-1930

Water Defense/Reclamation Bill, 1929-1932
Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Deep Waterway Treaty, 1932
La Plata Rives, 1923-1933
Missouri River Bills, 1944-1945 (2 folders)


North Platte River Compact

Correspondence, 1924-1939 (11 folders)
Casper-Alcova Reclamation Project, 1926 and undated
Compact Drafts and Suggestions
North Platte River Commission Hearings, July 1924


North Platte River Commission Hearings, July 1924 (2 folders)
Report – North Platte Cooperative Investigations, 1921
Wyoming vs. Colorado, 1930-1935 (2 folders)

Rio Grande Compact and Treaty

Correspondence, 1929-1944 and undated
Analysis of Report of Committee of Engineers, 1938
Regional Planning Report of National Resources Committee 1937
Treaty with Mexico, 1944

South Platte River Compact; 1923, 1931