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Perley M. Lewis Collection 1846-1978 (Bulk 1950-1968)


Overview of the Collection

Creator: Lewis, Perley M. (Perley Mitchell), 1898-1982
Title: Perley M. Lewis Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1846-1978
Bulk Dates: 1950-1968
Quantity: 15 Boxes (7.5 Linear Feet)
Abstract:The Perley M. Lewis Collection consists of printed matter extending from 1848-1978. The bulk of the collection concerns water rights and boundary dispute litigation between the states of Arizona and California and congressional authorization of the Central Arizona Project from 1950-1968.
Identification: MSS-50
Language: Material in English
Repository: Arizona State University Library. Greater Arizona Collection
P.O. Box 871006
Tempe, AZ 85287-1006
Phone: (480) 965-4932
Questions? Ask An Archivist!

Biographical Note

Perley Mitchell Lewis, engineer and real estate investor, was born to Charles Alexander Lewis (1872-1942) and Louise Marie (Van Hee) Lewis (1876-1965) in La Junta, Colorado on September 17, 1898. He had two siblings, Cora A. (1896-1975) and Charles Alexander (1901-1988). Lewis studied at the University of Colorado for two years before moving to San Marcial, New Mexico in 1917. Here, he worked as a surveyor and clerk in a railway office until returning to Colorado to enlist in the U.S. Army in 1918. He served as an Private in the Student Army Training Corps, Company C, 1st Battalion, at the University of Colorado until he was demobilized in 1919. Lewis returned to school, earning his Bachelor of Science from the University of Colorado in 1922. He moved to Arizona in the mid-1920s and married Mildred Christine Jaeger (1906-1986) on May 28, 1927. The couple had four children: Joseph Perley (1928-1990), Christine Augusta (Lewis) Frederick Hoban (1931-2002), Patricia Louise (1935-), and John David (1936-).

Lewis served as assistant superintendent of the Phoenix Municipal Water Department in the 1940's. He also served on the Arizona Interstate Stream Commission and the Arizona Boundary Commission. His research was used to support Arizona's position in the Arizona vs. California litigation and the congressional battle to authorize the Central Arizona Project. Lewis died in Phoenix on August 24, 1982.

Scope and Content Note

The Perley M. Lewis Collection consists of correspondence, reports, research notes, maps, legal papers and printed matter extending from 1848-1978. The bulk of the collection concerns water rights and boundary dispute litigation between the states of Arizona and California and congressional authorization of the Central Arizona Project from 1950-1968.


This collection consists of fifteen boxes.


Access Restrictions

To view this collection, make an appointment at least five business days prior to your visit by contacting Ask an Archivist or calling (480) 965-4932. Appointments in the Wurzburger Reading Room at Hayden Library (rm. 138) on the Tempe campus are available Monday through Friday. Check the ASU Library Hours page for current availability.


The Arizona Board of Regents retains copyright to this collection for and on behalf of the Arizona State University Library. Requests to publish, display, or redistribute information from this collection must be submitted via our online application.

Access Terms

Personal Name(s)
Lewis, Perley M. (Perley Mitchell), 1898-1982

Corporate Name(s)
All-American Canal System (U.S.)
Central Arizona Project (U.S.)
Gila Valley Irrigation District (Ariz.)
Imperial Irrigation District (Calif.)
Palo Verde Irrigation District (Calif.)
Roosevelt Irrigation District (Ariz.)
San Carlos Irrigation District (Ariz.)

Geographic Name(s)
Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico)

Arizona -- Boundaries -- California
California -- Boundaries -- Arizona
Water resources development -- Colorado River Region (Colo.-Mexico)
Water resources development -- Law and legislation -- Arizona
Water rights -- Arizona

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Perley M. Lewis Collection, MSS-50, Arizona State University Library.


The Perley M. Lewis Collection was received in 1982 from his wife, Mildred C. (Jaeger) Lewis (Accession 1982-00042).

Other Finding Aids

A calendar that provides descriptions of each item in this collection is available from the reference archivist.

Container List

11 Biographical Notes on Perley M. and Christine Lewis, Undated
12 Real Estate Project Financing, 1951-1955
13 Correspondence, 1943-1944
14 Engineering Firm Accounts, 1945-1961
15 Correspondence: Charles A. Lewis, 1952-1953
16 Newsclippings: World War II
17 References, 1952-1958
18 Correspondence/Commendations: World War II, 1942-1946
19 Military Service Records, 1942-1947
110 Engineering Diary: Aircraft Assembly Plant, Fort Crook, 1942
110A Engineering Diary: Sioux Ordinance Depot, Sidney, Nebraska, 1942
110B Engineering Diary: Miami, Florida District, Pan American Division, 1942
110C Engineering Diary: Modification Center No. 11, Vandalia, Ohio, 1943
110D Engineering Diary: Cruice Placer Mine, Williams Pumice Pit, 1953
111 Humor, 1958, Undated
112 Cases, 1962
113 Personal/Business Correspondence, 1949-1971
21 Arizona vs. California: Horton Testimony, 1948-1957
22 Arizona vs. California: California Exhibits 44-69, 1957
23 Arizona vs. California: California Exhibits 371-385, 1910-1917
24 Arizona vs. California: California Exhibit 66, 1957
25 Arizona vs. California: Exhibit 252: Report on Probable Future Stages of the Salton Sea, 1952
25A Arizona vs. California: Summary of Colorado River Use by the State of California, 1956
25B Arizona vs. California: Dowd Testimony. Senate Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation, 1925
25C History of Irrigation, Land Development and Colorado River Water Use at Imperial Irrigation District and Mexico, 1956
25D Imperial West Mesa: All-American Canal Project, 1955
25E Imperial East Mesa: All-American Canal Project, 1955
25F Surplus Waters of Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho Available for Import to Southern California, 1956
26 Arizona vs. California: California Exhibits 1001-1251: Beneficial Consumptive Use, 1957
27 Arizona vs. California: California Exhibits: Imperial Irrigation and Coachella Irrigation and Drainage Districts, 1957
28 Arizona vs. California: California Exhibit: Salt Burden Colorado River, 1958
31 Arizona vs. California: Bureau of Reclamation Report Correspondence, 1957
32 Arizona vs. California: California Exhibits 44, 47, 58, 65, 1957
33 Arizona vs. California: Dowd Testimony and Memoranda, 1957
34 Arizona vs. California: Indian Exhibits, 1955-1957
These exhibits were supplied by Bureau of Indian Affairs.
35 Arizona vs. California: Depletion vs. Beneficial Consumption, 1955-1957
36 Miscellaneous "Wrap-up", 1957
37 United States Geological Survey on Salt Cedars and Stream Bank Damage, 1965
38 Tree Ring Hydrology, 1957
39 Arizona vs. California: Miscellaneous Exhibits, 1957
41 Arizona vs. California: Supreme Court: Present Perfected, 1975
42 Arizona vs. California: Supreme Court: North Gila Valley Irrigation District, 1957-1965
42A Arizona vs. California Supreme Court. Present Perfected Rights. Palo Verde Irrigation District/Riparian Doctrine, 1965
43 Arizona vs. California: Supreme Court, 1965
44 Arizona vs. California: Supreme Court, 1965
45 Arizona vs. California: Supreme Court: Present Perfected Rights. Arizona, California, Nevada, 1965, 1974
46-6A Arizona vs. California: Supreme Court: Present Perfected Rights. Yuma, 1964-1975
47 Arizona vs. California: Supreme Court: Present Perfected Rights. Palo Verde, 1975
48 Arizona vs. California: Supreme Court: Present Perfected Rights. Imperial Irrigation District, 1965
49 Black Decree on Allottment to Lower Basin States, Undated
51 Arizona/California Boundary Dispute, 1953, 1970
51A Arizona/California Boundary Dispute: Movements of the Colorado River in the Area West of Yuma During Historic Times, 1963
52 Arizona/California Boundary Dispute, 1957
53 Arizona/California Boundary Dispute: Changes Colorado and Gila River Channels Above Yuma, 1962
54 Arizona/California Boundary Dispute: Changes Yuma Reach, 1954
55-5A Arizona/California Boundary Dispute: Changes Mohave Reach, 1954
56 Arizona/California Boundary Dispute: Meanders, Channelization, etc., 1955, Undated
61 Arizona/California Boundary Dispute, 1954
62 AZ/Sonora Land and Irrigation Co. and Colorado River Irrigation Co, 1957
63 Colorado River Compact of 1922, 1916, 1955
64 The Colorado Desert, 1953
This document describes Basin and Range Provinces.
65 Colorado River Boundary Commission, 1953-1955
66 Colorado River Channel Changes in the Mohave Valley, 1954, 1968
67 Colorado River in the Mohave Valley Meanderings of the Stream in Historic Times, 1953
68 Colorado River Water Budget, 1953
69 Ground Water Report, 1936
610 Mosaic Map of Colorado from Nevada to Mexico, 1954
611 Palo Verde Irrigation and Drainage District vs Bureau of Land Management, 1965
71 Property Maps: Palo Verde Weir to Cibola Valley, 1967, 1969, Undated
72 US Senate Hearings on Palo Verde Lands, AZ/CA Boundaries, U.S. vs Palo Verde Landowners, 1954
73-3A Desert Ginning and Desco Ranches (Murphy) Land Filing Papers, 1933-1969
74 Report on Colorado Reach, Parker, Palo Verde and Cibola, 1954
75 Joseph D. McCain Desert Land Filings, 1960-1969
76 Indian Lands in Arizona Adjoining Colorado River, 1955
77 Land Releases in Coachella Valley, 1956-1957
81 Arizona Water Resources, 1967
82 Central Arizona Project: C. N. Phillips, Ebasco Services Correspondence, 1955
83 Central Arizona Project Report, 1948
84 Central Arizona Project: Appraisal Report, Region 3, Boulder City, Nevada, 1962
85 Central Arizona Project: House Hearings, 1964
86 Central Arizona Project: Federal Prepayment Power Arrangement, 1967
87 Proposed Cibola, Mohave Irrigation and Drainage Districts, 1961
88 Colorado River in Mexico: History and Uses, 1956
89 Geology and Ground Water Resources, Verde River Valley Near Fort McDowell, 1945
810 Report on Upper Santa Cruz River, 1955-1957
811 Report on Irrigable Lands of the Colorado River Basin, 1922
91 Agriculture and Quality of Irrigation Water, 1954, 1964, 1978
92 Arizona Public Service Company Electric Rates, 1957-1966
93 Colorado River Power Projects (Boulder, Glen and Marble), 1953-1957
94 Colorado River Water Uses, 1955-1956
95 Ground Water Report, 1968
96 Phoenix Municipal Water System 1950. City Priority Water, 1950-1951
97 San Carlos Irrigation District and Gila Project, 1944, 1956
98 Roosevelt Irrigation District Operations, 1942, 1950, 1954
99 Salt River Valley Water Users Association, 1938, 1956
910 Surplus Waters of Northern California Available to Southern California, 1956
101-1A Early 20th Century Water Surveys of Lower Colorado Basin, 1908, 1919, 1923
102 Benson vs Allison and 454 others, 1917-1919
103 Boulder Canyon Project: Mexican Water Treaty, 1940, 1945
104 Travel Guide Through Western Arizona and Eastern California Deserts, 1920
105 Water Power and Flood Control of Colorado River Below Green River, Utah, 1925
106 Upper Colorado River Basin Compact, 1948
107 Kent Decree [a priori water rights], 1910
108-8B Printed Matter Regarding Cattle Ranching, Ground Water, Geology of Gila River and San Simon Creek, Irrigation, and Public Domain Lands, 1938, 1952, Undated
109 Roosevelt Irrigation District History, 1925, 1943
1010 Indians of the United States/San Carlos Irrigation Project Hearings, 1919
1011 Water-Related Printed Matter, 1922-1957
111 Ferry vs Udall, Lewis vs Udall, 1964-1965
112 University of Colorado Correspondence, 1962-1963
113 R. Gail Baker Biographical Information, 1941, 1965
114 Personal Correspondence with Congressional Delegation: Hayden, Goldwater, Rhodes, Fannin, 1963-1970
115 Personal Correspondence, 1960-1971
116 Personal Correspondence/Papers, 1846, 1955, 1960
117 Personal Correspondence, 1941, 1951-1956
118 Tucson Properties, 1945-1953
119 Tucson Properties, 1951-1953, 1961-
1110 1961 Automobile Payment, Insurance and Repair Records, 1961-1971
1111-12 Adams vs City of Prescott et. al., 1965-1966
1113 Mary Kimborough Jones Correspondence, 1962
121 Power vs US [Work Sheets], 1970
122 Chatter vs Skousen, 1968-1970
123 Chatter vs Skousen, 1965-1971
124 Chatter vs Skousen, 1959-1971
125 Chatter vs Skousen, 1969-1971
131/OV2 Miscellaneous Personal and Colorado River Papers, 1956-1969
132 Miscellaneous Personal and Colorado River Papers, 1875, 1961, 1969
133 Perley M. Lewis Co.: General Contractors, 1953-1958
134 Indian Land Allottment: Balmer, 1924, 1940, 1960
135 Piute Land Development Co., 1959-1968
136 Arizona Title Insurance and Trust Co., 1968
137 Taxes, 1967
141 Aluminum Oxide Mining Claims, 1953
142 Properties in San Miguel, Colorado, 1959-1968
143 Hacienda del Sol, Lewis Updike Escrow, 1953
144 Weideman Transaction, Flagstaff, 1967-1969
145 Sante Fe-Lewis to Ladenburger, 1967-1969
146 Picacho Townsite Property, 1951-1969
147 Tucson Property, Lewis to Abdell, 1953-1969
148 Mohave Land and Development Co., 1959-1970
149 Real Estate in Mohave County, 1937-1968
1410 Lewis vs U.S. and Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court, 1913-1973
1411 Lewis vs. Alamo Land and Cattle, 1913-1969
151 Phoenix Mortgage Company, 1963-1965
152 Real Estate: Cochise County, 1951-1970
153 Real Estate: Coconino County, 1948-1969
154 Real Estate: Maricopa County, 1955-1969
155 Real Estate: Mohave County, 1948-1969
156 Real Estate: Pima County, 1947-1969
157 Real Estate: Yavapai County, 1952-1969
158 Real Estate: Printed Matter, 1954-1970