Guide to the Papers of Rollin Q. Tenney

Prepared by Patricia J. Rettig
Colorado State University Water Resources Archive
A joint effort of the University Libraries and the Colorado Water Institute
Copyright 2006 Colorado State University. All rights reserved.
Finding aid encoded in EAD Version 2002 by Patricia J. Rettig, 2006.
Creator: Tenney, Rollin Quartus, 1838-1932
Title: Papers of Rollin Q. Tenney
Dates: 1882-1928
Bulk Dates: 1893-1912
Quantity: 0.5 linear feet
Identification: WRQT
Abstract: Rollin Q. Tenney's (1838-1932) irrigation expertise was recognized with an appointment as one of Colorado's water commissioners in 1893. The materials in the collection cover Tenney's time as water commissioner as well as his activities related to ditch companies and irrigation districts in Northern Colorado. Document types include correspondence, legislation, reports, maps, clippings, notes, financial papers and one book.
Contact Information: Water Resources Archive
Archives and Special Collections
Morgan Library
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1019 USA
Phone: 970-491-1844
Fax: 970-491-1195
Email: Archives and Special Collections
URL: https://lib.colostate.edu/archives/water/
Restrictions on Access
There are no access restrictions on this collection.
Restrictions on Use
Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the Colorado State University Libraries online catalog. Researchers seeking materials about related subjects, persons, organizations, or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Subjects:
  • Water transfer.
  • Water resources development.
  • Water rights.
Persons:
  • Tenney, Rollin Quartus, 1838-1932.
Organizations:
  • Park Creek Irrigation District.
  • Scurvin Ditch Company.
  • Colorado. Office of the State Engineer.
Places:
  • Laramie River (Colo. and Wyo.)
  • Larimer County (Colo.)
  • Medicine Bow National Forest (Wyo.)
Special Document Types:
  • Maps.
Rollin Quartus Tenney's irrigation expertise was recognized with an appointment as one of Colorado's water commissioners in 1893. A Civil War veteran born in 1838 in New Hampshire, Tenney established a farm in Colorado's Cache la Poudre Valley in 1871. During the state's early development, Tenney proved to be a pioneer and innovator in farming, ranching and irrigating. As he became increasingly interested in irrigation, he developed a plan to bring Laramie River water to northern Larimer County. He was the first surveyor of the Laramie-Poudre Tunnel, which later became the focus of the Wyoming v. Colorado case in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Tenney and his family moved to Fort Collins in 1890. He served as water commissioner for water district no. 3, division no. 1 during 1893 and 1894. Beyond this service, Tenney was instrumental in developing many of the area's reservoirs and irrigation systems.
Tenney was also active in the State Grange, the Grand Army of the Republic, several ditch companies and other organizations. He married Isabelle Duff Robertson in 1871 and they had two daughters. Tenney died in 1932 and is buried in Grandview Cemetery in Fort Collins. Further details on Tenney's life can be found in Biographical Sketch of Rollin Q. Tenney (1918) and Rollin Q. Tenney: A Larimer County Pioneer (1921; the two are nearly identical).
The Papers of Rollin Q. Tenney consists of documents dated 1882 to 1928, with the bulk falling from 1893 to 1912. The materials cover Tenney's time as water commissioner as well as his activities related to ditch companies and irrigation districts in Northern Colorado. Document types include correspondence, legislation, reports, maps, clippings, notes, financial papers, and one book. Much of the correspondence is with various Colorado state engineers. One folder contains photocopied documents related to the early history of the Colorado State University campus.
The collection consists of alphabetical subject files in one box.
Preferred Citation

Papers of Rollin Q. Tenney, Water Resources Archive, Colorado State University.

Acquisition

The Papers of Rollin Q. Tenney was transferred from the manuscripts section of the Archives and Special Collections Department to the Water Resources Archive in February 2003.

Processing

Processing was completed in February 2006 though evidence of some prior processing existed. Materials were reboxed and refoldered using acid-free supplies. Most metal fasteners were removed and replaced with plastic clips. Newspaper clippings were inserted between acid-free paper. Papers were unfolded when possible and sleeved when especially fragile. Little rearrangement took place, but one publication was removed to be added to Special Collections.

Related Collections

Related collections in the Water Resources Archive include the Papers of Louis G. Carpenter (a Colorado state engineer) and the Papers of Delph E. Carpenter and Family (attorney in the Wyoming v. Colorado case). There are also Tenney collections at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery and the Autry National Center in Los Angeles.

Online Materials

Some materials have been scanned or digitally photographed and are available through the Colorado State University Libraries website. In the electronic version of this document, direct links appear in context.

Note: Estimated pagination is preceded by an "e."

Series 1: Papers, 1882-1928

Box Folder
1 1 Copies of documents related to early CSU history. 1922-1923, undated. e10pp. VIEW
1 2 Drainage district law. 1911. e40pp. VIEW
1 3 Laramie River and Lone Tree Enterprise. 1895-1910. e40pp. VIEW
1 4 Maps and related correspondence. 1898-1923. e25pp. VIEW
1 5 Medicine Bow National Forest. 1908-1909. e15pp. VIEW
1 6 Miscellaneous correspondence and papers. 1898-1928. e35pp. VIEW
1 7 Park Creek Irrigation District. 1908-1912. e100pp. VIEW
Includes three copies of "Report on the Park Creek Irrigation District" by L. G. Carpenter, maps and data.
1 8 Rhodes, Ledru R. Book "Circumstantial Evidence" and letters. 1882, 1907-1908. 1 item and 2pp. VIEW
1 9 Scurvin Ditch Company. 1883, 1905-1916. e80pp. VIEW
1 10 Water commissioner papers. 1893-1895. e65pp. VIEW
1 11 Weldon Drainage District, table of wet area. undated. 2pp. VIEW