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Collection M 201:
Montezuma Valley Water Supply Company records inventory

Years this material was created: 1886-1889 (bulk 1887-1888)
Quantity: 1 linear shelf foot (42 folders, in 2 document cases)
Arranged and described by Jennifer Leithauser, student archival assistant, 
and Todd Ellison, Certified Archivist.

 ©2003 by Fort Lewis College Foundation, Center of Southwest Studies account

Links to contents

Preface Introduction/ scope and contents Biographical note Series descriptions
Container list

Biographical chronology

Other collection inventories Center of Southwest Studies

Introduction/ Scope and contents

M 201:
Montezuma Valley Water Supply Company records

1886-1889 (bulk 1887-1888)
1 linear shelf foot (in 2 document cases) (approximately 800 items, in 42 folders)

This collection is comprised of the Company's bills and receipts, cancelled checks, financial documents, legal evidence, payrolls, stock certificates, and vouchers.

These records were stored tri-folded and boxed for decades with La Plata County (Colo.) Justice of the Peace records that the Center of Southwest Studies acquired in transfer from the La Plata County government.  The Center's archival staff separated these out from collection M 028 La Plata County Government County Court records, with which they seemed to have no relationship, in October of 2002 during processing of those Court records.

Historical note: the Montezuma Valley Water Supply Company

In the 1950s, members of the predominantly agricultural population of Montezuma County, Colorado, were beginning to recognize the health concerns of pollution of the Dolores River.  Most farms were served through the Montezuma Valley Irrigation Company’s ditches and canal, from which they filled cisterns for domestic water supply, which was severely limited in the winter months.  In February of 1961, John Porter, a member of the County and State Farmers Home Administration Boards, became aware that FmHA could finance rural water systems.

In June of 1963, a meeting of interested parties developed the concept of one large domestic system to serve most of the rural Montezuma County.  On December 21, 1965, the Amended Articles of Incorporation were signed and mailed to the Secretary of State, State of Colorado.  The Company incorporated under the statutes of the Colorado Non-Profit Corporation Act.  By late 1967, the initial system’s construction was completed, however by 1970 the company’s expansion was not able to meet the demands of existing customers and the company approached the town of Dolores for service of treated water.  In 1971 the company secured its first surface water right of ½ cubic feet per second (cfs) and shortly after traded taps for another ½ cfs.  At the end of 1974, the company’s main problems were inadequate water treatment and insufficient line capacity.

From 1974 to 1983, treatment could not accommodate the company’s growth rate and rural residents were subject to unsatisfactory water qualities.  The company’s water treatment plant was completed in 1985, bringing the treatment capacity to two million gallons per day.  Currently (as of 2004), the company has approximately 3,500 members, over 400 miles of mainlines, over 200 hydrants, and 20 full-time employees.  The company expanded the water treatment plant in 1999 to a capacity of four million gallons per day.

Source of the preceding historical sketch: http://www.montezumawater.org/historymwc.htm (website accessed 11/8/04)

Series descriptions

The boxes are numbered in one single numbering scheme starting with 1; folder numbers start with 1 in the first box, and begin again with folder 1 in box 2.

Series 1:    Bills/ receipts , 1887 October -1888 April, 10 folders. 

Series 2:    Cancelled checks , 1887 October-1888 April, 7 folders.

Series 3:    Financial documents, 1887 January-1889 February, 16 folders.  Includes invoices and statements.

Series 4:    Legal documents, 1889 April 23, 1 folder.  Evidence before a referee.

Series 5:    Payroll records , 1887 October-1888 March, 6 folders.

Series 6:    Stock certificates , 1886-1888l, 1 folder.

Series 7:    Vouchers , 1888, 1 folder.  Each measures 2" x 3".  6 are yellow, 1 is blue, and 6, green, are for Cortez Water Co., "good for 5 barrels."

Container list

Box 1: 

Folder         Description

Folder 1:     Bills, 1887 Oct.

Folder 2:     Bills and receipts, 1888 Jan.

Folder 3:     Bills and receipts, 1888 Jan.

Folder 4:     Bills and receipts, 1888 Feb.

Folder 5:     Bills and receipts, 1888 Feb.

Folder 6:     Bills and receipts, 1888 Feb.

Folder 7:     Bills and receipts, 1888 Feb.

Folder 8:     Bills and receipts, 1888 Mar.

Folder 9:     Bills and receipts, 1888 Mar.

Folder 10:     Bills and receipts, 1888 Apr.

Folder 11:     Cancelled checks, 1887 Mar.

Folder 12:     Cancelled checks, 1887 Nov.

Folder 13:     Cancelled checks, 1887 Dec.

Folder 14:     Cancelled checks, 1888 Jan.

Folder 15:     Cancelled checks, 1888 Feb.

Folder 16:     Cancelled checks, 1888 Mar.

Folder 17:     Cancelled checks, 1888 Apr.

Folder 18:     Financial documents, 1887 Jan.

Folder 19:     Financial documents, 1887 Jun.

Folder 20:     Financial documents, 1887 July

Folder 21:     Financial documents, 1887 Aug.

Folder 22:     Financial documents, 1887 Sept.

Folder 23:     Financial documents, 1887 Nov.

Folder 24:     Financial documents, 1887 Dec.

Folder 25:     Financial documents, 1888 May

Folder 26:     Financial documents, 1888 June

Folder 27:     Financial documents, 1888 July

Folder 28:     Financial documents, 1888 Aug.

Folder 29:     Financial documents, 1888 Sept.

Folder 30:     Financial documents, 1888 Oct.

Folder 31:     Financial documents, 1888 Nov.

Folder 32:     Financial documents, 1888 Dec.

Folder 33:     Financial documents, 1889 Jan.-Feb.


Box 2:

Folder         Description  

Folder 1:    Legal evidence, 1889 Apr. 23.  Evidence before a referee. 

Folder 2:     Payroll records, 1887 Oct.

Folder 3:     Payroll records, 1887 Nov.

Folder 4:     Payroll records, 1887 Dec.

Folder 5:     Payroll records, 1888 Jan.

Folder 6:     Payroll records, 1888 Feb.

Folder 7:     Payroll records, 1888 Mar.

Folder 8:     Stock certificates, 1886-1888

Folder 9:      Cortez Water Company vouchers, 1888, "good for 5 barrels."  Each measures 2" x 3".  6 are yellow, 1 is blue, and 6, green. 

Jennifer Leithauser, student archival assistant, did the basic arrangement and description of this collection in October of 2002.  Another student archival assistant at the Center of Southwest Studies produced the folder inventory in February of 2003.  Archival student assistant Olivia Everett produced the Historical sketch on November 8, 2004.  This guide was produced by Todd Ellison in January of 2003 -- last updated by him on November 29, 2004. 

Doing your own research: This description of a portion of the collections at the Fort Lewis College Center of Southwest Studies is provided to inform interested parties about the nature and depth of the repository's collections.  It cannot serve as a substitute for a visit to the repository for those with substantial research interests in the collections.

This collection is located at the Center of Southwest Studies on the campus of Fort Lewis College.  Researchers wanting more information about using this material at the Delaney Southwest Research Library at the Center may email the archivist at archives@fortlewis.edu or click here to use our E-mail Reference Request Form (or phone the archivist at 970/247-7126).  The Center does not have a budget for outgoing long-distance phone calls to answer reference requests, so please email if you wish to receive a response from the Center.  To request reproductions/copies, click here for instructions.


Page last modified: September 01, 2006