University of Idaho logo

Special Collections & Archives

Manuscript Group 410

William E. Rawlings

Papers, 1932-1973

1.0 cubic feet

The papers of William E. Rawlings were donated to the University of Idaho Library by Mrs. Ruth Rawlings in August, 2002. They were initially processed by Randy Smith in March 2004. A small group of additional materials were added in November 2004.


William Eber Rawlings was born in Sheridan, Indiana in 1904. He graduated from Purdue University College of Agriculture in 1926, majoring in Animal Husbandry. He began his career working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Extension Service, the first 14 years in Indiana, and then transferring to Idaho. In 1942 he joined the War Relocation Authority, working in Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and Montana. While working in Hunt, Idaho as Project Director for the Minidoka Relocation Center he began working on irrigating land for war food production.

In 1946, Rawlings was transferred to the Bureau of Reclamation office in Billings, Montana, as Project Supervisor for the Missouri River Basin Project, and in 1952 became Regional Irrigation Supervisor for Region 6, an area that covered the northern Plains.

In 1960, he became the manager of the Columbia Basin Project, headquartered in Ephrata, Washington. He served there for ten years, retiring in 1970. It was during his tenure that the Columbia Basin Project continued expansion, and saw the construction of the third power plant on the Grand Coulee Dam.

Rawlings died of a heart attack in Spokane in 1973 at age 69.

Scope And Content

The papers of William E. Rawlings span the years 1933 to 1970, with the bulk of the material covering the years 1960 to 1970. The papers include correspondence, memos, pay slips, employment applications, various reports, maps, photographs and other items relating to Rawlings' career. The materials contain extensive information on the Columbia Basin Project, of which Rawlings was manager from 1960-1970. Information on his work previous to the Columbia Basin Project (1933-1959) is less extensive and contains items related to Rawlings' personnel matters (such as performance reviews and salary increases), correspondence, reports related to agricultural issues in Idaho (1940-1942) and other items related to some of the places where he was employed during these years. A brief description of his work at the Minidoka Relocation Center (1943-1945) is also contained in the biographical and personal file. Photographs in the collection are portraits of various working groups throughout Rawlings' career, many of which include the names of those photographed.

Arrangement and Description

The original order could not be determined. So, the present order was imposed to improve access to the collection.

Series List

I. The Career of William E. Rawlings, 1933-1970

II. The Columbia Basin Project, 1960-1970

III. Other Items


William E. Rawlings

Box Folder Description No. Items

I. The Career of William E. Rawlings, 1933-1970

1	1	Biographical and Personal, 1904-1973	32
	2	Photographs, 1946-1963	21
	3	Career Service, 1933-1959	70
	4	Career Service, 1960-1970	79
	5	Speeches, Addresses and Official Programs, 1963-1970	34
	6	Columbia Basin Project Employee Orientation	1
	7	Interagency Training Program Materials, 1963	1

II. The Columbia Basin Project

	8	Administrative File, 1961-1969	18
	9	Statistical Data, 1930-1970	56
	10	Columbia Basin Project Pamphlets & Ephemera	15
	11	Columbia Basin Project Reports, Part I	3
	12	Columbia Basin Project Reports, Part II	5
	13	Columbia Basin Project Reports, Part III	1
	14	Columbia Basin Project Maps	7
	15	Columbia Basin Project Newsclippings	6

III. Other Items

	16	Idaho Reports, 1940-1942	3
	17	Other items	8

January 2005 / mg410.htm

 UI Library| Special Collections