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Doris and Leona Velen Tuttle Creek Dam Collection

Introduction

The Doris and Leona Velen Collection was donated to Kansas State University by Kevin Larson, a history teacher at Riley County High School, in 2004. Doris and Leona Velens' grandfather, Sven Velen, homesteaded in the Blue Valley in 1867, and his son, Frank Velen, resided on the original site with his family for several decades. When plans for construction of a large dam in the Blue Valley were announced, the daughters of Frank Velen, Doris and Leona, both schoolteachers in Manhattan, initiated a valiant and persistent anti-dam campaign. Despite their prolonged effort to stop construction of the dam, thousands of acres of farmland in the Blue Valley were inundated, including their home in the small town of Cleburne, Kansas, to make way for the project. Materials in this collection span the time from the Velen sisters' initial involvement in the Tuttle Creek project during the mid 1940s until construction of the dam was completed in 1962. Material is also included from their continued interest on the subject through the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Information in this collection centers around the Velen sisters' involvement in the campaign against Tuttle Creek Dam. The decision to construct Tuttle Creek Dam produced a surge of passionate opposition. Doris and Leona Velen wrote numerous letters to members of Congress and governors, organized meetings and gave speeches, to gather support to preserve the Blue Valley. This collection, however, is not merely a study of one local movement. The campaign to "Stop the Big Dam Foolishness" represents a political struggle between local and federal governments, and explores flood control and soil conservation issues that are commonplace throughout the country.

The collection is housed in nine document boxes and nine flat boxes (6 linear feet) and is divided into six series: 1) Correspondence, 1944-1963; 2) Subject Files, 1937-1988; 3) Speeches, 1951-1955; 4) Maps, 1944-1956; 5) Printed Materials, 1933-2000; and 6) Scrapbooks, 1951-1962. Photographs have been transferred to the photograph collection of the University Archives. Broadsides and film have been transferred to the oversize and audiovisual collections, respectively. A Tuttle Creek cloth sign and "Let's Stop Big Dam Foolishness" rubber stamp were both transferred to the artifacts collection.

The Doris and Leona Velen Collection is identified by accession number P2004.10. Processing was completed by Diane Soldan, student employee, in July 2004.

A related collection in the University Archives is the Doris H. Fenton Collection. Fenton collected material opposing the building of Tuttle Creek Dam and it includes letters written by Leona Velen, and others. A finding aid can be viewed at the following, http://www.lib.ksu.edu/depts/spec/findaids/pc1988-06.html

Scope and Content Note

The Doris and Leona Velen Collection contains materials pertaining to the sisters' campaign against the construction of Tuttle Creek Dam near Manhattan, Kansas from approximately 1937 to1962. The women were part of a large campaign of Blue Valley residents who attempted to save their homes from being flooded by the construction of Tuttle Creek Dam. Their efforts produced hundreds of letters, dozens of scrapbooks and pamphlets and numerous magazine and newspaper articles.

The collection is divided into six series: 1) Correspondence, 1944-1963; 2) Subject Files, 1937-1988; 3) Speeches, 1951-1955; 4) Maps, 1944-1956; 5) Printed Materials, 1933- 2000; and 6) Scrapbooks, 1951-1962. The bulk of the correspondence series contains letters written and received by Doris and Leona Velen. The sisters maintained separate correspondence files, and that distinction was preserved throughout the correspondence series where possible. Additional correspondence from other key individuals are also filed separately, including Lloyd Woodburn, Paul Jameson, and Frank and Esther Velen, the parents of Doris and Leona. All correspondence is arranged chronologically. The contents of this series describes how the Velen sisters gained support for their cause through Congress, local and national media, and their neighbors in the Blue Valley.

Subject files covering a broad range of topics relevant to Tuttle Creek Dam are assembled to complete the second series. Most notable among them are the files relating to the Blue Valley Open House, held October 22, 1955; trips taken by Blue Valley residents to Denver in 1952 and Washington D.C. in 1955 to meet with President Eisenhower; material used in political campaigns to elect anti-dam supporters to Congress; and the Tuttle Creek Story film, created to chronicle the creation of the dam.

The third series consists of speeches given between 1951 and 1955. Speeches were delivered before various groups and commissions in order to gather support in defense of the Blue Valley.

The maps in the fourth series range in scope from local to national areas. Maps are used to illustrate how Tuttle Creek Dam relates to the other flood control projects along the Missouri River Basin.

Various types of printed material are organized into the fifth series. Included among them are pamphlets and propaganda unique to the movement against Tuttle Creek Dam. A large portion of this series contains newspaper clippings from various local and regional newspapers as well as an assortment of magazine articles. These articles provide a continuing narrative of the Tuttle Creek project, from its beginnings in the 1940s, through the controversy caused by its construction, and ending with the historic flood of 1993.

Scrapbooks created by Doris and Leona Velen make up the sixth and final series in the collection. The 69 scrapbooks span the years 1951-1962 and contain newspaper and magazine articles and congressional records concerning the Tuttle Creek project.

A small number of broadsides, photographs, artifacts, and a 16mm film are listed at the end of the container list.

Container list

Box  Folder

          Correspondence, People   

01   01     Congress; Outgoing, 1951-1956
     02     Congress; Incoming, 1951-1963
     03     Congress; Telegrams, 1951-1952
     04     General, 1944-1954
     05        1955-1963
            Jameson, Paul
     06        1952-1955
     07        1956
     08        1957                 
     09     Mass Mailings, 1951-1955
     10        "Dear Girls" Letters, 1951-1960
            Velen, Doris
     11        Congress; Outgoing, 1951
     12          1952-1953
     13          1954-1957
     14        Congress; Incoming, 1945-1951
     15          1952
     16          1953-1957
     17        General; Outgoing, 1951-1952

02   01          1953-1957
     02        General; Incoming, 1946-1952
     03          1953-1958
            Velen, Leona
     04        Congress; Outgoing, 1952-1956
     05        Congress; Incoming, 1952-1954
     06          1955-1956
     07        General; Outgoing 1948-1956 
     08        General; Incoming, 1948-1952
     09          1953
     10          1954-1955
     11          1956-1957
            Velen, Doris and Leona
     12        General; Outgoing, 1952
     13        General; Incoming, 1951-1978
     14     Velen, Doris or Leona (?), 1954-1955

            Velen, Frank and Esther
     15        Congress; Outgoing, 1951-1953
     16        Congress; Incoming, 1951-1952
     17          1953-1954
     18     Woodburn, Lloyd, 1953-1956

          Correspondence, Subject

     19     Blue Valley Open House, 1955
     20     Tuttle Creek Story Film, 1953-1955

          Subject

03   01     Blue Valley Open House, 1955     
     02     Blue Valley Study Association, 1953-1955
     03     Denver Trip, 1952
     04     Financial Support, 1952-1956
     05     Flood Control, 1951-1956
     06     Hymns and Prayers, 1951-1956
     07     Kansas Conference of the Methodist Church, 1955-1956
     08     Kansas Watershed Association, 1951-1956
     09     Lincoln, Nebraska, Meeting, 1951 
     10     List of Contact Names, 1954-1956 
     11        1954-1956      
     12        Contacts Names, n.d.
     13        Congress Letter Writing Lists, n.d.
     14     Lucile Johnson Story, 1951
     15     Mariadahl Community, 1948-1959
     16        "The Valley That Was," 1984

04   01     Newspaper Directory, 1956                                                     
     02     Newspaper Editorials, 1937-1955
     03     Notes, n.d.
     04     Political Campaigns, 1952-1956
     05        Voter Information, 1956
     06     Resettlement, 1952, n.d.
     07        Velen Questionnaire, 1955     
     08     Residents Owners List, n.d. 
     09     Reunions, 1985
     10     Soil Conservation, 1951-1960
     11        1963-1972 
     12     Tuttle Creek Story Film, 1953                        
     13     Washington D.C. Trip, 1955  
     14        1955 
     15     "Water and the Making of Kansas," 1988               

          Speeches
 
     16     Speeches by Glenn Stockwell, 1951; Leona Velen, 1952; Elmer
            Peterson, 1952; Blue Valley Open House, 1955; Kansas Watershed 
            Association, 1955.

          Maps
 
     17     United States map, 1956; Central United States map, 1951, n.d.;
            Manhattan and Riley county maps, 1944-1953, n.d.; locates rivers and
            flood control projects. 

          Printed Material

05   01     Newsletters, 1952
            Tuttle Creek Dam
     02        Pamphlets, 1947-1954
     03          1955-1988
     04        Editorials, 1937-1956
     05          1964, n.d.
     06     Carhart, Arthur, 1951-1952
     07     Conservation , 1949-1970
     08     Government, United States, 1940-1952
     09        1953-1957
     10     Miscellaneous, 1949-1956
     11     Bumper Stickers
     12     Labels, Cards and Miscellaneous
     13     Program, Manhattan High School Play "Green Valley"
            Magazine Articles
     14        1949-1953
     15        1954-1959
     16        1960-1973
     17        "Flying Farmer," 1988
     18        "Rural Lutheran," 1952-1954
     
06   01     Congressional Records, 1951-1956
     02     Congressional Hearings, 1938-1952
     03     Congressional Bills and Resolutions, 1953-1955
     04     Congressional Reports and Statements, 1952-1955
     05     Congressional "Weekly News Review," 1945
     06     Newspaper Clippings, Photocopied, 1933     
     07        1937
     08        1941
     09        1942
     10        1944
     11        1945
     12        1946
     13        1947
     14        1948
     15        1949
     16        1950
     17        1951
     18        1952
     19        1953
     20        1954
     21        1955
     22        1956
     23        1957
     24        1958
     25        1959
     26        1960
     27        1963, Jan-Jun
     28        1963, Jul-Dec

07   01        1964, Jan-Jun
     02        1964, Jul-Dec
     03        1965
     04        1966
     05        1967
     06        1968
     07        1969
     08        1970 
     09        1971
     10        1972
     11        1973
     12        1974
     13        1975
     14        1976
     15        1977
     16        1978
     17        1980-1981
     18        1982
     19        1984-1989
     20        1993, May-Jul
     21        1993, Jul-Dec
     22        1994-2000
     23        ? Dates
     24        n.d.

08          Newspaper Clippings, Original Newsprint
     01        1951, Jun-Jul 22
     02          Jul 23-31
     03          Aug 
     04          Sep 
     05          Oct
     06          Nov
     07          Dec
     08        1952, Jan-Feb
     09          Mar-Apr
     10          May-Jul
     11          Aug-Sep
     12          Oct
     13          Nov-Dec
     14        1953, Jan-Feb
     15          Mar-Apr
     16          May-Jun

09   01          Jul-Dec
     02        1954
     03        1955
     04        1956
     05        1957
     06        1958
     07        1959
     08        1963, Mar-Jun
     09          Jul-Sep
     10          Oct-Dec
     11        1993, Jul
     12        n.d.
     13        n.d.
     14        n.d.

          Scrapbooks (flat boxes)

10   01     Congressional Records [1951-1953]
     02     [1952-1956]
     03     [1951]
     04     1951; Aug and Sept Letters and Editorials
     05        Sep News Items-Oct
     06     1952; Jan 01-Feb 27
     07        Feb 24-Apr 17
     08        Apr 17-May 31
     09        Jun 01-Jul 10
     10        Jul 10-Aug 09
     
11   11        Aug 10-Sep 10
     12        Sep 11-Nov 06
     13        Nov 07-Dec 31
     14     1953; Jan 01-Feb 14
     15        Feb 15-Mar 14
     16        Mar 18-Apr 26
     17        Apr 27-May 19
     18        May 20-Jun 30
     19        Jul 01-Aug 31
     20        Sep 01-Nov 01

12   21        Nov 01-Dec 31
     22     1954; Jan 01-Feb 28
     23        Mar 01-Apr 30
     24        May 01-June 30
     25        Aug 03
     26        Aug 04-Sep 30
     27        Oct 01-Nov 30
     28        Dec 01
     29     1955; Jan 01-Mar 31
     30        Apr 01-Jun 23
     
13   31        Jun 23-Jul 31
     32        Aug 01-Sep 25
     33        Sep 26-Dec 17
     34     1955-1956; Dec 18-Feb 29
     35     1956; Mar 01-Jun 20
     36        Jun 21-Aug 31
     37        Sep 01-Dec
     38     1956-1957; Dec 01-Mar 31
     39     1957; Apr 01-Jul 31
     40     1957; Aug 01

14   01     1952; Jun 28-Jul
     02        Sep
     03        Oct
     04        Nov
     05        Dec
     06     1953; Feb
     07        Apr
     08        Apr-May

15   09     1953; Jun
     10        Jun-July (includes Aug 1952 clippings)
     11        Jul-Aug
     12        Sep-Nov

16   13     1954; Jan-May
     14        Jun-Dec
     15     1955; Jan-Dec
     16     1956; Extra Clippings
     17     1957; Extra Clippings
     18     1957-1958; Nov-Jan
     19     1957; Aug-Oct and Feb 1958
     20     1958; Mar-Jul
     21     1958-1959; Aug-Mar

17   22     1959; Apr
     23        Apr-Oct
     24     1959-1960; Nov-Apr
     25     1961; Jan-Apr
     26        May-Aug
     27        Sep-Dec
     28     1962; Jan-Mar
     29        Apr-May        

          Oversize Material (flat box)

18          Broadside: Blue Valley Open House, October 22-23, 1955
            Newspapers
               The Randolph Enterprise (June 2, 1952), "Presentation of Glenn D. Stockwell"
               The Blue Valley News (June 23, 1955); issue regarding trip of 
               delegates to Washington, D. C., including full page thank you to
               them  for their efforts; plus handwritten list of names the issue was
               sent to
            Map: "Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention," Soil Conservation
               Service, Revised 1956

Photographs: transferred to Photograph Collection:
          Randolph and Cleburne 
          Blue Valley Study Association, Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, May 12, 1950

Audiovisual: transferred to Audio Visual Collection:    
          Tuttle Creek Story Film

Artifacts: transferred to Artifact Collection:
          Cloth Tuttle Creek Sign
          "Let's Stop Big Dam Foolishness" rubber stamp




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