Time Machine Tuesday: Ralph Carr Salutes Delph Carpenter

Ralph Carr

Colorado Governor Ralph L. Carr (served 1939-1943) is best known for standing up for Japanese Americans during WWII.  But Carr was also interested in water rights, working as an attorney for the Colorado Interstate River Commission.  This brought him into contact with Delph Carpenter, known by many as the “father of Colorado river treaties,” and the two became close friends.  Delph Carpenter, a lawyer from Greeley, devoted his career to the development of interstate water treaties, particularly the Colorado River Compact, for which he received commendation from President Herbert Hoover.

Delph Carpenter

In October 1943, Governor Carr offered a tribute to Carpenter before the National Reclamation Association.  Carpenter could not attend the speech, as he had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and was confined to bed.  However his son Donald, who followed in his father’s footsteps with river compact negotiation, attended on his father’s behalf.  Carr’s speech, along with background information and a copy of the Colorado River Compact, was compiled by Colorado State University in 1991 and can be viewed here from our library.

Photos courtesy Colorado State Archives; Colorado State University