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Louis G. Puls papers

Identifier: COU:1319

Scope and Contents

The Louis G. Puls Collection consists of three groups of material. First are items from Louis Puls’s father-in-law, William Newton Searcy , who began practicing mining and corporate law in Silverton in 1896; he became judge of the Sixth Judicial District of Colorado in 1912. These items include titles to mine claims in the Silverton area and other property in Silverton; historical information about mining in the San Juan mountains; and the World War I narrative Looking Back by Earl B. Searcy (1921). Next are Puls’s personal papers, including a manuscript autobiography. The bulk of the collection, contained in boxes two through seven, concerns dams and other water projects with which Puls was involved. Materials include paper files; scrapbooks with photos of water projects; maps; and engineering drawings. Box Seven contains oversized maps.


  • Creation: 1890 - 1989

Biographical Note

Louis G. Puls was an engineer who directed Division 11 of the United States Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, which is primarily responsible for managing water in the western United States. The Bureau’s many projects have included major dams and power plants. Louis Puls was the chief design engineer for Arizona’s Glen Canyon dam, called “one of the engineering wonders of the world,” and the Flaming Gorge dam in Utah. He received the Interior Department’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding engineering achievements, which included work on fish preservation at Grand Coulee Dam. In 1962 he retired from the Bureau but continued to serve on consulting boards for numerous water projects in the United States and around the world until the early 1980s.

Mr. Puls was born in Lowell, New York. During World War II, he served as a U.S. Navy Commander and commanded the 27th Navy Seabee Battalion in the South Pacific. He died in Arvada, Colorado, on May 11, 1992.


12 linear feet : 22 boxes

Language of Materials



Louis G. Puls was director of the United States Bureau of Reclamation, Division 11. After retiring from the Bureau in 1962, he worked for twenty years on the consulting boards for major water projects worldwide. The Louis G. Puls Collection contains papers related to projects in the United States, Honduras, Mexico, and the USSR. Also included are materials related to Puls’s grandfather, William Norton Searcy, and mining and corporate law in the Silverton area at the turn of the century.

In Progress
Processed by: Harvey N. Gardiner, August 8, 1994 Edited by: Jessica Roeder, May 2008
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States