December 2018 History Question of the Month

December 2018 History Question of the Month
Posted on 12/03/2018

Who were the first officers and directors of the Brown and Sanford Irrigation Company? 


In 1874, a group of homesteaders on the Butler Bench diverted water from Big Cottonwood Creek and dug a canal to feed their farms and homes. It was referred to by those living on the bench as “the canal.” The canal was enlarged to cover more farms as the area population expanded. The canal then became known as the Brown and Sanford Ditch, named for two of the individuals instrumental in extending the coverage of the system.

In December 1900, the Brown and Sanford Irrigation Co. filed Articles of Incorporation with the Salt Lake County Clerk’s Office.  Board President William J. Panter, Vice President Charles F. Boyce, and Charles Colebrook, secretary and treasurer, formed the Board of Directors, along with John W. Foulkes and Charles R. Wootton. Capital stock of the company was valued at $19,500. There were 195 shares of stock issued, with a value of $100 a share.  The company’s service area covered 1,000 acres and claimed one-fifth of the water from Big Cottonwood Creek.

The company eventually built dams on three Big Cottonwood Canyon lakes in 1910. Over the next decades, the lakes’ capacity was enlarged more. In 1972, the dams had become unstable and were breached, and Salt Lake City purchased the rights to the water.