Papers of Frank Milenski
Scope and Contents
The Papers of Frank Milenski consists of documents dated 1890 to 2003, with the bulk falling from 1970 to 1998. Documents dated after Frank's death in 1998 were most likely added by his son Bill Milenski. The collection has documents related to Milenski's involvement in the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, the Catlin Canal Company, and the Colorado Water Conservation Board, including budget information, minutes, memoranda, and reports. Also included are documents pertaining to court cases, water law, agricultural and urban water supply in the Arkansas River Valley and southeastern Colorado, books authored by Milenski, and Milenski's personal life and writings. Court-related documents are primarily from Colorado Water District 2, the Colorado Supreme Court, and the Kansas v. Colorado case in the U.S. Supreme Court. Prominent material types include court documents, memoranda, government publications, contracts, water studies and data, meeting notes, poetry, book drafts, and photographs.
- Majority of material found within 1970-1998
- Milenski, Frank (Person)
Restrictions on Access
There are no access restrictions on this collection. However, it is stored off-site, so advance notice is required. All "confidential" markings on correspondence or other materials have been determined to be for administrative purposes, not national security information; therefore, these materials are open for access.
Restrictions on Use
Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.
Francis ("Frank") Raymond Milenski (1913-1998) was a farmer and irrigator in Colorado's Arkansas River Valley. He spent much of his professional life serving on the boards of several water agencies, with his longest term being with the Catlin Canal Company from 1950 through 1998. He was a charter member of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, where he served on the Board of Directors from May 13, 1958, through November 16, 1998. He also served on the Colorado Water Conservation Board from 1959 to 1966. He was called as an expert witness during the Kansas v. Colorado Supreme Court case. He authored two books about the Arkansas River Valley, Water: Answer to a Desert's Prayer (1990) and In Quest of Water: A History of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District and the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project (1993), and also had a collection of his poetry and written musings published as Frank's Ditties (1995).
Milenski's achievements were widely recognized. He was given the 1975 Four States Irrigation Council Headgate Award. In 1993, he received the Wayne N. Aspinall "Water Leader of the Year" Award from the Colorado Water Congress. Part of his legacy is the Ed Boresen, W.D. Farr, John R. Fetcher, Frank Milenski and Bart Woodward Scholarship for an active member of the agricultural community presented annually by the Colorado Water Law Seminar.
Milenski was born on November 8, 1913, in Otero County, Colorado, to Victor Casper Milenski and Bridget O'Mara. The youngest of the couple's six children, he grew up on his family's farm with brothers John William (1903-1976), Ignatius Daniel (1910-1964), and Victor Edward (1912-2007). Brothers Edward (1901-1901) and Joseph (1906-1919) passed away before or early in Frank's childhood. He married Eleanor Zumbrunnen (1912-2010), also of Otero County, in 1935. Their children are Joe Milenski, Frances Burr, Bridget Crisp, and Bill Milenski. Milenski passed away at age 85 on November 16, 1998.
57.5 linear feet (37 record cartons, 4 flat boxes)
Language of Materials
Francis ("Frank") Raymond Milenski (1913-1998) was a farmer and irrigator in Colorado's Arkansas River Valley. He served on the Colorado Water Conservation Board from 1959 to 1966 and was on the board of directors of both the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District and the Catlin Canal Company for several decades. The collection includes documents related to Milenski's involvement in these organizations. Also included are documents pertaining to court cases, water law, agricultural and urban water supply in the Arkansas River Valley and southeastern Colorado, books authored by Milenski, and Milenski's personal life and writings. Prominent material types include court documents, memoranda, government publications, contracts, water studies and data, meeting notes, poetry, book drafts, and photographs. A portion of the collection is digitized and online.
The collection consists of 8 series in 41 boxes:
Series 1: Indexes, undated
Series 2: Legal materials, 1892-2002 and undated
Subseries 2.1: Court cases, 1892-2002 and undated
Subseries 2.2: Kansas v. Colorado, 1905-1998 and undated
Subseries 2.3: Cities, 1961-1998 and undated
Subseries 2.4: Decrees, 1894-1994 and undated
Subseries 2.5: Bills and acts, 1958-1999 and undated
Subseries 2.6: Agencies and organizations, 1903-1998 and undated
Subseries 2.7: Rules and regulations, 1941-1996 and undated
Series 3: Projects, 1947-1998 and undated
Subseries 3.1: Trinidad Project, 1947-1998 and undated
Subseries 3.2: Fryingpan-Arkansas Project, 1953-1998 and undated
Series 4: River basins, 1890-2003 and undated
Subseries 4.1: Arkansas River Basin, 1890-1998 and undated
Subseries 4.2: Colorado River Basin, 1952-1998 and undated
Subseries 4.3: Other river basins, 1952-1998 and undated
Subseries 4.4: Canals and reservoirs, 1917-2003 and undated
Series 5: Studies and data, 1903-2000 and undated
Subseries 5.1: River studies, 1903-1993 and undated
Subseries 5.2: Groundwater, 1932-1996 and undated
Subseries 5.3: Winter water, 1969-1998 and undated
Subseries 5.4: Water data, 1981-2000 and undated
Series 6: Personal papers, 1904-1999 and undated
Subseries 6.1: Personal writings, 1904-1999 and undated
Subseries 6.2: Book information, 1978-1997 and undated
Subseries 6.3: Miscellaneous, 1941-1998 and undated
Series 7: Maps, 1926-1995 and undated
Series 8: Photographic materials, 1899-1996 and undated
The Papers of Frank Milenski was donated to the Water Resources Archive by the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District in March 2012.
Some materials have been scanned and are available through the Colorado State University Libraries website. In the electronic version of this document, direct links appear in context.
The collection arrived in nine filing cabinets and ten boxes. Items in the filing cabinets were in good order according to Milenski's original filing scheme. The organization within each drawer was retained; however, drawers were rearranged as necessary to form series. Items from the ten boxes were integrated into the series. The materials were transferred to archival boxes, and some materials were rehoused in acid-free folders. Excess duplicates, paper clips, and other rusty metal fasteners were discarded. Photographic materials were housed in archival sleeves. Many bound government publications, files pertaining solely to Bill Milenski's business interest, and a set of bookends were removed. Some materials pertaining to Kansas v. Colorado, also existing in the Archive's Papers of Arthur L. Littleworth, were removed from this collection. The Colorado Attorney General's Office determined that some Kansas v. Colorado documents were privileged and confidential; those materials were removed and turned over to the Attorney General.
Note: Title information supplied by the archivist is bracketed. Estimated pagination is preceded by an "e." Two identical copies of the same item are indicated by the phrase "2 copies" at the end of the entry, following the number of pages of each copy.
- Arkansas River Watershed.
- Arkansas River.
- Catlin Canal (Colo.)
- Colorado -- Water rights.
- Colorado Water Conservation Board.
- Fryingpan River (Colo.)
- Fryingpan River Watershed (Colo.)
- Fryingpan-Arkansas Project (U.S.)
- Interstate agreements -- Arkansas River.
- Kansas -- Water rights.
- Milenski, Frank.
- Purgatoire River (Colo.)
- Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District (Colo.)
- United States. Bureau of Reclamation.
- Water districts -- Colorado.
- Water resources development -- Colorado.
- Water-supply -- Colorado.
- Watershed management.
- Guide to the Papers of Frank Milenski
- Edited Full Draft
- Prepared by Alan E. Barkley
- Copyright 2014
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository
Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA