J. D. Ross papers, 1898-1994  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Ross, J. D. (James Delmage), 1872-1939
Title
J. D. Ross papers
Dates
1898-1994 (inclusive)
Quantity
15.77 cubic feet (29 boxes)
Collection Number
0838 (Accession No. 0838-004)
Summary
Personal and professional papers (predominantly correspondence) of J. D. Ross, spanning his career at Seattle City Light as well as his work on the Securities and Exchange Commission and as administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration.
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

Open to all users.

Languages
English


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

James (J. D.) Delmage Ross (1872-1939) was a public power executive and staunch advocate of the municipal power ownership movement. Credited as the Father of Seattle City Light, Ross worked there as an engineer starting in 1903 and served as its superintendent from 1911 until his death in 1939. In addition, Ross was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to serve on the Securities and Exchange Commission (1935-1937) and was named the first administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration (1937-1939). During his time at both agencies, Ross retained his position at City Light. His pioneering work at City Light included the development of the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project, the Lake Union Steam Plant, and the lighting of Seattle's streets.

J.D. Ross was born in Chatham, Ontario to Scottish immigrant parents. Ross's mother died when he was young. Ross taught school for several years in Chatham after completing two years of college. Suffering from ill health, he decided to try to improve his health and his luck in the Gold fields in the Yukon in 1898, walking from Ontario to the Pacific. Ross was interested in and experimented with electricity and engineering from a young age. Making his way to Seattle from the gold fields in 1903, he got work with the then Seattle Lighting and Water company, the precursor to City Light. The company was planning the development of a hydro-electric project at Cedar Falls, and Ross offered to design the plant. Despite having no formal training in engineering and plant design, his plan was accepted. The success of the plant led to the division of the agency into separate lighting and water offices. Ross became the assistant engineer of the newly formed City Light, and then Supervisor in 1911, a post he held until his death in 1939. Ross became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1905. Ross married Alice Maud Wilson in 1907 in Ontario. While they had no children of their own, they raised Ross's nephew, James S. Ross, after his father died in Cuba, as well as at least two other children.

Ross oversaw the building the Gorge, Diablo and Ruby (later renamed Ross) Dams and power houses on the Skagit. During his tenure, Seattle became the most electrified city in the country. City Light also subsidized the purchase of electrical appliances such as ranges and hot water heaters resulting in Seattle owning more electric ranges than any other city.

Ross remained engaged in scientific work throughout his life. He built a chemistry lab in his basement and experimented with electrical inventions, chemistry and minerals. He did significant research on atomic elements 43 and 75. While he did not receive credit for their discovery, some thought he deserved it. Ross published one book, "New Views on Space, Time and Matter" in 1931 and was completing a second at the time of his death. In addition, he held several patents, including one for a street light cluster that was used in the Seattle street lighting system.

Ross was dedicated advocate of publicly owned utilities and was active in promoting legislation and national organizations supporting public ownership. As a result of his success developing the publicly owned Seattle City Light, he travelled widely, speaking to local groups and consulting on the development of municipal power districts. A prolific letter-writer, Ross corresponded with everyone from Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and Franklin Roosevelt, to the average citizen asking for advice or a hand up. Ross was universally popular with the average citizens of Seattle, as well as progressive politicians. Privately owned power companies, and politicians who resented his prominence and control over City Light, however, worked to undermine him, going so far as to tap his phone or plant listening devices in his house. A particular enemy was C.B. Blethen, publisher of the Seattle Daily Times. With the support of the Times, in 1931, after an active publishing campaign against Ross, then Mayor Frank Edwards dismissed Ross from City Light. Within three months, the City Council unanimously called for a recall election, which succeeded with a significant majority of support from the public. Mayor Edwards was recalled and Ross re-installed as Superintendent.

Ross died unexpectedly in 1939 from complications following a surgery. His funeral in Seattle was attended by thousands of citizens, politicians, and he received full military honors. Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote his epitaph which was engraved on his crypt built into the side of Ross Mountain near Ross Dam on the Skagit River.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Personal and professional papers (predominantly correspondence) of J. D. Ross, spanning his career at Seattle City Light as well as his work on the Securities and Exchange Commission and as administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration. The collection includes Ross's extensive personal research on chemistry, electricity, and engineering and patents, as well as Ross's national work advocating for publicly owned utilities. Also included in the collection are photographs of Ross, his friends and family, and various City Light projects.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Series 1:  PERSONAL PAPERS, 1898-1975,   (bulk 1912-1939) Return to Top

Correspondence with family, family geneology, material un-related to City Light or other professional positions.

Container(s) Description Dates
Subseries 1: Geneology
Box/Folder
1/1
Family History compiled by William McKenzie Ross III
Undated
1/2
Misc. papers and clippings
1957-1975
Subseries 2: Correspondence
Box/Folder
1/3
Letter describing trek to Yukon
1898
1/4
Misc. Family Members
Including Emma and Elizabeth Haworth, Ross's wards
1928-1938
1/5
J.D. Ross to Alice Ross
1935-1937
1/6
Transcripts/Copies of letters from J.D. Ross to Alice Ross
Undated
1/7
Charles Ross's Family in Cuba
1917-1923
1/8
Transcripts of letters to Charles Ross's family
Undated
1/9
Copies of letters to Charles Ross's family
Undated
Subseries 3: Legal Documents
Box/Folder
1/10
J.D.Ross and Alice Ross
1902-1907
1/11
James Ross and Family in Cuba
1920-1035
Subseries 4: Alice Ross
Box/Folder
1/12
Correspondence from family
After 1939
1/13
Material related to G. Harry Wilson, Alice Ross's brother
1940's
1/14
Obituary and estate paper
1956
Subseries 5: Personal Financial
Box/Folder
1/15
Bills/Receipts/Tax papers, 1 of 2
1912-1938
1/16
Bills/Receipts/Tax papers, 2 of 2
1912-1938
1/17
Padilla Bay Oyster Lands, Washington State
1925-1937
1/18
Correspondence and legal papers for Caroline Ann Davis Estate
1924-1939
2/1
Title History for Caroline Ann Davis Estate
Includes copy of original land title for Elliott Bay tidelands
1919
Subseries 6: Other Personal
Box/Folder
2/2
J.D. Ross's dental xrays
1937
2/3
Membership Cards
Fraternal organizations, Red Cross
1922-1940
2/4
Professional license and memberships
1908-1935
2/5
Memorial Books
For Charles Mohler and Mary MacArthur
1924, 1930
2/6
Subpeona
1924
2/7
Drawings and poems
undated
2/8
Misc. material and financial reports for First Presbyterian Church
1919-1944

Series 2:  MINING INVESTMENTSReturn to Top

Correspondence, maps and related material for Ross's mining investments in British Columbia

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/9
Similakeen/Princeton, B.C. Mine
1917-1920
2/10
Correspondence related to Ida Elmore Mine
1920-1924
2/11
Correspondence related to mining equipment
1913-1917
2/12
Free Miners Certificates
1912-1924
2/13
Mining Holdings, Misc.
1913-1935
3/1
Tax and legal papers, Molybdenum Mining and Reduction Company
1916-1939
3/2
Charts and blueprints for Alice Arm, B.C. Mine
undated
Subseries 1: Correspondence
Box/Folder
3/3
A-D
1917-1923
3/4
Banister, Clyde
1917-1920
3/5
Campbell, R.A.
1917-1919
3/6
Castleman, S.J.
1919
3/7
Corwin, T.J.
1917
3/8
Coyne, F.H.
1917
3/9
E-H
1917-1923
3/10
Elliott, G.R.B.
1917
3/11
Hartman, Harold
1917
3/12
Heffernan, J.R.
1919
3/13
Hibbard, George, W.
1917
3/14
J-L
1917-1935
3/15
M
1917-1933
3/16
Maclean, H.A. and McGrath, A.
1919-1920
3/17
MacDonald, W.S.
1917-1920
3/18
McKeen, A.E.
1917
3/19
McKenzie, J.F.
1917-1936
3/20
Mackay, Miller and Green
1917-1922
3/21
Morgan, R.M.
1917-1920
3/22
N-P
1917-1923
3/23
Patmore, W.L.
1917-1920
3/24
R-T
1916-1921
3/25
Stillwell, James B.
1917-1925
3/26
Thomas, Dai
1917-1920
3/27
U-W
1917-1923
3/28
Walkley, A.
1917
3/29
General Correspondence
1950-1952
3/30
Research on Molybdenum

Series 3:  GENERAL CORRESPONDENCEReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
4/1
Unknown
4/2
Misc. Invitations
1932-1938; Bulk 1937-1938
4/3
Business Cards
4/4
A
1919-1938
4/5
B
1926-1938
4/6
Bacher Family
1933-1937
4/7
Bell, Frank
1933-1938
4/8
Bemis, Lloyd
1934-1936
4/9
Boettinger, John and Anna Roosevelt
1937-1938
4/10
Bonbright, James
1938
4/11
Brown, John
1925-1935
4/12
Burton, Chesley J.
1938
4/13
Butchart, Jennie
1928-1929
4/14
C
1916-1938
4/15
Causey, James H.
1933-1938
4/16
Coman, Dana
Including photo of Coman on Antarctic Expedition
1934
4/17
D
1920-1936
4/18
Darwin, L.H.
1931-1932
4/19
Davis, Charles
Correspondence related to development of Peace Park at Blaine, WA
1935
4/20
Dickerman, Judson
1936-1937
4/21
Dore, John F.
1931-1933
4/22
E
1932-1938
4/23
Edison, Thomas A.
1928
4/24
F
1920-1937
4/25
Fischer, John C.
1935-1937
4/26
G
1923-1938
4/27
Gatty Harold
1933-1937
4/28
Gendron, Ulric J.
1938
4/29
Gould, Carl
1933
4/30
Gubin, F.F.
1932-1936
4/31
H
1920-1938
4/32
Hill, Samuel
1929-1930
4/33
Hoover, J. Edgar
1936
4/34
I
1932
5/1
J
1931-1936
5/2
Johnson, Louis
1938
5/3
K
1912-1938
5/4
L
1928-1929
5/5
Land, Gordon
Correspondence from and about Land, Charles Lindbergh's uncle.
1927-1929
5/6
Lear, Harry
1932-1937
5/7
Leonardi, Joe
1932-1935
5/8
M
1922-1939
5/9
Mackey, Gilbert
1936-1937
5/10
"Mary, the Duchess"
1937
5/11
Matthews, M.A.
1914-1938
5/12
Matthews, M.A.
Correspondence related to book by H. B. Creel
1932-1933
5/13
Merton, H.
Detailed description of interior of Ross's home
1933
5/14
Morrow, Veida
1937-1938
5/15
N
1920-1937
5/16
Norris, George
1929-1934
5/17
O
1935-1937
5/18
Ogle, W.H.
1938
5/19
P, Q
1918-1938
5/20
Pasini, Albino
1935-1936
5/21
Pinchot, Gifford
1931
5/22
R
1921-1938
5/23
Roosevelt, Franklin D.
Framed copy of letter from FDR
1937
5/24
Roosevelt, Franklin D.
1931-1939
5/25
Roosevelt, Franklin D.
After 1939
5/26
S
1922-1938
5/27
Shoemaker, F.H. and Helen
1936-1938
6/1
T
1931-1938
6/2
Tesla, Nicola
1915-1921
6/3
U, V
1926-1934
6/4
University of Washington, University of Oregon
Correspondence related to acquisition of Ross's papers
After 1939
6/5
W
1922-1938
6/6
Wehn, James A.
1936
6/7
Wickland, Alma
1918-1919
6/8
Y
1938
6/9
Z
1938
6/10
Zioncheck, Marion and Rubye
1932-1936
6/11
Letters to Alice Ross from others
After 1939

Series 4:  BIOGRAPHIES AND COLLECTED RESEARCHReturn to Top

Including published and unpublished material about Ross's life, work at City Light, and Public Power Advocacy

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
6/12
Biographical material collected by Bob Beck
Includes photo of group of prospectors, strong possibility that man 4th from right is Ross
1936
6/13
Biography by Bob Beck
1956
6/14
Essays by Edwin Parker
Undated
6/15
Misc. biographical sketches
By High School Scholastic Who's Who (1936), Bob Beck (1941), Fred Heath (1943), James S. Ross (1971). Nancy Wilcox (undated), Dave Ross (undated), U.S. Department of Interior (undated)
6/16
Published biographical sketches
Who's Who, Dictionary of American Biography
1938-1956
6/17
Unproduced play by Lucy Mohl
1989
6/18
Proposed books and films
1941-1975
6/19
J.D. Ross, Public Power Magnate, Harpers, by Carl Dreher
1940
6/20
Columbia River Power for the People, by Gus Norwood
1981
6/21
J.D. Ross's Vision, The New Yorker, by Bill Barick
1982
6/22
Misc. Articles
Seattle Times, City Light News, Christian Scientist newsletter
1958-1982
6/23
Collected Research Material
Research references collected by Wesley Arden Dick on Public Power and Ross
1966
6/24
Collected Research Material
Copies of correspondence from Ross to President Franklin D. Roosevelt from the F.D.Roosevelt library by Wesley Arden Dick
1934-1938
6/25
Collected Research Material
Copies of correspondence to President Franklin D. Roosevelt related to Public Power from the F.D. Roosevelt Library by Wesley Arden Dick
1934-1942

Series 5:  WRITINGS AND SPEECHESReturn to Top

Writings related to public ownership of utilities, City Light, personal interests in science and engineering

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
7/1
Plan of Trans-Pacific Radio System
1919
7/2
The Relation of Radiant Energy
1920
7/3
Report on the Power Possibilities of the city of Colorado Springs
1923
7/4
Umatilla Rapids
1925
7/5
Steam Power v. Hydro Power
1929
7/6
The Future of Electricity
1929
7/7
Letter to Seattle Post-Intelligencer
1929
7/8
Power Sources of the Future
1929
7/9
Preface
1929
7/10
Writings related to Legislation
1929
7/11
The Seattle Street Railway
1930
7/12
Untitled, describing energy generation, solenoids
1930
7/13
Selective Transmission of Light
1930
7/14
Obituary for W.R. Hendrey
1932
7/15
The Effect of Cost of Electricity
1933
7/16
The Nature of Gravitation
1933
7/17
The Nature of Gravitation
Undated
7/18
Measurement of Space Density
1933
7/19
Writings related to Stone and Webster and Puget Sound Power and Light
1929-1933
7/20
Talk given to City Light Employee Association
1935
7/21
Writings related to Public Power
1936
7/22
Writings related to Bonneville Power Adminstration
1937, 1938
7/23
Direct Current Transmission
1937
7/24
Why Airplanes crash on the tops of the Rocky Mountains
1937
7/25
Electric power of the Future
1938
7/26
Electrical Heating
Undated
7/27
Untititled, partial manuscript describing energy generation
Undated
7/28
Chemicals
Undated
7/29
Indium
Undated
7/30
Maganese Group, Atomic Numbers 43 and 75
Undated
7/31
Report to the Municipal League of Seattle
Undated

Series 6:  New Views on Space, Time and MatterReturn to Top

Folders marked (confidential) were filed as confidential by Ross's office at the time, but do not currently contain sensitive material.

Container(s) Description Dates
Subseries 1: Correspondence
Box/Folder
7/32
A-D
1931-1934
7/33
Durand, W.F.
1931
7/34
E-H
1931-1934
7/35
Edison, Thomas A.
1931
7/36
Hull, Albert
1931
7/37
Hubbell, Edwin
1931
7/38
J-L
1931-1936
7/39
Jansson, M.E.
1931-1932
7/40
M-P
1931-1934
7/41
R-S
1931-1934
7/42
Roosevelt, Franklin D.
1931
7/43
T
1931-1935
7/44
Tesla, Nicola
1932
7/45
Time Magazine
1931-1935
7/46
U-W
1931-1932
7/47
Whitney, W.R.
1931
8/1
Book Orders
1933-1934
8/2
Misc. Correspondence (confidential)
1931-1934
8/3
Acknowledgement for gift of book, 1 of 2
1949
8/4
Acknowledgement for gift of book, 2 of 2
1949
Subseries 2: Ephemera
Box/Folder
8/5
Sketch for book
Undated
8/6
Marketing materials
1931-1935

Series 7:  The Nature of GravitationReturn to Top

Including multiple drafts of book with hand-written notes

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
8/7
Draft
1933
8/8
Draft
1939
8/9
Draft
1939
8/10
Draft
Undated
8/11
Draft
Undated
9/1
Draft
Undated
9/2
Draft
Undated
9/3
Draft
Undated
9/4
Evaluation of book by Gus Norwood
1976
9/5
Misc. Correspondence
1933-1934
9/6
Research Notes
1933-1934

Series 8:  SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING WORKReturn to Top

Correspondence and notes relating to Ross' personal scientific work as well as his inventions, designs, and related patents.

Folders marked (confidential) were filed as confidential by Ross's office at the time, but do not currently contain sensitive material.
Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
9/7
Notebooks
1919, undated
9/8
Catalogs and Order forms
1919-1935
9/9
Notes and Calculatons
Undated
9/10
Misc. research notes and clippings
1912-1938
Subseries 1: Collected Research Material
Box/Folder
9/11
Heating Systems (confidential)
1928-1933
9/12
Lignites
1934-1937
9/13
Radioactive/mineral waters
1917
9/14
Radio
1918-1922
10/1
Department of Interior Report on Metals
1937-1938
10/2
Reports from State College of Washington
1937
10/3
Trans-Pacific Cable
1914-1919
10/4
Misc. reports
1927, 1938, undated
10/5
Published articles, 1 of 2
10/6
Published articles, 2 of 2
Subseries 2: Patents
Box/Folder
10/7
Street Lighting Cluster
1912
10/8
Refrigerating Machine
1913
10/9
Ore Separation Process and Apparatus
1919
10/10
Light Transmitting Apparatus (not approved)
1938
Subseries 3: Correspondence
Box/Folder
11/1
Unknown name or date
11/2
A
1919-1938
11/3
B
1913-1938
11/4
Bausch and Lomb
1912-1920
11/5
Biddle, James G.
1920
11/6
Braun-Knecht-Heimann
1912-1921
11/7
C
1919-1938
11/8
D
1915-1934
11/9
Doane, S.E.
1919-1920
11/10
Doerner, H.A.
1938
11/11
Durand, W.F.
1920
11/12
E
1912-1935
11/13
Eimer and Amend
1920-1921
11/14
F
1915-1938
11/15
G
1913-1938
11/16
H
1912-1938
11/17
Heath, Fred H.
1914-1938
11/18
Heath, Fred H.
Letter concerning Ross's discovery of Atomic Elements 43 and 75
1943
11/19
Hilger, Adam
1920-1938
11/20
Hopkins, B.S.
1926-1934
11/21
Hull, Albert
1919-1938
11/22
Hull, J.D.
1934
11/23
J
1920-1938
11/24
K
1920-1938
11/25
L
1912-1938
11/26
Lamb, Arthur
1919
11/27
Luckiesh, M.
1919-1938
11/28
M
1919-1938
11/29
MacKay, A.D.
1931-1938
11/30
N
1934-1938
11/31
Nichols, J.B.
1932
11/32
O
1920-1936
11/33
P
1910-1934
11/34
Parson, Charles
1919-1938
11/35
R
1912-1938
11/36
Root, R.P.
1938
11/37
S
1919-1938
11/38
Suzzalo, Henry
1916
11/39
T
1914-1938
11/40
Thomas, Dai
1921-1925
11/41
Thompson, Elihu
1920
11/42
U-V
1924-1931
11/43
Vance, R.C.
1937-1938
11/44
W
1912-1938

Series 9:  SEATTLE CITY LIGHT, 1903-1940'sReturn to Top

Correspondence and papers stemming from Ross' tenure as superintendent of Seattle City Light, as well as facts and figures pertaining to City Light and its projects of the time (especially the Cedar Falls, Skagit, and Diablo dams).

Folders marked (confidential) were filed as confidential by Ross's office at the time, but do not currently contain sensitive material.

Container(s) Description Dates
Subseries 1: Correspondence
Box/Folder
12/1
As City Engineer
Including appointment as superintendent, work for the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition
1907-1911
12/2
Personal notes with Office Staff
1919-1938
12/3
A
1914-1935
12/4
B
1920-1936
12/5
Beck, Robert (Bob)
1935-1939
12/6
Blethen, C.B.
1932
12/7
Bryan, James
1923-1927
12/8
C
1917-1935
12/9
City Council
1923-1935
12/10
Cruse, George
1938
12/11
D
1914-1938
12/12
Dunbar, Glen
1919-1923
12/13
E
1917-1936
12/14
Edward, Frank
1927
12/15
F
1919-1937
12/16
G
1918-1935
12/17
Gellar, C.W.
1914-1915
12/18
Gronen, H.F.
1916-1917
12/19
H
1915-1936
12/20
Hansen, Ole
1918-1919
12/21
Harlan, Kenneth
1930-1931
12/22
J
1931-1936
12/23
Jackson, Marion
1920
12/24
K
1919-1935
12/25
L
1927-1938
12/26
Leonard, A.W.
1919
12/27
M
1917-1936
12/28
Memos, City Light interoffice
Including: public utilities, Bonneville, Franternal organizations, City Light business, Radio, SEC , Skagit and Skagit tours, Puget Sound Power and Light Merger, personal.
1914-1938; bulk 1938
12/29
McKeen, W.J.
1932-1938
12/30
Moulton, M.M.
1922-1926
12/31
Murray, E.K.
1930-1933
12/32
Myers, Guy C.
See also correspondence for Tennessee Valley Authority, Box 20
1933-1936
12/33
N, O
1932-1933
12/34
P, Q
1918-1935
12/35
Penn, M.
1930
12/36
R
1920-1938
12/37
Roberge, G.W.
1929-1931
12/38
S
1920-1938
12/39
T
1924-1935
12/40
W
1912-1938
12/41
Misc. Correspondence, no or unreadable name
1913-1935
12/42
Weekly correspondence to Ross in Washington, D.C.
1936
Subseries 2: Financial
Box/Folder
13/1
Accounts Spreadsheets
Under earlier City Light name of Seattle Lighting and Water
1906-1907
13/2
Financial Reports
1909-1919
13/3
Financial Reports
1924-1929
13/4
Financial Reports
1930-1939
13/5
Published Financial Reports
1930-1938
13/6
Financial Reports
Undated
13/7
Financial Reports
After 1939
13/8
Accounts and Billing
1930-1940
13/9
Copies of First City Light Contracts
1905
13/10
Photographs of account books
1915-1917
13/11
Financial Statement Book
1919
13/12
RFC Loan Application
1932
13/13
Material associated with RFC loan application
1932
13/14
Bonds
1932-1935
13/15
Invoices
1906-1931
13/16
Misc. Notes
1924-1937
Box/Folder
13/17
Salary Dispute and Court Case
1924
13/18
Street Lighting
Including telegram from Thomas Edison
1926-1929
14/1
General Employee Correspondence (confidential)
1915-1938; Bulk 1936-1938
14/2
Baggott, Harold (confidential)
1938
14/3
Misc. Employee papers
1919-1936
14/4
Rise of Your City Light, a history of City Light
Undated
14/5
Writings about City Light by Ross and others
1909-1925
14/6
Bound reports on City Light Property
1933
14/7
World's Greatest Municipal Power Project, by W.R. Stewart
Undated
14/8
Material related to other municipal utilities
1915-1929
14/9
Clippings related to City Light
1926-1940's
14/10
Birthday Pledges to Ross
1935
14/11
Misc. Papers (confidential)
1920-1936
14/12
Dedication of SS J.D. Ross Liberty Ship
1943
14/13
Appointments for speaking engagements
1928-1935
14/14
Large, annotated wall calendars
1931-1935
Subseries 3 : Ephemera
Box/Folder
14/15
Miscellaneous
Copy of check for $1.5 million to City of Seattle, Libretto of City Light Male Quartette, Blank City Light letterhead
1920, 1934
14/16
Brochures
1935-1937
14/17
Brochures
After 1939
29/1 (oversize)
Photo of bronze plaque of Ross in City Light Building
1935
29/6 (oversize)
Blueprints for City Light Building
1931
Subseries 4: Skagit
Box/Folder
15/1
Development plants
Undated
15/2
Estimated cost and general data
1931
15/3
Bound Copy of Diablo Specs
1934
15/4
Special Use permit for railroad right of way
1926
15/5
Application to Administrator of Pubic Works for Skagit River project
1933
15/6
Writings on Skagit Development, by Ross
1928-1930
15/7
Cost Calculations and plans
1918-1939
15/8
General Correspondence
1925-1939
15/9
Misc. material related to Skagit
Biography of Skagit pionee August Dohne, transcript of 1939 radio broadcast, transcripts of conversations betwen Ross and Mr. Lindsay
1921, 1939
15/10
Skagit tour brochures and post cards
15/11
Skagit Tour and Ross Lake brochures
after 1939
29/8 (oversize)
Blueprints for Diablo Dam
1932
29/9 (oversize)
Blueprints submitted with Gorge Dam proposal
1921
28/3 (oversize clipping)
Seattle Daily Times on completion of Diablo Dam
1930
15/12
Plant Catalogs
1925-1936
15/13
Correspondence re: plants/animals
1932
15/14
Correspondence re: plants/animals
1933
15/15
Correspondence re: plants/animals
1934
16/1
Correspondence re: plants/animals
1935
16/2
Correspondence re: plants/animals
1936-1938
Box/Folder
16/3
Subseries 5: Lake Union Steam Plant
General correspondence and papers
1918-1920
Subseries 6: Cedar Falls
Box/Folder
16/4
Correspondence
1910-1929
16/5
Financial Reports
1919-1920
16/6
Employee records and reports
1919-1920
16/7
Development plans
1919
29/3 (oversize)
Development plans
1919
Subseries 7: Puget Sound Power and Light Merger
Box/Folder
16/8
Correspondence
1933-1935
16/9
Correspondence (confidential)
1928-1938
16/10
Campaign for and against merger
1933-1934
16/11
Misc. writings related to PSP&L and merger
1925-1935
16/12
Material related to PSP&L business in other districts
1938-1949
16/13
Reports and material related to PSP&L
1928-1936
Subseries 8: Dismissal/Reinstatement and Recall
Box/Folder
17/1
Council Meeting minutes, March 16
1931
17/2
Correspondence
c. 1931
17/3
Congratulation letters on reinstatement
1931
17/4
Misc. Notes
c. 1931
17/5
Misc. Notes (confidential)
circa 1931
17/6
Campaign against Ross
circa 1931
17/7
Material defending Ross's record
circa 1931
17/8
Articles and clippings
circa 1931
box-folder:oversize
28/5
The Passing Show
1932
28/6
Your City Searchlight
1931
28/7
Your City Searchlight
1931
28/8
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
1931
28/10
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
1931

Series 10:  ROSS'S DEATHReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
17/9
Condolence letters
1939
17/10
Thank you letters from W.J. McKeen at City Light
1939
17/11
Tributes from Bonneville and City Light Publications
1939
17/12
Misc. Tributes
from civic organizations, government agencies and private organizations
17/13
Floral Tributes and Funeral Sermon
1939
17/14
Masoleum at Newhalem
1956
17/15
Physician's Report
1939
17/16
Obituary and misc. clippings
1939

Series 11:  BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATIONReturn to Top

Folders marked [confidential] were filed as confidential by Ross's office at the time, but do not currently contain sensitive material.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
18/1
Correspondence, General, A-Z
1937-1938
18/2
Correspondence, Fischer, John G.
1934-1938
18/3
Correspondence, Lancaster, Samuel
1938
18/4
Correspondence, Congratulations on appointment
1937
18/5
General Correspondence (confidential)
1938
18/6
Correspondence related to appointment of Claude McCulloch
18/7
General
After 1939
18/8
BPA Publications
1939
18/9
BPA Publications
After 1939
18/10
Booklet: The Bonneville Project
1938
18/11
Land Survery of Columbia Basin [confidential]
1933
18/12
Regional Power Structures [confidential]
1938, Undated
18/13
Misc. Reports and Notes
1937-1938
18/14
Reports
After 1939
18/15
Notebooks
1937, 1938
18/16
Ephemera
Undated
18/17
J.D. Ross Substation
1941, 1970's
box-folder:oversize
29/2
The Columbia Gateway
See letter from Samuel Lancaster, Box 18
1938
Box/Folder
18/18
Misc. Clippings
1940
18/19
Misc. Clippings
1940's
18/20
Columbia Basin Power Projects
1933
box-folder:oversize
28/1
The Seattle Star
1936

Series 12:  NEW YORK-ST. LAWRENCE HYDRO-ELECTRIC PROJECTReturn to Top

Correspondence and reports related to Ross' work on the St. Lawrence River Hydroelectric Power Project. During his brief 1931 dismissal from City Light, Ross went to consult in New York for then-Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the project; Ross was a natural choice given his role in the success of the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project. Once re-instated at City Light, Ross maintained contact with the project and the governor.

Folders marked (confidential) were filed as confidential by Ross's office at the time, but do not currently contain sensitive material.
Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
19/1
Correspondence--General, A-Z
1931-1935
19/2
Correspondence--Cooke, Morris Llewellyn
1929-1931
19/3
Correspondence--Cooke, Morris Llewellyn
1932
19/4
Correspondence--Cooke, Morris Llewellyn
1933-1934
19/5
Correspondence--Cooke, Morris Llewellyn
1936-1938
19/6
Correspondence--Olds, Leland
1931-1935
19/7
Correspondence--Roosevelt, Franklin D.
1931
19/8
Conference, Institute for Public Engineering
1933
19/9
Notes and Calculations
19/10
Photographs
Undated
19/11
Consultant Fee
1932
19/12
Misc. reports by Morris L. Cooke
1932-1934
19/13
Misc. reports by Morris L. Cooke (confidential)
1932-1933
19/14
Distribution of Electrical EnergyClayton Pike
1932
19/15
Memo on St. Lawrence Water PowerRobert Horton
1931
19/16
Rural ElectrificationJ.D. Ross
1933
19/17
Misc. reports
1931-1932
19/18
Preliminary data for St. Lawrence Project
1930
19/19
Draft, Costs of St. Lawrence Hydro-PowerJ.D. Ross
1931
19/20
Draft, Costs of St. Lawrence Hydro-PowerJ.D. Ross
1931
20/1
Draft, Costs of St. Lawrence Hydro-PowerJ.D. Ross
1931
20/2
Edits, Costs of St. Lawrence Hydro-Power
1931
20/3
Response to Prof. Bonbright's edits
1931
20/4
Costs of St. Lawrence Hydro-PowerJ.D. Ross
1931
20/5
The Cost and Selling Price of St. Lawrence HydropowerJ.D. Ross
1931
20/6
Government Hydro vs. Steam Power
1936

Series 13:  SECURITIES EXCHANGE COMMISSIONReturn to Top

Correspondence (especially congratulations) and reports related to Ross' time on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Folders marked (confidential) were filed as confidential by Ross's office at the time, but do not currently contain sensitive material.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
20/7
General Correspondence
1935-1937
20/8
General Correspondence (confidential)
1935
20/9
Congratulation on appointment
1935
20/10
Reports
1937
20/11
SEC Notebook
1936
20/12
Tribute book on leaving SEC
See Accession 0838-002
1937
20/13
Ephemera
20/14
Clippings
1935

Series 14:  OTHER PROFESSIONAL POSITIONSReturn to Top

Folders marked (confidential) were filed as confidential by Ross's office at the time, but do not currently contain sensitive material.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
20/15
National Power Survey
1934
20/16
Tennessee Valley Authority--General Correspondence
1933-1937
20/17
Tennessee Valley Authority--General Correspondence (confidential)
1933-1937
20/18
Tennessee Valley Authority--Bessessen, Ben B. Correspondence
1931-1936
20/19
Tennessee Valley Authority--Camp, Henry M. Correspondence
1933-1934
20/20
Tennessee Valley Authority--Myers, Guy C. Correspondence
1932-1936
20/21
Tennessee Valley Authority--Nebraska Power Purchase clippings
1946
20/22
Prince Rupert Hydro-Electric
1914

Series 15:  LEGISLATIONReturn to Top

Correspondence, pamphlets, and other materials surrounding public utility and electric district legislation at the state level. Much of the correspondence relates to legislation put forth by Homer T. Bone, which would allow municipal electrical utilities to sell their services outside city limits. A hard fought battle, the 'Bone Bill' was first introduced in 1922 and did not pass the legislature until 1933. Another piece of Bone legislation that garnered Ross' support and that is represented in this collection is the Grange Bill of 1931.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
21/1
Bone, Homer Correspondence
1924-1937
21/2
Initiative 52, "Bone Bill"--Correspondence, A-H
1924
21/3
Initiative 52, "Bone Bill"--Correspondence, I-W
1924
21/4
Initiative 52, "Bone Bill"--General correspondence and papers
1924
21/5
Initiative 52, "Bone Bill"--Campaign Materials
1924
21/6-7
Initiative 52, "Bone Bill"--Petition Drive
1924
21/8
Initiative 1, "Power District Bill"--General Correspondence
1930
21/9
Initiative 1, "Power District Bill"--District Power Bill Committee Correspondence
1930
21/10
Initiative 1, "Power District Bill"--Misc. notes and papers
1930
21/11
Initiative 1, "Power District Bill"--Campaign materials
1930
22/1
HJR 10, Correspondence and related papers
1935
22/2
Charter Amendment 2, Correspondence and related papers
1931
22/3
Referendum 18, Correspondence and related papers
1934
22/4
Bond Refinancing Bills, Correspondence and related papers
1937
22/5
Jacobs Bill, Correspondence and related papers
1927
22/6
Utility Bond Bill, Correspondence and related papers
1925-1927
22/7
Misc. Legislation, Correspondence and related papers
1923-1938
22/8
Misc. Legislation, printed bills and ephemera
1921-1938
22/9
Candidates and endorsements
1930-1938
22/10
Referendum 25, Correspondence and related papers
1944
22/11
Writings on Public Power Legislation, by J.D. Ross

Series 16:  PUBLIC UTILITIES ADVOCACYReturn to Top

Folders marked (confidential) were filed as confidential by Ross's office at the time, but do not currently contain sensitive material.

Container(s) Description Dates
Subseries 1: Correspondence
Box/Folder
23/1
A
1930-1938
23/2
B
1930-1938
23/3
Bauer, John
1932
23/4
Beebe, O.E.
1938
23/5
C
1930-1938
23/6
Centralia
1936-1938
23/7
Cluck, Ernest
1937-1938
23/8
Clyde, Ralph
1930-1938
23/9
Cunningham, James
1930
23/10
D
1930-1938
23/11
Darwin, L.H.
1932-1936
23/12
E
1930-1938
23/13
F
1930-1938
23/14
Fitts, Frank
1938
23/15
Franklin, John
1936
23/16
G
1930-1938
23/17
H
1930-1938
23/18
Harlan, Kenneth
1928
23/19
I, J
1930-1938
23/20
Ickes, Harold
1936
23/21
K, L
1930-1938
23/22
M
1930-1938
23/23
McDonell, R.E.
1928-1934
23/24
Moore, M.M.
1937
23/25
N, O
1930-1938
23/26
P
1930-1938
23/27
Pomona Grange
1936
23/28
Q, R
1930-1938
23/29
Rogers, F. Ray
1936
23/30
S
1930-1938
23/31
Spaulding, Willis
1936
23/32
T
1930-1938
23/33
U, V
1930-1938
23/34
W
1930-1938
23/35
Wallerstein, Morton
1932
23/36
Wilcox, J.C.
1938
23/37
Misc. Correspondence
23/38
Misc. Correspondence (confidential)
1919, Undated
Subseries 2: Reports
Box/Folder
23/39
Misc. Reports 1 of 2
1928-1938
23/40
Misc. Reports 2 of 2
1928-1938
Subseries 3: Conferences
Box/Folder
23/41
Misc.Meetings
1933, 1935
23/42
Public Power and Light Conference
1928
23/43
World Power Converence
1936
23/44
Investment Bankers Association of America
1936
item
Subseries 4
Articles and Clippings
Box/Folder
23/45
Published articles
1930-1962
23/46
Clippings
1932-1935
Subseries 5: National Popular Government League
Box/Folder
23/47
Correspondence
Primarily with Judson King
23/48
Reports and publications

Series 17:  PUBLIC OWNERSHIP LEAGUEReturn to Top

Folders marked (confidential) were filed as confidential by Ross's office at the time, but do not currently contain sensitive material.

Container(s) Description Dates
Subseries 1: Correspondence
Box/Folder
24/1
B
1930-1936
24/2
Baker, J.G.
1930
24/3
D
1930-1936
24/4
H
1930-1936
24/5
M
1930-1936
24/6
N
1930-1936
24/7
R
1930-1936
24/8
S
1930-1936
24/9
Spaeth, Eleanor
1936-1938
24/10
T
1930-1936
24/11
Thompson, Carl D.
1928
24/12
Thompson, Carl D.
1930
24/13
Thompson, Carl D.
1932
24/14
Thompson, Carl D.
1933
24/15
Thompson, Carl D.
1934
24/16
Thompson, Carl D.
1935
24/17
Thompson, Carl D.
1936
24/18
Thompson, Carl D.
1937
24/19
Thompson, Carl D.
1938
24/20
W
1938
Subseries 2: 1928 Seattle Conference
Box/Folder
24/23
Correspondence- A
1928
24/24
Correspondence - B
1928
24/25
Correspondence - Barner, George
1928
24/26
Correspondence - C
1928
24/27
Correspondence - D
1928
24/28
Correspondence - E
1928
24/29
Correspondence - Erickson, Oliver
1928
24/30
Correspondence - Edward, Frank
1928
24/31
Correspondence - F
1928
24/32
Correspondence - G
1928
24/33
Correspondence - Gaby, Frederick
1928
24/34
Correspondence - H
1928
24/35
Correspondence - Harlan, Kenneth
1928
24/36
Correspondence - Haynes, John R.
1928
24/37
Correspondence - Heighton, Charles
1928
24/38
Correspondence - Hichborn, Franklin
1928
24/39
Correspondence - I, J
1928
24/40
Correspondence - K
1928
24/41
Correspondence - L
1928
24/42
Correspondence - M
1928
24/43
Correspondence - MacKay, W.V.
1928
24/44
Correspondence - N
1928
24/45
Correspondence - P
1928
25/1
Correspondence - Pinchot, Gifford
1928
25/2
Correspondence - R
1928
25/3
Correspondence - S
1928
25/4
Correspondence - Scattergood, E.F.
1928
25/5
Correspondence - Smith, C.A.
1928
25/6
Correspondence - T
1928
25/7
Correspondence - Thompson, Carl D.
1928
25/8
Correspondence - Thorpe, John T.
1928
25/9
Correspondence - U,V
1928
25/10
Correspondence - W
1928
25/11
Correspondence - X, Y, Z
1928
25/12
Misc. Conference material (confidential)
1928
25/13
Minutes
1928
25/14
Program Invitations
1928
25/15
Invitee Lists
1928
25/16
Program Notes
1928
25/17
Papers
1928
Subseries 3: 1935 Washington DC Conference
Box/Folder
25/18
General Correspondence
1935
25/19
Correspondence - Beck, Robert (Bob)
1935
25/20
Correspondence - Thompson, Carl D.
1935
25/21
Material related to conference
1935
25/22
How Long is the Yardstick
Paper presented by J.D. Ross at Conference
1935
Other Public Ownership League Materials
Box/Folder
24/21
Misc. Publications
1928-1938
24/22
Ephemera
25/23
Misc. Public Ownership League meetings
1934, 1935

Series 18:  EPHEMERAReturn to Top

Folders marked (confidential) were filed as confidential by Ross's office at the time, but do not currently contain sensitive material.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
25/24
Brochures
25/25
Drawings
25/26
Maps
1906
25/27
Miscellaneous
25/28
Paging Slips
1932, 1934
25\29
Postcards
25/30
Programs
25/31
Printed Material
25/32
Receipts
25/33
Ticket Stubs
25/34
WWI
25/35
Miscellaneous (confidential)

Series 19:  ClippingsReturn to Top

Miscellaneous clippings related to City Light business, topics of personal interest, about J.D. Ross, separated and filed by year.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
26/1
Clippings
Undated
26/2
Clippings
1918-1919
26/3
Clippings
1924
26/4
Clippings
1925-1927
26/5
Clippings
1928
26/6
Clippings
1929
box-folder:oversize
28/4
Oversize clippings: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
1929
Box/Folder
26/7
Clippings
1930
26/8
Clippings
1931
box-folder:oversize
28/2
Oversize clippings: Broad-Axe
1931
28/9
Oversize clippings: The Seattle Daily Flotus
1931
Box/Folder
26/9
Clippings
1932
26/10
Clippings
1933
26/11
Clippings
1934
26/12
Clippings
1935
26/13
Clippings
1936
26/14
Clippings
1937
26/15
Clippings
1938
26/16
Clippings
Material related to City Light, Skagit and Bonneville after Ross's death
1940's
26/17
Columns by Anne Roosevelt Boettinger (FDR's daughter) for Seattle P.I.
1941
26/18
Clippings
1950's
26/19
Clippings
1960's
26/20
Clippings
1970's
26/21
Clippings
1980's
26/22
Clippings
1990's

Series 20:  PHOTOGRAPHSReturn to Top

Photographs of J.D. Ross, friends and family, and City Light projects from the era.

Container(s) Description Dates
Subseries 1: City Light
Box/Folder
27/1
Miscellaneous
Undated
27/2
32 Year Plaque
1935
27/3
Skagit River
Undated
27/4
Skagit River Project
1939
27/5
Cedar Falls
1939
27/6
Diablo Powerhouse and Dam
1939
27/7
Gorge Powerhouse and Dam
1939
27/8
Ruby/Ross Powerhouse and Dam
1939
27/9
Newhalem
1939
27/10
Lake Union Steam Plant
Undated
27/11
New City Light Building
1930
Subseries 2: Other Professional
Undated
Box/Folder
27/12
Ross and Bonneville
Undated
27/13
Tennessee Valley Authority Wilson Dam
Undated
Subseries 3: Personal
Box/Folder
27/14
Science and engineering experiments
Undated
27/15
Ross's House
Undated
27/16
Candids
Undated
27/17
Alice Ross
Undated
27/18
J.D. and Alice Ross
Undated
27/19
Portraits
Undated
box-folder:oversize
29/7
Portraits
Undated
Box/Folder
27/20
Framed portrait
Undated
27/21
Friends and Family
Undated
27/22
Charles Ross's funeral in Cuba
Undated
27/23
Plants and gardens
Undated
27/24
Funeral
1939
27/25
Crypt at Skagit
Undated
27/26
Early photos/family/Chatham
Undated
Subseries 4: Miscellaneous
Box/Folder
27/27
Unidentified
Undated
box-folder:oversize
29/4
Unidentified Dam
1933
29/5
USS Frigate Constitution
1933

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)--Specimens
  • Electric power--United States
  • Electric utilities--Washington (State)
  • Hydroelectric power plants--New York (State)
  • Mines and mineral resources--British Columbia
  • Photographs--Specimens
  • Public utilities--Law and legislation
  • Public utilities--Washington (State)
  • Personal Names :
  • Beck, Robert W
  • Cooke, Morris Llewellyn, 1872-1960--Correspondence
  • Hoover, J. Edgar (John Edgar), 1895-1972--Correspondence
  • Myers, Guy C
  • Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945--Correspondence
  • Ross, J. D. (James Delmage), 1872-1939--Archives
  • Ross, J. D. (James Delmage), 1872-1939--Death and burial
  • Ross, J. D. (James Delmage), 1872-1939--Family
  • Ross, J. D. (James Delmage), 1872-1939--Family--Photographs
  • Ross, J. D. (James Delmage), 1872-1939--Photographs
  • Suzzallo, Henry, 1875-1933--Correspondence
  • Tesla, Nikola, 1856-1943--Correspondence
  • Thompson, Carl Dean, 1870-1949--Correspondence
  • Corporate Names :
  • Public Ownership League of America
  • Public Ownership League of America--Congresses
  • Seattle (Wash.). Department of Lighting
  • Seattle City Light--Finance
  • Seattle City Light--Records and correspondence
  • Skagit River Hydroelectric Project
  • Skagit River Hydroelectric Project--Photographs
  • Tennessee Valley Authority
  • United States. Bonneville Power Administration
  • United States. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Business correspondence
  • Ephemera
  • Patents
  • Personal correspondence
  • Personal papers
  • Photographs
  • Research (documents)
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Bone, Homer Truett, 1883-1970 (creator)
    • Coffee, John Main, 1897- (creator)
    • Cottrell, Frederick Gardner, 1877-1948 (creator)
    • Dickerman, Judson C (creator)
    • Dill, Clarence C. (Clarence Cleveland), 1884-1978 (creator)
    • England, William H (creator)
    • Finny, Ruth (creator)
    • King, Bertha (creator)
    • King, Judson, 1872-1958 (creator)
    • La Follette, Robert M. (Robert Marion), 1855-1925 (creator)
    • McNinch, Frank R (creator)
    • Neal, Mr. (John Randolph), 1836-1889 (creator)
    • Olds, Leland, 1890-1960 (creator)
    • Schwellenbach, Lewis B. (Lewis Baxter), 1894-1948 (creator)
    • Corporate Names :
    • United States. Department of the Interior. Office of the Secretary (creator)