Albert (Bert) and Rachel Jamison Loper papers, 1893-1975  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Loper, Bert, 1869-1949
Title
Albert (Bert) and Rachel Jamison Loper papers
Dates
1893-1975 (inclusive)
Quantity
0.5 linear feet
Collection Number
Accn2090
Summary
The Albert (Bert) Loper and Rachel Jamison Loper papers (1893-1975) contain travel logs, commentary, river reports, correspondence, and newspaper articles from both Albert Loper (1869-1949) and Rachel Loper (1892-1975). Bert Loper know as the " The Grand Old Man of the Colorado" is one of the most well know early river runners. He was said to have covered more miles over the Colorado than any other man during his lifetime. After his death in 1949, his remains were found 26 years later in April, 1975 and buried with his wife who had died in February 1975.
Repository
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections.
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT
84112-0860
Telephone: 801-581-8863
SPCreference@lists.utah.edu
Access Restrictions

Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Languages
English


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Albert (Bert) Loper (1869-1949) was born July 31, 1869 in Bowling Green, Missouri. He came to Utah in 1886 and made his first trip down the Green river at age 24. Spending most of him time living on the banks of the Colorado River, at age 47, Bert met Rachel Jamison (1892-1975) an immigrant from Aberdeen, Scotland who shared his love for the rivers of the west. Rachel was born to William and Jane Grossic Jamison in Woodside, Aberdeen on 11 March, 1892. Rachel emigrated from Scotland, as young women, with her mother and other family members on 14 August 1914. Rachel and Bert were married in Loa, Utah on 29 April, 1916. They had two children, neither of whom survived. Bert Loper was also a veteran of the Spanish-American war.

Bert made many trips on the San Juan, Green and Colorado rivers and was said to have covered more miles over the Colorado than any other man during his lifetime. As one of the best known early river runners, Bert, " The Grand Old Man of the Colorado," continued to brave the rapids into his late seventies, piloting 32 seniors of the Salt Lake council of Boy Scouts, in 1947, down the Colorado River and brought them safely home. In an effort to make one more trip through the Grand Canyon of the Colorado for his 80th birthday, his boat capsized and he was lost in the water on 8 July, 1949. His remains were found 26 years later in April, 1975 and buried with his wife who had died 2 month earlier, 8 February, 1975. There were memorials erected in honor of Bert on the Colorado River at mile 41 where his boat was recovered, in Green River and Red Canyon. After Bert's death, Rachel moved from their home in Green River and worked at Tooele Ordinance Depot until her retirement in 1958. She lived in Salt Lake and continued to stay close to her sister's family, the Busenbark's. She died after a long illness in a Salt Lake nursing home in 1975.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Albert (Bert) Loper and Rachel Jamison Loper papers (1893-1975) contain documents created by both Bert and Rachel Loper. The collection includes a brief autobiography of Bert's childhood, typescript travel logs and commentary written by Bert from numerous river trips, his diary entries (1907-1939), articles and reports of river conditions and Bert's general correspondence and scouting logs. The remaining half of the collection spans the period after Bert's death until the recovery of his remains in 1975 and includes memorial information, publications, and Rachel's correspondence, the reports from his accident and the condolences Rachel received and newspaper articles from 1909 to 1975. A few pieces and were added by William Busenbark (nephew to the Loper's and donor of this collection) after the death of Rachel Loper in February 1975. The majority of the material spans 1893 to 1951.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

Permission to publish material from the Albert (Bert) and Rachel Jamison Loper papers must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator.

Preferred Citation

Initial Citation: Albert (Bert) and Rachel Jamison Loper papers, Accn 2090, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Following Citations:Accn 2090.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The Albert (Bert) Loper Diaries, Travel Logs and Commentaries, 1893-1949Return to Top

Container(s): Box 1

Container(s) Description Dates
box
1
Folder
1
Travel Log
Includes a brief autobiography of Bert's childhood.
1893-1933
2
Travel Log
1936-1939
3
Commentary, Articles and Letters
1939-1941
4
Diary
1907
5
Cataract Canyon Diary entries
1907
6
Trip Notes
1907
7
Diary
1908
8
Diary
1909
9
Diary
1910
10
Diary
1911
11
Diary
1912
12
Diary
Contains one page only.
1915
13
Diary
Contains one page only.
1936
14
Diary
1939
15
Manuscript "A Riverman's Career" by H. Elwyn Blake
16
Manuscript Untitled
17
Manuscript, "My trip to the top of the mountain"
18
Colorado River and Cataract Canyon Information
19
Rapids of Mention
Contains one log
20
Missing and Presumed Death on Rapids
21
Lee's Ferry
22
Salmon River Canyon
23
Controversies of the Colorado River, comments
24
Chapter Editing Notes
1907-1939
25
Research Notes
26
Rowboat Specifications
27
Mining Report and Maps
28
"Mesa Miracle" a Mining Publication
29
Centralia, Washington Brochure
30
Postcards from Bert to Rachel
1916-1920
31
Bert Correspondence
1930-1939
32
Bert Correspondence
1940-1949
33
Scouting Logs
1948-1949

The Rachel Jamison Loper papers, 1949-1975Return to Top

Container(s): Box 2

Container(s) Description Dates
box
2
Folder
1
Mile 41 Memorial
1949
2
Greenriver Memeorial
1949-1950
3
"Man Against the River," by Pearl B. Baker
1967-1969
4
Peresonal Items
Includes items such as: address books, drivers license, a memo book and a small bible.
5
Rainbow Camera Club of Utah's Spectrum
6
United Spanish War Veterans
1930s-1940s
7
Publications with Mention
1949-1975
8
Rachel's Correspondence to Bert
Contains only one anniversary card
1948
9
Rachel's Cards to Bert, after his death
1949-1955
10
Rachels Correspondence, Investigation of Berts Death
1949-1950
11
Rachel Correspondence, received after bereavement
1949
12
Rachel "Yearbook 1944"
13
Rachel Correspondence, Miscellaneous
1943-1971
14
Collected Poems
15
Newspaper Articles
1909-1975
16
Remains Found in 1975
Includes the funeral program when Bert's remains were buried beside his wife.
17
Funeral Programs for Grace Busenbark and Floyd Hunt
1975

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Boatmen--Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico)
  • Boats and boating--Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico)
  • Rafting (Sports)--Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico)
  • Personal Names :
  • Loper, Bert, 1869-1949--Archives
  • Loper, Rachel Jamison, 1892-1975