Thomas M. Robins papers , 1912-1964

Overview of the Collection

Robins, Thomas M. (Thomas Matthew), 1881-1965
Thomas M. Robins papers
1912-1964 (inclusive)
13.25 linear feet, (8 containers)  :  5 record storage boxes, 1 small artifact box, 1 clamshell box, 1 oversize folder
Collection Number
Ax 278
Thomas Matthew Robins was a native of Maryland who graduated from West Point and served in Cuba in 1908 and in World War I. He later moved to Portland, Oregon where he was in charge of construction of the Bonneville Dam. Collection contains engineering project and research files, speeches, correspondence, personal information and photographs.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 5413463068
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Additional Reference Guides

Paper finding aid with additional information is available in Special Collections and University Archives, Paulson Reading Room.

See the Current Collection Guide for detailed description and requesting options.

Funding for production of this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Thomas Matthew Robins was born in Snow Hill, Maryland and graduated from West Point in 1904, as a Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. He served in Cuba in 1908, and in Manila from 1909 to 1912. During World War I he was the engineer officer at the Hoboken, New Jersey port of embarkation.

By 1929 he was the division engineer of the Southern Pacific Division, headquartered in San Francisco, California; he would later become the division engineer of the Northern Pacific Division in Portland, Oregon. While in Portland, he was in charge of all rivers, harbors, and flood control work, including construction of the Bonneville Dam. He was later stationed at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, and became Deputy Chief of Engineers. He retired in 1945, and did private consulting work.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Collection consists of engineering project and research files, which include correspondence, legislation, drawings, reports, and manuscripts. Projects include the Yale Dam, the Pelton hydroelectric development, and the dams of the Idaho Power Company. Also included are reports by commissions, corporations, and associations, including the National Water Conservation Conference, Pacific Northwest Development Association, National Reclamation Association, and Interstate Compact Commission. The correspondence is largely official in nature (1931-1945), except for an exchange of about three hundred letters, 1913-1919, between Robins and Eleanor Reifsnider, who would later become Mrs. Thomas M. Robins.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Civil engineering--United States
  • Dams, locks, and canals
  • Dams--Northwest, Pacific
  • Engineers--Oregon--Portland
  • Engineers--United States
  • Hydroelectric power plants--United States--Design and construction

Personal Names

  • Robins, Thomas M. (Thomas Matthew), 1881-1965
  • Robins, Thomas M. (Thomas Matthew), 1881-1965

Corporate Names

  • United States. Army. Corps of Engineers

Form or Genre Terms

  • Correspondence
  • Photographs
  • Project files