Oral Histories

Interview of Joseph Jensen

Chief petroleum engineer and assistant to the western general manager for the Tidewater Oil Company.
Developing California's Natural Resources
Oral History of California Water Resources Development
Urban Planning and Land Use
Water Resources
Biographical Note:
Chief petroleum engineer and assistant to the western general manager for the Tidewater Oil Company.
Schippers, Donald J.
Jensen, Joseph
Persons Present:
Jensen and Schippers.
Place Conducted:
Sessions one to three: Southern Pacific Building in Los Angeles, California, Sessions four to nine: Metropolitan Water District Office in Los Angeles, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Donald J. Schippers, Interviewer-Editor, Oral History Program; B.A., American History, Occidental College.
Processing of Interview:
The editing of the manuscript was completed by the interviewer on July 13, 1967. The verbatim transcriptions of the interviews were edited for spelling and punctuation.Slight changes in grammar and syntax were made where required. The transcriptions were then arranged into chapters in order to provide proper consistency in chronology and topics discussed. The transcriptions were reviewed by Mr. Jensen and returned to the Program on April 2, 1970. He made significant additions and provided retrospective commentary on the development in certain subject areas since the time of theinterviews.The index and introduction were prepared by Melanie Rangno, UCLA Oral History Program.
10 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
This series had its origin in a grant from the University of California Water resources Center in 1965. The project was a joint effort by the UCLA Oral History Program and the Regional Oral History Office, University of California, Berkeley. For some years after the close of the grant period, limited interviewing in this area continued.
Parents' arrival in Salt Lake City, 1878; father's conversion to Mormonism in Denmark in 1870s; strict Mormon upbringing; economic panic, 1893; night messenger boy with Associated Press, Salt Lake City, 1901; courses in mining, engineering, and geology, University of Utah; draftsman and assistant mine surveyor at Delamar, Nevada, gold mines, 1906; appointment to Field Service of General Land Office, United States Department of Interior, 1908; dispute between sheepmen and cattlemen in Wyoming over railroad lands; investigation of coal-bearing lands in southern Utah; Mormon mission to Germany, 1908; visiting metal, coal, and potash mines in Europe; study at University of Freiburg; scholarship for further study at Columbia University; move to California, 1913; investigation of mineral deposits; oil exploration in Lost Hills, Kern County; mineral deposits at Searles Lake, San Bernardino County; association of more than fifty years with California oil industry, including Associated, Tidewater, and Getty companies; activities in California water development since 1927; member, Water and Power Committee, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce; chamber's support for William Mulholland's development of Owens Valley; chamber committee to develop plan for bringing water from Colorado River, 1925; Lucius K. Chase; formation of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), 1928; construction of aqueduct from Colorado River listed by American Society of Civil Engineers as one of seven modern engineering wonders of United States, 1955; Mulholland and Ezra F. Scattergood conception of Colorado River Aqueduct; Edison Company steam plant at Los Angeles harbor; Harry J. Bauer; Los Angeles Gas and Electric taken over by Los Angeles City Department of Water and Power, 1937; MWD annexations; chairs MWD board; problems of MWD and California State Water Project; relations with San Diego Water Authority; Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, Sr.; desalinization plant; future sources of water.