The following is a collection of oral histories covering the growth and development of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) as seen by the participants – its employees.  The collection preserves the stories of distinctive and diverse individuals whose historical experiences have shaped the collective memory of DWP.

It is our belief that the interviews are not only an important source of DWP history but are useful to today's management in providing context to current issues.


Interviews (Alphabetical Listing)

Babb, David E – Retired Range and Wildlife Management Specialist

Barrows, Thomas Eugene “Gene” – Retired January 31, 1964 as Electrical Plant Superintendent, Independence, California.

Blair, Doreen W. – A DWP “BRAT” GROWING UP IN THE OWENS GORGE - Began working for the DWP August 2, 1948, in the position of Intermediate Clerk Typist. Retired in the position of Principal Stenographer, Water Executive Office, January 1, 1986.

Bosworth, Kenneth L.– Superintendent of Haynes Generating Station (1979 – Interview Date 1990).

Buchholz, Duane D. – Retired Engineer of Water Engineering Design Division

Currie, Burton A. (Chief Electrical Engineer and Assistant Manager - Retired: 1973; "Power Operations and Communications" - Interviewed: 1992)

Doherty, Patrick D. - Retired July 1, 1989, Western Water District Superintendent – “Working for the DWP”

Driscoll, Alfred H. - Employed by the Office of the City Attorney for Water and Power (1937-70).

Edgar, Alvin – AN AQUEDUCT PARTOLMAN/RESERVOIR KEEPER’S LIFE- Alvin joined the DWP July 1, 1925 as a laborer in the Water System.  Retired December 1, 1973 as a reservoir keeper at Fairmont Reservoir.

Farrell, Edward C. – Retired Chief Assistant City Attorney for Water and Power

Forthal, Albert – Retired 1978, Sanitary Engineering

Franklin, James W. – Retired June 30, 1971 as Executive Staff Assistant, General Plant Division.

Fukuda, Ernest Takuichi - Retired on September 30, 1967 as a Civil Engineering Associate – “The First Japanese American at DWP”

Georgeson, Duane L. – Retired Assistant General Manager - Water

Harpham, Jessie M. (Edgemon) – A DWP 'WIFE' LIVING IN THE FIELD – Married to Albert Harpham who joined the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in 1925. He was a "cat-skinner" in Los Angeles and by 1931 was building roads along the Los Angeles Owens River Aqueduct. By the mid-30s, he and his family were stationed along the aqueduct where he was an aqueduct patrolman. In 1941, the family returned to Los Angeles when Albert took up the job of reservoir keeper. Albert retired from DWP service on July 19, 1976.

Herbs, Lloyd Adolph – Retired February 1, 1985 as a Commercial Executive, Customer Relations Office.

Hoffmire, Louise E. - Retired on September 1, 1959 as a Senior Telephone Operator – “The DWP Telephone Room”

Holland, H. L. "Jim" (Assistant Chief Electrical Engineer, Power System - Retired: 1982; "Human Relations in Power Engineering" - Interviewed: 1992)

Jones, Gerald W. – Career with DWP (1929-1973).  Retired as Engineer in Charge of the Water Operating Division.

King, Howard R. (Assistant Chief Electrical Engineer, Retired: 1975; "Planning for Power" - Interviewed: 1989-1990)

Koffman, Eugen (Principal Electical Engineer - Project Manager, Retired: 1974; "Memoir of a Nuclear Engineer" - Interviewed: 1989)

Kuebler, Bruce W. – Retired Manager, Water Quality and Distribution Division

Lane, Paul Henry – A GENERAL MANAGER REMEMBERS – Joined DWP January 18, 1949. Appointed Northern District Engineer, Aqueduct Division, November 6, 1961. Appointed Aqueduct Engineer, Aqueduct Division, September 19, 1966. Appointed Chief Engineer of Waterworks, May 1, 1972. Appointed Assistant General Manager, February 22, 1982. Appointed General Manager and Chief Engineer, April 1, 1983. Retired February 1989.

Louden, Lester – Retired 1978, Sanitary Engineering

Lowery, Peter G. (Principal Engineer of System Development, Retired: 1983; "Innovation in Power System Planning" - Interviewed: 1990)

Lund, Le Val – Retired April 1, 1989 as a Principal Waterworks Engineer, Engineer in Charge, Los Angeles Aqueduct Division.

Majors, Mary Jane – AN AQUEDUCT PARTOLMAN/RESERVOIR KEEPER’S LIFE- Alvin joined the DWP July 1, 1925 as a laborer in the Water System.  Retired December 1, 1973 as a reservoir keeper at Fairmont Reservoir.

Mayeda, Toshio (NMI) – Retired 1980s – Water Planning Section - Division Head, Water Operating Division.

McCoy, Ronald A. – Retired April 1990 as Assistant Chief Engineer, Water - “Working Up the Ranks in the Water System”

Moore, Monty B.– Retired 1979 as Superintendent of Haynes Steam Generating Station

Muller, Alice Francisca - Retired December 1, 1976 as Chief Clerk, Power Design and Construction Division - "The All Around Chief Clerk"

Nelson, Samuel B. – Career with DWP (1926-1967).  Retired as General Manager and Chief Engineer.

Niccum, William Glen – Retired January 1, 1985 - Building Repairman

Niederdeppe, Gerald L. – Retired October 1, 1980 as a Commercial Executive, Commercial Division – “Working Up the Ranks at DWP”

Osborne, Mona – Career with DWP (1931-1972).  Retired as Principal Clerk, Owens Valley.

Ostensen, Kjell - Career with DWP (1985-2016) - Electrical Engineer, Power System: Distributed Fuel Cells, Gas Turbines, and Geothermal Group - Resume)

Phillips, Lloyd S. - Retired November 30, 1979 as Water Dispatcher – “Working in the DWP Aqueduct Division”

Phillips, Robert V. – Career with DWP (1939-1975).  Retired as General Manager and Chief Engineer.

Piercy, Mary Jean (Pearson) – Retired June 30, 1985 as a Senior Clerk Typist in the Commercial Division in Independence.

Poe III, William Charles – Retired April 1, 1973 - First superintendent at Haynes Steam Generating station, 1961.

Poole, Thomas Craig – Retired December 1, 1988 as a Senior Storekeeper – “Two Generations Working in the Owens Valley”

Ramsey, Warner Howard – Retired December 1976 as General Superintendent Transmission, Trouble and Street Light.

Rawson, Russell H. – Retired in 1992 as a Water Works Engineer - "Water & Land Use Engineer".

Ree, William Russell - Water Quality – Senior Engineer and Acting Division Head

Schlotman, Edward A. – Retired Assistant City Attorney for Water and Power

Schneider, Lawrence (Principal Engineer of Design and Construction, Retired: 1977; "Power Resource Management" - Interviewed: 1989-1990)

Sells, William A. (Assistant Chief Electrical Engineer, Power System, Retired: 1977; "Service for a Growing City" - Interviewed: 1990)

Shore, Mildred – GROWING UP IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY - Mrs. Shore talks about her father, Robert Eckert, who worked for the Department or for a subcontractor to the Department, in the early part of the 1900s, and who was a spectator at the aqueduct ceremony that ushered in the Owens River water to San Fernando Valley in 1913.

Stinson, Lyall J. (Division Head, Power, Operating and Maintenance Division), Retired: 1973; "Growth and Development of the Power System" - Interviewed: 1992 - Interview 2)

Thomas, George – Retired, Sanitary Engineering

Trainor, William Thomas – Retired in 1984 as Superintendent of Stores.

Whitney, Dennis (Principal Power Engineer, Conservation and Planning Division, "Power Rates and Resources" - Interviewed: 1992)

Wickser, James F. – Retired Assistant General Manager - Water

Williams, Dennis C. – Retired Manager, General Services Division

Woodson, William S. – Retired Division Head, Power Distribution Division

Wyss, Gerard A. – Career with DWP (1936-1973).  Retired as Assistant Chief Engineer of Waterworks.

Young, Kenneth Everett – Retired in 1974 – “Working in the DWP Electric Plant” – (PP1 & PP2)

Zim, Milton – Retired 1973, Sanitary Engineering


For more DWP Oral Histories click one of the following:


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