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Manuscripts by Subject - Politics / Government - #10463

Title: Milo Hoisveen Papers

Dates: 1930s-1984

Collection Number: MSS 10463

Quantity: 1 foot

Abstract: Papers consist primarily of papers and speeches, but also include correspondence, editorials, hearing material, memoranda, newsletters, newspaper clippings, reports and legislative testimony/statements relating to irrigation and water resource management in ND, the Garrison Diversion, and other projects. Most reports were prepared by Hoisveen as State Engineer or as a consultant for various groups, including the North Dakota Water Users Association, ND Water Management Districts Association, and the ND Soil Conservation Committee.

Provenance: The collection was donated by Milo Hoisveen in 1985. Several additions were made to the collection by Mr. Hoisveen between 1988-1989. Erlys Fardal researched and wrote the biographical sketch in May and June 2010. Emily E. Schultz edited the biographical sketch and created this finding aid in June 2010.

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to materials in this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researcher should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94‑553, Title 17 U.S. Code and an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Transfer: Ten photographs were transferred to the Photo Archives in November 1988 (00733).

Related Collections:
MSS 20752 Mr. and Mrs. Louis Hoisveen Certificates, 1901.
00733 Burlington Dam Photograph Collection.


Milo Hoisveen was born March 27, 1905, at Grafton, ND. He was the son of Walsh County immigrant pioneer farmer Louis C. and Louise Forsythe Hoisveen, and the youngest of six children. He attended elementary and secondary school in Grafton, and, after graduation from high school, enrolled at the ND Agricultural College (now ND State University). In 1929, he received a degree in civil engineering. While in college Milo was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity and Gamma Tau Sigma Honorary Engineering fraternity.

After graduation, Mr. Hoisveen was employed by Northwestern Bell Telephone Company as a toll line engineer. He held that position from 1929 to 1930. In 1930-1931, he began working in hydrology with the ND State Engineer. In 1934, he was Chief Engineer for the ND Rural Rehabilitation Commission and the Works Projects Administration (WPA). He was placed in charge of the Burlington Irrigation Project. In 1937, he became a civil service employee for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). While in this position, Milo Hoisveen worked on water and irrigation projects throughout the western states, including the Case-Wheeler Water and Irrigation Project, and the Emergency River Project in Salinas, CA. His employment with the USDA continued until 1953, when he was named chief Engineer and State Engineer for ND, and returned to ND. He held these positions until his retirement in 1973. After 1973, he continued his work as a consultant.

On December 16, 1933, Milo married Hollis Carrell of Ryder, ND. Hollis was born on June 15, 1910, in IL, the daughter of Harra and Elle Carrell. The Carrell family had moved to ND, where Mr. Carrell was employed in the petroleum industry. After their marriage, the Hoisveens moved to Burlington, ND, where Milo was Chief Engineer for a water project. Milo and Hollis had one daughter, Barbara, born in 1948. Barbara married John Doan on April 23, 1965. The couple had two daughters: the oldest, Anastasia, was born December 28, 1965 in Bismarck, and Angela born September 25, 1969 in Fargo.

Mr. Hoisveen was active in numerous water projects and organizations. The following is a list of some of the many projects he worked on and organizations he was involved in: the Red River, United States, and Canada Pollution Control Committee (member); the Western States Engineers Association (member for twenty years and president); Souris, Red, Rainy River Basin Commission (charter member and ND representative); Missouri River Basin Commission; National Rivers and Harbors Congress (ND Representative); Missouri Valley Association (ND Representative); NWC Development Committee (ND Representative); National Council of Water Projects (board member, 1959-1960); Water Resources Association (member); US Water Resources (advisory committee); Lady Bird Johnson's Beautification Committee (member); and the Bismarck and Minot Citizens Advisory Committee on Water Resources.

In addition, Hoisveen was a member of the committee that chartered the merger of associations into the National Water Congress. He served on a number of national committees that dealt with concrete irrigation pipe, large dams and reservoirs, and sprinkler irrigation systems. He was a lifetime member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, and the ND Water Users Association. He was a member of the ND Society of Professional Engineers. Throughout his career, Milo Hoisveen received numerous professional awards.

In spite of his busy work schedule, Milo was an active member and supporter of many community organizations. He was a member of the Masons (Scottish Rite), Elks, Golden K Kiwanis (of which he was also past president), Lions Club, Sons of Norway, and was a Boy Scout Leader. He served of the board of the State Historical Society of ND for seven years. He and Hollis were members of the First Presbyterian Church of Bismarck.

Milo Hoisveen died October 19, 1990 in Bismarck; he was eighty-five years of age. Services were held at the First Presbyterian Church of Bismarck. He is buried in his home town of Grafton. His wife, Hollis, died August 5, 2001, at age ninety-one, at the Missouri Slope Nursing Home in Bismarck. Services were held at the First Presbyterian Church and she is buried with her husband in Grafton.


"Biographical Sketches, Recipients of the Elwyn F. Chandler Award: Milo W. Hoisveen."
North Dakota Society of Professional Engineers. November 2006. Online at
Bismarck Tribune. October 21, 1990. p. 11A.
Bismarck Tribune. August 8, 2001. p 11A.
Burleigh County, Prairie Trails to Hi-Ways. Compiled and edited by Beth Hughes Bauman and
Dorothy J. Jackman. Bismarck, ND?: Bismarck-Mandan Genealogical and Historical Society, 1978, p. 340.
Milo W. Hoisveen Papers (MSS 10463). North Dakota State Archives.
United States Census, 1910, 1920 and 1930. Online at Ancestry Library
Walsh Heritage: A Story of Walsh County and Its Pioneers, Vol. 1. Grafton, ND: Walsh
County Historical Society, 1976. p. 81.
Who's Who in North Dakota, 1955. p. 126.
Who's Who in North Dakota, 1984. p. 154.


Box 1:
1 Speeches, editorials, testimony/statements, reports (by Milo W. Hoisveen and others about irrigation, water rights and resources, various water facility projects, and the ND State Water Conservation Commission), ca. 1930s-1956
2 Speeches, testimony/statements, reports, hearing material (by Hoisveen and others about water rights, Missouri Basin development, Garrison Diversion Unit, Garrison Dam, Lower Heart River Project, and the ND State Water Conservation Commission), 1957-1959
3 Speeches and testimony/statements (by Hoisveen, about water resource development and projects, the proposed Pembilier Dam/international Pembina River, Missouri River bank stabilization, and the ND State Water Conservation Commission), 1960
4 Speeches, testimony/statements, memoranda and reports (by Hoisveen and others, about water resource development and projects, discontinuation of the Northern Pacific Railroad-Mott line, flood control, irrigation, Missouri River reservoir operations, proposed legal water users organizations, outdoor recreation, water management and the ND State Water Conservation Commission), 1963-1964
5 Speeches, testimony/statements (by Hoisveen about water programs, irrigation, water management, outdoor recreation, the Garrison Diversion Unit, the Missouri Basin project, municipal water supplies, the Office of Water Resources Research, and the ND State Water Conservation Commission), 1965-1966
6 Speeches, testimony/statements and reports (by Hoisveen about future water supplies, water management, water resources development, reclamation, erosion, pollution, Garrison Diversion Unit, Red River Basin Planning Committee, the Souris, Sheyenne and Missouri Rivers, Senate Bills 183 and 1401, House Bill 934, House Resolutions 8578, US House Resolution 3402 and the Souris-Red-Rainy River Basins Commission), 1967-1968

Box 2:
1 Testimony and correspondence on water issues (organized by topic), 1969-1984
2 Speeches, testimony/statements and reports (by Hoisveen, about water resource programs, management, planning and investigations, ND water problems, Senate Bill 23, the ND State Water Commission), 1969
3 Speeches, testimony/statements, reports and a newsletter (by Hoisveen, about reclamation, statewide water projects, irrigation, flooding, future water supplies, Missouri diversion in ND, the creation of a Missouri River Basin Commission, and the ND State Water Commission), 1970, 1972
4 Speeches, correspondence, testimony/statements, reports, newspaper clippings and
newsletters (by Hoisveen and others, about reclamation, water planning, resources, and development programs, climate and droughts, bank stabilization, erosion, irrigation development, the Apple Creek Unit, Garrison Diversion Unit, Southeast Cass County Water Management District, Missouri Basin Survey Commission, regulatory reform proposals, and the ND State Water Commission), 1974-1984

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