08. Hudson Reservoir and Canal Company

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    The tempestuous Salt River with its unpredictable floods and droughts caused many problems in the valley.  Farmers and irrigators longed for a reservoir that would tame the river.  There were many stalled attempts at building a dam and reservoir, some as early as 1889. In 1893, Wells Hendershott, a lawyer and promoter from the East, formed the Hudson Reservoir and Canal Company. Hendershott's company filed a claim to the reservoir site identified by the Brekenridge survey.1 The goal of this reservoir was to store flood waters to irrigate dry land east of the town of Mesa.2  Financed almost completely by the law firm Man and Man, the Hudson Reservoir and Canal Company made a very serious attempt in 1894.  They opened offices in Phoenix and created engineering plans for a masonry dam 225 feet tall. Unfortunately, this effort failed when the company was unable to raise the $3 million needed to complete the project. 

    To see newspaper accounts of the Hudson Reservoir Company's efforts to build a dam, click HERE.

    1Smith, Karen L., The Magnificent Experiment: Building the Salt River Reclaimation Project 1890-1917 (Tucson, AZ: THe University of Arizona Press, 1986), p. 14



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