Arizona Faces and Features Arthur Powell Davis Arthur Powell Davis was called the “Father of Roosevelt Dam” by the Republican newspaper in 1911. He was born in Decatur, Illinois, on February 9, 1861. Young Arthur graduated from George Washington University in 1888. His uncle was the great John Wesley Powell. Young Arthur was hired by his uncle as an assistant topographer for the United States Geological Survey. Arthur would supervise the construction of over 100 dams in the American West. He would work for forty-five years on dam projects around the world. His great career also saw him work as a consultant for the construction of the Panama Canal. He also worked on flood control projects in China. On the day of the dedication of the Roosevelt Dam, Arthur Powell Davis was working on a dam project for the Russian government. The Republican wrote of Mr. Davis, “It was Arthur Powell Davis who first reported the feasibility of building of a dam at that site . . . It was he who drew the original plans for it . . . And when the construction period arrived, Mr. Davis was sent to Phoenix to organize the forces for the preliminary work.” Arthur Powell Davis died on August 7, 1933, in Oakland, California. He was the greatest dam builder of the American West. Maybe, just maybe, he was the greatest dam builder in the entire world. r r Arthur Powell Davis Chapter 10 • Arizona Faces and Features  105