Owners: Helen Niermann, Helen Niermann Hoeman, Albert Niermann, and Harvey Niermann
1940 Census: Helen Niermann, age 60, farmer
                         Helene, age 26, school teacher
                         Harvey A., age 22, bookkeeper - building construction
                         Albert J., age 20, labor - river construction
Location 693412  4287479
Acreage: 100.09
Contract price: $10,170
Property condemned on April 14, 1941
Condemnation price: $2,200
Today: dozens of yucca plants

In 1999, Albert J. Niermann wrote the following response to the question of how his family first learned of the plans to build a TNT plant in St. Charles County:

On a sunny afternoon in mid-October, 1940, I'd gone to pick up our mail from our mail box which was on the N. W. corner of our property.  I would normally have stopped at a small concrete bridge on the county road about 1/3 of the way to our house to read the headlines in the Cosmos-Monitor but the sun was nearly down and my mother would be worried if I was not back home before dark.

When I got home I flopped on a folding bed that we kept on a screened porch on the north end of the house and unfolded our weekly printed Cosmos-Monitor.

At that time one of our neighbors' young men came through our barn lot on his way to Howell.  He stopped in to say hello and talk a bit.  We opened the paper and noticed an article describing a new "powder mill" that was to be built in St. Charles County.  An explanatory note indicated that the extent of the plant could be estimated by observing the ink stain on a map of St. Charles County.

To us it looked very large.  We did some analyzing of the article and came to two conclusions: 1. We guessed hat the whole thing was in extreme error.  Who would build a "powder mill" that would cover one half of St. Charles County?  2. This "powder mill" would be a dangerous place to work.

When I gave the paper to my mother, she was very displeased--didn't think it was reasonable.  The extent of the ink stain obviously would cover her property.  She had lived most of her adult life on the farm and dreaded anything that would necessitate moving somewhere else.

We discussed it at length at the dinner table but could come to no motive for building anything like what the paper portrayed.

We heard nothing more about it until a week or so later when I came in doors from outside work and found that my mother was talking to a visitor who was offering her to sign an "Option" to sell her 100 acre farm with all buildings included to the U. S. Gov't. for $10,000.  The visitor was Mr. R. Newton McDowell.  His offer was refused but it was agreed that they would, after a fixed time, look at it again.  My mother wanted to talk to her neighbors to see what they thought of it.

Shortly thereafter she signed the option since there appeared to be no alternative.