Fridley page 19

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Louis Schiermeier and Wife of the Hamburg Neighborhood Option 132 Acre Tract.
None of Agents Obtain Options From Farmers Who Want Time to Consider Price.

            Although a dozen field workers of the R. Newton McDowell Company of Kansas City, authorized by the United States Government to purchase land in the Howell-Hamburg neighborhood for the $14,000,000 TNT plant, failed to obtain a single option their first day out, Mr. and Mrs. Louise Schiermeier of Hamburg visited the local office of the company Monday afternoon and gave the first option.
            The Schiermeier tract covers 132½ acres in the Hamburg neighborhood. Mr. Schiermeier was skeptical of the McDowell concern until he accompanied Mr. McDowell to a bank where his credentials were identified. Schiermeier was then quick to give his option and said he would inform other residents of the area that the Government was actually after the property.
            The dozen agents visited an average of three families each and said there was no question over their authority but the property owners wanted additional time to consider the purchase price.
            A total of 18,000 acres in the area is sought by the Government for construction of the largest TNT plant in the United States. The site composes 700 tracts of land and more than 200 families live in the area.
            Last night the St. Charles County Land Use Planning Committee met with the committee, representing property owners in the area to work out a beneficial plan. The committee consists of E. M. Miller, Claude Muschany, George Hackmann, L. E. and R. E. Sinock.
            The Government will have to build about five shell loading plants within several hundred miles of the local plant as they will obtain in their explosives from the Weldon Spring manufacturing center.

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Two Parties Are Asking Excessive Prices While Third Refuses To Talk Terms
Employment Office Will Not Be Opened Until After Plant Plans Are Completed

            More than 500 men were at the TNT office near Weldon Springs, Monday morning to register for work but they could not be accommodated today and were told to be back in about a week.
            The Atlas Powder Company has not completed plant plans and construction will be delayed until after that time. Fraser-Brace Company of New York, plant contractors, will set up the employment office and will give proper notice through the press.
            Captain Carl R. Dutton, who is in charge of the plant, said no immediate plans were being made to move cemeteries. He stated that cemeteries in the safety area could be fenced off and people allowed to make visits at regular intervals. He added cemeteries in the danger zone would have to be removed because the general public will not admitted to that section after work is started.
            More than 200 residents west of the plant site have signed a petition asking the State Highway Department to build the road along the Missouri River, instead of around the area.
            R. Newton McDowell, purchasing agent for the Government began acquiring about 1000 additional acres in the southwest end of the area. It was reported a pumping station may be built there for the plant. The new area lies between the railroad tracks and the Missouri river.
            McDowell stated that condemnation proceedings would be instituted against three land owners. One tract belongs to an unnaturalized citizen and another to one of the richest families in this area. Both parties are asking unreasonable prices, McDowell stated. The third tract belongs to a wealthy St. Louisian who refuses to deal on any terms. McDowell said all but a [one or more lines missing]
            The Farm Security Administration is attempting to arrange temporary loans for tenants who might be in distress until the sale price for their land is paid. Families in the danger zone will begin moving in about ten days and those in the safety area will be allowed to remain until March 1.

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Rest of Payments For Property In TNT Area After January 1
Condemnation Proceedings Against Property on Which Settlement Was Not Made

            Settlements have been reached with all property owners within the area to be included in the TNT plant and surrounding safety zone, except with two parties, Edward K. Love Jr., and the Masonic Lodge at Howell, it was announced at the St. Charles office of the R. Newton McDowell Co. Condemnation proceedings against these properties were begun last Monday.
            It was also announced that payments on property taken over by the government will be resumed immediately after the first of the year. Two parties, Clem Martin and Elnora K. Smith, have already been paid for their property.