Fridley page 22

[no source, November 24, 1940]

TNT Evacuees Given Ten Days
[Handwritten: Nov. 24, 1940]

            Farmers in the area selected as the site of the new TNT plant to be constructed in St. Charles County at Weldon Springs must move within 10 days, but may use land in the safety zone to herd cattle or store farm implements until March 1, to prevent the necessity of disposing of the property all forced sale, R. N. McDowell, land purchasing agent for the government, announced yesterday.
            The agent declared the great majority of landowners are giving the government willing cooperation in its acquisition of property in the area, with the exception of owners of three tracts in the safety zone, on which condemnation suits will probably be filed. Two of these tracts are owned by wealthy persons, one of whom wants too much for his property while the other will not discuss terms, and the third to an alien, who is also holding out for a large price, McDowell said.
            While land owners who have reached agreements with the government are waiting for titles and deeds to be prepared by a staff of attorneys, before final settlements may be made, the Farm Security branch of the Department of Agriculture is prepared to make temporary loans to those facing financial distress, McDowell stated.
            The agent said construction of the plant will start soon after all occupants have abandoned the actual site selected for the plant.

[no source, no date]

Notices to Leave TNT Area Mailed

            Notices to the 100 families in the area selected as the site of the TNT plant in St. Charles County at Weldon Springs giving them 10 days in which to move were mailed last night, R. N. McDowell, land purchasing agent for the government, said yesterday.
            Construction of a railroad that will go into the property will begin today. Work on the proposed plant is expected to commence before the evacuation has been completed, McDowell said. The 100 families who live in the “safety zone” on the perimeter of the 18,000-acre tract will be given until March 1 to move.

[no source, no date]

Capt. C. R. Dutton States Permits to Residents and Those With Official Business Will Be Issued
Most of Families In Area Have Already Obtained New Locations They Will Move To

            Closing public roads in the TNT plant area within another two weeks to everyone except those with official business was announced today by Capt. Carl R. Dutton of the ordnance department, who is commanding officer of the project in the Howell-Hamburg neighborhood.
            Captain Dutton pointed out that a crew of ten men is now busy surveying for roads and railroad right-of-way in the area to facilitate the handling of material when the actual construction gets under way in about another month’s time. The new roads and railroad lines will cross highways in the area and too much danger will exist if sightseers are allowed.
            Persons who live in the area or have to use the roads to get to their homes will be given a special permit, he added.
            Minor construction will get under way within two weeks and as soon as the Atlas Powder Company makes a study of the terrain and designs the plant, subject to approval of the war department, the big work will begin.
            At present Captain Dutton and Fraser-Brace Company, Inc., contractors, have established offices in the new Miller school. The contractor plans to open an employment agency next week. Just how many men will be employed on the job could not be stated but the number will be large because of the sizeable project, Captain Dutton said.
            People who will have to move will be given at least a week’s notice and none will be asked to move before the minor construction is started.
            Persons living in the area must now have passes to get in and out of the area and others who have business there must be approved by the guards before entrance can be obtained.
            County Farm Agent Robert Langenbacher said a survey reveals 25 families in Hamburg, 40 in Howell, and 130 in the remainder of the area must be moved. Eighty of the farmers own their own land while 50 are tenants. Langenbacher stated most of the people have secured new locations in the Callaway, Cuivre and Dardenne townships which is in the northwestern section of this county.
            Residents of the section west of the TNT site plan to present a petition to the state highway department asking that a road be constructed along the Missouri River from Defiance to the Daniel Boone bridge which is a distance of six miles instead of the 20 miles necessary to go around the area.
            Captain Dutton said he received reports that farmers were clearing land of timber because they were under the impression the government wanted the clear land for the construction. He asked this newspaper to ask the people to leave the trees there and not to disturb nature any more than necessary as the trees offer a perfect camouflage for the plant.
            He pointed out that countries in Europe spent millions of dollars camouflaging munition plants because of the lack of a natural setting.
            Captain Dutton plans to make his home in the 10-room William Kaut residence in Hidden Valley near Howell. He will of occupy the Kaut home in about two or three weeks.

[no source, no date]

Building of TNT Plant Will Begin Before January 1st
Captain Dutton Says It Is Important That Residents Leave Area Immediately.

            With work on 300 buildings for the TNT plant scheduled to begin between Christmas and New Years’ Capt. C. R. Dutton of the Army Ordnance Department is asking all people in the danger zone to begin moving as soon as possible.
            Notice on 100 families to vacate the area was served two weeks ago and a surprisingly few left the area, Capt. Dutton announced. He said a staff of men are contracting the people and impressing upon them the necessity of leaving for their homes as soon as possible.
            Work at present consists of building a railroad spur and construction of temporary offices on the Howell High School grounds.
            Captain Dutton said the plant would be built in the center of the area with heavily wooded sections serving as natural camouflage. Highway 94 and the 30 miles of county road in the area have been closed to traffic with guards, under Sheriff Joe Borgmeyer, patrolling the entrances.