Fridley page 60

[St. Charles Banner-News, no date]

Predicts Land In TNT Area Will Go For A Song. Paraphrases Gray’s Eulogy.

O’Fallon, Mo.
March 22, 1941
Banner News
St. Charles, Mo.
            On a bleak day in January I walked from a residence near Howell, Mo., to the end of a private lane where I had left my car. Several times I looked back at a white nine room frame dwelling with a moss green roof. The twin cedars in the yard seemed to stand guard in solemn respect, and the big maple tree swayed gently in the wind. Memories crowded upon memories as I made my way along the lane to the car. That house was my home. I had moved from it several weeks before, but there were a few things left behind for which I had returned, knowing that I could easily take these remaining articles in my car. I was surprised to find that a trench had been cut across the lane leading from the county road to the house. It was impossible to enter with a car, so I walked in and carried a few things out to the car, a distance of more than a quarter of a mile. I had supposed that the government would notify the owners a reasonable time in advance if it became necessary to block the private road in any way. The option had not yet been approved by the government and the workers were utterly without authority to leave an open ditch across a private lane that was still in use by the owners. Plenty of other instances of arrogant abuse of authority could be cited by landowners. I left some things I really wanted to take and went on to the car. I drove past the Francis Howell High School which I had helped to construct and from which I obtained the first four year graduation diploma ever issued by that school. I passed the South Dardenne Presbyterian Church where my father was pastor for thirty-seven years. When far out along a road leading to Dardenne I could still see my home: cedars, elms, maples, green roof and all, and, as I left the community not expecting to return, a depressed sensation came into my chest—that feeling that we all call a lump in the throat.
            But why all this maudlin sentiment? Others also had to leave their old birthplaces and accept the terms offered by duly appointed agents of the government; and the best thing to do was to be as cheerful about it as possible.
            But the people of Howell Prairie know now how they were duped by specious promises made by representatives of the government. Who compelled the War Department to employ Mr. McDowell? And who forced the government to approve the options and accept bona fide deeds after title had been carefully proved? When the War Department moulded the plans for the Weldon Spring TNT Project did the hand of the potter shake? What’s the purpose of law? The government has the tract and will proceed with operations regardless of technical questions concerning ownership. We are now advised that a taking act will be put into effect and all of the area will be taken over at once by the government. In other words, the government will get the land for a song and sing it themselves.
            We hear much of sacrifice. In all wars the cabinet officers, the captains of industry, the editors of big newspapers, and the district attorneys, all ride in their fine limousines, while the sacrifices are made by the men who always get a used car when they would like to have a new one; by the people who make their old clothes do; by the great middle classes who are not wealthy and yet are not paupers. Those responsible in the War Department knew well how to proceed in their effort to get the people out quickly and easily. Now they have honored the deeds they choose to honor, and why should a little abstract quality called honesty interfere with arrogant and dictatorial authority?
            Paraphrasing the words of Thomas Gray, I am impelled to suggest that “Grandeur has heard with a disdainful smile, The short and simple annals of the poor. ”
O’Fallon, Mo.

[no source, no date]

His Theme Has To Do With The Family Residence At Howell.

            Francis P. Stewart, now of St. Louis, but formerly of Howell, one of the towns obliterated by the TNT area, has written a verse which describes in a jovial way some of the inconveniences and hardships experienced by the former residents.
Here is the poem:
The old elm tree
            I couldn’t take with me
When the government made me flee
            From the old town of Howell
I well knew it was useless to
            Put up a howl!

                                                                   FRANCIS P. STEWART

            Stewart is one of [?] mer highly respected [?] and lived in a beautiful [?] neer home right the [?] the romantic burg about [?] the poem speaks. Peop [?] remember Howell can hard [?] recalling the fine brick [?] rather antiquated, but [?] glamour of the south still [?] ing to the general outline [?] forms a background of [?] memories. On one occas [?] camera snapshot was tak [?] Mr. Stewart standing in [?] of the home against a [?] old tree. In front of [?] Tony, a shepherd dog, of [?] ordinary intelligence, who [?] ing to well authenticated [?] could drive cows from [?] and make complex judgm [?] his own account. When [?] was told which opening in [?] field through which to dr [?] cows he followed inst [?] wich uncanny understanding.
            We are sorry that due [?] tographic difficulties we [?] duce only Mr. Stewart’s [?] ness as he stands in front [?] tree. We take pleasure [?] so.