Fridley page 64

[St. Louis Star Times, March 26, 1941]

Wires Appeal to Stimson on Cancellation of TNT Site Options.

            A telegram has been sent by William Snyder, 91-year-old owner of a 142-acre farm in the Weldon Springs TNT plant site, appealing to Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson “to prevent the government from violating its contracts with my neighbors and myself.” Snyder, who lives at 121 Houston street, St, Charles, demanded prompt payment of the stipulated price for his land in the now-canceled government option.
            “I have observed public affairs since before the Civil War,” Snyder stated, “but in none of these periods did I ever hear of the United States of America repudiating sacred covenants with its own citizens. If the government for which I would always have been willing to die should take such a step, I will regret that I have lived to see the day.“
            Meanwhile, property owners in the area, it was learned today, have uniformly rejected a proposal by R. Newton McDowell, Kansas City contractor, that they accept a reduction in the contract price to speed final settlement with the government. In consequence, plans for a mass meeting of the owners have been canceled.
            McDowell, as agent for the government, had contracted for the options on the land at 5 per cent commissions and at prices which he has said he considers equitable. The government, however, considered the prices too high and canceled the options, a step which led McDowell to suggest the owners take a cut.