Fridley page 79

[St. Charles, April 5, 1941]

Says Must Be Some Other Reason Behind It All Besides Alleged Excessive Price
Informed By War Department That Prices Were From 100 to 150 Per Cent Too High

            The prices land in the TNT area were optioned to the Government for are from 100 to 150 per cent out of line, the War Department informed Congressman Clarence Cannon, when he asked why payment was being made in neighboring Illinois, and held up in Missouri.
            Cannon addressed his letter to Circuit Clerk Earl Sutton, who wired the Congressman last week asking him why the discrimination against St. Charles county landowners.
            The five cases filed against property owners in the St. Louis Federal Court, are not returnable until early in May, Sutton said he was informed.
            Cannon’s letter to Sutton follows:
            “On receipt of your telegram I called up the Department and am advised that your information is correct. The contracts for land at Wilmington were paid in full, although Mr. O’Brien had said in his testimony that the prices were excessive. I asked them why they were discriminating against Weldon Spring when they were paying elsewhere and they told me that the price at Wilmington were only ten to fifteen per cent out of line, whereas the prices at Weldon Springs were from one hundred to one hundred fifty per cent out of line.
            ”There surely must be some other reason back of it.
            “Am making a hard fight here and have been before the Committee on Military Affairs two days and am going back again Thursday. The landowners ought to have their money and ought to have all of it promptly and I am doing all I can for them, although, The War Department seems to be determined to repudiate its agreement.”
Your Friend,
Clarence Cannon

[St. Charles, April 12, 1941]

Private Session Will Be Held at 8:00 O’Clock at Weldon Spring Hall

            Farmers from the TNT area who have not been paid for their land will meet tonight and select a staff of lawyers to defend them in action brought by the Government to obtain their property for nominal sums.
            From the office of United States Attorney Harry C. Blanton in St. Louis, it was announced 69 more declarations of taking would be filed within the next week, to cover all the 146 tracts on which payment was stopped by the Government. Before any of the suits were filed the government acquired 121 tracts at the option price.
            The meeting tonight will be at 8 o’clock and will be for unpaid landowners only.

[St. Charles, April 12, 1941]

U. S. Attorney Says Declarations Will Be Filed In Federal Court Within Week.

            The Government will file “declarations of taking” within the next week for 69 parcels of land in the site of the TNT plant at Weldon Springs, it was announced yesterday by United States Attorney Harry C. Blanton of St. Louis.
            During the last week title to 75 pieces of property was acquired by the Government by filing the declarations in Federal Court and similar actions had been taken earlier against five other parcels.
            The Government had exercised options to acquire title to 121 parcels before the suits were filed.