Fridley pages 10-11

[no source, October 23, 1940]

New $18,000 School Will Have To Be Torn Down Before It Is Pressed Into Use

            The Government TNT plant in the Hamburg neighborhood will have a great effect on St. Charles county, since the 20,000 acre tract will put the southwestern part of St. Charles county about 20 miles further away from the county seat in this city.
            The area begins where the Daniel Boone Bridge crosses the Missouri River and continues up the highway to near the Dardenne Creek. The south boundary is along the Missouri River and runs southwest to the Pugh Road, about two miles east of Defiance. The cross section between the river and the highway begins where the Pugh Road ends at the river and runs northwest to the Little Femme Osage Creek, following that to the Muschany Hollow Road which leads to Howell. The area then follows west along County Highway “D” for about two miles and then goes straight north to the Dardenne Creek, following closely to the stream which runs east to the Highway 61.
            In that section there are about 400 farms and more than 1000 people, many of them lifelong residents whose forefathers were among the early settlers. Daniel Boone came into Missouri in 1799, John Howell settled in St. Louis county in 1797, coming from Pennsylvania, and moved to this county a few years later, and John Castlio of Tennessee settled in the neighborhood in 1806.
            A large number of the families are of English-Irish descent while others trace their ancestry back to the Germans. Most of the people are engaged in farming and the section affected consists of some rich farm land although a considerable portion is in wood. The rough terrain is ideal for a powder plant as the hills serve as a natural protection in case of explosions.
            At least 150 of the farms are owned by St. Louisans, many of them who planned to build homes in this county.
            Every structure will have to be removed meaning that Hamburg and Howell will have to be absorbed. However the boundary line is not definite and Howell may escape. The almost completed Howell consolidated grade school No. 2, which cost $18,000, will have to be demolished as well as the Howell High School.
            Some people outside of the plant area are in the consolidated district and whether or not the burden of meeting the obligations will fall on them could not be determined at this time. Bolton said it was entirely possible the government would absorb the debt on the new school.
            A pipe line running through the area will have to be removed as well as the relocation of Highway 94. The National Defense Advisory Commission obtained approval from the State Highway Commission on rerouting 94, before the site was selected. About $125,000 will be required to reroute the highway it was stated.
            The property in the area, exclusive of developments assessed at an average of about $25 an acre which would mean an assessment of $500,000.
            Circuit Clerk Earl Sutton who lives near Howell said that he would sell his property as he thought it was the only thing to do under the National Defense Program. “I will hate to take my family away from the place that is our home but we would move away as we would not want to be near a TNT plant. Mr Sutton whose duties are at the court house here indicated he would move to this city.
            The feeling of majority of the people in the neighborhood is resentful to the plant being located there but they agree with Sutton that selling their property is the only thing they can do.
            Weldon Spring is about 20 miles from the heart of St. Louis and 14 miles by road from St. Charles. The one edge of the tract is about nine miles, eight miles from Wentzville.

[no source, October 23, 1940]

Descendant Of Daniel Boone In Charge Of Men: Plant Will Employ Thousands

            Work of acquiring about 20,000 acres of land in the section south of Highway 61 which crosses the Missouri River at Weldon Spring and bounded on the other side by the Missouri River, for construction of a $15,000,000 Government T. N. T. plant will be started the latter part of this week, according to Douglas M. Bolton, an engineer for R. Newton McDowell of Kansas City whose firm has been selected by the Government to purchase the tract.
            McDowell was designated by Col. R. D. Valliant, chief procurement officer of the department’s Quartermaster Corps, War Department, to acquire options on land for the site.
            Bolton, a descendant of Daniel Boone, Missouri pioneer who once roamed the area where the plant will be built, said he would bring in a crew of twelve men the latter part of this week to start the work. He estimated the job would require from four to six weeks and that he would probably concentrate on certain parts of the area so construction could begin immediately.
            The site was selected because of its proximity to a large supply of raw materials, including sulphuric acid, a large quantity of which is used in the manufacture of T. N. T. The site affords both rail and river transportation and a supply of water which is required in great quantities in the manufacture of T. N. T. In addition the bridge is close to St. Louis, where a large supply of the labor, estimated between 8,000 and 12,000, will be obtained.
            It is the desire of Col. Valliant that the farmers be paid a reasonable price for their land and he does not expect to but is at a bankrupt figure but on the other hand he naturally will expect to get a fair price for the Government.
            In the prepared statement Bolton explained time is the essence, the defense program must go forward quickly, and the construction of this site is ready to go. While the War Department is most desirous to see that this land is acquired in a fair manner and to the satisfaction of the farmers have the right in the last analysis to enter condemnation proceedings and take possession immediately, however, the hope is that this will be entirely unnecessary.
            McDowell will use the Kansas City Title and Trust Company to pass on all titles and the Emmons Abstract Company to do the abstract work.
            The plant will be owned by the United States Government but will be operated by the Atlas Powder Company, Wilmington, Del. The plant is the first being built by the Government in its defense program west of the Mississippi River.  The Atlas Company owns and operates a small powder plant at Joplin.
            The plant will employ about 800 men at the beginning when the first unit is erected and as each unit is added to employment roll will be increased until the full quota is working.  The plant will be devoted to the making of trinitroluene (TNT) and dinitrotoluene (DNT) with a capacity of 800 tons a day.
            Norman B. Pitcairn, receiver for the Wabash Railroad, has suggested to the Defense Commission that the property be extended northward and just west of Wentzville to enable the plant to be served also by the Wabash in addition to the M. K. & T.