Fridley pages 26-27

[St. Charles Banner-News, no date]

Every Immense Industry Within Range Brings Pressure Labor Conditions Here.

            As new factories are established in the St. Louis area pressure is applied to the labor conditions of St. Charles. Such plants as the new ammunition factory, a $20,000,000 project to be located at Goodfellow and Bircher, St. Louis, or as the new airplane factory of St. Louis County a short distance from St. Charles, not to speak of the TNT plant, will draw on the last man and woman available for employment. Hundreds will have to migrate to this part of the country if the possibilities of production are to be satisfied.
            Concerning the ammunition plant we quote from the St. Louis Star-Times:
            Construction of a small arms ammunition plant at a cost of at least $20,000,000, to be located on a tract of land at Goodfellow and Bircher boulevards, is provided in a contract approved by the War Department.
            The contract, it was stated at the ordnance division of the War Department yesterday, has been submitted to the Western Cartridge Co. of Alton, Ill., whose officials have not yet returned it to complete the transaction. Western Cartridge, under the contract, would operate the plant, with the government retaining title to the property.
            A United Press dispatch from Washington stated that cost of the construction and equipment of the plant does not include contracts with Western Cartridge Co. for production of munitions.
            The Star-Times today confirmed the fact from an authoritative source at Washington that the cost of the plant may exceed $20,000,000. Officials there said that published reports placing the cost at only $2,000,000 to $8,000,000 were incorrect.
            This contract for production, it is believed, may approximate $50,000,000 thus bringing the overall total to $70,000,000.
            Congressman John J. Cochran announced in Washington that the contract for construction of the plant already has been awarded to a St. Louis firm, and stated that the War Department had assured him the operation of the plant would not be a hazard to residents in the neighborhood.
            The plant, it is understood, will manufacture .30 and .50 caliber bullets, and will be one of the largest such plants in the United States.
            “The department has assured me there is no danger of explosions,” Cochran said. “A similar plant has been operating in Philadelphia for many years without an explosion.”
            Samuel W. Fordyce, St. Louis attorney, told the Star-Times here today that officials of the Western Cartridge Co. have been negotiating with the General Electric Realty Corp. of Schenectady, N. Y., for two months, for purchase of the land at Bircher and Goodfellow, a 133-acre tract.
            War Department officials at Washington declined to estimate the number of persons that would be employed by the proposed plant.

[no source, December 4, 1940]

[Handwritten: Dec. 4, 1940]
Businessmen Preparing To Move Elsewhere; Hundreds Of Applicants For Work In TNT Area.

            Nearly 1,000 buyers attended a community sale of household goods, farm machinery and livestock along the roadside at Hamburg yesterday as natives of that part of the TNT area rid themselves of non-essentials preparatory to moving to new homes.
            Three auctioneers, P. J. Hunn of Wentzville, Jack Lowery of Defiance and a man from Warrenton kept the sale lively as the crowd offered bids. Only one mule was sold before darkness halted the sale of farm animals.
            Seib & Wackher, general store proprietors, held a “marked down” sale of goods to limit the job of moving to their new proposed location in Mel Mergenthal’s garage at Weldon Spring.
            Reports from the Hamburg and Howell communities state that the Muschany Brothers will open a store on Highway 61 near Highway 94 on the John Hollander place.
            C. E. Fridley will probably move his place of business to Wentzville and Gert Fridley will probably move back to Defiance where he formerly operated, it is reported.
            Elroy Sweitzer, general merchant at Howell, will probably move back to St. Louis while Frank Post, who operates a garage at Howell, will likely build a new home on Highway 61, reports are.
            Clyde Stumberg, who operated a riding academy near Toonerville, will continue to deliver mail in the area for the time being. Just what will become of his stables was not announced. Likewise, Charles Gross, proprietor of the “Y,” has made no announcement as to where he will move.
            Before the sale at Hamburg was over yesterday evening, Highway 94 at the “Y” and at a point three miles south of Hamburg was closed to traffic. Signs directed traffic over Little Femme Osage Creek Road past Kaut’s Hidden Valley to Howell.
            Activity around the offices of Frasier-Brace in Miller School at Weldon Spring has been great during the past few days. This company, which has a government contract to construct the TNT plant, is swamped with persons seeking employment. More than 500 men were in the neighborhood of the office this morning making inquiries. The highways were lined with cars.
            Employment of men on the project will attract a lot of undesirables to this county, it was pointed out today by Chief Deputy Sheriff Leland S. Cunningham. He cautioned local motorists against leaving their automobiles unlocked on the streets.
            Usually, when large projects are started, he said, gamblers and other undesirables move in. Christmas packages in parked cars are not safe under such conditions, he pointed out, and even cars may be stolen by persons seeking transportation after their applications for work are rejected.
            The arrival of undesirable women whose eyes will be on the payroll checks of workmen must be dealt with properly, he added.

[no source, no date]

County Court Paves Way For Collection Of 1941 Taxes And Hold Money In Escrow.

            Farmers and townspeople who must vacate the 20,000-acre TNT area must pay their 1941 taxes before the government formally takes over their properties, it was learned late yesterday when the St. Charles County Court made an order authorizing the county collector to hold this tax money in escrow. Prosecuting Attorney David A. Dyer was given the job of drafting this order.
            Assessment on properties for 1941 taxes was made last June. Normally, the county court does not fix the tax levy until May of the following year. In order that the taxes may be collected in advance of the proper date, the court had to make assurance that the total tax levy will not be higher than last year.
            Hundreds of workmen in the last few days have visited the Frasier-Brace offices in the Miller School at Weldon Spring in search of jobs. Today, more than 200 automobiles lined Highway 94 at the school.
            In the meantime, farmers who must vacate their lands in the next few days, have arranged for a roadside auction sale to be held Saturday at Howell. Many of the items to be offered for sale include antiques which have been in some of the families for years. A community sale will be held at Hamburg December 4, starting at 10 a.m.
            Phil Beck, Regional Director of the Farm Security Administration, Indianapolis, Ind., was in St. Charles today and met with the local F. S. A. personnel relative to working out a plan whereby families in the TNT area can secure short-term credit. A survey recently completed by Department of Agriculture officials indicates there are about 50 families that cannot secure local credit that will need financial aid to move until they are paid by the government. Stephen C. Hughter, State Director of Farm Security Administration, Columbia, Missouri, also attended the meeting.
            Walter J. Gross is the supervisor in charge of the local F. S. A. office.