The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

April 5, 2013

Presentation in honor of 80th anniversary of CCC

OTTUMWA — The 80th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps is drawing near, and Bill Jamerson brought his story of the corps to the Ottumwa Public Library Thursday afternoon.

His presentation included telling stories, singing original songs and reading excerpts from his novel, “Big Shoulders.”

Corps members worked at Lake Wapello State Park near Drakesville, but they didn’t talk much about the CCC and their work, Jamerson said.

“Ask anyone who had a relative in the CCC,” he said. “None of them wanted to talk about their experiences.”

Part of the reason is because of the stigma felt by CCC members.

“If you were a CCC member, that meant you were on the dole,” Jamerson said. “The CCC camps were run by the Army, and the workers wore Army-issued clothing.”

All of the men typically came from unemployed families. Jameson displayed several photos and encouraged his audience to search the Internet for more information. The CCC was part of the federal Public Works Administration and was run by the U.S. Army.

President Franklin Roosevelt created the corps in 1933 during the Great Depression. During its nine-year run, 49,000 young men served in the Iowa camps.

To join the corps, the men had to be 17-25 years old, weigh about 108 pounds and have at least four good teeth, Jamerson said. They were paid $1 and were often called the “soldiers of poverty.”

“Remember, back then a dollar was worth about $20,” he said. “CCC members could get five gallons of milk, two loaves of bread and still have $25 to send home. People were too proud to take free food, but having a working son was accepted.”

The CCC enrollees planted more than 30 million trees in Iowa, built hundreds of bridges, erected more than 2,000 miles of telephone poles and helped farmers by repairing gullies, terracing hills, providing fertilizer, installing fencing and building outhouses.

1
Text Only
Wapello County
  • County considers hiring conservation aide OTTUMWA — On Tuesday morning, Wapello County Board of Supervisors will consider hiring a part-time conservation aide at its weekly board meeting. The meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the board’s meeting room located on the third floor of the c

    April 11, 2014

  • 0412 OTT Brush fire color photo 2 -T Brush fire breaks out on east side of city OTTUMWA — Late Friday morning, a fire broke out in a vacant area of trees and brush next to the Ottumwa Water Pollution Control Facility. Both the Wapello County Rural Fire Department and Ottumwa Fire Department were called to the scene of the fire,

    April 11, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wapello County Courthouse.jpg Courthouse to receive facelift

    OTTUMWA — First, Chief Wapello received a facelift. Now, it’s the county courthouse’s turn. On Tuesday evening, Wapello County Board of Supervisors approved spending $139,000 for repair and maintenance of the historic courthouse. Karr Tuckpointing o

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Another health care option OTTUMWA — If you didn't get your "mandatory" health insurance by the deadline earlier this week, you may have another option. Or two. "I'd certainly keep trying," said Greg Kenning, a Wapello County supervisor. He said it's his understanding that the

    April 2, 2014

  • Trial set in child pornography case OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa man accused in a child pornography case will go on trial this summer. Rass Kerby Jr., is charged with enticing a minor to engage in a sex act or simulated sex act and possession of media of a minor engaged in a sex act. He was a

    April 2, 2014

  • Wanted: People who love history OTTUMWA — If you have a love for history, Wapello County has an interest in you. Wapello County Board of Supervisors is considering withdrawing from the State Historical Society’s Certified Local Government program unless interested people are willin

    April 1, 2014

  • 0530 OTT flood damaged bridge -L Bridge repair tops county's 5-year plan

    OTTUMWA — Road construction in Wapello County will be taking on a different look in the next three years. On Tuesday, County Engineer Brian Moore told the Wapello County Board of Supervisors bridge replacement will be a high priority. “We’ll have a h

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0321 OTT animal rescue league update color photo -L -M Animal van trial set

    OTTUMWA — Trial has been scheduled in the case that preceded the rescue of hundreds of animals in Drakesville. Roger Blew, 45, of Drakesville, has pleaded not guilty to the four criminal charges he faced in Ottumwa. Police charged Blew with one count

    March 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wapello building remains county property OTTUMWA — An option to sell the Wapello building in downtown Ottumwa to River Hills Community Health Center was nixed by the Wapello County Board of Supervisors Tuesday evening. On March 5, River Hills Community Health Center CEO Richard Johnson wrot

    March 12, 2014

  • Officials hold line on Wapello budget

    OTTUMWA -- Taxpayers in Wapello can breathe a sign of relief. Taxes will go down and county services will not be cut. On Tuesday night, Wapello County Board of Supervisors voted to adopt its 2014-2015 budget with litt

    March 11, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National