The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

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
Local News
  • 0730 OTT Better Buildings -T -M Wildwood could be your home OTTUMWA — There was always one child per class who just adored school. If they went to Wildwood, they may soon be able to move in permanently. The Ottumwa board of education met Monday, where staff told them where the district stood as far as "facili

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • A changing roster -- for school board OTTUMWA — If the last time you saw your board of education was before Christmastime, the current school board might surprise you. Two members retired from the board: longtime educator Ron Oswalt stepped down, as did board president Carol Mitchell. Bo

    July 29, 2014

  • Lottery sales top $3 million mark

    OTTUMWA — Mother Nature may have thrown Iowans a brutal winter, but it didn’t stop them from venturing out to buy lottery tickets. On Tuesday, the Iowa Lottery confirmed that it had topped the $3 million mark in sales for the third consecutive year.

    July 29, 2014

  • halo-5-guardians-concept_wallpaper-1920x1080-53cf9b0098ea45ada37dc0f66bc174f5.jpg The Art of Kong

    OTTUMWA — The Mona Lisa. Whistler's Mother. Donkey Kong? Don't be so surprised, said Walter Day, that video games and the surrounding memorabilia are being considered art. The creativity and artistic vision required to create a poster, said the found

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Slideshow: Truck overturns on roundabout

    July 28, 2014

  • 0729 OTT Picture veteran -T -M Veteran finally receives his medals OTTUMWA — A World War II injury may have saved the life of a U.S. Coast Guardsman from Iowa, but he lost friends and a box of military awards. Francis Hardy Harbour was born on Dec.16, 1919, in Drakesville. He joined the Coast Guard in 1941 as a mach

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Seasonal forecast Cool summer leading to cool fall? OTTUMWA — By late July, the average daytime high temperature starts to drop. What is normally the hottest part of the year is over. Averages are still in the mid-80s, and it certainly wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to see days in even the upper 90s.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • IHCC buildings.jpg Grant helps Hills keep students on track

    OTTUMWA — Thanks to a grant designed to improve graduation rates, Indian Hills Community College now has even more tools in its campuswide effort to help students with needs and give them the resources they need to stay in class. Indian Hills is one

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0728 OTT ribs in eldon BBQ dinner with a hundred friends

    ELDON --- This year's Eldon Rib Cook-off was won by three BBQ chefs --- and about 150 hungry visitors. "I was down here last year, too," said Dwayne Yates from Floris, who was biting into his third smoked rib. "I never had a bad one yet." That's what

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mediacom: Rural cable consumers and companies mistreated OTTUMWA --- You may want to add just a racing channel, a court channel or a nature channel to your cable line up. Unfortunately, you'll probably have to buy a "bundle," which, ironically, is what it will cost you here in Wapello County. That's accord

    July 26, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook