The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

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
Ottumwa
  • Parks Dept. has long list of projects

    OTTUMWA — The Parks and Recreation Department has approved a list of capital improvements for the next two years that includes the installation of handicapped-accessible swings and new park bathrooms.

    July 9, 2014

  • 0710 Farmers Market Color Photo 1 -L -M Fresh food improves community

    OTTUMWA — Every summer across the Midwest, food stands pop up on gravel roads, and farmers markets are filled with a variety of home-grown products. Finding a fresh selection of healthy greens and juicy fruits isn't as hard as you might think. Accord

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0703 OTT Heart boy photo A Heartfelt Miracle OTTUMWA — It’s funny how wishes can change so completely in just a few weeks. But laughter wasn’t the reaction of Jeff and Mary Penrod.The Ottumwa couple’s son, Brandon, was 18 years old when, in February, Mary took him to the Pella clinic to get loo

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703 OTT River Hills parking lot color photo -L -T River Hills expansion progresses

    OTTUMWA — Expanding River Hills Community Health Center downtown continues to be a priority with the Ottumwa City Council. Earlier this week, the council authorized city staff to survey the property, prepare a draft developers agreement as well as pr

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street repair program begins OTTUMWA — If you think roadwork projects in the city of Ottumwa are just about complete, think again. This week, the Ottumwa City Council awarded its preventative maintenance contract for sealing cracks in asphalt and concrete pavement roads througho

    July 2, 2014

  • A new look OTTUMWA — The 300 block of East Main Street in Ottumwa will be getting a facelift. During a public hearing earlier this week, the Ottumwa City Council gave its OK to the plans and specifications to renovate 15 buildings’ storefronts in downtown Ottum

    July 2, 2014

  • City won't tolerate bad behavior

    OTTUMWA — A newly designed policy to establish standards of behavior was presented to Ottumwa City Council on Tuesday night.The new policy’s introduction on Tuesday, demands city staff and elected officials exhibit professional behavior when they int

    July 1, 2014

  • 0702 OTT library grant color photo -T -L -M Ottumwa Public Library updates genealogy room

    OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Public Library is the recipient of a Bright Ideas Community Enrichment Fund Grant from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation. The Friends of the Ottumwa Public Library group gave $5,520 to put toward a new microfilm reader. The

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0625 OTT Riverfront Renaissance color photo -L -M Riverfront Renaissance begins mapping out ideas

    OTTUMWA — It was serious work to play with stickers and maps Tuesday evening. Concentration was on more than 70 faces as colored dots found their way up and down several maps of the river flowing through downtown Ottumwa. The Ottumwa Regional Legacy

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0624 OTT Marine photos Marine mourned by family

    OTTUMWA --- Adam Wolff's extended family was able to enjoy a bit of time with him before he deployed. "He came back in March, after his [Marine Corps advanced] schooling in North Carolina," said his sister, Angela Malone. "We had a dinner for him, a

    June 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National