These stories can also be heard Sunday mornings around 10 am on WILD 102’s “Look Back in Time” program. Each week’s radio story will be posted here on our website.
Weekly radio stories are researched, compiled, and read by Sheila Winstead, RCHS Board Member.
August 27, 2023
A lot of people were looking for work in the 1930s. In the September 7, 1933, edition of the Northern Minnesota Leader newspaper, there were 500 applicants registering for road work upcoming in the county for which only about eighty were expected to be needed.
There were over 500 unemployment registrations when the registrations were closed Saturday for the Federal Public Works program in Roseau county, according to Eddy E. Billberg, a member of the re-employment committee for Roseau county. So the number registered surpasses several times the number needed for the road work between Roseau and Warroad. The number to be employed on this project has been set at 85 skilled and unskilled laborers.
The committee, consisting of Eddy Billberg, Val B. Chapin, S. F. Bonaime and Wallace Strandlie, of Roseau, and G. M. Fish of Warroad, finished classifying the registrations Monday and found them to be as follows:
Twenty-two war veterans with dependents, who are listed as first choice.
Forty-four relief registrations, second choice.
This leaves nineteen to be selected from the rest of the registration. The local committee will have nothing at all to do with the selection of these nineteen; the office at Thief River Falls will make the selections. It is believed that each section of the county will be apportioned on an equal basis.
Two weeks later, the same newspaper had this article about the upcoming road work that those people were hired for.
Stillwater Contracting Company starts men working on Trunk Highway No. 11 Monday.
The work on state trunk highway No. 11 from the railroad crossing three miles east of town to Warroad started Monday with the clearing of the right-of-way, beginning at the west end.
Mr. Sandeen, one of the contractors, arrived Saturday to take charge of the work. A call for ten of the men recently registered was made. Another call was made Tuesday for ten more. The first ones to be called were ex-service men.
A shipment of road equipment was expected on the freight from the west yesterday, to be unloaded at Salol. Another consignment is coming by highway.
The first of the grading work will be from the west end also and the road will be straightened to eliminate the curves where the road makes a half-mile jog west of Salol. Should the season become too wet, the camp will be moved to the ridge west of Warroad where the road goes closer to the railroad track from the Warta mink farm.
Contractor Sandeen says that they expect to be in full swing with the work the first of next week, when he expects one of his partners, who will supervise the work.
The men who work will be on duty in five hour shifts. It is expected that 80 men from the ranks of the unemployed who registered for the work some time ago will be utilized on the project.
The work is part of President Roosevelt’s gigantic public works program as well as the proposed Roseau River project.
The first condemnation action by the State highway department is published in full in this week’s issue of the Leader. These proceedings will be found on an inside page.
A month later, George Nelson of Hallock and formerly of Roseau, was awarded the contract for the erection of the new bridge on highway No. 11 over Hay Creek west of Salol by the highway department and has already commenced work. Gravel is being hauled and preliminary work started.
Mr. Nelson estimates that the work will require about three months’ time for completion. The construction will be enclosed and kept at a given temperature, Mr. Nelson states.
By the end of 1933, 325 men were at work on various projects throughout the county. This article tells the details.
Last week the state CWA administration added several thousand men to the payrolls of the CWA and the quotas of men working in the various counties were consequently increased.
The quota of laborers for Roseau county has been increased from 240 men to 325 men and the full quota is working, according to information from the relief headquarters.
Three new projects have been started since last week. Badger is graveling its streets, repairing sewer and remodeling the basement of the community hall.
Greenbush is repairing the town hall and school house while Strathcona is gravelling their streets and repairing the schoolhouse.
Graveling of the streets here is nearing completion and it will be a nice thing when spring rolls around and streets that have been in need of gravel for a one time are all fixed up. Work in the park is progressing rapidly also.
Acting assistant manager of the local re-employment service, Evan Oie, received a telegram Wednesday night from the St. Paul office of the re-employment service intstructing him to announce through the local newspapers that the office will be open to registration of unemployed women for employment on some projects for women which are to be approved by the state office of the CWA.
His instructions also were to originate and co-operate with originating groups to get women’s groups started.
According to the telegram such projects will be broad in scope, but are subject to the OK of the Women’s Division of the State Board of Control.
All unemployed women should register at once.
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