July 16, 1942 Lawrence County News
Housing Situation is Major Problem
500 to 700 Houses needed for Officers and Employees when Army Flying School Opens
The problem before the cities of Lawrenceville and Vincennes is the housing of the officers and civilian workers in connection with the Lawrence Army Flying School when it is completed and the school is in operation. Officers sent to investigate the conditions here state that there will be need for from 500 to 700 places for families to live, with the lowest minimum at 300.
The directors of the Lawrenceville Chamber of Commerce met Friday to plan for the emergency and a committee composed of HH Cook, SR Nigh, JJ Stillwell and JM Humphrey was appointed to take charge of providing additional living units in Lawrenceville.
A large influx of people is expected in the two cities when the construction work on the field gets under full sway. This large group will arrive almost immediately. There are now more than 300 people working on the project and it is thought that that number will be more than doubled by the last of this week. John Griffin, executive for the common labor union in Lawrenceville and vicinity, states that there are approximately 200 on-the-job who have been approved by him and that the number will reach 500 within a few days. In addition to thes,e there are approximately 60 guards and about 100 engineers, helpers and executives.
Admittance to the field is prohibited and the entrances at the guarded roadways are the nearest one may come to the project. From these points the area has the appearance of what is now, a large cleared prairie. The guards will tell you that at such and such a point there formally stood such old landmarks as the Allison Church, the Funk home, and other places. Dotted about the area are a few small buildings recently erected as offices for the construction companies. There have also been left a few of the residences that are being used as offices. These will be removed later.
A woven wire fence, topped by strands of barbed wire, has been built completely around the area and a road building crew is now constructing a hard surface road around the property inside the fence. Much of the material for the road metal is being procured on the government property.
An Oaktown, Indiana firm is in charge of the construction of the water system to supply the field and a Louisville, Kentucky firm is in charge of the electrical construction. The building of the switch from the B and O railroad to the field is now underway in charge of the Green Construction Company of Oaktown, Indiana. Three big shovels are busy moving the dirt and repairing the roadbed for the tracks. The spur will be a continuation of the west end of the passing track, at Beeman’s switch, about 4 miles east of Lawrenceville.