"United Press Writer Tells a Vivid Story of Dust Storm Area"
Block-ton of in a m town-.' l-II -ed: ; lead-ir 1 25.-(.00 ol in Bargers-villc. ui is UNITED PRESS WRITER TELLS A VIVID STORY OF DUST STORM AREA Farmers Are Discouraged and Ready to Quit, Frank Mc-Naughton Mc-Naughton Mc-Naughton Learns TELLS OF OWN EXPERIENCE Caught in Fury of Blast and Seeks Shelter in Barn Livestock Frightened EDITOR'S NOTE. For two years dust has been transforming once fertile wheatlands of a region large as New England into desert. Since February the stqrms have reached unprecedented intensity. The United Press sent a Maff corespondent into the region worst affected, to report first hand what he saw and what he learned from the inhabitants. His tcur will cany him through the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles. Eastern New Mexico. Southeastern Colorado, and Western Kansas. The fiit dispatch follows: By FRANK McNAl C.IITON. United Press Staff Correspondent. (Copyright. 1935. by United Press.) CLAYTON. N." M.. April 16 iU.P.) The wall of dust, at least 10.000 feet high, boiled over the horizon on the wings of a gale and engulfed me and even- even- animate and inanimate inanimate object in blackness laden with stinging dirt. I drove here from Felt. Okla., through a region once called the I " Bread basket of America." The I storm broke suddenly at about 5 p jm. yesterday. Leaving Felt I heard cries of 'dust storm, diist storm." I saw men and women and children running toward their homes. Brave with inexperience I drove on. Storm Strikes. Soon the fearsome force was upon me. Across the horizon the earth rc.se into the sky. At the top of the dense black wall was a wierd yellow fringe. I raced the storm for 5.5 miles, seeing the ground like the troubled .surface of a vol canic pool, rising into the air. It caught me at the M. H. Doerksen ranch. I wheeled into the ranch yard anil slopped six feet from the sto.it. tightly built stock barn. Bete Bete re I could dash thioie h the doors the dust hit. I spat on my handkerchief handkerchief and held it to my nose I could not see my hand at my face The dust was inescapable. It sifted through the double walls of the barn and made the air almost untroathable. It was like emery dust. My lungs still ache. Livestock Frightened. In the stalls, frightened cattle bellowed and snorted incessantly. Gradually the first phase of the -term -term passed. I opened a door and after a time cculd see the outline of the automobile. After two hours I could see the ranch house CO feet away. In the next- next- few hours the storm thickened and thinned alternately several times. Between me and the sun the dust streaked over the plains in sheets. In an interval of lieht I saw a chicKen's head protruding from a drift and pulled the bewildered bewildered bird free. Driving by Instinct. The remainder of the trip to Clayton Clayton was frightful. While in the barn two feet of dust had drifted against the car. Driving was by instinct. Once T ran into a ditch that had been filled with dust. Another time I ran over a farmer's mailbox which became visible only when it was a foot beyond the radiator cap. It is not flippancy when I say I had received a taste of what B. A. Donaldson. L. M. Price. Preston Foreman. G. E. Stewart and others told me last week when I visited Stratford. Tex..' west of here, after a swing from Sayre, Okla.. through the Texas Panhandle towns of Amarillo and Dalhai't. It seems tragically casual to report report that the dust mantle has suffice! suffice! crops over millions of acres in the southwest. But the men who own the land are not beating their breasts. Many, like Donaldson, who owns 1.000 acres of land near Stratford, Stratford, have quit the light. Donaldson Donaldson fought the reluctant earth eight years, drought another two. Two and a half months of dtut whipped him. Can Never Repair Damage. "The damage will never be repaired." repaired." he said, sweeping; his arm in a wide circle over desolated wheat-fields, wheat-fields, wheat-fields, stripped of topsoil. "I couldn't sell my land now. . . . Guess 111 just have. to lease it and leave." G. E. Stewart, ' another wheat rancher, said, "there's lot of them talking about leaving-, leaving-, leaving-, especially renters people who couldn't hold on." Wears Gas Mask. A truck drove by. its wheels kicking kicking up clouds of yellow dust. The driver wore a army gas mask. But storm wasn't bad then. "You can see a quarter of a mile." Stewart pointed out. Stewart said his farm hadn't re ceived any appreciable rain since 1931. , "When business takes a lick at a man. it's a depression." he said. "When nature does,: it's, calamity." I saw mile afer mile of dust drifted like snow against the fences, and acre after acre stripped of vegetation vegetation and topsoil and in places drifted high with dust. Rain Only Salvation. L. M. Price, president of the Stratford Stratford State Bank, sees only one chance of salvation, "A deluge of rain." Sherman county, Texas, in 1931 produced 5.000,000 bushels of wheat. The crop this year. Price said, will not make 100,000 bushels. Much of the land is mortgaged, mostly to the government. The land is empty of livestock. Most of it was sold as an alternative to death in barren and waterless pastures. One sees no chickens few hogs, hardly any cattle. There is no feed. Settlers Lose Faith. Few ranchers have any faith in federal soil-erosion soil-erosion soil-erosion projects. What can man with tractors and listers do to control a destructive phenomenon phenomenon that ravages thousands of square miles? "Give us rain, to get some grass growing," said Preston Foreman, Federal relief agent for Sherman county. Some wheat farmers, however, are "chiseling" their land furrowing the fields at right angles to prevailing winds. Lived Off Uncle Sam. Federal money has kept business going since 1933. W. T. Martin, implement implement and hardware dealer at Stratford, said. A score of families who came to Sherman county in 1929 have left in recent weeks. Several scores have emigrated from the area north of Dalhart. J. R. Pope, a farm worker who left Guymon, Okla., expressed the feelings of the discouraged ones: "My boss. Jolm Booth, has 200 acres of wheat, sickly stulf. left out of 800 acres. I couldn't stand it any longer. I had to move." 100 Scholarships Will Be Awarded GREENCASTLE. Ind.. April lb (UP). Rector scholarships will be awarded 100 high school seniors this year, Herbert Smith, assistant director of the Rector Foundation at DePauw university, anonunced today. The awards will be made July 1. Each scholarship Is valued at $1,000. paying full tuition for four years. Mr. and Mrs. Walter Buckner entertained entertained at dinner. Sunday. Mr. and Mrs. John Fallis and family, Mrs. Omer Spencer and son of Shelbyville. Mr. and Mrs. T. Hani-sou Hani-sou Hani-sou of Indianaiwlis. Mr. and Mrs. Emmett Duckworth and family of Needham, Ralph Duckworth and daughter of Cincinnati. Mr. and Mrs. John Duckworth of Kokomo. Mortffutfe Exemptions. Feathcm-Sill, Feathcm-Sill, Feathcm-Sill, 34 North Main. The Rev. and Mrs. D. C. Trues-dale Trues-dale Trues-dale of Hanover and Miss Mary Kathryn Trucsdale of the Chicago Presbyterian hospital, were dinner guests of Mr. and Mrs. John A. McCaslin. Monday. Editorial UNEMPLOYMENT (Indianapolis The joint resolution appropriation of un-ler the personal direction Roosevelt specifies that the relief, relief work and employment." The President that 3,500,000 unemployed before Nov.. 15, as a appropriation. The Doubting there are many, do not that number will be year or next. They base confi-"dence on what has been administration's efforts. The NPvA was flourish of trumpets that it would put work within a year. It a serious dent in the but is greatly discredited advocating that it be available to the for public works and fund was to "prime the industry running in high, all done. A check of those camps, on the public and otherwise getting expenditure of the funds disposal shows a total of secretary of labor and the of Labor officials are in the number out of or 13,000,000. In either that it is larger than percentage of those now have to be included in who will get work program. Every one, of maximum of benefits appropriation, even if the experiments and expenditures expectations. ji ! ; i I 1 I j I car-! j j ! ! j i ; ! i i j i i J I treas-i ': , I ' trans-! opcr-; I ' Ed-j un-: ' : '