Austin had Depression aid

Published 5:00 pm Saturday, April 30, 2011

Another entry in the “Progressive Austin” booklet from 1935 caught my attention. It leaves me with more questions than answers. I hope to research and have more for you next week about Depression-era aid programs of various types in Mower County in the 1930s.

“Government Agencies

Austin has shared with other communities in the services of the several Federal Agencies which have to do with the relief program sponsored by the administration. Farm Loan refinancing has been an important service to distressed farm owners during recent months, and is under supervision of Reed Chaffee. Re-employment, during these last years has been a boon to thousands, and the Austin office for this mission has been ably conducted by P. L. Nelson. When public relief reached its peak last year, the County Commissioners found the task of administering this department a full-time job and joined forces with the Federal agency of which E. G. Stenborg has been director. The organization set up has functioned creditably. Recreational activities which have functioned during the past season, were under the supervision of Geo. Russell and the program of this department has been distinctly beneficial to a large group of young people.

Email newsletter signup

Austin was selected as one of two communities in the state as a site for a Subsistence Homestead project, sponsored by the Administration at Washington. The idea carried out in this particular project is so definitely new and untried that it has met with delays that have been exasperating to all concerned. But as we go to press with this issue the difficulties have been ironed out and contracts are being let for construction of the forty-four houses and outbuildings. The three to five acre tracts have already been assigned to local citizens who contract to pay for, and reside on their property. The site chosen for the homestead project is ideal, lying just south of the city and was secured by the government, through the kindly offices of the local committee at a very moderate price. Mr. Wm. Plum is the resident engineer in charge.”

Monday: Royal Wedding Champagne Brunch fundraiser at noon. Call the HHH office at 507-433-4243 for details.

Thursday: Tour from Sherman, South Dakota, 2 p.m.

Coming Soon

May 14: Cooking Tips & Trends, 10 a.m. Details to be announced. Check our web site at for more information.

May 17: “God’s Angry Man: The Incredible Journey of Priv. Joe Haan” by author Wayne Quist, 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Free program celebrating Minnesota’s Greatest Generation offered by the Austin Public Library, Mower County Historical Society and HHH. Please RSVP to HHH office at 507-433-4243.