Did Own Typewriting.
It was impossible to find, beg or steal a typewriter in Deming the first few days he was there. Major Miller said. However he eventually borrowed a “mill” and for several days did his own stenographic work. Later typewriters and stenographers were imported from El Paso.
As letters were from four to five days on the road to Washington, most of the correspondence with army heads at the capital was handled by night telegraphic letters, some of which were an entire page in length.
16,000,000 Feet of Lumber
It was first estimated that only 4,000,000 feet of lumber would be used, but as the work progressed and the camp grew in size it was found that over 16,000,000 feet would be needed. In one day over 650,000 feet of lumber was unloaded out of railway cars.
Great was the “grief” experienced during the during the earlier days, when it was not know from one day to the other whether there would be enough material on hand at dawn with which to work. As an example of the many pretty worries with which they had to contend, Major Miller pointed out the fact that one set of fire hydrants were delivered at Deming with threads different from the threads on the fire hose. The hose cart came equipped with wrenches that did not fit the fire hydrant.
Preliminary plans for the post office were not what they should have been, Major Miller said. The Deming postmaster pointed out many faults and declared that work in such an office would be greatly hampered. So The contractor and the major wired to Washington for the correct plans, and while they were on the road constructed an office as they believed it should be constructed. It had been completed when the blue prints arrived.
Quarters for Employes Built.
With every building in Deming occupied on July 20 and many residences renting for sums as high as $150 a month, the contractor had to build quarters for his employes and homes for his department heads.
“But the camp is now practically completed, due to the assistance of the people of Deming and El Paso,” concluded Major Miller.
Mr. Tilton spoke as follows, “I was informed that I was to read a paper on Camp Cody, but realizing the enormity of this subject, by mutual consent I have divided this responsibility with Major Miller, one far more qualified than I, who has prepared himself to address you extemporaneously.
“I, therefore, will confine myself to remarks, which are, or rather should be applicable from the contractor’s viewpoint, to the engineers”.
Contract Executed July 18
“The contact for the construction of Camp Cody was signed and executed on the eighteenth was to the effect that troops would arrive shortly after the first of August, Owen Hughes, the contractor, arriving in Deming on July 25 at the urgent call of the major and immediately realized the fact that he had something to do to carry out these same orders for the accommodation of those who had answered their country’s call.
“Deming, from the standpoint of hurried action, is not a cheerful or hopeful subject to consider, being a creation set in the plains and removed from any-wheres.
“The original order for lumber was placed from Washington and the receipt of the same was a matter of conjecture. Fortunately the local lumber companies had realized the necessities of the camp and had fortified themselves by stocking up, this being especially true of the Deming Lumber company, with the result that the S. O. S. signal sent out by the major and Mr. Hughes was immediately answered and on the afternoon of the 26th operations were commenced. – El Paso Herald Newspaper – Saturday, October 20, 1917