Memories of Camp Cody Weblog

December 28, 2013

Wrecked Holiday Packages Strew Camp Cody Post Office – Part 2 of 2

Filed under: Camp Cody Deming — Michael Kromeke @ 5:53 pm

Insecure Packing Accounts for Many Disappointments of 34th Division Soldiers

Salvage Sent to Base Hospital to Gladden Hearts of Bed-fast Troopers

Mail Sacks Piled

Mail sacks were piled to the roof. More then 2,500 sacks of parcels alone had been received that day in addition to 55,000 letters. But the work of sorting and distributing was being done by the twenty-four regular clerks, assisted by fourteen soldiers and without the least bit of lost motion. O. C. Fisher, the camp postmaster, who came here from New Orleans shortly after the camp was established, was directing his force and withal, thing were moving without the slightest hitch. On the north sides of the office trucks from different organizations pulled up and taking on a load of mail and parcels, moved rapidly away. Each organization has a large bin into which its mail is placed and these bins are opened from the large hallway which extends almost the entire length of the building. The division mail is thus secured without any delay or confusion.

During the Christmas rush these bins, which will hold eight sacks, are filled as often as five times daily. The mail is received on the sought side of the building from the largest trucks in the camp, which are used for the purpose of transporting the sacks from the station. Each one frequently brings in as may as 250 sacks, and on the night before Christmas thirteen such loads had been delivered at the unloading platform. More than 200 sacks of parcel post had been sent out and at this season of the year an average of 35,000 letters are being mailed to friends and relatives by the troops here. There is no disorder as the outgoing and incoming mail departments do not conflict at any point. The mailing cases are of the latest model and the clerks who make the separations work with a precision and accuracy that is almost uncanny. About 125 separations are made of the mail going to the states of Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota from which the soldiers of this division have been drawn. A separate packet is made for all towns in these states which receive five letters or more.

The sale of stamps amounts to $1,000 daily at this season of the year and more then $3,000 are sent out each day in money orders. Five clerks are employed in this department alone. The records and receipts are kept in a safe which weights a ton and a half.

The Camp Cody post office is under the supervision of the postmaster at Deming, W. E. Foulks. – El Paso Herald Newspaper – December 28, 1917

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Base Hospital

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December 22, 2013

Wrecked Holiday Packages Strew Camp Cody Post Office – Part 1 of 2

Filed under: Camp Cody Deming — Michael Kromeke @ 3:38 am

Insecure Packing Accounts for Many Disappointments of 34th Division Soldiers

Salvage Sent to Base Hospital to Gladden Hearts of Bed-fast Troopers

Among all the pathetic sights at Camp Cody at Christmas time none was more melancholy than a big fruitcake at the post office which crowned a huge pile of wrecked presents which had been prepared with such care, and often at much expense by relative and friends back home, and which never reached their destination. There was fudge there too, stacks of it, which some sweetheart made in, well, say, Sioux City, Iowa; Pierre, S.D.; Lincoln, Neb., or Minneapolis, Minn. There it was, broken into fragments, as if it had been in the hold of some ship which had been torpedoed on the Atlantic. In cars filled with thousands of parcel post packages ti had been crushed, but still so sweet and tempting that the Times man could not refrain from tasting one morsel and feeling that in a measure the rite, which had its inception in some dainty little culinary laboratory, where delicate hands had preformed that mysterious, ceremony over the heating mixture which brought it to exactly the proper consistency, had been completed by proxy for some soldier of the Thirty-fourth division who was probably revolving in his mind the reflection that “she always used to send me something or other when I was away.” Had he known, our conduct would probably have been designated though as nothing short of sacrilege.

All the damaged, unidentified and unmarked packages consisting of various articles, such as cookies, smoking tobacco, socks, lead pencils, handkerchiefs, postage stamps, writing tablets, soap and a variety of other articles were being checked over and placed in sacks to be sent up to the base hospital where they were distributed among the sick and invalids today. – El Paso Herald Newspaper – December 28, 1917

December 14, 2013

Turning Over The Army City

Filed under: Camp Cody Deming — Michael Kromeke @ 6:19 pm

Major Miller, Q. M. Constructor, Leaving Camp Cody, After Big Achievement

With the departure of Major Charles h. Miller, construction quartermaster, this week fro Washington, D. C., the buildings in the mile camp will be turned over to the division commander, Brig. General Frank G. Mauldin with formalities. Of 500 carpenters at work last week half are to be discharged and as soon as the regimental stables are finished the construction forces will be cut to 20 men, who will instal heaters in the shower baths. Captain Frank H. Barthol succeeds Major Miller as construction officer.

Major Miller arrived here with one assistant July 22, finding the site of Camp Cody a naked plain. Within less than three months he saw it grow to a site for 25, 000 men at a cost of about $2,000,000. He is one of the most popular and efficient officers in the camp. He4 is a man small in stature, but of great forcefulness, and with a magnetic personality which inspires great loyalty. He is a civil engineer by profession and has seen 13 years’ service in that capacity under the United States engineer corps in the surveys, improvement dredging, bank revetment and levee work of the Mississippi river. For four years he as superintendent of construction work for the McClintoc-Marshall Construction company in the construction of that concern’s Pittsburgh plant. He has also had charge of drainage and bank protecting work for the Missouri Pacific and Iron Mountain railways. He was president of the Miller Engineering company, now the Miller-Butterworth company of Little Rock, Arkansas, and chief engineer of various Missouri and Arkansas river drainage districts.

Major Miller was born November 30, 1866. He graduated from the Lehigh University as a civil engineer in 1888. His home is in Little Rock, Arkansas where he has two daughters attending school. Mrs. Miller has been with him in Deming for a short time. – El Paso Herald Newspaper – November 5, 1917

December 7, 2013

Story of How Camp Cody was Constructed Despite Difficulties is Related – Part 3 of 3

Filed under: Camp Cody Deming — Michael Kromeke @ 4:43 pm

Small Organization at First

“The office force consisted at that time of myself, so you can readily realize it was a small affair.” The organization consisted of Mr. Hughes and three former employes. Around his selection is superintendent, George Lotridge, he proceeded to build his permanent organization.
“The first car of lumber was received on the first day of August and by the fifteenth day of the month the landscape at Camp Cody began to take on the appearance of a camp. At this time Mr. Lotridge was taken with appendicitis with the result that Mr. Hughes had to assume all responsibilities.

“The camp site was equipped with 500 feet of sidetrack and just when the bulk of the lumber began to arrive the railroad proceeded to obstruct the approaches to the same for the purpose of building the permanent track into the camp, with the result that all materials were delivered on the main. Seven hundred and twenty-four cars have been received to date and unloaded without any demurrage, the contents of the same aggregating in excess of 13,000,000 feet of lumber.

Shortage of Supplies

“The shortage of lumber and materials in general has been a constant source of anxiety, and it is only because Deming had a Bush and Texas the city of El Paso have we been able to accomplish results. The government camp at Columbus contributed sixteen cars of lumber, consisting of 364,372 feet, but Fort Bliss of this city, saved the day by the transference of 1,827,750 feet, requiring 84 cars, at a time when it was most urgent.

“Eighteen trucks in one day moved from the lumber yard to the base of operation, a haul of over a mile, with 24,000 feet of lumber, at a cost of less then 3 cent per thousand.

Much Pipe Used

“Lumber has not, however, been the only material used and I desire especially to speak on the work accomplished by J. M. Madden, our superintendent in charge of the water and plumbing equipment. Sixty-eight thousand feet of pipe was laid in 12 days, 4,500 of which was ten-inch pipe, and all connections made. Over 27 miles of pipe has been laid to date and to bring about the completion of this work our superintendent in charge inveigled the public works commissioner at Dallas to turn over much needed connections which will as per his promise be returned later. I believe that the major will bespeak his praise of Mr. Madden so I will not endeavor to enlarge upon his accomplishments, only to add that he is one good fellow who has more than made good.

“The electrical equipment under D. H. Murphy has been installed with such proficiency and speed that one who has had any dealings with such equipment can not but wonder how it could be accomplished. I hesitate to mention the total involved in express charges but suffice is to day he got his material. In order to get poles it was necessary to purchase and wreck several abandoned line of the Deming Power company, these lines being located from five to eighteen miles from camp site. Mr. Murphy employed in the pulling of the poles a portable jack with which he was enabled to wreck about 35 thirty-foot poles per day. The primary line is of 2,300 volts, three phase, and the construction being according to the A. T. & T. specifications. The 1,500 buildings of the camp were all wired in approximately 45 days in addition to the erecting of the overhead equipment.

2,945,500 Feet in Flooring.

“Returning to lumber for your information, I will say 2,945,000 feet will be consumed in the flooring and side walls for the tents of the encampment. Three thousand and three hundred floors, 16×16, have been made since the third day of this month and all but 100 were in place at 5 o’clock last evening.

“The matter of wages is something that I will but lightly touch upon for the major, I know, has the rates, but I will say that we met the El Paso scale and for Mr. Hughes I bespeak his sympathy for the local contractors. Our largest net payroll exceeded $97,000. The workmen were paid in currency and the result has been a satisfied organization.

“Our overhead expense, through the wisdom of Mr. Hughes, has been very light, being less that one-half of one per cent of the cost of construction but at the same time said overhead is the highest paid organization doing similar work in this country, Mr. Hughes having selected his force for their qualifications and eliminating numbers.

“In conclusion I get to state that while our troubles have been many our complaints are nil.”

Dean G. M. Butler of the University of Arizona session Friday. His subject was “Some Effects of the Draft Law on the Arizona Mining industry.”  – El Paso Herald Newspaper – Saturday, October 20, 1917

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