Now let’s go back to the spring of 1933. The nation was in a heck of a mess. Wheat price at the warehouse was only 25¢ a bushel. Franklin Roosevelt was just getting things organized. Rumors were out that a big dam might be built north of Wilbur. I went to an anti-dam meeting where a speaker was asking us, “Who will buy all that electricity? Jack rabbits?” "Ha-Ha," came the sounds throughout that crowd.
On January 26, 1933 the editor of the Davenport Times stated it would be a waste of money to build this Coulee Dam, and that it would be idle thinking that there would be a sale for this power. One must realize that it was no fault of this early day editor to think that way. The country was flat on it’s face, so planning a dam as big as the Coulee Dam just simply scared the wits out of most people.
A story got out nationally that if they built Coulee Dam it could fill up with silt in about a hundred years. In answer to that tale of woe, Will Rogers said, “What if that dam does fill up with dirt? By that time the Republicans will be in power and we won’t need that dam.”
Rumors soon faded as there were just piles and piles of people out of work and hungry. Sheriffs were busy kicking farmers off their farms, and something had to be done. Excitement ran high in 1934 down at the Coulee. Shacks were getting nailed together, people were walking around in all directions, and the rattlesnakes were getting jittery.