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Expect Delays: 1939

Expect Delays: 1939

January 1939. "Highway in Franklin County, Illinois." Medium format negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Illinois backroads.

I was stationed at Chanute AFB in Champaign County, Iliinois in the early '70's and my friends and I all had street legal dirt bikes that we rode all the county and environs. It was all farm roads and four digit state roads, mostly unpaved, that allowed us to go just about anywhere without traveling on a paved road for miles. Great fun!

Going Postal

The front mail box belongs to an H. Butler. In the 1940 census, there was a Hershal Butler living on an "improved road" running west from Hwy 37 and near the Bethel Church, still extant on a route now bisected by I-57. In between the main route and that rural road was the Orient #2 mine mentioned in a prior comment. It's a fairly safe bet that the mine from the 1951 Franlin Co. tragedy is the one depicted in the background here. Fortunately for H. Butler, he was not amongst its victims. He died in 1949.

Mail box question

The smaller mail boxes with the flapper make sense. One can padlock the box at the top and still receive mail kept from prying eyes. I cannot see what the purpose of the ability of pad locking the type like the large one and getting no mail. Bombs?

[That assembly at the front top of the box isn't for a lock - the lower section serves as a handle for opening the door and also as a latch to secure closure when engaged with the upper part. A lock requiring the carrier to have key in order to deliver mail into a box isn't permitted. -tterrace]

Canary in a Coal Mine

Franklin Co. was a bustling hub of mining when this photo was taken. More than a dozen mines operated then, including the one seen in the background here, providing rapid count growth in the early part of the 20th century. It also made for a poignant tie to the sign in the photo, "Prepare to meet thy God," as 119 miners lost their lives at the Orient #2 mine on Dec. 21, 1951 due to a methane gas explosion. There was only one survivor.

Terrible Twosday

Well, between this and the foregoing Private Entrance: 1936, it looks like a good day to have pulled the covers over one's head and maybe try it again on Wednesday.

"Expect Delays"

This is where any road gets interesting!

L.E. Dirden

Loren Edgar Dirden was born in 1890 in Carmi Illinois and died in 1967 in Franklin County Illinois. A draft card from 1941 can be found in a document called "Old Mans Draft Cards, Franklin County Illinois". He was 51 at the time.

Two signs

I think I'd turn around, head back the way I came and not take any chances.

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