Osage Farms Homes (now Bois d'Arc cooperative farm)A group of homes located near the dairy farms on Bois D’Arc Cooperative farm. The same well and pump that furnishes water for the barns serves to supply the homes. Source: Rothstein, Arthur. "Group of Homes," Osage MO, Nov. 1939, Photographic Print. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives, Library of Congress.
The Resettlement Administration constructed the Osage Farms cooperative project across 13 miles in the northern part of Pettis County, Missouri from 1937-1943. Many of the original buildings, including a government farmhouse, still remain and are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They are now part of the Bois d’Arc Cooperative farm.
The NRHP document about the properties contains the following excerpts:
“The Osage Farms project area is within the easternmost four (Houstonia, Hughesville, Heaths Creek and Longwood) of a band of five townships across the northern third of Pettis County…
The period of significance is 1937-1943, a timeframe during which Osage Farms and many other farm communities were constructed, operated and finally abandoned as resettlement projects. Still, this is a somewhat arbitrary timeframe. Osage Farms began as a project of the Resettlement Administration (created in 1935), but the government effort to reform and rehabilitate the American agricultural economy was under way even earlier. Although most of the Osage Farms properties were constructed during the summer and fall of 1937, liquidation of the project which commenced in 1943 lasted at least through 1946. However, the seven-year span of dates most precisely follows the period of construction and the historically significant function of the properties…
Established in northern Pettis County, Missouri, in the mid-1950s, Osage Farms was part of a many-faceted government effort to reform and rehabilitate the American agricultural economy…
On July 1, 1937, the first 10 houses, 23 barns and seven wells were reported
under construction. Three families had been settled in reconditioned older houses rather than the houses that were being constructed from blueprints. By the end of July, nearly 400 workers were reported on the project. The RA’s Construction
Division directed the various tasks. Much of the carpentry reportedly was done by private contractors, including local carpenters such as Ed Hemphill and Bert Aldridge of Hughesville, a LaMonte carpenter named Finch and others. M. S. Layton was construction engineer. Carney Wyrick was civil engineer. In addition to construction, considerable labor was needed for well-drilling, terracing and road-building. Much labor apparently was supplied by the Works Progress Administration which had a large force in Pettis County…
By March 1938, 50 units were occupied at Osage Farms and the project covered
5,329 acres. Eventually, 69 families would be “engaged in farming and livestock and poultry raising” at Osage Farms, The Sedalia Democrat reported.”
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