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email: dammingtheosage@yahoo.com

phone: 417-886-7124

Lens & Pen Press
4067 S. Franklin
Springfield, MO 65807

 Posted by at 8:02 pm

  8 Responses to “Contact us”

  1. It is time for the owners of the dam,the USACE, Mo. DNR and other interested groups to work together to resolve the problems caused by the dam. The safety of our citizens, navigation on the river, and environmental issues need to addressed. At this point we need more information to make informed decisions of what to do with this dam.The dam has not worked in over fifty years, it is passed time to address the problems it has created.

  2. Being a native of Henry County, Missouri, I read your book “Damming the Osage” with great interest. I grew up on a farm that today is essentially shown on a map as the LaDue Bottoms Conservation Area. Our family still lived on the farm when Kansas City Power and Light built the Montrose power station and dammed Deepwater Creek. After that, the creek basically became a stagnant series of pools with little or no stream flow and the fishing that existed in the creek became virtually non-existent.

    I was especially glad to read about the history of the Osage people. I had always heard about them but knew nothing about the history of the Osage basin, the coming of the white man, etc. All I can remember about my high school Missouri history class was having to memorize all of the counties.

    My father sold the farm in 1956 and moved the family to Clinton where he went into business. The farm buyer was Roy Fife who was eventually relocated by the U.S. Army of Corps of Engineers. Roy moved south of LaDue and Deepwater Creek until he retired. Roy now lives in what is left of LaDue.

    On page 221, you cite a letter by W.R. Bataschelett (correct spelling “Batschlett’). Walt and Ruth Batschlett were good friends of my parents. Their home place was 1/2 mile north of our farm. Their daughters, Betty Braun and Darlene Woods, still live in the Clinton area.

    I was well acquainted or knew about the principal characters from the Clinton area who were part of the movememt to get Truman Dam built. I grew up hearing about the “Kaysinger Bluff Project”. We knew that our farm would be in the flood plain if Kaysinger was ever built.

    I was totally unaware of the lawsuit as I had left in Clinton in 1963 to go to Oklahoma to work and go to college. After college, I entered the U.S. Air Force in 1968, finished that in 1972 and then went to Oregon to work. So I missed out on all of that part of the story so I was glad to read about that as well.

    I worked for the White/Miles family while I went to high school. A White daughter, Lydia, was in my class. While I have a lot of fond memories of working for the newspaper, I also remember the White family as being borderline cheap in terms of how they treated their employees. While I was part time, I worked there for 3 years for 75 cents an hour and never got a raise. I also remember that at Christmas, they gave all of the employees a turkey. I never got one. Funny how those things stick with you.

    Harry Mills was a member of the First Presbyterian Church which we also attended.

    Haysler Poague was someone that you knew who he was but he moved in different business and social worlds than my family. We were farmers and there was always sort of a division between farmers and townspeople.

    My 37 years of employment was in the electrical utility/power industry. After working for a rural electric cooperative in central Oregon for 8 years, I went to work for the Bonneville Power Administration in Portland. I was there for almost 19 years when I got the call from the CEO of Associated Electric Cooperative, headquartered in Springfield, offering me a job.

    I came here in 1998 and went to work as a division director of corporate communications and member services. One of my additional duties was to servie on the board of the Southwestern Power Resources Association, an association of Southwestern Power Administration customers from six states. I later was president of the Association for a number of years. I am now retired.

    Given that, I have had my own experiences with the Corps. I can tell you that when I first encountered the Corps at their annual maintenance meetings, I could not believe some of the things I was hearing. We had to teach them that it was not cool to take generating units down during the summer and winter ciritical periods.

    All of their dams operated independent of each other. There was no communication between like projects where maintenance information could be passed back and forth and no exchange of common parts and tools. That was an issue that we also worked on.

    Maintenance funding was a big issue. We worked out a plan in which the SPA customers could provide funds for ongoing maintenance when no funds were being appropriated. We even made attempts to lobby congressmen and women in Washington D.C. for funds and were always turned down. Since we were not there asking for money for ourselves (although you could probably argue that indirectly we were.), it always seemed interesting to me that we could never get any help to fix government assets that were revenue producers for the U.S. Treasury. After making one trip to D.C., I went back to the SPRA board and the executive and recommended that we quit making that trip but instead work with local area staff for our needs.

    One thing about the Corps – if they can get money, they love to build things. Probably the most worthless thing they have built lately is the extra spillway at Table Rock Dam at a cost of $100M or so. It will never be used in all likelihood.

    About Truman – I remember the first time I walked into that powerhouse and looked the slant-axis turbines, I wondered to myself – “how in the hell does all of that work?” I am no engineer but anyone who has been around machinery can take one look at all of that weight laying basically on its side and know that it will not work very well.

    I remember asking the powerhouse chief why the powerhouse was built that way. As you point out in the book, it was to save going deeper into the bedrock for the foundation. The powerhouse chief told me that $40M was saved on construction costs.

    There are only three powerhouses that I know of that are built with slant-axis turbines in the U.S. The other two are on the Arkansas River, one in Oklahoma and one in Arkansas. All three powerhouses have been completely rehabbed or are undergoing rehab. The ongoing maintenance and rehab costs at Truman have certainly exceeded the $40M savings.

    Contrast that to the fact that Bull Shoals, Table Rock, etc., all have vertical construction turbines, and never been rehabbed to my knowledge.

    The story that goes around among power interests about the pumpback feature at Truman is that it is nothing more than a giant blender.

    Truman Dam may be the most worthless of all of the Corps projects that have ever been built. When I think about all of the good farmland that has been lost, people that were uprooted from their homes, damage to fish and wildlife habitat, it is terrible. In my travels in my last job, when asked about Truman, I had nothing good to say about it.

    One little knit about your book – on page 178, you note that Harry Truman lived as a child in Clinton. Harry never lived in Clinton; his parents did. They moved there in 1905. Harry was 21 years old and working in Kansas City at the time. There is a home on E. Bodine Street that has a plaque placed there by the Henry County Historical Sociaty noting that Harry lived there. With some effort some years ago, I finally had a past director of the Historical Society confirm that Harry did not live there.

    An interesting concept about Harry Truman’s name. The “S” is not an initial but actually his middle name which I think you pointed out in the book or surely know. The “S” is written both with and without a period. Yesterday, I was at the Harry Truman’s birthplace in Lamar. There, it is mostly written without the period. David McCullough, in his excellent biography of Truman, notes that the “S” is not an initial but still writes it with a period as you do in the book. I was told at the birthplace site that Harry really did not care one way or the other.

    I saw Harry Truman once. He came to Clinton in 1953 and rode in the Henry County Fair Parade and later toured the new fairgrounds facilities. I was maybe less than fifteen feet from him when he walked through the livestock barn. I remember hearing a pig squeal and Harry remarked “sounded like a damned Republican.”

    Thank you for your book. I enjoyed reading it.

  3. Mr. Hartner: We were very pleased that you got something out of our book on the development of the Osage River and that you took the time to critique it and point out some errors. The bit about Truman living in Clinton we got from a pamphlet published by the Clinton newspaper. We should have fact-checked with the Truman Library on that as they were very helpful on several other points of information we requested.

    The book covers so many disciplines – none of which we are schooled in – that it’s a wonder we didn’t make more mistakes!

    Thank you very much for the additional information – like that about the slanted turbines. We appreciate your intelligent and knowledgeable comments. As time permits we will continue to blog about the subject.

    Leland and Crystal Payton

  4. Greetings, Mr. and Mrs. Payton, it was a pleasure to read your book. I learned a lot about the area history that even after growing up in that area, I did not know. It has also inspired me to do some travel to some of the places you mentioned. Thank you for writing the book. Keith Hartner

  5. Thank you very much Keith. We’re taking the time to comment. Even with so much interesting stuff underwater the area above Truman Lake is still one of the most interesting places to visit I know of. Unfortunately, many of the old buildings are falling down and a splendid iron bridge near Schell City fell into the river last year. We’ve done a video on the bridge and some other sites in the basin. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW-br9gJ-CA

  6. Wanted to add another comment regarding Truman Dam. I was involved to some degree in the recalculation of the power benefits at Truman. Since the power benefits did not meet projected benefits, the recalculation was necessary in order to adjust the repayment to the Corps for the power investment at Truman. This had an impact on rates. I can tell you that it was basically through the efforts of the Southwestern Power Administration with support from the regional ratepayers that this was accomplished. The major problem that was encountered was that the decision maker was out on sick leave for an extended period and no one at the Corps would step up in his absence, neither his immediate superior nor the person acting in his stead. Southwestern was eventually successful but not without a great deal of effort.

    I will say this about Southwestern – they are a very professional organization who is all about coming up with the correct answer.

    On another matter which further points out the workings of Corps, as president of the Southwestern Power Resources Association, I was heavily involved in something called the White River Minimum Flow Study. Basically, it boiled down to trout fishing on the White River below Bull Shoals Dam. The resort owners wanted more water released principally from Bull Shoals and Norfork Dams to enhance Arkansas trout fishing. They lobbied the Arkansas Fish and Game Commission who approached the Corps about doing a study, etc. about potential benefits from enhanced trout fishing. One of the Fish Commission members was Forrest Wood from Flippin, Arkansas which is near Bull Shoals. Wood is also the founder and owner of Ranger Boats. He is a big deal in the Arkansas fishing community, specifically the White River. The Corps completed their study which had a number of bogus assumptions and results. The power interests were at a stalemate with the fishing interests. The study called for extra water to be released from six projects on the White River, of which only 2 would benefit trout fishing. After a couple of years of study and haggling, the final decision that placated Arkansas was made on a Monday morning in Little Rock. I was there along with the SPRA executive and two employees of Arkansas Electric Cooperative. Basically, we reached an agreement which almost totally negated the study completed by the Corps. Arkansas went away happy. Power interests were not damaged significantly,etc. There was a bit of clean-up that had to be undertaken in Missouri but essentially it was minimal.

    Like I used to tell people – “what do you expect out of the Corps? It is the damned Army!”

    Sorry to take so long to respond. I have been on vacation for five weeks. Thanks for your response.

    Keith Hartner

  7. Hello Mr. and Mrs. Payton, I am in the process of reading your book, finding it very interesting. I am
    trying to understanding the history of the Dams and the Osage River as a new resident.

    My wife and I recently purchased our retirement home that is located on the Osage, about 11 miles
    down river from Bagnell Dam, up river from Tuscumbia, MO. We are experiencing very significant
    erosion as a result of water being released from Bagnell and Truman. The banks of the river are
    very steep in this area and they are simply falling into the river (along with hundreds of trees and other vegetation) as the released Dam'(s) water erodes the lower bank structure. Apparently the local farmers and land owners (as I am finding out) have been fighting this issue for years, with very
    limited success or results. Would you be willing to share any helpful thoughts that might provide
    some guidance? Thank You!

    Norman Prenger

  8. LIKE I SAID ON ANOTHER POST MY GREAT GREAT GRANDFATHER WAS MISTER WALL.SETTLER AND TRAPPER OF THE OSAGE VALLEY.
    THE ARMY CORP OF ENGINEERS FLOODED THE OSAGE VALLEY DESTROYING MEANY NATURAL AND HYSTOICAL LANDS..
    THE PEOPLE HELPING A.C.E. MOVING GRAVEYARDS WERE LAZY DRUNKS ! MOST OF THE TIME THEY ONLY MOVED THE TOOMSTONES AND NOT THE BODIES!!!
    I AM A VERY, VERY LOCAL.. ABOUT AS LOCAL AS YOU CAN GET..AND I DON’T DEPEND ON THE TOURSTS TRADE…AND I RESENT THE LOCASTS(TOURSTS). SWIMMING AND BOATING OVER THE BODIES OF MY ANCESTERS. YOU’VE POLLITED MY OSAGE RIVER SO BAD THAT THE FISH BELOW THE DAM UNEATABLE!!! GONE ARE THE BEVER, DEER .AND THE OSAGE INDAINS!!! ..
    AND THATS WHY I HATE THEM (TOURESTS).AND THEIR ATTUDES AND THEIR STINKING MONEY…AND I WILL NOT COWTOW TO THER SURVATUDE TREATMENT OF LOCALS ..AND I REFUSE MAKE THEM FEEL WELCOM.
    A VERY LOCAL RESIDENT..,..!!!!!

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