The Food Administration
|Government control of the food situation in Madison county was established on
January 7th, 1918, when W. D. Bartlett was sworn in as food administrator at a
meeting with Mr. Hoover, Mr. Treman and John Mitchell in New York City. Shortly
afterward an office was established in the Oneida city hall through the courtesy
of the city, and Miss Olive Merrill of Durhamville was appointed clerk. An
organization was then perfected through out the county by the appointment of
four deputy food administrators, chosen geographically to divide the
county as nearly as possible into five divisions. Mrs. E. J. Kiley of Canastota
was the first deputy appointed, having charge of the towns of Lenox, Sullivan,
etc. Charles A. Fox of New Woodstock was chosen to have control of the towns of
Cazenovia, DeRuyter and Georgetown. Harold O. Whitnall of Hamilton very kindly
consented to act as deputy, and was given the towns of Hamilton, Earlville,
Eaton, etc. Wendell P. Brown of Leonardsville completed the so-called Madison
County Food Commission, taking charge of the towns of Brookfield, Madison, etc.
Mr. Bartlett was chairman of the commission, taking charge of the city of
Oneida and the towns of Peterboro and Stockbridge.
All the food problems of the county came under this commission, and thousands
of letters of instructions were sent out from the Oneida office. Fair price
schedules were issued weekly with the help of the Oneida Retail Grocers'
Association, which rendered invaluable help to the administration all through
the war. Some 100 investigations were made upon complaints received at the
various offices, and besides the regular administrator inspectors the State
Troopers afforded great assistance in making investigations and reports. Happily
most of the complaints were found to be groundless and only four convictions
were necessary in the entire county for food violations during the war.
In August, 1918, Mrs. Kiley was forced by ill health to resign, and Herbert L.
Gleason of Canastota was appointed to fill the vacancy, and did so with much
honor and credit.
The Board of Supervisors very generously furnished all funds for the work of
administration and appropriated about $900 during the year.
On February 1st,
1919, the work of the administration came to an end and the resignations of the
County Food Commission were accepted on that date and the offices closed.
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