Neighbor Relations People 2

 

Glen Frazier

Superintendent Weldon was optimistic about future neighbor relations when the Fraziers bought Miller's farm in 1953. During Weldon's last three years Glenn Frazier cut grass from "the church tract" under a special use permit, similar to the arrangement with Miller. This permit was renewed each year until 1960.

Superintendent Kennedy had the responsibility of approaching the Fraziers about selling their land in 1956. The Fraziers were willing to sell, but their asking price was higher than park personnel thought the property was worth. As a result, Frazier's attorney and Assistant U. S. Attorney Ronald H. Hull spent the next two years haggling over price. Negotiations broke down in 1958 and the property was purchased as a result of public domain proceedings in 1960.

During the property negotiations, Superintendent Kennedy tried to keep friendly relations with Glen Frazier. The following 1958 memorandum from Kennedy to Regional Director Merriam is quoted in its entirety because, although amusing, more importantly it illustrates Kennedy's dedication to the Park Service.

You may recall that about a year ago the superintendent had trouble with Buster, Glen Frazier's Guernsey bull. Old Buster kept breaking out of the pasture and violating the sacred precincts of Whitman National Monument, much to the annoyance of the superintendent. So troubled was he one day by the presence of Buster that he most hurriedly climbed over the fence of the Great Grave to take refuge with the other Whitman victims while Buster ranted outside. The superintendent later had words with Glen but as usual, Glen did nothing.

A few days later . . . glancing toward the Great Grave he noticed that Buster was loose again and that there were visitors in that area. This was an intolerable situation . . . .

The superintendent drove over to the Frazier's yard, jumped out of the pickup, and started for the backdoor . . . [The Fraziers' dog] Stuffy heard the loud knocking. Waking from his slumber he came tearing around the corner, grabbed a bite of the superintendent's trousers and leg, and kept on going. Believe me, friendly neighborly relations were put to the breaking point then!

Glen came to the door and wanted to know what the trouble was. He was told. He was also told what would happen if that d--- bull was not kept out of the Monument . . . . He phoned his father, Lyle Frazier, and together the two that day repaired the fences and the bull, Buster, did not break out again . . . .

And just a couple of weeks ago Glen Frazier asked the superintendent if he had heard about Buster. It seems that Buster had begun to get a little mean and one day Glen mentioned to two of his cowboy friends that he was going to call a vet and have him dehorned. They said there was no need for that; they could do the job if Glen had a meat saw. Glen got a saw. The cowboys threw the bull. Then they tied a rope around his neck and feet and tied it to a tree. While one kept the line tight the other began to saw. For awhile Buster struggled and then seemed to give up. Glen, who was watching the work, looked at Old Buster and saw that he wasn't kicking any longer and told the men to hold up. Sure enough, the line around his neck was too tight and he had run out of air. So that was the end of the Frazier's bull. And in the hope that it would be remembered at the time of the negotiations for the Frazier's land, the superintendent shook Glen's hand and said it was sure too bad about Old Buster.

We superintendents will do most anything for our areas. [86]

Although the Frazier property negotiations were long and drawn-out, the National Park Service had the advantage all along. Although the specifics are explained in chapter four, it is evident that Kennedy had access to goad legal advice and was supported by all the resources the government could provide. When the National Park Service accepted Frazier's $44,000 offer, they acted on advice that a jury award would likely be higher. [87]

The Frazier property was essential to the park's development. Had it not been purchased, development could have been postponed for any number of years. Given its import, Superintendent Kennedy's eagerness to reach an agreement in whatever way possible is understandable. However, harmonious neighbor relations suffered because of his zeal to complete the Mission 66 development.

 

Last updated: March 1, 2015

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