1947 Friendship Train in Nevada
Dorothy R. Scheele
all Nevadans to give their share of required food….” declared Governor
Vail Pittman in a proclamation dated November 1, 1947, thus
beginning Nevada’s impressive contribution to the national Friendship
this goal, Gov. Pittman relied heavily on the schools throughout
the state and on Mildred Bray, Superintendent of Schools. Some of
the Governor’s other appointees included Miss Margaret Griffin,
who became Chairman of the Nevada Citizens Food Committee and Lloyd
Dowler, State Supervisor of Vocational Agriculture, who was in charge
of collecting food from the state’s large rural areas. All foodstuffs
were taken to Reno, the train’s only stop in Nevada. William T.
Holcomb, Chief Engineer of the Highway Department, permitted the
trucks to be used for that purpose.
The number of
towns, cities, and counties contributing were too numerous to cite
all of them, but the entire state jumped to the cause. Many towns,
such as Austin and Sparks, lamented that they had not had adequate
time to give as much as they had intended. Mayor Vern Hursh or Sparks
designated the Lion’s Club to head the drive, and Senior Boy Scouts
packed the foodstuffs. In Hawthorne and Babbit, Cub Scouts went
from door-to-door collecting. Fire Chief Lester G. Lindsay drove
a truck from White Pine County to Reno. Contributing towns to this
truck’s cargo were Austin, Elko, Lovelock, Winnemucca, Battle Mountain,
and Ely. Towns in proximity to Reno which gave to the drive were
Carson City, Gardnerville, Yerington, Verdi, and Virginia City.
Students of the University of Nevada hauled wheat 700 miles to give
to the Friendship Train.
belief in Nevadans was certainly justified: the state’s 15,000
residents filled two boxcars -- and grieved that they had not had
the time to do more.
any additional information which would add to this state's
Train was the genesis for the French Merci Train. Website www.mercitrain.org has information about that train.
to Friendship Train History by State