Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I've never had the intention of making this a historical blog, but I'd like to chat a bit about this mural that is in the O'Neill post office. I won't go into a lot of detail, but I will suggest that if you want more information, you might have to do a bit of research on your (gasp!) own

The mural was commissioned as part of the Treasury Relief Art Project (TRAP). It is one of over a thousand murals commissioned for post offices from 1934 to 1944 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal Arts Programs by the Treasury Department. The goal was to commission art from unemployed artists to decorate existing federal buildings and new federal buildings that were without money in their construction budget for art. This was a relief program and 90% (later 75%) of the artists on TRAP had to come from the relief rolls. (Source: above link)

Denver artist Eugene Trentham, completed this 11 x 4' oil on canvas in 1938 for the sum of $570. It is entitled, 'Baling Hay in Holt County in the Early Days.' I noticed this painting a few years ago, but I did not know how this work came about, or who the artist was.

This photo of the uncompleted front lobby was taken in 1937. The photo below shows the present day post office with the mural on the far back wall.
The next time you need to mail a package or pick up some stamps, take a moment to look up over the Post Master's door and admire the compositon, color and history of this mural.


  1. Though I can't be there to see have given me food for thought the next time I go into a historical LOOK for these types of murals and the history behind them!



  2. I just found your "Fresh Air Life" Blog this morning. I love it! Wonderful interviews and pictures. I like that you have included some of the younger generation in these interviews also. I've bookmarked you blog, and will be back to visit often. I am a Nebraskan born and raised, and like hearing stories about people from all over showing the good side of life. Too many storeis not relating the "good news" out there. Thanks.

  3. Thanks, Berny! You can't imagine how much I appreciate your comment and feedback. Yep, we can find PLENTY of bad stories, can't we? Thanks again for stopping by!

  4. really enjoy your blog.I lived in the O'Neill area for 30 years ('65-'95) and do remember the simple joys of living the small town life. Sue C. was my neighbor for a short time (so.6th St. apts.), glad to read about her. I do come back and visit on ocassion, lotsa fond memories there. Thank you for the stories and memory jogging.

    Tim Dugan
    S. Texas

  5. Thanks, Tim, glad you are enjoying the fresh air life. Sue is a neat lady, I enjoyed interviewing her. She was so appreciative of the story.


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