Tooele's first employee - Orville Mooberry passes away Dec. 2, 2013
December 23, 2013
Depot's First Employee -- Orville Mooberry
Mooberry , 93, passed away December 2, 2013
Mr. Mooberry, a native of Illinois, began his Civil Service career at Savanna Ordnance Depot on November 1, 1940 as a clerk-stenographer. Later, Savanna was assigned to select and train people in all phases of administrative activities to act as chief clerks for the new Ordnance depots just being established. Orville entered this training program in December 1941 and on May 12, 1942 was sent to Tooele.
Major E.R.Lower, the depot's first commanding officer, had arrived about two months earlier. When Mooberry arrived, there were only two small tarpaper shacks located near where building 9 is now. One was occupied by the construction engineers and the other was the depot headquarters. Everything was surrounded by a sea of mud which would shortly change to impenetrable clouds of dust. The railroad grades were in and the streets in the general supply and ammunition areas were surveyed and laid out.
Some of the first structures erected at the depot included the contractors' headquarters, the high-five residences, and the water tank north of the main entrance. Four major contractors joined forces to form what was called the Intermountain Contractors to construct the depot. They had a huge tent city northeast of where the barracks area is now. There was a continuous stream of construction work4ers recruited from all over the western United States. Most of them didn't stay very long, perhaps because the whole area was a dust bowl in those days and, after a windstorm, they had to shovel the sand out of their tents. Every Sunday, Major Lower and Mooberry would tour the depot to see what had been constructed during the week so they could report it to the Chief of Ordnance.
Mooberry continued as chief clerk until February 1943 when he was drafted into the Army. He was given basic training at Aberdeen Proving Ground and was then sent to Mississippi southern college for Army administrative training.
He returned to the depot in February 1946 and was assigned to the recently created Control Division. After the depot became a sub depot of Ogden Arsenal, the division was abolished and Mooberry went to the Civilian personnel Division for several months. Early in 1948, a management sub office was established and Mooberry was selected as chief of the office.
Later, Ogden became a sub depot of Tooele, a Comptroller office was established and this element became the Management Branch of it. Mooberry continued as chief of the branch until 1952 when he was assigned as the depot Comptroller. The depot was reorganized and designated as Tooele Army Depot in 1962.
Mooberry, retired March 28, 1975, with 33 years of Government service.
Since his retirement in 1975, Moobeery was a resident of Santa Rosa, California for 30 years.