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88-Year-Old Note Written By Laborers Found In Historic Kansas Building

"Hope when this is opened things will be better for the working man..."

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A mason refurbishing an historic Kansas State University building found a note left behind by a group of laborers in 1928 who expressed hope that working conditions would improve by the time it was found encased in a tobacco can.

The note was recently found in the East Memorial Stadium in Manhattan, which is roughly 60 miles west of Topeka, after a worker removed a stone and found the rusty can. Inside was note signed by five construction workers in 1928: C.K. Bell, Geo H. Bell, W. Sowell, Jim Kelley and Ray Disney.

According to the Kansas State Historical Preservation Office, which posted the noted on its Facebook page, the men lamented about the disparity of pay between laborer and masons, and hoped their message would be found long after they were "dead and forgotten."

This is a transcription of what the note said, according to the preservation office:

Dear Folks, Will place a not[e] in wall as it may some day be found and perhaps the men that built it will be dead and forgotten.

We are having nice weather was 18 above zero this morning.

Hope when this is opened things will be better for the working man than [now?]. Mason got $10 per day and labor $3.20 there will have to be a change soon or the labor will be out of luck.

Please print this if found signed CK Bell, Geo H Bell, W. Sowell, Jim Kelley, Ray Disney. Good luck.

The note has been sent to a conservator for cleaning and protective covering, after which it may be displayed at the stadium, the Associated Press reported.

Jason Wells is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Jason Wells at jason.wells@buzzfeed.com.

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