From the Whiteville News Reporter May 8, 1938
Prior to May 8, 1914, Columbus County had seen fit to have the services of two agricultural workers starting in 1911. These two agricultural workers were working in cooperation with the work that Dr. Seaman A. Knapp had started in Texas as early as 1904.
Agriculture in Columbus County has no doubt seen a great many changes since the first agricultural worker, J.F. Steele, who concentrated his work in the western half of the county during 1911 and 1912. In 1912, J.L. Springs started to work in the eastern half of Columbus County. The production of tobacco was introduced into Columbus County by J.J. Hendren as early as 1913 and from that introduction by the county agent, tobacco has grown to the point that it offers our farmers an income approximating $5,000,000 annually.
Mr. Hendren served as county agent in Columbus County from 1913 to 1916 and was followed in 1917 by W.R. Tingle. Mr. Tingle worked as county agent in Columbus County with Miss Lucile Clark, Home Demonstration Agent, who started Home Demonstration work in Columbus County on June 27, 1917.
Mr. Tingle was followed in 1918 by J.T. Lazar, whose work as county agent was not surpassed in any county while he served as county agent from 1918 through 1926. Mr. Lazar worked with Miss Lucile Clark as home agent until November 1919, when she was succeeded by Ruth Conrath, who worked as home agent from November 1919 until May 1921. She was succeeded by Miss Lillian Capehart, who only worked from May until June of that year and in June Miss Lettie Pauline Kohler was appointed home agent. Miss Kohler was succeeded in November 1932 by Lillie Langford, who worked as home agent until November 1934 and she was succeeded by Emiline Cleveland, who started her work as home agent in December of that year.
As you travel through Columbus County at this present time, you might take particular note of the Columbus County homes that show they are exceptionally well kept. Many of our Columbus County farm homes are beautified through the use of lawns and shrubbery and this work is traced directly to the work demonstrated by County Agent J.T. Lazar and the home agents that worked in Columbus County during the time that Mr. Lazar was County Agent.
In 1926 Mr. Lazar was succeeded by J.P. Quinerly, who served as county agent until July 1938. Mr. Quinerly worked with Emiline Cleveland until July 1932 and in July Miss Cleveland was succeeded by Miss Lois Rainwater. Miss Rainwater served as home agent until June 1933 and since that date Columbus County has been without the service of a home agent.
Mr. Quinterly was succeeded as county agent in August 1935 by W.H. Shearin who served as county agent until December.
In January the present County Agent, S.C. Oliver, succeeded Mr. Shearin.
Since July 1, 1935, Columbus County has had the service of two assistant county agents, the first being W. H. Shearin, who worked as assistant county agent until August 1938, and in August Charles D. Raper was appointed assistant county agent and is serving Columbus County in that capacity at the present date.
The present hog market, located at Chadbourn, is a direct result of the organization performed by Mr. Quinterly and Mr. Shearin. However, this work needs to be traced back further to county agents such as Mr. Lazar, Mr. Tingle and Mr. Hendren, who had laid the foundation and encouraged our farmers to produce livestock and quality livestock.
This year’s half-million dollars or more worth of strawberries being shipped from Chadbourn and Tabor City are direct results of demonstration work conducted by these former County Agents in cooperation with local interested agricultural leaders.