Thursday, August 25, 2011

Davidson County Farmers Meet, 1940

Approximately 100 farmers, farm women and other leaders of rural life in Davidson County, officers of the North Carolina State Grange and invited guests gathered around the tables at the Methodist hut here Friday night for the first annual banquet of the Pomona Grange of Davidson County.

Informative and inspirational addresses were given by Frank H. Jeter, editor of Extension Farm News, from Raleigh; Reuben Brigham of Washington, D.C., assistant national director of farm extension work; and J. Walter Lambeth of Thomasville, member of the Congress from the Eighth District for eight years, who is now actively engaged in directing his own farm interests. Brief messages were spoken by Mrs. H.B. Caldwell, wife of the State Grange master, who is herself national director of juvenile Grange work; by M.L. Aderholdt, Davidson County’s member of the state board of agriculture; Rev. J. A. McMillan, editor of Charity and children; A.D. Stuart, state seed specialist, and others. H.G. Early, county Pomona leader from the Pilot Grange, presided as toastmaster.

Officers of the North Carolina State Grange present for the occasion included Frank Stroupe, overseer; Read Barbee, gatekeeper; Mrs. W.L. Craver, Flora; Mrs. Katie Rosser, Pomona; Miss Ethel Reich, lady assistant steward; Miss Pearl Thompson, secretary; Miss Katie King, lecturer; and Lambeth Lewis, assistant steward. Mr. Barbee and Mrs. Craver are from Davidson County; Miss Thompson from Rowan; Mr. Lewis from Robeson, with the others from Forsyth or other neighboring counties. A. Crouse Jones, Pomona master in Forsyth and one of the organizers of the Pomona Grange in Davidson, was present along with Mrs. Jones.

Mr. Lambeth Heard
Mr. Lambeth had hurried home from a visit to New York, and to Washington to fulfill his engagement here, which he humorously said was his first public appearance in the capital of his home county “since I did the Lambeth walk a year ago.” Mr. Lambeth had attended an important state dinner at Washington and took occasion to pay warm tribute to Secretary of State Cordell Hull, declaring, “I would stick my neck out for him if it were long as a giraffe’s.”

The speaker paid tribute to national Grange leadership, saying “they do not point guns at the heads of Congressmen” hence stand high at Washington. He also took occasion to remark than many of the public servants at Washington work hard and for long hours, “some of them even for longer hours than do farmers,” and he added that agricultural leaders in Congress are doing all within their power to work out plans to help agriculture.

Quoting from his maiden speech in Congress in which he described North Carolinians as of typical American stock, he declared that never before has there been greater need for typical, patriotic Americans to face the waves of propaganda being spread for ideologies foreign to American traditions.
He urged the need of thrift, of courage, of toleration. The later he said should be exercised between the groups in our own country and toward the nations of Europe who do not have the safety of oceans between them and probable enemies as does this country.
Know Better Than Do
Mr. Jeter delighted the diners with several fine anecdotes and then closed in serious vein with the thought that North Carolina farmers have not always done the things they knew they ought to do. He described a virgin land found in this section, but declared that those who have had it in their keeping have wounded the soil until the streams run red with the life blood of the land, have robbed the forests and tried to make a living from the subsoil . . . .

He said that the state should produce more poultry, cattle, hogs and sheep, and declared that it did not require heavy capital to get a start in these fields. He urged the Grangers to emphasize self-reliance and the use of their knowledge in building back the wealth of the land.

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