Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Polk County Farmer Raises Amazing Layers, 1942

Editorial from The Southern Planter, January 1942, and article on T.N. Wilcox

Poultry and the South
Let the doubting Thomases—those who say the South can’t grow chickens—read the article about the Wilcox Barred Rocks on page 35 [story below]. A pen of 13 hens from this Blue Ridge Mountain flock in the Georgia egg laying contest has just set a new world’s record for the breed—3,943 eggs in a year. One of the Wilcox hens layed 348 eggs in 365 days, and that, mind you, in a state where the average hen lays only 84 eggs a year.
There are no secrets to Mr. Wilcox’s success. He simply feeds laying mash, grain and grit; culls his poor producers and keeps his best layers for breeders; and does the small things of poultry production just a little bit better. What Mr. Wilcox has done any other careful North Carolinian can do. And in the present emergency, when the country needs more eggs, and is willing to pay handsomely for them, we believe Southern farmers can well afford to follow the Wilcox example.
Polk County Farmer Raises Prize Barred Rock Chickens
It is reassuring to visit a man like T.N. Wilcox of Polk County, in western North Carolina, who has climbed up on the side of a steep Blue Ridge Mountain slope and developed one of the finest flocks of Barred Rock chickens in the world.
“That statement covers a lot of territory,” you may say, but the official records of the Wilcox Rocks prove it. We were skeptical, too—we couldn’t believe that a North Carolina mountaineer, starting 10 years ago with 20 birds could develop a pen of 13 hens that averaged in the Georgia egg laying contest last year 303.3 eggs apiece to establish a new world’s record for the breed. But we drove back into the mountains in December and saw with our own eyes what this remarkable man has done with this remarkable breed.
Mr. Wilcox had the highest hen and the highest pen in the Georgia test. The 13 birds layed 3,943 eggs during the year to hang up a new all-time record for Barred Rocks. One of his hens layed 332 eggs and a second, not in the contest, however, produced the amazing total of 348 eggs in 365 days to set what is said to be a new record for a Barred Rock hen.
Has Only 20 Acres
Mr. Wilcox stared with only 20 acres of land in his mountain farm but has recently acquired 80 additional acres. He buys all of his feed. He has now between 700 and 800 birds, all of which are of high producing strains and are as alike in color and form as carbon copies. The laying houses, all of modern design, are made of native lumber and built by local farm labor. The steep mountainside gives good protection from winds; and affords excellent air and water drainage. A dozen Hampshire sheep keep the ranges and yards clean of weeds and rank growth of grass.
Mr. Wilcox developed his flock by introducing bred-to-lay strains, keeping careful trapnest records of production, and by culling and selling all but the very best layers. In addition, he feeds his birds all they will eat of a complete ration and manages them with his own expert hands. His income is derived from the sale of hatching eggs, baby chicks and superb breeding stock. Hatching eggs have been sold as high as $1 each, and $20 per 100 is not uncommon. A cockerel sold recently for $25. Even at these prices Mr. Wilcox can supply the demand for his stuff.
Pullets Start to Lay Early
The baby chicks are fed and brooded by modern methods and are ready for the range at 6 weeks of age. The range is well-drained clover, ryegrass and bluegrass sod. The pullets receive limited feeding on the range and are encouraged to pick large quantities of herbage. They are given growing mash, oats and cracked grain in clean hoppers, but these concentrates are not kept before them.
A mixture of planer shavings and wheat straw is used for litter in the laying houses. The scratch grain is fed in the litter. The scratching keeps te hens busy and happy, and provides exercise. A good commercial laying mash is kept before the hens in clean hoppers at all times. In addition to the scratch grain, fed at night, 10 quarts of oats is fed in the forenoon to each 100 hens. Pullets may receive a little lighter feeding of oats. Water, grit and oystershell are always before the birds.
Outside Range for Layers
The laying houses are so constructed that a slide door opens into a yard at the front. These yards are seeded in early fall and provide green pasturage for the hens on warm days in winter. The tender greens supply succulence, and add extra vitamins and minerals to the diet which increases general thrift and fertility. The yards are worked each year to keep down disease.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Glendale Home Demonstration Club

Glendale Home Demonstration Club Meeting

In May 1944 approximately 30 ladies from the Glendale community met in the back yard of Mrs. James W. (Rena) Woodard's home to organize the Glendale Home Demonstration Club. The organization was "to strengthen, promote and help put into practice the extension program of agriculture and home economics designed to carry scientific information to the farm family. "Officers elected that day were Mrs. Cleon (Eula) Boyette, president; Mrs. Mildred Holland, vice president and Mrs. Jesse (Jessie Pearl) Woodard, secretary and treasurer. These officers served the remainder of 1944 and during 1945. History shows that those charter members were the "movers and shakers" of the Glendale community.
 Other early club president were Mrs. W. T. (Rena) Boyette, 1946; Mrs. Worth (Ollie) Boyette, 1947; Mrs. Marvin (Nellie) Atkinson, 1948; Mrs. Willie E.(Ethel) Boyette 1949; Mrs. Cleon (Virginia) Woodard, 1950; Mrs. Kermit (Lucille) Stancil, 1951 and Mrs, Worth (Ollie) Boyette, 1952. By 1947 the women decided they needed a community building. A committee composed of Mrs. Nellie Atkinson, Mrs. Rena Boyette, Miss Varneda Woodard and Mrs. Eula Boyette were asked to select plans for the building.
 In March 1948 at a call meeting with their husbands as invited guests they made plans for construction of the building. A board of directors was elected. They were Mrs. Nellie Atkinson, Mrs. Ethel Boyette, Mrs. Albert (Nona) Lee, Mrs. Rena Boyette and Mrs. Worth (Irene) Bagley. Mr. J. L. Boyette, Sr., Mr. Marvin Atkinson and Mr. Willie Boyette were elected to serve on the building committee and assist the board of directors. Mr. J. W. Woodard gave 114 acre of land directly across the road from Glendale High School for the building. Mr. Woodard, who owned a concrete block facility in Kenly at that time, gave the concrete blocks to build the building at cost. Men of the community made the blocks without receiving any compensation, and they also gave logs, had the needed timber cut and actually built the building with the exception of the plumbing. Mr. Woodard loaned the club $2,000 so they could finish the building. One thousand was due November 1, 1949 and the other thousand November 1, 1950.
 The club held its first meeting in the new club house January 1, 1949. The women began serving dinners to the Kenly Kiwanis Club and Junior-Senior banquets to earn money to repay the loan. They also gave plays, fashion shows, sponsored Halloween carnivals and asked for donations from the patrons of the community and interested friends. Donations consisted of logs, tobacco, hens and money. The note was paid in full April 27, 1950, more than six months before the final payment was due. The club house was officially dedicated and the mortgage burned at the ceremony on May 4, 1952. Club president Ollie Boyette told why they were meeting, Mrs. Lucille Stancil and the building committee burned the mortgage, Mrs. John Ed (Mavis) Pope gave a tribute to the donors and Mrs. Eula Boyette gave the history of the club. Reverend D.S. Blevins gave the devotional.
 The community building was torn down in 1996. It could not be used after 1989 since it lost its water supply when the school closed that year. The club is now the Extension Club. It is still active in the community. Some of the current members are daughters of original members. Two charter members are still living in 1997 - Mrs. Eula Boyette and Mrs. Ollie Boyette.
From the Kenly Tobacco Farm Life Musuem’s Honors and Memorials section. To read the rest of this story, go to

Big Meeting at Dockery's Baptist Church, Rockingham County

Big Meeting Time
Mrs. Nona Maske Ingram, Rockingham County
During the first quarter of the twentieth century the family farm was in full blossom. The term share-cropper or tenant were unknown. Cotton was king in the south and a farmer was proud of his profession. His family respected his authority and ability. Such a man was my father, Preston Maske, and ours was such a family.
Old Sol stood proud, flaxon mane challenged the sheen of a fine lady’s tresses. This huge bay mare had intelligence and gentleness that belied her grand stature. Harnessed to the pantent-leather-shined hack, she was ready to carry the family of seven in high-stepping style. The Maske family loved Old Sol.
Ours was a busy household. Everyone down to me, Nona, the youngest worked early and late until planting and cultivating was done. Then came the time for waiting and hoping with faith, knowing that the harvest was in the hands of a Higher Power. This was laying-by time. Now came revival at Dockery’s Church (as Cartledge Creek Baptist Church was referred to at that time). Yes, Sir! It was Big Meeting Time.
Dockery’s Baptist Church was the community center, as it was earlier when Wake Forest College was founded there. All social and religious activities were held there. Saturday before the fourth Sunday in July, the young boys and most of the ladies in the church, swarmed over the grounds with hoes, rakes, and grass blades to clear the paths and eating area. Mops, brooms, and polishes were lavishly used to make that old building gleam. The pump organ was checked and tested to be ready for a week of full-time service. The ladies prided themselves on the finish a kerosene mixture gave the pulpit and deacon’s corner.
“It’ll repulse those wasps, too,” they reasoned. Children crying from wasp stings had heretofore been a disturbing factor, but since the pest inhabited the building six days a week unmolested, it was not easy to eliminate them on Sundays.
However, on Sunday morning no amount of rubbing would erase the frosty streaks left on the furniture, nor could the frantic use of the cardboard fans donated by the funeral home dispel the pungent odor which engulfed the congregation.
Young ladies and their mothers planned for weeks the new clothes for this the greatest event of the year. Former members and friends came from miles away, and, of course, all the local folks turned out. Excitement ran wild with reunited friends and neighbors and all the new ideas and styles in the fashion parade.
My father and mother loved each of us in a particular way, I am sure, although I was accused of being a lump of dynamite with a temper that flared as a flash of lightning and the tongue of an asp. Mother talked and spanked as I too often spoke out of turn, and my adventurous acts would embarrass her critically.
“Can’t understand why I had to be a girl,” I argued, “and have to wear dresses. They get in my way.” Although my dresses were often snagged from climbing fences and riding horses, mother would never let me wear overalls.
“I have boys to wear the pants,” she explained. “If God had meant you to wear pants and be a boy, you would have been born so.”
Neither would she concede to my hair being cut. It was black and very long, braided into pigtails except on Sundays, when it hung in curls around my neck. I hated Saturday nights most of all because of the paper-rolling of my hair to obtain the Sunday-go-to-meeting curls.
“This dress and this messy hair brings the devil out in me,” I screamed, as Mother brushed and twisted to get me ready for church.
“Well, dear, maybe it’s best that way,” she calmly answered.
As time passed my age demanded a more mature wardrobe.
“Nona, you are developing into a young lady. Your figure needs molding,” Mother said.
To my disgust I was hooked into a foundation garment which extended all the way from my neck to anchor long silk stockings. My childhood fat was squeezed into a shapely silhouette. This was my outfit for the occasion. I remember this big meeting Sunday!
Members of Dockery’s were good God-fearing citizens, living humble lives and providing the needs of their families. Money for church improvements was scarce. There were no stained-glass windows nor fancy pews, only wood benches and huge windows that required two strong men to heist so the breeze could circulate through the perspiring congregation. An elevated pulpit boasted two chairs and a Bible stand which also held a pitcher of water for the preacher. At noon time the young couples strolled to the spring. It was an accepted fact that the ladies went to the left of the path and the men to the right. Discretion was the order of the day, no one could muster the courage to bring the subject of convenience or sanitation before the church board, so year by year the paths were wore slicker and wider.
The evangelist came with his religious fever burning high, however, it was the middle of the week before the congregation got its mind off the finery and carrying-ons of Big Meeting Sunday. Services were held twice daily from Sunday through Friday. Dinner was spread at noon, and sliced watermelon often served after dismissal in the afternoon.
Eleanor Williams, a teenager pumped and played that old organ with all her strength and heart. When Uncle Tom’s top line and Cousin Ruth’s alto led out with “When the roll is called up yonder” and “there shall be showers of blessings,” we could feel the love of Christ in our midst. Even the tiny tots sang, although their hymnals were most often upside down and they didn’t know the words.
Friday afternoon came, the last day of the revival. No one had responded. The evangelist was a bull roaring tornado as he pounded the pulpit, stripped off his tie and coat, and proclaimed God’s wrath and damnation.
“Amen, Amen” roared the deacon’s corner and boys and girls including James and myself found ourselves at the front to process our belief and love for Christ and to join the church.
There was much to be done in preparation for the baptizing services on the following Sunday. Mothers of the girls tied bed sheets between stalks of growing corn to form a dressing room and the boys dressed in the low growing brush.
Sometimes heavy rains would cause the water to rise and overflow the banks of Cartledge Creek, but this had been a dry year. Deacons shoveled out the creek bed to allow sufficient water for the services, but water was scarce. I was the smallest and waded in first. The pastor whispered “bend your knee,” which I immediately did. Then he added, “when I dip you under.” I straightened up quickly, thinking no one noticed my blunder, but I hadn’t reckoned with James. No sooner had we started home when he snickered, “I saw you bend your knee before you were supposed to.” I was irritated but to my unbelievable surprise, I laughed. Mother and Dad joined in the enjoyment of this important episode of our lives.
I remember the happiness and joy of fellowship with neighbors, as well as the inspirational messages received, and how we felt quiet and contented instead of sad and regretful that the big meeting was over. There was a sense of beginning that would last on and on. In the not-too-distant future, plans would start again for big meeting time!
Yes, this “big meeting” I remember.
Mrs. Ingram shared "Big Meeting Time" I Remember When, a collection written by "Extension Homemakers across North Carolina who were 65 years or older in 1978, about things that happened 50 ore more years ago. The book was published in 1978 by the North Carolina Extension Homemakers Association; all rights reserved.

World’s Largest Tobacco Grower is North Carolina Man, 1942

Published in The Southern Planter in 1942
The writer going into North Carolina in quest of subject and material on which to base a story about the unlettered country lad, who by dint of hard work, thrift and practice of the Golden Rule, has gained the heights, isn’t there long before he finds himself on the threshold of the home of C.L. Hardy.
Mr. Hardy lives at Maury, a small eastern North Carolina town. He is proprietor there of an unpretentious general store that stocks about every item a tobacco grower needs for his household and his farm. He is reputedly one of the wealthiest men in the Old North State. He is a banker and a manufacturer. In the latter capacity he is putting on the market an oil-burning tobacco curing unit that is revolutionizing the curing of the golden leaf.
Owns 12,000 Acres
The “Squire of Maury,” as he is affectionately known throughout Eastern North Carolina, is the world’s larges tobacco grower, landlord of a leaf-producing domain of 12,000 acres in Greene and Pitt Counties. It is just about the best tobacco land in Tarheelia, which means that it is about the best tobacco land in the whole world. On these lands live 150 tenant families, numbering about 600 people. Mr. Hardy likes to refer to them as his “family.”
Government statistics show Mr. Hardy to be the world’s largest producer of tobacco. During the 1939 season he sold 1,053,342 pounds of flue-cured bright leaf tobacco at an average of $17.50 per hundred. He also sold 90,000 pounds of scrap tobacco.
Clarence L. Hardy, rugged and active at 64, was born in Pamlico County. His parents moved to Maury when he was an infant. He has been there ever since. When he was 22 he bought his first farm. He still buys land.
Some twelve years back Mr. Hardy wanted electricity in the Maury hamlet and he wanted electric power and conveniences for his tenants. He didn’t go, hat in hand, to the government for the money to construct the power lines. Instead, he built at his own expense between 35 and 40 miles of electric lines, signed a contract with nearby Greenville Municipal Power company to provide the current, and has been operating the  line ever since. He has now more than 400 families using current from it.
On College Board
Mr. Hardy is a director in two banks and holds interests in other financial institutions. He is a heavy investor in North Carolina utilities. He is most proud however, of the fact that he is a member of the Board of Atlantic Christian College, an institution in which he is deeply interested and to which, it is understood, he has made substantial financial contributions. He never married, and resides, with a sister, across the road from his store at Maury. The thought of retiring is furthest from his mind. He intends to keep going as long as his health permits him to.
Early in life Mr. Hardy made it a rule to pay cash for everything he purchased and insisted that those who bought from him settle on the same basis. He still adheres to that rule.
The “Squire of Maury” has, he told a Southern Planter representative who called to see him, great faith in his country and his state. North Carolinians have high faith in C.L. Hardy. He has built for himself a name that will endure in the Old North State. There his name stands for all that is good and wholesome. North Carolinians doubt that anywhere in the world will a citizen be found who better fits into the picture of the country boy who made good than Clarence Hardy, who, in the days of his affluence remains a countryman to the core—and happy in the role.

Monday, June 27, 2011

See Life on Georgia Farm In 1942 in This 11-Minute Film

Henry Browne, Farmer, is an 11-minute film showing the daily life of a patriotic African-American farmer in Georgia during World War II. Browne farms with mules, not a tractor. He is growing some peanuts rather than the usual cotton and corn because the government said it needed the peanut oil for the war effort. His son and daughter are involved in 4-H projects, raising a calf and managing chickens. This brief film even manages to promote contour plowing and drinking milk to build strong bones. This film, and others like it, are available online through the National Archives.
More than 2,000 “ephemeral” films are now at the National Archives. Ephemeral films include advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur films that offer a unique view of what life was like. Rick Prelinger, New York City, founded the Prelinger Archives of “ephemeral” films in 1983. His inventory of advertizing, educational, industrial, and amateur films grew to 60,000 in 2002, when it was acquired by the Library of congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. To access other films in the Internet Archives of the Library of Congress, go to
To learn more about Rick Prelinger, visit his blog, BlackOystercatcher ( Prelinger is an archivist who likes to let the original material speak for itself.

Overcoming Hardship When Country's at War, 1945

Written by Frank Jeter, State College Extension Service Editor, and published in the Wilmington Morning Star, Jan. 15, 1945
Hard luck came to the Culpepper family of Kitty Hawk in Dare County when the tropical storm last September blew away their modest home. They should have been definitely discouraged and downcast. They should have called the Red Cross and other welfare organizations for help. But instead, the record shows that the father got busy and cleared away the debris as quickly as he could. Then he built a small home 14 feet by 18 feet in which to house his family. The next thing he did was to clear up a small garden plot about 20 feet square adjacent to the home. This plot of ground he turned over to his 13-year-old son, Horace, and the boy immediately planted collards, turnips, rutabagas, Hanover salad, and other fall vegetables. All the fall and into the winter the family ate greens from their own garden. They had plenty for themselves and some to share with neighbors who also had suffered from the storm. Only recently, Horace applied for a shipment of cork oak seedlings and will plant these about the family holdings with the idea that some day the seedlings will develop into mature trees producing badly needed cork bark.
But these cork oaks are another story. Right now we are concerned with the garden work done by this family. All of us should be interested because it seems that North Carolina citizens, both rural and urban, plan to plant fewer gardens in 1945. As a matter of fact, our record was not so good in 1944. Many townspeople found out that it takes some work to have a garden and they became discouraged when they found it hard to get a man and a mule to break the soil. They learned that gardening is not simply placing a few seed in the earth but that fertilizers or manure must be used; that the young vegetables much be cultivated; insects and diseases must be fought; and dry weather must be reckoned with. Then, too, when the vegetables finally were produced, they did not always have the perfect appearance that had been indicated by the color pictures in the seed catalogues. Added to this, the gardener found that ration points had been removed from many of the processed foods and these could be obtained from the grocery shelves. Either that or he could go to the nearby market and get all the fresh vegetables that he needed.
This may not be the situation in 1945. Fanatical Nazi-controlled Germans have been the cause of some somber news for us since Christmas day. We have become complacent over the progress of the war and perhaps now we shall have to tighten our belt a bit. War Mobilizer Jimmy Byrnes says that the last great reservoir of young, virile manpower is to be found on the farms and that these young men are needed in the ranks of the armed forces. It does not matter how much food these boys are producing, how many cows they are milking or how many chickens they are feeding—the Army needs them, and only the old folks, the man and his wife, will remain on the home farm. These folks can do just so much and they must cut the garment to fit the cloth. Vegetables require a great amount of hand labor and if this hand labor is not available, they cannot be grown and harvested. This means that the man on the land will grow enough for his own needs first and then do what he can towards feeing his fellow citizens in towns and cities.
But then again, the needs of the armed forces come first. Just as trucks loaded with poultry have been commandeered in the eastern markets in the past few weeks, just as the army may have to divert truck and car loads of fresh vegetables from the commercially producing areas into the warehouses of the Service of Supply, men in the Army eat more than men in the office. War is a hearty eater and while soldiers and sailors require more food than civilians we must never forget that those who work in munition factories forging the implements of war also must be fed. ….
All these things but emphasize the great need for as much food as possible to be produced at home. More gardens are needed in towns and among sharecroppers and tenants, particularly in the tobacco-growing areas.
How long this will continue, no one knows; but certainly it is only patriotic for every citizen with a suitable plot of land to grow as much of his food supply as possible. He must never forget that food is ammunition.
“War mobilizer Jimmy Byrnes” is South Carolinian James Byrnes, who left the Supreme Court to head the Economic Stabilization Office and Office of War Mobilization during World War II. Byrnes was in the House of Representatives and the Senate before being appointed to the Supreme Court. President Truman made Byrnes Secretary of State in 1945. In 1951, Byrnes was elected Governor of South Carolina.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Union County Farm Agent, Seed Cleaning Plant Praised, 1938

From the Charlotte Observer, published Dec. 17, 1938
“Better times came to Union County along with Tom Broom,” declared Rowland Beasley, speaking here last night at a banquet in honor of Union County’s veteran farm agent, held in the dining room of the Marshville High school, when agricultural leaders of State College, farm agents of the surrounding counties, farmers and businessmen celebrated the 24th anniversary of the introduction of lespedeza into the county.
“Mr. Broom is one of the most remarkable men I have ever encountered,” said the Monroe editor. “He is remarkable because he has carried his devotion to the cause of service to his farmers above everything else in his life. He is as enthusiastic now as when he first became county agent and his enthusiasm and imagination have been given to the people who whom he works. He has put his cause head of all things and has not become selfish nor sought to profit from his cause. He has patience and a love of the soil and he encourages other people to reveal the beauty of good farming.”
Dean Schaub [I.O. Schaub, dean and director of Agricultural Extension at the college] declared that Tom Broom has performed miracles in Union and that the influence of his work is felt not only in the county but over North Carolina and the nation. In generations to come, there will be people who will not know Mr. Broom, he said, but who will call him blessed because of what he taught and what he stood for.
After the banquet at the high school, the group visited the modern seed cleaning plant owned by R.P. Stegall. This modern plant, equipped with $15,000 worth of seed cleaning machinery, is now running 24 hours a day, cleaning seed of farmers. Mr. Stegall has paid out more than $25,000 to those men selling the seed to him outright so far this fall. Last year, the plant handled more than 600,000 pounds of lespedeza see with less equipment, and cleaned in all more than a million pounds.
Dean Schaub threw the switch setting the huge plant in operation again and Mr. Broom stated it would run night and day until about February 15. Mr. Stegall estimated that the plant meant that farmers in Union and surrounding counties would get $250,000 more than they would have received in farm income this season by reason of the seed cleaning and buying facilities now available. Of this amount, between $75,000 and $100,000 would be paid to farmers of Union County.

Traveling the Outer Banks in 1939

The following article by Frank H. Jeter, State College Extension Editor, was published in the Monroe Inquirer, Sept. 7, 1939. The CCC camp referred to in the article is the Civilian Conservation Corps. During the Great Depression, unemployed, unmarried men aged 18 to 25 from relief families were put to work conserving and developing public land, in this particular case stabilizing the lighthouse and shores on the Outer Banks. They made $30 a month, $25 of which was sent directly to their parents.
Rodanthe is only one of four small villages on the banks between Nags Head and Hatteras on the North Carolina coast. For years I have wanted to make the trip down the banks and so we set aside one day for the trip. After getting information about the road, how to deflate the tires to travel over sand and learning the eccentricities of driving under such circumstances, we started from the Whale Bone Station and struck out. The road was a trail through the coarse grass of low places and the coarse sand of the higher places. We crossed the ferry at Oregon Inlet and made our way to New Inlet without trouble. Here we passed over two small bridges and then we settled down for a real stretch of sand.
The wind was behind our backs and soon the motor began to heat. Twice we had to stop to allow the engine to cool. There was no water to use and we did not know then that one should turn his car around to face the wind and allow the engine to “idle” until it was cooled off. At Avon, however, we flushed the radiator with cool water and from there on we had no more trouble. But it was an interesting trip to see in places Pamlico Sound on our right and the Atlantic Ocean on our left. Whenever we stopped we found the people friendly and courteous. Sometimes we plowed through heavy sand and again we ran into broad salt flats that formed a regular speedway.
At times, too, we went across high-sand barriers where the CCC boys had erected “sand fences.” Ramps had been built of wooden planks arranged in trough fashion over which the wheels of the car could travel without difficulty. At places, too, there were wide ramps leading to the beach to allow the Coast Guard to carry their life boats to the sea. These also permitted drivers risking the beach to come inland should the surf come too close for comfort.
We were told a simple story of wonderful heroism by Lee O’Neal of Rodanthe as we sat at the bow of the spray-swept ferry boat crossing Oregon Inlet. For 30 years Mr. O’Neal had served in the Coast Guard but now he was retired and living in peaceful security at Rodanthe. In his home, he had a gold medal sent to him by the late King George of England. One could tell that he was proud to have the medal but possibly he gloried more in the heroic deed which won it.
It was during the World War, he said, when the watchman in the outlook tower saw a freighter out at sea apparently blown in halves by some dreadful explosion. The watchman called down to the other Coast Guard members working in the backyard with some of the equipment. It took only a few minutes to launch the power boat and start the rescue. The freighter had sunk by the time the Coast Guard arrived at the scene but most of the freighter’s crew were in boats. The Coast Guard was successful in towing most of the boats behind the bar, eventually rescuing 42 members of the crew.
Mr. O’Neal said the freighter was a British tanker loaded with gasoline and oil and had been sunk by a German submarine. He sketched something of the terror of the crew and something of the fight to get to the life boats as they floated about in a blazing inferno of oil and gasoline. How the rescue was made, I cannot comprehend, but Mr. O’Neal told his tale in such simple modesty that one could only guess at parts of the action. I remembered the occasion when he recalled it and so I was glad to meet one who had been there. Only 10 men were lost, and those would have been saved, said Mr. O’Neal, had they not become panic stricken in trying to launch the first life boat.
All discomforts of the trips were forgotten when reached the Cape Hatteras lighthouse. There was a CCC camp nearby and two boys were assigned to duty at the old landmark. The boy on duty when we arrived was from Hamlet and he showed us every courtesy. He opened the windows as we went upward on the iron stairway 190 feet. When the CCC boys began their work at Cape Hatteras, waves lapped the base of the lighthouse but now sand fences have helped to build the shore line until the beach has been pushed back at least 100 yards. All of the intervening land has been planted to grass now and perhaps the old tower will remain for many additional years.
A new steel lighthouse has been built three miles back from the shore in the Boxton woods and its powerful electric light now guides vessels away from the deadly sands of Hatteras bars. One can see some 10 miles from the top of the old lighthouse. Below we could be seen one of the prettiest ocean beaches in America. The waves came in gently. There was a wide expanse of sand, smooth and even, and the water was apparently shallow some distance off shore.
At Rodanthe Christmas is observed on January 5 instead of December 25. “Our people in my tather’s and grandfather’s time always celebrated Christmas on January 5,” one resident said. “Then for a while we abandoned the custom but in late years we have gone back to it. We have a good opportunity to get together in a community celebration.” Rodanthe is a lovely little village, appearing suddenly on the sandy landscape. The homes are nicely painted and there are lawns, huge fig trees and some shrubbery and flowers.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Polio, 1935

June 29, 1935
My dear Friends:
Due to the infantile paralysis situation in the State, Farm and Home Week has been postponed until probably the first week in September. Just as soon as a definite date has been decided upon I will let you know.
Ruth Current

Cheap Foreign Labor, 1937

From an Aug. 4, 1937 article in Raleigh News & Observer:
“Tell me about China and Japan and cheap foreign labor when my own Nash County men and women work in the potato fields for 50 cents a day and board themselves” Congressman Harold D. Cooley.
But don’t blame the potato grower, he can’t pay any more than that when prices aren’t returning him the cost of producing, Cooley said.
And from the Cooley Library, Nashville, NC (
The women of Nashville’s civic clubs founded Harold D. Cooley Library in 1942. The library was dedicated to Congressman Harold Dunbar Cooley, a Nashville, North Carolina, native and a U.S. Congressman from 1934 until 1966.
Mr. Cooley made extensive contributions to the field of agriculture by serving as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee from 1949 to 1966. He was also instrumental in the nation’s farming program by his key role in the development of the Farmers Home Administration, the Soil Conservation Service, the Crop Insurance Program, the Tobacco Program as well as the Wheat and Cotton Programs, numerous farm bills, preparation and passage of soil conservation legislation, the Federal Crop Insurance Program, and the Food for Freedom Act. For his extensive contributions to farming and agriculture, the North Carolina Farm Bureau, the North Carolina State Grange, and the Progressive Farmer honored Mr. Cooley with Man of the Year Awards.

Rural People Working Together, 1955

By Mrs. Carl Holland, Cool Springs Home Demonstration Club, Statesville, 1955
I feel that the major objective of the Home Demonstration Club has been and still is, seeking a solution to the problem of how men can live together in peace and striving to project into the thinking of the rural people their individual responsibility in contributing to the program of building world peace.
Incorporated into their program are the following projects and organizations.
Country Women of the World, an association whose purpose is to sponsor a fellowship program around the rural people of the world, binding them closer together as they work to improve world conditions.
The Penny for Friendship program to which each Club member is asked to give one penny to promote friendship among the nations of the world. The Home Demonstration Clubs are participating in UNESCO projects—an international agency closely connected with the United Nations—emphasizing the fact that the people must want world order if it is to be brought about.
Pen friends where Home Demonstration Club members correspond with rural women of other countries to tell the of our mode of living, demonstrates a friendly attitude binding them closer together and bringing about a better understanding among our nation and other nations of the world.
The Home Demonstration Club works closely with the 4-H International Student Exchange Program where our young people live, work and play with farm families in other countries for four to six months. These exchange programs make lasting friendship and bring about better understanding among the people of other nations. In return young people from other countries are invited to come into our country and live in the homes of our rural families for the same period of time. These young people return to their respective homes to share these experiences and information about the customs and community life of these people of other countries by speaking at group meetings in the community and showing slides of their work.
Home Demonstration clubs of North Carolina sponsors an educational tour of the United Nations annually. Approximately 100 women from every county in North Carolina visit and study the United Nations at work. These delegates return to their homes and communities and give this information which they have learned not only to their club members but also to the people of the entire community, speaking to church groups and other organizations. The Home Demonstration Club members have made United Nations flags and presented them to churches, schools and other organizations. They sponsored programs on the United Nations that our people may be informed of the purpose of this organization.
Home Demonstration Clubs are contributing to world peace by emphasizing good citizenship. Impressing upon the individual his responsibility as a citizen in his community helps him to know his rights and privileges and to share them with others. Stressing the fact that being a citizen is not enough but he needs to be a Christian citizen in his home and in his community. In this program of good citizenship people learn to live together and they are taught the things that it takes to make a good citizen. The programs start in the home where families are striving to build those attitudes whereby members of families learn to get along together, where each one respects the rights of others, where there is affection, understanding and cooperation in the home and where families work together and play together. The old saying “where families play together, they stay together” is believed.
To be a good citizen a person must be informed in home, community, state, national and world affairs. He must live good citizenship. All these things have been emphasized by Home Agents at regular club meetings, Demonstration programs by speakers at Council meetings, Achievement Day programs, at Federation meetings, Farm and Home Week, community programs and in many other ways. As these attitudes and practices are established in the home the same attitudes and practices will be established in the community. The influence of such homes and communities flow out to influence the state and nation and even the world. For this reason then, it is important to strive for the best in Family Living and build right attitudes of family and community life.
No organization is more dedicated to the tasks of making the peace than that of the Home Demonstration Clubs where all projects for all age groups are directly or indirectly contributing to the building of good citizenship and sympathetic understanding as the people of the world long for peace.
So it is with pride that I have tried to review for you some of the projects and programs of the organization to which I belong. Through these programs the Home Demonstration Clubs are contributing toward world peace and everywhere women are becoming increasingly aware that if peace and order come to our troubled world, women must do their part as citizens. These women are singing with a clearer understanding,
“This is my song, O God of all the nations,
A song for peace for lands afar and mine.”
[from A Song of Peace]

"Our goal is high but it is worth the effort" 1955

By Mrs. C. Lee Shipton, Route 3, Box 146, Concord, N.C.
There are many ways in which the Home Demonstration clubs help to further international friendship and understanding. For many years the members have taken part in the Letter Friend program in which club women may correspond with rural women in other lands. The Home Agents can secure addresses for those interested. Through this program much has been accomplished for a better understanding of the problems and conditions existing all over the world. These friendships will be lasting examples of the good will in our hearts.
Many of our clubs and other rural organizations have cooperated with CARE, CROP, World Relief agencies, the Share Our Surplus program, and other groups whose purpose is to alleviate world suffering. Packages, food and clothing have been sent to needy families. These gifts have brought great happiness and are a practical expression of our desire to be of service and to alleviate suffering in other lands. Many groups have reported letters of appreciation from the recipients that have been interesting and gratifying. These letters have been full of gratitude and these gifts from “across the sea” will not be forgotten. The kindness which prompted these gifts will mean more than the gifts themselves. After a recent donation of $5 to CARE, six letters of appreciation were received from Greece. These letters were in Greek and had to be translated by Greeks in America. This cemented the friendship between our two countries. These letters have also caused us to be more grateful and to express our gratitude. The more ties or bonds that we have of love and friendship, that much more will world peace be strengthened. Our gifts must always be sent with understanding and concern and never with a feeling of patronizing on our part.
Another way in which we cooperate with other club women is through Pennies for Friendship. Last year the club women of North Carolina contributed $593.28 for Pennies for Friendship. We are cooperating this year in sending a home economist to Ceylon who will help those people to a more wholesome and abundant life. Other projects in North Carolina have been a Peace Garden Project and a library in Pakistan.
Each year for the past several years our club women in cooperation with a local bank have sent a representative to the United Nations Assembly. These women have been chosen for leadership and have brought back first hand information on their visits to the United Nations. Two women from each county will go as delegates this year to this international gathering of those who are inspired with the hope of building lasting peace so that all people may develop and the dignity of man be realized.
Our Home Demonstration Club women have entertained foreign students in their homes and some of our young people have visited other countries as representatives of rural youth. Many North Carolina women have also attended international conventions. These exchanges of students and delegates will be helpful for future developments toward world peace. Through these exchanges we have learned much about the culture, traditions, and accomplishments of those of divergent races and nations. An understanding of their hopes, desires, and aims will help to lessen fears, enmity, and suspicion.
In addition to the cooperative efforts that I have already mentioned, our Home Demonstration Clubs help to promote world peace by building better individuals. If all of our 43,353 members in North Carolina can help to create happy homes, made up of the peace loving individuals, our communities, state, and nation will be strengthened. The world, torn by many wars, is looking to our nation for leadership in world peace and brotherhood. Let us join whole heartedly in every effort toward better understanding. May we never feel that war is inevitable. Peace will come when men and women sincerely and unselfishly desire and seek it. Our goal is high but it is worth the effort. By electing men and women of high ideals to lead our nation, by our prayers for global peace, and by practical signs that we believe in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man can the bonds of world peace be strengthened.

Building Peace Through Volunteer Work, 1955

By Mrs. H.M. Guyot, Davie Home Demonstration Club, Halifax County
September 1, 1955
“We, the peoples of the United Nations, determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war….” “since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.
These memorable words in the preamble to the United Nations charter and UNESCO’s Constitution aroused in North Carolina Home Demonstration Club women the desire to help build peace through groups of volunteers learning and working together.
Miss Ruth Current, State Home Demonstration Agent, firm in her belief that “rural women can play a definite part in building among the nations of the world, understanding, right attitudes, and a spirit of cooperation” conceived the idea of conducting study tours for Home Demonstration leaders, of the United Nations headquarters in New York and the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.
The purpose of these tours as outlined by Miss Current “is to give North Carolina Home Demonstration Citizenship and Education Leaders a wholesome understanding of the role they are to take toward citizenship participation in democracy, roles they must assume as leaders in their homes, counties, nations, and world.”
The first tour was conducted in 1953, with 108 club women attending. One hundred and four club women made the tour in 1954. A third tour is being arranged for October, 1955.
Dr. Frank P. Graham, U.N. representative for India and Pakistan, compared these tours being made by North Carolina Home Demonstration Club women “to a pebble tossed into a pool of water, starting waves which grew in an ever widening circle.”
We feel that through our united efforts in the observance of United Nations Day that we are contributing to the “defenses of peace.”
The State Federation of Home Demonstration Clubs has grown since its organization in 1920 to a membership of 45,732 women, representing 1,840 clubs. The major objective of the club “was to help farm families develop useful and satisfying lives.” We have been taught the importance of nutrition, medical care, education, home management, interior decorating, preservation of home-grown foods, and family relations. We realize that we are the “peace makers” in the home and home is where we find our peace or there is no peace. Our Home Demonstration Clubs have opened a new field of endeavor—that of citizenship. “Being a good citizen is being a well-informed one.”
North Carolina Home Demonstration Club women, self-appointed ambassadors of peace, have opened their homes and their hearts to the International Farm Youth Exchanges. This plan was launched in 1948 by the Extension Division of the United States Department of Agriculture. These young people are learning the real truth about our country at a period in their lives when impressions mean lessons, and association, ideas.
Exchange students representing the following countries have visited in North Carolina: France, Norway, Scotland, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium, England, Germany, Luxumbourg, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Northern Ireland, Sweden, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Chile.
We welcome this opportunity for service in helping train these young agriculturists “so that hunger may be banished from the earth and that a stable world agriculture may be established.”
During National Home Demonstration Club Week, 100 foreign students were entertained in club members’ homes; many spent the weekends and attended church services in the communities. Foreign visitors studied our State Health Department and saw improved living on farm and home tours. They also visited Extension offices and activities. Fifteen representatives from 10 countries were entertained at dinner in one county. One club entertained 25 foreign students at dinner. Short talks were given at club meetings by 16 foreign visitors representing eight countries.
Another “Bridge of Friendship,” which North Carolina women are crossing to reach a better world understanding, is the Letter Friend Program. 964 women in 1954 exchanged letters with women in Africa, Australia, British West-Indies, Canada, Denmark, Eire, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Philippine Islands, Scotland, Sweden, and Wales.
In 1954, North Carolina Home Demonstration Club women contributed $579.92 to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. Home Demonstration Club women realize that this is another channel through which we can make our “voice” heard, for hunger, illness, and nakedness know no language barrier.
Our contribution for 1954 to “Pennies for Friendship” was $581.53. 420 Friendship parcels were sent. One County gave 400 pounds of clothing and a carload of milk to CROP. Other counties contributed clothing to CROP and Korea. $10 was given to the Holland Flood Relief. Seventeen woolen afghans were made and sent to Korea.
Transportation and communication have abolished the geographical boundaries of the world. We are a community of Nations with two-way needs. We recall Lincoln’s question, “Why should we not have a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the People? Is there any better or equal hope on earth?” The key words are Patient, Ultimate and Hope. If we work with Patience and Hope, we will reach the Ultimate goal: a world in which “Peace on earth, good will to men, can become a reality instead of a dream.”

How The Organization to Which I Belong Is Contributing to World Peace, 1955

By Mrs. Floyd Cox, Randolph County
In the book of Proverbs, Chapter 29, verse 18, we read, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Home Demonstration club women of Randolph County, North Carolina, have an impelling vision of world peace for which to strive. That the road to world peace is full of hurdles of almost numberless size and form does not dim the glowing vision ahead. These obstructions serve as a challenge to our efforts to attain our vision, and with humility and great determination we pick up the gauntlet fate has flung us.
Realizing first of all that not all bars on this road to peace are the other fellow’s making, we have looked and continue to look at our own actions and motives. A good look at current happenings clearly indicates that other people very often misunderstand the things we do and say. Since America is a wealthy country, too many times we Americans have felt we could make lasting friendships with other lands by sharing our dollars. We can’t!
We are now beginning to learn how great a role education must play in developing better understanding between nations.
Education, of course, is one of the essentials toward achieving international unity and understanding but we realize that education is a slow process. And we who erroneously call ourselves Americans are prone to push events and people faster than they care to go. (I say call ourselves Americans erroneously because we imply that we, as citizens of the Unites States, are the only Americans. We aren’t! Our Latin American friends, our South American friends and Canadian cousins are just as American.)
We begin to see that generous exchange of cultural and spiritual values between nations can be a strong element in the foundation for a structure of world peace.
Once these facts are clearly understood, home demonstration women begin to look for things to do so that our vision may be shared with others and that we may do constructive work toward making that vision a reality.
The 18 home demonstration clubs of Randolph County invest yearly in UNESCO Gift Coupons. UNESCO has a list of projects that need to be carried out in war-ravaged and underdeveloped areas of the world. Our organization selects the project, country, kind of gift and goal set to be accomplished through purchase of these gift coupons….
The project at this time is to equip a village center in Ceylon. This will serve as a training center for native leadership in improving all around living conditions, especially in raising health standards.  
The Randolph County Council contributes yearly to Pennies for Friendship and to the United Nations Appeal for Children, known as UNICEF….
In broad terms, the fund was created for the relief and rehabilitation of children in war-torn countries and for child health purposes generally. In 1953 this committee began to function as a permanent part of the United Nations. It is no longer regarded as emergency aid.
UNICEF provides milk and other protein foods needed by growing children in areas whose supplies are dangerously low because of the war and post-war droughts.
Raw materials for the manufacture of clothing and shoes, institutional supplies and badly needed medical equipment such as x-ray units, incubators and obstetrical kits have been supplied by child-caring institutions. Briefly, this is the work carried on by UNICEF.
The International Farm Youth Exchange Program has brought us a wealth of information through such people as Carolyn Smith, a 1949 exchange delegate to Norway, Mr. Hartmut Stauder, a 1951 German Exchange teacher to North Carolina, and Nancy Pritchett, a 1952 delegate to Germany. Living in our country and attending our school at the present time is a young German girl.
There is a definite correlation between our reading program and our program on world understanding. A book is a passport for a trip around the world. Randolph County has complete cooperation in extending its reading program from the County Librarian, Miss Charlesanna Fox.
Educational leaders in the local clubs send in any requests their club members may have and the librarian sends the books out by bookmobile or by mail. Miss Fox has had much experience in helping people select books, and we are greatly benefited by this experience.
Typical of books read by our club members are The World We Saw by Mary Bell Decker, The Voice of Asia by James Mitchener, Gandi by Eaton, Cry the Beloved Country by Patton, Prison and Chocolate Cake by Nayantara Sahgal, and The Pool of Knowledge by Katherine B. Shippen.
Several of our women are cooperating with the Letter Friends Program. This is a program in which club women may correspond with women in their own age group and who have like interests from countries all over the world.
One fact that impresses us every time we hear form a letter friend is that so many things are similar in the lives of women all over the world. We have essentially the same hopes and dreams for our children.
One of the most successful and far reaching contributions our organization is making toward world peace is participation in the United Nations Educational and Study tour…. In early October, home demonstration women from all over North Carolina meet at our State Capitol, Raleigh, and go by chartered buses to United Nations, New York.
At United Nations, these women attend sessions of the General Assembly and the various committees and hearings. They see the problems of the world being met and dealt with in committees where all people concerned are able to express their findings and convictions in working together for the common good. These home demonstration club women attend special briefing sessions and have met in smaller conference rooms with such speakers as Dr. Frank Graham, Dr. Clark Eichelberger, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt and Mrs. Eleanor Roberts, a special liaison to the United Nations representing the Associated Country Women of the World.
The torch has been lighted, our club women are not only carrying it high through their various contributions to world understanding, they are lighting other torches as they contact people everywhere. Surely, there is hope for better understanding between nations; we refuse to believe otherwise.

In Hopes of World Peace, 1955

People in the early 1950s hoped organizations like the Associated Country Women of the World and the United Nations could help spread peace and understanding, and avoid world avoid wars, especially wars that involved atomic bombs.
Mrs. Floyd Cox of Asheboro, Route 1, has been named winner in a state home demonstration essay contest, Verna Stanton, assistant state home agent, announced today.
Mrs. Cox’s essay entitled “How The Organization to Which I Belong Is Contributing to World Peace” will now be sent to the Associated Country Women of the World Headquarters in London to be judged with entries from countries around the world.
Miss Stanton explains that the National Home Demonstration council is an affiliate of the ACWW. This world-wide essay competition is open to all constituent societies of the ACWW—to society members in Africa, Australia, the British West Indies, Canada, Ceylon, Denmark, Erie, Finland, France, Germany, India, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, The United Kingdom and the United States.
Second and third place winners in the North Carolina elimination were Mrs. C.L. Wilson of Robersonville and Mrs. H.M. Guyot of Roanoke Rapids, Route 1, respectively.
Mrs. Floyd Cox, who has twin sons, plans her daily schedule so that she has time to write. She explains that one of her high school teachers was the inspiration for her wanting to write. Today, Mrs. Cox keeps busy writing for local newspapers and has had articles published in national magazines.
From a press release sent Oct. 19, 1955, from the North Carolina State College School of Agriculture.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Two Anson Women Inducted into Hall of Fame

Anson Natives Inducted Into Family & Consumer Sciences Hall of Fame

By Abby Cavenaugh, Editor, The Anson Record

Two influential Anson County natives were inducted in to the Family & Consumer Sciences Hall of Fame on May 25 — the late Rosalind Redfearn and Ada Dalla-Pozza.

Redfearn was a trailblazer for the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service’s Family & Consumer Sciences program, originally known as the home demonstration program. “Born in 1882, Miss Rosalind (as she was affectionately known for generations by everyone, both black and white) came to work for Extension when she was 31 years old,” reads a history on Redfearn provided by the Anson County Cooperative Extension Service. “Her father, Dr. W.J. McLendon, was the first County Agent in Anson County, having been hired by the Anson County commissioners in 1908. He was followed by Mr. J.W. Cameron in 1911, who in turn hired Mrs. Rosalind in 1913.”

Redfearn was Anson County’s first home demonstration agent and served as such for 35 years, (1913-1948). “A working mother, she was known to bundle up her children and take them with her when she made visits out in the county,” the history reads. “In the early days, four footed horsepower was the means of transportation, so Miss Rosalind traveled the county with her own horse and buggy, teaching girls and ladies everything from canning and leveling a skirt, to cooking a whole chicken in a fireless cooker. She traveled to the farthest regions of the county, sometimes necessitating an overnight stay, which farm families were more than happy to provide to their Home Agent.”

She also started the first girls’ tomato clubs in Anson County, of which Dalla-Pozza was a member, and by 1927, she had created 10 home demonstration clubs in the county. In 1921, she organized the first Women’s Curb Market in Anson County, the precursor to today’s farmer’s markets, giving rural families an opportunity to sell produce, livestock and other goods.

By 1940, thanks to Redfearn, almost 900 families in Anson County marketed hens, broilers, eggs and turkeys cooperatively and shipped 70,000 pounds of turkey, according to a press release from N.C. State University. “By the time she retired, Redfearn and her business partner, county farm agent J.W. Cameron, had developed a turkey-raising industry in Anson County that brought in nearly $300,000 annually and established poultry, eggs and turkeys among the county’s main cash crops,” the press release states.
“The annual $300,000 annually that poultry generated in 1940 would be worth over $2.7 million yearly today,” said Anson County Cooperative Extension director Janine Rywak. “She was amazing!”
Redfearn was the first president of the Home Demonstration Agents Association and was named “Woman of the Year” by Progressive Farmer magazine in 1948, among many other awards and honors. She passed away in December 1957.

Like Redfearn, Ada Dalla-Pozza, formerly Ada Braswell, was born in Anson County, but now resides in Cary. She has been active in the Cooperative Extension program for more than 70 years. After graduating from Woman’s College in Greensboro (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) in 1943, she became the youngest Cooperative Extension agent in the state.

“Dalla-Pozza served as assistant state home economics leader and provided leadership to the North Carolina Extension Homemakers’ Organization (now North Carolina Extension and Community Association),” a press release states. “She started the organization’s internship program and led efforts to preserve and send food to soldiers overseas. Dalla-Pozza also worked with Extension Homemakers to shape state and local policy to support families across North Carolina.”

Redfearn and Dalla-Pozza were two of 25 that were inducted in to the Family & Consumer Sciences Hall of Fame.

Read more: The Anson Record - Anson natives inducted in to Family Consumer Sciences Hall of Fame

Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Service

From The Anson Record:
New book celebrates ‘extraordinary service’ of N.C. women
The recent Family & Consumer Sciences’ Centennial Celebration on May 25 in Raleigh unveiled the book, “Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Service,” narrating and illustrating North Carolina FCS’s 100-year history. The book features pages on extension home demonstration clubs in every county that describe the many ways they helped move their communities forward.

Anson County is featured several times throughout the book. Anson County Cooperative Extension director Janine Rywak pointed out that there is a piece on Jane McKimmon in the book. McKimmon was the first state home demonstration agent, and recruited Anson County’s Rosalind Redfearn. Redfearn’s photo appears several times in the book. She started the state’s first “shop local” movement in Anson County, Rywak said. Other photos show a 4-H event at the county courthouse and one of Anson’s open-air curb market, the precursor to today’s farmer’s markets.

1911 marked the beginning of the home demonstration program in North Carolina that later became “home economics” and is known today as family and consumer sciences. Beginning with home demonstration canning clubs, today’s family and consumer sciences program serves citizens in all the state’s 100 counties and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation.

The 300-page book highlights the past of Extension Home Demonstration and the impact of Family & Consumer Sciences today. For example, did you know that these programs were responsible for:
  • war bond sales that provided over one-half of the $4 million cost for the WWI hospital ship, Larkspur?
  • libraries and book mobiles in many rural counties?
  • hot lunch programs in North Carolina’s rural schools?
  • raising $100,000 from “butter and egg” money to jump-start state funding for the Jane S. McKimmon Center for Extension & Continuing Education at N.C. State?
  • helping bring electricity to North Carolina’s rural citizens?

Each county extension center in North Carolina received copies of the book. Rywak also presented a copy of the book to Hampton B. Allen Library.

Read more: The Anson Record - New book celebrates 8216 extraordinary service 8217 of N C women

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Columbus County Farm Workers in 1933

An Emergency Home Demonstration Agent was hired in 1933 in Columbus County to help families on the dole plant gardens and home can foods. Extension enlisted volunteers and supplied the teaching, the vegetable seeds, and the equipment for canning. Families did the work and were encouraged to grow and preserve enough fruit and vegetables to supply their needs all winter long. Here is the report of Sarah J. Williams, Emergency Home Demonstration Agent in Columbus County from May 1 to Sept. 3, 1933.
At the beginning of the Emergency Work in May, Home Demonstration work was at a low ebb. Communities were feeling the depressed condition keenly. Work was opening but the over crowded conditions and low wages made conditions worse, and Negroes all over the county were wondering just what could be done and how they would be able to feed their families, pay rents, and buy wood with their scanty pay roll.
Seed had been given to 887 families, still those most needing seed also needed work and women, girls, and in many cases entire families had left their various communities and scattered over different sections of the county berry fields, which was their only means of a livelihood.
Owing to crowded conditions of the fields, many were compelled to be contented with 10, 15, and 20 cents a day. Many land lords, not knowing whether their berry sales would bring profits that would justify a raise of wages, gave the pickers meal, meat, potatoes, peas, molasses and vegetables, which made it possible for them to live and pick their berries for 1 penny a quart.
In many communities, especially those with most relief families, it seemed that organizations were impossible, however, the agent visited homes, fields, churches and other gatherings and enrolled all who had received seed and made it plain that as soon as they reached their homes they were expected to plant a garden and to plant repeatedly until they had vegetables enough for their daily needs and to can for the winter.
In 12 communities not organized, we organized garden and canning clubs. In each of these communities we selected a leader. In 20 of the organized communities, we selected county wide leaders. Most of these leaders failed to serve when they learned that other counties were paying leaders from the R.F.C. Fund and not much was accomplished.
County workers, vis, Red Cross, Women’s Clubs, Health Doctor, County Auditor have cooperated beautifully. The success of the work as been largely dependent on their cooperation. An attitude of cooperation has been shown by all relief people. All land lords we came in contact have been kind, cooperative and willing to do something to help conditions.
In 28 communities, visits were made, many plans suggested, instructions given on the best way to meet exisiting conditions. It was decided that a garden would solve the problem, then ‘a good garden for every family’ was the slogan in every home, field, tobacco barn, society and churches. All ministers, society leaders, land lords, and insurance men and all persons of influence began to talk of gardens, until 887 families boasted of a spring garden, although some of these were planted as late as June 15. Then our county was visited with heavy rains and extremely hot weather and gardens over the county were either scorched, dried up or drowned. Families were urged to replant. Seeds were give again and lima beans, corn, potatoes, pole beans, peas, okra, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, turnips, beets, collards and squash were planted and in a few days gardens were again looking fine. Home canners in 264 families reported July 15 that their gardens were supplying their daily needs and vegetables to can for winter.
196 winter gardens have been planted of kale, turnips, rutabagas, collards, onions and salads.
There seems to be a better possibility of families getting a certain part of their living from what they produce than they have before because of the interest manifested in gardens in 1933.
I suggest that farmers plant wheat and more rice in Columbus County, set more fruit trees and get interested in the prevention of fires, conserve wild berries because they play a great part helping to feed the family. In 1930 over 8,000 quarts of huckleberries were conserved in the county and in some families they were the only fruit canned for winter use, and to plant something every month in the year to be able to get an early start in gardens in 1934.
It was not until July 24 we were able to open a community cannery in the county. On this date, after spending two thirds of the day getting ready, we opened with one wash pot, one lard stand, one steam pressure cooker, one can sealer and a few pans.  We canned 200 cans of fruits and vegetables.
On the 27th at the County Training School at Mt. Olive we opened another cannery. This was very encouraging as old club members from Cedar Grove and Mt. Olive turned out in large numbers bringing wash pots, lard stands and wood and canned 400 cans. At Bolton two days were devoted to community canning. At Delco two days were spent in canning peaches. Peaches were canned in large quantities by relief families and home canners. 6,216 quarts of peaches have been reported. Strawberry growers give pickers access to their fields as soon as the season is over. A cannery at this season properly managed and adequately equipped will go a long way towards helping with the food problem.
Women in communities that did community canning seemed delighted and the enthusiasm shown was very encouraging. I advise a community cannery. I feel sure that to confer the association of Negro Home and Farm Demonstration Clubs of Columbus County, N.C., and a few other Negros [with needed supplies], a cannery can be established that would take care of the food needs in the county in 1934 and thereafter.
I feel that there are Negro men in Columbus if given the initiative and time to do something that will see that something is done towards securing adequately equipment for 1934.
Pellegra Situation
Pellagra situation is much improved from what it was in 1930. We never find a patient in families with a garden, milk cow, and a sufficient number of chickens, neither those using pure lard and home made meats.
When we find a family with pellagra we talk of their diet. We talk with their neighbors and some with a cow gives milk, others vegetables and see that some thing is added regularly to the diet until the patient himself can see that lack of proper food is the cause of the trouble. Then we talk of gardens, a cow and other foods until the patient clearly sees and feels that a change of diet will help him and sometimes they think that their life will be spared if only they were able to “eat right” as they say.
Sometimes we are able to put it so plain we change whole neighborhoods. Our greatest difficulties lie in not being able to supply the right diet until patients can see and try to help themselves. I am not able to suggest a remedy for this.
The ten leaders that volunteered and helped us so nicely, I must say helped the work succeed in canning.
Early in May it was learned that the men in Rose Hill community were greatly in need of clothing to cover their bodies sufficient to go to their work. Over 100 school children in this community had been given clothing. Rev. P.D. Paige, a volunteer leader, walked 12 miles a day for four days until he could get in touch with the Red Cross, and secured for them 42 pairs of overalls for as many men.
The Missionary Society of Cherry Grove Baptist Church under the volunteered leadership of Mrs. Louisa Daniels of Whiteville, rendered efficient services to needy families in that community not reached by welfare workers in providing food, clothing, and fuel. Her work dates back in December and will appear in the yearly report.
Mrs. Ida Stephen worked hard to interest her community on Route No. 1 in their garden project. Twenty in this community raised vegetables for their immediate needs and canned enough fruits and vegetables for their winter needs.
Other leaders worked as hard to help suffering humanity to put over all projects.
Williams reported working with 364 relief families between May and September. She enabled them to put up 16,490 cans or jars of produce. And she traveled 5,224 miles working with these families May through September.