Saturday, November 30, 2013

Whole Wheat for the Whole Family, 1942

Nutritionists have been recommending whole grains for many years now, but take a look at what it meant to for our grandmothers and great-grandmothers to put these foods on the table. Notice the directions begin with a description of grinding the grain. And the breakfast cereal is soaked overnight and then boiled gently for 3 1/2 hours! Ah, the good old days!

This publication, written by Mary E. Thomas and Sallie Brooks, extension nutritionists at North Carolina State College (today, N.C. State University), was published by the college's Extension program and used throughout North Carolina. N.C. State has a collection of old Extension publications at D.H. Hill Library on Hillsborough Street.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Mrs. Epsy Johnson (center) of Laurel, Mississippi, is 1973 Cultural Arts Chairman, National Extension Homemakers Council. Seen with her are left, Mrs. W.C. Beasley, Fayetteville, 1974 State Chairman, and on the right, Mrs. Mary U. Chiltoskey, 1973 State Chairman of Cultural Arts, from Cherokee, N.C.

State leaders at the 1974 meeting.

North Carolina Extension Homemakers Association Vice President Juanita Lagg and Ann Garrison, ACWW Area President.

From the Spring, 1974 issue of Tarheel Homemakers

From Manteo to Murphy—State Council

The leadership for the North Carolina Extension Homemakers Association came from Murphy to Manteo and all points in between for the annual State Council Meeting held at Wrightsville Beach, November 6 and 7.

This was the second meeting of the council covering a two-day span beginning with the luncheon session on Tuesday and concluding with the awards luncheon on Wednesday.

The County Council president or her appointee, plus one Home Economics Agent from each county, the president, first vice-president, and second vice-president from each of the seven districts, all state program-of-work committee chairmen, and state executive board members were official delegates.

Those receiving an invitation to attend at their own expense included 1973 delegates to NEHC who were not in the foregoing group A&P Leadership award winners, and several guest speakers. Approximately 280 attended the 1973 State Council, hosted by the Southeastern District.

A sunny seaside setting was enjoyed more from inside the hotel than out, thanks to a cool November wind.

Welcoming the group were Vice Chairwoman of the County Commissioners Mrs. Vivian Wright; Southeastern District President Mrs. R.A. Watson, and Chairman of the New Hanover Extensin Staff Durwood Baggett.

First vice-president Mrs. Elmer B. Lagg presided over the opening luncheon session.

“Boardwalk Revue of 1972” was a delightful presentation of the Program of Work reports by State Chairmen in humorous, original costumes. The audience participated in a sing-along, using appropriate songs and tunes.

Early morning buffet breakfast brought a report on the status of the Continuing Education Center by Dr. William L. Turner, Vice Chancellor of North Carolina State University. Rudolph Pate told us about he relationship of the NCEHA and the N.C. State University Foundations and Development.

Concluding business session included the election of 1974 executive board, distribution of 1974 yearbook, a report from each of the seven district presidents, and a distinctly inspirational talk by Epsy Johnson of Laurel, Miss., 1973 National Cultural Arts Chairman.

Ever dream of attending a reception on board a battleship? Well, delegates to the State Council meeting went aboard the USS North Carolina, the battleship berthed at Wilmington, for a tea party.

Hosting the party was the Smith-Douglass Fertilizer Company and several North Carolina Food Producers Associations.

Apple juice, both hot and cold, was furnished by the Apple Growers of North Carolina and Virginia. Sausage balls were prepared and served by Mrs. Linda Nunally, home economist for the Pork Association. 

Shrimp sandwiches were prepared and served by Mrs. Faye McCotter of the Seafood Industry. Turkey cheese balls and turkey bites were prepared and served by Linda Stone, home economist of the Turkey Federation. Peanuts, plain and glazed, peanut butter dip with apple slices and filled peanut cookies were courtesy of Susan Phelps, Director of Growers Peanut Food Promotions.

The mess hall, one deck below the main deck, gave everyone a small taste of a sailor’s life with the steep ladders and narrow passage ways.

Everyone was able to negotiate the high thresholds and steep steps without any problems. And everyone seemed to have a delightful time!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

On the H.T. Herring Farm in Greene County, 1945

"Carolina Farm Comment" by F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, as published in the Wilmington Star in 1945

On the highway map of North Carolina, Walstonburg seems to be located on Route 264 just east of Saratoga in Wilson County and a short distance west from Farmville in Pitt County. Actually, it is about a mile from that highway, down a lovely paved road in the northern part of Greene. I drove there one afternoon last week to have a part in the commencement exercise of the Walstonburg High School. It is an interesting trip to make, carrying one as it does through a portion of the best tobacco-growing country in the world.

The crop in central North Carolina is, of course, not so far advanced as further east in Wilson and Greene counties, but, generally where not damaged by hail, tobacco is growing off in almost perfect stand and is being cultivated rapidly to keep it moving.

Again, as in other parts of the tobacco territory, little cotton is to be seen. Much of the land has been put to corn, however, and more soybeans than usual seem to have been planted. There are gardens everywhere and most of them have a variety of crops with several kinds of vegetables now ready for the table.

At Walstonburg, B.L. Davis, the efficient and popular principal of the school, met me at the teacherage and we had time for only a brief peep at the fine school building and its well-kept grounds before he announced that we had been invited for supper at the home of Mr. and Mrs. H.T. Herring, about three miles out in the country. And this really was a pleasure. The Herrings live on a modern and well-equipped farm with about 500 acres of cleared land and a tobacco allotment of about 70 acres.

There are 13 tenant families on the Herring place, and each of them shares in the total tobacco allotment. The size of the families is not as large as it was before the war, but the farm work moves along fairly well. Mr. Herring said he could not plant much cotton this year. Pointing to a fine field of rye near his home, he said, "I would have plowed that rye under several weeks ago and planted the land to cotton if I had plenty of lab or, but, as it is, I had to let the rye go to seed and will harvest it with the combine. I simply cannot afford to plant cotton when I have no one to gather it."

The Herring home is a fine example of old rural architecture. Like many other farm homes in North Carolina today, it is equipped with all modern conveniences, including running water and electrical equipment of all kinds. The high ceiling rooms and the solid old furniture give the place an appearance of permanence and stability. At the risk of making someone hungry, I must tell you about that evening meal. It was beautifully served and there was fried chicken, brown and tasty, thick slices of home-cured ham, lima beans, hot biscuits, candied yams, creamed potatoes, watermelon rind pickles, tender corn, chicken gravy, and finally large slices of homemade pie covered over with delicious ice cream from Mrs. Herring's own refrigerator. I know that I have left out some of the items and I trust Mrs. Herring will forgive me if I do, but I want to say that it was the sort of meal that only those who live on the farm can have in these days of food rationing and meat shortages.

At the high school that evening, it was a pleasure to see the 26 clean-cut, fine young American boys and girls who received their certificates as graduates of the class of 1945. Carl T. Hicks, chairman of the local school board and a prominent official of the Farm Bureau, paid the students a high compliment when he said that their actions as young people had made a reputation for the entire Walstonburg community. Their pride in their school building and the care they had taken to see that none of the public property was defaced or destroyed was commented upon beyond the community, he said.

The program of the evening lasted for over two hours but such was the interest of the people in their home affairs that few left the auditorium despite the warm weather. It was a wonderful demonstration of an unusual community interest. Mr. Davis said the school grounds were being landscaped according to a plan prepared by John Harris, extension landscape specialist at State College, and that the plan was being brought to completion year by year with new seedings and further plantings of shrubbery.

Carl T. Hicks is an authority on tobacco. In his opinion the region of northern Greene, western Pitt, and eastern Wilson counties has never had better prospects for its tobacco crop. The stands are almost perfect, and this means that plants are growing off uniformly and should, thus, produce a cured product that will mature in the same manner, leaf of unusually high quality.

He made the interesting observation also that the tobacco allotment on the farm in that section determines the price of that farm. For instance, if a farm of 50 acres in the heart of a good producing section has an allotment of 20 acres of tobacco, then that farm is worth $20,000. The tobacco allotment is worth just about $1,000 an acre if the place, otherwise, is in such condition that the crop can be grown and handled efficiently.

A farm of 500 acres with a tobacco allotment of 20 acres also is worth $20,000. Apparently the size of the farm has little to do with the price. It's the allotment of tobacco allocated t the farm by the Triple-A Committee that determines its present value. Mr. Herring has an allotment of 70 acres of tobacco, which means that his place has a price on the market for $70,000, but Mr. Herring also has good barns, a lovely rural home, painted and well-kept outhouses, substantial and painted tenant homes, and ample woodlands from which he can secure fuel wood for curing his tobacco crop. He, definitely, is not interested in any such price.

"But even were I to sell a small corner of my farm--some land that I do not need," he said, "I would have to share a part of my tobacco allotment with whomever bought that corner. This is one of the regulations of our county AAA committee and no farmer can sell even a small part of his place without sharing some of his allotment. If he does not share it, the committee will do it for him."

Thanksgiving Greetings from the Past

Yahoo has a slide show of old Thanksgiving postcards at:

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Who Was Still Working at Age 75 and Older in 1930?

Before Social Security, many of the people we call Senior Citizens today were still in the work force. And take a look at the percentages of children who were working. And if you think women in the workforce is a relatively new, take a look at those figures, too.

Percentage of Population Gainfully Employed, 1930 U.S. Census
Native White
Foreign Born White
Other Races
2.2 (0.7)
0.5 (0.2)
13.3 (8.4)
4.8 (2.4)
14 & 15
10.1 (4.1)
6.3 (4.4)
34.5 (19.1)
17.8 (7.6)
16 & 17
38.6 (20.5)
43.2 (38.6)
61.2 (31.7)
47.1 (17.4)
18 & 19
68.9 (39.5)
77.6 (64.5)
81.7 (41.5)
76.5 (23.8)
89.2 (41.5)
93.5 (52.9)
93.5 (46)
91.9 (21.6)
97 (29)
97.9 (30.5)
96.6 (46.9)
96 (17)
97.7 (22.3)
98.3 (20.6)
96.9 (46.9)
96.8 (16.8)
96.6 (20.8)
98.2 (18.4)
97.1 (47.7)
97.2 (17.2)
97.6 (20)
98 (17)
97.2 (47.8)
97.2 (17.9)
97.1 (19.1)
97.5 (16)
97.2 (46.9)
96.9 (17.6)
96.6 (18.2)
95.6 (15)
96.7 (45.5)
95.3 (16.7)
93.1 (16.4)
91.9 (13.2)
95.6 (42.3)
92.6 (15)
87.5 (14)
83.3 (10.8)
92.6 (38.3)
85.8 (13.2)
77 (10.9)
69.7 (8.2)
87.7 (32.5)
77.2 (10.6)
59.4 (7.1)
48 (5.6)
76.2 (23.5)
61 (7.9)
75 and over
33.5 (3.5)
23.5 (2.7)
54.2 (13.2)
41.6 (5.4)

Preparing the Farm for the War Effort, 1941

North Carolina's extension program in 1941 will be a defense program in that it will have for its fundamental purpose the preparation of farm life in the state for whatever the future may hold.

This will mean in part the building up of a reserve of soil fertility; a planned program of production and conservation of food; attention to breeding stock and feed for all livestock in the state; use of good seeds; extension of rural electric lines; repair and renovation of farm equipment and buildings; and in general getting the rural house in order, should neglect of some of these things become necessary within the next two or three years. All these matters were discussed and decided upon at five district conferences of extension workers in October.

Homegrown Vegetables Will Help Win the War, 1941

Farm people of Caswell County, brought to a realization of the need of a constructive program for their county by committee work in the land use planning effort, have diced that the best contribution they can make for national defense on their farms is to increase the number and size of the home gardens on all farms.

Robert Lee Neal has been selected as chairman of the garden committee, with Mrs. John Buck as co-chairman, and the two of them have begun a rigorous campaign for more and better gardens throughout the county in 1941. Every farm family in the county has received this message from the two garden leaders: "The production of an adequate supply of vegetables and fruits for home use is more important to us now than at any time in the history of our country."

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Food Fortification Helps Cure Pellagra

By Youngmee K. Park, PhD, Christopher T. Sempos, PhD, Curtis N. Barton, PhD, John E. Vanderveen, PhD, and Elizabeth A. Yetley, PhD, in the American Journal of Public Health

Effectiveness of Food Fortification in the United States: The Case of Pellagra
May 2000, Vol. 90, No. 5

We traced chronological changes in pellagra mortality and morbidity and compared them with the development of federal regulations, state laws, and other national activities pertaining to the fortification of cereal-grain products with niacin and other B vitamins. We also compared these changes with other concurrent changes that would have affected pellagra mortality or morbidity.

Results. The results show the difficulty of evaluating the effectiveness of a single public health initiative such as food fortification without controlled experimental trials. Nonetheless, the results provide support for the belief that food fortification played a significant role in the elimination of pellagra in the United States.

Conclusions. Food fortification that is designed to restore amounts of nutrients lost through grain milling was an effective tool in preventing pellagra, a classical nutritional deficiency disease, during the 1930s and 1940s, when food availability and variety were considerably less than are currently found in the United States. (Am J Public Health. 2000;90:727–738)

Mortality statistics for the United States1 indicate that pellagra was perhaps the most severe nutritional deficiency disease ever recorded in US history. Pellagra is a classical nutrient deficiency disease characterized by dermatitis, diarrhea, inflammation of mucous membranes, and, in severe cases, dementia. Death can occur if treatment is not received. Pellagra is associated with diets low in the B vitamin niacin, flares up when skin is subjected to strong sunlight.

Niacin intakes and requirements are generally expressed as niacin equivalents. Dietary sources of niacin equivalents include preformed dietary niacin and the metabolic conversion of the amino acid tryptophan to niacin (approximately 60 mg of tryptophan are equivalent to 1 mg of niacin).2

In the early 1900s, when it was prevalent, pellagra occurred to some extent in every state in the United States.1 It was, however, most serious in the southern states, where income was low, most of the available land was used for nonfood crops such as cotton and tobacco, and corn products were a major dietary staple.

With the advent of motorized corn mills, the corn used as a dietary staple was particularly low in niacin. Annual deaths from pellagra far outnumbered deaths from other nutritional deficiency diseases. During the peak incidence years of 1928 and 1929, it was the eighth or ninth highest cause of death, exclusive of accidents, in many southern states.3 The early history of pellagra is covered in detail by Harris4 and summarized by Sebrell.5

Pellagra is one of the few deficiency diseases for which there are records of annual deaths in the United States from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. The availability of mortality statistics and the relatively high rates of mortality and morbidity for pellagra in the United States make pellagra a useful model for examining the complex interrelationships between the decline of a nutritional deficiency disease and possible contributing factors to this decline.
A brief comparison of the total number of deaths from pellagra and voluntary bread enrichment has been published previously.6,7

In this report, we present a more in-depth evaluation of the effects of various contributing factors, including food fortification, on the eventual elimination of pellagra in the United States. The effects on this evaluation of several changes in the recording system for pellagra deaths are also discussed.

Pellagra Hit African-Americans and Women Hard

“Epidemiologists Explain Pellagra: Gender, Race, and Political Economy in the Work of Edgar Sydenstricker” by Harry M. Marks, copyright 2003 Oxford University Press

Between 1900 and 1940, at least 100,000 individuals in the southern United States died of pellagra, a dietary deficiency disease. Although half of these pellagra victims were African-American and more than two-thirds were women, contemporary observers paid little attention to these gender and racial differences in their analyses of disease. This article reviews the classic epidemiological studies of Joseph Goldberger and Edgar Sydenstricker, who argued that pellagra was deeply rooted in the political economy of cotton monoculture in the South.

In 1920, U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) researchers Joseph Goldberger and Edgar Sydenstricker reported on their ongoing study of pellagra in South Carolina cotton mill villages.1 The study confirmed their previous contention that pellagra was a dietary deficiency disease whose underlying causes were rooted in the economic conditions of the southern United States. Not only was pellagra incidence highest in the lowest income groups, but also it was greatest in districts devoted to “King Cotton,” where monoculture and sharecropping were a way of life.2

The U.S. Bureau of the Census annual mortality reports indicated that African-Americans, despite their lesser numbers, accounted for half of all pellagra deaths, and that women of all colors accounted for 69 percent of all such deaths (Fig. ).4

Friday, November 22, 2013

At the 1974 State Meeting in Charlotte

1974 State Officers: Isabelle Fletcher, Juanita Lagg, president; Grace Mc Duffie,  Henrietta Phillips, Sadie Mac(?) Whitley, and Louise Kearns. 

Ray Jones, bus driver, with Juanita Lagg, taken at the State Meeting in Charlotte in 1974.

At the 1974 State Meeting in Charlotte--Juanita Lagg, State President, and Ann Garrison, ACWW Area President. Seated is Juanita’s daughter, Elizabeth.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Polk County Agriculture, November 1947

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, as published in the Hendersonville Times News, Nov. 13, 1947

Polk County may be small in size but it is large in progressive farming. The folks still grow cotton, but they still make good acre yields and usually plant just the amount that the family can handle.

Polk also has some excellent orchards, both apple and peach, and there is a decided trend towards dairy farming. In fact, 26 fine Jersey and Guernsey calves have been given out to Polk county young people in the endless chain foundation, and Paul Culbertson told me on a recent trip to the county that the boys are beginning to return calves to the chain.

Clarence Wilson of the Sunny View club delivered a beautiful 4-month-old Jersey heifer to the club the other day; and it, in turn, was presented to Phillip Dane Walker of the Mill Spring section.  Mr. Culberson said that the original heifer, given to Clarence Wilson, had been donated by the Tryon Bank and Trust Co. Last year, at the Western North Carolina Junior Cattle Show, this heifer placed first in her class and Clarence also won the blue ribbon in fitting and showmanship.

Polk County farm folks are seeding Ladino clover and grazing crops. They are using hybrid seed corn to produce heavy acre yields, and they have recently organized a unit of the artificial breeding association with E.L. Anderson of Saluda as president.

Polk County boasts much of its rolling hillsides where the cold air slips down the mountain sides and prevents the frost from forming in the orchards. They call it the Thermal Belt region, and it is this freedom from  frost, they say, that is so much responsible for the excellence of their apples, grapes, and peaches. It is a lovely little county and is the home of many retired and wealthy people who have found the climate suited to their wishes. It is not too hot in summer nor too cold in winter, and so there are many lovely homes built back from the highways. Most of these people spend the entire summer in the county, and Mr. Culbertson said that many of them take an active interest in the farming affairs of the county.

The immediate reason for my visit to Polk county was to have a part in the exercises of the fall Achievement Day held by the Home Demonstration Federation. The meeting was held Friday night in the Columbus High School building. An excellent supper was served and the women had their husbands as guests. Mrs. Frank Jackson presided, and a report of the various club activities was made by Mrs. J.L. Houser, secretary.

Mrs. Houser said that 260 farm families had taken an active part in the work of the Home Demonstration Clubs during the past year, and she told of much food produced and conserved. Community singing was led by Margaret Cline, the home agent, and despite the rainy night, there was an excellent attendance and a wonderful meeting.

Polk County grows no tobacco but, from the reports made in Columbus that night, they do grow most of their food supply and they do not depend upon trade with England to eat, and to eat well. Evidence of that was seen in the bountiful table loaded with home-grown products. Paul Culberson said that the county has a sizeable poultry industry and that much of the old cotton land is going into pastures and grazing crops.

A few beef herds are being added along with purebred dairy cows and nearly every farm family produces its own pork supply. Country hams cured over hardwood smoke make delightful eating up there, along with baked apples, excellent sweet potatoes, dried and canned fruit, canned vegetables, and plenty of butter, eggs and cream, all grown at home.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

'Keeping Up With Farm Women' November 1937

“Keeping Up With Farm Women” by Jane S. McKimmon, State Home Demonstration Agent, from the November, 1937, issue of Carolina Co-operator

Vance Has New Market Location
Vance County now has a new location for its farm woman’s market and new customers are coming in each market day. There was always a faithful group of regular buyers who came in to the market in Henderson, but the old stand was not as conveniently located as the new one.

Today there is room to display products—more interest in displaying them and increased sales in consequence.

Nash Building New Club House
They are building the Benvenue Community Club House in Nash County on a beautifully wooded lot donated by the city of Rocky Mount and everyone is lending a helping hand. Even the children are cutting undergrowth and carrying water to the workmen.

John Barrell has made an interesting model of the house for display and the Red Oak Club donated their excellent building plans to be copied. WPA agreed to help with workers on the building and put a large force to work, which means rapid headway is being made.

Caldwell Library for County People
People who have never had an opportunity to read before are reading book after book through their home demonstration club meetings in Caldwell County where books are distributed from traveling libraries.
Eager Readers will walk two or more miles to get them and Pine Mountain, Kings Creek, Sawmills, and Dry Ponds communities feel that they are blessed to have book.

Forsyth Recognizes Leaders
The Forsyth County Federation of Home Demonstration Clubs recently recognized Lora Leight and Nannie Sue Johnson as two of the county’s outstanding farm women. Miss Leight has been an active member of the Walkertown Home Demonstration Club for 19 years and Miss Johnson has been a leader in the Pine Grove Club for 13 years. Both have excellent records of achievement.

More News from Across the State
Mrs. Josie Wright of the Broadway Community in Harnett County installed at the cost of less than $50 a hydraulic ram that is pumping 300 gallons of water into her home every 24 hours.

A score of recipes for preparing sweet potatoes to temp the palate is in a booklet sent out by the Division of Home Demonstration Work, State College.

A check-up on the 4-H Clubs in Lenoir County shows a sizable increase in the number of girls in all clubs.
Mrs. Jodie Shipp of Durham County sells from 30 to 40 loaves of home-baked bread on the curb market every Saturday.

Mrs. Willie Davenport, garden leader in the Swain Home Demonstration Club in Washington County this year sold $100 worth of field peas from three rows.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Durham County Women Speak, 1957

The Durham County Women Speak, November, 1957 issue edited by Dot Vanderbilt

Many of you have heard the report on Home Demonstration recommendations at the Achievement Day program. Several of you read the report in Monday’s newspaper. You know by now that most of the Home Demonstration program points that we were working for have been granted. The program will remain essentially the same as now. Many, many thanks go to the Durham County women who came to the rescue and helped spread the word. You can be justly proud that you helped keep our fine program. But the job is not finished. Even as we were pioneers in that project, we must lead the way in setting an example of cooperation and good will with the Extension program. We must continue working to make Home Demonstration even more meaningful and far reaching. In our hands is the responsibility of future generations. 

We cannot, we dare not, let them down. Lincoln said, “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in.” May we as Home Demonstration members strive to continue the work we are in.

Officers’ Training School
Attention all newly elected officers! Wednesday, Dec. 4, is your day for training, fun and fellowship. The meeting will be held in the Agricultural Building beginning at 10:30 and ending around 2 p.m. Bring a bag lunch and plan to attend the entire program. There will be a discussion of parliamentary procedure and special classes on the duties of each officer.

Here and There
Fairview girls met at the Agriculture Building for their October meeting. The covered dish luncheon was delicious as always. They displayed their prize-winning articles from the County Fair. Just think, these fine ladies won 27 prizes. Mrs. S.L. Nifong gave a good demonstration. They had three visitors: Mrs. Owen Parrish, Mrs. J.E. Tilley, and Mrs. H.L. Canada. The club made a donation to the Needlework Guild.

Pineland ladies met at the club house with Mrs. M.B. Rhew as hostess. All members signed the petition. Mrs. Wesley Green gave a good demonstration on draperies. Mrs. L.T. Parrish Jr. modeled a skirt and Mrs. McClamroch exhibited a basket made of Popsicle sticks. Due to the FLU, four members were absent and so couldn’t enjoy the delicious strawberry shortcake. But, 13 others, a visitor let it be known, did. Mrs. McClamroch was chosen the outstanding member.

Bragtown members are the early girls. They have their new officers for 1958. Same as ’57, these good ladies are Mrs. H.L. Canada, president; Mrs. R.E. Tilley, vice-president; Mrs. John Gunter, secretary; Mrs. C.F. Slawson, treasurer; and Mrs. S.L. Cole, publicity. Mrs. Cole gave the demonstration and showed a coat made for her daughter. Mrs. Tilley served real ham biscuits, applesauce cake, and coffee to eight members, and Mrs. M.W. Canon, a visitor.

6- and 10-year-old Employees, 1909

'Faces of Labor: Young oyster shuckers', photographed by Lewis Hine (1909), his caption reads: "Josie, six year old, Bertha, six years old, Sophie, 10 years old, all shuck regularly. Maggioni Canning Co. Location: Port Royal, South Carolina." 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fighting the Influenza Pandemic in Orange County, 1918

The following information on the Influenza Epidemic in Orange County is part of “A Record of the War Activities in Orange County, North Carolina. 1917-1919”, which is online at, as part of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Documenting the American South.   © This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

Early in October, 1918, Dr. D. H. Hill, State Chairman of the Council of Defense, sent letters to all County Chairmen warning them of the spread of Spanish influenza, which was threatening the whole country. In this letter he made suggestions as to what steps should be taken, etc.

        In accordance with this, Mr. J. C. Webb called a meeting of the representative men to meet with the County Commissioners and plans were made for Relief Work. It was realized at this meeting that there was no County Board of Health, and so one was created, with Dr. Spoon of Hillsboro as County Health Officer, who with the following constitute the Board of Health: Dr. B. B. Lloyd; Ed N. Cates Chmn. Co. Board of Commissioners; Jeff Turner, Mayor of Hillsboro; R. H. Claytor, County Supt. of Schools.

        Mr. T. N. Webb was appointed County Chairman of the Relief Work, with Dr. J. S. Spurgeon to represent the Hillsboro School District. The other districts were as follows:

  • Mr. Sterling Browning, representing the Eno District.
  • Mr. Carl Forrest, representing the Efland District.
  • Mr. John P. Hughes, representing the Cedar Grove District.
  • Mr. Eubanks, representing the Chapel Hill District.
        Rev. Harvey Bradshaw was appointed to have charge of the town of Hillsboro and Mr. C. H. Robertson that of West End.

        On October 7, the Board of Health ordered the closing of all churches, schools, theatres, etc., and forbade all meetings of every kind, in order to prevent, if possible, a spread of the disease which had already broken out in the community.
With the appearance of the first case, assistance was given in nursing and furnishing suitable nourishment and necessities by citizens of the town, and Dr. Spurgeon's family, Rev. Mr. Bradshaw, Miss Nellie Russell, and Mr. Chester Turner were among the first to render aid and continued to do all in their power.

      When the epidemic spread to the Eno Mill district, the officials of the mill opened a diet kitchen at the West Hill school, and financed it for about seven weeks. Miss Elizabeth Cornelius, Home Demonstration Agent, was placed in charge of this undertaking and proved herself most efficient and faithful throughout the long siege. Without her it could not have been accomplished. Mr. C. H. Robertson supervised this work and rendered every assistance possible, and as chairman of West Hill was untiring in his efforts to do everything in his power. Misses Emma Robertson and Mildred Durham were Miss Cornelius' assistants during the entire time and Miss Rebecca Wall also rendered valuable aid for several weeks. As many as 150 people were fed daily for some time, and an average of 90 for most of the time. Not only the sick were furnished with nourishment, but the families with no one to cook or provide for them were furnished with the proper diet. Mrs. Emerson and Miss Allie Graham were secured by the Mill to do nursing, and Miss Duncan, the deaconess at the Mills, with these two, rendered most valuable service and gave unstintingly of their time and strength. After preparing the nourishment the ladies at the diet kitchen went with the nurses to deliver it where it was needed.

        Eno Mill also secured another trained nurse, Miss Whitfield, and Bellevue Mill secured Miss Smith from Durham. Mr. Chester Turner and Ross Turner (colored) did noble service as volunteer nurses wherever the need arose.

        As County Chairman, Mr. T. H. Webb was most active and efficient and untiring in his labors, and was especially helpful when the need was great in the Bellevue district. He and Mrs. Webb sent food and clothing to those in need.

        Rev. Mr. Bradshaw worked long and faithfully when the epidemic extended into the town, collecting and delivering nourishment furnished and made by ladies throughout the town. He was assisted in this by Mrs. J. C. Webb driving him to the homes where he had to go, and when it was impossible for Mrs. Webb to continue, a car and driver were furnished by Mr. J. C. Webb for this purpose until the epidemic was past.

        As soon as the need for nurses was felt, Miss Henrietta Collins volunteered to go wherever needed, and later Miss Virgie Cole volunteered, but they were not called upon to serve.

        The Relief Work was organized and carried on by the County Board of Health, but most if not all workers were members of the Red Cross. Below are the minutes of a meeting held in connection with this work.

        A special meeting of the Executive Committee of the Red Cross was held October 26th, at 10:00 o'clock in Major Graham's office. There were present Major Graham, Mr. Robertson, Mrs. J. C. Webb, Mrs. W. H. Webb, Mr. T. N. Webb, Mr. N. W. Brown, Miss H. P. Collins, Mr. Bradshaw and Dr. Spurgeon. This meeting was for the purpose of co-operating with the Committee for the Relief of the Influenza Epidemic, of which committee Mr. T. N. Webb is County Chairman. A motion was carried that there be appointed a chairman of a Nursing Committee of each of the two school districts to whom application may be made for nurses to serve anywhere in our jurisdiction, a record of volunteers to be reported to the Secretary, who was to keep it. Mr. T. N. Webb was appointed Chairman of this Committee for the West Hill School District and Miss Russell for the Hillsboro District.

        A canvass of the town was made the day of this Red Cross meeting to tell the people of the need for nurses and to ask for volunteers who might be called upon if necessary. The Red Cross was asked to furnish gauze face masks and this work was done at the work room as long as a supply was needed.

        The ladies of the Red Cross were asked to make garments for the sick in emergency cases, and this was gladly done at a moment's notice. People were very generous in furnishing butter-milk and soup not only those in town but a quantity of milk was furnished by people out of town, especially east of town. The Rev. Mr. Hester, Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Robertson, and Mrs. J. C. Webb alternatively collected this milk for use at West Hill and in town. Among those who helped by serving or furnishing nourishment are:

  • Miss Hattie Kirkland,
  • Mrs. Giles,
  • Mrs. Tom Jackson,
  • Mrs. Frank Weaver,
  • Mrs. James Scarlett,
  • Mrs. Jesse Martin,
  • Mrs. Cain Roberts,
  • Mrs. John Bacon,
  • Mrs. W. Y. Walker,
  • Mrs. J. W. Walker,
  • Mrs. P. S. Walker,
  • Mrs. John W. Jackson,
  • Mrs. John Sharp,
  • Mrs. W. D. Benton,
  • Mrs. W. H. Webb,
  • Mrs. E. M. Lockhart,
  • Mrs. Charles Andrews,
  • Mrs. W. A. Hayes,
  • Miss Sue Hayes,
  • Mrs. P. C. Collins,
  • Mrs. W. L. Wall,
  • Miss H. P. Collins,
  • Miss Mary A. Collins,
  • Mrs. Jos. C. Webb,
  • Mrs. James Newman,
  • Mrs. Mollie E. Latta,
  • Mrs. T. N. Webb,
  • Mrs. J. S. Spurgeon,
  • Miss Pattie Spurgeon,
  • Miss Mary Spurgeon,
  • Mrs. Shepperd Strudwick,
  • Mrs. Tom Arrowsmith,
  • Miss Annie Strudwick,
  • The Misses Cate,
  • Gen. J. S. Carr,
  • Miss Margaret Webb,
  • Miss Mary Webb,
  • Miss Sarah Webb,
  • Miss Helen Webb,
  • Miss Margaret Forrest,
  • Miss Josephine Forrest,
  • Miss Virgie Cole,
  • Miss Lillie Bivins,
  • Miss Reba Reeves,
  • Mrs. James Webb,
  • Mrs. Claud Sharp,
  • Mrs. W. A. Heartt,
  • Miss Rebecca Wall,
  • Miss E. R. Hamilton,
  • Miss Annie Cameron,
  • Mrs. George Lynch,
  • Mrs. S. W. Oldham.
Influenza deaths in and around Hillsboro:

  • Robt. Adams, Oct. 19, 1918.
  • Frank Riley, October 20, 1918.
  • James Jones (col.) Oct. 24, 1918.
  • Jim Jones (col.) Oct. 1918.
  • Lacy Marlette, Nov. 1918.
  • Mrs. Lacy Marlette, Nov. 1918
  • Influenza deaths in Chapel Hill:
  • W. McB. Bunting, non-resident,
  • Robt. L. Temple, non-resident,
  • K. McKoy Scott, non-resident,
  • Josephine T. Hannah, non-resident,
  • John N. Alston,
  • Bessie Corinna Roper,
  • Edward Kidder Graham,
  • Veron Herndon,
  • Mary Louise Strowd.

Influenza deaths in Carrboro:

  • Henry Joseph Burgess,
  • Rosa A. Clark,
  • Mrs. Ida Biggs Vaughan,
  • John A. Foushee,
  • Sidney Cates,
  • Martha Blackwood,
  • Nonie Burgess,
  • Donnie Williams King (infant)
  • James O. Hargraves (colored)
  • Melvina Jones, (colored)
  • Queen Victoria Brewer, (colored)

Cedar Grove:

  • There were about 375 cases of Spanish influenza in Cedar Grove Township and only four deaths. The epidemic lasted until the second week in December.

Influenza deaths at Little River Township:

  • Mrs. Ida Wagoner,
  • Dock Parrish,
  • Ed Hester (Colored)
        After Christmas a second epidemic of Spanish influenza spread through the county and was very bad at Cedar Grove, Efland and Hillsboro. However the schools and churches did not close and the epidemic gradually died down.

Additional list of those helping during the epidemic:

  • Miss Cornelius,
  • Miss Emma Robertson,
  • Miss Mildred Durham,
  • Mr. C. H. Robertson,
  • Mr. Will Jordan,
  • Rev. H. S. Bradshaw,
  • Mrs. S. W. Oldham,
  • Mr. C. D. Turner,
  • Mr. Jas. H. Webb,
  • Mr. J. H. Knight,
  • Miss Duncan,
  • Mr. T. N. Webb,
  • Mr. Calvin Lassiter,
  • Mrs. C. H. Robertson,
  • Mr. W. H. Webb,
  • Mr. O. O. Mangum,
  • Ross Turner (colored)
  • Mrs. James Newman,
  • Mr. C. McD. Andrews,
  • Mrs. Jas. H. Webb,
  • Mrs. Emmerson.