Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Putting David Coker's Knowledge to Work, 1943

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State University, Raleigh, as published in the Charlotte Observer and in the Wadesboro Messenger, April 29, 1943

The late David R. Coker of Hartsville was a dreamer as well as a scientist and a business man. Such a combination of talent in one person is a great rarity. Mr. Coker dreamed into existence one of the great seed producing centers in the South and, with his capable associates, did much to improve the yields and quality of crops grown in the South. If the results of his dreaming paid him dividends, more honor to him because that is the traditional American way.

But while he was a great dreamer, he was at the very same time so very practical that he could adapt the results of his dreams to everyday life. I liked that about him most of all. I recall back in the days of the depression when agricultural leaders were calling upon the people of the land to “live-at-home,” to grow more food at home, to assure themselves of a food supply first of all, I heard the clear call from Mr. Coker to grow more sweet potatoes.

His appeal was not couched in high-sounding phrases. He simply said that every cotton farmer would who will to put in a patch of sweet potatoes and called attention to the food value of the roots. He didn’t say anything about their vitamin content because vitamins were relatively new at that time. But Mr. Coker knew from practical experience that sweet potatoes supplied some of the best food we could get at the lowest price per pound and that the crop is about as easy to grow as any other produced in the South. I recall even today some 15 years later, how he pointed out that the lowliest tenant on the most obscure farm knew how to grow sweet potatoes and Mr. Coker gave some indication of the yield that might be expected from a small patch of one-fourth of an acre.

That was one practical way of assuaging the hunger pangs of the depression era and unless I am mightily mistaken, Mr. Coker would again champion the sweet potato if he were alive today. In the first place, there is a ready sale for all produced above home needs. In the second place, the sweets are selling at good prices particularly where they are of good quality, free of disease, and properly cured.

In the third place, if the sweets are not needed at home and cannot be sold profitably, they make the best kind of livestock feed; and, since more meat is so badly needed over the nation, perhaps this is but another way of producing some of that meat. For these three reasons alone, therefore, this column makes bold to preach a little about growing a food supply and more especially about adding sweet potatoes to the list of food crops. I think every farm in the Carolinas should have at least one-fourth of an acre of sweets set out this summer, and it were better if an acre or more were planted per farm.

The Nancy Hall is one of the tested old varieties that everyone used to eat. Now we have gone more to Porto Rico variety with the Louisiana strain and the North Carolina Strain No. 1 enjoying greatest popularity. These three kinds have proved superior to all other varieties in this section and if a person cannot grow his own slips this season, he should buy at least 3,100 certified slips from some accredited plant grower. It will take 3,100 slips to set one-fourth of an acre when the plants are placed 12 inches apart in rows 3 ½ feet apart.

Sweet potatoes seem to do best on a sandy or sandy loam soil that is not too fertile. In other words, if the garden spot is very rich or is of the dark or heavy soil, it is not a good place for the sweets. They will be more subject to diseases in such a place. However, rather than not have any potatoes at all, plant them wherever space may be available.

Prof. M.E. Gardner, horticulturist of the North Carolina Experiment Station, says sweet potatoes are just coming into their own. He foresees a day right soon when pigs and other livestock will be eating shoe-string potatoes as a regular part of their diet. Chickens will enjoy a ration of sweet potato meal from dehydrated or dried potatoes and sows will enjoy succulent silage made from the vines and the tubers cut up together and forced into the silo. The dried potatoes fed to poultry and hogs allow a full use of all the big jumbos and the little strings. The tobacco barn may be used for the curing or the more elaborate sweet potato curing house. 

At any rate, the dried sweets will permit easier and longer storage. This dehydrated product also gives the livestock and poultry a more concentrated ration tan when the sweets are dug fresh from the field, cut up and fed. As a matter of fact, Mr. Gardner says tests made with selected logs of pigs by the Experiment Station show that the sweets can replace corn. Most folks can grow more sweet potatoes on an acre of land than they can corn.

About the vines, Mr. Gardner says, “Thousands of tons of sweet potato vines are wasted in eastern North Carolina each year. Some growers harvest before frost but a large majority of vines are frosted before harvest and rendered useless for feed. Thus a highly nutritious and vitamin-rich feed source is lost. We have been conducting tests since 1941 to determine the value of the sweet potato vines and roots when fed to dairy cattle. We cannot give definite results with only one year of testing but our results indicate that milk flow, body weight, and general condition of the cows were as good as when fed corn silage.” He added that sweet potato silage is also rich in carotene or vitamin A. It looks, therefore, as if those who have been joking about this great staple food of the South might have the laugh on them, and that, after all, the Southern farmer knows what he is about. If he is wise, he will grow still more sweet potatoes this year.

For more information on David R. Coker, see

After Transplanting Tobacco, Use that Great Soil to Grow Vegetables, 1944

"Tobacco Beds Grow Gardens,” by F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor at N.C. State College, Raleigh, in the April 1944 issue of The Southern Planter

There is a certain ghostlike quality about a tobacco plant bed, especially in the late winter before the trees become fully leaved. Usually this bed is located in a sheltered, well-drained, fertile spot where no crop has been planted before. The owner works the soil until it is in excellent condition and he fertilizes it at the rate of about five tons of high grade fertilizer per acre. Sometimes he uses manure along with the fertilizer. When the tobacco plants have been grown and transplanted from this fertile spot, it is almost always permitted to grow up in rank weeds which produce seed to further infest the farm.

But not this year, if Johnny Lassiter, garden specialist for the Extension Service, has his way. Johnny says that each of the 700,000 acres of tobacco planted in the State requires 80 square yards of plant bed and this provides 11,550 acres of the best and most highly fertilized acres in the State available for growing vegetables. Added to this advantage is the fact that these spots are in protected places which means that the vegetables can be grown after the hot sun of mid-summer has blasted farm gardens in the more open and exposed places. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Nags Head Poultryman Needs New Market Now That Families Raising Own Hens, 1944

“Plenty of Eggs on Roanoke Island,” by F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor at N.C. State College, Raleigh, in the April 1944 issue of The Southern Planter

Tradition-rich Roanoke Island, famed as the birthplace of Virginia Dare, and noted for the excellence of its near-by fishing grounds, now boasts of a more commonplace achievement. The families on the island have their own farm flocks of poultry to such an extent that commercial poultrymen find it hard to make sales of eggs there as in the past. C.E. Parker, an alert poultryman over on the banks at Nags Head, has been providing retail merchants in Manteo with nearly all the eggs they need. Poultryman Parker grades his eggs carefully and packs them in neat crates. The eggs are uniform in size, clean and fresh. Despite this, he cannot sell them on Roanoke Island.

The industrious islanders are producing their own eggs, in the first place; and in the second place, they are trading their surplus to the local storekeepers. Mr. Parker is hunting another market.

Judge in the Political Fray, 1919

By W.T. “Tom” Bost, from the Elizabeth City Independent, April 18, 1919

Gardner Gets a Manager
Judge Crawford Biggs, on the Superior Court bench from 1916 to 1911 [maybe it should be 1906 to 1911?] going to manage Max Gardner’s gubernatorial campaign and interest is renewed.

Judge Biggs was the first beneficiary of the famous “Fifth District Combine” which was to make Kitchin governor; A.L. Brooks, congressman; Biggs Judge; and E.J. Justice attorney general. The first three tricks were easy enough, albeit Brooks got into a party row and was beaten after getting the nomination.

Biggs left the bench and returned to private practice. He is yet young and able to organize a colossal campaign for Gardner. The judge recently returned from California where he was in the United States Department of Justice.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Robeson County Club Reactivated, 1946

From the April 4, 1946 issue of the Maxton Citizen

The Robeson County Club was reactivated Thursday night as it met at the armory in Lumberton, and elected 16 directors to serve for the current year.

Frank H. Jeter, agriculture editor of N.C. State College, addressed the club, delivering a very entertaining and enlightening discourse on the prime importance of farming to the development and welfare of North Carolina.

Following the serving of an enjoyable supper by the ladies of Raft Swamp Home Demonstration club, the meeting was called to order by President Adrian B. McRae of Elrod. The invocation was given by W.M. Bethune.

Jasper C. Hutto, secretary of the Lumberton Chamber of Commerce, gave the address of welcome. C.S. Stafford, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce of Fairmont, responded with several humorous remarks.

George T. Ashford of Red Springs, president of the N.C. Ginners Association, spoke briefly on the progress of the campaign urging farmers to plant cotton as a sound part of a well-balanced farming program, and noted the importance of cotton in a well-rounded farming program in Robeson County.

C.E. Morrison of Rowland reported on the corn contest, which is being sponsored by the Robeson County club. Mr. Morrison explained that prize money given for the contest had already been secured and asked contributions of the County Club members to finance the cost of measuring land and other incidental expenses to the end that the contest be conducted on a very high and impartial plane.

J.A. Sharpe, very active in the formation and development of the Robeson County club, presented the speaker, Mr. Jeter.

In Mr. Jeter’s address, he pointed out that there was no place under the sun where food was as plentiful as in these Untied States, specifically referring to the amount of food left on the tables after the meal Thursday night as an illustration. He reminded the audience that before the next crop is harvested, thousands of people will die the most agonizing of all deaths, slow starvation, because there is simply not enough food in the world today to feed the population. This condition, Mr. Jeter emphasized, was brought about by the failure of men to properly appreciate and work with the forces of nature.

He spoke briefly on the important contributions scientists make to the growing of bigger and better crops, and mentioned that their work resulted in new and better ways to plant crops, spray, treat land, breed animals, and grafting.

Mr. Jeter said that what has “made” North Carolina and Robeson County is what has been “dug out of the land.” Unwisely in some instances, said Mr. Jeter, but never the less coming from the land. Soil, he said, is the basis of wealth.

To Avoid Typhoid, Get Vaccinated, 1919

“No Typhoid in New Hanover” from April 1919 issue of The Health Bulletin, published by the North Carolina State Board of Health

The New Hanover County Board of Health is setting a pace for other counties in the matter of fighting  typhoid fever. From all reports they are conducting a special campaign among physicians and others to secure general vaccination against typhoid fever. If the public will avail themselves of the free typhoid vaccine which is being offered them, there will be little or no typhoid fever in New Hanover County this summer.

In the army, where typhoid fever has formerly been notoriously prevalent, it has been entirely eradicated, because our soldier boys have all been vaccinated against it.

We are glad to see New Hanover taking this action, and we hope that other counties will fall in line.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

North Carolina—First in Infant Mortality, 1921

Dr. Aldert Smedes Root’s address to the Johnston County Medical Society, presented April 5, 1921

Three thousand infants under two years of age die of diarrheal diseases in North Carolina each year. Our State has stood for years and still stands among the very first of all the states in her high infant mortality.

Typhoid fever and smallpox have practically been eliminated from our midst. Hook-worm disease no longer menaces the health of our communities. Diphtheria is beginning to be controlled by the prophylactic treatment with toxin-antitoxin. And yet the deaths from summer diarrhea, greater in numbers than all these diseases combined, remains practically the same year in and year out with little, if any, improvement.

In seeking the effective measures which might be instituted to combat this infant scourge, let us for a moment consider those factors which are responsible for its prevalence. Let us consider first he predisposing causes and attempt, if possible, to remove these.

The most important of these by far is the state of health of the infant. In no other disease is the survival of the fittest so clearly exemplified, in none does the weakling have so poor a chance. The first duty, therefore, which devolves upon us physicians is to keep the baby physically fit. By what means and the institution of what measures can this best be done?  Holt says that “Less than 5 per cent of the serious cases of diarrhea are amongst the breast fed, and fatal cases amongst the exclusively breast feed are really rare, no matter how bad the surroundings or how ignorant the mothers. This being true, that 95 per cent out of every 100 cases of diarrhea occur in bottle fed babies, it is obviously our first duty to keep the baby upon the breast for the first year, and if this be a physical impossibility to make every attempt to have the mother partly nurse the infant through this period.

In order to do this, premature weaning must be discouraged and measures for the maintenance of breast milk encouraged. Too many babies come under observation who because of vomiting and failure to gain or because of two frequent stools with mucus and curds and failure to gain, have been taken from the breast and placed wholly upon artificial feedings.

I am sure that a very large number of these babies could have been nursed had the hours of nursing been properly regulated, the milk which may have contained a high fat percentage diluted by giving water or lime water immediately before the breast, and other simple measures. Again, too many babies are weaned completely when complimentary feedings from the bottle could have been given. The maintenance of the breast supply is of paramount importance, nor are the means to this end fully appreciated and preached by the medical profession. I do not mean that the profession does not appreciate the value of breast milk, for Dr. Sedgwick’s statistics show that 80 per cent of the wives of physicians nurse their babies three months or longer, but the average physician does not go into the minute details and give the encouragement so often needed by these nursing mothers. The key-note of success in the maintenance of breast milk depends upon two factors: first, the complete emptying of the breast and secondly, the stimulation of the breast glands by nursing the baby at regular intervals. As to the complete emptying of the breast at each nursing, any one who has been reared upon a farm knows that unless the cow is milked “dry” and the udders are stripped to express all of the milk the quantity of milk will decrease day by day in proportion to the incompleteness of the milking. This principle obtains equally well in the human being.
What is the next most important step in keeping the baby physically fit? The answer is to give him, when it become necessary, artificial feedings which are well balanced in the three elements of food which are necessary to maintain growth and development, namely fats, carbohydrates (sugar), and protein. None of the proprietary foods will answer this purpose, especially is this true of condensed milk, easily the most popular of them all. It is inexpensive, easily prepared, obtainable from almost any drug store, and upon it babies frequently gain in weight. This gain is due to the high percentage of sugar in the formula, binding water to the tissues. These babies are in reality water-logged. They are flabby, pale and pasty and their muscle tissue small in amount. And this is what we would expect, for protein is the only element of food which repairs tissue waste and from which the red muscled are formed, and the amount of protein in such mixtures is far below the requirements of the baby.

The fat content is equally as low as the protein, and it is in the functions of fat to supply energy, heat and body fat.

The vitality of these babies fed upon such low fats and protein and high sugar mixtures and their resistance to diseases is upon such a low plane that they become a rich soil for bacterial invasion, and when this occurs they literally wilt as a tender flower under the summer sun.

In prescribing such mixtures here again I would not incriminate the rank and file of the medical profession, for all too often they are recommended by an elderly matron in the community who probably has “raised” two children and lost four, and hence is thoroughly conversant with the very need of ever baby.

If we, ourselves, could universally realize and make the laity do the same, that the best substitute for breast milk is properly modified and sterilized clean cow’s milk or should this not be obtainable, properly modified dry milk, then our babies would certainly be more physically fit and more able to resist ravages of “summer diarrhea.” That period of life existing between the end of the nursing age and the beginning of school life has been appropriately called the “neglected age of childhood.” It is just as important that these children should have well regulated diets and I would like to call your attention t the fact that the Bureau of Infant Hygiene, operating under the State Board of Health, has for distribution to any mother who may need them, suitable diet lists from the age of 12 months to 6 years.

Other predisposing causes of summer diarrhea of far less importance may be briefly mentioned. It is surprising how many babies are permitted to wear the abdominal band and even some woolen undershirts during the summer months.  The reservoir of the blood in the body is in the splanchic vessels of the abdomen and the humid heat retained by these garments must surely overheat the blood and often causes a reaction. Such reactions might easily pave the way for an intestinal infection. Could we not lessen the effect of summer heat by clothing the infant in the lightest possible fashion and by sponging him with cool water several times a day?

Unhygeinic conditions in the home, where flies swarm and where the importance of thorough sterilization of bottles and nipples is not appreciated, will always be a difficult problem. We must preach and continue to preach screening against flies, against the use of unsanitary “pacifier,” and cultivate patients in going into the minutest details of milk preparation and its care.

I cannot refrain from mentioning in this paper a few of the flagrant errors in the treatment of infectious diarrhea which have been handed down from generation to generation. One of these is the daily purge by castor oil or calomel which is so frequently resorted to. If the initial dose, which should be given at the very onset, continues to be repeated, we are surely “adding fuel to the fire.” Another common practice is to keep the baby upon nothing but barley or rice water, or broths for days. The food value of these is practically nil, while the tissue waste in the disease is enormous. After the first 12 to 24 hours of starvation, food should be given, low in fat, low in sugar and relatively high in protein. This indication is met by diluted skimmed milk mixtures, buttermilk mixtures, and best of all, lactilic acid or protein milk. No other food is so generally appropriate as this latter and I should sincerely like to see this community lead the way among the smaller towns in the State in devising plans whereby this produce could be made available for such cases during the spring and summer months.

A third criticism of every-day method of treating summer diarrhea is the administration of drugs. If we could realize that the treatment is practically altogether dietetic, that no drug has any specific action, that they serve in the majority of cases merely to upset the stomach, it would surely be a step forward. There is one exception. I believe that in every case sodium bicarbonate should be given to combat the relative acidosis brought about b y the loss of bases through the stools. I am firmly convinced that colonic irrigations once or twice daily will do more toward controlling the frequency of bowel movements than any of the drugs in the Pharmacopoea. The diarrhea is life-saving and if opiates are given so that this is checked, the poisons are pent up and the prognosis in any given case made bad. 

Can we not then, as a body of earnest medical brothers working shoulder to shoulder, lower our high infant mortality rate by encouraging maternal feeding and the maintenance of breast milk, but eschewing the use of proprietary foods but rather seeing to it that the baby is placed upon a well-balanced diet, by preaching sanitation, by properly clothing the infant and finally by recognizing each one of us that the disease is constitutionally one which depends almost solely upon the proper dietetic measures for its care.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Life Expectancy for American Adults Lower in 1920 than in 1880, Says Doctor

Are we raising the first generation which will not live longer than its parents? And is it all the fault of fast food French fries and fructose corn syrup in our foods? Perhaps not. Dr. R.L. DeSausseur, commissioner of health in Brunswick, Ga., pointed out in 1921 that 40-year-olds had a shorter life expectancy than 40-year-olds had in 1881. He attributed it to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. Here are Dr. DeSausseur’s comments in the article “Exercise and Health,” from the April, 1921, issue of The Health Bulletin, published by the North Carolina State Board of Health.

At the age of 40 the expectation of life is less now that it was 30 years ago. This is true for both men and women. 

Life expectancy during infancy and childhood has increased owing to more intelligent care of young children, to the introduction of diphtheria antitoxin, and other means of combating the infectious diseases and to more sanitary living. But the diseases of degeneration are increasing, especially those involving the kidneys, heart and blood vessels, particularly among persons not employed in manual labor. 

One reason for this is the lessened physical and increased mental work entailed by our complex social fabric. More people are engaged in sedentary occupations that formerly. More nervous energy is required of a man. Deprived of the natural assistance which physical exercise affords in eliminating through skin and lungs the waste products of the body, the kidneys become overloaded and fail. Lacking the normal assistance which working muscles give to circulation as they urge the blood and lymph onward in natural channels, and overloaded with food poisons which brain work cannot burn up as physical exercise will, the arteries become brittle and weak and the heart muscle flabby like the biceps of its unfortunate possessor. The florid business man succumbs to nephritis; another to a fatty heart or to chronically overtaxed digestion, all of which could have been postponed for many years by a moderate amount of daily exercise.

That exercise is good for health and conducive to continued good health is an axiom. Exercise is necessary for all except those actually and acutely physically ill, at all ages, for both sexes, daily, in amount just short of fatigue. For the shop girl this may mean a 3-mile walk, for the clerk, an hour’s gymnasium work after a rest from the day’s grind, for the business man, two hours of golf, etc. But it should be taken daily, it should be compatible with age and physique, it should be enjoyable and not a bore, and it should never be undertaken when tired or hungry.

There would be fewer women in the doctor’s waiting room if they took more exercise. Keeping house is not exercise. That’s drudgery. The woman who has no maid to take the baby out for its two-hour airing is fortunate. Lacking the necessary baby, the influence of the poodle is not to be despised.

Heavy athletics are pernicious. They have no place in hygienic exercise. The after effects of severe exertion are harmful. An enlarged heart is not a safe organ; a greatly increased lung capacity is not only useless but dangerous in later life.

After all, there is only one form of exercise that is available and suitable for all ages and conditions and in all seasons. Walking is the national pastime of at least one foreign nation whose women are renowned for their beauty and vigor.

Hinsdale says, “The best medicine! Two miles of oxygen three times a day. This is not only the best, but cheap and pleasant to take. It suits all ages and constitutions. It is patented by infinite wisdom, sealed with a signet divine. It cures cold feet, hot heads, pale faces, feeble lungs, and bad tempers. If two or three take it together, it has a still more striking effect. It has often been known to reconcile enemies, settle matrimonial quarrels, and bring reluctant parties to a state of double blessedness. This medicine never fails. Spurious compounds are found in large towns; but get into the country lanes, among the green fields or on the mountain top, and you have it in perfection as prepared in the great laboratory of nature.”

We are in danger of deteriorating unless we hold fast to some of the old-fashioned principles of physical upkeep. The rising death rate after 40 is a warning.

Roanoke Farmers, April 1938

The following pictures from the Library of Congress are of Roanoke farmers and farm families, and were taken in April, 1938. I don't know who they are, who's related to who, or if they were taken on the same farm, but all were labeled "Roanoke farms."

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Should Grand Jury Investigate Teachers’ Religious Beliefs? 1919

By W.T. “Tom” Bost, from the Elizabeth City Independent, April 18, 1919

Judge Allen Goes Astray

Judge Oliver H. Allen, holding court in this district during the spring term, has promised to amplify his amazing charge of a few days ago when he told the grand-jury that it was the duty of the jurors to inquire into the religious views of their school-teachers and superintendents.

The judge said he had heard that a teacher had been teaching evolution and he chose rather to allow his children to grow up in subter-ignorance than to swallow such poison as that. He did not indicate how a grand-jury might pass on theological soundness. But one of the papers remembering how the judge declined three years ago to conduct an inquiry into a lynching in his home town, got under the cuticle of the judge and brought forth his suggestion that he make it a special endeavor to set himself right next time.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

20,000 Die Needlessly Each Year in North Carolina, Gov. Craig Calls These “Our Sins of Omission” 1919

From April 1919 issue of The Health Bulletin, published by the North Carolina State Board of Health, from a speech delivered in Raleigh on April 8th.

We think of North Carolina as the healthiest state in the Union, but it is more unhealthy than any state in the Union, according to vital statistics of those states that have vital statistics. 

It ought to be the healthiest. We have a salubrious climate of shore and hills and mountains, pure water and invigorating atmosphere. But in North Carolina 20,000 people die every year from diseases that could be prevented or postponed, to say nothing of the sorrow and the suffering. This should not be. 

We allow pestilence to stalk abroad in our state to wound and weaken and to kill. There are 20,000 victims condemned to death that we could save. 

We allow malaria and typhoid fever and tuberculosis and other diseases that could be prevented to weaken our people and to sap the manhood and womanhood of our race. This should not be. The hospitals for the insane, and for the blind and deaf and dumb, are filled with victims that could have been rescued from a life of desolation and darkness by proper health conditions. 

The Isthmus of Panama is now a healthier place than North Carolina. The preventable diseases which we allow to exist have been largely banished from the Isthmus of Panama. I want to see the time come when every home in North Carolina will be protected by health laws and health regulations. When every home will have screens to keep the flies out, and a bath tub in which to wash the men and children,--the women keep clean under all circumstances. Cleanliness and health and happiness go hand in hand.

Eighty per cent of the people of North Carolina live in the country, and have not the conveniences and the protection of the people in the towns. If you would build up North Carolina and make her realize the destiny which is hers by right, you must remember that two million of farmers in this state—the men that pay the taxes, fight the battles and vote the Democratic ticket. It resolves itself at least into a question of the preservation and the defense of the home.

Our reason for being here to-day is primarily to protect our homes. This is the highest reason that calls us here. I want to see the time come when every child in North Carolina will have as good an opportunity as any other child in the world. I want to see him have an opportunity to attain to his highest possibilities in physical and intellectual and moral strength. I want to see rural districts lifted up. I want to see a nobler and a higher way of living. The obligation is upon the Democratic party, the dominant party of the state. This is the party of all the people, and its laws should take into consideration the welfare and protection of all the people.

Monday, April 21, 2014

North Carolina Extension Homemakers Meet With Congressmen in Washington, D.C., 1970

EIGHTH DISTRICT WOMEN IN WASHINGTON FOR SEMINAR—Shown here are the women from the Eighth Congressional District who attended the Extension Homemakers’ Citizenship Seminar last week, along with their Congressman who assisted them in their visit to the Capitol. Front row, left to right: Mrs. Ruth Dellinger, Mrs. Price Morris, Mrs. J.V. Archer, Miss Bertha Trexler, Mrs. Horace Bowers, Miss Beulah Lyerly, Mrs. Oscar Swanson, Mrs. Graves, Mrs. E.S. Temple, Mrs. Jay Sink, Mrs. C.C. Bridges, Mrs. J.R. Earnhardt, Mrs. J.D. Cameron, Congressman Earl B. Ruth, and Mrs. E.B. Lagg. Second row, left to right: Mrs. O. Sprinkle, Mrs. J.C. Guffy, Mrs. J.D. Koerber, Mrs. Ray Lowder, Mrs. Vance Patterson, Mrs. Harry Setzer, Mrs. Charles B. Lefler Sr., Mrs. H.P. Frick, and Mrs. J.E. King.

From the Stanly News and Press, Albemarle, N.C., April 17, 1970

Seven Stanly women were among the 71 Extension Homemakers from North Carolina who attended the first Citizenship Seminar sponsored by the N.C.D.A. Extension Service in Washington, D.C.

The Stanly women reported an interesting and informative time in the nation’s capital, with a full schedule during the week they were there.
Mrs. John Koerber, a spokesman for the group, said that they visited both the Senate and House galleries, and were present for some of the final debate in the Senate on the nomination of Judge Carswell to the U.S. Supreme Court. They were in the Capitol when the report of the vote was given out, and reported cheers from many young people present.

The seven went by bus from Salisbury with the rest of the N.C. group from this area, leaving early on April 6 and returning to Albemarle on Saturday evening, April 11. They stayed at the National 4-H Center, 7100 Connecticut Avenue, but they visited the Library of Congress, Department of Agriculture, Department of Housing and Urban Development, The National Archives, and many other points of interest.

Congressman Earl Ruth delayed a trip to North Carolina which had been scheduled for Tuesday night to assist the women in their visit to the Capitol on Wednesday morning.

One of the objectives of the seminar, Mrs. Koeber said, was to interest more people on the local level in promoting better citizenship, and giving to people a better understanding of how the government operates.
The group was impressed by the efforts to establish 4-H work in the city of Washington.

Along with their visits to points of interest in and near the capital, the women heard officials from various government agencies and departments discuss the operation of their respective organizations.

The local group happened to be at the White House when President Nixon welcomed Chancellor Willy Brandt of West Germany, and found the South Lawn ceremony most impressive. They also received special seating in the choir loft at National Cathedral.

They visited Arlington Cemetery, saw the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and returned by way of Mt. Vernon, home of George Washington, first president of the United States.

Following the seminar, the group discussed ways in which increased interest in citizenship can be fostered at the local level, with the women expressing an interest in working with other organizations which have programs supporting the American heritage and bolstering citizenship.

Leader of the Tar Heel group was Dr. Eloise Cofer, assistant director of home economics, N.C. State University, Raleigh.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sarah Parnell of Lexington Trained a Rooster to Pull Cart, 1938

"Some Rooster" from the April, 1938, issue of The Southern Planter

Hold that Rooster," but charming little Miss Sarah Parnell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Parnell of Lexington, N.C., does not think Dud, her Buff Mimorca Cockerel, will go native and fly.

"Get up," says little Miss Sarah, and Dud quietly starts off with the crt load of eggs.

Dud may strut and crow in the poultry lot, for he is the boss there, but when he is hitched to the cart he knows Miss Sarah is the boss.

"Woe Gee-ee," says Sarah, and Dud will stop, turn, or obey her commands with the ability of a trained animal. This Buff Minorca Cockerel is as obedient as a well-trained horse. He has a lot of strength in those legs. He can pull the cart loaded with more pounds than his weight anytime, or anywhere.

Sarah has very little trouble in getting Dud harnessed and hitched to the cart. He is quiet, stands perfectly still, and awaits orders from his mistress. The harness fits under his wings and the breast strop comes around the front of his legs. The traces are fastened to the breast strope.--O.O. Phillips

Fire Destroys Home Near Orrum, 1926

“Tenant House and Contents Burned Near Orrum Sunday” from the April 5, 1926 issue of The Robesonian, Lumberton, N.C.

Occupants Lost Everything Except Clothes They Wore and Help Is Needed

A tenant house and practically its entire contents were destroyed on Mr. J.Z. Stone’s place in Orrum township about 2 miles this side of Orrum, by fire which was discovered about 1 o’clock Sunday morning. 

The house was occupied by a Mr. and Mrs. Brown and daughter and Mr. Roy Britt and son. Some of the occupants were up at the time but the fire had gained such headway that only a few quilts were saved, the tenants losing everything they had except the clothes on their backs. Origin of the fire is not known.

The house was being repaired, some of the work having been done. Mr. Stone, who was a Lumberton visitor this morning, estimates his loss at about $1,000. No insurance. He says that help is needed and will be appreciated.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Colin Spencer, Moore County, Continues Family Tradition in Timber, 1946

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Wilmington Morning Star on April 22, 1946

An easy way to make a living is to obtain 6,000 acres of land, let the pine trees produce 300 board feet an acre each year and then sell the timber as it matures! That probably is not so easy as it seems. Down in Carthage, Moore County, lives a man who knows all about this and whose whole life has been devoted to timber. Many years ago his grandfather owned Shepherd’s Mountain in Randolph County and cut timber from all that area.

This grandfather built seven dams on Caraway River, in the Uwharrie’s, and used the resulting water power to run his sawmills. His grandson followed in the patriarch’s footsteps. But first he took a course in agriculture at State College, managed Lake Latham Farm at Mebane, and the Crammerton Farm, before located in Carthage in 1916.

Buys Tract
Last week, he bought the 1,200-acre tract of land which he was hired to cut back in 1916 and he added it to his holdings to make the 6,500 acres total that he now owns. This original tract, which was the first timber that Colin Spencer was ever cut, has been lumbered three times since 1916.

That year Mr. Spencer cut about 8 million feet of timber in Moore and the three adjacent counties. At one time, Mr. Spencer operated milling plants at Carthage, Hemp or Robbins, Glendon, and Bennett. He operates only one plant today, the main one at his headquarters in Carthage, and he says the black market in timber is about to close that one temporarily.

Replants Trees
After cutting timber for about eight years on leased land, Colin Spencer began to see the wisdom of replanting trees and of using his own sound commonsense in timber harvesting. Therefore, in 1922 he began to buy his own land. Today he owns about 6,500 acres, mostly in timber tracts, running along the fertile bottomlands of Moore County streams.

Although most of his land is used to grow timber, the lumberman also possesses that inherent love of farming that is present in all of us, and so he operates about six farms. One is a livestock or cattle farm, and all six of them produce tobacco and general crops. He showed me, with great pride, his cattle farm with his excellent seeded pasture on which 21 head of purebred Hereford cattle were finding a good living.

Trotting Mare
Then he turned out his Tennessee trotting mare or walking horse with as fine a highheaded, long-legged young colt as I ever saw. This mare also had a young filly in the adjoining stable. Mr. Spencer owns a purebred Percheron draft mare that had a beautiful colt about one week old. Another mare brought down from is mountain farm and now too old to work is being used as a brood animal to produce replacement workstock.

The regular commercial herd of Herefords were out on a swamp pasture and Mr. Spencer selects and sends some of his best beef animals to his mountain farm each summer where they fatten on bluegrass for a discriminating market. The commercial herd in Moore County furnishes a double purpose because they clip the young hardwoods and undergrowth where pine seedlings are set, as well as furnish beef for market.

Wooded Acres
I visited some of the wooded areas where Mr. Spencer began to set pine seedlings back in 1916. He plows a deep furrow through the forest floor, and the seedling trees are set along this furrow. This allows moisture to settle in the furrow and for mulch to accumulate there to keep his soil fertile and moist. He has one tract, for instance, where he cut out all the hardwoods, except the white oak, to provide fuel wood for an orchid farm near Pinehurst. This orchid farm does not use coal because the soot seeps through into the delicate plants and so it uses hardwood for fuel.

Loblolly Pines
After removing all the hardwoods from this area, the tract was set in loblolly pine, and while some expert foresters said the plan wouldn’t work, it does seem to work because the young pine trees are right there now, growing lustily, under the white oaks that are with the dogwoods. By the way, Mr. Spender sells his dogwood and persimmon timber to textile mills to be made into bobbins for use in the weaving machinery. The white oaks will be harvested later for sale as cross ties.

Colin Spencer never clean cuts an area unless the trees are not making satisfactory growth and he measures growth with the eye of an expert. He also, sometimes, clean-cuts by gradually taking out the mature timber as fast as it grows into log size, leaving seed trees, and then when the whole area has been completely restocked with young stuff, he goes in and gets out all of the mature timber.

Re-Seeding Mixture
The lumberman uses a mixture of re-seeding and re-setting in propagating or renewing his timber areas and he never takes out all the timber in a given tract, unless as I said, he has seen to it that the area has been plentifully replenished. He also is constantly alert to prevent forest fires and there are fire control lanes all through his woods.

He showed me towering young trees over which he shot quail just a few years ago.

“Lumbering is no wishy-washy job,” he said. “It takes a long-time program in which you have to wait for the trees. The price of timber goes up and down but it never goes down so low as it was the last time. My father sold pure heart pine at $6 a thousand to be used in the old plank road running through what is now the main street of Carthage from Fayetteville to Winston-Salem. That same timber now sells for $125 thousand if you can get it.”

In Forestry Work
This progressive lumberman was drafted into public service back in 1939 when he was elected president of the North Carolina Forestry Association. He agreed to take this responsibility if the Association would put on an educational program and try to teach North Carolina landowners the importance of their timber crops. Then he was re-elected for three times before the members would agree for him to relinquish the job.

During that three-year period, he did much to sell the state on the importance of its lumbering industry. He is still chairman of the board of directors. He is also president of the North Carolina Forest Foundation, which holds the great Hofmann Forest in eastern Carolina in trust for the Forestry School at State College. Mr. Spencer is a director of the American Forestry Association and on the important Committee of National Parks for this association. He maintains his home in Carthage but most of his waking hours are out in the woods or at his lumber plant.

Bought Pulpwood
During the war, he has been buying pulpwood in the area between Raleigh and Hamlet for one of the large paper companies and he still buys timber and pulpwood, of course, on his own account.

Mainly, however, his interests are in the acres of trees, young and old, now growing on his holdings in Moore County. He knows each tract just as you would know your own garden, and he knows when one area of either 400 or 1,000 acres is ready for harvest, just as the tobacco grower knows when to prime his plants.

He also knows the various varieties of trees, and he kept me completely bewildered the other afternoon as he pointed out to me and “Red” Garrison, Moore farm agent, the several kinds of pines, the unnumbered varieties of hardwoods, and the characteristics of each. It was a lesson in woodscraft that I shall not soon forget and should you have a chance to take a trip with him to his woods at any time, do not turn down the opportunity. It’s an education in itself.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Ag. Editor Reflects on State's Progress, 1934-1944

“Carolina Farm Comments” by F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, as published in the Wilmington Star on April 24, 1944

Ten years is a brief period in the farming history of North Carolina. It is possible, however, that since 1934 no other such decade of farming progress has been recorded in this state. Ten years ago, our people had it brought to them in an unforgettable way the result of mining the land of its fertility and of allowing it to erode and wash away until many piedmont acres would not pay for the rather meager cultivation which could be given them. Washington reports with high satisfaction how the farmers of the nation have increased production each year for the past seven, but in this state, farming progress has been made consistently for the past 10 years. One who studies North Carolina farming, even superficially, would notice this, while the person who is primarily concerned tonight, beginning at 7:30 o’clock with farming could see it happening year after year.

I am not sure that we have more milk cows on North Carolina farms than we had 10 years ago but I do know that they are better cows. Dairymen have bought purebred sires from the great breeding centers of the state and these breeders, on the other hand, have scoured the country to buy the best animals that could be secured. There are better animals on the Morrocroft Farm near Charlotte today than were on the Isle of Jersey before the Nazis overran it. This is true because Mr. Morrison bought the best that they had over there. No better Guerseys are to be found in America than are to be seen on the Clear Springs Farm owned by A.L. Brown of Cabarrus County. The same is true of the Guernseys on Thurman Chatham’s Klondike Farm near Elkin in Surry County, or on George Watts Hill’s Quail Roost Farm in Durham County. The Ayrshires owned by Leonard Tufts of Pinehurst are tops for the breed as are the Holsteins to be found in a score of places over the state. These Holsteins are comparative newcomers to the North Carolina dairy scene but they have made an important place for themselves.

Ten years ago, in 1934, we produced 145,581,000 gallons of milk while this past year, we produced right at 175,326,000 gallons. This was done despite high prices for feed and labor and was largely because of the good cows on the farm and a better knowledge of how to feed and manage the cattle. More and better pastures had a lot to do with this increase, although an unprecedented demand also causes more farmers to produce milk for market. The increase had been coming along gradually, however, through the 10-year period.

The same situation prevails with poultry. North Carolina has been building its poultry industry very quietly and steadily until we are now a poultry and egg producing state of national importance. For instance, in 1934, we produced only 49,167,000 dozens of eggs. In 1943, this had jumped to 84,167,000, almost doubled. Cooperative hog shipments from the little markets established by county agents, largely in eastern Carolina, have shown a remarkable growth in the production of finished hogs for market. Beef cattle herds are scattered from one end of the state to the other with fine herds of Herefords leading the way curb markets established at some 37 centers by home demonstration club women bring in excellent incomes and prove the diversification of the farming operations.

We have been slow in planting gardens this season largely due to the continuous wet weather. But the United States Census is authority for the fact that of the first 100 counties in gardening in the United States. North Carolina has 24. In other words, this state leads the nation in the value of its home gardens. As a matter of fact, North Carolina has 19 counties out of the first 100 in the nation in the value of farm products used at home. Citizens of other states rave about what wonderful live-at-home programs they have under way, but we have the facts and figures to show that no other state does quite so well as we.

Then there is the little matter of improving our lands by the use of legumes. The legume crops of soybeans, cowpeas, and peanuts for seed increased from 386,000 acres in 1934 to 763,000 acres in 1943, while the acreage for hay crops was 981,000 in 1934 as compared with 1,373,000 in 1943. I do not have the figures for 10 years for the legumes used for plowing understand for cover crops but it is a a fact, as shown by farm records of the AAA, that the acreage of legumes and grasses has jumped from 484,688 acres in 1936 to 1,211,012 acres in 1942. The acreage to green manure crops increased from 475,291 acres in 1936 to 1,786,430 in 1942. All of this tends to provide more feed for more livestock and more fertility for soils depleted of their supplies of organic matter. Acre yields of most crops, therefore, have been steadily increasing. This shows that the North Carolina is rapidly becoming a more intelligent farmer. His acre yield of cotton, for instance, jumped from 307 pounds in 1932 to 337 pounds last year. In 1942, this yield was 412 pounds per acre. It will be recalled that 1943 was a very dry year.

The use of grounded limestone, the location of broad-base terraces on the contour, and the hundreds of other small items which all add up to successful farming have been practiced more efficiently during the past 10 years. The North Carolina farmer now knows much about plant diseases, insect pests, protein content of feeds, the analyses of fertilizer and those other things which bespeak of a good farmer. Along with him, his good wife also knows more about home management, foodstuffs and clothing. True it is that 10 years is a short time but in North Carolina, it has seen wonderful farming progress.

Bee Meeting Announced in Lumberton, 1926

“Bee Meeting Here April 8” from the April 5, 1926 issue of The Robesonian, Lumberton, N.C.

Mr. O.O. Dukes, county farm agent, has arranged for a bee meeting to be held in Lumberton Thursday afternoon of this week at 2 o’clock at Mr. J.H. Ratley’s store, Elm and First streets. Mr. C.L. Sams, State bee specialist, will be present to give information.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

'Today's Home Builds Tomorrow's World' 1948

From the April, 1948, issue of Extension Farm-News, published by North Carolina State College, Raleigh

“Today’s Home Builds Tomorrow’s World” is the theme for National Home Demonstration Week, May 2-8, when rural women throughout the United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico will survey the work of the past year, study the special needs of their own communities, counties, and state, and will try to assess the resources open to them in bettering today’s home for a better world tomorrow.

According to Miss Ruth Current, State home agent, North Carolina’s 60,000 homemakers are busily engaged making plans for programs calling attention to the progress made in family living since home demonstration work was initiated more than 33 years ago.

Centering their thoughts around the theme of this year’s big week, Miss Current states that these women will hold special meetings, take tours to improve homes, stage exhibits, prepare articles for the radio and newspapers and conduct several broadcasts themselves to bring before the people the values resulting from cooperative effort and team work and the needs for future efforts in the building of more efficient homes.

The progress these women have made during the past several years is highly commendable, Miss Current declared. They are becoming more conscious of better health and nutrition for their families. They have answered the calls for more food conservation and preservation. They have equipped their homes with modern conveniences and helped to beautify the surroundings of their homes, communities and cities for a more happy way of life. This year will be no exception, because as they review what they accomplished during the past year, new projects will be discussed, new ideas will be carried out in their homes and even greater attention will be given toward making Today’s Home Build Tomorrow’s World.

Downtown Goldsboro, April 1938

Downtown Goldsboro is busy on a sunny April day in 1938. This photo is part of the Library of Congress collection.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

News From Farm Families Across North Carolina, April 1955

“Around the State” in the April 1955 issue of Extension Farm-News

An old worn-out piece of land and some pine trees don’t sound like much. But add a few live-wire Boy Scout troops and you’ve got something else. Clay County Agent R.G. Vick says that Jimmy Hilton of Murphy bought an abandoned farm not long ago and decided to plant it in pine trees. Hilton made an agreement with county Scout leaders for the boys to set pines each Saturday. This way the land is put into production and the Boy Scouts earn money to buy their camping supplies.

This isn’t a tall tale; it’s a story of no tails at all! Nash County Assistant Agent John W. Stallings says that Philip Shearin of Whitakers, Route 2, saw his litter of small pigs attacked by a flock of buzzards the other day. By the time Shearin came to the rescue, the buzzards had clipped off the pigs’ tails. They must grow some real buzzards in Nash County!

Benny Robinson, member of the Blowing Rock Senior 4-H Club, wondered if maybe an ostrich hadn’t strolled into his hen house the other day. When he went to gather the eggs, he found one egg that measured nine inches lengthwise and seven inches around the middle. He cracked the shell of the oversized egg and found a normal-sized egg with a hard shell inside. Between the outer and inner shell were normal yolk and white.

Doyle Taylor of the Jackson community of Northampton County thinks that any farmer who produces hogs without the help of Ladino clover is missing the boat. Taylor’s 1953 corn crop was a bad flop and his hogs did not receive any grain at all from May to October in 1954. Yet by grazing them he sold boars for breeding purposes that were in such good condition that people refused to believe they did not have a liberal supply of corn.

There’s no substitute for native ingenuity, and Royd Bowman of Granite Falls, Route 1, showed plenty recently when he constructed a 40 by 96 laying house, according to Alexander County Agent Grover C. Dobbins. Bowman purchased all of the rough lumber and he and his family did the carpenter work. The actual cash outlay for the big building was only $1,200. Dobbins terms Bowman’s economy feat as amazing.

The Short Course in Modern Farming held recently at State College wasn’t quite short enough for Mrs. Donald Boger of Davidson County. When her hubby returned from Raleigh where he had received intensive training in modern farming methods, Mrs. Boger presented him with a brand new son.

Howard Wilson of the Mt. View section of Catawba County has proof that there’s no substitute for plenty of ordinary drinking water, when it comes to growing out livestock. Assistant County Agent Frank A. Harris says that Wilson and a neighbor bought pigs from the same litter, self-fed them on the same mixture of feed. The only difference was that Wilson provided his pigs with fresh water 24 hours a day and the neighbor carried water once or twice a day. Wilson’s hogs reached market weight of 230 pounds in 5 ½ months; the neighbor’s , seven months to reach the same weight.

It used to be that a farmer just took it for granted that he would lose one or two pigs from a litter by mashing or freezing. Not any more. Farmers are beginning to realize that they can save every one of their pigs. For instance, Vick Griffin of Marshall, Route 4, had a sow to farrow 14 pigs recently during a bitter cold spell. He saved all of them simply by running an electric cord to his farrowing house, and hanging an infrared heat bulb over the sow and pigs, keeping them warm and dry.

Here’s the reverse of carpet bagging. Rutherford County Assistant Agent W.G. Toomey says that a transplanted Yankee, Bob Hunter, formerly of Pennsylvania, came to that county and brought with him ideas that are being borrowed by his Rebel neighbors. Hunter has reclaimed a large number of acres of cotton land and neglected bottoms, has initiated soil building practices that have transformed worthless hillsides into profitable pasture and cropland, and has built silos. At present he is constructing a large pond that he hopes will help insure grazing for his Holstein herd.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Crowd Turns Out for Opening of Carolina-Willys Light Co. in Lumberton, 1926

“Many Attend Formal Opening Carolina-Willys Light Co.” from the April 5, 1926 issue of The Robesonian, Lumberton, N.C.

A continuous stream of lovers of electric goods and modern scientific wares called at the Salceby building on North Elm Street Friday evening between 7:30 and 11 o’clock, the occasion being the formal opening of the Lumberton branch of Carolina –Willys Light Co.

“The Brightest Spot in Town” slogan adopted by Mr. R.C. McDonald, manager of the branch office, is very appropriate. Delicious hot waffles, cooked on an electric griddle by Miss Karen Fladbes, who conducted a cooking class here during the week, were served with hot coffee prepared in an electric percolator.

Assisting in the opening of the new business house here were Mr. H.G. Gibson, secretary-treasurer of the company, from Laurinburg, and Mr. W.M. Perry, president of the Berry-Mann Electrical co. of Columbia, S.C. Mr. Gibson was exceptionally well pleased with the response made by Lumberton people to invitations to attend the informal get-together affair.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Negro Home Demonstration Clubs Hold State Meeting, 1955

“Negro Home Demonstration Clubs Hold Annual State Meeting” from the April 1955 issue of Extension Farm-News

Nearly 3,000 Negro women from across the state met at Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh recently for the 13th annual state council meeting of the Negro home demonstration clubs.

Mrs. Ellen S. Alston, executive secretary of the Woman’s Baptist Home and the Foreign Mission Convention, guest speaker at the morning session, said: “I have noticed your steady but not-easy-to-make progress. Your home agents are making miraculous changes in the homes of North Carolina. They are teaching you how to live and how to do.”

She added: “You women are projecting a picture of better homes and better living to all. You may be assured that your world is a better place because you are in it. You’re making things happen because you are concerned about today’s home as a builder of tomorrow’s world.”

Mrs. Ashley Powell of Wake County, who presided, cited the responsibilities of homemakers. “Your district reports show that you women are living by your motto ‘lifting as you climb’. But we must realize that it takes more than bricks and mortar to build a home. We must have cooperation and recreation and spiritual guidance. We must have a mother and father who love each other and who love their children.  You, as mothers, must plan meals, for your children and your families that will build strong bodies and keep disease away.”

Special music on the day’s program was furnished by the Robeson County home demonstration chorus under the direction of Mrs. Rosetta Gerald.

The club women heard two Negro International Farm Youth Exchange Delegates tell of their experiences in other countries of the world. The two reporting on the IFYE program were Julia Maxine Young of Franklin County and Raphael Cuthbertson of Mecklenberg County.

Officers of the State Council of Negro Demonstration Clubs are Mrs. Ashley Powell of Wake County, president; Mrs. Ruth Stancill of Northampton, vice-president; Mrs. Bessie Inman of Robeson, secretary; Mrs. Martha Lipscombe of Rowan, assistant secretary; and Mrs. Ella Trice of Orange, treasurer.

Wilmington's First Azalea Queen, 1948

Gov. Gregg Cherry crowns Wilmington's first Azalea Queen, Jacqueline White, a Hollywood starlet brought in for the festival. Her court consisted of six local beauties. Key in establishing the festival was Dr. W. Houston Moore, who was also a principal figure in the development of Greenfield Lake and park in Wilmington. The photo was taken by Hugh Morton and is part of the North Carolina Collect, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. To read the article published in the News and Observier, see

Read more here:

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Tenant Farm Family in Guilford County in 1938

Tenant farmers in Guilford County taken in April 1938. These photos didn't have any names associated with them. The photos are from the Library of Congress.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mary Sue Moser Promoted to Assistant State 4-H Club Leader, 1948

From the April, 1948, issue of Extension Farm-News, published by North Carolina State College

Miss Mary Sue Moser, Union County native and home demonstration agent in Davidson County for the past three years, recently assumed her duties as assistant State 4-H Club leader for the State College Extension Service.

She will assist L.R. Harrill in promoting 4-H Club work in 25 counties, including Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Cumberland, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Nash, New Hanover, Orange, Person, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Vance, Wake, Warren, Wayne, and Wilson.

Miss Moser received the B.S. degree in home economics from Woman’s College, Greensboro, in 1940. She served as vocational home economics teacher at Clemmons High School, Forsyth County, for three years, after which she became assistant home demonstration agent for Forsyth County. Since January, 1945, she has been home agent in Davidson County.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Nat Williamson and Children on the Farm in Guilford County, 1938

Nat Williamson and his children on the farm in Guilford County, April 1938. These photos, taken by a Farmer Security Administration photographer, are from the Library of Congress' collection of images from the Great Depression. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pender Folk Endorse Paved Road to Elizabethtown, 1926

“Pender People Endorse Elizabethtown Road” from the April 1, 1926 issue of The Robesonian, Lumberton, N.C.

At a meeting of interested Pender county people held last week at Burgaw the highway from Elizabethtown to Burgaw and Jacksonville was enthusiastically endorsed, and it was decided to have a survey of the proposed road made and costs of a topsoil dressing made. If the cost is found to be not in excess of $1,500 per mile, a bond issue will be voted upon for the construction of the highway.

There are two possible routes the road can take in Bladen county, and it has not be decided which of the two will be chosen. One route is from Burgaw to Atkinson and then to Kelly and from Kelly to Elizabethtown. If this one is selected and the River road is also built, the County will have a road on either side of the river.

The other proposed route is from Burgaw to Atkinson and then by Beatty’s Bridge to Elizabethtown. Either road will open up a vast farming area of Bladen County.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Run Your Farm Family as A Cooperative Business, 1936

“Cooperation in Family Business” by Pauline Gordon, Extension Specialist in Home Management and House Furnishings, N.C. State College at Raleigh, in the Carolina Co-operator, April 1936

How is the business of your home carried on? Is it under the control of one person, or does every member of the family plan its expenditures in so far as his age and ability will permit? Within the past few years the farmer has realized, more than ever before, the need of keeping business records. The basis of credit to the farmers is now determined to a great extent by the records and plans for the farm operations. With the coming in of the new era in the farm business, I hope that there will be a new era in the family business.

The family that avoids business catastrophies must have plans for expenditures and must keep records in order to know how well its plans are carried out. The majority of people plan ahead, consciously or unconsciously, but if your plan is to be successful, it must be carefully thought out, then written down, then followed, and then analyzed. No family should operate without a system, and that system should not be worked out by the head of the home, but by every member of the family.

We are all familiar with the old saying, “A horse that will not stand without hitching is not worth having.” A woman that can be trusted with a man’s name, his honor, his home and his reputation should certainly be trusted with the knowledge of his business. What is the business status of the wife and children of your home? Should women and children be shielded from the business of the home? Should a woman know the money worries of her husband? Is a man protecting and providing for his family in the best way when he keeps all business transactions and business worries form them?

The business, the money, and the property of the family is a joint possession, and it should be looked upon as a partnership. The man that protects his wife and children from all business worries should realize just what will happen in the case of his death if his family has no knowledge or training in business transactions. 

There is very little chance of them having anything in a few years, regardless of what he leaves them, unless they have had training and experience in the business world. The greatest kindness a man can do his family is not to protect them from the so-called business worries, but to let his wife and children become active partners in the business of the family and give them training in business transactions.

Children should become acquainted with the source and amount of the family income and also with the main expenditures. Discussions of the cost of shelter, food, clothing, education, travel, automobile, taxes, and other matters that have to do with family finances can be made a valuable part of the children’s education. Of course, consideration must be given to the ages and experience of the children. Children should be prepared to deal with the world of realities and in this world the getting and spending of money plays an important part. Regardless of who provides the income every member of the family should have a part in planning its expenditures.

Every farm woman should be interested in organizing her home on a sound business and now when there is such vital need for her husband to put the farm on a firm basis it is a good time to organize the business of the family.

If not all members of her family are interested in this project she should begin by planning the expenditure of that part of the income she controls and very shortly the others are apt to join her.

The income from the farm varies from month to month, but by using last year’s income as a guide she can make out a plan for the expenditure of her income. With this plan as a guide and well-kept account of expenditures the second year she should be able, with the help of the family, to devise a spending plan that will meet the needs of her family.

It is the business of every family to know that the scale of living is within its boundary, and it should have its own standard of living that does not exceed the income. There should be some form of saving to provide for care in illness, to secure education for the children, to protect against financial reverses, and to insure adequate comfort in old age. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Pasquotank Home Demonstration Work in 1945 Is Impressive, and Report Rhymes

1945-1946 Report by Mrs. Selma Harris James (Mrs. Vernon James) to District Federation meeting in Hertford, 1946 (April)

Report of 1945 year’s work

“All of you have heard that in Pasquotank
The bullfrog jumps from bank to bank
Lots of things jump in on county and city
For we have club women that are sure as a ditty
And to prove that some ladies are smart
I’ll report our accomplishments right from the start.”

We had 13 clubs with members totaling 328
23 new ones joined early in 1946 so as not to be late
Ninety percent of the club women a garden did grow
These helped to keep the food situation in tow
The women had to hurry and get 43 canners repaired
And with 22 new ones they all declared
Now in all there are 86 canners
24,991 containers saved deserves a banner.

Our agent said, “Your food budgets you must fill.”
Everyone work canning, drying, and had meat to bill
The number reaching goal were only 84
But everyone had gained and none were sore.

New clothes we wanted, but with prices to the sky
We began to feel out of date, but really why?
When all we had to do to be in style
Was touch up the ones we had all the while.
We ripped, turned and sewed in all 620
Everyone declared this was good if not a plenty.

With the food put by, and scores of babies new
There just wasn’t storage space, so closets we added totaling 52
Seven new dwellings made a pretty sight
46 remodeled ones were sheer delight
41 improved kitchens, spic and span
38 other rooms, just the best in the land
17 water systems were installed to help
And two vowed with cold water they would not yelp.

It was just before we heard that DDT was here
That 56 homes were screened to keep pests from coming near
Even though we were busy and had not time to spare
19 home grounds were improved and made into beauty rare
The curb market ladies topped all records with sales of $27,556.29
The home sales were $16,974.87 just so none could feel left behind.

In 1945, we all felt peace was sure to come
But that our fight on the home front had just begun
There was need of community service at every crossroads
So we all pitched in and helped carry the load
These please let me enumerate
Quickly before it is too late.

Fat collected – 840 pounds
War bonds - $9,800
Clothing relief – 2,500 pounds
Helped with 11 4-H Church Sundays
Hours helped in USO - 410
Cakes for USO – 61
Flowers for USO – 54
Purchased tuberculosis seals – 99
Infantile paralysis contributors – 87
Red Cross members – 212

Early this year our foreign neighbors needed help worse than ever
So we just collected 2,000 garments with this endeavor.

Just a word from the ladies of Pasquotank

To all of you for listening – thanks.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

North Carolina's 'Worst and Most Damaging Freeze in Our History" 1955

WEATHER WEARY farmers caught it from all directions during March. Pitt and some other eastern North Carolina counties even suffered through a dust storm. “Business as usual” is the way this Pitt farmer viewed the 60-mile-an-hour winds that scattered bits of his soil as far as the Atlantic. This was the day Howard Ellis opened his 1955 irrigation demonstrations—in Pitt County. The program still drew a crowd of better than 100.
“Freeze Damages to Tar Heel Farmers Run Into Millions” in the April 1955 issue of Extension Farm-News

North Carolina farmers—especially its fruit growers—were sent reeling by an out-of-season freeze on March 27 and 28.

Described by some veteran farm observers as the “worst and most damaging freeze in our history,” the loss from the cold weather was estimated to run into millions of dollars.

The peach and apple crops were virtually wiped out, and the loss of these two important crops is expected to total close to $7 million.

Berry growers, vegetable growers, and commercial flower growers also suffered heavy damages.

Azaleas were severely damaged throughout the state and were practically eliminated in certain parts, according to John H. Harris, Extension horticulturist who was beleaguered by crimes from frantic home-owners wanting to know what could be done for their stricken shrubs.

Roses, gardenias, crabapples, and many other plants that were in active growth were also hit hard.

All tender vegetables planted in the open which had either germinated or were up were definitely killed, according to Harris who advised that crops like snap beans, cucumbers, squash, and watermelon, be replanted as soon as possible.

Beets, carrots, mustard, and radish were killed in most areas except in the extreme southeast.

Damage to tobacco plant beds was reported to some areas, especially in the Old Belt and the burley counties in the west. Generally enough plants escaped serious injury to insure sufficient plants to set the tobacco crop, however, according to R.R. Bennett, Extension tobacco specialist.

With the exception of azaleas, most trees, shrubs, and flowers only had the ends of the branches frozen and many will sprout from the old portions. Chrysanthemums will in many instances come out again.

Harris insisted that the freeze was not a test of ordinary winter hardiness. He said that even the toughest plants were killed if they happened to start early and were full of sap at the time.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Home Demonstration Reports, April 1936

“Timely News Items” by Jane S. McKimmon in the April, 1936 issue of the Carolina Co-operator

Women to Meet

Country Women of the World will hold their annual meeting this year in Washington during the first week of June, and farm women from as far away as England, Denmark, Australia, the Union of South Africa and New Zealand, and Canada and the United States on this side will meet in a friendly conference on home and community affairs.

In addition to the conference there will be an exhibit of hand crafts made from farm-grown products—leather work from France, spinning and weaving from Scotland, Norway, and Sweden; and embroideries, lace, and hand woven linens from Switzerland; all are included.

The international organization has asked especially that an opportunity be given to see first hand the Home Demonstration Work of the United States. North Carolina will have a part in this exhibit—showing hand woven linens and other fabrics; carved wooden buttons, buckles, and other accessories, together with rugs, quilts, and baskets.

The North Carolina Federation of Home Demonstration Clubs, 54,000 strong, is affiliated with the Country Women of the World—and home demonstration farm women all over the state are preparing to attend. At first I thought there might be around 50 who would go, but reports are coming in that groups are planning to make the trip in a car to save expenses, and I shouldn’t be surprised to see the number swell to 100 or 150.

In Craven County
There is an active group of women in the home demonstration clubs of Craven County who are doing things to raise money for their needs.

Every club woman in Jasper was asked to give a chicken for a roof for their club house and from the sale of these chickens $10.35 was realized. The women have secured WPA labor to put on the roof.

Tuscarora Club is selling flavoring and $20 worth was reported sold at the February meeting. Fifty per cent of this money is retained in the club treasury.

Mile Oak and News River Clubs are assisting two needy families and Rhems is making a quilt which is to be auctioned off. They are also making plans for an auction sale of canned goods.

Epworth has contributed $8 for lunch room equipment in the school.

Onslow County
Mrs. W.L. Hardin of the Southwest Home Demonstration Club in Onslow County utilized all the fertilizer bags from her farm. She made her husband a suit out of these bags, which will equal almost any linen suit bought from a men’s clothing store and showed it with pride to her fellow club members. She said, “I can’t get my husband to wear anything else in the summer time.”

She also dyed some of the bags and made out of them a lovely daybed cover.

Mrs. Deed Shaw of the Hominy Swamp Club, also in Onslow County, recently undertook to equip her own kitchen. “I couldn’t afford to buy a kitchen cabinet, so I made one,” she said. After the club meeting the home agent filled her car with as many members as she could, and they all went out to see this homemade kitchen cabinet. In addition to this, Mrs. Shaw proudly showed us porch furniture, a table, and a kiddy coop, all of which she had made herself.

Edgecombe County

The Conetoe 4-H Club in Edgecombe County has decided to present a minstrel in order to raise money to send two delegates to the boys and girls 4-H short course, which will be held in Raleigh at State college the last week in July. If sufficient funds are raised, they also wish to send one or more members to a 4-H camp next summer. Miss Sara Godwin, a former 4-H club girl, will direct the minstrel.