Records Move: Conservation and Development, the CCC, and Confederate Woman’s Home Association

In this, the next of our continuing series on the records now available on Saturdays, I’m focusing on three more collections moved to our new storage space in the Archives and Library building. The complete list of all the materials moved is available as a PDF from our website, but I’m breaking down the list into a series of blog posts.

More information about these collections can be found in our online catalog MARS, but it will likely take us a while to change the location codes in MARS and our other finding aids so we ask you to please be patient with us.

Conservation and Development, 1883-1965

In 1924 Governor Cameron Morrison had given support to legislation for restructuring of the North Carolina Geological and Economic Survey, placing “the duty of a modern Department of Commerce” upon its board. This legislation failed, but Morrison’s successor, Governor Angus W, McLean also supported the restructure and enlargement of the North Carolina Geological and Economic Survey to advertise the states advantages and to promote the proper conservation of the state’s natural resources.

The 1925 General Assembly replaced the survey with the Department of Conservation and Development. The department’s statutory duties included the active promotion and development of the state’s commerce and industry, as well as the protection of its resources. In 1927 the department established a Division of Commerce and Industry to collect and tabulate information relevant to the state’s resources and potential development.

In 1930 the Division of Commerce and Industry merged with the Division of Public Relations this office had previously functioned within the Department of Conservation and Development. The Division of Commerce and Industry continued to promote the state through public relations until 1937, when the department was granted an appropriation that enabled it to create a separate Division of State Advertising.

In 1937 the Division of Commerce and Industry was enlarged to allow it to take a more active approach in recruiting new and diversified industry. Activities of the division during this time included programs to encourage home industries and rural industries, both of which became the foundation of efforts that continued into the next decade and beyond. In 1945 Governor Gregg Cherry appointed a Committee on Rural Industries to support the division’s activities. Composed of one hundred businessmen, the committee held meetings in eleven cities, seeking to stimulate interest in the possibilities of small rural industries that would utilize local labor and raw materials.

In 1953 the U.S. Congress established the Small Business Administration to provide counsel and financial assistance to small businesses throughout the country. In response, the Division of Commerce and Industry converted its home industries program into a Small Industries Section to promote the growth of locally owned and operated industries and the creation of new enterprises. In 1962 the Division of Commerce and Industry added a Food Processing Section to encourage the development of modern processing operations.
During the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Division of Travel Information (previously named the Division of State Advertising) worked in cooperation with the Division of Commerce and Industry, conducting “Get acquainted with North Carolina” events for newcomers to the state. The two divisions also worked on a project locating welcome centers at interstate highway exits near the state’s borders. The Division of Commerce and Industry subsequently established a Travel and Tourism Section that continued into the next decade.

During the mid-1960s, the Small Industries Section merged with the newly formed Community and Industrial Services Section. The section subsequently became the main arm of the Division of Commerce and Industry for the collection of community data to be stored in a computerized data bank for use by the division and various local development groups throughout the state. Another major function of the section involved determining the expansion requirements of various manufacturers within the state and their needs for materials, suppliers, and markets.

Under the Executive Organization Act of 1971, the Department of Conservation and Development was placed under the newly formed Department of Natural and Economic Resources, headed by a cabinet- level secretary appointed by the governor. The old Department of Conservation and Development and its board retained their previous statutory powers. During the initial phase of reorganization there was little structural change. However, the division was placed under an Office of Industrial, Tourist, and Community Resources, an administrative arm of the new department. During 1973 the Governor’s Efficiency Study Commission recommended that the office be restructured to include only the Division of Commerce and Industry and a Division of Science and Technology. According to the commission, the Board of Science and Technology should be altered to emphasize the commercial and industrial value of research and to aid the state’s economic growth.
Subsequently, the Department of Natural and Economic Resources was re-created and reorganized under the Executive Organization Act of 1973 and charged with promoting the state’s economic development. The functions and powers previously vested in the Department of Conservation and Development and its board  were formally assigned to the new department, and the Department of Conservation and Development and its board ceased to exist.

Records include: Economic and Geological survey correspondence and subject file; board minutes and reports; Biennial reports; administrative reports and correspondence; activities of the department; miscellaneous subject files; assistant director administrative files; Division of Commerce and Industry; Advertising Division; Division of Mineral Resources; Fisheries Commissions Board; North Carolina Film Board files; and other materials.

Note: The Conservation and Development, Travel and Tourism Division photograph files are part of the Non-Textual Materials collection. Some of those materials are currently available online as part of the North Carolina Digital Collections.

Civilian Conservation Corps: Enrollment and Discharge Records, n.d.

The objectives of the Civilian Conservation Corps were two-fold; utilization of the country’s human resources and conservation of the country’s physical resources. These objectives were realized by employing thousands of young men between the ages of 18 and 25 in jobs that were a benefit to conservation, restoration and protection of forests, control of soil erosion and flood control, development of public parks, recreational and historic areas, wild life conservation and other useful public works. The Department of War was responsible for physical examination, enrollment, equipping and conditioning of the men. The Departments of Agriculture and the Interior were responsible for the selection and planning of work projects on national forests, parks, monuments, soil erosion control and the supervision of all projects on state and private lands and state parks. The North Carolina Emergency Relief oversaw local selecting agencies throughout the state to execute the details necessary to placing the men in camps. Of the total 66 camps, 28 were assigned to forest protection and preservation, 22 to soil erosion control, 9 to park projects, 3 to military reservations, 1 to wild life conservation and 3 to Tennessee Valley Authority projects.

Records include: Enrollment and discharge records, arranged in alphabetical order by county.

For more information about the Civilian Conservation Corps, visit our Work Projects in North Carolina exhibit.

Confederate Woman’s Home Association, Dept. of Human Resources, 1862, 1896-1976, n.d.

In 1913 the General Assembly incorporated the Confederate Woman’s Home Association to establish, maintain, and govern a home for needy and dependent wives and widows of NC Confederate soldiers and other “worthy dependent women of the Confederacy”. The association was also to assist indigent Confederate women in their own homes throughout the state. The association was governed by a seven-member board of directors appointed by the governor for two-year terms, who then elected their own president and secretary. The state treasurer served as ex officio treasurer of the association, and it was to be incorporated for forty years. The board established rules and regulations for the maintenance and operation of the home, and for the collection and disbursement of funds for needy Confederate women living elsewhere in the state.

An advisory board of ten “lady managers” was also created to assist the board of directors in the management and furnishing of the home, and in the solicitation of donations to the association. The lady managers were appointed by the board of directors for two-year terms. Vacancies on this advisory board, including the expiration of terms, were to be filled by women who represented each congressional district in the state.

In 1949 the General Assembly extended the corporation’s existence to 1 January 1960. It also added the category of deserving daughters of NC Confederate soldiers to the statute’s criteria of admission to the home, providing that no daughters should be admitted after 1 January 1953. In 1953 this proviso was repealed. Amendments in 1959 and 1969 each added an additional ten-year term of existence to the association.

The Executive Organization Act of 1971 permitted the board and the association to retain full statutory powers, but placed the Confederate Woman’s Home Association under the newly-created Department of Human Resources for administrative purposes. The Executive Organization Act of 1973 re-created the Department of Human Resources and restated the composition of the board for the association (seven members appointed by the governor for two-year terms) and its duties, which had remained generally consistent over sixty years.

In 1981 both the secretary of Human Resources and the board of directors for the home recommended that the General Assembly close the Confederate Woman’s Home, out of concern for the safety of the few remaining residents and the expense of maintaining a dilapidated structure. The General Assembly dissolved the Confederate Woman’s Home Association and closed the home effective 1 July 1981. The state assumed responsibility for relocating the remaining residents in nursing or rest homes and for bearing the non-federally funded share of the cost of their care. Title to the stocks held by the association were transferred back to the North Carolina Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The board, prior to its abolition, was authorized to dispose of the personal property, furnishings, and paintings in the home.

Records include: superintendent’s correspondence, financial records, menus, subject files, and memorabilia.

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