PITT COUNTY: ECONOMICAND SOCIAL
THE PITT COUNTY CLUBUNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINAJUNE, 1920
A WORD TO OUR CUSTOMERS AND FRIENDS IN REGARD TO HORSE AND MULE FLESH
We wish to call your attention to the fact that we have had the pleasure of selling our share of the horses and mules sold in this section since we went in the horse business, and it has been our intention to buy the best that can be bought and sell them at a legitimate profit.
We sell to the retail and wholesale trade both and always carry a full stock in order to supply our demands and we also save a small amount by buying in large quantities. We are open the year round and always glad to have you visit our place whether you buy or not. We have been in the horse business for the past fifteen years and our experience has taught us, it pays to buy the best that can be bought.
When in need of Horses or Mules, we invite you to visit our stables and inspect our stock before you buy.
R. WINGATE & SON
Five Points - Greenville, N. C.
EAST CAROLINA TEACHERS TRAINING SCHOOL
GREENVILLE, N. C.
PITT COUNTYECONOMIC ANDSOCIAL A LABORATORY STUDY AT THE UNIVERSITYOF NORTH CAROLINA, DEPARTMENT OF RURAL SOCIAL SCIENCEOF THE PITT COUNTY CLUBS. O. Worthington, Editor-in-ChiefM. B. Prescott J. V. Perkins J. H. SpainJ. S. Moore S. J. HuskethI. M. LittleJUNE, 1920
Greenville Publishing Company
|1. Historical Background||6|
|S. J. Husketh|
|2. Natural Resources||12|
|S. J. Husketh|
|3. Industries and Opportunities||16|
|S. J. Husketh|
|4. Facts About the Folks||22|
|S. O. Worthington|
|5. Wealth and Taxation||28|
|J. V. Perkins|
|6. Farm Conditions and Practices||34|
|M. B. Prescott|
|7. Greenville, Ayden, and Farmville||40|
|S. O. Worthington|
|8. Home-Raised Food and the Local Market Problem||45|
|I. M. Little|
|9. The Rural Schools||56|
|J. S. Moore|
|10. Things to Be Proud of||63|
|M. B. Prescott|
|11. Our Problems and Their Solution||69|
|S. O. Worthington|
The series of studies here given to the public under the title “Pitt County: Economic and Social,” is mainly the work of the Pitt County Club at the University of North Carolina during the crowded schedule of a busy college year.
It is an attempt to interpret the present-day forces of life in our native county, and to prepare for competent citizenship and effective public service, as Professor Branson is fond of saying.
We are very much indebted to Mr. S. J. Husketh for the first three chapters, Historical Background, Natural Resources, and Industries and Opportunities, written while he was a student in the Rural Social Science department at the University during the Summer School of 1919; and to Mr. I. M. Little for the Local Market Problem of Pitt. This chapter was prepared by Mr. Little while a student at the University Summer School of 1917, but has been revised and brought up to date so far as possible by the Club.
These studies have been prepared in the headquarters of the Rural Social Science department at the University, and they were made possible by the ample file studies of North Carolina counties that have been accumulating here during the last six years. The preparation of this bulletin has been directed by Professors E. C. Branson and S. H. Hobbs, Jr., of the Rural Social Science department, and the Club is deeply grateful to them for their guidance and patience.
The publication has been made possible by the advertisements of the generous business men of Pitt. The University has no funds for printing such a bulletin and but for the generosity of sympathetic business men of Pitt, its publication would have been impossible. We extend to them our best wishes.
Our hope is that this Pitt County bulletin will find its way into every home, school library, and business house in the county; into the hands of every teacher, banker, merchant, minister, factor, lawyer, and farmer; and that all our people may receive in full measure the service we crave to render our native county.
THE PITT COUNTY CLUB.
University of North Carolina,
June 20, 1920.
S. J. HUSKETH, Bethel, N. C.
U. N. C. Summer School, 1919.
Pitt was formed from Beaufort county in 1760 and named in honor of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, a distinguished and devoted friend of America in the English Parliament.
It is situated in the eastern part of the state and bounded by Edgecombe, Martin, Beaufort, Craven, Lenoir, Greene, and Wilson counties. Its capital is Greenville, 86 miles east of Raleigh by the Norfolk Southern route.The County, Capital, and Capitol
After the Assembly had approved the formation of Pitt County, John Hardee, John Simpson, William Speer, George Moy, and Isaac Buck were made commissioners for building a court-house and prison, pillory, and stocks on the lands of John Hardee. A tax of two shillings on each taxable poll in the county was levied for two years to pay for same. Courts were to be held at the house of John Hardee until a court-house could be built. A portion of this first court-house is yet standing, and is used as a tenant house. It was built on the lands of John Hardee, about three miles east of Greenville. By 1771 a permanent town and court-house were deemed necessary, and a bill, introduced in the assembly by Richard Evans, for a town on his land on Tar River, was passed. But in 1774 this act had not been carried out and a supplementary act was passed providing for a county seat by the name of Martin-borough in honor of Governor Martin. The act also provided for the sale of lots by lottery and the removal of the court-house, prison, and stocks.
In 1785 a good part of the eastern portion of Pitt County was given to Beaufort. But in 1786 a part of Craven county was annexed to Pitt, and the name Martinborough was changed to Greenville in honor of General Nathaniel Greene, the hero of Guilford Court House. In 1789 another bill was passed for the building of a court-house, stocks, and prison at Greenville, and for keeping same in repair, a tax being laid for this purpose. In 1828 land was bought from John Cherry, about five miles east of Greenville, and a poor house or County Home established. In 1858 Pitt County suffered a great loss by the burning of the court-house and most of the record. About 1860 the court-house was rebuilt, and it was a splendid building of its kind. Again, in 1910 it was burned, but the vaults that had been previously installed saved the records of the clerk and register of deeds. The only loss by any office was the
court papers of the Clerk's office. There was but little insurance on the court-house and jail. The Board of Education at this time had its office in the Masonic Temple which was burned also, and the Board of Education lost everything but the records and some furniture. A new court-house was soon built.Educational Development
The year in which a part of Craven county was added to Pitt, and the name of Martinborough changed to that of Greenville, 1786, the Pitt Academy was incorporated with some of the most prominent men of the state as its trustees, among them being Governor Richard Caswell. This was a primitive age and the masses of the people could neither read nor write, education being an accomplishment of the wealthy few. There was not a public school in the state, and only a few private schools, the equipment of which was of the crudest type. The teachers were usually imported from New England.
In 1814 the Greenville Academy was incorporated. Later several other academies were chartered: Clemmon's Academy and Contentnea Academy in 1831, and Jordan Plain Academy in 1832. This looked like educational progress, yet it seems that the people were not ready for, or in favor of general education; for it is said that John Joyner, one of the prominent men of the county and several times a member of the Legislature, was turned out of his church for sending one of his boys, Noah, off to college.
But educational matters kept improving in the county and in 1849 the Midway Male and Female Academy near Pactolus was incorporated. The public schools, begun about 1840, which had at first been looked upon with so much disfavor, were now growing in number, favor, and attendance. The old Male Academy, at Greenville, chartered in 1786, which had had such a long and honorable career, took on new life and activity under Prof. W. H. Ragsdale, who came from Granville county, and who was destined to do much for the educational interests of the county.
At Winterville in 1901 was held the first four weeks’ Institute for Teachers held in the state. It was held for the benefit of the teachers of Pitt and Greene counties, and Superintendents W. H. Ragsdale of Pitt and M. P. Davis of Greene were in charge. People were becoming more interested in educational matters, and Bethel in 1902 was the first town in the county to vote a special tax and establish a graded school. Greenville voted a graded school tax in 1903 and its school opened in November in a large brick building on the site of the old Academy. The special tax movement soon spread to all parts of the county. In 1907 a bill was passed by the Legislature establishing the East Carolina Teachers’ Training School. It was opened in October, 1909.
Longevity in Pitt County
In spite of some notions to the contrary, it seems that Pitt has always been a healthy county in which to live. In 1794 there were living in the county William Taylor, 114 years old; Lancelot James and John Banks, each over 100 years old; and William Howard, 108 years old. William Howard was a native of Ocracoke Island but had lived on the banks of the Tar River 91 years.
In 1860 there died in Pitt, where he had spent most of his life, Charles Harris, aged 122 years. He was born in England in 1738 and came to America when 22 years of age. He was a veteran of three wars: the Revolution, the second war with England, and some Indian wars. He married Loany McLawhon and they had nine children, none dying younger than 86 years. At the age of 107, in 1845, he joined the Free Will Baptist Church and was baptized in Swift Creek.County Builders
1. Thomas Jordan Jarvis was born in Currituck county, January 18, 1836. His father was Bannister Hardy Jarvis, a minister of the Gospel and a farmer, a man of strong convictions, steadfast in his devotion to all the duties of life, who sought rather the rewards of the world to come than the accumulation of fortune and earthly substance.
Full of vigor and health in youth Thomas passed his boyhood on the farm, happy in the love of home and of a godly mother, Elizabeth Jarvis. After attending the country schools in boyhood, at 19 he entered Randolph-Macon College, receiving the A. M. degree in 1860.
Zealous in the cause of the South, he enlisted in the 17th North Carolina Regiment, and was soon commissioned first lieutenant of Company B, 8th North Carolina Regiment. He was an excellent soldier and in 1863 was promoted to be captain of his company. His regiment took part in many battles, suffering severely in the battle of Drewry's Bluff in May, 1864, where he was severely wounded in his right arm. He was never able to rejoin his command and was on sick leave with his wounded arm in a sling when the surrender took place in 1865.
After the surrender he moved to Tyrrell county, was licensed to practice law, and was a member of the Andrew Johnson State Convention of 1865. In 1868 he was a Seymour and Blair elected, as well as a candidate for the Legislature, being elected to the latter, and reelected and chosen Speaker of the House in 1872. At the close of the Legislature he moved to Pitt County, formed a partnership with D. M. Carter, and represented Pitt County in the Constitutional Convention of 1875. In 1876 he was elected Lieutenant-Governor
on the ticket with Z. B. Vance, and on the election of Vance to the United States Senate in 1879 he became Governor. In 1880 he was elected governor for the full term, serving six years. Of him it may be said that “no state can boast of a more splendid administration than that of Governor Jarvis, one during which, considering the impoverished condition of the inhabitants, much was accomplished for the advancement of education, the promotion of beneficent public purposes and the establishment of industrial prosperity and contentment in the homes of the people.” In 1885 he was appointed Minister to Brazil by President Cleveland, which position he worthily filled for four years. On the death of Senator Vance he was appointed by Governor Carr to fill the unexpired term. He was a pleasing and convincing speaker and a master in public debate. His address at the opening of the Exposition in Boston in 1883 brought him great reputation as an orator, winning him commendation and fame throughout Massachusetts. His advice to young people was: “Strive to serve the country and live manly. In the end this will be the best service to self.”
2. General Bryan Grimes was born on the Grimesland farm November 2, 1828. He was educated at Bingham School and the University of North Carolina, graduating from the latter institution in June, 1848. Soon thereafter his father gave him Grimesland and he became a planter. At the opening of the Civil War, without military experience, he entered the Confederate service and rose from Major of the Fourth Regiment to Major General. At Seven Pines his regiment suffered heavy loss in men and officers. In the battle a cannon ball took off the head of his horse and in falling one leg was caught under his saddle animal. The regiment wavered, but waving his sword he shouted, “Forward, Forward.” Being freed from the dead horse, he seized the flag then lying on the ground, all the bearers and guards killed or wounded, led the charge and captured the works. At Chancellorsville be made a successful charge against the main body of General Hooker's army. Here he was closely associated with Gen. Stonewall Jackson. On the first day at Gettysburg his regiment was the first to enter the town, driving the Federals to the heights beyond and capturing more prisoners than it had men. He led the last charge at Appomattox and, with Henry Wyatt, who spent most of his life and received all of his education in Pitt County, helped to make Pitt the “Alpha and Omega of the Civil War.” It has been said of him that “in devotion to duty, in faithfulness to every trust, in sincerity of purpose, in dauntless courage, in unselfish patriotism—in everything that constitutes a noble, generous true man—North Carolina has never honored a son superior to Bryan Grimes.”
After Lee's surrender he accepted his parole and returned to his
family and home to help in the rebuilding of the fortunes of his country. He was a successful farmer and a useful and honored citizen until his untimely death August 14, 1880, which he met on his return from Washington, North Carolina, at the hands of an assassin in ambush.
3. General James Armstrong was a member of the Pitt County Committee of Safety, and elected Major of Pitt Militia in 1775. He did active service in the Revolution and was severely wounded in 1779. He was a member of the State Council of 1784 and was elected by the Assembly of 1786 Brigadier-General for New Bern district. He was a member of the Fayetteville Convention 1789, voting for ratification of the Federal Constitution.
4. William Blount was a member of the Continental Congress 1782-83 and 1786-87, and was appointed by Gov. Richard Caswell his substitute to the Convention at Philadelphia in 1787 that formed the Federal Constitution. He was also a member of the Fayetteville Convention in 1789 that ratified it. In 1790 he was appointed by President Washington Governor of the Territory South of the Ohio. He was President of the Convention of Tennessee and was one of the first two U. S. Senators from the State to Tennessee after it was admitted to the Union.
There are many other Pitt County men who have touched and influenced the life of the county, state, and nation, from the days before the American Revolution till the present time. The following are the names of some of them: Dr. Robert Williams, Edward Salter, Major Benjamin May, Colonel Robert Salter, Richard Evans, Major George Evans, Gen. James Gorham, General John Simpson, Colonel John Hardee, Rev. Samuel Brown, Dr. Charles James O'Hagan, John Williams, William Robeson, William Henry Ragsdale, Dr. Robert Williams King, Thomas King, John King, Henry S. Clarke, William S. Blackledge, James Burton Cherry, Willis Robert Williams, Rev. Joseph Latham, Major Louis Charles Latham.Our Contribution to the State and Nation
Pitt County has furnished three Councillors of State: John Simpson, 1778, James Armstrong, 1788, and Fenner B. Satherwhite, 1862.
Pitt County has produced three United States Congressmen: Louis C. Latham (Democrat), 1881-1883, 1887-1889; T. J. Jarvis (Democrat), 1894-1895, Harry Skinner (Populist), 1895-1899.
One Secretary of State, the present incumbent, J. Bryan Grimes, 1900—, comes from Pitt.
Pitt County has furnished one Governor, T. J. Jarvis, who being elected Lieut.-Governor in 1876, became Governor February, 1879, upon the election of Governor Vance to the United States Senate.SOURCES OF INFORMATION
Wheeler's History and Memoirs of the Counties of North Carolina.
N. C. Manual, 1913.
Ashe's North Carolina History.
King's Sketches of Pitt County.
Ashe's Biographical History of North Carolina.
Department Files of University of North Carolina.
Natural Resources of Pitt
S. J. HUSKETH, Bethel, N. C.
U. N. C. Summer School, 1919.Geography
Pitt County lies in the central-eastern part of North Carolina. The center of the county is about 85 miles east of Raleigh, and 120 miles southwest of Norfolk, Virginia. The distance across the county east and west, north and south, is from 30 to 35 miles. The approximate area is 401,280 acres, or 627 square miles.
The general surface features of the county are broad, level tablelands and gently rolling areas, with intervening low swamp land. The more rolling areas occur near the swamps, along the small streams, along Little Contentnea creek, near Grifton, and on the bluff line on the south side of the Tar river. The largest level upland area is the Grindle Pocoson, which extends southwestwardly from near Bethel to Staton, embracing about 40 square miles. Most of the surface of the county, however, is level to undulating and lies beautifully for general farm purposes.
The slope of the county is to the east and southeast. The highest point in the county is 121 feet on the western border just north of Fountain, while the lowest place is practically at sea level at the confluence of Tranters creek and Tar river on the east edge of the county. The average elevation is about 60 feet. All sections of Pitt County are supplied with streams sufficient to furnish good drainage for most of the land. The Tar river flows across the county in a general southeasterly direction, receiving many tributaries which rise in or cross the county. Some of the streams are generally sluggish but here and there dams have been constructed to provide power for grist mills.
Pitt County has been settled since 1714, and had a population in 1910 of 36,340. The Bureau of Census gives the population in 1920 at 45,569, or an increase of about 25.4 percent in ten years. The inhabitants are mainly of English descent, though a few are Scotch.
All of the land in the county, except some of the lower-lying swamps, can be reclaimed and cultivated, and the county could easily support a much larger population than it has at present.
Greenville, the county seat, has a population of 5,772 in 1920, is situated near the center of the county, on Tar river, and is the largest town. It has made rapid progress in the last few
years in manufacturing enterprises. It is a large market for peanuts, cotton, and tobacco, and has handsome schools, churches, and homes.
Transportation facilities, natural and otherwise, are good. The Tar river is navigable for steamboats a good part of the year, and until the advent of the railroads regular boat lines were operated thereon. Deep water extends as high up as Grimesland wharves and boats can make regular trips at all seasons of the year from Grimesland to Washington, N. C., and to Norfolk, Va. As to railroads, the Norfolk and Southern Railroad crosses the county in an east and west direction. The Kinston and Weldon branch of the Atlantic Coast Line Railway passes through the center of the county from north to south; a branch of the same system crosses the northern end of the county by Bethel, and another branch goes from Parmele to Washington by Pactolus. The East Carolina Railroad crosses the western part of the county.
In 1918 Pitt stood second in automobile wealth per inhabitant, with $33.93. Only Greene, with $38.07 per inhabitant, stood ahead of Pitt. At that date Pitt had 2,345 automobiles, and only four counties, Forsyth, Mecklenburg, Wake, and Guilford, had more. Our county roads are for the most part sand and sand-clay. They furnish excellent transportation facilities. As far back as 1914 there were 100 miles of improved roads and 100 miles of surfaced roads in Pitt.Soils, Seasons, and Native Crops
The climate of Pitt County is mild. The summers are long and warm, and the winters short and only moderately cold. This affords a long growing season giving opportunity for the production of a wide range of crops. Two or more crops can be grown each year on the same land. Both soil and climate favor a highly diversified agriculture.
Perhaps no county in eastern North Carolina possesses a greater variety of soils, or soils suited to a wider diversity of crops. Of the eleven distinct types recognized, the Norfolk fine sandy loam is the most extensive and most valuable for farming purposes. It is peculiarly adapted to the production of bright yellow tobacco, but is also suited to cotton, corn, peanuts, Irish potatoes, and various fruit and truck crops, and livestock.
Pitt County is the largest tobacco-growing county in the state, yielding in 1919 more than 21,000,000 pounds. Prices of tobacco for several years have been good. As much as $150 to $800 per acre has been realized from it, and occasionally very much larger amounts per acre. Cotton is also a very important crop, more
than 20,000 bales being produced annually. The 1918 crop was 28,255 bales, and in 1919 it was 20,241 bales. Corn, Irish potatoes, and peanuts are the next crops in order of importance. Crimson clover and rape are successfully grown if the soil is limed and fertilized. Cowpeas, clover, vetch, and soy beans can be easily grown and cured for hay. Sweet potatoes, watermelons, cantaloupes, pears, peaches, apples, and scuppernong and James grapes are grown for home use and local market. In fact, Pitt County has such a variety of crops that can be naturally and easily cultivated, that the county could be self-sustaining and independent so far as food and feed stuffs are concerned.Muck and Marl
Only two small bodies of muck have been mapped in the county. These occur about four miles northwest of Greenville, lying at the foot of the bluff line as the second bottom is reached. These were originally ponds and have been filled in by the growth and decay of reeds, grasses, leaves, and trees. The muck is admirably suited to the production of onions, cabbage, celery, and corn. If properly drained, heavily limed, and fertilized with a little acid phosphate and potash, very large yields can be produced.
The marl deposits of Pitt County are formed of the shell remains of marine life, belonging, it is believed, to the Neocene period of the Cenozoic era. During that period the ocean extended inland as far as the present site of Raleigh, and Pitt County was entirely submerged. The deposits, which vary in thickness from two or three feet to 20 feet, are found throughout the county at depths varying from a few feet to 50 to 60 below the surface. Only the deposits that lie near the surface can be worked economically. Some of the marl contains a high percentage of lime and is used in compost to good effect. The percent of carbonate of lime ranges from 2 to as high as 70 or 80, but the average is about 35 to 50 per cent, equal to 16 to 26 per cent of quick lime. But marl is not dug in large quantities as formerly, for many of the land owners consider it more expensive to hire negro labor than to buy rock lime shipped in from distant points.Timber Resources
There are in Pitt County according to the census of 1910 187,217 acres of woodland area. This forest growth, in the upland regions consists largely of longleaf, shortleaf, and loblolly pine, with undergrowth of bays, scrubby sweet gums, and gallberry bushes. The swamp land is all forested, chiefly with black, sweet, cotton, and pawpaw gums, cypress, poplar, ash, and oak, with undergrowth
of gallberry bushes, alders, reeds, and bays. Much valuable timber is being cut from these areas.Many Farms, Many Idle Acres, and Much Tenancy
Sixty-five percent or 251,640 acres of the land in Pitt County is idle—an area that would accommodate 2,680 families with 75 acres each, after reserving 50,000 acres for wood-lot uses. Of course this takes into consideration the swamp land, but, according to the United States Soil Survey, all except the lower-lying swamps can be drained and cultivated.
In the number of farms, 1910, Pitt ranks 6th in North Carolina, with a total of 4,696. Classified according to size, 2,814 or about three-fifths of all the farms contain less than 50 acres. Nine hundred and forty-one farms contain 50 to 99 acres, 872 farms contain from 100 to 499 acres, 54 farms contain 500 to 999 acres, while only 15 farms contain 1,000 acres or more. Probably no more than one-tenth of the land in Pitt County is in farms of 500 acres or more.
Out of a population of 36,340 in 1910, there were 9,648 farm workers, cultivating 149,646 acres, or 31.9 acres per farm. Of the total of 4,696 farms, 3,047 or about two-thirds are operated by tenants. Only about 1,600 of the farms of Pitt County are operated by the owners. Only 14 counties have a higher rate of town and country tenancy, and only 13 counties have a larger negro population than Pitt, the population being about half negro and half white. Only eight counties have a larger percent of farm tenancy.
Pitt is largely a rural county. Out of a total population of 45,569 in 1920, only 12,548 or 28 percent of her people live in cities and towns of all sorts whatsoever. Seventy-two percent of her people are today living in the open country, which is just about the average for North Carolina.Is Pitt County Shrinking?
The Soil Survey of the United States Department of Agriculture 1910 gives the area of Pitt County as 416,000 acres; the census of 1910 gives the approximate land area as 401,280 acres; while the State Tax Commission in 1917 could find only 365,252 acres available for taxation. Is Pitt County shrinking?SOURCES OF INFORMATION
U. S. Census, 1910 and 1920.
U. S. Soil Survey, 1910.
Report of Department of Labor and Printing, 1917-18.
Rural Social Science files, University of North Carolina.
Industries and Opportunities
S. J. HUSKETH, Bethel, N. C.
U. N. C. Summer School, 1919.
Because of its fine soil and climate, Pitt County is, first of all, a great agricultural county. With Greenville and other county towns affording good local markets and Norfolk also within easy reach by rail and by water, the agricultural advantages of Pitt County are unsurpassed. One-fourth of its population are actual farm workers, while hundreds of others, living in Greenville and in small towns all over the county, own farms and are directly or indirectly tied up with agricultural interests.
According to the census of 1910, Pitt County ranked 7th in total farm wealth with $11,014,576, 6th in number of farms with 4,696, 4th in the volume of farm wealth produced with $4,011,889, and first in the production of tobacco. In the census year Pitt produced 10,973,000 pounds of tobacco, averaging 777 pounds per acre. In 1919 she produced 21,000,000 pounds. The nearest approach to this in 1910 in tobacco production was made by Rockingham with 8,279,000 pounds, while in 1919 Wake stood second in total tobacco production. Only three counties, Robeson, Johnston and Wake produced a greater total crop wealth than Pitt in 1910.
In the production of cotton Pitt ranked 9th among the counties of the state in 1915, producing 23,636 bales. The per acre production in the county was 232.6 pounds, causing Pitt to rank 38th in this particular. In 1919 with 20,241 bales Pitt ranked 17th as a cotton producing county. But this high rank in production of cotton and tobacco makes Pitt rank 88th in the production of food and feed crops. In other words, of the total farm wealth of $4,011,889 produced in the county in 1910, $2,305,000 or more than half was spent for imported food and feed supplies. Of the $84 per capita spent for food and feed stuffs, Pitt produced $32 worth per capita, and sent elsewhere for $52 worth. No county with such natural advantages as Pitt for raising home supplies should continue to allow such a condition to exist. The county has undoubtedly made great gains in producing bread and meat crops during the four years of war.
In corn production Pitt ranks 7th with an annual production of 638,933 bushels, producing 18 bushels per person and 13 bushels per acre. The state per acre production in 1910 was 14.3 bushels. Here again Pitt falls short, importing 472,420 bushels of corn or shout two-fifths of its corn supply. Even 685 farms, or 15 per
cent of all the farms, buy stock feed. In 1919, Pitt produced 900,900 bushels of corn, a gain of nearly 50 per cent in 10 years, and only nine counties produced more.
In regard to livestock, hogs and cattle are the principal kinds raised in the county. Only 13 pounds of beef per person were produced in the county in 1910, making Pitt rank 82d among the counties of the state in this respect. But in the matter of hogs, Pitt stood fourth in the number raised for 1,000 acres, the number being 98 while the state average was just 39. Many of these hogs are grown and fattened partially on fields of peanuts, soy beans, rape, and mulberry orchards. If the stock law extended over the entire county, it would help greatly to improve the grade of livestock, especially cattle and hogs. The sooner the people realize this the sooner Pitt County will be able to make use of its natural advantages for raising high grade cattle, hogs, and poultry. In 1910 the county had only 20 cattle per 1,000 acres, which represented a decrease of 18 per cent since 1900. The state average is 23. It is high time that Pitt should go beyond the annual production of one and one-half pounds of butter per capita, and that of a very inferior quality.Cotton Manufacture in North Carolina
North Carolina heads the list of southern states in the total number of spindles employed. We also had 12,155 carding machines and 69,784 looms. Only Massachusetts made a better showing. In North Carolina in 1918 there were 68,292 operatives who produced a total output of $373,924,860 worth of goods. In 1918 the North Carolina mills, including silk and woolen mills, consumed 492,925,075 pounds of raw materials.
Gaston county, North Carolina, had 1,012,000 spindles in 1920, ranking ahead of all counties in the South in the number of spindles and first in the United States in the number of mills, with 94 mills. Gaston is the fourth county in the United States in the number of cotton spindles.Manufacturing in Pitt
Pitt is not a leading county in manufacture, though the great amount of raw material raised in the county, especially cotton and tobacco, would indicate that more manufacturing could be carried on with great profit.
In 1918 there were only 20 manufacturing establishments in the county. Fifteen of these had a capital investment of $364,200 and a yearly output of $1,690,000 worth of goods. Eight of these establishments are within the corporate limits of Greenville. Classified, there are 5 lumber and timber concerns, 2 cotton seed oil
mills, 1 grist mill, 1 laundering establishment, 1 veneering plant, 3 building material concerns, 1 ice factory, 1 cotton mill, 1 barrel-making concern, 1 bottling plant, 1 fertilizer concern, 1 machine repairing concern, and 1 concern manufacturing cotton planters, guano sowers, etc.
The Greenville Cotton Mills in 1918 had a capital stock of $125,000, operated 5,280 spindles, consumed about 1,000,000 pounds of raw material, and turned out $335,000 worth of knitting yarns. Other manufacturing concerns in the county are classified as follows:
|Factory||Postoffice||Classification||Estimated Value of Plant||Estimated Value of Yearly Output||Estimated Yearly Pay Roll|
|Municipal Light Plant||Ayden||Electric and Water||$75,000||$ 7,000||$ 3,000||3|
|J. A. Griffin||Ayden||Ginning, Sawing, etc.||20,000||5,000||4,000||5|
|Sureshot Remedy Co.||Ayden||Stock Remedies||5,000||20,000||4,000||6|
|Farmville Land & Lumber Co.||Farmville||Building Material||1,500||5,000||4,500||7|
|Farmville Oil & Fertilizer Co.||Farmville||Cotton Seed||900,000||55,000||81|
|Jefferson Mills||Fountain||Lumber, Meal, etc.||2,000|
|Chero-Cola Bottling Co.||Greenville||Chero-Cola and Soda Water||8,000||20,000||4,000||6|
|Coca-Cola Bottling Co.||Greenville||Bottle Coca-Cola||40,000||60,000||7,000||10|
|Dail Brick Yard||Greenville||Common Brick||25,000||35,000||15,000||25|
|Greenville Ice & Coal Co.||Greenville||Ice, Handles Coal||40,000||25,000||5,000||8|
|Overton Barrel Factory||Greenville||Barrels||6,000||30,000||5,391||10|
|Pepsi-Cola Bottling Works||Greenville||Soft Drinks||5,000||20,000||3,800||6|
|Barrington Saw Mill||Grifton||Lumber||4|
|Proctor Sawmill & Cotton Gin||Grimesland||Lumber and Ginning||5,000||1,500||12|
|Grindool Sawmill & Cotton Gin||Parmele||Ginned Cotton and Lumber||5,000||4|
|Whichard & Congleton||Whichard||Lumber||2,500||3,000||450||5|
|A. G. Cox Mfg. Co.||Winterville||Cotton Planters, etc.||65,000||75,000||10,000||18|
|Winterville Cotton Oil Co.||Winterville||Cotton Seed Oil, Meal, etc.||47,000||150,000||6,000||19|
|Bethel Mfg Co.||Bethel||Barrels, Lumber, etc.|
|Andrews Lumber Co.||Bethel||Lumber, Ginning, etc.||7,500||12|
|The last column of figures is Number of Employees.|
Why Not More Cotton Mills?
Pitt County raises annually more than 10,000,000 pounds of cotton, while the single mill in the county consumes only about one-tenth of this amount. Raw material, labor, capital, power, and transportation are necessary for manufacturing. Pitt County has an abundance of raw material, both cotton and tobacco. It has the possibilities of electrical energy, as the elevation of the county ranges from 121 feet to practically sea level. It has ample transportation facilities by water and rail. It has sufficient labor for manufacturing. And local capital is abundant. Why then should not a county so rich in the essentials for successful manufacturing begin to turn out finished products and reap the bigger profits which always come from the sale of finished articles, as opposed to the small profits that come from the sale of raw materials?Other Possibilities in Manufacturing
In 1918 there were only two cottonseed oil concerns in the county. A glance at the table above, and at the abundance of raw material in the county, would indicate that more such mills could be operated with profit. Especially would this be true so long as the farmers insist upon using high-priced commercial fertilizers with nitrogen content, rather than growing leguminous crops to supply the lack of nitrogen in the soil.
Again, Pitt County produced 173,000 bushels of peanuts in 1910. In northeastern North Carolina around 5,000,000 bushels are raised annually. And yet, in all North Carolina there are only two factories for cleaning and grading peanuts, the National Spanish Peanut Company of Scotland Neck and D. H. Bryan and Company of Wilmington. Of these, the larger plant is the Scotland Neck concern which has a capital stock of $50,000 and a plant valued at $30,000, and employs 20 men and 20 women, with an annual pay roll of only $6,000, but with a yearly output of $500,000 worth of goods. If there is even a small margin of profit per bushel, between the cost of raw material, labor, and operating expenses on the one hand, and the market value of the finished product on the other hand, there should be a handsome profit in such an industry even in Pitt County.Other Possibilities in Agriculture
But, as is shown elsewhere, the great economic weakness of Pitt County is that she does not raise sufficient food and feed stuffs. Every man, woman, and child in the county is dependent upon the Middle West for more than half of the food that goes on their tables from day to day; or so it was in 1910. Too much attention is being paid to the raising of cotton and tobacco, and too little to
food and feed stuffs. “No county like Pitt will ever enjoy that prosperity that should be hers, until all the corn, hay, meat, and other food stuff needed for home consumption are produced within her limits. Instead of buying hay and meat at high prices, shipping in from the North and West, the money thus expended should remain in the farmer's pockets. In this county cowpeas, crimson clover, and vetch can be easily grown and cured for hay. There is an abundance of fertile soil to produce all the corn needed in the county and even a large surplus for outside markets. Peanuts, chufas and rape can be cheaply grown and the hogs allowed to fatten on them, and after that only a little corn is necessary to fatten or harden the meat.”
Then, too, the farmers are in the habit of buying too much high-priced commercial fertilizers for their crops. Some of them literally buy their land each year. It is not unusual for farmers operating a three or four-horse farm to use forty tons of fertilizers costing from $3,000 to $3,500. Of course luxuriant crops are the result, but by planting and turning under green manuring crops, nearly all kinds of which grow well in Pitt County, all the nitrogen needed for the crops can be secured from the air and a full half of the fertilizer bill saved. Not enough attention has been paid to the needs of the soil in regard to rotation of crops, and the kinds and quantities of fertilizers applied.SOURCES OF INFORMATION
U. S. Census, 1910.
Bureau of Education Bulletin No. 6, 1919.
Report Department of Labor and Printing, 1917-18.
Soil Survey, 1910.
Rural Social Science files, University of North Carolina.
The N. C. Farm Forecaster, May, 1920.
Facts About the Folks
S. O. WORTHINGTON, Winterville, N. C.
At the end of this chapter will be found a table giving the facts about the people of Pitt as nearly up-to-date as possible at the present time. They come mainly from the 1910 census and from other authoritative reports of more recent years. These facts show where Pitt stands when compared with other counties and how she ranks in a dozen or more particulars of importance. Our purpose is to make plain where we stand, and show what we need to do if we would improve.The Population
The census of 1910 gave Pitt a population of 36,340. The Census Bureau in 1920 gives the population at 45,569. In density of population our county ranked 12th, having 51.4 people per square mile. We also rank 12th in rural population increase, having made a gain of 13.8 per cent during the census period 1900-1910. In 1920 we had 52.7 people to the square mile living in the open country. It is evident that Pitt is well settled, and the people of our rural districts have an opportunity for indulgence in social activities. Yet we are in no way so closely settled as to prevent future expansion in any direction that we choose. There is plenty of vacant land in the county for larger farms and a larger farm population.
The population of Pitt is mainly English, with a liberal sprinkling of Scotch. These facts speak well for old Pitt. For with the heroism of the Scotch and the indomitable will of the English, what can be expected but a big-hearted, whole-souled, patriotic and liberty-loving people? We need only point to Pitt's record in the World War to prove this. We gave our sons and our wealth for the cause of humanity. Not only are the people of Pitt patriotic in time of war but at all times they have done their part in building up the county, in such matters, for instance, as stamping out illiteracy, promoting religious worship, cleaning and beautifying towns, and making the county a better place in which to live. A very great part of our progress is due to the heroic and noble efforts of our women, who are faithful in striving to bring about better conditions.Death, Marriage, and Birth Rates
The marriage rate is high in Pitt; it was higher in only eleven counties of the state in 1914. Our rate at that time was 13 per thousand of population 15 years old and over, against 10.1 in the state-at-large. Ranking 4th in birth rate in 1917, it is evident
that we are not practicing race suicide as in localities with less favorable living conditions. Our birth rate in 1917 was 41.7 per thousand people, and only three counties had higher rates. A birth rate of 41.7 and a death rate of 15.2 accounts for our rapid gains in population during each census period. However, our death rate is not creditable and there is much room for improvement. This can be accomplished only by spreading far and wide the doctrines of sanitation and public hygiene.
In homicides Pitt ranks 88th, which does not speak well for the law-abidingness of our population when compared with that of other counties. Eighty-seven counties had a smaller homicide rate during the four years from 1910 to 1914.
In 1917 our death rate was 15.2 per thousand as compared with 15 for the United States in 1913, and 14.1 in North Carolina in 1917. The health department of Pitt has been very active in health promotion and disease prevention. Our low rank is probably due largely to the efficiency of the department in faithfully reporting deaths, while in some other counties many deaths went unreported. Under the supervision of the public health officer and the board of health, once-feared diseases have been blotted out and places that were once deemed unfit to live in have become among the prettiest and most healthful sections of the county. Yet there remains much to be done along this line and we are looking to the people at large to go on with this work and to stamp out disease in our county as far as is humanly possible.Health Department
Pitt County was one of the first counties in the state to have a full-time health officer. In many respects we were late in providing for county-wide health work, but comparatively early when compared with the state-at-large. In no county has the work of the health department been more beneficial. Every school district is visited by the health officer. The children are examined and their parents are informed of their needs and are counseled to look after the same. In this way the spread of disease has been decreased. All school children must be vaccinated under the law, and the doctor on his rounds has diligently enforced the law. Thus typhoid fever, smallpox, and similar diseases have been almost wiped out.What The People Do
The great majority of our people are farmers. Earning our livelihood by work in the pure air we maintain a vigorous stock, which is one of the causes of our progressiveness. Our county is not stocked with numerous factories and mills in which the lives
of so many young people are shortened. Probably you will think that our civilization is lowered by the lack of mills and factories. But not so. Our standards of living are equal to those of other sections although there is need and opportunity for manufacturing establishments in Pitt, and we should be thankful that we live in a county where we can hold our own in the world without subjecting the lives of our children to the closed doors of the mill and factory.
Many counties pride themselves on the great hordes of mill hands that file into the mills in the morning and out at night. It is true this is a great sight, but there is nothing more worthy of pride than a host of honest husbandmen. As the rising sun casts its first rays across the firmament you may hear them on their way to work, either astride their beasts of burden or with hoes swung over their shoulders whistling, “I'll say she do.” In the distant forest may be heard the steady whack, whack of the wood cutter's ax as he gathers wood for the winter fire. Then in the evening as the sun slowly sinks in the west, the plowboys return, the wood cutters are seen wending their way toward the humble home, while barefoot boys drive the lowing herd from the pasture, and rosy farm girls are seen trudging in with brimming milk pails.
These are only a few of the things Pitt County people enjoy.Social Activities
Various organizations have done much to raise the social standards of our county. The good women of the county have been instrumental in lifting the level of living conditions in Pitt. Clean-up week in the towns, better school buildings, and cleaner yards are familiar rallying cries from year to year. In all the towns special rest-rooms have been prepared for the country women who become tired while shopping or have to wait over for trains. It is due mainly to some of these organizations that our merchants now close their stores early in the evening instead of at ten or eleven o'clock at night as in days gone by. This gives our merchants and clerks the evening off in their homes or at the movies with their families.
There are two things lacking in Pitt County and we long to see them established. We need a county hospital free for all the people. I think the people of the county and especially Greenville must have recognized the urgent need for such a hospital during the last two epidemics. We understand that the people of Pitt are organizing to establish not one but three public hospitals.
The other need is for a Y. M. C. A. building. We rejoice in the public library of Greenville; but our capital city still lacks such a Y building as other cities of its rank enjoy.
With the addition of these institutions our social standards would be raised and the county greatly benefited.
We have always been interested in baseball and other games. Both the teams in the Eastern Carolina league finals this year were in Pitt—Greenville and Ayden. Greenville was the champion in the final series. Most of our schools are provided with adequate playgrounds and other recreation facilities. During the summer the different towns and farm districts have their own teams and play regular games, some of which would rival the Cincinnati Reds and the White Sox.About Education
Our position in public education appears low to the reader, but it must be remembered that the figures in the tables elsewhere in this bulletin are not the 1920 figures. Very likely our county occupies a higher rank today, as we have been active along educational lines since the last published report. The passage of the six-months school attendance law has greatly raised our standing, but just how much we do not yet know. From the 1910 census data we find that we rank thirty-ninth in the number of white illiterates ten years old and over, our rate being 11.1 percent, against 12.3 percent for the state-at-large. There were all told 1,417 white illiterates in the county in 1910. Exactly 15.3 percent of our white voters are illiterate, while the percent of the state is 14.1. Our illiterate white voters numbered 684.
In 1918 we had a total school population of 14,505, while our daily attendance was only 7,133. Thus our daily attendance was less than 50 per cent of our school population which does not speak very well for us. Our school population was 8,018 white and 6,487 colored. Of the daily attendance 4,408 were whites while 2,725 were negroes. It is evident that the compulsory school law, if enforced, will accomplish great good in our county.
These facts speak for themselves. It is evident that there is need in Pitt for a great effort in behalf of public education.Church Membership
We recognize the fact that there is a great work being done in Pitt along religious lines. There are many big-hearted Christian men and women in the county; yet the appalling fact exists that in 1916 only 46 percent of the people ten years of age and over were members of any church. That is to say, out of a possible 28,750 people of this age group only 13,230 were church members. In 1916 people above ten years of age to the number of 15,520 were outside the church. There is a plenty of churches scattered throughout the county. This condition as to church membership is due to negligence on the part of the people concerning church matters. Illiteracy and tenancy are the greatest causes of non-church
membership. They are twin-born social evils. Destroying them is a church problem and the churches must help solve these evils from a self-defensive interest. The church must destroy tenancy and illiteracy, or they will together destroy the church.
|The figures at the left indicate the number of counties that make a better showing than Pitt.|
|19th in||Land area, acres||416,000|
|12th in||Total population in 1910 census||36,340|
|9th in||Total population 1920 census||45,569|
|12th in||Density of rural population, people per square mile||51.4|
|In 1920 there were 52.7 people per square mile.|
|12th in||Rural population increase, 1900 to 1910, per cent||13.8|
|39th in||Native white illiterates, ten years old and over, 1910, percent||11.1|
|White illiterates, 1,417; state average 12.3 percent; U. S. average 3 percent.|
|58th in||Native white illiterate voters, 684 in number, percent||15.3|
|State average 14.1 percent; U. S. average 4.2 percent.|
|58th in||School attendance on enrollment, 1915-16, percent||75.5|
|In 1917-18 out of a white school population of 8,018 there were 6,258 in school, or 78 percent.|
|State average of school attendance on enrollment in 1915-16 was 68.8 percent.|
|51st in||White school attendance on enrollment, 6 to 14 years of age, percent, 1910||75.5|
|State average, 71.7 percent.|
|58th in||Negro school attendance, 6 to 14 years of age, 1910, percent||61.8|
|Negro school attendance in 1917-18 was 72 percent.|
|State average attendance in 1914 was 64 percent.|
|23rd in||Average annual salary paid white teachers, 1917-18||$349.00|
|State average, $323.00.|
|40th in||School expenditures per $1,000 worth of property, 1913-14||$8.26|
|State average, $8.03; McDowell average $20.85.|
|Here is room for better schools and better salaries.|
|12th in||Marriage rate per 1,000 population 15 years of|
|age and over in 1914||13.0|
|State average, 10.1. Number of marriages in Pitt, 467.|
|79th in||Death rate per 1000 inhabitants in 1917||15.2|
|U. S. average, 15 in 1913; N. C. rate 14.1 in 1917.|
|88th in||Homicides, average annual rate per million inhabitants in 1910-14||183|
|U. S. annual average rate 95; N. C. rate 92.|
|4th in||Birth rate per 1000 inhabitants in 1917||41.7|
|Average U. S. rate in 1913, 26.6; N. C. rate for 1917 was 31.8.|
|81st in||Church membership ten years of age and over in 1916, percent||46|
|15,520 people above ten years of age outside any church whatsoever in Pitt in 1916.|
|78th in||Confederate pensioners, rate per 10,000 inhabitants, in 1915||33|
|125 old soldiers and widows in the pension list in 1914; only 77 in 1919.|
|The rate was highest in Clay, 166, and lowest in Pasquotank and Perquimans.|
|13th in||State support in 1918; total of taxes paid into the State treasury beyond public school funds and pensions drawn out||$ 20,606|
|Durham county was highest with a surplus of $66,590, and Ashe lowest with a deficit of $12,964. Thirty-three counties drew state bounties.|
U. S. Census, 1910 and 1920.
State Board of Health Reports.
U. S. Census of Religious Bodies, 1916.
Wealth and Taxation
J. V. PERKINS, Stokes, N. C.Industries
The reader is reminded that this and other chapters are based on tables that close each discussion.
Pitt is both an agricultural and an industrial county. While agriculture is and has always been the occupation of a majority of the inhabitants, industries have had a tremendous growth during the last ten years.
The town of Greenville with a population of 5,772 is engaged in lumber, fertilizer, and buggy and other manufacturing enterprises. The smaller towns of Ayden, Farmville, and Winterville have developed manufacturing enterprises. For instance there is the Sureshot Remedy Co., Ayden, N. C.; The Farmville Oil and Fertilizer Co., Farmville, N. C., and the Cox Manufacturing Co., Winterville, N. C.
Other industries in the county are lumber mills, soft drink factories, a barrel factory, brick factories, and several others of minor importance. Pitt is coming more and more to the front as a conspicuous industrial county. We no longer rely on agriculture alone in Pitt to produce all of our wealth. Agriculture, for years to come, will remain the backbone of our community but we have begun to turn our raw products into finished wealth and thereby to retain the maximum of it in our county. And this must become an increasing practice in Pitt.Agriculture
Pitt is largely an agricultural county. In 1910 she ranked seventh in the state in the value of farm properties, with a total of $11,014,576. She made a tremendous increase of 90.5 per cent over the values of 1900. Since the census year the total farm wealth has increased at a much higher ratio. At the present time it is about treble what it was in 1910. For instance the present prices of cotton and tobacco compared with the prices in 1910 will show why land has trebled in value. The chief agricultural products are tobacco and cotton. In 1910 Pitt produced 10,974,000 pounds of tobacco and since then the amount has increased nearly 100 per cent. In 1919 she ranked first in the total production of tobacco with 21,000,000 pounds of leaf tobacco worth about $11,000,000. Pitt ranks first in the state in the sale of tobacco with the town of Greenville ranking third. The above is largely the explanation of our great increase in the value of farm properties since the census year of 1910.
Our farmers are also coming more and more to realize the need of producing sufficient meat, wheat, corn, potatoes, hay, and forage for their own needs, at least, and are consequently endeavoring to produce these necessary supplies in addition to cotton and tobacco, thus bringing about a better-balanced farm system. In agriculture as well as manufacturing Pitt is fast becoming one of the most up-to-date counties in the state.General Facts
Pitt stood fourteenth in the state in taxable property in 1917 with a total of $15,210,528. This total is not very much more than the wealth produced by our tobacco alone in a single year. In 1920 Pitt ranks 9th in total taxables, having now on her tax books $66,887,294. The year before re-valuation, 1919, we had on our tax books only $19,202,340. The re-valuation increase was 249 per cent and only 13 counties are ahead of us in this particular. Today Pitt ranks 12th in per capita taxable wealth with $1469. A year ago it was only $421.
Our taxable wealth increased only 78 per cent during the decade from 1907 to 1917. The state increase for this period was only 64 per cent. In farm wealth and in professional and income taxes, Pitt ranks among the richest counties in the state. These are facts about wealth and taxation for us to be proud of. Since 1910 our farm properties have trebled in value; that is to say, our total wealth in farm properties alone is around $34,000,000. Our industrial capital has reached large totals. The main things that have helped to produce this wonderful increase in wealth are the improvements in roads, and our splendid tobacco and cotton lands. It is true that the roads in Pitt are not the best in the state but the people have seen that we need good roads and they have voted bonds adequate to make us one of the leading highway counties of the state. Wealth, good roads, and good schools are the basis of social progress and development. Pitt has its faults and some of them rather serious ones. It has its problems to be solved, but we have resources, intelligence, and the will to solve them. Therefore we ought to retain our place among the leading counties of the state in agriculture and develop into a leading manufacturing county.Tenancy
Only 51 per cent of all the white farmers of Pitt are farm owners. The other 49 per cent rent their farming land year by year. Only 12 per cent of the negro farmers of the county own their farms, while 90 counties show a larger precentage. This fact is one of the primary causes for our low standing in church membership, in literacy, and in civic and social improvement, our resources and wealth considered. Tenant farmers are the greatest
single obstacle to progress in any community. Tenants there will always be, to be sure, but we have too large a percentage of them both white and black in Pitt for our people to develop a keen sense of civic or social consciousness. There is no one thing that stimulates community interest and activity so much as owning a bit of land. Our farm owners must become an increasing ratio of our farm population. For half of our white farmers and 88 per cent of our negro farmers to be unable to own their farms in this state of North Carolina seems little short of criminal negligence on the part of somebody or everybody.
The wealth-retaining ability of our county depends largely upon the ratio of farm owners we have and their willingness to produce their own food and feed supplies. A heavy tenant population will continue to keep our rich farms dotted with small, ill-kept, and unpainted homes, and few and inadequate barns and outhouses. Our farm properties will not become so valuable under a tenant system. Livestock, livestock industries, and co-operative activity will remain foreign to our soil under such conditions.
The tenants, in a way, have had great success in Pitt. They are responsible for our great cotton and tobacco crops which are the best tenant crops on earth. Just so, also, they and their landlords are responsible for our enormous food and feed deficits and our feeble wealth-retaining abilities.
We must help the tenants to become farm owners if we wish to rise into a safer, wealthier, happier and more prosperous county. Tenancy means soil deterioration, poor schools, small church membership, poor roads, lack of food and feed crops, and is the great obstacle to co-operative action on the part of farmers. The tenant himself must wake up. He must realize the need of a home instead of an automobile. Many of the tenants of today are owners of large automobiles when they should be depositing their money in the bank to pay for future farms and homes.Mortgages and Banking
We find that 13 per cent of all the white farm owners in Pitt, and 39 per cent of all the negro farmers had mortgages on their farms in 1910. Thus 31 per cent of all the farms in the county were mortgaged, or nearly one out of every three farms. Many of these mortgages were for money to buy other farms, and for farm improvements. For these purposes mortgages are sometimes a necessity and are usually justifiable when cash cannot be had otherwise. But when mortgages are given for money to be spent on luxuries or for any use other than for productive purposes we are playing with fire. Thousands of mortgages are given yearly in this state for cars bought on time. The result is increasing tenancy, for very often the farmers meet with failure, and being
unable to meet their obligations are forced to auction the farms acquired through toil and hardships. Mortgages for permanent improvements are justifiable but mortgages for luxuries are foolish beyond words.
In 1915 our bank capital per capita was $10.94 and we ranked tenth in the state. The same year our bank resources per capita were $65 and only 17 counties ranked ahead of us. The per capita bank resources of New Hanover county were $296. We ranked seventh in farm wealth and fourteenth in taxable wealth, yet 17 counties had larger per capita bank resources and fourteen a larger per capita banking capital. Manifestly we are lacking in banking facilities in Pitt. We venture to say that more money has been turned loose in Pitt in the last four years than in any other county in the state. What has become of this money? Few people are hoarding their cash. Nor are the rest saving cautiously or spending wisely. They are carelessly and recklessly feeding it to the wind instead of depositing it in the bank. Any bank in the county would be glad to take care of this money for the people. The bank account savings per capita in 1918 were only $22.00. These figures show conclusively that we are not making use of our banking facilities. We should save cash when it is plentiful in order to have it when it becomes scarce as is sure to happen before so very long. Our wealth is accumulated not by what we produce but by what we save.War Thrift
In 1918 we had $3,563,199 laid away in liberty bonds, war stamps, and bank account savings. Nearly a million of this sum was in bank savings alone.
We fell $4 below the state average in War Thrift in 1918. Twenty-one counties had a better per capita average. Again we find New Hanover taking the lead with $288 per capita in war securities, while we could only show $86 per capita. Again the question comes, what are we doing with our money? We did not put it in war securities. Apparently we gave our boys and men more freely than we did our wealth.The Revaluation Act
Unless we miss our guess, the Revaluation Act will be a great thing for Pitt. Surely there was need for such an act. Neither our town nor county people want to dodge taxes. They have just fallen into the time honored practice of listing their properties not at their true value as provided for in our Constitution, but for as little as possible. Necessarily the tax rate has been too high. In 1910 only 26 per cent of our farm wealth was on the tax books and 88 counties in the state were more liberal in assessing their properties. And town people are just as much at fault as the
country people in this matter. The census authorities estimated our farm wealth at $11,014,576 in 1910 and only 6 counties outranked us. If our farm property has trebled since 1910, and from every indication it has, then we have in Pitt County today farm wealth alone amounting to $34,000,000. Surely this is not unbelievable when our tobacco crop alone last year sold for around $11,000,000, or nearly a third of our estimated farm wealth.
It is not the purpose of the Revaluation Act to raise taxes or tax rates. Our Constitution provides for just what our Revaluation Act enforces. There never should have been any necessity for this act. We should have seen the justice and equity of it all along and now that we are reminded of our duty we should meet it gladly. This act merely provides that all property, town and country, shall be assessed at its true value. There is nothing wrong in that. The tax rate can be reduced in proportion as assessments are increased and honest tax payers will be rewarded. Large landholders must meet their obligations and either make their lands produce wealth or sell to some anxious home builder. And we have many such people in Pitt. Forty-nine per cent of our white farmers and 88 per cent of the negro farmers would like to have farms of their own.
|7th in||Total farm wealth, 1910 census||$11,014,576|
|25th in||Farm wealth increase 1900-1910, per cent||154.1|
|State increase, 130 per cent.|
|32nd In||Increase in value of domestic animals, 1900-10, per cent||120.0|
|State increase 109; Robeson 208 per cent.|
|14th in||Total taxable property in 1917||$15,210,528|
|Increase in total taxables, 1907-17, 78 per cent.|
|9th in||Total taxable property 1920||$66,887,294|
|20th in||Per capita country wealth, 1910||$341.00|
|Alleghany, $560; State, $322; U.S., $994; Iowa, $3,386.|
|Per capita taxable wealth all property in 1916 was $335. White per capita taxable wealth in 1916 was $534. Negro per capita taxable wealth in 1916 was $38.|
|12th in||Per capita taxable wealth 1920||$1,468|
|In 1919 it was only $421.|
|91st in||Negro farm owners, per cent of all negro farmers||12|
|State average, 33 per cent. Negro farm owners|
|in Pitt 230. White farm owners of Pitt are 51 per cent of all white farmers. In N. C. 65.5 per cent.|
|33rd in||Tax rate state and county on the $100 in 1917 32 counties had a higher rate. Yancey highest with $2.48. The levy to provide 1920 revenue is estimated at 42 cents.||$1.10|
|65th in||Local taxation for schools; rate per $1000 assessed value 1917||$4.93|
|89th in||Tax value of farm lands; compared with census value, 1910, per cent||26|
|State average, 39 per cent.|
|21st in||State income taxes paid, 1913||$421.30|
|Pitt reported no state income tax in 1917.|
|25th in||Professional taxes paid 1917||$275.00|
|56 lawyers, doctors, dentists, photographers, achitects, etc., in Pitt.|
|33rd in||White farm mortgages, per cent||13|
|State average for whites, 17 per cent.|
|78th in||Negro farm mortgages, per cent||39|
|State average for negroes, 26 per cent. For both races in North Carolina, 18.5 per cent.|
|14th in||Per capita bank capital, 1915||$10.94|
|State average, $8.51; New Hanover $40.06.|
|16th in||Per capita bank loans and discounts, 1915||$49.00|
|State average $45; New Hanover $296.|
|18th in||Per capita bank resources, 1915||$65.00|
|State average $62.65; New Hanover, $432.00.|
|27th in||Bank accounts savings per capita, 1918||$22.00|
|State average, $17.86; New Hanover, $110.|
|22nd in||War Thrift in 1918, per capita||$86.00|
|State average, $90; New Hanover, $228 per capita invested in Liberty Bonds, War Stamps, and bank account savings, all told $3,563,199.|
Reports of the State Tax Commission.
U. S. Census 1910.
Rural Social Science Department files.
Farm Conditions and Practices
M. B. PRESCOTT, Ayden, N. C.
At the close of the chapter will be found a table based on the 1910 census and other reliable sources of information. This table shows whether we are making progress or not, as compared with other counties of the state. These fundamental facts form the basis of the following interpretation. The reader is requested to keep in mind the fact that if the data for 1919 were available, they would make a better showing for Pitt than the figures we are using; but that they have relatively the same importance.
Pitt is one of the richest and greatest farming counties in the state, having 37.5 percent of its total area under cultivation. For ten years or more it has led the state in the production of tobacco, and the recent high prices largely account for our rapid increase in wealth the last two years. The fact is, we have made great strides forward in the production of wealth but have not made as much progress as appears on the surface, because we have been sending a large percent of our cotton and tobacco money out of the county to pay for food and feed supplies and fertilizers. By raising our food and feed at home, we could retain a far larger proportion of the farm wealth we actually create. Cotton and tobacco produced on a bread-and-meat basis would mean larger bank accounts and more ready cash to invest in churches, schools, libraries, hospitals, and homes.
The main reason why we are not raising our own food and feed supplies is not because it cannot be done, but because 64.9 percent of our farms are cultivated by tenants, and 91 counties have more home-owning farmers. Tenancy invariably means too much attention to money crops and too little to food and feed crops. Landlords and supply-merchants usually see to it that crops are planted which can be turned into ready cash. But even in such a case the profits are diminished for both tenants and land-owners by the high prices paid for supplies. The tenant is both homeless and landless, here today and there tomorrow. Tenancy is a poor foundation for economic and social development. It means, for the most part, a one-crop, supply-merchant, crop-lien, time-credit, farm civilization. It retards the diversification of crops and the development of livestock and livestock industries. Usually it is marked by a deficiency in home-raised food and feed stuffs, and the slow accumulation of wealth. It diverts attention from public health and sanitation. It delays farm organization and co-operative farm
enterprise. It imperils schools, churches, and law and order.
We need more farmers who own their own homes, and fill their smokehouses and barns with home-raised supplies. No one would think it is wise to stop raising tobacco, and devote all of the time to raising food and feed. It is essential that we grow big crops of cotton and tobacco, but it is unwise to neglect food and feed crops to do this; for if we buy supplies which come through a multitude of middlemen, our profits are lost. The solution of this problem lies in raising enough food and feed to supply our own needs, and devoting the rest of our time to growing money crops.
The high cost of living is a national problem. It is staring all of us in the face, farmers and city consumers alike. Prices are high and going higher. This is especially true of food and feeds. The sensible thing to do is to raise these things for ourselves as much as possible. If we would only do this, the high cost of living would not punish us but reward us. The difficulty is that our money is going out of the county for things we ought to raise ourselves. Think for a moment what it would mean to us if we had produced our last year's crop of twenty-one million pounds of tobacco on a home-made bread-and-meat basis, so that the money from this crop could have been kept in the county or most of it. Suppose we had been able to retain the larger portion of the twelve or thirteen million dollars this crop brought in 1919. On this basis alone our total farm wealth would be nearly doubled every two or three years. Our wealth-producing powers are marvelous; our wealth-retaining power is feeble. So, because too large a percent of our farm wealth is allowed to slip through our hands from year to year.
In 1910 we stood 62nd in investments in farm implements, with an average of $1.97 per acre. Although there are no official figures available for the present time, we know that of late we have been buying more farm implements, and on a larger scale. It has been forced upon us; for during the last twenty years there has been a growing scarcity of farm labor. At the present time practically every farmer is wondering where he is going to get help to raise and house his next crop. We are meeting this condition by using labor-saving devices and improved machinery. A few men with suitable machines can cultivate more acres than dozens of men could cultivate by human power with simple hand tools.
We are slowly tending in the right direction. The fact that farm labor is so-high-priced and so scarce makes it imperative that we employ more improved farm implements. Machine power is cheaper than human power whenever the scale of farming is large enough to justify it.
During the census period 1900-10 our cattle decreased 18 percent; our swine decreased 3 percent; and our sheep decreased 65 percent. This indicates that we are neglecting domestic animals, when we should be raising more and more of them to meet the increased demand for meats, milk, and butter. Fortunately we produced during this period enough pork for our own use, but the significant point is that we are producing less and less pork each year. Pitt was 74 percent below the level of even a lightly-stocked farm area in 1910. Which means that our domestic animals need to be quadrupled. If we are ever to keep at home a reasonable part of the millions we get for cotton and tobacco, we shall have to raise enough grains, fruits, and domestic animals for our own use. It is poor farm economy not to produce our own supplies as much as possible. We should learn a lesson from our forefathers, who filled their smokehouses with something to eat, and their cribs to overflowing with feed, before they paid any attention to non-food crops.
If we are to build firm foundations for a lasting prosperity, it is evident that we must produce everything in the way of food and feed supplies that we can in order that a reasonable share of the millions that are yearly slipping through our fingers be kept at home. And a large part of this wealth must be invested in local improvements. Some of our farmers are following a live-at-home plan, and they are putting money in their pockets and improvements on their farms. These men are real home builders and we need more of them, for they mean much to the future of Pitt County. We need more folks; not more tenants, but more home-owning. home-loving farmers. We have room for 2,700 new farm families. Nearly two-thirds of the area of the county is uncultivated. This area should be developed. When every nook and corner of our county is tilled, and when our splendid agricultural resources are more fully developed, when we have more grains, hay, forage, and livestock, then, and then only, shall we take our rightful place among the leading farm communities of the country.
More people, more families, more land-owners, more food and feed supplies, and then, greater prosperity and happiness.
|Based mainly on the 1910 census. Rank indicates how many counties made a better showing.|
|7th in||Total farm wealth, 1910||$11,014,576|
|The 1919 tobacco crop brought $11,000,000.|
|24th in||Farm wealth increase, 1900-10, percent||154.1|
|State increase, 130 percent.|
|20th in||Per capita country wealth, 1910||$341|
|State, 322; U. S., $994; Iowa, $3,386.|
|Per capita taxable wealth, all property in 1916, was $335. White per capita taxable wealth, in 1910, $534; negro per capita taxable wealth, $38.|
|91st in||Negro farm owners, per cent of all negro farmers, 1910||12|
|State average, 33 percent. Negro farm owners in Pitt, 230; white farm owners in Pitt, 51 percent of all white farmers; in North Carolina, 66 percent.|
|89th in||Tax value of farm land compared with census value in 1910, percent||26|
|State average 38 percent.|
|33rd in||White farm mortgages, 1910, percent||13|
|State average for whites, 19 percent.|
|78th in||Negro farm mortgages, 1910, percent||39|
|State average for negroes, 26 percent.|
|For both races, 18.5 percent.|
|39th in||Cultivated land, percent of total area||37.5|
|State average, 28 percent. Land under cultivation, 149,646 acres. Idle wilderness acres, 251,634, or 62.5 percent of the total area.|
|There is room for 2,688 new farm families.|
|6th in||Number of farms||4,696|
|Average cultivated acres per farm, 35.9.|
|47th in||Poultry increase, 1900-10, percent||17.6|
|State increase, 15.4 percent.|
|56th in||Cattle per 1,000 acres||20|
|State average 23; U. S., 61.|
|93rd in||Cattle decrease, 1900-10, percent||18|
|Caldwell increased 62 percent. State average increase, 12 percent. Only five counties made a poorer showing than Pitt.|
|4th in||Hogs per 1,000 acres||98|
|State average, 26; U. S., 66; Iowa, 263.|
|The need is for better breeds.|
|33rd in||Swine decrease, 1900-10, percent||3|
|Sixty-nine counties decreased. Only twenty-eight increased.|
|26th in||Pork production, per inhabitant, pounds||125|
|State average, 93.3.|
|60th in||Sheep decrease, 1900-10, percent||65|
|Only 17 counties made gains.|
|37th in||Number of farm animals, percent of a lightly stocked farm area||26|
|State average, 24; Alleghany, 43; Iowa, 87 percent.|
|62nd in||Investments in farm implements, per acre||$1.97|
|State average, $2.10; U. S., $2.52. There is a great need for improved farm machinery.|
|48th in||Horse-power; one working animal for an average of, acres||25.66|
|State average, 23; U. S., 18.81 acres.|
|92nd in||Farm tenancy, percent||64.9|
|State average 42.3 percent. This means that 64.9 percent of our farms are cultivated by people who are homeless and landless. Only 5 percent of the farms in Maine are cultivated by tenants. We need more home-owning citizens.|
|1st in||Tobacco production per acre, 1910, pounds||10,973,950|
|10th in||Tobacco production per acre, 1910, pounds||777|
|Pitt County raised as much tobacco in 1910 as the whole state did in 1850.|
|1st in||Tobacco production in 1919, pounds||20,926,620|
|Increase in production, 1909-19, nearly 100 per cent.|
|17th in||Cotton production, 1919, bales||20,241|
|4th in||Annual farm wealth produced, 1910||$4,011,889|
|The tobacco crop alone sold for around 12 million dollars in 1919.|
|13th in||Crop-yielding power per acre, 1910||$24.23|
|State average, $20.18. Compares well with Missouri, $13.96; Minnesota, $13.19 North Dakota, 11.10; South Dakota, $10.79, in 1910.|
|10th in||Annual production of farm wealth, per person, 1910||$124.40|
|State average, $85; French farmers, $126. It was probably around $800 for Pitt in 1919.|
|84th in||Food and feed production, per person, 1910||$32|
|90th in||Food and feed crops, percent of the total crop values||30|
|Alleghany, 98; state, 47 percent. Alleghany produces no cotton or tobacco.|
|70th in||Expenditures for farm feed in 1910, per farm||$44.10|
|4th in||Farms buying stock feed in 1910, number||685|
|42nd in||Cultivated acres per farm worker; av. acres||15.5|
U. S. Census.
N. C. Farm Forecaster, May 1920.
Rural Social Science Department files.
Greenville, Ayden and Farmville
S. O. WORTHINGTON, Winterville, N. C.1. GREENVILLE
Pitt County was formed from Beaufort in 1760 and enlarged by a portion of Craven in 1786. At the same time, the old county seat of Martinborough was changed to Greenville, in honor of General Nathaniel Greene, the hero of Guilford Courthouse. A bill was passed in 1789 which gave Greenville its first courthouse. This was burned in 1858, and a new one built in 1860. When this was burned in 1910 the finest courthouse in the state was built in Greenville. Only in very recent years have the big city counties erected finer structures.
Greenville is situated in the center of the county on the Tar river. In 1910 it had a population of 4,100 people, while today it has a population of 5,772. The population has increased about 41 precent in ten years.
The climate is that of the Middle Atlantic coastal plain, with an average temperature of 61 1-4 degrees the year round, and an elevation of 65 feet above sea level. Greenville is the objective of six improved roads: the New Bern, the Kinston, the Old Plank Road, the Stantonburg, the River Road, which runs directly through the center of the town, and the Tarboro Road. Two of these, the Kinston and the Old Plank, are now being hard-surfaced. These roads connect Greenville not only with Pitt, but adjoining counties; giving it access to the business of the most progressive farming section of the state. There are several miles of paved streets in Greenville, in addition to many miles of improved dirt streets. These streets, though much narrower than the average town streets, add much to the attractiveness of the many beautiful homes and well-kept lawns of our county seat. All told, Greenville takes a high rank among the leading towns of the state.As an Educational Center
There were three public schools in Greenville in 1917-18 with 23 teachers, who, all combined, drew salaries amounting to $9,732. The attendance since 1916, has been gradually increasing, but there is still great room for improvement along this line. Much of the increase in attendance has been due to the improved playgrounds and modern school conveniences. Never will there be a complete attendance until school life is made something more than a burden.
School life can be made more attractive by means of adequate playgrounds, athletic equipment, and other entertainments for the children.
In the eastern part of the town is situated the Eastern Carolina Teacher Training School. No school in the state is doing more for the educational development of the state than this. Hundreds of our young women who are to teach the future generation are taught at this institution, where the real purpose is to fit them for effective school-room and school-community service.
Two daily newspapers are published in Greenville, The Daily Reflector and The Daily News. Practically, they reach every home in the county, thus giving the county a good chance to keep posted on the happenings of the times. Besides these, there is the Training School Quarterly, giving the town three publications in all.As a Business Center
Situated as it is on no main railroad, and surrounded by numerous small towns, probably no city in the state has had a greater business development than Greenville. According to the 1918 report of the State Commissioner of Labor, there are eight manufacturing enterprises in Greenville with a combined capital of over $200,000. Since that time the present guano factory has been established, and the cotton mill has doubled its business. But exact figures are not now possible.
Doubtless the tobacco trade has meant more to Greenville than any other one business. Situated in the heart of the greatest tobacco-producing county in the world, naturally one would expect it to rank not second, but first, of all towns in the world in the sale of leaf tobacco. The only reason prohibiting it from ranking first, is the fact that there are two other towns in the county which rank very high as tobacco markets. The one drawback is the incomplete market system for the tobacco locally raised. We ought to develop facilities for handling our tobacco as fast as it comes to market. This means factories to handle it right at home, so that there would be no need of over-running packing houses in the rush of the season. With such facilities we would soon be the leading town in the sale of leaf tobacco, instead of the second, and we would have the richest county in the state, agriculturally considered, instead of the second richest. It is time for Greenville to rise to the situation. She must get busy along marketing as well as manufacturing lines if she wants to be the leading town in a world-wide product.
A Few Things Lacking
The tobacco market at Greenville, as just stated, becomes very congested at times. The time has come when we must remedy this evil, or other towns will continue to take away a large portion of our trade. We ought to have some tobacco factories, and we cannot lead the state until we have more.
Thanks to a few energetic people, at last a movement is on foot for a county hospital. An adequate county hospital has been a long-felt need in Pitt. While it can scarcely be expected of Greenville to build this hospital alone, yet we would naturally expect her to take the lead, as the most logical place for it is here. We do not count on a hospital until Greenville gets behind the movement and pushes it to a finish.
To round out the social activities of Greenville, we must have good Y. M. C. A. and Y. W. C. A. buildings. These are needs that have long been felt in Greenville, and they should be built at the earliest possible moment. We are justly proud of our government building, and one of the national bank buildings at Five Points, but not until we get a hospital, a Y. M. C. A., and a Y. W. C. A., will our town be complete.2. AYDEN
Ayden was incorporated in the year 1891. Situated on the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, about nine miles from Greenville and eight miles from Grifton, she has all the advantages conducive to growth and prosperity. No other small town in the county is so well located, nor in a more favorable position to enjoy material growth. Surrounded by the best tobacco-producing land in the world, connected with the whole county by a system of improved roads, two of which are soon to be paved, and backed by several of the county's richest men, nothing but a live and wide-awake town can be expected.Ayden as a Business Center
From a little country cross-roads community in 1891, at the time of its incorporation, Ayden had grown to be a town of 990 people in 1910. Today it has a population of 1,673, having increased almost 70 per cent in the ten years. From a town with a very small property valuation in 1910, Ayden has grown to be a town with properties estimated at $5,000,000, under the Revaluation Act. No other town in the county (and few of its size in the state) has shown such tremendous growth in 20 years. During the last two years, two large warehouses have sprung up in Ayden, which place it among the foremost of the tobacco
towns of the state. A crying need is for more accommodations to handle this product, as there are no factories or packing houses nearby. Excessive quantities cannot be bought because of lack of storage room. The tobacco trade speaks well for Ayden, and in a few years she will be rivaling her next-door neighbors.
Some of the largest merchandise establishments of the county are located in Ayden; also the biggest lumber mill in the county. Two new bank buildings which have recently been built add greatly to the generally prosperous appearance of the town. In the cotton trade, Ayden ranks with most such towns of the state. A big part of the county's production is marketed here. All told, as a business center, and for her size, Ayden leads the county.
The time of mud-soaked streets should now be ended. The time has come when Ayden should see the need of a good system of paved streets. Until she does this, very little can be said for the beauty of the town, especially when it rains. Talk it up, Ayden! Why not have paved streets?As an Educational Center
There are two good schools in Ayden, the Ayden High School and the Free Will Baptist Seminary. Both of these have done much toward wiping out illiteracy in our county. Great praise is due the seminary for its work for general education as well as ministerial training. The high school also is a great success in every respect. The debating and athletic teams speak well for the school.
A daily paper, The Ayden Despatch, is printed in Ayden. It has a good circulation throughout the county with limited circulation in other counties. A good picture show, which furnishes wholesome amusement for the people of the town, is run the whole year through. These things and many others speak well for Ayden's development.3. FARMVILLE
Farmville is situated in the western part of the county about 14 miles from Greenville. It is located on the Norfolk and Southern Railroad, and has the advantage of a system of improved roads connecting it with the county and also the adjoining counties. Several years ago Farmville was only a little country siding, where all kinds of brawls and barbarisms took place. Today it is one of the prettiest little towns in the county. With its own lighting system and water works, and several miles of paved streets, it tends to put the other towns of the county in the background. So far as beauty goes, it is distinctly in the lead. In population it ranks second in Pitt, having a total of 1,780 people.
Farmville has grown greatly as a business center in the last few years. However, she has been more active in making herself
a better and prettier place in which to live than she has been in attracting business. She is laying firm foundations for future business. In no way can Farmville be said to be at a standstill in business; but compared with other towns, she ranks lower in business enterprises and higher in the things that go to make up a town that will ultimately attract people and business—civic and social improvements.
Farmville has developed an excellent school. It could be greatly improved by a more adequate school building and more extensive, attractive grounds. Until these are provided she cannot expect to lead in educational development.
The Farmville Enterprise is a thriving little paper, and has a good subscription list. This paper is very active in boosting the town and county.
In one respect, Farmville probably has an edge on the other towns. This is in respect to her people. There are no more enjoyable people to be found in the county than in Farmville. Much is expected in the future from Farmville and vicinity.4. OTHER TOWNS
There is much that might be said for other towns in the county; namely, Bethel in the north, Grifton in the south, Grimesland in the east—named after the late General Grimes—and Winterville, in the center, the location of the famous Cox Manufacturing Company. But it would only be a profitless repetition of what has already been said. Each of these is a growing little town, and taken together they bid fair soon to put Pitt at the head of all the counties in the state.Home-Raised Food and the Local Market Problem
I. M. Little, Pitt County, U. N. C. 1917.A Two Million Two Hundred Thousand Dollar Shortage
We consumed in Pitt County in the 1910 census year pantry and farm supplies amounting to about two million two hundred thousand dollars more than the farmers produced. This sum covers imported staple bread stuffs, not dainties and luxuries; and the figures are based on the 13th census and the average annual consumption figures given out by the federal Department of Agriculture from time to time.
This shortage in detail covers 1,689,359 lbs. butter; 221,058 fowls, 344,159 dozen eggs; 487,608 bushels corn; 144,559 bushels wheat; and 10,686 tons of hay.
The only staple food of which Pitt produced a surplus was meat. We raised 18,054 bales of cotton and 10,937,950 pounds of tobacco in 1910. Since that time we have increased our cotton yield 11 percent and our tobacco yield nearly 100 percent.Why Our Farmers Fall Behind.
Our farmers did not supply this local market demand for two million two hundred thousand dollars worth of food and feed because (1) of excessive attention to cotton and tobacco; (2) excessive farm tenancy under the supply-merchant, crop-lien, time-credit system; and (3) the lack of ready cash markets for home-raised supplies.Too Little Home-Raised Supplies
Seventy percent of the total crop wealth produced in Pitt year by year is produced by cotton and tobacco alone, and this ratio has been steadily increasing. In 1860 we produced only 737 lbs. tobacco, but in 1910 we produced over 10,973,950 lbs. and in 1919 over 20 million pounds. In 1860 we produced 7,634 bales of cotton; in 1910 we produced 18,054 bales. Since 1860 we have produced less corn, rye, wheat, peas, beans, hay, and meat, which goes to prove that we are giving increasing attention to cotton and tobacco and decreasing attention to grain crops, hay and forage, domestic animals and livestock products.
In 1910 our population was 17.6 percent greater than in 1900 but our corn crop was 6 percent less. This looks like we are not paying
as much attention to corn production as in the past, but let us look at the cotton increase during the same period. In 1900 we produced 13,208 bales of cotton and in 1914 we produced 29,268 bales, or an increase of just about 121 percent during the 14 years. Our cotton increase was about twenty-five times our corn increase, and we had in 1910 a shortage of 487,608 bushels. Why can we not remedy this evil by producing more corn, and save this money which was sent elsewhere for corn we could raise at home?
During the last half century from 1860 to 1910 we decreased in sheep 86 percent.
In 1860 we had 5,144 sheep; but in 1910 only 707. However we increased a little in swine, about 1.7 percent; but we decreased about 50 percent in cattle.
In 1910 we had 51.4 country people to the square mile, but 387,397 acres, or 56.4 percent of our area, lay uncultivated and idle.
In 1916 twelve Corn Club Boys in Pitt County averaged 65.2 bushels per acre, or about 5 times the average for the county at large. At this rate Pitt County could have produced 2,068,120 bushels, which is one and a half million bushels more than we needed for home consumption. Raising a corn surplus of 1,500,000 bushels at home beats importing over a half-million bushels at two dollars per bushel.
In 1910 about 65 percent of our farms were cultivated by tenants, and farm tenancy under the crop-lien, time-credit system in the South means more cotton and tobacco, and less attention to food and feed crops such as grain, hay, forage, nuts, vegetables, poultry, dairy products, beef, mutton, and pork.
In Pitt, the annual consumption of these products in 1910 amounted to about three and one-half million dollars, and we produced not quite one and one-half million dollars worth of them. So we sent out of the county two million dollars in cold cash for food and feed supplies we might have raised at home, and by just so much do we decrease our power to accumulate wealth year by year. If we had the same source of deficits in 1919 as in 1910, we sent out of the county around five million dollars for these necessities.The Penalties We Pay
As a result, our per capita country wealth in Pitt, in the 1910 census year, was only $341. In Alleghany it was $560; in the United States $994; and in Iowa $3,386.
Pitt ranked 4th in North Carolina in the production of total crop values, but our rank in per capita country wealth in 1910 was only 20th. Alleghany, which raises no cotton and very little tobacco, leads the state in per capita country wealth.
Pitt suffers a steady loss of cash year by year amounting to two million two hundred thirty thousand dollars. This fact illustrates how, while the food-producing farmers of the Middle-West grow rich, the cotton and tobacco farmers of the South remain poor. Nor can this discrepancy be wiped out by occasional years of high-priced cotton and tobacco.
The high cost of living in the towns and cities of the cotton belt results from the fact that they have to import their food from the far away West. The part of the consumer's dollar which goes to pay for the packing, transporting, etc., is much more than the producer gets for his product and this part increases as the distance increases. If the farmers of the nearby town and cities produced the food needed for home and town consumption, both would be benefited, for the consumer would get more for his money and the producer would get more for his products.Greenville's Interest in the Problem
Greenville, like every other town or city, is interested in the local market problem, because in the first place it concerns the increasing high cost of living. The whole world faces this primary problem today, because once more in the round of history population presses upon the food supply. The cost of food-stuffs is higher everywhere while the purchasing power of the dollar is less. Today it is barely half what it was 10 years ago; that is to say, 50 cents would then buy as much food as a dollar will buy today.Imported Bread-Stuffs and Inflated Bills
If Greenville and Pitt must depend on the far away producers of food and feed supplies to the extent of two million, two hundred thirty thousand dollars a year, or 5 million dollars at present prices, the overhead charges of transportation and handling by a swarming multitude of middlemen will of course add enormously to the cost of pantry supplies.Pitt's Crop-Producing Power
Our farmers can easily produce all the standard food crops and all the meat and milk products needed for consumption in Pitt. Our soils are as good as any in the state. Our Corn Club Boys averaged sixty-five and two-tenths bushels to the acre and the county could easily produce corn enough and to spare. We have in the past depended upon the West for flour when we can raise wheat at home and can do it as cheaply as any county in the eastern part of the state. Our flour bill alone consumes a large part of our cotton and tobacco money year by year. Pitt consumes 45,000 barrels of flour and produces less than 2,000 at home. Some flour bill—around a million dollars at present prices.
Pitt's High Average
In the 1910 census year, the average per-acre producing power of Pitt was $24.23. It was $4.05 per acre above the average for the country at large. In North Carolina we ranked thirteenth in this particular. Our average was high because 70 percent of our crop values were produced by cotton and tobacco alone. These are hand-made crops and tend to yield high per-acre values but low per-worker values. The gross yields are large but the net profits are small.
We raise cotton and tobacco instead of food and feed crops, because the whole world is an organized market for them. The farmer does not need to seek markets for these; the market seeks him. He can sell them for instant ready money, and can establish credit upon them before they are even planted.Poor Market Facilities
Not so with bread and meat products. The farmer must peddle his vegetables, fruits, butter and eggs, meat and poultry, from door to door or sell them to the merchant at shamefully low prices. Often when he cannot sell to any one, he will leave his perishable products with a merchant to dispose of at any price obtainable, as it would be a complete loss to take them back home. The producers and consumers are not organized in ways advantageous to both. They are as far away from each other as though they lived on different planets. The producers and consumers of Pitt suffer from the Iron Law of Trade as do any other people. This law is: Keep producers and consumers as far apart as possible; pass goods from one to another through as many hands as possible; give producers as little as possible; and charge consumers as much as possible. As long as this law is in full operation we shall suffer. It can be broken only through union and cooperation. Wherever there is disunion and collision both producers and consumers are punished. The producer gets too little for his products, the consumer gets too little for his money, while the middlemen get the lion's share of the wealth the farmers produce.Doubling Our Farm Wealth
But leaving city and town consumers out of consideration, we can and ought to produce the supplies we ourselves need to buy from year to year to feed our farm families and our farm animals. If only we could or would stop spending a million or so a year for these things, our farm wealth would be doubled in the next few years.
Our farmers cannot afford not to raise cotton and tobacco. In fact, they need to do this; but while they do it, they will be wise
to have their pantries, barns, cribs, and smoke-houses filled with home-raised supplies.
As for the three hundred fifty thousand dollars of food products that Greenville needed in 1910 and the million and a half dollars worth that she needs today, the farmers are never likely to raise them until town consumers and county dwellers, bankers, boards of trade, and the farmers get together to solve the local market problem.The Acid Test of Success
The local market problem created by the demand for breadstuffs at high prices and the failure of the nearby farmers to supply this demand is a perplexing problem in every city of America.
The law of markets is a greed for gain. It is the tooth-and-claw struggle for prices and profits. This primary law of human nature organizes a world-wide market for cotton and tobacco; and at the same time and for the same reason it denies producers and consumers of breadstuffs, living side by side, in the same county, an even chance and opportunity for direct dealing with mutual advantage.The Solution of the Problem
Greed safely counts upon the dull unconcern of both producers and consumers. Finally the consumers wake up to the fact that the cost of living is a national problem. The farmers discover that the prices of food products to consumers have gone up enormously but that their own farm profits are no more or little more than they were fifteen years ago. The simple fact is that producers and consumers are too far apart and the cost of marketing is too great.
How great the cost of marketing is, can be shown from figures compiled by the Citrus Fruit Growers of California. These growers have done everything in their power to reduce the middlemen to a minimum and to pass fruit from producers to consumers with as little cost as possible. And yet even with all their wonderful organization and business skill they find that the part of the consumer's dollar that gets back to the producers is only twenty-eight cents, while the middlemen—the pickers and packers, transporters and merchants—get seventy-two cents of it. The hard fact about marketing is that it costs more to get goods from original producers to final consumers than it costs to produce these goods. This is especially true of fruit and vegetable marketing.
The problem is getting producers and consumers together; the principle of action lies in co-operation, and success is achieved when farmers get more for their products and consumers get more for their money. If farmers do not get more and at the same time
if consumers do not pay less, then the problem is not solved, no matter how elaborate or expensive the market plan or the market house.Co-operation Necessary
Producers alone cannot solve the market problem. Success calls for the direct co-operation of consumers and producers; and in big-scale marketing, it invariably calls for and depends upon the credit accommodation of the banks. If consumers are unconcerned and unorganized or if banks and transportation companies are neglectful or hostile, the farmer's chance of success is reduced to zero. Success lies in collusion, not in collision, in co-operation, not in contest.Texas Leads
Texas has taken a great step forward in solving the local market problem, and one of the many things she does with the help of her boards of trade is to maintain a free telephone market information exchange which gives disinterested market news to farmers and city dwellers and which serves to bring consumers and producers together in direct dealings.What the Banks Can Do
Texas banks are refusing loans to supply-merchants who do a crop-lien business protected by cotton acreage alone. They demand a half-and-half system. They stipulate a minimum acreage which must be devoted to food production, and farmers are required to raise a specified amount on this acreage. They are doing this in order to force the supply-merchant to force the farmer to raise a sufficiency of bread and meat on every farm. It is sound sense and safe business policy, they say, to keep in Texas the 217 million dollars that leave the state year by year to pay bills for imported food supplies.
This policy insures a food-producing farm civilization, and this means prosperity. It also means bigger, safer, better business for supply-merchants and bankers.
This same system could be put to work in this state, especially in our cotton and tobacco counties where conditions are similar to those in Texas. We have proved to the world that we cannot accumulate country wealth under our one-crop, or money-crop system of farming. We stay poor while the West grows rich. The bankers can do more to solve this problem in a single year than all the farm demonstrators can do in a life time, and they can do it almost by lifting or lowering their eyebrows.
Greenville must get ready with market arrangements, conveniences, and facilities for doing a larger business in home-raised food and feed supplies.The Farmer's End of the Problem
On the other hand the farmer must not only produce food and feed supplies for farm consumption but about a million and a half dollars worth for Greenville consumers and those within the radius of Greenville's trade territory. They must know more about market demands. They must not dump all their food products on a small market at one time. What they offer for sale in competition with the big wide world must look and taste just as good as imported food products. They must become expert in picking, handling, grading, packing and crating. They must produce meat, butter and eggs, grain and hay, in steady and reliable sufficiencies; and stand ready to supply market demands just as the Western centers do upon telegraphic notice.
|7th in||Corn production, total crop, bushels||638,932|
|Robeson ranked first with 1,042,060 bu. Ten-year increase in corn production, 1900-10, was 6 per cent. In 1860 Pitt produced 707,703 bu. of corn.|
|31st in||Corn produced per person, bushels||18|
|Needed per person, 31 bu.; deficit per person 13 bu. Total deficit, 487,608 bu. State average production, 15 bu. per person.|
|55th in||Corn production per acre, bushels||13|
|State average, 14.3 bushels per acre. Dare ranks first with 28 bu. per acre.|
|1st in||Tobacco production, 1919, pounds||20,926,000|
|It sold for $11,091,000.|
|76th in||Wheat production per person, bushels||.022|
|Needed 4 bu. per person per year; deficit per person, 3.98 bu.; total deficit, 144,449 bu. Only 15 counties raised wheat surpluses in 1910, 10-year decrease in wheat production, 1900-10, 17 percent. State average decrease, 12 percent. In 1860 Pitt produced 12,703 bu.; in 1910, 801 bu.; and in 1919, 7,908 bu.|
|48th in||Wheat production per acre, bushels||7.|
|State average, 8 bu. per acre. Wayne ranked 1st with 30 bu. per acre.|
|14th in||Oats production, total crop, bushels||59,016|
|The oats raised amounted to 1.77 pints per work animal per day; rank 23d. Ten-year increase in oats production, 1900-10, 17 percent. Rank 48th. In 1860 Pitt produced 17,261 bu. of oats, but only 10,000 bu. in 1919.|
|24th in||Hay and forage production, total crop, tons||4,513|
|Ten-year increase, 1900-10, was 117 percent. The hay and forage produced amounted to 4 pounds per work animal per day. In 1919 the crop was 20,657 tons, a 358 percent increase.|
|70th in||Percent of farms buying feed in 1910||15.|
|686 farms bought feed, averaging $44.10 per farm.|
|82d in||Beef production, per inhabitant, pounds||13.|
|State average, 33.8 pounds.|
|26th in||Pork production per inhabitant, pounds||125.|
|State average, 93 pounds. Needed for home consumption, 122 pounds per inhabitant, per year.|
|58th in||Poultry production, fowls||215,921|
|Needed, 13 fowls per inhabitant per year; deficit, 256,500 fowls.|
|85th in||Egg deficit, dozens||344,100|
|Needed 17½ doz. per inhabitant per year; deficit per person, 9.3 doz.|
|10th in||Increase in farm sales dairy products, percent||82.|
|Total sales in 1910 were only $5,478. State increase was 146 percent. Pitt produced 16 pounds of butter per inhabitant per year. The average amount needed per inhabitant was 48 pounds. The per capita deficit was 32 pounds.|
|82d in||Livestock products, per inhabitant||$12|
|Alleghany $65; state average, $17. Per capita crop production in Pitt was $100; total farm wealth produced was $3,634,000.|
|88th in||Bill for imported food and feed supplies||$2,305,000|
|14th in||Boys’ Corn Club enrollment in 1916, boys reporting||54|
|Stanly led with 180 enrolled. Six counties had none at all. The average acre production was 65.2 bu.|
|2nd in||Crop values, 9 standard crops, 1919||$15,282,492|
|The crops in order of importance were tobacco, cotton, corn, hay, sweet potatoes, peanuts, Irish potatoes, soy beans, oats, wheat, and beans. Tobacco alone produced 72 percent of this wealth. 20,926,000 pounds of tobacco were produced in Pitt, and 38,038,000 pounds were sold on the Pitt markets averaging 53 cents per pound. Robeson with more than 66,000 bales of cotton, over 12 million pounds of tobacco, and one and a quarter million bushels of corn takes first rank in North Carolina in the annual production of crop wealth.|
|1. FOOD AND FEED—|
|36,340 people at $84||$3,052,560.|
|6,238 work animals at $39.39||$245,714.82|
|2,851 dairy cows at $18.55||52,886.05|
|4,984 other cattle at $8.09||40,320.56|
|707 sheep at $1.79||1,265.53|
|39,265 swine at $6.69||262,682.85|
|Total food and feed needed||$3,655,430.|
|Total feed and food produced||1,426,837.|
|Food and feed deficit||$2,228,593.|
|2. FOOD AND FEED—|
|Food and feed crops||$1,079,618.|
|Dairy products||$ 19,351.|
|Honey and wax||2,065.|
|Animals sold and slaughtered||203,550.|
|Total food and feed produced||$1,426,837.|
|Shortage in home raised food and feed||$2,228,593.|
|Cotton and tobacco crop value in 1910 was||$2,547,465.|
|3. DISTRIBUTION OF FOOD AND FEED SHORTAGE.|
|Meat for 36,340 pop. @ 152 lbs||5,523,680 lbs|
|114 cows @ 150 lbs||17,100 lbs|
|1,302 cattle @ 350 lbs||455,700 lbs|
|215,921 poultry @ 3½ lbs||755,724 lbs|
|22,726 hogs @ 220 lbs||4,999,720 lbs|
|Total home-produced meat||6,228,244 lbs|
|Butter for 36,340 pop. @ 48 lbs||1,744,320 lbs|
|Fowls for 36,340 pop. @ 12||436,080 fowls|
|Eggs for 36,340 pop. @ 17½ doz.||635,950 doz.|
|Corn for 36,340 pop. @ 31 bu.||1,126,540 bu.|
|Wheat for 36,340 pop. @ 4 bu.||145,360 bu.|
|Hay for 6,238 work animals @ 13 lb per day||14,800 tons|
|Live Stock and Crops||1860||1910|
|Mules and asses||1,013||2,650|
|Peas and beans, bu.||84,000||11,336|
|Potatoes, Irish, bu.||11,759||100,311|
|Potatoes, sweet, bu.||186,068||183,090|
|Soy beans, bu.||....||15,410|
|Cow peas, bu.||11,235||5,720|
|Sweet potatoes, bu.||183,090||161,093|
|Irish potatoes, bu.||100,311||57,768|
U. S. Census, 1910.
N. C. Crop Reporting Service.
Rural Social Science files, University of North Carolina.
The Rural Schools of Pitt County
By J. S. MOORE, Bethel, N. C.
Ten years ago the public school system in Pitt County was still in an almost primitive state. Practically everywhere the old district unit prevailed, with short terms, poor buildings, and often poor teachers. Not infrequently did one very poorly qualified teacher teach six or seven grades with three or four classes in each grade. Double seats were almost invariably used, and it was not unusual to find such a seat serving three pupils. Recitation benches were in vogue, and these were so scarce that pupils were often obliged to sit in uncomfortable positions during the five, ten or fifteen minutes that they were reciting. If the poor harrassed teacher did not rule with an iron hand, she was sure to have very poor results in her work, for little could be done with every pupil playing “Jack and Jill.”
Ten years ago this was the prevailing condition, but already things had begun to change; prospects had begun to look brighter. If indeed the old district unit still prevails almost everywhere, there are at least larger and more commodious buildings replacing the unspeakable ones of the years before, and there are at least new single seats and new recitation seats. If the teaching force was still poor and inefficient in 1908-09, it is much less so now, for the Eastern Carolina Training School for Teachers has been established in Greenville since 1907. This school has from the very first acted as a dynamo of efficiency on the teaching force in the county. As many as could be accommodated in the regular term of this school were automatically trained and turned into the profession, and the county was not slow to avail itself of as many of these efficient teachers as it could. Often, however, other counties get some of the very best teachers that the school turns out when Pitt needs them. Of course the school was in the very beginning meant to serve the state, and not any one county, but, since it was situated in Pitt County, it was natural to suppose that this county would jealously safeguard its interests by attempting, at least, to procure a goodly number of these highly trained teachers that it stood so badly in need of. The great pity is that more money is not provided from which to pay better salaries.
As great as was the good that this school did in its regular term work, there was still, perhaps a greater good done for Pitt County
in its summer school work, for it was in such work that the teachers of the county began to find aid in solving their numerous difficulties.
By 1910, then, the great work of progress was dawning, and it took no prophet to see that the next decade would work wonders in the school situation. Before going on, however, it is well to review the situation as it existed in this year. This can not be done accurately since the records of this and preceding years perished in the fire that swept away our old Court House. We do know what the records of 1917-18 were, and on that basis we shall attempt to outline approximately what the situation was in 1910. In the year 1917-18 there were eighty rural white schools in Pitt County, thirty-nine of which had only one teacher. From a few old reports now extant we learn that in 1905-06 there were eight schools in the county, sixty-nine of which were one teacher schools. In the 12 years between 1905 and 1917 we see by these figures that five schools were abolished and that the one-teacher schools decreased in number by thirty.
If we examine the records of the county for the present year, we learn that there are now seventy schools in the county, thirty-one of which are one-teacher schools. In fifteen years the one-teacher schools have decreased 55 per cent. Of course this means that these small schools have either been combined thru consolidation, or that they have been turned into the larger system.
It is now a generally recognized fact everywhere that the one-teacher school is the very poorest type of public school, and that the larger the school unit the better the work done. This is necessarily so, for larger units enable the school authorities to form fewer classes, thus enabling the teacher to devote more time and energy to her work, the pupil being the beneficiary of this increased efficiency. The larger school has a decided advantage in every way. The simplest kind of illustration will serve to show why this is so. In a one-teacher school we will say that there are forty pupils; we will assume that there are seven grades to be taught. The teacher must meet the needs of these grades in the best way that she can. Now, suppose there is another school exactly like this one, and that the two are combined. What is the result? It is obvious that where one teacher has had to struggle with all seven grades, she will now have to teach only half of them. Combination of the grades has enabled her to have fewer grades and larger classes. It takes only the very simplest kind of thought to figure out who profits by such a combination. Let us suppose that each of these schools had a small library. What is the result when they are combined? Why, each child has access to twice as many
books as before the combination of schools. It is easy to see how a combination of two of these two-teacher schools would affect the welfare of the pupils.
The one thing that has so long interfered with consolidating the small schools has been the poor roads. And now some of us are optimistic enough to feel that the millennium is at hand, and that we are going to have a network of excellent roads all over the county. If this comes true, our educational system will become revolutionized to such an extent that the children of the county will find excellent and efficient schools within their reach, and people who have heretofore spent huge sums of money in sending their sons and daughters away to schools in this and other states will find it less burdensome to educate their children at home.
The time has already arrived when it is highly desirable for our schools to turn their attention to subjects that will be of more practical use to the pupil when he shall have left school. Too long have our schools been dominated by tradition and college standards. We need new courses of study, more highly trained teachers, higher standards, better school plants. These will come with the consolidating of the present school system.
While consolidation seems to be making slow progress, it is yet making sure progress, feeling its way as it goes. At present the county owns four school trucks for transporting children, and has purchased ten more for use the coming year. To use the words of Supt. Underwood, “The sentiment for consolidation and transportation is growing slowly but steadily.”
Within the last ten years Grifton, Grimesland, Arthur, and Bethel, have put up handsome and adequate brick buildings, and Farmville is now spending $140,000.00 on a brick building. Arthur and Grifton have teacherages. The administration looks towards reducing the number of schools about ten for the coming year. This means that smaller schools will be consolidated into the larger. The county employs a whole-time superintendent, with an office assistant.
I must not pass over the subject of Pitt County schools without mentioning the special schools of the county and those that operate under special charter. The Free Will Baptists conduct a denominational school in Ayden. Ayden and Greenville have special charters to run their own public schools.
Observation compels one to say that the Greenville schools are among the best in the state. The high school there is especially good. Whenever it turns out a graduate, that graduate is almost
sure to be well trained. In passing, it must be observed that the Greenville graduates who come to the University are almost sure to take very high rank.
The time is at hand when we who live in Pitt County should put our shoulders to the wheel more earnestly than ever and push the educational business of the county to the front. Certain it is that we have a helmsman at the wheel who is strong, energetic, sincere, and capable. He can only do what we will permit him to do. It is our solemn duty to bid him Onward, to tell him that we are up and ready to move. In a great, rich county, such as ours, there should be a great, rich heritage of education for both the children of today and those of tomorrow.
The statistics at the end of this chapter show very conclusively that we are making progress along certain lines, but they also show that we still have too many small, inadequate, one-teacher schools, that consolidation has not yet reached the desired point, and that our educational progress, on the whole, has not been as great as it should be. Building has gone forward rapidly. Statistics of a later date would show greater progress along this line. The statistics showing that the percentage of second-grade teachers in 1917-1918 was greater than nine years before mean only that more rigid laws governing the certification of teachers have been installed; they do not mean that the county's teaching force has become poorer and less scholarly. The great percentage of gain made in local tax districts and total funds shows that Supt. Underwood is right when he says that the county values its educational opportunities and is slowly awakening to what may really be done.
The table below shows us something of Pitt's educational status. These tables are made out on the basis of the state superintendent's report for 1908-1909 and 1917-1918, thus showing the increase or decrease percents that we have made during a period of nine years. Please thumb these tables through and grasp their significance.
|Details of Comparison||1908-1909||1917-1918||Gain Percents|
|Value of white school property||$75,000||$177,235||136|
|Value of colored school property||$15,500||$22,000||42|
|Raised by local tax||$42,079||$52,928||26|
|Spent on teaching and supervision||$30,510||$56,417||85|
|Spent on buildings and supplies||$9,416||$48,816||420|
|White school population||5,875||6,843||16|
|White school enrollment||5,221||5,158||1*|
|Colored school population||5,152||5,557||8|
|Colored school enroliment||3,220||4,028||25|
|Total school population||11,027||12,500||12|
|Total school enrollment||8,441||9,186||9|
|Percent of white school population enrolled||89||75||14*|
|Percent of colored school population enrolled||62||72||10|
|Average daily attendance of whites||4,116||3,520||14*|
|Average daily attendance of colored||1,608||2,398||49|
|Total average daily attendance||5,718||5,918||3.5|
|Percent of whites enrolled in daily attendance||79||68||11*|
|Percent of colored enrolled in daily attendance||50||59||9|
|Average annual salaries for white teachers||$198||$305||54|
|Average annual salaries for colored teachers||$79||$139||76|
|Number of rural white schools||80||75||6*|
|Number of rural colored schools||51||48||6*|
|White schools having only one teacher||59||39||34*|
|White schools having two or more teachers||21||36||71|
|Colored schools having two or more teachers||3||10||23|
|Percent of white schools having two or more teachers||26||48||22|
|Percent of colored schools having two or more teachers||6||21||15|
|White Rural Teachers:|
|Total rural white teachers||126||150||19|
|Colored Rural Teachers:|
|Total number of rural colored teachers||52||65||25|
|White teachers with college diplomas||33||22||33*|
|Colored teachers with college diplomas||0||4||33*|
|White teachers with first grade certificates||125||130||4|
|Colored teachers with first grade certificate||13||35||169|
|White teachers with second grade certificate||1||20||1900|
|Colored teachers with second grade certificate||39||30||23*|
|White schools with patent desks||15||63||320|
|Colored schools with patent desks||1||28||2700|
|Average school term for white, days||107||113||6|
|Average school term for white local tax district, days||160||128||20|
|Average school term for colored local tax district, days||100||126||20|
|Average school term for colored, days||89||96||20|
|Number of new school houses for whites||2||7||250|
|Number of new school houses for colored||0||3||..|
|Total cost for both races||$2250||$34835||1450|
|Total white school districts||80||75||6*|
|Total colored school districts||51||56||10|
|Local tax districts||5||28||260|
|The asterisk (*) indicates a decreased per cent.|
|14th in||Total taxable property, 1917||$15,210,528|
|7th in||Total farm wealth, 1910||$11,014,576|
|5th in||Per capita investment in white school property, 1915-16||$10.30|
|New Hanover, $18.80|
|10th in||Per capita expenditures for schools, 1915-16 Durham county, $5.71.||$3.59|
|23rd in||Average annual salaries paid white teachers 1917-18||$348.77|
|New Hanover, $580.36; State average, $323.|
|95th in||Average annual salaries paid negro teachers, 1915-16||$89.11|
|4th in||Amount spent on buildings and supplies, 1917-18||$509.81|
|6th in||Investment in rural school property, 1917-18||$199,235.|
|Total investment in school property 1917-18 $304,235.|
|54th in||Local tax districts, percent of all school districts, 1917-18||21.3|
|13th in||Total revenue from local districts taxes, 1918||$37,455|
|Received from state appropriation and equalizing fund $11,043, and from farm life and high school fund $1,500.|
|6th in||Expenditures per high school pupil enrolled, 1915-16||$40.30|
|Harnett, $65.13; State average, $25.92.|
|51st in||White school attendance, 6 to 14 years of age, 1910, percent||76.5|
|58th in||School attendance on enrollment, 1915-16, percent||65.9|
|50th in||School attendance on enrollment, 1917-18, percent||65.2|
|Tyrrell, 84.6 percent.|
|51st in||Rural white schools having 2 or more teachers, 1917-18, percent||48.7|
|Wake, 81.8 percent.|
|In 1915-16 they were 38 percent in Pitt.|
Report of State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
State Tax Commission Report for 1918.
Rural Social Science files, University of North Carolina.
The 1910 Census on Population.Things To Be Proud Of
M. B. Prescott, Ayden, N. C.
At the end of this chapter will be found a table giving some of the most important phases in which Pitt ranks high among the counties of the state. The reader is urged to study this table carefully; for space will allow only a brief interpretation here.Greenville
Greenville, the county seat, is one of the most progressive towns in eastern North Carolina. It is one of the largest and best-established tobacco markets in the state. We can point with pride to our courthouse at Greenville, for few counties can boast a more modern and up-to-date building. The East Carolina Teacher Training School, situated at Greenville, is coming more and more into prominence in the state as a vital factor in our educational system.
There is an enormous amount of business done in Greenville. Taking everything into consideration, it is a live, growing town. Being situated in one of the richest tobacco sections of the United States, it bids fair to become the metropolis of eastern North Carolina.Wealth
The most of our wealth comes from the tobacco crop. North Carolina led the Union in the value of her tobacco crop in 1919, and Pitt led the counties of the state in this particular. We have been making rapid strides forward in the accumulation of wealth. In 1917 the assessed value of all the property in the county, both town and country, was $15,210,000. Last year we sold our crop of 20,926,000 pounds of tobacco for more than $11,090,000, which is only about four million dollars less than the total taxable value of all the property we have accumulated during our 157 years of history. Our tobacco production increased nearly 100 percent in total quantity in the last 10 years and nearly 1000 percent in total value. In 1910 we led the state, producing 10,973,950 pounds. Last year we maintained our lead with nearly 21,000,000 pounds.
Surely $11,090,000 of tobacco money is a neat sum. It is enough to make folks sit up and take notice.
Think what it would mean if we could retain this money in the county. It can be done by paying more attention to producing food and feed-stuff at home. If we could arrange to keep a reasonable share of this money in the county, in ten years we would
be the richest farmers in the world. We are in a fair way to attain this end now; for our tobacco crop last year, sold for more than ten times as much as the crop of 1910, which was worth $1,097,000.
In 1910 we ranked fourth in the total value of crops produced, while in 1919 we took second rank. Only Robeson with her large tobacco crop and enormous cotton production ranked ahead of us. Last year North Carolina ranked fourth in the total value of crops produced; so it is evident that there are very few sections in the United States which are producing greater crop wealth than Pitt. This means big things for us; for with this prosperity will come better roads, better schools, better churches, and better homes.Agriculture
Pitt is one of the largest, most densely populated and most prosperous counties in the state. There are only eleven counties which have more country people to the square mile and which made a greater increase in rural population during the census period 1900-10. This speaks well for Pitt, for it indicates that country life here is sufficiently attractive to bring in more citizens. This, in itself, is one of our greatest assets; because it gives us more farmer citizens who are the very backbone of our civilization.
In 1917 the birth rate in Pitt was 41.7 per 1,000 inhabitants, and there were only three counties in the state which had a higher rate.
Pitt has a rich soil which is easily cultivated and drained. The level land makes it possible to use improved machinery and labor-saving devices to a great advantage in the production of crops. The crop-yielding power per acre in 1910 was $24.23. There were only 12 counties which made a better showing, but, owing to the fact that our tobacco crop alone sold for more than eleven million dollars last year, it is reasonable to suppose that Pitt is much nearer the front ranks now than before. In 1910 our farms were producing $124.40 worth of products per person. There were only nine counties making a better showing. In 1919 our farms produced about $475 worth of products for every man, woman, and child in the entire county. And although we were spending large sums for food and feed in 1910, yet there were only 685 farms buying stock feed. Only three counties had a smaller percentage of their farms buying stock feed. There are only five counties in the state that can boast of more farms than Pitt. In 1910 there were 4,696 farms, with an average of 35.9 cultivated acres per farm. And not only is the number large, but the quality is high, for we pride ourselves on the fact that we have some of the best and most progressive farmers in the state or the Union. They are of
the one hundred percent American type of which we are so proud.
Pitt stands high in the production of corn and meat. There are only six counties that produce more corn. And with 98 hogs per 1,000 acres, only three counties have more. We could hardly over-estimate the importance of these two items; for it means that our people are tending toward a home-made bread-and-meat-basis of farming, which means development and prosperity.
The boys in the Boys’ Corn Club made a very good showing in 1916. Fifty-four boys made reports. The fact that they received 65.2 bushels per acre clearly demonstrated that we can raise all the corn we need, and have a million bushels or more to sell abroad.
In 1915, our per capita bank capital was $10.94, which compares very favorably with the state average of $8.51. Our per capita bank loans and discounts were $49.00, which compares very favorably with $45.00, the state average; and our per capita bank resources were $65, while the state average was $62.65. This indicates that our citizens are above the average in the state in thrift. They are making money, and many of them have bank accounts. If every citizen in the county would cultivate the habit of saving and start a savings account our county would be greatly improved, wealth would be accumulated, and thrift stimulated.Health
We have made rapid strides in the prevention of disease in Pitt. The fact that our county was among the first to see the need of a health officer, and to employ one, is something of which we should be proud. It is this progressive, far-seeing spirit of our people, which makes Pitt a good place in which to live. And in no phase of our life has this spirit made itself felt more than in its warfare against conditions of unhealth. We have been especially successful in combating malaria, the terror of eastern North Carolina. Anyone seeking a home will not find a healthier place than Pitt in the eastern part of the state.Education
During the school year of 1913-14, the attendance of the school children on enrollment was 79.1 percent. This, together with the fact that the people have built better school houses; that they have supplied them with modern equipment; and that they have voluntarily voted special taxes for these improvements, gives evidence that the people are awakening to the need of proper training for their children. What the country boys and girls need is education that is practical and applicable to their lives; education that will help them to do more effectively and easily the things they are going to do in life, whether it be to raise pigs, chickens, corn, cotton and wheat, to practice law or medicine, to preach the gospel,
or to teach the youth of the land; and, in addition, education that teaches citizenship.
Pitt is above the average in salaries paid white teachers. For the year 1917-18, the average salary in Pitt was $349, while the state average was $323. Although we are above the average, there are twenty-two counties paying larger salaries, which probably means that they are getting the best-trained teachers. There is a great scarcity of teachers, and we must meet the situation in our usual progressive way; for surely there are no children who deserve better training than ours. Can we boast of our average salary of $349 for white teachers when the average for the country at large is $606—when this is one of the leading wealth-producing counties of the nation?Noteworthy Personages
We are proud of all our progressive movements in Pitt, but it would be telling only half the story to stop here. The men and women who toiled patiently and unceasingly to bring about present conditions in our county, deserve our consideration; yet we hardly ever stop to consider them. Pitt's list of eminent men gives her a high rank in North Carolina. It covers all professions, callings and vocations. It includes men of national as well as of state and county-wide reputation. Her sons have taken an active part in the affairs of the state and nation, from the Revolutionary War down to the present time.
Pitt prides herself on being the home of such men as Thomas Jordan Jarvis, who was Lieutenant-Governor for one term, and Governor for six years. He served also as Minister to Brazil for four years. Upon the death of Senator Vance, he was appointed by Governor Carr to fill the unexpired term.
Other notable men are General Bryan Grimes, who served with distinction in the Confederate Army, fighting gallantly at Seven Pines, Gettysburg, and Appomattox; and General James Armstrong, who was a member of the Pitt County Committee of Safety, Major of Pitt Militia in 1775, member of the State Council in 1784, and of the Fayetteville Convention in 1789, voting for ratification of the Federal Constitution.
Another, William Blount, was a member of the Continental Congress, 1782-83 and 1786-87, and a member of the Convention at Philadelphia in 1787, which formed the Federal Constitution. He was appointed Governor of the Territory South of the Ohio, by President Washington, and was one of the first two senators from Tennessee, after that state was admitted into the Union.
Pitt has furnished three Councilors of State: John Simpson, 1778; James Armstrong, 1788; and F. B. Satterthwaite, 1862. She has furnished three United States congressmen: Louis C. Latham
(Democrat), 1881-83, 1887-89; T. J. Jarvis (Democrat), 1894-95; Harry Skinner (Populist), 1895-99; one Secretary of State, the present incumbent, J. Bryan Grimes (1900—), and one governor, T. J. Jarvis, 1879.
Dr. Robert Williams, Edward Satter, Major Benjamin May, Colonel Robert Satter, Richard Evans, Major George Evans, General James Gorham, General John Simpson, Colonel John Harden, Rev. Samuel Brown, Dr. Charles James O'Hagan, John Williams, William Robeson, William Henry Ragsdale, Dr. Robert Williams King, Henry S. Clark, and Major Lewis Charles Latham, are a few of the men who, since the Revolutionary War, have been great factors in the development of the county, state and nation. These are all good Pitt County men, and we have many more living among us who are distinguishing themselves today and keeping old Pitt in the front rank of progressive counties.
|1st in||Tobacco production in 1919, pounds||20,973,950|
|Ten year increase nearly 100 percent.|
|7th in||Corn production, 1910. Total crop, bushels||638,932|
|Pitt ranked 9th in 1919 with 900,900 bushels.|
|14th in||Oats production in 1910, total crop, bushels||59,016|
|24th in||Hay and forage production, 1910, total crop, tons||4,513|
|17th in||Cotton production, 1919, bales||20,241|
|10th in||Increase farm sales of dairy products, percent||82|
|14th in||Boys’ Corn Club enrollment, 1916, boys reporting||54|
|The average acre production was 65.2 bu.|
|7th in||Total farm wealth, 1910 census||$11,014,576|
|25th in||Farm wealth increase, 1900 to 1910, percent||154.1|
|14th in||Total taxable property, in 1917||$15,210,528|
|9th in||Total taxable property 1920,||$66,887,294|
|12th in||Per capita taxable property 1920,||$1,468|
|14th in||Percent increase in taxable property 1919-20||249|
|20th in||Per capita country wealth, in 1910||$341|
|25th in||Professional taxes paid, 1917||$275|
|There were 56 lawyers, doctors, photographers, architects, etc., in Pitt.|
|14th in||Per capita bank capital, 1915||$10.94|
|State average, $8.51; New Hanover, $40.06.|
|16th in||Per capita bank loans and discounts, 1915||$49|
|State average, $45; New Hanover $296.|
|18th in||Per capita bank resources, 1915||$65|
|State average, $62.65; New Hanover, $432.|
|27th in||Bank account savings, per capita, 1918||$22|
|State average, $17.86; New Hanover, $110.|
|22nd in||War Thrift, in 1918, per capita||$86|
|State average, $90; New Hanover, $288 invested in Liberty bonds, war stamps, and bank account savings per capita.|
|19th in||Land area, acres||401,280|
|12th in||Total population, 1910 census||36,340|
|9th in||Total population 1920 census||45,569|
|26th in||Pork production, per person, pounds||125|
|12th in||Density of rural population, 1910, people per square mile||51.4|
|12th in||Rural population increase, 1900-10, percent||13.8|
|23d in||Average salary paid white teachers, 1917-18||$349|
|State average, $323.|
|12th in||Marriage rate per 1,000 population 15 years of age and over, in 1914||13|
|State average, 10.1. Number of marriages in Pitt, 467.|
|4th in||Birth-rate per 1,000 inhabitants, 1917||41.7|
|State rate, 31.8. In 1913, the U. S. rate was 26.6.|
|4th in||Annual farm wealth produced, in 1910||$4,011,889|
|The tobacco crop alone sold for around eleven million dollars in 1919.|
|12th in||Per capita taxable wealth 1920||$1468|
|Durham leads with $2907 per capita.|
|6th in||Number of farms, 1910||4,696|
|Average cultivated acres per farm, 35.9.|
|4th in||Hogs per 1,000 acres||98|
|1st in||Tobacco production, 1910, pounds||10,973,950|
|10th in||Tobacco production per acre, in 1910, pounds||777|
|13th in||Crop yielding power per acre, 1910||$24.23|
|State average, $20.18. It is probably around a hundred dollars, today.|
|10th in||Annual production of farm wealth, 1910, per person||$124.40|
|4th in||Farms buying stock feeds, in 1910, number of farms||685|
|4th in||Number farms 1920||5,937|
|Ten year increase in number of farms 27 percent|
|28th in||Percent of people living in the open country 1920||72.4|
|Only 27 counties have a better balance of town and country people.|
|15th in||Population increase, 1910-20, percent||25.4|
S. O. Worthington, Winterville, N. C.
From a careful summary of the preceding chapters of this little bulletin you have probably learned with surprise the many outstanding features of our native county. They are the things of which we can justly be proud. Just a few days ago, the report reached us that Pitt led all the counties in the state in 1919 in the production of tobacco and that only Robeson stood ahead of us in the creation of total crop values. We rank high in other matters of life and business, but Pitt does not lead the counties of the state in everything. Just as we may be proud of our achievements, so we must take stock of our shortcomings.
Our purpose in the preceding chapter was to show where we lead. Had we stopped there not only would we do ourselves a great injustice, but also the county and our readers. There are some instances in which we not only do not lead, but practically tail the list of counties in North Carolina, and they are vital to the future prosperity of our county. This chapter is devoted to a consideration of these particulars, and it is the earnest desire of the writer that the ills herein pointed out may be attacked by the best heads in the county, so that our present shortcomings will soon become matters of pride.
The facts upon which this discussion is based can be found at the end of the chapter.
Our county ranks below the state average in local school tax rate, county and special, on the $1,000. Our rate was $4.93 on the $1,000, and 64 counties made a better showing. The state average was $5.10 per $1,000.
This, coupled with the fact that our land was on the tax books in 1910 at only 26 percent of the value put on it by the census authorities, and that 87 counties rated their land at a higher percent of the census value, shows that we have a long distance yet to go before we lead the counties in local school support, or in listing our property at its true value. The Revaluation Act ought to work wonders in Pitt County.
Only 28 of the 75 white and 56 negro school districts, in 1917-18, were levying a local school tax. Our school authorities must wake up and furnish more adequate schools for the children of Pitt. Day after day, the need for better schools stares us in the face, and there is not a single reason why we should not follow the lead of Dare, and make every district in the county a local tax district.
In 1918, 22 counties of the state paid their rural white teachers more than Pitt. Our average salary per white teacher was $349, while that of Edgecombe, our neighboring county, was $459. In wealth we rank a good deal ahead of Edgecombe, yet we do not seem to be so liberal in the use of our wealth to provide our schools with well-trained teachers. I do not mean by this that we have no competent teachers, but I merely want to say that our very best teachers are leaving us every year to work in other counties where they receive more adequate compensation for their labor. We cannot afford to allow these teachers to acquire their experience in our county, and then leave us because other counties offer better pay. Only by paying better salaries can we secure and retain better teachers. The grasshopper teacher has been with us long enough. We want teachers whose work will have a telling influence on the future lives of their pupils. Out of our 182 white teachers, in 1918, 72 had four years of experience, while 40 had college diplomas. Think of these teachers receiving upon the average only $349 each. It is true that this is a little above the state average, but a rich county like Pitt must not be content with meagre salaries and mediocre teachers. We should set the pace in North Carolina and we can do it.
But the only way we can do this is to tax ourselves more liberally. We must do it in sheer self-defense, or we shall be a training ground for raw recruits, as we have been for so many years.
In 1910 one-ninth of our native whites ten years old and over were illiterates, and 38 counties made a better showing. The future prosperity of any county depends upon the education of its citizens, and there is much to be done in Pitt.
Is the county greatly concerned over this condition? We hardly believe so, and there is no better time than now to remedy the evil. Moonlight schools could do a world of good among this class of people.
Fifteen and three-tenths percent of our total white voters are illiterate, practically one out of every six white men in the county, 21 years old and over, can neither read his ballot nor write his name, and 57 counties in the state had a smaller ratio of voting illiteracy.
Here is another class that demands our interest and attention. Moonlight schools and church workers could be mighty agencies in reducing illiteracy in the South. These people have passed the age when they can be reached by the public schools. They must be reached by other means, or live and die in ignorance of the great world in which they live. They will be like a young man from a certain country spot in eastern Carolina when he arrived in Richmond, and saw the hordes on Main street. He was heard to remark:
“If this world is as big as this, it sure is a big ’un!” Naturally, it takes care and diplomacy in approaching illiterate people. They do not like to be reminded of their shortcomings. But they must be reached in some way, and the sooner the better.
Our people are not making the best use of the schools that have been provided. We rank low in enrollment and attendance. Sixty-three counties had a higher percent of high school attendance than we did in 1914, and 57 had a higher percentage of attendance on enrollment than we had in 1915-16.
There is bound to be a reason for this somewhere. Does the fault lie with teachers, the schools, or the people? The writer knows well that it is not for lack of means with which to go to school. It cannot be from lack of schools. Our teachers are as good as any in the state, though we are behind in paying them. The fault must lie in a lack of interest in education on the part of the people. This brings up the need of creating an interest among the pupils at school. This could easily be done by providing ample grounds for play and by a careful selection of well-trained teachers. Good roads are indispensable. Many children are staying away from school because the path or road over which they must travel to school is covered with water or heavy with mud. Or if they insist on going, they must wade, and run the risk of sickness. This could be easily remedied by improved highways and the use of motor trucks to carry the children to school as in a dozen other counties. Many of our schoolhouses are inadequately heated. In many, the widow-lights are allowed to remain out all winter. Untill these conditions are remedied, few children, besides the most ambitious, are going to remain in school.
No doubt it will be a surprise to many of our people to learn that only 46 percent of the county's population, 15,000 of the people of the county, are upon the church books. This low rank in church membership can be attributed to two causes: illiteracy, and farm tenancy. They are twin-born social evils, and wherever they are found church interests are at a low ebb.
Illiteracy and farm tenancy are destructive to country churches and the churches must help solve the problems. They are the biggest home mission problems facing the church today. Unless the church leaders see the problem, we cannot expect others to see it.Our Farm System
Pitt is by no means a self-feeding farm community. In 1910, the money sent out of the county for food and feed supplies amounted to two and one-third millions of dollars. This was so because we didn't raise what we needed for consumption, and the
deficit we had to import at the other fellow's price. In six years, this would amount to as much as all the farm wealth the county has accumulated in the 157 years of its existence as a county. The farmers must pay more attention to the production of food and feed for their families and their farm animals. Our tobacco crop alone, last year, sold for three-fourths the value of all our taxable property, town and country, in 1918.
It behooves every farm community that would be successful to raise enough food for its own use. The farm that is dependent upon the outside market for sustenance is a drawback to the community. In 1910, 69 counties expended less for farm feed, per farm, than Pitt. Seventy-five counties produced a larger number of bushels of wheat per person than Pitt. We produced only a fiftieth of a bushel per person. In 1860, Pitt produced over 12,000 bushels, while in 1910 she produced only 800. Our need is for four bushels per person, or about 144,000 bushels a year. Instead we raised less than 8,000 bushels last year. Which is a sad state of affairs with flour selling higher in North Carolina than in any other wheat producing state.
So long as we continue to allow two and a third millions of dollars in 1910, and five million dollars today, to slip through our fingers for imported food supplies, our accumulation of wealth is going to be slow. Our future wealth depends upon our wealth-retaining abilities, as much as upon our wealth-producing abilities. And until we awake to the enormity of the preventable loss we are sustaining each year, we can never hope to become the rich county we should be.Tenancy
Our county has an appalling ratio of farm tenants. Almost 65 percent of the farmers of the county are tenants. The large majority of these are croppers, while a few are cash, or standing-rent, tenants. Only 12 percent of the negro farmers own their farms. Ninety counties in North Carolina have smaller percents of farm tenants than Pitt.
This is a problem that is going to tax the best brains in the land to solve. It is not comforting to think that 65 percent of our farmers are just one step removed from economic serfdom. The condition in Pitt looks more like England than North Carolina. The appalling tenancy population in Pitt is responsible for her prevailing one-crop system. It is responsible for her enormous bill for imported food supplies. Only ten counties had a larger bill for such supplies in 1910. It is responsible for low church membership, for low school enrollment and attendance, and for poor teachers’ salaries. We will never have a happy and stable farm civilization until our farmers own the farms they cultivate. There is
something wrong somewhere in our rich country, when two-thirds of our farmers do not own the homes they live in and the fields they cultivate.Preserving Our Forests
Every year sees the rapid destruction of our wood-lands, brought about largely by the ever increasing growth of tobacco farming. We must either reforest our cut-over lands, or seek other means of curing the bulk of this crop, or we shall soon be without timber for building purposes, or wood for fire. The money that our farmers spend each year for imported food-stuff would buy the coal needed in the curing of the tobacco crop. Not only in Pitt County, but in the whole nation, the forests are rapidly being depleted, and the question of new sources of wood supply is becoming a serious one. It seems as if the government must begin reforestation on a large scale, as the French did so long ago.Livestock Problem
We ranked 82nd in livestock production in 1910. Ninety-two counties made a larger increase in livestock from 1900 to 1910.
Instead of an increase, we actually suffered decrease of 18 per cent in cattle between 1900 and 1910.
The day of free range for beef production has long since passed in our county, and all over. We must now begin to produce cattle on a domestic scale, as in the North Central states, or, for instance, in Denmark. We have some of the best pasture lands in the state. Much of our land is especially adapted to grain and grass growing. Witness our county in cotton chopping time!
We have some of the best markets in the state right at hand, for the sale of beef, butter, milk, and poultry products. Day after day we are sending cotton and tobacco money out of the county to enrich the bread-and-meat farmers of other states and countries. They get rich and we stay poor or relatively so as a consequence. The county's production of beef is only 13 pounds per inhabitant. The egg deficit is 9.3 dozens per person. We have an average of only 20 cattle per 1000 acres of land, and these were decreased daily up to 1910. We cannot safely say what has happened since that date.
Our farming and commercial interests have become too greatly wrapped up in tobacco. While we cannot afford to sacrifice this valuable crop we must not let other interests go to ruin. We must meet the issue fairly and squarely. We cannot safely risk our chances on a few acres of tobacco land and neglect other things essential to a wise farm system.
The necessity for a greater supply of livestock is imperative in several ways. Stock is of great help in upbuilding worn-out lands.
We are doing very little towards improving our breeds of stock. We should form co-operative breeders’ associations. Many of our stock owners still rely on piney-wood cows and the lowground hogs of the razor-back type. We must supplant these with improved breeds before we can hope to be successful as a livestock county.
Much has been done to eradicate the cattle tick in Pitt during the last few years by the building and use of community dipping vats. This is a great step in the direction of better cattle. It is to be regretted that a few of these vats have been dynamited in the dead of night. But these disgraceful acts will gradually cease, as the ignorance and folly of such proceedings become clear to the public at large.
It takes time to bring about any great change in farming in any county, but there is no need for delay in making a beginning. The world is clamoring for food supplies at high prices, and Pitt has a wonderful chance to furnish her share of these with great profit. We should follow the philosophy laid down by Henry Grady, years ago. Said he: “When every farmer in the South shall eat bread from his own field, and meat from his own pantries, and, disturbed by no creditor and enslaved by no debt, shall amid his teeming orchards and vineyards and dairies and barns, pitch his own crops in his own wisdom, and grow them in independence, making cotton and tobacco clear a surplus, and selling these in his own time and his chosen market, and not at a master's bidding—getting his pay in cash, and not in a receipted mortgage that discharges his debt but does not restore his freedom,—then, and not until then, shall be the breaking of the fulness of our day!”Co-operative Solution of Pitt's Problems
None of the problems that present themselves can be solved by the farmers alone. The largest interest of farmers, merchants, bankers and teachers lies in co-operation, not in contest. When each class is working with all its might and main for its own selfish end, the benefit derived for the whole will be less than if they were all unselfish servants of the common good.
Farmers, merchants, bankers, transporters, and manufacturers are closely knit into an intricate whole of business interdependence. They are all members of one body, and when one suffers, all suffer together.
The farmer alone is not likely to bridge the gulf between the producer and consumers of farm products. He cannot solve the problem of rural credit or farm markets alone. He must have the help of the bankers and supply-merchants. He must also have the help of the boards of trade and transportation companies.
City civilization is dependent upon farm products. The business
of the whole country is determined largely by farm conditions. Market prices in Wall Street change as the wires flash news of good or bad conditions in the different farm regions of the entire world. This year the farmers of the United States added to the necessities of the world $25,000,000,000 worth of newly-made farm wealth. Poor crops and poor crop-prices in the Fall, mean sad times for merchants and ministers alike. We depend primarily upon the farmer's fields and forests for food, clothing, and shelter,—the trinity of inescapable necessities in this work-a-day world. The demand for these, on the one hand, and the farmer's supply of raw material for them, on the other, furnish for the manufacturers, transporters, and merchants their business, their opportunities, and the bulk of their fortunes. Over half of the railway business of the world consists in transporting supplies to farmers, and the products of the farm to the markets of the world.
Cities are dependent upon the country for the renewal of population, for business and for business genius, for civic and social conscience, and for spiritual guidance. Three-fourths of the men of authority in our city churches were born and bred in the country, and almost the same is true of our successful, influential men of affairs,—the merchants, bankers, manufacturers, and lawyers. Five-sixths of the college professors, and six-sevenths of the ministers of all denominations, were born and reared in the country. On the other hand, the country depends upon cities for market advantages, and credit facilities. They are mutually dependent. It is fundamentally necessary for the nation as well as for Pitt County, that the countryside be efficient and prosperous, satisfying, wholesome, and beautiful.Mutual Prosperity
It is well to remember that no city can grow fat in a lean countryside. Many cities in the nation have realized this fact, and are doing all in their power to promote prosperity in the surrounding regions. They know that their prosperity depends largely upon the prosperity of the country regions roundabout; that the better the condition of the farmers in their trade centers, the richer the cities will be. The cities must help solve the problems of local markets for home-raised food and feed supplies. Our farmers will only raise such supplies in abundance, when they can convert them into instant, ready cash, at a fair price and profit, and not otherwise.
The Greenville Chamber of Commerce could do a great work along this line. The chambers of commerce of many towns have offered prizes for the best crop of tobacco, or for some exceptionally good showing made by a farmer. This tends to create an interest among the farmers as to who shall make the best showing
and thereby win the prize. The Greenville Chamber of Commerce could easily offer a small prize to the farmer growing the largest and best crop in the county; to the one having the largest increase in numbers of improved livestock, etc. Many of the merchants could help stimulate this idea by offering prizes for high-bred stock. These little matters would do a great deal toward keeping at home the four or five millions of dollars we spend abroad every year for necessary food supplies. We dare say, it was five million dollars last year.
Tenants and small farmers, included in a supply-merchant, time-credit system of farming, are powerless. They do not raise enough food supplies for home consumption, because they neglect to do it, or are not allowed to do it. The loss that we sustain year by year leaves our traders, tenants, landlords, and bankers alike just so much the poorer. If our cotton and tobacco money, or a reasonable share of it, could be held down in Pitt by live-at-home farming, our total wealth would be doubled every few years.
The Texas bankers have solved the problem. They are refusing to discount a merchant's paper when it is protected by a crop-lien based on cotton acreage alone. Before they will discount a crop-lien paper, the farmer must sign a detailed written agreement to plant a certain acreage, usually about half his farm, in specified food and feed crops. This changes the character of the supply-merchant's business; but it increases its volume, and bases it upon principles of safety instead of hazardous risk.
Before the bankers made this move, the people of Texas sent out of the state $217,000,000 a year to swell the purses of the meat-and-bread farmers of the Middle West. Now they keep this vast amount of money at home to enrich the state, and, furthermore, the farmers produce as much cotton as before. The same policy would work effectively in Pitt and other tobacco and cotton counties of North Carolina.Finis
The growth of a county is like the growth of a nation. They are exactly the same except that the county is a smaller unit. Our prosperity depends upon co-operation. “A nation divided against itself cannot stand.” A county split and torn by rival forces of capitalists and laborers, landowners and tenants, cannot progress. Merchants, bankers, lawyers, and farmers, must get together with the one idea of development for the common good, rather than for the promotion of self-interest. This done, we are on the road to boundless success in Pitt.
|Ranking indicates the number of counties making a better showing.|
|54th in||Local school tax districts, 1917-18 percent||21.3|
|Out of 75 white and 56 negro school districts only 28 levy tax.|
|65th in||Local taxation for schools; rate per $1000 of assessed value, 1917-18||$4.93|
|State average $5.10; Scotland $7.44.|
|23rd in||Average salaries paid white teachers, 1917-18||$349|
|State average $323. Of the 156 white teachers, 101 had normal training; 55 had college diplomas.|
|39th in||Native white illiterates, 10 years old or over percent||11.1|
|68th in||High school attendance and enrollment, 1914, percent||70.3|
|Burke led with 92.3 percent.|
|58th in||Native white illiterate voters, 684 in no., percent||15.3|
|58th in||School attendance on enrollment, 1915-16, percent||75.5|
|58th in||Negro school attendance, 6 to 14 years of age, 1910, percent||61.8|
|81st in||Church membership, 10 years old and over, 1916, percent||46|
|15,520 people of these ages outside the church.|
|76th in||Wheat production, per person, bushels,||.022|
|In 1860 Pitt produced 12,703 bushels; in 1910, 801 bushels; in 1919, 7,908 bushels.|
|70th in||Expenditures for feed, in 1910, per farmer||$44.10|
|82nd in||Livestock production, per person||$12|
|State average $17.|
|84th in||Food and feed production, per person||$32|
|82nd in||Beef production, per person, pounds,||13|
|State average 33.8 pounds.|
|85th in||Egg deficit per person, dozen||9.3|
|Total deficit, 344,000 dozen.|
|88th in||Bill for imported food and feed supplies, 1910||$2,305,000|
|At present prices it is more than 5 million dollars.|
|56th in||Cattle per 1000 acres||20|
|93rd in||Cattle decrease, 1900-10, percent||18|
|60th in||Sheep decrease, 1900-10, percent||65|
|Seventeen counties made gains.|
|37th in||Livestock level||26|
|Pitt is 74 percent below the level of a lightly stocked farm area.|
|90th in||Non-food crops produced, mainly tobacco, percent of the total crop values||70|
|89th in||Tax value of farm land compared with census value in 1910, percent,||26|
|62nd in||Investments in farm implements, per acre||$1.97|
|91st in||Negro farm owners, percent of all negro farmers||12|
|78th in||Negro farm mortgages, percent||39|
|74th in||Farm wealth increase, 1900-10, percent||90.5|
|State increase, 130 percent.|
|79th in||Death rate per 1,000 inhabitants, 1917||15.2|
|88th in||Homicides, average annual rate per million inhabitants, 1910-14||183|
FOR THE BEST
In all lines of INSURANCE
Real Estate and Insurance
Phone 307. Greenville, N. C.
Established 1893 Phone No. 4
“THE KING CLOTHIER”
401 Cor. Fourth & Main St.
Greenville, N. C.
KUPPENHEIMER, HICKNEY-FREEMAN, FASHION PARK AND STYLEPLUS CLOTHES.
STETSON HATS, EDWIN CLAPP SHOES, MANHATTAN SHIRTS.
The Most Up-to-date Men's Store in the City.
Call to See Us When in Greenville.
A. W. ANGE & COMPANY
WINTERVILLE, N. C.
Dealers in General Merchandise
Anything you want for the Farm and Anything you have from the Farm SEE US.
OWN YOUR OWN HOME
OUR WAY IS THE EASY WAY. LET US HELP YOU.
THE HOME BUILDING & LOAN ASSOCIATION.
TURNAGE & WINSLOW
GREENVILLE, N. C.
Dealers in Buggies, Wagons, Harness, Bicycles, Roofing, Wire Fencing and Red Top Steel Posts. Farm Implements of all kinds, including E-B Tractors.
WE SOLICIT YOUR PATRONAGE
J. E. WINSLOW
DEALER IN Horses and Mules
Greenville, N. C. and Washington, N.C.
Farmers and Merchants National BANK
AYDEN, N. C.
Member of the Federal Reserve System
Your Business Solicited and Appreciated
J. R. Turnage, Pres. G. W. Prescott, Vice-Pres.
Evan E. Settle, Cashier
D. T. Cox Company, Inc.
General Merchants, Winterville, N. C.
Dry Goods, Notions, Shoes. Hardware and Groceries. Farming Implements.
Dealers in Farm Produce.
NATIONAL BANK OF GREENVILLE
GREENVILLE, N. C.
Resources Over $1,750,000.
“The Big Bank on Five Points”
Solicits the Accounts of Farmers and Merchants
4 Percent Paid on Time Deposits
F. G. FORBES, Cashier JAMES L. LITTLE, President
CHAS. JAMES, Asst. Cashier F. G. JAMES, Vice-President
WE FEED YOU
WE CLOTHE YOU
WE SHOE YOU
We Furnish Your Home
Call on Us For Any Goods You Need.
BLOUNT HARVEY CO., Inc.
The Home of Good Goods
GREENVILLE, N. C.
WE BUY AND SELL REAL ESTATE
Private and Auction Sales
Life and Fire Insurance
Agents of Atlantic Coast Realty Company
Greenville Pitt Land Company
K. W. COBB, Mgr. Office Reflector Bldg.
Sam White Motor Company
Greenville, N. C.
Dealers in CHALMERS and DORTS
The Best For the Money For Cash or on Time.
Southern Storage Battery Co.
Distributors for the PHILADELPHIA DIAMOND STORAGE BATTERY
Expert Battery Service on All Makes
J. Hicks Corey, Mgr. Greenville, N. C.
SELL YOUR TOBACCO with Johnston & Foxhall
GREENVILLE, N. C.
First Sale Every day at the Brick Warehouse or Warehouse No. 2.
Drawing of tobacco plant
The Greenville market sold last season 30,115,431 lbs. of tobacco, averaging $53.22 per hundred. Johnston & Foxhall sold 6,118,750 lbs., averaging $57.24 per hundred. If you will notice carefully you will see that we averaged $4.02 per hundred or little more than four cents per pound above the market. Come to see us and we will get you the highest prices.
JOHNSTON & FOXHALL will be on every sale and will see that everyone gets prompt and best attention. Bring us your first load.
The Columbia National Life Ins. Co. of Boston, Massachusetts
Full Paid Capital $1,000,000
Low Guaranteed Rates
G. W. Prescott, District Manager
AYDEN, N. C.
The Largest and Most Complete Department Store in Pitt County
Turnage Bros. & Company, Inc.
AYDEN, N. C.
“One Price To All”
Sanitary Barber Shop
Place of Quality and Good Service
J. H. LEARY, Prop. 5 Points Greenville, N. C.
SELL YOUR TOBACCO AT GREENVILLE, N. C. WITH The Leaders, Gentry & Gorman
Greenville has seven warehouses, yet Gentry and Gorman sold 10,000,000 pounds out of 30,115,431 pounds sold for the season of 1919.
The Secretary of Agriculture (to whom each warehouse makes a sworn report each month) gives the sales and averages for the markets in the East as follows:
Examine these averages, consider the quality each market sells. Don't you believe it pays to sell at Greenville?
Gentry & Gorman, The Leaders
R. C. CANNON C. V. CANNON
A. R. CANNON J. H. COWARD
R. C. Cannon and Sons
PITT COUNTY'S MOST PROGRESSIVE STORE
Ayden, North Carolina
Everything for the Family
If you need Dry Goods, Groceries, Boots, Shoes and Hardware, Tailor-made Ready-to-Wear garments for the Family, Rubber or Corrugate Roofing, Shingles, Brick, Lime and Cement, Doors, Windows and Screens, High Grade Fertilizers, a Wagon, Cart, or Buggy, Farm Implements, including Stalk Cutters, Disk Harrows, Riding Plows, Smoothing Harrows, Fertilizer Distributors, Corn and Cotton Planters, Tobacco Transplanters, Mowers, Rakes, Shredders, Binders and Tractors, Tobacco Flues, Grates, or anything else that sells, including a nice Casket for the burial of your friends, see
J. R. Harvey & Co.
Grifton, N. C.
They Sell for Cash or Approved Security.
If you are contemplating buying an Automobile or Truck, you will do well before making your purchase to see us. We guarantee to give you the best at the lowest price possible that money will buy.
We are new in business but here to stay and serve.
Grifton Motor Company, GRIFTON, N. C.
A Square Deal to All, Satisfaction Guaranteed
Welcome to Our Bank
We Pay 4 Per Cent on Time Deposits
CAPITAL STOCK $50,000
Bank of Grifton
GRIFTON, N. C.
B. D. FORREST & BRO.
Everything For Everybody!
Dry Goods, Notions, Hats and Caps. Shoes for Ladies, Misses and Children, Men and Boys.
Hardware and Farming Implements. Dixie Flyer Automobile and all parts for same. All kinds of Auto Accessories, Gasoline at wholesale and retail. Repair work on all cars.
Our Motto: “Best Service at Least Expense”
Come to See Us.
B. D. FORREST & BRO.
WINTERVILLE, N. C.
Forbes and Morton
New Warehouse, Greenville, N. C.
Our house is one of the largest in Eastern North Carolina, conveniently located, well lighted, and plenty sleeping rooms for our patrons, and three hundred nice stables for their horses and mules.
We solicit your patronage and are equipped to give you the best service and the highest prices for your tobacco.
Yours to Please, Gus Forbes and Will Morton
C. R. Townsend, General Manager, Farmville, N. C.
Best Town—Best Market
Best Warehouse “Townsend's
Best Man to Sell with “Townsend”.
W. A. Bowen's Store
Greenville's Authority on Ladies’ Wear
Ladies’ Tailor-Made Suits a Specialty
W. A. Bowen
Greenville, N. C.
Phone 3 3 0
G. T. Gardner Dr. W. W. Dawson J. C. Kutz, Mgr.
Grifton Live Stock Company
Seeing is Believing” See Us Before Buying
We Wholesale and Retail
Horses and Mules
—We Have Come to Stay—
We carry a large line of stock the best horses and mules that money can buy. The Manager, Mr. Kutz has had experience for thirty years in this line, right from the West where they make a specialty of raising stock.
All we ask is, Come and see us. Once a customer always one.
Cash or Credit
Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back
Condensed Statement of THE GREENVILLE BANKING & TRUST CO.
GREENVILLE, N. C.
At the Close of Business May 4th, 1920
|Loans and Discounts||$1,711,956.19|
|Stocks and Bonds||544,820.58|
|Banking House, Fur., and Fix.||47,324.59|
|Cash and due from Banks||190,693.38|
|Capital Stock||$ 100,000.00|
|Surplus and Profits||96,158.26|
E. G. FLANAGAN, Pres.
E. B. HIGGS, Vice-Pres.
J. O. PROCTOR, Vice-Pres.
T. J. MOORE, Cashier
A. J. MOORE, Asst. Cashier
J. H. WALDROP, Asst. Cashier
Willard & Smith Company, Inc.
“Everything For the Farm”
Greenville, N. C.
Low prices for quality merchandise explains in the fewest words why this big store is enjoying such phenomenal business. In this big store you wil find practically every line of merchandise represented at prices that save you money. Our great buying power assures you the lowest price obtainable on merchandise of quality.
Try Us First We Have It
WILLARD & SMITH CO. Incorporated
“Greenville's Biggest and Best Store.”