Life in the C.C.C. Camp September/October 1938


It seems that too many of the enrollees of this company take the idea of FRIDAY NIGHT PASSES as a casual thing that seems to come automatically.

On the contrary, the Commanding Officer has the discretion to issue or refuse these passes. A FRIDAY NIGHT PASS is ONLY given as a reward for good work, in the field and in camp, for participation in the educational and recreational program, and for personal efforts toward self-improvement. It is NEVER a routine which comes at the end of every work week just for putting in full time on the job.

The enrollees of this company can indeed consider themselves fortunate in being located in a camp so centrally located that “home” is just a short distance away, and in being granted FRIDAY NIGHT PASSES as regularly as they receive their pay.

There are a great many camps in this District which authorize week-end passes only ONCE or TWICE a month,–and the men are mighty glad to get them. I think, therefore, that the enrollees of my command should realize that they are getting somewhat of a special reward in receiving FRIDAY NIGHT PASSES, rather than a more automatic pass which is taken for granted.

I sincerely hope that I won’t have to cut these passes to one or two a month as is the practice in most camps in the Fifth Corps Area, but I will do just that if I must. By all means, if you DO get a pass, please don’t come back on Monday or later AWOL, as this will reflect on the rest of the company. The only recourse in that case is to give up the FRIDAY NIGHT PASS entirely.

LINDEN CHASE, 2nd Lieut., FA-Ros., 401st FA, Commanding


Everything is in our favor to hold our Superior rating which we got last month. In order to have a superior rating everything must be above standard. Our kitchen heretofore hasn’t been quite that way. Now our future has brightened with the addition of two veteran cooks and a baker. These new cooks are Albert Niedenfuhr and Venard King and the baker is :Pop” Calhoon. All have had a number of years experience in cooking and pastry work and will work our Junior cooks and teach them the old tricks in cooking.

Lets take a look at their lives. Niedenfuhr served seven and on-half years in the United States Marine Corps (he is not another Sowers though, boys). There he saw the hard knocks of life and did a lot of traveling. He can tell of many interesting happenings across the pond. After leaving the Marines the Government sent him to their pastry school from where he has a certificate of graduation. He is a veteran of the World War. He entered the CCCs about four years ago and has been in quite a number of camps in Ohio and some of the Southern States. He has served as first cook, chief baker, and mess steward. His home town is Mt. Victory, Ohio.

Venard King is also a World War Veteran. He spent two years in service in the Machine Gunners Division. There he was wounded and sent to the hospital for six months. He won high honors while in service. He has been in the CCC for two years. He worked six months in the field and the remainder of the time he has been in the kitchen. He has served as second cook, first cook, mess steward, and baker in different camps that he has been in.

“Pop” Calhoon was one of the men transferred here from the West. He has been in our midst but a short time but we can say that his baking has been a great help to our daily menus. He has had quite a number of years experience in the baking business with some of our countrys leading bakeries.

All say that our eats will be better from now on. Have you noticed the difference? The food is better prepared and we have more of a variety. Keep up the good work, boys, and I’m sure that everyone in camp will be your friends and respect you. We only hope that our Junior cooks will follow in your footsteps and make our kitchen second to none in the Fifth Corps area.



2—Divisions into which Districts are divided in the CCC.
11—What an enrollee should do with his socks, if they have holes. (P1)
12—A sound of surprise (Not “OH!”)
13—A utensil you fry things in (Also an enrollee’s mug).
15—You catch fish in this. (A woman sets one over her hair).
16—A professional (as in golf).
17—A boy’s school in England.
18—Precious stones.
19—A rodent (you call fellows this when they tell on you).
20—A snake.
22—A grain (also a kind of whiskey).
23—Past of have.
24—Not on.
25—Feminine pronoun.
27—Often (poetic)
29—Not young (often used in reference to your father as “the _ man”).

32—What your girl did with the letter you wrote asking for forgiveness.
33—A song by three people.
34—Open (poetic)
35—To decay
37—What you do to the mess hall. (You do it with rags and along handle).
38—North East (abbr.).
39—When you break your razor this is the result.
41—Same as 38.
42—A subdivision. CCC camps used to be divided int them: __ & __.


1—What the editor is in charge of. Also you write on it, etc.
3—Head of the camp paper (Abbr.).
4—Tin container (you also call the rear parts of the enrollees by this name).
5—You plant these. Forest camps work with them (there’s a poem on them).
6—Ontarion (Abbr.).
7—18th and 19th letters of the alphabet.
8—Past tense of choose.
10—Facts; a collection of information.
12—The organization that runs the CCC (Every country has one).
14—Two words meaning “you can’t do it here” (this is two words).
16—To act.
20—Fuss, bustle (“Much ___ About Nothing”)
21—A utensil to cook in. (Farmers have china ones under the bed.
25—A rock.
26—While there is life there is ___ (Missing word in “Faith, ___, and Charity.”).
28—To ride on top of the water.
30—King of beasts One growls at you from every MGM movie.
31—Name of one of the 7 Dwarfs in Snow White (Means dizzy).
35—Recreation Hall, short form (___ Hall)
36—Three (as in ___ motor airplane).
39—To exist.
40—to perform something.

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Solemn Group

Instead of a photo of an anonymous “house,” this photo from the Kahoe glass plate negative collection is of an anonymous “family.”

The masses of ivy against a brick wall suggest that the setting was a building on Antioch’s campus. Does this also suggest that the family portrayed was connected with the college, or was it simply a favorite backdrop for the photographer?

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J. Peery Miller Memoirs — Part 36

In which J. Peery Miller winds back up in Yellow Springs after several job changes…

This winter (1867-68) passed quickly and very pleasantly. By the first of April I was ready and quite willing to resume class work again at Antioch. The teaching experience was excellent training and the money received for it was much needed to pay term bills and other college expenses.

Fifty-five years later (1923), on a visiting trip back to the scenes here described, I passed by this school house which is still in use. I assured a kodak snap-shot to commemorate the spot of my first teaching endeavor (See pg. ).


As previously stated, I continued my college course of study to the junior year when circumstances advised another stop. I again returned to McLane county, Illinois, and labored as a farm hand with Elias Garst, who had moved from our Bethel, O., neighborhood to that county about the same time that brother Harrison vacated his Ohio home. Mr. Garst had been one of our neighbors and also a soldier comrade in the Civil War.

I agreed to work for Mr. Garst, for a few months only, at twenty dollars per month, the top price for farm hands at that time. I had in mind something more remunerative as soon as that something turned up. In the meantime I must not be idle. Twenty dollars a month and board was not bad pay. No certificate of competency was demanded, a relief to be appreciated. My experience in farm work at Bethel under my father’s competent tutelage was sufficient guarantee that I could do the work unless my five years at Antioch had made me lazy. Mr. Garst was very willing to give me the job.

In the middle of the summer 1869, I went from Mr. Garst’s to Sumner, Ill. to investigate a proposition to join my brother-in-law, Holiver Judy, in the tinning and stoveware business. Mr. Judy had been in this business in Sumner several years before his marriage to my sister Catherine, December 24, 1868. He now thought that a location somewhere in eastern Kansas offered a better field for money making. I went with him to this region for the purpose of investigating future prospects.

Typical Tinware

We found the country wild for speculation, rents enormously high, – too high for us with our limited capital. Prudence dictated that we return to Sumner and study a plan to increase facilities for a larger business at that point. Sumner was then a lively, growing town of five or six-hundred inhabitants, situated at what was then the Ohio and Mississippi railroad (broad gauge from Cincinnati to St. Louis). Olney, the county seat of Richland county, was twelve miles west of Sumner. I joined with Mr. Judy in establishing a branch store at this point simply as a try-out. If it did not prove profitable, the stock and fixtures could be shipped back to the Sumner house.

Stove of the Time

After a few months’ trial we decided to unite all business at Sumner again. In the early spring of 1870 we sold our entire stock and interest in the business to a local firm at a fair profit, having decided to move back to Yellow Springs, O.

The superior advantage of living in a college town with its excellent school and church privileges, in the midst of our relatives and old fiends, were strong factors in inducing us to make this change. Then, too, an opening for a stove and tinware store in Yellow Springs looked attractive, especially if a line of household furniture could be added to the business. This last was the thought of B. Judy, who was an excellent cabinet mechanic. I did not much approve of the furniture addition because of the location of the place it being so near Springfield and Xenia, both cities of competitive strength.

However, the experiment was worth trying, but many things contributed to its failure. It was now five years after the close of the Civil war. Prices slumped until people bought at wholesale war prices, as in our case, soon dropped on the market and could not be sold at retail for the first cost. Our losses were heavy and in two years’ time we found it necessary to close our entire stock at a great loss. This left me in a serious condition financially. However, I still possessed my home on Xenia avenue, which I had purchased soon after my return to Yellow Springs.

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The Little Peace Conference

In a previous series of blog posts covering the book Why They Came, there was a page showing the Little Peace Conference. It turns out that a video of the actual Little Peace Conference can be found on the Internet:;!!OdqygGz-7UHvSw!_THX3aiNHGx7G4x3GCfVwsb8Ib7tCqnww9rZPpdkE5n2yFCNUkSznQiOiM0Clc9iRtRRRnCY$

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Layers of Privacy

This house, in another photo from the Kahoe glass plate negative collection, is shielded from public view not only by the picket fence, but also the well-grown trees, making identifying its architectural details more of a challenge..

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PIcnics (And Another Celebration)

August in the early 1900s was a time for picnics, as reported to local newspapers.

The Dayton Herald – August 21, 1900

A Week at Yellow Springs

The following party of Daytonians spent last week at Yellow Springs having secured accommodations in the North Dormitory of Antioch College, enjoying the cool breezes of the picturesque campus: The Misses Faig, Miss Grace Lockyer, Miss Ada Whitfield, Mrs. Scheffel, Miss Ada Scheffel, the Misses Geyer, Miss Jackson, and Miss Olt. Hay rides to Clifton and to the Miami river were events of the week at which the members of the party enjoyed themselves.

Xenia Daily Gazette – August 12, 1903

The Daughters of Rebecca are holding a picnic at the Neff grounds at Yellow Springs this afternoon, quite a number going up on the cars and taking well filled baskets along. It is proving a very delightful occasion for the members of the organization.

Xenia Daily Gazette – August 12, 1903

The Young Lady Was Miss Violet Reed—Both Residents of Yellow Springs

Nado Hughes, aged 75 years and who has twice been married, has made a third venture in the matrimonial line, his bride this time being Miss Violet Reed, aged 19 years. Both the parties reside at Yellow Springs, Mr.Hughes being employed as one of the track men on the Springfield & Xenia traction line. He was for many years a resident of Xenia and is well known in this city.

He appeared at the office of the Probate Judge last evening and stated that he was getting so young in his old age that he had concluded to get married again and the license was accordingly issued. They were married last night by Rev. Hampton.

Xenia Daily Gazette – August 13, 1903

The Greene County Horticultural Society is holding a picnic at the Neff grounds at Yellow Springs today.

Xenia Daily Gazette – August 13, 1903

This appeared to be a favorite day for picnic parties from Xenia to Yellow Springs and there has been much disappointment by reason of the inadequate service of the traction line. Owing to some defect in the power, cars were few and far between and traffic greatly interrupted.

Xenia Daily Gazette – August 13, 1903

Was Held at the Neff Grounds, Yellow Springs, Last Week—A Delightful Affair

A beautiful day made it possible for a large and pleasant reunion of the Collins family at the Neff grounds on Aug. 13th. Many new faces greeted one another at this gathering, which we have never had the pleasure of meeting before. Surrounding cities and towns sent delegations together with the ones who are nearer to our homes and not to be forgotten, our friends, the returned missionaries from India—the McConnelees, Gordons and Ballentines with their bright little ones, who can truthfully say, we never saw these “Collins” before. With us were the Wallaces, of Bellefontaine, O., and other friends of the same place. Clark Collins of Linton, Ind., came in to look upon us and introduce his wife, who was a new member to our connection that we have not had the pleasure to meet before.

According to prearrangements our baskets were delivered to the grounds by a drayman and we know his appetite must have been stimulated by such a large number of well-filled baskets.

Dinner was belated by a delay in the traction lines in their failure to make schedule time, and for a time we who were on the grounds early began to think we would have to dine without a quorum. But soon the Xenia and Springfield delegations arrived and in a short time dinner was announced. One hundred and nine-two were seated at the tables spread with the delicacies and dainties and not a few of the substantials of life. Mr. Jas. W. Collins called the assembly to order and Dr. J. F. Hutchison, of Xenia, asked the divine blessing.

After the dinner hour was over the crowd renewed acquaintances, engaged in games, boat riding, etc., and ere long, before we were ready, we turned our faces homeward bound, thinking of the pleasure we had in the short time we spent together at this family reunion. While we have not been meeting annually as other families do, we can certainly say our meetings are profitable and pleasant to all who participate in them and hope there will always be “Collins” enough to make a picnic quorum,. G.E.J.

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A Tranquil Moment

This photo from the Kahoe glass plate negative collection is labeled merely “Mother and Child.” Except for the curious structure in the background, there is little to identify where it was taken.

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House with Backyard Swing

The house in this photo from the Kahoe glass plate negative collection might have been built in stages, with an addition to the main front portion.

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J. Peery Miller Memoirs — Part 35

In which J. Peery Miller experiences a most unusual way of getting his teacher’s certificate…

On reaching Bloomington, Ill. our journey was practically ended. This city, the county seat of McLean county, is beautifully located in the central part of the state, and, at at this time, had less than 20,000 population. In many respects it resembled Springfield, Ohio, our home town. This was the railroad point to which brother Harrison had shipped a specially chartered freight car containing household goods and farm equipment needed to quickly start housekeeping and farm work at his new home, located nearly twenty miles southwest, not far from the present village of Armington, Tazewell county. We did not tarry long in Bloomington, being desirous of delivering our charge of horses and dogs on their new farm homes as early in the day as possible. But the distance (20 miles) and the condition of the roads, which were rutty and little traveled, made our arrival after darkness had set in. I well remember our joyful reception by the home folks who had preceded us by R.R. and were anxiously awaiting our arrival. Twenty-four hours was sufficient time to transport the family by passenger train, while we with our camping outfit and slow going motive power required nearly two weeks.

My duty being performed the proper thing for me to have done would have been to return speedily to Antioch and resume my studies. But the country school district in which my brother’s home was located was without a teacher due to sickness and resignation of the person previously employed. I was induced to make application to fill this vacancy.

This was a situation that I had not contemplated and I felt somewhat doubtful of my ability to secure a teacher’s certificate on so short notice. However, accepted the offer of $45 per month to teach the fall and winter sessions and then sought the county superintendent to secure, if possible, the necessary teacher’s certificate. I ascertained that this official lived on a farm twenty or twenty-five miles distant from our home. I borrowed one of my brother’s horses and started on horseback to locate him.

After a long, tedious ride across the prairie, along roads not very well defined, intersected frequently by crossroads which would leave me very much in doubt whether I should turn to the right or to the left, I finally located my man. I made my business known, stating that I desired an examination to test my fitness to obtain a teacher’s certificate immediately, if at all possible, that I might commence work on the following Monday. He seriously demurred at first, stating that his regular time for holiday examinations would be at a future date, that he was too busy just then to take time off for a separate examination, &c.

Insisting on the importance of my request owing to the conditions prevailing in the district where I was employed, he finally relented on condition that I take an oral examination in his potato patch which would not interfere with his continuation at work. This proprosition suited me all right. I followed him as he dug potatoes, and he fired questions at me as he worked. I answered his questions as best I could, and when he had tested my running knowledge of branches required to be taught in this very unusual manner, he invited me to the house where he wrote me a certificate to teach for one year from date, this being the limit of time granted to those who had never taught before.

I must say that I was highly elated over my success. I rode back to my brother’s new home with a joyful heart. Think of my chagrin had I failed to pass!

I learned in the course of my conversation with this county superintendent after my examination that he was an Ohioan from Clark Co., and that he was a graduate of Wittenberg college, Springfield, O. He had gone West to try his hand at farming the rich prairie soil, and, as a side line, he had sought and obtained the offices of county superintendent of public schools. His name was Hatfield. During my term of teaching he visited the school in his official capacity and complimented my scholars on their good behavior and scholarly ability and accomplishments, in which compliment I shared as their teacher.

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Notable Windows

Another untitled house photo from the Kahoe glass plate negative collection, showing a spacious house with a 2nd floor front bay window and an unusual arrangement of windows on the side – why so few?

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