Ray City Boys in the CCC

The New Georgia Encyclopedia describes the start of the CCC in Georgia…

Among  the numerous New Deal programs of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) is remembered as one of the most popular and effective. Established on March 31, 1933, the corps’s objective was to recruit unemployed young men (and later, out-of-work veterans) for forestry, erosion control, flood prevention, and parks development. The president’s ambitious goal was to enroll a quarter of a million men by July 1, 1933.

Despite opposition from Georgia governor Eugene Talmadge, who argued that federal New Deal programs were an intrusion into state government affairs, the CCC was overwhelmingly popular  in Georgia.  Before the corps’ termination on July 1, 1942, more than 78,000 men were employed in 127 camps (approximately 30-35 camps operated at a time) across the state.

Participants in the CCC included men from Ray City,  Georgia who went to work at CCC Camp Company 1413 in Homerville.  Clayborn L. Kelly  of Ray City was an assistant leader for the camp.   H.E. Grissett  and J.W. McConnell were among the two hundred men who lived and worked at the camp.

Photographs of CCC Company 1413, Homerville, GA provided by Linda Angell.

On June 2, 1933, Company 1413 came into existence.  Prior to or sometime during the month of May of that year, a group of men connected with the Army, together with others who were connected with the Forestry branch, arrived in Homerville to ascertain whether or not a Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.) campsite should be located there.  Their verdict proved to be in the affirmative, so on May 25, Captain Patten, an officer of the Army arrived at Homerville, with fourteen members of the C.C.C. from Jacksonville, Florida, and erected a tent on the present campsite.  On June 2, two hundred enrollees under the command of Captain Earle A. Johnson, 29th Infantry, arrived at the location and by sundown all tents were up and the cots installed, and Company 1413 was off to a “flying start.”

In 1940, Ray City men working in the CCC included Daniel J. Jeffords, and Joseph S. Clements was Foreman at the CCC Camp.

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