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Civilian Conservation Corps

Civilian Conservation Corps in Crawford County, KansasThe Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a New Deal program designed to provide employment and educational opportunities for the large number of unemployed young men. The program was active in Kansas during the 1930s.

Congress established the Civilian Conservation Corps on March 31, 1933, under the original name of Emergency Conservation Work. By Executive Order of April 5, 1933, the agencies for the administration of the program were determined and the name Civilian Conservation Corps was adopted. The program initially served men between the ages of 18 and 25. The age range was later revised to serve those between 17 and 28. Later companies were created consisting of unemployed military veterans.

Four federal departments cooperated in the operation of the CCC. The Department of Labor was responsible for selection of the men to be enrolled, except for veterans, which were selected by the veterans’ administration. The War Department was responsible for the physical exams, enrollment, equipping, conditioning and transportation of men, camp construction, command, administration, medical care, pay, welfare and education at the camps. The Departments of Agriculture and Interior were responsible for work projects at national forests, parks and other public lands. The Department of Agriculture was also in charge of supervising projects located on state and private land, primarily for erosion and reforesting projects. The Department of the Interior was in charge of state park projects. The Emergency Conservation Work director, based in Washington, D.C., coordinated and directed the work of the various department and agencies.

Wesley Tally, Civilian Conservation Corps participantIn Kansas the number of camp locations varied and changed often. The highest number of camps was 21 in 1936, with a low of 2 in 1942, as the CCC was being disbanded. Camps represented the actual geographical location of a work site. Company numbers represented the actual group of men. Companies were often moved and the men worked in several different locations in Kansas. Sometimes workers were transferred to another state. Many Kansas men served in Kansas companies in Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota. Young men from Kansas had the option to volunteer to transfer to other states and many served their time in the forests of California and in the western states national parks.

Camps were located in the following counties over the life of the CCC in Kansas: Anderson, Atchison, Cherokee, Clark, Cloud, Coffey, Crawford, Decatur, Douglas, Finney, Franklin, Geary, Gove, Jefferson, Jewell, Kingman, Labette, Leavenworth, Lyon, Marshall, Marion, Meade, Mitchell, Morris, Nemaha, Pawnee, Rawlins, Sheridan, Smith, Sumner, Wilson, and Woodson.

Entry: Civilian Conservation Corps

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: March 2014

Date Modified: July 2014

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.