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Farmers' Educational and Cooperative Union, North Carolina Division


The Farmers' Educational and Cooperative Union was first organized at Point, Rains County, Texas in 1902 as an effort to improve the economic, educational, political, and social life of the American farmer of the South. Eventually, the organization on the national level became known as the National Farmers Union, with divisions in various states.The organization records of the Farmers' Educational and Cooperative Union, North Carolina Division, document sixteen years of the group's activities, from 1912 to 1928. The series, Minutes of Annual Meeting (1917-1927), includes the minutes from annual state conventions and summer sessions and various supporting documents. The Correspondence series ... (more below)

Title

Farmers' Educational and Cooperative Union, North Carolina Division

Collection Number

Org.48

Date(s)

1912 - 1928

Language

English

Physical Description
Boxes
11
Volumes
20
Abstract

The Farmers' Educational and Cooperative Union was first organized at Point, Rains County, Texas in 1902 as an effort to improve the economic, educational, political, and social life of the American farmer of the South. Eventually, the organization on the national level became known as the National Farmers Union, with divisions in various states.

The organization records of the Farmers' Educational and Cooperative Union, North Carolina Division, document sixteen years of the group's activities, from 1912 to 1928. The series, Minutes of Annual Meeting (1917-1927), includes the minutes from annual state conventions and summer sessions and various supporting documents. The Correspondence series (1912-1928), is all of a business nature. It includes letters from county and local unions to state officers, copies of letters from state officers to county and local unions, letters to the North Carolina Division from the National Union, and letters to the North Carolina Union from businesses and organizations related to the farming industry. The Miscellaneous series includes various materials which do not properly belong in any other series and which are too few to compose their own series. Financial Records (1912-1927) of the state records subgroup are divided into two subseries: Journals and Disbursements. Annual Reports of Local Unions (1916-1928) includes annual membership and fees from local secretaries to the state secretary-treasurer. The last series includes the Financial Records (1912-1928) of the county-level organizations, and consists of two subseries: Dues and Dues and Fees of Locals.

Physical Location

For current information on the location ofthese materials, please consult the Public Services Branch, State Archives of North Carolina.

Creator

Farmers Educational and Cooperative Union. North Carolina Division.

Repository

State Archives of North Carolina


This collection is organized into 6 series: Minutes of Annual Meetings, 1917-1927, n.d.; Correspondence, 1912-1928, n.d.; Miscellaneous; Financial Records, 1912-1927; Annual Reports of Local Unions, 1916-1928; and Financial Records, 1912-1928. The first four series are part of the State Records Division. The last two series are part of the county records subgroup.


Available for research.


Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.


Processed by Michele A. Justice, April, 1990

Encoded by Fran Tracy-Walls, August, 2002


The Farmers' Educational and Cooperative Union was first organized at Point, Rains County, Texas in 1902 as an effort to improve the economic, educational, political, and social life of the American farmer of the South. Eventually, the organization on the national level became known as the National Farmers Union, with divisions in various states.

S. H. Colwick, a native Texan and member of the Texas Farmers' Union, moved to the Tarheel State and organized the first local union in North Carolina in 1905 at his new hometown of Boiling Springs, Cleveland County. Early in 1906 the eleven local unions chartered in Cleveland County formed the first county union in North Carolina. The Cleveland County Union sent S. L. Carter to the 1907 national convention in Little Rock, Arkansas. There, he requested that National Union organizers be sent to North Carolina, and in April of 1908 the North Carolina State Union was organized at Charlotte.

The Farmers' Educational and Cooperative Union's political influence was shown by the letters sent to the legislative candidates and by the lobbyists in Washington and Raleigh. The chief influence was educational legislation. In 1911 the Union was instrumental in the creation of farm life schools. It strongly advocated the rural credit system. The Union in its cooperative nature got necessary equipment for the farmer at cheaper rates. Rallies, picnics, and regular monthly meetings were part of the Union's social activities. The state organization aided the locals in securing speakers for these occasions. The state Union held an annual convention every fall or winter and frequently held summer sessions, if there were extra business to be transacted. The official organ of the Farmers' Union in North Carolina was the  Carolina Union Farmer until the  Progressive Farmer bought the  Carolina Union Farmer in 1913 and agreed to continue to publish Farmers' Union material and news.

The Farmers' Union of North Carolina reached a zenith in 1912. It had a membership of over thirty-three thousand, but thereafter began a slow, gradual decline. A membership drive in 1917 served to strengthen the union somewhat, and the early twenties was a period of much union activity. However, dues were not being paid regularly, and the treasury steadily grew more and more depleted. In 1919 the North Carolina Division had withdrawn from the National Union because it felt that the benefit derived was out of line with the one hundred dollars paid for national dues by a local. But even when national fees were no longer required, locals still had difficulty in obtaining state and local dues from members. The union began to decline steadily after 1925 when unpaid dues, failing cooperative enterprises, competition from other cooperative organizations, and arguments between the locals and the state organization caused membership to weaken. The Union finally began to disappear in North Carolina around 1929.


The Farmers' Educational and Cooperative Union was first organized at Point, Rains County, Texas in 1902 as an effort to improve the economic, educational, political, and social life of the American farmer of the South. Eventually, the organization on the national level became known as the National Farmers Union, with divisions in various states.

S. H. Colwick, a native Texan and member of the Texas Farmers' Union, moved to the Tarheel State and organized the first local union in North Carolina in 1905 at his new hometown of Boiling Springs, Cleveland County. Early in 1906 the eleven local unions chartered in Cleveland County formed the first county union in North Carolina. The Cleveland County Union sent S. L. Carter to the 1907 national convention in Little Rock, Arkansas. There, he requested that National Union organizers be sent to North Carolina, and in April of 1908 the North Carolina State Union was organized at Charlotte.

The Farmers' Educational and Cooperative Union's political influence was shown by the letters sent to the legislative candidates and by the lobbyists in Washington and Raleigh. The chief influence was educational legislation. In 1911 the Union was instrumental in the creation of farm life schools. It strongly advocated the rural credit system. The Union in its cooperative nature got necessary equipment for the farmer at cheaper rates. Rallies, picnics, and regular monthly meetings were part of the Union's social activities. The state organization aided the locals in securing speakers for these occasions. The state Union held an annual convention every fall or winter and frequently held summer sessions, if there were extra business to be transacted. The official organ of the Farmers' Union in North Carolina was the  Carolina Union Farmer until the  Progressive Farmer bought the  Carolina Union Farmer in 1913 and agreed to continue to publish Farmers' Union material and news.

The Farmers' Union of North Carolina reached a zenith in 1912. It had a membership of over thirty-three thousand, but thereafter began a slow, gradual decline. A membership drive in 1917 served to strengthen the union somewhat, and the early twenties was a period of much union activity. However, dues were not being paid regularly, and the treasury steadily grew more and more depleted. In 1919 the North Carolina Division had withdrawn from the National Union because it felt that the benefit derived was out of line with the one hundred dollars paid for national dues by a local. But even when national fees were no longer required, locals still had difficulty in obtaining state and local dues from members. The union began to decline steadily after 1925 when unpaid dues, failing cooperative enterprises, competition from other cooperative organizations, and arguments between the locals and the state organization caused membership to weaken. The Union finally began to disappear in North Carolina around 1929.


[Identification of item], Org.48, Farmers' Educational and Cooperative Union, North Carolina Division, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC, USA.


Deposited in State Archives of North Carolina by Edgar Long of Graham, North Carolina and J. C. Cox of Ramseur, North Carolina on June 30, 1930. (Long was formerly President and Cox was formerly Secretary-Treasurer of the North Carolina Farmers' Union).


Additional information on topics found in this collection may be found in the Manuscript and Archives Reference System (MARS)  http://www.ncarchives.dcr.state.nc.us.


This collection documents the Farmers' Educational and Cooperative Union, primarily at the state level, including minutes from annual state conventions and summer sessions (1917-1927), with supporting documents in the form of bills, committee reports, resolutions, and speeches; correspondence (1912-1928) of a business nature; miscellaneous records, including various materials which do not properly belong in any other series and which are too few to compose their own series; financial records (1912-1927) in the form of journals and disbursements; annual reports of local unions (1916-1928) including annual membership and fees from local secretaries and sometimes brief notes concerning membership and dues in local areas. The collection includes also a subgroup of county records, the financial records (1912-1928) consisting of two subseries: Dues and Dues and Fees of Locals.

This collection is organized into 6 series: Minutes of Annual Meetings, 1917-1927, n.d.; Correspondence, 1912-1928, n.d.; Miscellaneous; Financial Records, 1912-1927; Annual Reports of Local Unions, 1916-1928; and Financial Records, 1912-1928. The first four series are part of the State Records Division. The last two series are part of the county records subgroup.


This collection documents the Farmers' Educational and Cooperative Union, primarily at the state level, including minutes from annual state conventions and summer sessions (1917-1927), with supporting documents in the form of bills, committee reports, resolutions, and speeches; correspondence (1912-1928) of a business nature; miscellaneous records, including various materials which do not properly belong in any other series and which are too few to compose their own series; financial records (1912-1927) in the form of journals and disbursements; annual reports of local unions (1916-1928) including annual membership and fees from local secretaries and sometimes brief notes concerning membership and dues in local areas. The collection includes also a subgroup of county records, the financial records (1912-1928) consisting of two subseries: Dues and Dues and Fees of Locals.


  • National Farmers' Union (U.S.)
  • North Carolina Farmers' Union.
  • Agricultural education
  • Agriculture--North Carolina--Societies, etc.
  • Farmers--North Carolina--Political activity.
  • Annual reports.
  • Correspondence.
  • Financial records.
  • Minutes.

Minutes of Annual Meeting (1917-1927) includes the minutes from annual state conventions and summer sessions. Also contains supporting documents in the form of bills, committee reports, resolutions, and speeches. Arranged chronologically, items with no date compose the final file. This series is part of the state records subgroup because it concerns the Farmers' Educational and Cooperative Union in North Carolina as a whole.

Box: 1  
Minutes

Correspondence includes letters from county and local unions to state officers, copies of letters from state officers to county and local unions, letters to the North, Carolina Division from the National Union, and letters to the North Carolina Union from businesses and organizations related to the farming industry. All correspondence is of a business nature. Arranged chronologically, items with no date compose the final file in box number three. This series is part of the state records subgroup because it concerns the Farmers' Educational and Cooperative Union in North Carolina as a whole.

Box: 2  
[1912-1916]

Box: 3  
1923-1928

Miscellaneous includes various materials which do not properly belong in any other series and which are too few to compose their own series. Files are not arranged in any particular order and are labeled as follows: News Releases; Printed Matter; Constitution, By-laws, and Rituals; Local Charters; Questionnaires; Fertilizer; Charts; Convention Buttons; Picture of R. W. H. Stone; Randolph Co. Treasurer, 1924-25. This series is part of the State Division.

16001
News Releases

16002
Printed Matter

16003
Constitution, By-laws, and Rituals

16004
Local Charters

16005
Questionnaires

16006
Fertilizer

16007
Charts

16008
Convention Buttons

16009
Picture of R. W. H. Stone

16010
Randolph Co. Treasurer
1924-1925

Financial Records of the state division are divided into two subseries: Journals and Disbursements. The fiscal year always appears to begin in December for all financial accounts.

16011
Journals

Scope and Content

The Journals subseries includes five volumes, numbered four through eight, encompassing the years 1912-1914; 1916-1927. Each volume reports daily receipts of cash in debit and credit form. The records debit the source and nature of the cash, listing each local union by charter number and indicating whether the cash arises from dues, fees, purchase of literature, etc. The records credit the dispersal of the daily amount of cash, indicating whether due to expenditures of petty cash, expenditures for postage, or deposit into the bank. Arranged chronologically. Volume number six has some information concerning 1927 (pp. 85-150) which correctly belongs to the Disbursement subseries (see volume ten, pp. 58-74).

Item: 4  
1912-1914
1912-1914
Item: 5  
1916-1919
1916-1919
Item: 6  
;1927
1919-1920
Item: 7  
1920-1923
1920-1923
Item: 8  
1923-1927
1923-1927

16017
Disbursements

Scope and Content

The Disbursement subseries includes four volumes, numbering nine through twelve, encompassing the years 1914-1920; 1923-1927. Volumes nine, ten, and eleven are accounts showing money paid for state officers' expenses and salaries, supplies, postage, printing, and showing reimbursement of county dues and fees. Volume twelve consists of check stubs for the years 1923-1926, indicating the same as volumes nine through eleven. Arranged Chronologically. Volume number ten lacks some information for 1927 which is reported in volume six (pp. 85-150) in the Journals subseries.

Item: 9  
1914-1920
Item: 10  
1923
Item: 11  
1924-1927
Item: 12  
1923-1926

The Annual Reports of Local Unions Series includes annual membership and fees from local secretaries to the state secretary-treasurer. Brief notes concerning membership and dues in local areas often accompany reports. Arranged chronologically by year, then alphabetically by county. Within each county documents are filed numerically by charter number, then chronologically by date. Items with no date or no charter number are filed behind all other items for that county. Items without county identifications are filed in the back of the last file for each year. This series is part of the county records subgroup because the reports reflect conditions of the local unions in each county.

Box: 13  
Alamance-Lee, ,1921
[1916-1918]

Box: 14  
Lincoln-Yancey
1921

Box: 15  
Alamance-Yancey

1922
1922
Box: 16  
1923
1923

Box: 17.1  
Alamance-Wake

,1926
1924
Box: 17.2  
1925-1926
1925-1926
Box: 17.3  
1927
1927

21305
Alamance-Yadkin
1928

Financial Records of the County Division consists of two subseries: Dues and Dues and Fees of Locals.

The Dues and Fees of Locals subseries includes three volumes, numbered twentyseven through twenty-nine, encompassing the years 1912-1913; 1922-1928. Each volume reports the dues and fees received from each local union. The county secretaries are listed as well as the local union number and name. Arranged chronologically, then alphabetically by county within each year.

Note: The fiscal year always appears to begin in December for all financial records.

16028
Dues

Scope and Content

The Dues subseries includes nine volumes, numbered eighteen through twentysix, encompassing the dates 1912-1917; 1919-1923. These volumes are ledgers reporting the amounts of annual dues to be paid by every local in each county for each year. Each local is represented in the ledgers by name and charter number, and the names of the secretary for each county are listed as well. Arranged chronologically, then alphabetically by county within each year.

Item: 18  
1912-1913
Item: 19  
1914-1915
Item: 20  
1916-1917
Item: 21  
1919
Item: 22  
1919-1923
Item: 23  
1920
Item: 24  
1920
Item: 25  
1920-1923
Item: 26  
No Date

16038
Dues and Fees of Locals

Scope and Content

The Dues and Fees of Locals subseries includes three volumes, numbered twenty-seven through twenty-nine, encompassing the years 1912-1913; 1922-1928. Each volume reports the dues and fees received from each local union. The county secretaries are listed as well as the local union number and name. Arranged chronologically, then alphabetically by county within each year.

Item: 27  
1912-1913
Item: 28  
1924-1925
Box: 29  
1922-1928