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John C. Bain Papers


The papers of John C. Bain (Aug. 14, 1862 - Sept. 11, 1930), farmer and rural mail carrier, are not of particular importance as they relate to his own cotton crops and truck garden produce. However, his involvement in the cooperative movement among farmers that gave rise to the Farmers' State Alliance and the Cotton Growers' Cooperative Association produced papers of historical interest, in part because Bain was active at every level of the alliance movement.The personal papers fall naturally into three categories: Bain's personal papers; Bain's papers concerning the Farmers' Alliance (state, county, and sub--alliance); and Bain's papers concerning the Cumberland County Cotton Growers' Assoc ... (more below)

Title

John C. Bain Papers

Collection Number

PC.297

Date(s)

1862 - 1930

Language

English

Physical Description
Cubic foot
1
Abstract

The papers of John C. Bain (Aug. 14, 1862 - Sept. 11, 1930), farmer and rural mail carrier, are not of particular importance as they relate to his own cotton crops and truck garden produce. However, his involvement in the cooperative movement among farmers that gave rise to the Farmers' State Alliance and the Cotton Growers' Cooperative Association produced papers of historical interest, in part because Bain was active at every level of the alliance movement.

The personal papers fall naturally into three categories: Bain's personal papers; Bain's papers concerning the Farmers' Alliance (state, county, and sub--alliance); and Bain's papers concerning the Cumberland County Cotton Growers' Association.

Physical Location

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

Creator

Bain, John C.

Repository

State Archives of North Carolina


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 George Stevenson, August, 1992

Encoded by Dietra Stanley, November, 2005


The papers of John C. Bain (Aug. 14, 1862 - Sept. 11, 1930), farmer and rural mail carrier, are not of particular importance as they relate to his own cotton crops and truck garden produce. However, his involvement in the cooperative movement among farmers that gave rise to the Farmers' State Alliance and the Cotton Growers' Cooperative Association produced papers of historical interest. Bain was active at every level of the alliance movement. At the local level he held various offices in the Cumberland County Farmers' Alliance: lecturer, 1901, 1906-1908; chaplain, 1904-1906; secretary-treasurer, 1911-1917. At the state level he held offices in the Farmers' State Alliance every year from 1899 until the closing of the organization in 1929: and in 1899 and again from 1903 to 1913; lecturer from 1900 to 1902; vice-president from 1914 to 1915 and again from 1922 to 1926; secretary-treasurer from 1916 to 1922; state business agent from 1917 to 1922; member of the executive committee from 1927 to 1929 (in which year the Farmers' State Alliance came to an end upon the chartering of the North Carolina State Grange).

One of the most important offices held by Bain was that of state business agent to the Farmers' State Alliance. This aspect of the cooperative effort of farmers was probably more successful than any other function of the Farmers' State Alliance after 1900. Originally, the office was conceived as including warehousing operation for fertilizer, dry goods, and groceries ordered in bulk at wholesale discount prices then sold hack to farmers over the state at lower rates than could be had from local retail merchants. Before the collapse of the alliance occasioned by the political debacle of 1892, the scheme called for business agents at every level, from sub-alliance through county alliance to state alliance. After 1900, when the farmers' State Alliance was a shadow of its former self, a good deal of the business of the state business agent was directly with individual farmers as well as with local sub-business agents.

In 1905 when the question of the Cumberland County Cooperative Warehouse for cotton growers was mooted in the local farmers' alliance, Bain subscribed to stock in the warehouse. This appears to have been the beginning of the Cumberland County Cotton Growers' Association in which Bain was an actively supportive member. Bain seems to have acted as business agent for members of both the alliance and the association, consolidating orders for fertilizer, potash, and nitrate of soda from them, negotiating contracts with manufacturers, guaranteeing payment to the manufacturers, and attending to details of shipment to the rail siding nearest each farmer ordering through him.


The papers of John C. Bain (Aug. 14, 1862 - Sept. 11, 1930), farmer and rural mail carrier, are not of particular importance as they relate to his own cotton crops and truck garden produce. However, his involvement in the cooperative movement among farmers that gave rise to the Farmers' State Alliance and the Cotton Growers' Cooperative Association produced papers of historical interest. Bain was active at every level of the alliance movement. At the local level he held various offices in the Cumberland County Farmers' Alliance: lecturer, 1901, 1906-1908; chaplain, 1904-1906; secretary-treasurer, 1911-1917. At the state level he held offices in the Farmers' State Alliance every year from 1899 until the closing of the organization in 1929: and in 1899 and again from 1903 to 1913; lecturer from 1900 to 1902; vice-president from 1914 to 1915 and again from 1922 to 1926; secretary-treasurer from 1916 to 1922; state business agent from 1917 to 1922; member of the executive committee from 1927 to 1929 (in which year the Farmers' State Alliance came to an end upon the chartering of the North Carolina State Grange).

One of the most important offices held by Bain was that of state business agent to the Farmers' State Alliance. This aspect of the cooperative effort of farmers was probably more successful than any other function of the Farmers' State Alliance after 1900. Originally, the office was conceived as including warehousing operation for fertilizer, dry goods, and groceries ordered in bulk at wholesale discount prices then sold hack to farmers over the state at lower rates than could be had from local retail merchants. Before the collapse of the alliance occasioned by the political debacle of 1892, the scheme called for business agents at every level, from sub-alliance through county alliance to state alliance. After 1900, when the farmers' State Alliance was a shadow of its former self, a good deal of the business of the state business agent was directly with individual farmers as well as with local sub-business agents.

In 1905 when the question of the Cumberland County Cooperative Warehouse for cotton growers was mooted in the local farmers' alliance, Bain subscribed to stock in the warehouse. This appears to have been the beginning of the Cumberland County Cotton Growers' Association in which Bain was an actively supportive member. Bain seems to have acted as business agent for members of both the alliance and the association, consolidating orders for fertilizer, potash, and nitrate of soda from them, negotiating contracts with manufacturers, guaranteeing payment to the manufacturers, and attending to details of shipment to the rail siding nearest each farmer ordering through him.


[Identification of item], PC.297, John C. Bain Papers, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC, USA.


Deposited in the Archives among the records of the Farmers' State Alliance in 1933 by T. B. Parker, S. J. McLaurin, and C. C. Taylor.


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.


It is by chance that these papers of Bain have survived. When the former officers of the local alliance retrieved the surviving papers of the Farmers' State Alliance from Mrs. Bain in 1933, they brought away with them to the Archives these private papers intermingled with the records of the alliance. The personal papers having been removed from the records of the Farmers' State Alliance were found to fall naturally into three categories (1) Bain's personal papers; (2) Bain's papers concerning the Farmers' Alliance (state, county, and sub--alliance); and (3) Bain's papers concerning the Cumberland County Cotton Growers' Association.


It is by chance that these papers of Bain have survived. When the former officers of the local alliance retrieved the surviving papers of the Farmers' State Alliance from Mrs. Bain in 1933, they brought away with them to the Archives these private papers intermingled with the records of the alliance. The personal papers having been removed from the records of the Farmers' State Alliance were found to fall naturally into three categories (1) Bain's personal papers; (2) Bain's papers concerning the Farmers' Alliance (state, county, and sub--alliance); and (3) Bain's papers concerning the Cumberland County Cotton Growers' Association.


  • Bain family.
  • Cumberland County Cotton Growers' Association.
  • Cumberland County Farmers' Alliance.
  • Agriculture, Cooperative--North Carolina--Cumberland County.
  • Cotton farmers--North Carolina--History.
  • Fertilizer industry.

These include a few letters written to Bain between 1914 and 1930; except for five World War I letters (dated in 1918 and 1919) these are almost altogether of purely family and personal interest. The same is true of the insurance papers, the papers on family genealogy, newspaper subscriptions, and rural electricity and telephones. Of the two deeds in the collection, however, there is a 1901 deed (the only paper predating 1914 in the personal papers) of more than passing interest. It is a deed of contract between Sudie McK. Wade and James Smith that provides an interesting example of a three-year lease of land in which the consideration is the ditching and fencing of the land to be done by the contractor, the penalty for nonperformance of which being forfeiture of the crops he raises on the land. Bain's correspondence and bills of lading for his berry crops shipped to markets in Virginia, Maryland, and New York from 1916 to 1929 have been separated into a separate file, as have been a set of collection statistics he kept in 1917 for an unknown product. The post office papers in this part of the collection include Bain's postal route book (indicating the names of the various family members who might receive mail in their rural box), the December, 1917, issue of R.F.D. News, and correspondence relating to payment of Bain's pension to his widow in 1930.

Box: PC.297.1  
Correspondence
1914-1930, n.d.

16844
Berry Market
1916-1929

16845
Deeds
1901, 1917

16846
Electricity/Telephones
1919-1923

16847
Farm---Collection Statistics (Unidentified)
1917

16848
Insurance
1918-1927

16849
Lawsuit: Bain vs. Co. Commissioners
1923-1924

16850
Newspaper Subscriptions
1918-1927

16851
Political Cartoon, Presidential Election
1916

16852
Post Office (Rural Carrier) Papers
1917-1930

16853
Presbyterian Church
1916-1923

16854
Bain Family Genealogy

These files relate primarily to the Cumberland County Farmers' Alliance and to the various sub-alliances in the county, though the small file of correspondence includes letters concerning activities of the Farmers' State Alliance between the years 1907 and 1929. At county level, the papers include minutes, treasurer's accounts, and records of the mutual aid society of the Cumberland County Farmers' Alliance. Records of the seven sub-alliances still active in the early twentieth century in the county that are to be found in this part of the collection are limited to quarterly reports of membership and range in date from 1905 to 1916. The last folder in the box contains the 1902 rules for the cooperative store operated for the benefit of the Wade and Geddie sub-alliances. These files will not include information on Bain's activity as business agent for the purchase of commodities, fertilizer, potash, and nitrate of soda for local farmers. Since Bain acted as business agent for farmers in the alliance as well as for those in the cotton growers' association, and since his agency for supply of fertilizer continued longer with the association than with the alliance, those papers are filed in the third and last part of this collection of papers.

Box: PC.297.2  
Correspondence
1907-1929

16856
Cumberland County Alliance

Minutes
1900-1911
Aid Society Membership Rolls, , n.d.
1904-1905
Treasurer's Accounts
1887-1917
Minutes
1913-1917
Aid Society, , n.d.
1900-1910

16862
Sub-Alliances

Carvers Falls
1906
Flea Hill
1905-1924
Geddie
1906-1916
Godwin
1905-1911
South River
1907-1909
Wade
1906-1916, 1924
Wade-Geddie Business Agent/Store
1902

These include a few papers relating to the Cumberland County cooperative warehouse owned by members of the Cotton Association, and subscription for a cooperative store in Fayetteville. Correspondence, 1919-1929, includes circular correspondence from the Raleigh office of the North Carolina Cotton Growers' Cooperative Association, weekly reports of deliveries of cotton (by contract number) by members of the association, final settlement prices, reports of seasonal pool payments, and payments of reserve certificates. Two account books include fertilizer accounts for the years from 1907 through 1915 and from 1917 through 1926, while a third account book includes a general store's accounts from 1913 to 1921. All three books seem to include accounts against farmers belonging to the alliance as well as against those belonging to the association. The remainder of this file of papers is made up of fertilizer contracts, orders for shipment, guarantees by lien and mortgage, records of payment, and so forth, ranging in date from 1922 through 1929. While far from complete, it is a valuable set of papers from which one can reconstruct the method of operation of a local farmers' cooperative effort in cotton production.

Box: PC.297.3  
Cumberland County Cooperative Warehouse
1905-1921

16871
Correspondence, N.C. Cotton Growers' Cooperative Association
1919-1929

16872
Fertilizer and Store Accounts
1907-1915

16873
Fertilizer Accounts
1917-1926

16874
Store Accounts
1917-1926

16875
Fertilizer Contract, Correspondence, and Orders

1922
1922
1923
1923
1924
1924
1925
1925
1926
1926
1927
1927
1928
1928
1929
1929