1940- Kansas Camps in the Federal Census

In the spring of 1940 there were 14 C.C.C. camps in operation around Kansas- 1 state park improvement (Meade Co.), 2 state lake construction projects (Clark and Nemaha Co.), and 11 soil conservation projects (Atchison, Cloud, Coffey, Franklin, Jefferson, Kingman, Labette, Marshall, Morris, Sumner, and Wilson Counties). Being a Federal census year, the opportunity exists for information about specific camps and individuals to be found among the voluminous records produced by the enumeration of the population in 1940. For my Kansas research, I used a couple of online resources, the most user-friendly and effective one being the open-access 1940 records at www.FamilySearch.org. For a search of the 1940 Kansas records, try this: 1940-census-kansas and choose "explore images by location", searching by the term "C.C.C.". The resulting total of 14 enumeration districts are listed by township, the individual camps visible as unique subsets- the equivalent of small communities in each township. The camps are listed by their project number (e.g. "SCS-9, SCS-32, SP-3, etc.).

C.C.C. Camps in Kansas Identified From 1940 Federal Census
County Company Project Date Established Project Type Enumerated Individuals
Atchison Co. 767-C SCS-33 10/3/39 Soil Conservation 2*
Clark Co. 729 SCS-12 11/1/34 Lake Construction 7*
Cloud Co. 788 SCS-34 1/5/40 Soil Conservation 0*
Coffey Co. 4702 SCS-7 9/29/35 Soil Conservation 0*
Franklin Co. 4719 SCS-5 7/26/35 Soil Conservation 23*
Jefferson Co. 1763? SCS-9 1/11/36? Soil Conservation 2*
Kingman Co. 4718-V SCS-4 9/26/35 Soil Conservation 87*
Labette Co. 4717-C SCS-31 7/29/38 Soil Conservation 55*
Marshall Co. 2735 SCS-30 7/12/37 Soil Conservation 2*
Meade Co. 4755-CV SP-3 2/1/39 Park Development 0*
Morris Co. 4703 SCS-8 7/25/35 Soil Conservation 0*
Nemaha Co. 2735 SCS-16 9/1/36 Lake Construction 2*
Sumner Co. 786-C SCS-32 7/31/38 Soil Conservation 2*
Wilson Co. 784 SCS-22 10/11/34 Soil Conservation 23*
*Number from camp only. Additional individuals from nearby areas may be associated.

While initially exciting to see the camps show up so readily, the accompanying records are of varying, and occasionally quite limited, value. "No Population" is the only comment for several camps while others have only a handful of individuals enumerated; sometimes consisting of the military and/or SCS overhead and supervisory personnel, sometimes enrollees, and occasionally both. A few camps have a couple of dozen or even dozens of men listed. In some cases, scanning records from nearby enumeration districts revealed additional camp personnel in private residences and occasionally I would run onto enrollees as well. At first glance, it seems enumeration among camps was random and without pattern, but after some consideration, more thorough searching of adjacent enumeration districts and sampling districts in communities and townships elsewhere around the state I gained a better understanding of the records (I think...).

 Despite the limitations of the data, there is still something that can be gained from the census records as they relate to the Civilian Conservation Corps and over the coming weeks I hope to present some of the interesting details I've seen in the Kansas census data regarding education of enrollees, ages (particularly among the vets), where the men come from, the likelihood that some if not many of the project supervisors and personnel may be tied back to other projects around the state a few years prior, even some insight into where some of the enrollees former employment/area of training may have been, and we'll look into the question of why many camp enumerations are seemingly missing (and just who some of those individuals were that can be found nearby).

No comments: