National Archives at Atlanta

National Archives at Atlanta

RG 96 - Farmers Home Administration, Inventory of Records


For questions regarding these records, please contact us at (770) 968-2100 or atlanta.archives@nara.gov

Administrative History

The records described in this inventory are the records of the Farmers Home Administration and its predecessors that are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration, Southeast Region. They are designated as Record Group 96, Records of the Farmers Home Administration. The function of the Farmers Home Administration was to provide small farmers with credit to construct or repair homes and farm buildings, improve farming operations, or become farm owners.

The Farmers Home Administration was established in the Department of Agriculture by the Farmers Home Administration Act (60 Stat., 1062), August 14, 1946.

The following organizational units were established successively to direct rural rehabilitation and other programs for the aid of “destitute or low-income” rural families, farm tenants, sharecroppers, and migratory workers:

     -Division of Subsistence Homesteads, Department of the Interior, June 1933 – May 1935
     -Rural Rehabilitation Division, Federal Emergency Relief Administration, April 1934 – June 1935
     -Resettlement Administration, April 1935 – August 1936
     -Department of Agriculture, Farm Security Administration, September 1937 – August 1946


Records of Field Offices

Shortly after its establishment in April 1935, the Resettlement Administration set up 11 (later 13) regional offices to supervise its field activities. In fixing the boundaries of these regions, State lines were sometimes crossed in an effort to deal with common or similar problems. There were
only minor changes in areas covered by each region and few shifts of headquarters offices during the period of the existence.

In addition to a Regional Director, each region had two Assistant Directors in charge of the Rural Rehabilitation Division and the Resettlement Division, respectively, and staff divisions, sections, or officers. The staff setups typically included an Executive Assistant, a business management
staff, a personnel staff, a labor relations staff, and an information staff. The two operating divisions were the Resettlement Division and the Rural Rehabilitation Division, the latter Division containing among other units a Tenant Purchase Section, later called the Farm Ownership Section.
Most of the regions had a Land Use Planning Section, and at least one, Region 4 also had, for a time, a Land Utilization Division.

Shortly before the closing of the regional offices, a records survey was made of regional offices 1 and 5. After extensive study, records in certain classes were selected for retention jointly by personnel of the National Archives and the Farmers Home Administration. These classes of records,
eventually accessioned by the National Archives for most regions, are denoted by numeric-subject headings as follows:

     000 General—028 Suggestions (from individuals and organizations relative to the Farm Security Administration programs)
     060 Projects (project planning, construction, family selection, possession, site selection, and liquidation)
     070 Cooperation (dealing with cooperation between the Farm Security Administration and other Federal agencies, States, municipalities, and      private organizations)
     100 Administration—160 Public Relations
     161 Speeches
     163-01 Articles and Press Releases
     163-03 [Press] Clippings

The Southeast Region has custody of records from the following regions:

     Region IV, Raleigh North Carolina
     Kentucky
     North Carolina
     Tennessee
     Virginia
     West Virginia

     Region V, Montgomery, Alabama
     Alabama
     Florida
     Georgia
     South Carolina

Records of County Offices

The Southeast Region has custody of case files for paid rural rehabilitation loans made in 145 selected counties of the following states, 1934-1944: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

A considerable quantity of records of the Farmers Home Administration and its predecessors have been disposed of because they duplicated information in retained records or because they were of insufficient intrinsic value to warrant keeping them any longer.

Region 4

RECORDS OF THE OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR

Entry 56    Correspondence of the Director, 1938-1940
Boxes 1-3

Mainly copies of the letters sent, but including a few letters received, concerning loans, complaints, job applications, and other matters in which Congressmen’s aid was solicited. There is also some correspondence, primarily regarding job applications, with Julian N. Friant, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Agriculture, with W. W. Alexander, Administrator of the Farm Security Administration, and with State directors. Arranged in groups by official title, alphabetically by name and correspondent.

Entry 57   Correspondence and Reference File of Homer H.B. Mask, Regional Director, 1934-1936
Boxes 1-6

Mainly copies of letters, telegrams, and interoffice memoranda sent by the Director and others in his office, but including some letters received and reference materials such as reports, press releases, circulars, and other materials, 1935-36. The records relate chiefly to rural rehabilitation, land use planning, rural resettlement, and other regional activities. Included also, and to some extent, intermixed throughout the series, is a small quantity of Mr. Mask’s correspondence as a Regional Land Planning Consultant with the National Resources Board, 1934-35. The file is unarranged.

Entry 58   Correspondence and Reference File of the Regional Director, 1936-1941
Boxes 1-37

Letters received; copies of letters, telegrams, and memoranda sent; and reports and other enclosures. The file was maintained by Directors George S. Mitchell, 1936-39, and Howard H. Gordon, 1939-41. It concerns the administration of the regional office, the direction of the rural rehabilitation and tenant purchase programs, and the operation of such resettlement projects as Cumberland Homesteads in Tennessee and Penderlea Homesteads in North Carolina. Arranged in several sub series, there under alphabetically by subject, name, or other designation.

Entry 59   General Correspondence, 1935-1941
Boxes 1-9

Relates to activities of the regional office as reflected in correspondence classified as follows:

     070 Cooperation (with States, municipalities, organizations, individuals);
     161 Speeches;
     163-01 Articles and Press Releases;
     200 Land Acquisition (program);
     500 [Rural] Rehabilitation (program);
     505 Relocation (resettlement of individuals and families by the Government);
     530 Plans (rural rehabilitation farm and home plans for clients);
     570 [Farms] Debt Adjustment; and
     912 Occupancy (of resettlement projects).

Arranged according to the classification scheme of 1935, then by state.

Entry 60   General Correspondence, 1942-1946
Boxes 10-16

This series is a continuation of the correspondence described in entry 59. It contains information classified as follows:

     28 Loans—Grants (farm ownership loans)
     30 Organization—Administration
     34 Public Relations and Information

Arranged according to the classification scheme of 1942.

Entry 61   Correspondence File of James S. Heizer, Executive Assistant, Relating to the Regional Medical Program, 1937-1939
Box 1

Concerns the organization and operation of low-cost medical care programs for rehabilitation clients and their families. Arranged chronologically.

Entry 62   Letters Sent Relating to Applications for Employment, 1937-1939
Boxes 1-5

These letters were written mainly to Congressmen from the States comprising Region 4 on behalf of applicants. Included are some memoranda concerning visits of an official of the Farm Security Administration to these Congressmen. Arranged by State, there under alphabetically by name of Congressman.

RECORDS OF THE RURAL REHABILITATION DIVISION

Entry 63   Correspondence and Reference File of J.B. Slack, Assistant Reg. Director in Charge of Rural Rehabilitation, 1935-1941
Boxes 1-10

Mainly copies of letters, telegrams, and interoffice memoranda sent, but including some letters received and reference material. Also included are some summary reports on rehabilitation loans as well as some detailed reports of Bernard G. Torreyson, Regional Collection Adviser, concerning loan operations in various offices in the region. Arranged by subject.

Entry 64   Correspondence of J.R. Allgyer, Regional Rural Rehabilitation Adviser, 1934-1935
Boxes 1-5

Correspondence exchanged with the central office, State Rural Rehabilitation Corporations, and others regarding loans, grants, debt adjustment, and other matters. The name, State, and subject folders are mostly unarranged, with material therein arranged chronologically.

Entry 65   General Correspondence, 1934-1940
Boxes1-84

Relates to all activities of the Division. These activities are reflected especially in the correspondence classified as follows: 560 [Rehabilitation] Reports, 580 [Rehabilitation] Clients, and 626 Funds (legal questions regarding the transfer of Rural Rehabilitation Corporation funds). In two sub series: (1) arranged according to the classification scheme of 1935,
and (2) arranged alphabetically by State, there under according to the classification scheme of 1935.

Entry 66   Correspondence of C. W. E. Pittman, Special Assistant to the Director of the Division, 1934-1935
Box 1-3

Covers mainly the period when Pittman was located in the State office of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration at Raleigh, N.C. Mr. Pittman supervised relief and rehabilitation work in several districts, each one composed of several counties. The aid given to the farmers consisted chiefly in providing farm equipment, supplies, livestock, and other
operating necessities. Arranged alphabetically by county, chronologically.

Entry 67   Office File of H.P. Edwards, State Loan Officer for North Carolina, 1935-1936
Boxes 1-2

Consists chiefly of reference materials on various background subjects, such as policies and procedures, laws and legal options, financial data and statistics on loans, and various other informational materials. Included are some copies of letters sent by Mr. Edwards regarding rural rehabilitation loans and grants in the State. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Entry 68   Copies of Letters Sent, 1935-1942
Boxes 1- 11

Chiefly copies of letters sent to the central office, State directors, project managers, and others by Division employees. Also included are some internal memoranda. The series concerns mainly rehabilitation matters and farm ownership loans. In two sub series, the first of which is arranged alphabetically by subject and the second, alphabetically by name of employee, chronologically.

Entry 69   Farm Ownership Case Files, 1938-1946

Each case file usually includes the following: loan application; appraisal reports and data concerning prospective borrower; option; loan agreement and variable payment agreement; loan analysis; mortgage and occasionally a warranty deed; certification by county committee; farm and home plans; title insurance policy; fire and property damage insurance policy; and certification of closing of tenant-purchase loan. Also included in a case
file are subsidiary forms and correspondence relating to the processing of the loan. Arranged in five sub-series, alphabetically by name of borrower.

     Sub-series 1
     Farm Ownership Case Files
     Boxes 1-24

     Sub-series 2, 1938-1946
     Farm Ownership Case Files
     Boxes 1-64

     Sub-series 3, 1940-1946
     Farmer Ownership Case Files
     Boxes 1-17

     Sub-series 4, 1938-1946
     Farm Ownership Case Files
     Boxes 1-6

     Sub-series 5, 1938-1946
     Farm Ownership Case Files
     Boxes 1-36

Entry 70   General Correspondence of the Farm Debt Adjustment Commission N.C., Federal Emergency Relief Admin., 1934-1935
Boxes 1-4

Chiefly, correspondence of G.W. Forester, Executive Secretary of the Commission, and of Harry F. Watkins, its State Representative. The Series documents the Commission’s attempts to work out satisfactory adjustment between distressed farmer-debtors and their creditors. Arranged alphabetically by county, chronologically.

Entry 71   Admin. Correspondence of Farm Debt Adjustment Commission for N.C., Federal Emergency Relief Admin., 1934-1935
Boxes 1-8

Chiefly, correspondence of Mr. Forester and Mr. Watkins. There are also a few folders of correspondence with State and other officials regarding program matters. Arranged by name of official or other correspondent and by subject, chronologically.

Entry 72   Correspondence of the Farm Debt Adjustment Section, 1935-1937
Boxes 1-2

Chiefly, correspondence of Harry F. Watkins, as State Farm Debt Adjustment Supervisor for North Carolina. It relates to the same subjects as the correspondence described in entry 70. Arranged by district number, alphabetically by county, chronologically.

Entry 73   General Correspondence of the Community and Cooperative Services Section, 1935-1940
Boxes 1- 13

Relates to the Section’s work in connection with loans to cooperatives or to individual borrowers wishing to join them. Arranged by subject.

Entry 74   Correspondence of the Community and Cooperative Service Section, 1935-1938
Boxes 1-2

Concerns al phases of organizing, financing, and operating cooperatives under subheadings of classification 590 Cooperatives, such as raising, harvesting, canning, storing, and marketing crops; assisting in erosion control; manufacturing lime fertilizers; providing educational, recreational, and medical facilities; and furnishing other services. Each sub-classification is arranged chronologically.

Entry 75   Loan Applications and Supporting Papers of Cooperative Associations, 1935-1937
Boxes 1-2

The cooperatives represented by these few records were engaged mainly in such activities as soil erosion control and establishing farm community centers. A folder for each association usually contains correspondence, a loan application, and supporting exhibit material such as bylaws, a certificate of incorporation, a financial statement, a membership list, a plat, and other papers/ Arranged alphabetically by State, by name of association.

Entry 76   Instructional and Reference Materials for the Use of Home Management Supervisors, 1934-1937
Box 1

Consists chiefly of printed and mimeographed pamphlets and sheet giving instructions on canning fruits and vegetables, gardening, preparing meals, and other homemaking activities. Included is a report on the home management program for 1936 in Tennessee. Arranged alphabetically by State.

Entry 77   Miscellaneous Reports and Procedures File, 1934-1940
Boxes 1-2

Consists of annual and other periodic reports of home and farm management supervisors; summary reports on rural rehabilitation activities; a report on leased and optioned lands; procedural and instructional materials from the central, regional, and State offices; and circulars, bulletins, and conference notes. Unarranged.

RECORDS OF THE RESETTLEMENT DIVISION

Entry 78   Office file of C. B. Faris, Assistant Regional Director in Charge of Resettlement, 1935-1937
Boxes 1-5

Consists of letters received, copies of letters sent, reports, maps, and other records of Mr. Faris. Most of the correspondence deals with setting up and administering resettlement projects. Classified in accordance with a numeric scheme.

Entry 79   Correspondence Relating to Resettlement Projects, 1935-1942
Boxes 1-84

In two sub-series, the first for 1935-1940 and the second for 1941-1942. The correspondence concerns mainly the acquisition of land, and the construction, occupancy, and management of the following projects: Christian-Trigg Farms in Kentucky; Penderlea Homesteads, Roanoke Farms, Pembroke Farms, and Scuppernong Farms in North Carolina; and Shenandoah Homesteads in Virginia. Included is a little correspondence on farm tenant projects in North Carolina and Tennessee. Each of the two
sub-series is arranged alphabetically by State, project, and according to the classification scheme of 1935.

Entry 80   Correspondence Relating to Resettlement Projects, 1942-1946
Boxes 1-5

This series appears to be a continuation of the correspondence described in entry 79. Arranged alphabetically by State, project, and according to the classification scheme of 1942.

Entry 81   Correspondence and Other Records Concerning the Relocation of Families, 1936-1939
Boxes 1-6

Correspondence relating to the movement of families from land utilization projects, forms containing statistics on the numbers of families moved,
and a few other records. Arranged mainly by project number.

Entry 82   Correspondence Concerning Operation of the Roanoke Farms Project, 1936-1940
Boxes 1-6

Correspondence of C.B. Faris, Assistant Regional Director in Charge of Resettlement, and others concerned with the operation of the project. It is classified under the following main headings: 000 General, 100 Administration, 200 Land Acquisition, 400 Finance, 500 Rehabilitation, 600 Legal, 700 Development and Construction, and 900 Property Operation and Disposition. Arranged according to the classification scheme of 1935, chronologically.

Entry 83   Correspondence and Other Records Concerning the Shenandoah Homesteads, 1934-1937
Boxes 1-5

In addition to the correspondence, there are reports, maps, and other records pertaining to the construction and administration of this project, established originally by the Division of Subsistence Homesteads. Under the Resettlement Administration, it was an agricultural community-type project for the resettlement of 250 destitute and low-income families from an area later included in Shenandoah National Park. Also included are letters received and copies of letters sent by L. F. Zerkel, the project Manager. Arranged according to the classification scheme of 1935.

Entry 84   Correspondence of Percy Bloxam, Chief of the Architectural and Engineering Section, 1936-1937
Boxes 1-3

Letters received from and copies of letters sent to regional, project, and other employees concerning the planning and construction of resettlement projects. Arranged alphabetically by state, and project number.

Entry 85   Project Plans File of C. B. Faris, Assistant Regional Director in Charge of Resettlement, 1935-1936
Boxes 1-2

Consists of plans for proposed resettlement projects. Typically, each plan contains a letter from the Regional Director to the Administrator of the Resettlement Administration, transmitting and recommending the plan; a detailed description of the plan, with suitable maps and other illustrative materials; a soil report; budget estimates; estimated production reports on crops and livestock; and other descriptive and informational materials. Arranged alphabetically by state, and name of project.

Entry 86   Rural Resettlement Project Plans. Proposals, and Related Records, 1935-1936
Boxes 1-4

Concerns mainly the preliminary phases of planning. The series includes correspondence, comprehensive reports, maps, and blueprints, options on land, and data concerning project costs and crop production. Arranged alphabetically by state and by the name or proposed project.

Entry 87   Overall Plans for Resettlement Projects in Tennessee, 1936
Box 1

A file identified as docket 5 (Cumberland Homesteads, SH-TN-5) contains forms summarizing the plans for each farm unit in the project; and files identified as dockets 6 and 7 contain unit plans for Tenant Security Project RR-TN-27 and some tract maps and blueprints of farm layouts and buildings. Arranged by docket number.

Entry 88   Correspondence and Preliminary Plans Pertaining to Projects in West Virginia, 1935-1936
Boxes 1-3

The correspondence relates largely to administrative matters; and the plan folders contain an outline of the final project, the final plan in detail, plans for buildings and for households and farm equipment, and a small quantity of related correspondence. Subjects include Morgantown Homesteads, Noola Rural Resettlement and Land Acquisition, Flat Top Community Farms, Little Kanawha, Upshur, Bluestone Dams, and Monroe Resettlement Farms. Arranged by project number, according to the classification scheme of 1935.

Entry 89   Land Acquisition Case Files, 1934-1941; 1943-1944
Boxes 1-12

Concerns land purchased in North Carolina for Magnolia Farms, Penderlea Homesteads, Roanoke Farms, and Wolf Pit Farms, and in Virginia for Shenandoah Homesteads. Each case file usually contains some or all of the following records: offer to sell lands to the United States, government option to purchase land, appraisal report, tract map, abstract of title, certificate of title, condemning hearing, warranty deed, preliminary opinion of the district attorney on title, final opinion of the Attorney General on title, and certificate of settlement. Also included in a case file are subsidiary forms and correspondence relating to the acquisition process. Arranged alphabetically by state, project number, and case number.

Entry 91   Administrative and Reference Files on Resettlement Projects, 1935-1938
Boxes 1-3

Files, probably accumulated for convenience, concerning certain projects in the Region. There is no uniformity in subject matter, although it relates chiefly to the construction, administration, and operation of projects. In addition to construction, administration, and operation of projects. In addition to correspondence, there are plans, specifications, and various kinds of reports, maps, blueprints, budgetary and fiscal records, project proposals, and agreements. Arranged alphabetically by state and by project number.

RECORDS OF THE LAND UTILIZATION DIVISION

The series described below in entry 92 remained with the Farm Security Administration at the time the Land Utilization Division was transferred to the Bureau of Agricultural Economics.

Entry 92   Correspndence of the Regional Director of the Land Policy Section, Division of Program Planning, Agricultural Adjustment Administration, 1934-1935
Boxes 1-10

This correspondence deals with functions taken over by the Land Utilization Division, but only a small part of it was created in that Division. Carl C. Taylor was Regional Director of the Land Policy Section at the time, and some of his correspondence concerns the sub-marginal land purchase program in North Carolina and Virginia. Arranged by subject.

Records of Region 5

RECORDS OF THE OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR

Entry 93   General Correspondence, 1934-1942
Boxes 1-29

Correspondence, memoranda, and reports reflecting the work of the regional office. The records are divided into two sub-series, one for 1935-
1940 and the other for 1940-1942. Some of the correspondence is classified under the following main headings: 161 Speeches, 163-01
Articles and Press Releases, and 505 Relocation. Included also is a report, classified under 500 Rehabilitation, on the early rural rehabilitation program in Georgia. Each of the two sub-series is arranged according to the classification scheme of 1935.

RECORDS OF THE AUDIT DIVISION

Audit Reports and Correspondence, 1935-1938
Boxes 1-4

Audit reports and correspondence for Cumberland Farms Cooperative

RECORDS OF THE RURAL REHABILITATION DIVISION

Entry 94   Farm Ownership Files, 1938-1946
Boxes 1-196

Each case files usually includes the following: loan application; appraisal reports and data concerning prospective borrower; option; loan agreement and variable payment agreement; loan analysis; mortgage and, occasionally, a warranty deed; certification by county committee; farm and home plans; title insurance policy; fire and property damage insurance policy; and certification of closing of tenant-purchase loan. Also included in a case file are subsidiary forms and correspondence relating to the processing of the loan. Arranged alphabetically by name of borrower.

RECORDS OF THE RESETTLEMENT DIVISION

Entry 95   Correspondence Relating to Proposed Projects, 1934-1941
Boxes 1-7

Chiefly letters received, suggesting the creation of resettlement project in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, but also including a little correspondence concerning projects already in operation. Arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent.

Entry 96   Land Acquisition Case Files and Related Project Correspondence, 1935-1942
Boxes 1-2

Divided into two types of records under each project: (1) land acquisition case files, and (2) correspondence relating to the operation of projects constructed on the land. Each case file usually contains some or all of the following records: offer to sell lands to the United States, Government option to purchase land. Appraisal report, tract map, abstract title, certificate of title, condemnation hearing, warranty deed, preliminary opinion of the district attorney on title, final opinion of the Attorney General on title, and certificate of settlement. Also included in a case file are subsidiary forms and correspondence relating to the acquisition process. The related correspondence pertains to the establishment and administration of these projects in the Region; it is classified by numbers and corresponding subjects. Most of the records were withdrawn by the Farmers Home Administration, with the exception of two boxes concerning Lee County, South Carolina.

Entry 97   Project Construction Files, 1938-1941
Boxes 1-19

Bids, contracts, plans, specifications, correspondence, and related records pertaining to construction work on the Coffee Farms project (01-17) in Alabama and the Ashwood Plantation project (46-9) in South Carolina. Arranged by project and by subject.

Records of County Offices

RURAL REHABILITATION LOAN CASE FILES

Entry 133   Rural Rehabilitation Loan Case Files, 1934-1944
193 Boxes

Case files of paid-in-full rural rehabilitation loans of _ typical counties on the _major type farming areas in _ states, as classified by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics. A typical case file contains a loan application, a loan agreement, a lease agreement, a mortgage, statements of accounts, receipts, a farm and home management plan, farm visit reports, and related correspondence. Arranged alphabetically by state, county, and name of borrower. For the method used in selecting these folders, see Carl J. Kulsrud, “Sampling Rural Rehabilitation Records for Transfer to the National Archives,” in The American Archivist, 10:328-334 (October,1947).

There are representative Rural Rehabilitation Loan Case Files for the following counties:

     Alabama
        Dallas
        Elmore
        Marshall
        Shelby

     Florida
        Lee
        Orange
        Volusia

     Georgia
        Hart
        Worth

     Kentucky
        Bell
        Nelson

     Mississippi
        Attala
        Carroll
        Jasper

     North Carolina
        Bertie
        Forsyth
        Pender
        Wake

     South Carolina
        Berkeley

     Tennessee
        Davidson
        Franklin
        Moore
        Perry
        Williamson

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