xt7tmp4vmm25 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7tmp4vmm25/data/mets.xml Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina United States Works Progress Administration, Division of Social Research Rural Section 1936 Preliminary report; Prepared by W. W. Troxell and others; Other contributors include: W. W. Troxell, Land Utilization Division Resettlement Administration; 79 pages: illustrations, maps, charts, 27 cm; Cover title has Research Bulletin (Not for Release); UK holds archival copy for ASERL Collaborative Federal Depository Program libraries; Call number Y 3.W 89/2:13/J1 books English Washington, D.C. This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed in accordance with U. S. copyright laws. South Carolina Works Progress Administration Publications Combined Farming-Industrial Employment in the Cotton Textile Subregion of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina text Combined Farming-Industrial Employment in the Cotton Textile Subregion of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina 1936 1936 2015 true xt7tmp4vmm25 section xt7tmp4vmm25 5}:;;, ` ‘ »   UNIVEFISTTM OF KENTUCKY l l
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$ED}aJ§\ W O R K S P R O G R E S S A D M I N I S T R A T I O N
Harry L. Hopkins, Administrator
Q Corrington Gill Howard B. Meyers, Director
j _ Assistant Administrator Social Research Division
A i
n lll}
R_§ S E A R C H B U L L E T I_N
(Not for Release) ‘
VT Preliminary Report
·~  O  
. February , 1956 J—l

. A
· **‘
Prepared by
W. W. Troxell,
L. S. Cottrell, Jr.
A. D. Edwards
of the
Social Research Division,
Rural Section
Works Progress Administration A .
I W and
R. H. Allen
of the
Land Utilization Division.
Resettlement Administration

· Page
Introduction .... . .... . . . . . . . . . . . ........ i
Summary. . . ....... , . . . . .... . ........... iv
I. The Cotton Textile Subregion ................. l
II. The Counties Covered in the Field Survey; Greenville County,
South Csrolins, and Carroll County, Georgia . . ..... 5
· III. 3‘o:·min$; Activities of Pnrt·—Time Farmers ......... , . B
Score of the Smxdy. . . . ................ 8
Types of Pert—Time Farms ................. ll
Location of Psrt—Time Farms ......... , .... . l4
Form Production . , . . . . . . . . .... , . . . . . . I4
Gardens ...... . . ............... l6
Corn .......... . ........... . . IQ
Dairy Products ................... l9
Poultry Products . . . . , , .... , ....... BO
Pork ........................ Bl
Pixel . . . , ......... , .......... Q2
I Changes in Size of Farming Operations, l929—lQB4. . , . . 22
Cash Receipts end Cash Evmenses .... . .... , . . . 22
Value and Tenure of Pert~Time Forms . . , ...... . . 23
Labor Requirements of Psrt—Time Forms and Their Relation
. to Working Hours in Industry . . , . ........ 25
IV. Employment and Earnings in Industry , . , . . ...... . . 28
The Inwistrisl Group ......... , . . .... . . . B8
Industry snd.Occupstion ..... ,·. . , . . , . . . . . 28
Eernings of Heads of Households . , ..... , . . . . . Bl
Total Femilv Gush Income ........ . ....... . 33
V. Conditions of Living and Organized Social Life. . . . . . . . 36
Housing .......... , . ............ . 37
Automobiles, Radios and Telephones. . , . . . . . .... 39
· Home Ownership. , . . . . . . . . ...... . ..... 4O
Education . . . , .......... . . . , ...... 4O
Social Participation. . , ........ . , . ..... 41
VI. Compnrisons in Economic Status between Psrt—Time Farmers and
Full—Time Farmers . . . . . , . . , , ......... » 44
VII. Case Studies of Psrt—Time Farmers . . . . . ...... . , . 47
Typical Case, Greenville County ....... , . . . . . 47
Typicnl Case, Carroll County. ...‘ . .·.· . . · · · · 49
Unusunllv Successful Pert—Time Farmer, Greenville
Cotuity ..... , . , ...... . ...... , . 50
Pictures of Psrt—Time Farm Homes ........ , .... 53

VIII. Appraisal of Combined Farming—Industrial Employment . . . . . Gl
Combined Farming-Textile Employment ........ . . . . 6l
Contribution of the Farm to the Family Living .... . . Gl
Intangible Benefits ............... . . . . 62
Disadvantages of Part-Time Farming .... . ....... 65
IX. Possibilities for Further Development of Combined Farming-·
Industrial Employment ...... . ........ . . . . . 64
· The Oiitlook for Industrial Employment .......... G4
Characteristics Neoessarv for Success in Part—Time Farming 65
Relief and Rehabilitation .... , ........... if
Possibilities for Improving Part-Time Farming ...... 67
Appendix A — Scnedules
Appendix B I Statistics of Manufactures — Greenville County, S. C.
end Carroll County, Ga.
Appendix C — Employment Trend

For a long time many people in various parts of the country
have made their living through.a combination of farming with employment
in industry. During the past five years the term part—time farming has
come into general use in describing this way of making a living or in
describing only the farming side of the combination. Other terms such
as subsistence homesteads, garden cities, and rural—industrial communities
have likewise been adopted. From many sources there have come at various
times proposals for publicly encouraging these combinations as a means of
improving the living conditions and increasing the security of many more
families. These proposals are varied in character, but in general may be
· classified in three major groups.
l. Provision of garden plots for industrial workers in order that pro-
duce from these plots may supplement their income from industrial
employment, and aid in tiding them over seasons of unemployment.
2. Establishment of new communities of families, each to be provided
with a small acreage on which to raise a considerable portion of its
food, with the expectation that, in time, industries would locate in
such communities and provide a certain amount of supplementary cash
income from n>n—farm employment.
3. Settlement of families on small farms near communities in which in-
dustrial establishments already exist, where they may produce a con—
siderable portion of their food and may also obtain some employment
in the industries.
In view of the scarcity of factual information available for
use in formulating public policy with respect to such proposals, the Re-
search Section, Division of Research, Statistics and Finance of the F.E.R.
A., in cooperation with the Land Policy Section, Division of Program Plan—
ning of the A.A.A. has undertaken a study of this ouestion,l/ Such public
programs as have actually been undertaken have been chiefly of the second
type, out they are too new to allow an adequate appraisal of incomes and
living in the resulting communities. In this investigation attention is
directed toward families that have already made combinations such as
might result from the first and third types. Following popular usage
· these people will be referred to as part-time farmers, meaning that they
spend part of their time operating a farm and part of their time at some
employment away from this farm. Their farms will be referred to as part-
time farms and their activities on them will be called part-time farming.
The principal objectives of this study are:
l. To describe existing types of combined farming-industrial employment.
· l/ Since the study was undertaken the former agency has become the Division
of Social Research, W.P,A. and the latter has become the Lond Use Plan—
ning Section, Land Utilization Division, Resettlement Administration.
The study has been continued by these agencies.

2. To appraise the benefits and disadvantages of these existing types.
Z. To determine the possibilities for further development of desirable
farming—industrial combinations; in particular, to appraise the extent
to which these combinations might be utilized in a rehabilitation
In order to reach these main objectives, answers were sought
to the following questions:
l. What land, buildings and equipment do existing part—time farming
units have?
· 2. What are the labor requirements and cash expenses of these farms?
3. What do these farms produce for home use and for sale?
4, What industrial employment is, or may become, available for com-
bination with farming?
5. What are the labor requirements and wage scales of these industries?
6. What living conditions are associated with these farming~industrial
combinations, and how do the part—time farmers compare in this respect
with other gromps at the same occupational levels?
7, What are the characteristics of persons and families adaptable to a
, combination of farming with industrial employment?
It is evident that answers to such questions must be given by
regions over which relatively homogeneous conditions prevail. Accord-
ingly it was decided to undertake this study first in one such region so
that the experience thus gained could be utilized in further studies in
other regions. The region selected was the Eastern Cotton Belt. Two
factors governed its choice: (l) it is an area in which it is generally
recognized that the need for a sound rural rehabilitation program is both
urgent and widespread, and (2) industrialization has been comparatively
recent and part—time farming has not vet developed as extensively as in
some of the older industrial regions. The study has been limited to the
three states, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, which comprise most
of the eastern end of the Cotton Belt.l/
In this investigation secondary sources of information were
first explored. The Bureau of the Census cooperated in making special
· tabulations of Census of Agriculture and Census of Manufactures data. A
field study was undertaken to provide the additional factual information
needed in the analysis. This field study included a schedule study of a
sample of part—time farm families and a sample of non-farmina industrial
Gmplofees. It also included an inspection of the areas in which enumera-
tion was done, an inspection of industrial establishments, and interviews
with enplovers, public officials and other informed persons.
Examination of industrial employment in this region indicates
the necessity for dividing it into subregions in each of which a different
type of industry predominates. For the purposes of this study, industrial
l/ In cases where important types of farming areas within these states
extend into adjacent states data are presented for the whole areas.

employment is taken to mean any gainful pursuit other than agriculture.
Industry, thus limited, has been divided into two groups, for convenience
called."productive industries“ and “service industries.“ Productive
industries include those classified in the 1930 Census of Population
·under forestry and fishing, extraction of minerals, and manufacturing and
mechanical. Service industries include transportation, communication,
trade, public service, professional service, and domestic and.pcrsonal
service. The l95O Census of Population was used as a basis for delimi-
tation of the subregions. The first step was to rank thc productive in-
·dustries of each county according to the number of persons occupied.
· The important indistries in each county were then marked on a map, and
the boundaries of the subregions were drawn by inspection. These bounda-
ries, shown in Fig. I, do not indicate any sharp break in conditions,
mit they roughly mark out those areas in which types of industry are
sufficiently different to warrant separate study.
This report deals with combined farming-industrial employment
in the cotton textile subregion only. Another report, entitled "Employ—
ment in the Cotton Textile Industry in Alabama, Georgia and South
_ Carolina,“ §/ discusses those features of the cotton goods industry which
are pertinent to this investigation, and should be considered as supple-
mentary to the present report.
Because the population of the cotton textile area is predomi-
nantly white, and the opportunity for employment of Negroes in industry
is limited, this first report deals only with whites. Later reports will
discuss part-time farming for both Negroes and whites in the other sub-
regions studied.
g/ W.P.A. Research Bulletin, J — 2.

l. Textile manufacturing is by far the most important industry of
the subregion surveyed and furnishes the principal type of non-
farm employment. However, the industrial employment of part—time
farmers is not limited to this industry.
2. The textile industry is well adapted to combinations with farming
because of the 40 hour week (although competition in the industry
may eventually force adoption of a longer working week), the loca-
tion of mills where land is available within easy commuting distance,
and because the work is not heavy.
U Z5. The small farming o erations carried on bi workers in industr did
- P J
not handicap them or reduce their opportunities for employment or
cash income below what they would have been if they had done no
4. Part—time farmers in this subregion, with few exceptions, work at
a regular job, and do not take time off to attend to farm work.
The daily and weekly working hours of industry are such as to allow
adequate time for farm work. Seasonal variation in industrial om-
ployment is thus not important. Members of the household other than
the head do the greater part of the farm work.
5. The farming studied was of two types. One was production primarily
for home use, and the other included one or more commercial enter-
prises in addition. The non—commercial type was numerically more
important although it was for the most part not included in the l9$O
Census of Agriculture.
6. There has been a substantial increase in part—time farming in this
subregion during the past five years.
7. More than half of the part-time farms studied in Greenville County
and more than four fifths of those in Carroll County, the two counties
surveyed, had only about one acre of crop land.
· 8. The usual T`P`,Ll"ITllIl{§ enterprises were a small garden, a cow, a small
poultry flock, and a pig. More than half of the farms studied had
all four of these enterprises.
9. Average capitalized rental value (5 percent basis) of non—commercial
part—time farms was $2,l4l for tenants and $5,599 for owners in
Greenville County. This includes only those part—time farms umich
were located outside of the company—owned mill villages.
` lO. Cash farm expenses, exclusive of rent and taxes, on non—commercial
part-time farms averaged about $lOO per year in Greenville County
and $65 in Carroll County. Sales of surplus products covered about
half of these expenses.
.. j_v ..

 ll. The estimated value of the farm products censuwed by e typical part-
time farm family of four in Carroll County was scso in l934; of a
typical family of six in Greenville County with a somewhat larger
farm, $267.
l2. Off-the—farm earnings of all part—time farm households in 1954
averaged $8lG for the heads and asso for other members in Greenville
County and $544 for the heads and $487 for other members in Carroll
· lE’>. For comparative purposes a study was made of   group of industrial
workers who did no farming. In Greenville County the non—farming
industrial households had a somewhat higher cash income than the
part—time farm households. In Carroll County the part-time farm
families had a higher cash income than the industrial families. The
differences are due principally to differences in type and amount
of employment available and wage scales, and are not affected by the
fact that a worker does part-time farming.
ld. Housing and the variety of available social organisations varied be-
tween mill villages and between villages and open country. Part-
time farmers in the open country were usually without running water
and occasionally without electric lights. As a group, part-time farm-
ers more frequently had automobiles and radios and participated more
actively in community organized social life than did non—farming in-
dustrial workers.
l5. Average incomes of the part—time farm families in l954 were substantial-
ly higher than estimated average net cash incomes of full—time farm
families in the same counties.
l6. The farm makes a substantial contribution to the family well being,
enabling the pnrt—tine farmer to maintain a higher level of living
than he otherwise would. This contribution is greater for a large
than for a small family.
· l'7. The opportunity for home ownership, with rare exceptions, exists only
outside the mill villages. Outside the villages slightly more than
half of the cases studied in the two counties combined owned their homes.
ld. Opinions expressed by both part—time farmers and industrial workers
were, with few exceptions, favorable to part-time farming.
l9. The more commonly cited disadvantages of part—time farming from the
standpoint of the individual, (i.c., the heavy labor required, the
expense of comxmting, and the luck of urban conveniences) were rela-
tively unimportant in this subregion. Under conditions that prevail
over much of the subregion the advantages seem clearly to outweigh the
disadvantages for those with a rural background. No direct evidence

 - Vi -
. was secured in this study as to the commonly cited disadvantages to so-
ciety in general (i.e. a depression of the general wage level and compe-
tition with commercial farmers).
20. Industrial employment in this subregion is not likely to increase materi-
ally in the near future. Cotton mill employment was about at its peak
, in`l9B4 and will probably decrease. Employment in other textile indus-
tries is increasing but is still relatively unimportant. Further in-
crease in total employment must await expansion of existing industries,
introduction of new ones, of solution of the agricultural problem.
· Bl. A farm of such size that it can be conveniently operated as an adjunct
to industrial employment is not sufficient by itself to support a family.
For this reason, a part—time farming program in this subregion for work-
ers who are expected to be self-supporting should be limited to those
who have jobs or who are likely to obtain employment in the keen compo-
tition for the relatively few jobs that will become available.
22. Even if provided with properly located small farms, most relief clients
in this subrepion would not be likely to secure enough employment in
private industry to become self-supporting in the near future as part-
time farmers,

 - l -
The cotton textile subregion of Alabama, Georgia and South
Carolina is located generally in the Piedmont area of these states l/
but does not coincide exactly with it (Fig. l). lt includes
roughly 85 percent of the textile industry of these states, and has
no other single industry approaching textiles in importance (Table l).
This subregion and the l0 counties surrounding Birmingham are the
two important industrial areas of the Southeast.
· The textile industry is spread unevenly through the sub-
region, and is located mostly in the smaller towns and on the outskirts
of large cities. Less than l0 percent of the cotton will workers live
in cities having a population in excess of 25,000 (Table l). This
decentralization of the industry is made possible by the fact that most
of the subregion is well supplied with railroads, roads and electric
power. There is a wide variation from county to county in amount of
industry, northwestern South Carolina, particularly Spartanburg, Green-
ville and Andersen Counties being the areas of greatest concentration. g/
The Piedmont area of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia,
and Alabama is, next to the Mississippi delta, the most intensive cotton
farming area in the country. When speaking of the agriculture of the
region, it is desirable to distinguish between the northern and the south-
ern parts. gf The lower or southern Piedmont developed a system of large
lf Atlanta, the largest urban center in the Southeast, is quite different
industrially from the rest of this subregion. Likewise the agriculture
of its nearby counties, because of the metropolitan influence, is quite
different from that of the rest of the Piedmont region. Hence the
findings of this report do not apply to the Atlanta area.
2/ Those features of the cotton goods industry which bear on the part—time
farming problem are discussed in "Employment in the Cotton—Textile
· lndustry in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina". W.P.A. Research
Bulletin, $-2.
gf The exact boundary between the two areas depends upon the relative
emphasis placed on the various criteria. Certain comparisons will be
made here on the basis of the type of farming areas designated by the
Bureau of the Census of the Department of Commerce in cooperation with
the Bureau of Agricultural Economics of the Department of Agriculture
using the l950 Census data.

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cotton plantations with slave labor. This has since been replaced
largely by an absentee landlord-tenant—share—cropper system with a high
PT¤pOrtion of Negro tenants. Cropping practices followed have been
extremely wasteful of soil resources, and much of the land has been
rendered unsuitable for cultivation. The agriculture has thus gone into
a state of decline.
The upper or northern portion of the Piedmont developed an
agriculture characterized by small "family sized" farms with white owner-
operators. This system has been conducive to more diversified farming,
and maintenance of soil resources in a much more productive state. As
· 3 I‘cSult, the agriculture is at the present   much more pI‘oSpc1‘OuS
than that of the lower Piedmont. 1/ It is in the Northern Piedmont that most
of the textile industry is located. Hence it is the agriculture of this
portion of the Piedmont to which attention will be directed.
The Northern Piedmont is about 500 miles long and 70 miles
wide (Pig. 2), The surface of this area is rolling to hilly. Steep land
borders the streams while further back the slopes become more gentle. Sandy
loam and clay loam soils of the Cecil series with red clay sub-soils
predominate. The sandy loam usually occupies smoother lands where erosion
has not removed the surface material. The clay loam occupies the more
sloping sites where erosion has occurred. Beth of these soils are fairly
productive where the slope is not too steep. The normal precipitation at
Greenville, South Carolina, is 47 inches and the average length of the
growing season is 215 days. 2/
In 1950 in the Northern Piedmont area 71 percent of the total
land area was in farms and of the land in farms 48 percent was crop land.
Seven eights of all farms were classified as cotton farms and two thirds
of the farm income was derived from the cotton crop. That small farm
units are characteristic of the area is indicated by the fact that in
1929 the gross value of all products, including those used at home, was
under $400 per farm on 18 percent of the cotton farms, under $600 on 57
percent, under $1,000 on 72 percent, and under $1,500 on 92 percent. §/
There were 2,752 part-time farms in the Northern Piedmont area in 1929
according to the Census classification. 4/ These farms were scattered
· throughout every county (Fig. 5) .
1/ Hartmaniid. A. and WootenT_P:—Pg Georgia Land Use Problems, Ga.
Experiment Station, Bulletin 191, 1955, pp. 48-49.
2/ Yearbook of Agriculture, United States Dept. of Agriculture, 1952,
·pp. 916-19.
5/ These data for the Northern Piedmont area were calculated from 1950 Census
of Agriculture reports. Pive counties surrounding Atlanta are not
4/ Part—time farms included all farms whose operators worked 150 days or
more in 1929 at jobs not connected with the farm, or reported an
occupation other than farmer, provided the value of products of the
farm did not exceed $750. This prasuppggeg the Census definition
of a farm as comprising at least three acres unless it produces
$250 worth of farm products or more.

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The population of the cotton textile subregion is predominantly
white. Of the 2,551,000 persons in this area 52.4 percent are Negroes.
The urban population averages 52 percent Negro, the rural nen—farm pop—
ulation about 20.5 percent, and the rural farm population about 40 percent.
The relatively small number of Negroes in the rural non—farm population
reflects the fact that the cotton mills, employing very few Negroes, are
located mostly in rural areas. In 1950, 27 percent of the farms in the
Northern Piedmont were operated by Negroes, as compared with 49 percent
in the Southern Piedmont.
Prior to 1950, there was a considerable migration from rural
areas to the larger cities and textile centers. Between l920 and 1950,
· the population of the big cities and textile centers increased considerably,
while with few exceptions the rural counties either lost population or
remained stationary.
lt was primarily the economically and biologically most pro-
ductive age group, 20-44 years, which was attracted to the industrial
centers. In general, a low percentage of the total population on farms
{i.e., a high degree of urbanization) is associated with a dispropor-
tionately high numbcr in the 20—44 year age group, and vice versa, as
shown in Figure 4.
As a result of this migration, a considerable part of the
population of the industrial centers of the region has a background of
farm experience. Along with this backaround, the tradition of large
families is significant.

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II- LIha.E2.ieiI;;s.£l;e2s
Instead of attempting to select for intensive study a
single county which would most nearly represent the significant
conditions in the suhregion, it was decided, in order to illustrate
the wide variations existing, to pick two counties presenting marked
contrasts in certain of these significant conditions. Greenville
COunty, South Carolina, and Carroll County, Georgia were selected fOr
· this purpose. The chief factors considered in their selection were
(l) the presence of considerable combined farming-industrial employ-
ment in each, (2) the presence in one county of a large number of
textile mills clustered around a city and in the other of a few mills
scattered in rural areas, (5) the presence in one county of several
fine goods mills paying higher than average wages and in the other
of only coarse goods mills paying lower than average wages, and (4)
the location of these two counties near the two ends of the long
narrow Piedmont area of thc three states.
The Census information on part-time farms was used to indicate
those counties in which considerable combined farming-industrial employ-
ment might be found for study. Greenville and Carroll Counties, with
9'7 and 82 paI‘t—time farms, respectively, were high in this respect i`OI‘
the parts of the subregion in which each is located.
Both of these counties are predominantly cotton farming areas,
29 percent of all farm land being in cotton in Carroll County and 26
percent in Greenville. In Greenville a lower proportion of all land is
in farms than in Carroll. lhis is partly explained by the fact that
the northwestern portion of