Records Management Coordinator Published in New York State Archives Magazine
JPS’ Records Management Coordinator Pam Brown recently published an article in the New York State Archives Magazine. The article, “Farming for the War,” highlights Jamestown High School students in 1917 and 1918 who received hands-on farm experience during World War in the New York State Farm Cadet Program initiated by the Board of Regents. The program helped to alleviate the shortage of farm labor caused by the mobilization during World War I.
The article, which utilized archives from the Jamestown Public School District, includes information from the 1917 Jamestown High School Annual (see page to right), copies of each student’s farm-garden permit, a daily report, a separate notebook containing brief notes and a record of student’s hours worked.
“This was a very interesting program,” said Mrs. Brown. “Twenty-two young women and 44 young men from 15 to 18 years old participated in the program. They were released from school to work 12 to 14 hour days on the farms but also had to keep up on their schoolwork. It is an important piece of local history that our Jamestown High School students played a huge part in.”
Some of the students’ own words were used in the article including 18-year-old Della Linaberry who worked at Benjamin Pringle’s farm. According to JPS records, her days were nine to 12 hours long. In a letter to then JHS Principal Milton Fletcher she wrote,
“This is the end of a perfect working day and I just thought that I would write and tell you that in my estimation, farm work is just about twice as hard as school work.“
This article first appeared in the Summer 2011 issue of “New York Archives” magazine, a benefit of membership in the Archives Partnership Trust www.nysarchivestrust.org It is reproduced here with permission from the Trust.