The Nebraska History Museum recently received a collection of materials that belonged to Frederick Sydow. Today, I thought I’d share with you two objects related to Sydow’s work with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).
These two souvenirs show that Sydow served in Company 760, in Beatrice, Nebraska.
Civilian Conservation Corps camps across the nation provided employment and vocational training for thousands of young men from 1933 to 1943. President Franklin D. Roosevelt called for the establishment of such an organization just two days after his inauguration on March 4, 1933. Roosevelt hoped to put up to 500,000 unemployed young men to work in forests, parks, and range lands. The first enrollee entered the program on April 7. By the end of 1933 the CCC was well established with 275,000 men in camps across the United States and in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
According to Nebraska and the CCC: Young Men at Their Best, by Suzanne “Sue” (Sarver) Williams, Company 760 was organized at Fort Crook, Nebraska on May 28, 1933. The Company was moved to Mystic, South Dakota on June 18th. There, they established a camp, and had orders to improve the forest stand, perform road construction, and fight forest fires. They built sixteen log bridges on one fifteen mile trail. On October 21, 1934, the Company received orders to move to Beatrice, Nebraska. They established their camp one mile northwest of town in Dempster Park. This was a Soil Conservation Service camp, and Soil Conservation Service staff supervised the CCC projects. In addition to fighting fires, the Company built dams and learned to plant trees to prevent soil erosion. Farmers in the area were also taught about erosion control.
The Official Nebraska CCC records are held at National Archives and Records Administration Records Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The Nebraska State Historical Society, however, has some CCC artifacts, records, and photographs, including this photo of a group of workers in Denton, Nebraska. Contact us for more information.
Laura Mooney, Museum Registrar