Illinois Genealogy Trails

Civilian Conservation Corps
Source: The Official Annual Civilian Conservation Corps, Jefferson Barracks CCC District Sixth Corp Area

Transcribed by Betty Moake

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), 620th Company F-2 of Alto Pass, Illinois was comprised entirely of African Americans.

Jefferson Barracks CCC District comprised about two-thirds of the state of Illinois, extending throughout the southern and central portions from Cairo to a northern boundry formed by a line east and west of Peoria.

Members of the company were:

page 24 (photo):
Members: Luther Welch, James Jackson, Joseph Carson, Carl Allen, Charlie Huff, George Browning, Fred Thomas, James Brown, James Harris, Joe Scott, James C. Bell, Arthur Gillespie, James Johnson, Louis Meeks, Charles Cook, Herschel Smith, Theodore Dillard, Albert Miles, Lee Andrew Mitchell, David Brown, Oran King, Morris Butler, Roseo Daughtery, Walter Williams, William Jordan, Eddie Hart, Virgil Kelsaw, Earl Ward, George Moss, Archie Summers, Tillman Dowd, Finas Williams, Charles Jackson, George Housley, Nathanial Richman, Charles Butler, Calvin Brown, Haywood Young, Allen Chappel, Louis Thomas, Clarence Malone, Charles Lanier, Walter Malone, J.D. Wade, George Williams, Otis Greer

Page 25 (photo):
Members: John Gibbs, Alonzo Brown, Alfonzo Bigham, Quitman Meadows, Albert Wintere, Albert Johnson, Clarence Jones, Odell McKinnley, Daniel Pace, C.W. Shackleford, Ollie Bobo, Matthew Early, L.C. owens, Paul Turner, James Alsup, Ferlon Threlkeld, Henry Gilbert, Eugene Smith, Walter Farmer, Robert Hunter, George Bomar, Camullis Love, Samuel McNeal, Jasper Penn, Sherley Howard, Franklin Carter, Tommy Hendricks, Lloyd Edwards, Forest Conner, William Harper, Nathaniel Thompson, Warren Johnson, Leslie Hunt, John Crisp, James Pegues, Emanuel thomas, Thomas Osher, James Wilson, Jesse Hurd, Edward Mason, Rupert Clark, Edward Malone, Jack Hamler, Oris Clay, George Davis, Johnnie Bolden, William Washington, Herman Woods, Walter Wells, William Brown, Malgine Wright, Lionel McReynolds, George Bethel, James W. Brown, Ferdinand West

First Lt. Raymond l. Wheeler, Air Res., Commanding Officer
First Lt., Howard C. Crawford, Inf. Res., Junior Officer
First Lt. Henry N. Cress, Med., Res., Camp Surgeon
Claybourne H. Norris, CEA

Technical Personnel:
Clarence Redwine, Project Supt.

Since the camp is supervised by two different branches of the Government, the history of Company 620, CCC Camp, Pamona, F-2 can be viewed from two separate angles, namely the U.S.Forest Service and the U.S. Army.

The Army:
The transformation of a badly eroded hill-top into a comfortable dwelling place and attractive camp-site, together with the development of a suitable educational and training program, has been the chief function of the army personnel. On May 8, 1934, 185 junior enrollers, recuited at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, arrived at Pamona. The company was confronted with a mess hall without tables or dishes, canvas covered army cots, small wood-burning stoves, in drafty weather-beaten barracks and a parade ground without walks or grass, which became in rainy weather a mud field. There was no canteen, library, or recreactional hall, and to add to the discomfort, the generator and water pump gave poor service. All in all, camp Pamona was a camp in name only. In contrast to the previous home of the company at Fort Sheridan, seemed much worse than it actually was. In the course of three years Camp Pamona has been commanded by five different officers, namely, Lt. Mutinski, for six months, Capt. Jacobsen, six months, Capt. Pendell, one year, Lt. Lipsey, two weeks and the present Commander, Lt. Wheeler, one year. Each of them originated their own plan for reconstruction but all had the same definite objectives in view. These goals were to improve the standards of the men, provide suitable educational facilities and training programs, and to reconstruct and beautify the camp.

By the end of June, 1936 Commanders Mutinski, Jacobsen, Pendell and Lipsey with thier staff of officers: Lt. Grunder, Butner, Smith, Slonnegar, Priniski, Greise, Waddell ans Scott, with advisors, Potter, Randall, Dixon and Norris, had brought Pomona's industrial revolution to the half-way mark.

From July, 1936 to June, 1937, has been Pomona's biggest year in the number of improvements and developments made. With Lt. Wheeler in command and Junior Officers, Tulppo, Crawford, Cress,and advisor Norris composing his staff, some of the most notable accomplishments of the history of "620" have been developed. Although the accomplished feat of ascending from the bottom of the list to the opposite extremity is not an unusual achievment (considering the performance of other camps), Camp Pomona can proudly acclaim a status equal to the standards of other companies. A beautiful mess hall in pale blue wall paper, and paneled with plywood--spacious recreational hall housing two pool tables, an electric phonograph, a ping-pong table, and wall booths for soft drinks--a library and reading room which developed from a small cubby hole nine by seven feet, housing 443 books, to the largest CCC Library in the Sixth Corps Area, one consisting of 5,327 books, and a reading room which houses fifty enrollees--a completely remodeled company office---are just a few of the developments and improvements made during the present regime.

U.S. Forest Service, 1934-1937
While tremendous headway was being made in the Army an outstanding record had already been achieved and maintained by the U.S. Forest Service Under the supervision of Supt. Bernard Burke, Taylor and the present Supt. Redwine, the history of the Forest Service representing Camp Pomona is one of steady, methodical, beneficial work done by the men in developing, maintaining and conserving the Shawnee National Forest. The record to date shows that seventeen miles of roads and truck trails have been constructed, two lookout towers 110 feet high have been completed, 516 acres of trees have been planted, 69,211 square yards of banks have been sloped, 77,011 square yards of erosion tree planting, 10,685 pounds of tree seeds have been collected, and twenty-eight miles of telephone lines have been completed.



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