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The University of North Carolina news letter. online resource (None) 1914-1944, March 26, 1924, Image 1

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The news in this publi- I cation is released for the press on receipt. THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA NEWS LETTER Published Weekly by the University of North Caro lina for the University Ex tension Division. MARCH 26,1924 CHAPEL HILL, N. C. THH UNIVEKSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS VOL. X, NO. 19 Editorial Soardt B. C. B.-aaBon. S. H. Sobbs, Jr., L. R, Wilson. B. W, Bjil*ht, D. D. Carroll, J. B, Eallitt. H. W. Oduim, Bntared a* ■•cond-class noattar Norembar 14. 1914. atthePostafflcaatChapalHIll, N. C., imder the actof Aoirast 24. ItU MOTOR CARS IN NORTH CAROLINA A MOTORIZED ST.4TE There is a motor car-in North Caro lina for every two families in the state. That does pretty well for a southern state with a big majority farm popula tion, nearly half of whom are tenants, and nearly a third of whose total popu lation is negro. At the rate we are buying motor cars‘today there will soon be a motor car for every family in the state. It may sound impossible, but who five years ago, even, would have predicted 279,155 motor cars in North Carolina on March 8, 1924? We have nearly trebled the number of our motor cars during the last five years. We need only to double*-the present number to have a motor car for every family in the state, with a few cars to spare. History of Growth There is nothing in* the economic history of North Carolina that paral lels the increase in the ownership of motor cars. The wildest flight of the imagination a decade ago could not have foreseen the present almost uni versal ownership of automobiles. In 1915, which was not so long ago, there was a grand total of 16,410 registered motor cars in North Carolina, or one car for every 140 inhabitants. It was freely predicted that at the rate we were buying cars then we would soon be a bankrupt people! In 1919 we had 109,000 motor cars, or one for.every 23 inhabitants, representing an invest ment of about 90 million dollars. In March 1922 we had 150,312 motor cars, or one for every 17.2 inhabitants, rep resenting an investment of about 120 million dollars. On April 13, 1923, we had 204,600 motor cars, or one for every 13 inhabitants in the state, rep resenting an investment, at $800 per car, of $163,600,000. On January _1, 1924, we had 248,414 motor cars, or one for every 10.8 inhabitants. From January 1 to March 8 the Secretary of State reports that 30,741 new licenses bad been issued so that on the latter date we had 279,165 motor cars, or one car for every 9.7 inhabitants. Twice as many motor cars have been registered since January 1 as were owned in North Carolina in 1916, and we are not broke yet. And here is something which is hard to believe, yet the registration office at Raleigh assures us it is correct—that from January 1 to March 8 of this year 80,741 new licenses have been issued, or an average of 460 licenses a day, counting Sundays. During the year 1923 automobiles increased by 60,634 yet during the first 68 days of 1924 there has been a gain of 30,741 auto mobiles. Perhaps this is the year in which we will go broke buying motor cars. • The motor cars on January first were distributed as follows: automobiles 226,288, trucks 21,324, and non-resident cars 802. On March 8 there were 246,- 813 automobiles and 32,342 trucks, or a total of 279,165 resident motor cars. In 1923 the number of motor cars registered in the state increased 36.8 percent and the percent gain was lar ger in only five states. The average gain for the United States was_ 23.9 percent. During the first 68 days of this year there has been a gain of 12 percent in the number of motor cars. Eighteen states had more motor cars on January first of this year than North Carolina, while 13 states had a larger population. We are still below the average for the United States in the number of people per motor car, but at the rate we are going we will soon have our share of automobiles, in spite of racial ratios, farm tenancy, and our excessive number of children. Leaders in' Ownership Automobiles are fairly well distrib uted over the entire state. Because of sparse population, poor roads, and lack of annual cash income, the extreme Tidewater and Mountain counties rank poorest in the ownership of motor cars. Yet even in the poorest of these coun ties automobiles are fairly common. However, the bulk of the cars in North Carolina are owned by a solid circular ^up cff 36 counties lying between Edgecombe on the east and Clevcbrd on the west. Within this group there are only three counties that rank be low the state average in the ownership of cars, while outside of this group there are only three counties that rank above the state average of one car for every 10.8 inhabitants. The western Coastal Plains and the central Pied mont counties own the^majority of the state’s motor care. Guilford Leads Guilford county retains her leader ship, both in the total number of motor cars, with 13,790, and in the rate of ownership, with one car for every 6.2 people. Guilford has a car for almost every family in the county. There are enough motor cars in Guilford to take the entire population for a ride, with a fair .degree of comfort. Davidson ranks second in inhabitants per ;.motor car, while Mecklenburg ranks second in the number of cars and third in inhabitants per car. Other ^high ranking counties are Rowan, Alamance, Forsyth, and Lincoln, all Piedmont counties with an industrial foundation. Urban Leadership Contrary to assertions which are fairly common, farmers do not lead in the ownership of motor cars. A.^study of the table which appears elsewhere in this issue of the News Letter reveals the facts about the distribution of cars. For instance, consider the prize agri cultural counties of North Carolina, Robeson, Johnston, and Pitt. These three counties have twice the popula tion of Guilford, yet Guilford has as many motor cars as the three com bined. The twenty-six counties which come at the end of the table are all, agricultural, yet Guilford alone has as many motor cars as these twenty-six counties combined. The fifty counties that rank last in the ownership of motor cars comprise one-half the area of North Carolina, yet there are five counties, all mairrly urban, in which there are more motor cars than in these fifty rural counties combined. These five counties own more than one-fifth of all the motor cars in the state and pay more than one-fifth-of the automobile license and gasoline taxes. Yet the state of North Carolina is erecting and maintaining a state-wide network of 'modern high ways, financed entirely by automobile license and gasoline taxes, in which the poor and rich counties are served alike, irrespective of the ownership .of automobiles or the volume of taxes paid. The influence of this liberal and praiseworthy program is already seen in the rapid increase in the ownership of motor cars in our remote counties. These sparsely populated counties have great natural resources which would have remained undeveloped for years without state aid in highway construction. It is -a long-time invest ment that will repay the state many times over in the years to come. Dur ing the last year these counties have bought many thousands of motor cars and shortly they will be paying their part of the state’s road bill, and mil lions of dollars of new wealth will be produced annually in regions formerly undeveloped through lack of transpor tation facilities. With the opening up of new territory by the Highway Commission the field of usefulness of the motor car is being extended and thousands of families are buying their first car. The effect is seen in the growth in automobile regis tration. During the 13 months from March 1922 to April 1923, motor car registration increased by 64,188. Dur ing the eleven months from April 18, 1923, to March 8, 1924, motor car reg istration increased by 74,655. The in crease during the last 68 days, during which time 30,741 new licenses have been issued, is without parallel in our state. If North Carolina is not in a healthy and prosperous condition then the purchase of motor cars is no longer a suitable yardstick for measuring eco nomic conditions. With nearly 300,000 motor ears run ning around over 6,000 miles of well- maintained state highways we will soon Know North Carolina, even if we do not see much of our neighbors.— S. H. H., Jr. BUILDING HIGHWAYS During the year 1923 the State Highway Commission completed 1,044 miles of good roads at a cost of $21,840,000, and the state led the Southin highway construction. Only two states in the Union spent more on highways in 1928 than North Ca rolina. The southern states ranking in order next to North Carolina are: JTexas with 1,000 miles at a cost of $20,000,000, West Virginia with 928 miles at a cost of $13,200,000, Ar kansas with 767 miles at a cost of $7,260,000, and Georgia with 600 miles at a cost of $4,000,000. Almost exactly one-third of the road mileage completed in 1923, or 336 miles, is of hard-surfaced types. We led the southern^^ states in the miles of hard-surfaced roads completed, with 200 miles more than Missouri, which ranks next to us. At our present rate we will soon surpass Maryland, and rank first in the South in hard-surfaced roads. At the present time five miles of good roads are being finished each day in North Carolina by the State Highway Commission. More than two and a half miles of hard-sur faced highways are being completed per day. The year 1924 will prob ably be the record year in highway construction in this state. Chair man Frank Page will soon be able to attain his ambition of a daylight motor trip from Murphy to Curri tuck courthouse, if the traffic cops don’t spoil it. COUNTY HOMES Conditions in the county homes in the state, according to a paper read to the North Carolina Club of the University by Miss Lucy F. Lay, are such as should have the immediate attention of every thinking citizen of the state. While in many cases conditions have been bettered since the various counties have cooperated with the State Board of Public Welfare, and while there are some very excellent county homes,, it was shown that the inmates are not' getting the attention aYid treatment they need due to poor equipment, poor management, and a general attitude of laissez faire. There are over fifteen hundred in mates in the ninety-two county homes. The homes are, of all sorts and condi tions and range from miserable wood buildings to modern brick homes. A' few have modern conveniences and proper facilities for the segregation of the races and sexes, as the homes in Chatham, Vance, and Guilford.- Out of the ninety-two homes, thirty-three have fewer than ten inmates. The average number of inmates is sixteen. In Massachusetts, 'the average is over twenty-five. The average per capita cost of maintaining an inmate in 1922 was $302, whereas-the average at a large institution like the State Insane Asylum at Raleigh is only $220. The plan which ^ has been sug gested as - the most practical and efficient remedy for this excessive cost is one by which two or more counties would combine their county home.s into district homes. The last legislature passed an act to enable any two or more counties to es tablish a district hospital home. So far no counties have done so. The counties seem to be afraid to cooperate in this. The same plan has been Jried in Virginia, and has been approved by such authorities as Prof. G. Croft Wil liams of South Carolina and Mr. Roy M. Brown of the Board of Public Wel fare of North Carolina. If eleven counties in the eastern sec tion of the state would combine their interests and form one district home, by selling their equipment and farms they could build with the proceeds a plant of the proper type, providing proper medical attention, segregation of the sexes and races, and comfort able arrangements for the inipates. Out of the money spent formerly for maintaining eleven homes, it has been estimated that the running expenses of the homes could be paid, and that *an efficient whole-time superintendent, a matron, two practical nurses, and the services of a gO(»d physician, could be secured. The average per capita coat would be less than it is under present conditions. Insane and Feeble-Minded Since over eighty-five percent of the in mates of the present homes are distinctly mentally abnormal, it' was urged that the state increase the cajiacity of the. Caswell Training School to 1600 in order to care for the five hundred feeble-minded inmates of the county homes, and that the capacity of the State Hospital for the Insane be increased to care for the insane inmates. If this were effected, then those inmates left would come under the district Home for the Aged and Infirm, which is the proper title for the homes. In stressing the fact that the feeble minded should be put into institutions, it it was brought out that there are over 130 feeble-minded women of childbear ing age in the homes, and some in stances were related of women with the mental ages of four and five years who had given birth to illegitimate chil dren while in the homes. The poor management of the homes was attributed largely to the fact that the salary paid is so very small and the equipment so poor that very few who are capable of running such an in stitution efficiently are attracted to the position. Generally the keeper has had to run a big county farm in connection with the home. In most cases the superintendents are willing and anx ious to do all they can for the inmates. Often the length of the term .of office is very short, due to the fact that the superintendent changes with the party administration. The commissioners find it hard to inspect the county hom^, and, since it is usually situated several miles from the county seat, most of the citizens of the community are like ly to forget its existence. Bad Sanitary Conditions The sanitary conditions at the homes are bad as a rule. A large number of them use open wells and springs, and in 1921 67 percent used the coromo* drinking cup. Yet over eighty of the inmates are sufferirf^ witn tuberculo sis, or with venereal diseases. More than fifty percent of the homes have bath tubs and showers, and most of the homes report that a bath once a week is the rule. But in one home, hens' nests were found in both the tubs. _ These unsanitary conditions are mainly due to the fact that the super intendent has no paid assistants. Gen erally the wife of the superintendent serves as matron without pay, cook ing the food for the inmates and at the same time taking care of several small children of her own. If the counties will adopt this district hospital home plan, it was asserted that we might then have suitable management by per sons who have had training in public welfare work. It is fairly easy to di agnose the case and suggest remedies; the hardest thing to do is to get the people interested in the conditions and to get the counties to cooperate. The women’s clubs of the state were suggested as the best organizat'ons through which interest could be aroused. The program of their social ser vice departments should include work with county homes. The belief was expressed that if the conditions are given publicity and the people aroused to the needs, will soon have a well organized system of district hospital ‘ homes, the insane will be removed from the homes to the State Hospital, and Caswell will be given a capacity great enough to enable us to remove every feeble-minded inmate from the county institutions. MOTOR CARS IN NORTH CAROLINA Inhabitants per Car January 1, 1924 Based (U on adjusted population by counties as reported by the Census Bureau, and (2) on the number of motor cars by counties January 1, 1924, as reported by the Secretary of State. Total number of motor cars on January 1, 1924, was 248,414, of which 802 were non-resident. Resident motor cars were distributed as follows: automo biles 226,288, trucks 21,324. Motor cars on January 20,1923, numbered 187,880, so the gain was 60,534 in less than twelve months. On March 8, 1924, the registered cars numbered 279,166, or a gain of 30,741 since January 1. Guilford county ranks first with 13,970 motor cars o'r one car for every 6.2 inhabitants. State average, one motor car for every 10.8 inhabitants. W. S. Tyson, Pitt County Department of Rural Social Economics, University of North Carolina Rank County Total Inhabs. ‘ Number Per Car 1 Guilford 13,790 6.2 2 Davidson 6,179 7.2 3 Mecklenburg 11,626 7.3 3 Rowan - 6,302 7.3 6 Alamance 4,329' 7.8 6 Forsyth 10,808 8.1 6 Lincoln 2,213 8.1 8 Wilson 4,827 8.2 9 Moore 2,742 8.3 10 Wake 9,445 8.4 11 Scotland 1,828 8.6 12 Gaston 6,622 8.8 12 Iredell 4,442 8.8 12 Randolph 3,660 8.8 15 Cleveland 4,041 8.9 16 Montgomery 1,617 9.0 16 Buncombe 7,697 9.0 18 Catawba 3,913 9.1 18 Cabarrus 3,977 9.1 20 Richmond 2,960 9.3 21 Durham 4,682- 9.6 22 Lee 1,459 9.6 23 Rockingham ' 4,811 9.7 23 Edgecomffe 4,137 9.7 25 Cumberland 3,762 9,8 25 Orange 1,924 9.8 27 Johnston 5,195 9.9 27 Nash 4,410 9.9 29 Davie 1,347 10.1 29 Pasquotank I»7,p0 10.1 31 Hoke 1,203 10.2 32 Anson,... ^ 2,809 10.4 32 Harnett 2,918 10.4 34 Stokes 1,972 10.6 36 Henderson 1,764 10.7 36 Surry 3,047 10.9 36 Pitt 4,458 10.9 38 Chowan 962 11.0 39 New Hanover 3,864 11.3 40 Wayne 4,067 11.4 40 Lenoir 2,806 11.4 42 Yadkin 1,443 11.6 42 Stanly 2,614 11.5 44 Rutherford 2,790 11.6 46 Bertie 2,036 11.9 46 Vance 1,988 12.0 47 Chatham 1.988 12.1 47 Halifax 3,784 12.1 49 Beaufort 2,584 12.2 Currituck 693 12.2 Rank County 51 1,571 12.4 1,396 12.4 12.4 17.6 Total Inhabs. Number Per Car Union 2,983 12,4 151 Person • ;61 Greene 61 Hertford 1,331 166 Caswell 1,363 12.6 166 Caldwell 1,620 12.6 167 Alexander 978 12.7 |58 Northampton ... 1,828 12.8 168 Robeson 4,474 12.8 160 Sampson 2^950 12.9 ;60 Camden 417 12.9 j62 Granville 2,069 13.1 j63 Perquimans 834 13.3 :64 Martin 1,604 13.6 j66 Craven 2,181 13.8 jee Duplin 2,246 14.2 167 Franklin 1,892 14.4 168 Warren 1,491 14.8 169 Gates 706 14.9 70 Washington 770 16.1 71 Burke 1,671 15.2 72 Haywood 1,379 73 Tyrrell 74 Onslow 76 Columbus 1,684 18.3 76 Bladen 1,106 18.4 76 Pender 802 18.4 78 Pofk 497 79 Pamlico 481 80 Transylvania 529 19.0 81 Jones 629 19.6 82 McDowell 866 20.7 83 Alleghany 362 21.0 84 Wilkes 1,469 22.9 85 Watauga 613 26.9 86 Brunswick 646 27.6 87 Jackson 481 28.1 88 Carteret 89 ilyde 90 Cherokee ”... 465 33.6 91 Clay 146 33.7 :92 Madison,...' , 661 35.7 ‘93 Macon 363 37.2 ;94 Ashe 577 37.6 96 Avery 272 38.9 96 Dare 106 49.1 97 Swain '. 273 52.1 ! 98 Graham 82 69.9 i 99 Yancey 241 67.1 1100 Mitchell 159 7l6 273 1 7.7 834 17.8 18.6 18.8 661 28.4 289 29.0

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