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THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA
Published Weekly by the
University of North Caro
lina for the University Ex
OCTOBER 12, 1927
CHAPEL HILL, N. C.
1 HE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS
VOL. xm, No. 48
Editor*®* Uodrds E. C. Branson. S. H. Hobbs, Jr.. P. VV'. Wasrer, L. R. Wilson. E. W Knight, D, D. Carroll. II. W. Odum.
Entered as second-class matter November 14, 1914. at the Poatoffice at Chapel Hill, N. C., under the act of August 24. 1912
farm REAL ESTATE VALUES pares favorably with tbe Middle Allan-;
I tic states at ill, and the East North ,
Elsewhere in this issue appears a
table showing, in terms of index num
bers, tbe situation in farm real estate
values in the forty-eight states. Tak
ing the average f'lr the years 1912,
19L?, and 1914 as a base, that is as 100,
the index numbers for each state for
each year have been computed by the
U. S. Department of Agriculture. We
are presenting in the table only the
index numbers for 1910, when farm
real estate was highest, and the index
numbers for the current year.
In computing the index numbers the
Department of Agriculture has used
“all farm lands with improvements,”
for this represents most closely the
way farm land is usually bought and
sold. Its sources of information con
sist of the recorded sale prices of farms
actually sold, such as in conveyances of
title, or an estimated market price as
in the census. The state average values
are adopted after considering several
sets of figures~the averages of the
estimates returned by a list of corre
spondents reporting directly to Wash
ington, the averages of a second list
reporting to the agricultural statisti
cians of the states, and a weighted
state average based on a combination
of the other sources.
An effort is made to exclude from
consideration all lands affected, by use
or offer for town or suburban lots or
other non-agricultural purposes. Again,
the reports generally represent the
'better grades of improved farms located
in established farming sections.
It is not surprising that real estate
values generally should be far below
the 1920 figures, for those were inflated
values. It is a bit disturbing that the
decline which began sharply in 1921
has continued. In all the states
except four, farm real estate values
are lower than in 1926. The decline
the last year for the country as a whole
averaged five points in the index, or a
fall from 124 to 119. Farm real estate
values are now about 20 percent above
the 1912-14 or pre-war level, or about
at the level of 1917.
The Department of Agriculture, in
its report, suggests that with the
marked decline during the year in the
price of several major farm products—
the first since the low point of 1921—
a none too certain price outlook, and a
generally weak farm real estate mar
ket, declines in value might have been
expected. On the whole, there are plenty
of farms for sale, with buyers few and
cautious. In a number of areas there
are still many foreclosed and other
“distress” farms hanging over the
Situation in South
It will be noticed in the table that in
only one state—Florida—have farm
values risen to any extent since 1920,
and the explanation for the increase
there is simple. The real estate boonv
in Florida did not begin until after
1920, the index number for that state
rising from 156 in 192^ to 223 in 1926,
and then falling to 188 in 1927.
Land values throughout the South are
higher now than in any other entire
geographic division except the Pacific
slates, and were it not for Oalifori^ia
this group of states wpuld not have to
•be excepted. Georgia and Missouri are
the only Southern states in which land
values are below or near the pre-war
level. Land values in the South rose to
‘greater heights in 1920 than those in
any other section, hence the fall has
been greater. Iii no other state did the
price of farm land soar so high, at least
in terms of pre-war prices, as in
South Carolina. Consequently, there
we find tbe greatest fall—117 points.
The fall in Georgia is 114 points, bring
ing the present price to an even lower
level than in South Carolina. In all
the cotton-growing states, except
Georgia, South Carolina and Missouri,
we find farm real estate values from
26 to 78 percent above the pre-war
level. This cannot be^said of the corn
belt, of the wheat belt, or of the diver
sified areas in the Northeast. Last
year*s low-priced cotton produced a
sharp decline in the price of Southern
tarm land, but even so the index figure
ibr the South Atlantic group of states
is 137, the East South Central 134, and
the West South Central 139. This cora-
Oentral at 103. With a good price for
cotton this year the trend may be im
proved in the .South next year. The
rapid industrialization of tbe South has
of course given Southern lands a cer
tain speculative value.
In North Carolina
It will be noticed that land values in
North Carolina stand at 178, a figure
surpassed only by Florida. The expla
nation must lie partly in the fact that
cotton and tobacco have in the main both
brought'good prices ever since the war,
and partly in the general development
which has taken place in the state. The
construction of a network of good high
ways, the erection of hundreds of con
solidated rural schools, the presence of
a score of growing industrial towns,
and the favorable publicity which the
state has been receiving, have all helped
to keep' farm lands higher than per
haps their income-producing capacity
would justify. The market for farm
land is dull in North Carolina. Ap
parently it is even more dull in other
states.—Paul W. Wager.
At Eunice, Louisiana, there is a cham
ber of commerce which does farm
’cooperation in its own practical way
in an effort to build up dairying,
fruit growing, vegetable growing, and
hog production. Just now it is en
deavoring to formulate plans for the
marketing of dairy products in Eunice
and the encouragement of tbe use of
better cattle. An inspection of pure
bred Poland China hogs is to be fol
lowed by the securing of more
registered .-sires. In the fall it is
planned to ship hogs in carload lots,
and the organization of a poultry as
sociation promises like shipments of
poultry and eggs.
Since January 1, it is said, the
Eunice Chamber of Commerce has
bought and distributed free 16,000
fig cuttings of the Magnolia variety;
has purchased the seed for the plant
ing of fifty acres of beets and car
rots and distributed that seed to the
farmers with a return to the farmers
of $4,000; has given to each farmer
who would agree to purchase three
Poland-China gilts one boar of the same
breed; has donated soy beans to the
farmers; has sponsored a tri-parish
fair securmg $3,100 in contributions
for the exposition.
Things which have been done and
are being done by the Tuscaloosa
Chamber of Commerce, and by other
chambers of commerce, for the farm
ers are not to be minimized. All of
them realize that agriculture is a
basic industry in any cminty. The
point is, however, that the Eunice
Chamber of Commerce has adopted
a direct method and an unusual method
in endeavoring lo build its county.—
Vprv ureat emphasis has been
laid HI ihe importance of competent
leadership, but competent disciple-
ship is not less important in develop
ing communities and common
wealths. It is a sorry choice be
tween followers without leaders and
leaders without followers.
Nobody better than Napoleon
knew the importance of competent
discipleship. Said he. It is not a
handful of nobles or rich men that
make a nation, but the mass of the
people; Let the leader despise all
parties, let him see only the mass;
He who moves the masses changes
the face of the earth; What do I
care for the opinion of drawing
rooms and babblers? I recognize
only one opinion, that of the peas
North Carolina is not suffering
for lack of competent leaders.. Our
greatest danger lies in the lack of
competent followers. A civilizatioh
cannot be safely lifted unless the
levels of life for sweaty toilers can
also be lifted.
Once upon a time, jackscrews
were put under every building in
Chicago and the whole city lifted
six feet above the swamp land of its
early days. Tbe furnace man in
the basement was six .feet higher
up, but so also was tbe gentleman
in the drawing-room and his wife
and daughters in their boudoirs
10. SCHOOL COST AND SCHOOL SUPPORT
the lecture course being arranged for
tbe Richard J. Reynolds High School.
Tbe first lecture bf the Winston-
Salem course was delivered by Dr.
Edwin Mims, Professor of English
Literature in Vanderbilt University.
Other features of the course will be
lectures by some of the greatest
speakers in America, including perhaps
one of the leading scientists of tbe day,
a sculptor of international reputation,
a preacher who is considered one of the
outstanding pulpit orators of the na
tion, and others.
In the Pittsburgh schools the series
of lectures embraces topics bearing upon
these three main themes—the Good, the
Beautiful, the True. Youth’s relation
to Goodness, to Beauty, and to Truth
is presented in an inspiring way by
men and women who can speak elo
quently and authoritatively on these vital
themes. A similar plan is proposed for
the Winston-Salem lecture series.
The constantly increasing cost of pub
lic education, paralleling that of living
and of government in general, is of con
cern to legislate rs and citizens generally.
Recently the federal government has
been reducing the cost of maintaining
its various establishments and activities
and correspondingly reducing income
taxes and other forms of federal taxa
tion. As yet, however, the relief in tbe
total taxation exacted from the average
citizen is slight, as costs of state, county,
local, and municipal government have
remained the same or even increased,
thus offsetting federal reductions. The
cost of maintaining public education,
the sources from which funds are re-
ceiv.ed for school support, methods of
distributing state moneys among local
schools and districts so as more nearly
to equalize educational opportunities of
children and tax burdens of citizens, are
matters of paramount importance to
legislators and others responsible for
enacting or recommending laws govern
ing the support of public education.
It is recognized that thd costs of edu
cation have increased greatly since 1914,
that public-spirited citizens desire to
continue to support schools liberally,
and that they must be conducted eco
nomically. Judgment cannot be passed
on the necess4ty of school expenditures
and their increase year by year except
in the light of comparison with other
factors conditioning the cost, including,
of course, the different purchasing
power of the dollar in the respective
Information collected in the United
States Bureau of Education com
paring annual expenditures in the
years 1913, 19J8, 1920, 1922, and
1924 with the purchasing power of the
dollar in these years indicates that
school costs have not increased to the
degree many persons t'hought; nor to
the extent that figures showing actual
expenditures alone, unmodified by con
sideration of the decreased purchasing
power of the dollar and by the increase
in school attendance, would indicate.
FINE ARTS FOUNDATION
An innovation in public school |
activities in North Carolina has been |
announced for the Richard J. Reynolds ^
High School in Winston-Salem, in the
form of a series of special lectures to
the student body by outstanding
speakers of national, and seme of
international, reputation. This is ex
pected to be a permanent annual fea
ture in the life of the school.
This series of lectures, probably
comprising six each session, is made
possible by Mr. H. R. Dwire, Chair
man of the Board of City School Com
missioners. The idea, which is being
worked out under the direction of
Supt. Latham and Chairman Dwire,
is to bring to Winston-Salem every
year, for the specific purpose of ad
dressing the High School, recognized
leaders in various realms of activity
who will have the ability to deliver
inspirational messages that will be long
remembered by the students and that
will be calculated to aid in a very real
way in directing their energies and
ambitions along constructive lines.
A similar series bas proven a de
cidedly interesting and profitable fea
ture of the classroom werk in the
high schools of Pittsburgh, Pa,, perhaps
the only other city in the country that
follows such a plan as that outlined in
WHAT CAROLINA NEEDS
First, a new birth of intellectual
freedom,, a kingdom in which the free
thoughts of a free people may be
broadcast without fear or favor of the
established order. Truth will stand
upon its own.
Second, a determination on the part
of those who till the soil that the smoke
house will be filled and the time-mer
Third, an educated electorate which
will say thumbs down on the employ
ment of civil officers, paid by us all. to
collect the debts of individuals.
Pourtfa, a determination on the part
of a supposedly free people to see that
county government pays as.it goes.
Fifth, the wisdom of the ages more
generally available through whole
hearted support of tbe public libraries
of North Carolina.
Sixth, a realization upon the part of
the cotton mill industry that the man
who tends the loom has a boy whom he
wants to educate and a girl whom he
hopes to bring out in the world on a
better social parity than the family
ever knew. Consequently, a just, decent
and proper wage is due. Industry will
justify such a wage if vision will grasp
such an opportunity.
Seventh, a realization by the. State
Highway Commission that the roads of
North Carolina should be, first, to
develop tbe state and, second, to pro
vide a boulevard for the tourist.
Eighth, a realization by the people of
the state that the boys and girls born
in whatever section that may open to
them the light of day, deserve • equal
educational advantages with tbe son of
the richest born into the grace of lucre
i and the shining light of plutocracy.
' liinth, more safeguards around the
■ State Building and Loan Associations.
' The public must be able to maintain its
: confidence in these mutually beneficial
These, are some of the things which
Carolina may think upon with profit.
jY condensation of a recent editorial
in the Warren Record.
For instance, from 1913 to 1924 the
total expenditures for public schools in
the United States increased from 622
millions of dollars to 1,821 millions, or
an increase of 249 percent. But when
the reduced purchasing power of the
dollar 18 taken into account, the in
crease i^ purchasing power of the total
expenditures becomes only 102 percent.
When recognition is also given to the
fact that the average daily attendance
in elementary and secondary schools
increased by about 36 percent, the real
increase in school costs per pupil is
discovered to be about fifty percent.
Why Costs Increased
Important factors responsible for the
increase in total ■annual expenditure on
school support in the United States are
(1) the decrease in the purchasing
power of the dollar; (.2) the great in
crease in school enrollment and atten
dance and consequent increase in num
ber of teachers and equipment necessi
tated thereby; (3) the large proportion
ate increase in attendance in secondary
schools, the per capita cost of maintain
ing which is approximately double that
of maintaining elementary, schools; (4)
the provision of better facilities, partic
ularly those which satisfy the needs of
a broader curriculum involving special
subjects and teachers; and (6) the
need for a large school-building program
because of tbe practical stagnation of
building and improvement during the
war period. It should be remembered
that we expect more of our schools now
than in the past and that we expect
also better work, better-trained teach
ers, a far broader training, more con
sideration to hygienic and sanitary
conditions of buildings and grounds,
and the like, and that materialization
of all of these ideals means vastly in
creased expenditure of money.—Adapt
ed from a report of* U. S. Bureau of
FARM REAL ESTATE VALUES
The States RanKed According to 1927 Index Number
The following table reveals tbe price of farm real estate in each of the
several states, measured in terms of pre-war prices. To make this comparison
the average for 1912, 1913 and 1914 is taken as a base,or 100. The table gives the
index numbers for 1920, when farm land reached its highest price, and for 1927,
The 1927 index number, in itself, reveals how much higher or lower than the
pre-war price ia the existing price. A comparison of the two columns shows
what has happaned since 1920. For instance, Maine’s index number for 1920
was 142, and for 1927 it is 124. That means that farm land values in Maine
were 42'percent higher in 1920 than in the pre-war period, and now they are
only 24 percent higher than in the pre-war period.
In no states except Florida and Connecticut lias farm real estate advanced
since 1920. In the other states it has fallen ail the way from 6 points; in California,
toll? points, in South Carolina. Compared to pre-war prices farm real estate has
advanced in 39 states and fallen in price in 9 states. In only one state—Florida
-has it advanced more than in North Carolina.
This table is based on material found in the August issue of Crops and
Markets, published by tbe United States Department of Agriculture.
Paul \V. Wager
Department of Rural Social-Economics, University of North Carolina
Index Index ,
1920 1927 j
_2 North Carolina..
6 Minnesota .......
12 Rhode Island ...
16 New Jersey
15 Oklahoma .
16 Utah 167..
23 Arizona -
24 Iowa 213..
1 26 Nebraska 179..
i 26 Idaho 172..
'' 27 Wisconsin 161..
! 28 Kansas 161..
: 28 South Carolina 230..
i 30 New Hampshire... 129..
! 30 Pennsylvania 140..
i 32 Delaware 139..
32 Washington 140..
34 West Virginia 164..
36 New York 133..
36 New Mexico 144..
37 Oregon 130 .
38 Georgia 218..
39 North Dakota 146..
40 Ohio 169..
40 Illinois 160..
40 Missouri 167..
40 Nevada 136..
44 South Dakota 181..
46 Wyoming 176..
46 Indiana 161..
47 ColoradQ 141..
43 Montana 126..