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THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA
Published Weekly by the
University of North Caro
lina for the University Ex
MARCH 7, 1928
CHAPEL HILL, N. C.
THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS
VOL. XIV, No. 17
Editorial Uoavdc E. C. Branson. S. H. Hobbs, Jr.. P. W. Wager, L. R. Wilson, E. W. Knight. D. D. Carroll. H. W. Odum. Entered as second-class matter November 14. 1914. at the Postoffice at Chapel Hill. N. C., under the act of August 24. 1912.
DISTlIiimOH OF N. C. DOCTOISS
There has been some concern in this
and other states over the dearth of coun
try doctors. Many communities that have
long had a doctor in their midst have
found that no young doctor is willing
to take the place of an older physician
who has retired. This is true despite
the fact that the automobile and good
roads have made the lot of a country
doctor much easier than it used to be.
So keenly have some communities felt
this loss that they have offered a sub
sidy to any good doctor that would
locate in their midst. No aspect of
eountry life—isolation, toil, monotony—
is so depressing as the knowledge that
there can be no prompt medical at
tention in case of serious illness or
No doubt it is true that there are
fewer doctors living in the open country
and in small villages than there once
were. Many farms may be further in
miles from a doctor than they were,
but it is doubtful if they are further
away in time. Twenty miles can be
negotiated as quickly today as four
miles a generation ago. Doctors prefer
to congregate in the towns andj cities,
partly because of more desirable living
aonditions for themselves and their
families, partly because of specializa
tion within the medical profession, and
partly because of their legitimate de
sire to be near a hospital. Yet, with
doctors at each county seat, or major
town, few farmsteads are more than
an hour's distance from a doctor. Most
country regions are probably as well
served as they ever have been. The”
exceptions are those counties which do
not have doctors even at the county
seat, or have doctors who Owill not
engage in country practice.
distribation in North Carolina
The table which appears elsewhere in
this issue shows the distribution of
doctors in North Carolina, by counties.
It will be noticed that the urban coun
ties have far more physicians in pro
portion to population than the average
rural county. Buncombe county, for
mstance, has 114 doctors, or one for
every 679 persons. New Hanover,
Mecklenburg, Guilford, Wake, and
Burbam all have a relatively large
number of physicians.
The state average is one physician
for 1,401 people; and sixty-four coun
ties have less than this ratio. In
ifteen counties the ratio is less than
one physician for each 2,500 people.
Gates and Graham counties have only
two doctors each, and Tyrrell, with a
population of nearly 6,000, has not a
single doctor. At least such are the
facts if the list of doctors furnished by
the State Board of Health is correct.
It has been several months since this
list was revised and probably there are
some inaccuracies in it now.
On the whole, North Carolina doctors
seem to be well distributed. In only a
few counties does there appear to be a
serious shortage. Of course there
may be a dearth of young doctors in
some instances, tuid hence the prospect
af a shortage later on. The urban
sounties are credited with a dispro
portionate share of the total number of
doctors, but it must be remembered
that the patients of the urban doctors
are not limited to city people. Country
people are making more and more use
•f city hospitals and city physicians,
particularly the specialists.
The distribution of doctors in the
state may not be a perfectly balanced
•ne. Certain areas may lack adequate
■medical service; certainly there are
areas which are without adequate
hospital facilities. But with a network
of good roads covering the state, the
situation is not so serious as would be
the case otherwise. Dr. Rankin main
tains that a better distribution of hospi
tals will result in a better distribution
of doctors, for the hospital has become
an essential element of modern medical
science and doctors locate near hospi
tals. It is therefore encouraging to
note the appearance of good general
hospitals in many of the smaller towns
of the state.—Paul W. Wager.
ORANGE CITIZENS MEET
The adoption of the budget as a
feature of county administration
promises to prove a means of popular
control as well^as one of fiscal control. ,
In the past, the taxpayers have found!
it difficult to follow the financial trans- i
actions of the county and to ascertain |
whether expenditures were in exce^ss of j
income. The announcement of a bond i
issue to fund accumulated deficits has |
often been their first intimation of a
deficiency. Now for the first time it is
possible for the citizens of/a county to
follow expenditures month by month
and check against the budget. In, at
least two counties—Buncombe and
Orange—the citizens have organized
for just this purpose. An announce
ment of the Buncombe organization
appears elsewhere in this issue.
In Orange county a group of
interested citizens began meeting in
November to study and discuss county
affairs. In January the group adopted
the name Orange County Civic As
sociation and opened its membership
to all citizens. It meets once a month
at either Chapel Hill or Hillsboro for
about one hour. A few days before
each meeting the secretary goes to the
courthouse and gets the latest informa
tion relative to tax collections, in
debtedness, status of the budget, and
other matters of current interest.
Mimeographed sheets containing this
information are handed to each mem
ber as he comes in to the meeting.
This not only saves time but provides
basis for discussion at the meeting.
One or more of the county commis
sioners have been present at the last
two meetings to further enlighten the
members. At the next meeting it is
hoped to have every county official
The association exists for no other
purpose than to become acquainted
with and keep correctly informed about
county finances, and county affairs.
Its membership includes bankers,
manufacturers, farmers, university
professors and other representative
men of the county. They are not tax-
kickers, but men who want to see an
efficient administration of county
affairs and who are determined to
exercise their right and duty as citizens
and taxpayers to secure the same.
The county officials do not resent the
formation of the organization, but, to
the contrary, are glad to see the
citizens taking a positive interest in
county affairs. Dr. E. C. Branson of
the University is chairman ^,.of the
PINE NEEDLE BASKETS
Clay county, Alabama, noted during
the war for its graphite mines, is now
attracting attention because of its pine
straw baskets, made by the farm
women and girls of the county. They
began the manufacture of fancy
baskets in 1926, using the “needle" of
the pine tree. Just before Christmas
of that year they had a large number
on hand and requested Mrs. J. E. S.
Rudd, home demonstration agent, to
assist in finding a market. She shipped
several hundred baskets to Birming
ham, where she rented a sample
room in the leading hotel, sold them
out and returned with the money in
time to distribute it before Christmas.
This experience greatly pleased the
county people and at the same time
showed that they would have to
standardize and make better baskets to
establish the industry. This they have
done; and they have been able to sell
their baskets to leading florists, de
partment stores, and other dealers in
the cities of the North and East.
During the year one or two sales
ladies have been on the road all the
time selling pine needle baskets made
in Clay county. Sales the first ten
months netted the producers more than
$10,000 and Mrs. Rudd thinks this can
be doubled during 1928. To further the
industry, an association, backed by the
business men of Ashland, Alabama, has
been organized and they are working
to make Clay county famous for its
pine needle baskets. — Manufacturers
PAYING THE PIPER
If I know what is in my own heart,
I am more concerned with the spiritu
al progress of North Carolina'than I
am with any mere matter of mate
rial progress. 1 realize, however,
that we cannot develop our services
of government, involving as they do
the necessity for larger sums of
money to carry them on, unless we
husband our material resources.
If we are to have the money.with
which to pay for various things
which contribute to educational and
cultural advancement of our people,
our business enterprises must be
handled upon a businesslike basis,
that waste and extravagance may
be prevented. We cannot continue
to collect large sums in taxes from
the people and issue bonds in large
amounts for permanent improve
ments needed to make our people
happy and more contented, unless
we keep our credit structure and the
general business reputation of our
state and local governments above
suspicion of waste and mismanage
ment.—Governor Angus McLean.
tions a year or more ago, and now this
creamery can not pretend to supply
the demand for its butter. From
one of our exchanges we find that:
“The vision of a great dairy industry
in the cotton section of Eastern North
Carolina came to a few men snd they
organized tbe Benson Creamery. The
skeptics said it could not be made a
success. The record so far is disprov
ing the contention of the pessimistic,
according to information gathered by
the State Department of Agriculture.
“In 1926 the Benson creamery made
300 to 400 pounds of butter each week.
At the present time it is making 1,200
to 1,600 pounds per week. The butter
produced is of very high quality, grad
ing over 90 percent in August. The
demand for the butter has outrun the
“At the present time, the creamery
is planning to put on a truck to de
liver the butter to nearby towns and
also to colleit cream on tbe return trip
to the creamery. This will increase
the efficiency of the creamery and
reach more farmers.
“Bankers of the counties of John
ston, Sampson, and Harnett see the
value of farmers having an income be
sides that of cotton and tobacco, so
they have provided funds for the pur
chase of cattle."—Tarboro Daily
THE BENSON CREAMERY
No other creamery in the state has
attracted so much attention recently
as the one at Benson, a small town in
Johnston county, that started opera
The following letter was written to
the Progressive Farmer and reprinted
in its columns. It reveals the wisdom
of featuring our master farmers in the
press of the state:
“We should like to tell you the faith
and ambition your stories of your
‘Master Farmers' have given tbe
folks. My wife let one whole meal
burn up and forgot to churn for two
days her mind was so taken up with
what folks can do if the will power is
not lacking. We see by studying the
success of these men they aim at some
thing worth while and ‘keep on
“The best point we have gotten from
their success is: they are pien of ira
provement. They are content only
with improved homes, improved lands,
stock, home surroundings and home
furnishings. Another outstanding fea
ture we want to keep in mind is,
they educate their children. It does
not seem to be the quantity of land but
the quality that counts most. They
are men who were not satisfied with
their present conditions but have
planned for the future.
“We also appreciate the respect and
credit given the wives of these men
and it took both man and wife to make
home a success and a big family of
children is no drawback but a big
inducement to success.
“We appreciate tbe big effort our
favorite farm paper has undertaken
and our hats are off to these progressive
farmers and the fine influence they
have given others.—F. V. Harris,
Rutherford County, N. G."
The Citizens’ and Taxpayers''League
of Buncombe County has been or
ganized by a group of 36 business and
professional men with the avowed
intention of taking an active interest
in public affairs.
The purposes of .the League, as out
lined by its members, are:
1. To secure to the citizens of Bun
combe County and tbe City of Asheville ,
the most economical and efficient ad-!
ministration of their public affairs;
that can be obtained. |
2. To promote interest in public af
fairs among the citizens and to procure
the selection of efficient, progressive
and economical administrations in
county and city.
3. To procure and maintain honest,
efficient, progressive and economical
administrations in county and city.
4. To investigate from time to time
and report on the financial conditions
of both county and city.
6. To gather and disseminate infor
mation and detain regard to the admin
istration, financial status and govern
ment of city and county for the in
formation of all taxpayers. ^
6. To inform and advise all tax
payers and citizens of the condition of
all matters of public interest to them.
A FORWARD STEP
The agricultural authorities in North
Carolina have made for several years a
determined effort to reduce the cotton
acreage and substitute for it food and
feed crops. Dean Schaub has recently
analyzed the situation for 1927 as com
pared with 1926.
According to Dean Schaub there was
a decrease in cotton of 202,009 acres.
Of this acreage 110,000 acres were
planted to hay crops, 3,000 lo potatoes,
and 2,000 to sweet potatoes. How
ever, an increase of 600,000 acres de
voted to feed crops is required before
the livestock can be adequately fed
from feed produced within the state.
But a good start was made for one
Unfortunately the tobacco crop was
increased 68,900 acres and the peanut
crop 39,000. The acreage of these
crops was already too large.
The farmers can not go wrong in
increasing the acreage planted to food
and feed crops for some time to come.
Farms should be as nearly self-sustain
ing as feasible. Farmers living on
such farms are better off both in limes
of high and low prices than those who
have to buy the most of their supplies.
No farmer in the South can make much
of a living if his corn crib is in Illinois,
his smoke house in Indiana, and his
wheat bin in Kansas.—Southern Plant-
DISTRIBUTION OF DOCTORS IN NORTH CAROLINA
Number of Doctors and Inhabitants per Doctor in Each County
The following table shows tbe number of doctors in each county in 1927 and
the number of inhabitants per doctor. The counties are ranked according to
the latter factor. The table is based on information sjupplied by the State
Board of Health, and 1927 population estimates. ^
There are 2,067 doctors in the state, or one for .every 1,401 inhabitants.
Buncombe leads the counties both in the aggregate number of doctors and
in ratio of doctors to total population. The county has 114 do'etors, or one for
every 679 people.
Tyrrell has no doctors, or at least none appears on the mailing list of the
State Board of Health. Gates and Graham have only two doctors each, and
Dare only three.
Sixty-four counties have less than their proportionate share of the doctors
and thirty-six have more than their quota.
Paul W. Wager
Department of Rural Social-Economics, University of North Carolina
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