The news in this publica
tion is released for the press on
THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA
Published weekly by the
University of North Carolina
for its Bureau of Extension.
D|:CEMBER 22, 1920
CHAPEL HHJL, N. C.
VOL vn, NO. 7
Editorial Board i B, O. Branson, L. B. Wilson, E. W. Knight, D. D. Carroll, J. B. Bullitt.
Entered as second-class matter November 14, 1914, at the Poscoffice at Chapel Hill, N. C., under the act of August 24, 1912.
ARM LAND TAX VALUES IN N. C.
A sign of general well-being is the
vitality displayed by our colleges and
universities. Never were they so pros
perous as at the present moment—at
least in the number of students. Mr.
Julius H. Barnes, Chairman of the In
stitute for Public Service, has recently
published a report which shows that
the attendance for 1919 was 248,000;
and, looking into the future, he believes
that this will reach 471,000 in 1930 and
831,000 in 1950.
^Ir. Barnes bases this estimate on a
thorough investigation of 210 colleges;
an investigation which embraces all
|;^es, irrespective of size, whether
they are supported publicly or privately,
or whether they are technical or cul
tural in scope.
fThis rapid growth means that the
universities must bear ever-increasing
financial burdens. The lack of money
has always limited the facilities which
any college could offer its pupils; and
now the student bodies of many are
doubling. In a few years, it may be
expected, the college man and the col
lege woman will consequently be ac
cepted as a matter of course, like the
high school graduate of today.—World’s
NORMAL SCHOOL LOSSES
The public schools of the United
States are short 110,000 teachers. So
reports the Federal Bureau of Educa
The colleges of liberal arts and tech
nical science are filled to overflowing
with students, butnot the teacher train-
schools of the country as a whole.
; ' iQn the contrary 78 state normal
schools report to the New York Insti
tute for Public Service that they have
1496 students fewer in 1920 than in
The loss in 50 of these schools during
this period is 4723 student^ On the
other hand 28 state normal schools have
more students than ever—3127 more,
and among these are the State College
for Women at Greensboro and the East
Carolina Training School at Farmville.
[Sixty-five of the 116 normal schools,
public and private, report a total loss
of 5709 students since 1914 in the coun
toy at large.
’j|Somehow the aspiration to teach is
disappearing. And great teachihg per-
^nalities like Mark Hopkins and Saw
ney Webb and Robert Bingham are
gone or going, never again to reappear,
fleaching as a career has faded out of
the vision of choice spirits—has been
starved out, we might have sai,d.
(And the noblest of all professions has
bfecome the sorriest of all trades in
these modern times.
g SHAMEFUL SALARIES
' In 1918 the average salary of all the
^achers, elementary and secondary, ru
ral and urban, in North Carolina, was
$281. In this respect North Carolina
f^lls below all the States and stands at
the foot of the column, being $7.00 be
low Mississippi and $31.00 below South
Carolina. The average salary of teach
ers for the United States was $635—
more than two and one-half times as
much as for North Carolina. In 27
States the average salary was more
than twice as much as in North Caro
lina. In 8 States it was more than three
times as much, and in one, California,
only $24 less than four times as much.
ISince in North Carolina the salaries
of high school teachers, of all teachers
m|the city schools, and of many rural
i«kchers in the better counties of the
State are far above the average, the
salaries of many other teachers and
particularly of the teachers in the one-
teacher .country schools, where for
many reasons the best teachers are
needed, are lower still—pitifully and
'Thousands of these teachers are paid
less than it costs to feed prisoners in
the county jails. And the prisoners
have free lodging, fuel, light, water,
hjedical attendance, and laundry, and
they have the ministry of the churches
^ithout cost to them. If these thous
ands of teachers were by collusion to
commit some crime over night and get
in jail for a year, the taxes of the coun
ties in which they teach would have to
be increased by many thousands of dol
lars to pay their board, to say nothing
of other expenses connected with their
imprisonment. The pay even of the
best half of the teachers is small com
pared with the pay of mail carriers,
stenographers, porters on Pullman cars
and messenger boys. Their pay is only
a small fraction of the income of law
yers, physicians, engineers, and others
doing work requiring something like
the ability and preparation that ought
to be required of those who are respon
sible for the education of North Caro
lina boys and girls for citizenship, for
making a living, and for contributing
to the commonwealth.
Millions for Uncle Sam
For longer terms, for more high
schools, for better pay of teachers, as
well as for better support of the schools
in which teachers are or should be pre
pared, North Carolina needs to raise
much more money .than it now does—
two, three, or four times as much. Can
the people afford it? Even though
money spent for education is sure to
prove a good investment, paying larger
dividends than may be expected from
money invested in any other way, have
the people the money to invest now?
It seems quite probable that in all the
250 years of the history of North Caro
lina, as colony and State, the people
have expended for education in schools
of all grades and kinds, public and pri
vate, several million dollars less than
the amount of taxes paid to the Treas
ury of the United States in a single
year.—P. P. Claxton, U. S. Commis
sioner of Education.
A WHALE OF A STATE
A week in Texas is time enough to
sense the vast distances and reaches
and immensities of that great state.
Texas audiences will stand up a full
six inches taller than similar groups
anywhere east of the Mississippi, and
weigh twenty pounds heavier per per
son, upon an average. The size of
Texas men and women makes an East
erner fairly gasp. They are as big in
brain as they are in body. You find
your lung capacity immensely increased,
and a sudden necessity for unreefing
your vest and letting out your surcin
gle in Texas. It is a state of boundless
horizons, mental and physical.
Quite as we CKpected, we found the
colleges and universities of Texas full
to overflowing, and turning students
away by thousands. But also quite as
we expected, we found the heads of
educational institutions, church and
state, talking to their constituencies
not about paltry thousands, but in terms
of millions of dollars. Texas is big
enough and rich enough to expect such
talk, and she is big enough and rich
enough to respond in sort.
The University of Texas
For instance, the working income of
'the University of Texas is already one
and a third million dollars a year.
Which is more than four times the work
ing income of the University of North
And the bottom has dropped out of
the cotton market, nevertheless Presi
dent Vinson is asking for three millions
a year for university maintenance.
And as for campus expansion neces
sary to take care of ten thousand: stu
dents within the next five years, he is
asking for a building and equipment
fund of seven and a half million dollars.
And nobody challenges his nerve. Such
things seem to be commonplace in The
Lone Star State.
The colleges and universities of Tex
as, church and state, are all bent upon
increased campus areas, increased build
ings, increased equipments, increased
salaries, and increased field activities.
They are asking their constituencies
not for thousands but for millions and
tens of millions of dollars.
And what the colleges of the state
need they are sure to get. Not an
editor nor a taxpayer in the state is
registering any protest, so far as we
could discover. They seem never to
have heard the word picayune in Tex-
I REMEMBER, I REMEMBER
I remember, I remember.
The house where I was bom;
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn.
You’d hardly know the old place now
For dad is up to date
And the farm is scientific
From the back lot to the gate.
The house and barn are lighted
With bright acetylene.
The engine in the laundry
Is run with gasoline.
We have silos, we have autos.
We have dynamos and things;
A telephone and gossip.
And a phonograph that sings.
The hired man has left us.
We miss his homely face;
A lot of college graduates
Are working in his place.
There’s an engineer and fireman,
A chauffeur and a vet,
’Lectrician and mechanic—
Oh, the farm’s run right, you bet.
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn
Now brightens up a bathroom
That cost a car of corn.
The milkmaid is pneumatic
And she’s sanitary, too;
But dad gets fifteen cents a quart
For milk that once brought two.
The average tax-value of farm land
in North Carolina in 1919 was $9.06 an
acre; jn 1920 the revaluation average
was $38.94 an acre, or more than four
It is a tremendous increase, but the
average tax-value of our farm land is
still far below the average current mar
ket price in North Carolina—$36 below,
and when we say this we have in mind
the per acre value of farm land in North
Carolina and in the other states of the
Union as exhibited in last week’s issue
of the News Letter.
And it is fairly easy to see why'the
revaluation farm-land averages in North
Carolina are a long step upward. For
instance, in 1919 the market price of
our farm land was $47 an acre. At
that time Buncombe and New Hanover,
which led the state, listed their farm
lands at $21 and $22 an acre, in the or
der named; and yet these two counties
were listing their farm lands at less
than half the state average of market
prices. Indeed the average tax-value
of Carolina farm lands was less than
one-fifth of the state average of mar
ket values in 1919. An even dozen of
our counties listed their farm lands at
less than one-eight of the state average
of farm-land values; 26 more at less than
one-sixth; 23 counties more at less than
one-fifth, and so on and on. The chances
are that no other form of property in
North Carolina was being listed in 1919
at a smaller ratio of its true value.
The revaluation figures of 1920 lifted
the tax-value of farm land from an aver
age of $9 an acre to an average of $39
an acre. Which is to say, the present
tax-value is $8 less than the 1919 mar
ket value and $36 less than the market
value of this year, upon an average.
Not Inflated Values
Clearly, farm land has not been listed
under the new law on the basis of in
flated values. The State Tax Commis
sion has had a weather-eye for squalls
and has lowered sails accordingly. The
plain fact is that town properties of all
sorts, corporation properties, and coun
try properties, are all taxed this year
at barely more than 60 percent of in
flated war-time valuations. Mill spin-
dleage, for instance, has been listed
for taxes at almost exactly half of
what it was selling for in the early
spring in the syndicating market.
The purpose of the law was to list
town and country, private and corpo
rate properties, at one hundred percent
of normal values—not one hundred per
cent of inflated values, and to place
properties of all sorts on a fair average
level of valuation. The result is a mar
vel of achievement, and in our opinion
it is not likely to be repudiated by the
people of North Carolina. Doubtless
there are minor changes that ought to
be made as a matter of fairplay, but
the work as a whole deserves to stand
unshaken. The state has passed a great
milestone and cannot afford to turn
The values of farm land in North
Carolina in 1920 range from $7.95 an
acre in Dare to $113.17 in Wilson county.
COUNTRY HOME CONVENIENCES
LETTER SERIES No. 39
THE TASK OF THE DIVISION
In reflecting on the results of the
year’s work, a brief summary of which
we gave last week, we naturally turn
back to the motive behind the legisla
tive act under which we have been work
ing. The act, originally passed in 1917,
originated, we believe, in the mind of
Governor Bickett, whose purpose it was
to provide competent engineering ser
vices for the large contingent of our
people who, on the one hand, could not
well afford to pay for such professional
advice and assistance, and in whom, on
the other hand, the engineering profes
sion unfortunately has not shown any
real live interest. This latter aspect of
the matter will be appreciated when it
is recalled that for two years the Com
mission was unable to find an engineer
with an instinct for social service who
at the same time could afford to accept
the salary the Commission was able to
offer out of the appropriation at its dis
In offering to cooperate with the
Highway Commission in carrying out
the purpose of this act, the University
has been impelled by just this idea of
social service, believing that it would
be in a better position to fit the rising
generation ‘ ‘for an Honorable Discharge
of the Social Duties of Life” as men
tioned in the Act of Incorporation of the
University, if it should itself rise to the
call which had apparently gone out un
heard. It is in this same spirit that the
members of the staff have thrown them
selves outside of their regular Univer
sity duties without any extra compensa
Just how well we have succeeded is
for others to say. We thoroughly be
lieve the idea is a big one and we look
forward to the coming year in the con
fident hope that we shall be able to
reach out to an ever widening circle of,
country people to whom we may bring
the comforts and conveniences which
engineering science has placed at their
In the period of economic readjusment
through which we are now passing those
factors which lie closest to the funda
mental basis of our economic and so
cial life are the ones which merit our
closest attention. The brains and brawn
of the engineering profession have in the
past been devoted almost wholly to solv
ing the complex problems of city life.
Today the problems of country life are
eating at the heart of our economic
structure. The task is to make life in
the country more wholesome and happy
by removing the last vestige) of un
necessary drudgery. To accomplish the
task is a problem of education as well
as of engineering, and the achievement
will go far tovJard solving the problem
of increased world production.—P. H. D.
Only 42 counties are above the state
average of $38.94. In 13 of these coun
ties the average is beyond $60 an acre.
They are all choice tobacco or cotton
counties, and most of them produce
both these valuable crops; or they are
what we call our big-city counties,
where farm-land values are affected by
convenient market facilities.
Fifty-seven counties are below the
state average and 14 of them are more
than 60 percent below the average of
The table elsewhere in this issue gives
the per-acre tax-values for both 1919
and 1920, in order to show the ratio of
valuation increase in every county of
the state. These increases range from
26 percent in New Hanover to 800 per
cent in Wilson. The average increase
for the state at large was 3lS percent.
FARM-LAND TAX-VALUES IN CAROLINA
Per Acre, by Counties, in 1920 and 1919
Based on Report of the State Tax Commission on Revaluation, Aug. 10,1920.
Rural Social Science Department, University of North Carolina
Average market value in 1920, $75 per acre, as reported by the U. S. De -
partment of Agriculture; average tax value in 1920, $38.94; in 1919 it was $9.06;
increase 329 percent.
New Hanover .
fColumbus valuation for 1920 lacking.