Established March 31, 1933 during President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s (FDR) first 100 days in order to first create jobs for the jobless youth and second to begin a program to conserve natural and historic resources.

I purpose to create a full-scale national program to be used in complex work, not interfering with normal employment and confining itself to forestry, the prevention of soil erosion, flood control, and similar projects. I call your attention to the fact that this type of work is of definite, practical value, not only through the preservation of great present financial loss but also as a means of creating future national wealth.

Message to Congress on Unemployment Relief. March 21,” The Presidential Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933 (1938)

Congress using a voice vote, voted to enact the Emergency Conservation Work on the same day of this speech and FDR then issued Executive Order 6101 to establish the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). After appointing Robert Fechner, a former labor union official as it’s first director this new program was to be a combine effort from the Department of Labor, Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture, Department of War, and the Veterans Administration. Those primarily responsibilities are outlined here:

  • The Department of Labor – was responsible for the selection of enrollees using the state and local relief agencies.
  • The Department of Interior – was responsible for designing projects for the CCC laborers to accomplish. Within this department the General Land Office, The Office of Indian Affairs, The Bureau of Reclamation, and The National Park Service were to find projects for the CCC units to accomplish.
  • The Department of Agriculture – was also responsible for designing projects through the Division of Grazing and soil conservation department.
  • The Department of War – was responsible for organizing, conditioning, transportation, and supervision of the enrollees from induction to final discharge. Thus, the enrollees were to be trained and supervised similar to soldiers in the Army, but were not in the official military. This training and discipline that the enrollees obtained while a part of the CCC, would later play a key role in World War II.

Enrollees would volunteer to work for the CCC and would be paid a $30 a month wage, of which they were require to send $25 home to the relief families. An enrollee was chosen from those on relief rolls that were between the ages of 18-25, later this was increase to age 35.

Projects conducted by the CCC in Oklahoma can be divided into six major categories, National Park camps, national forestry camps, state forest camps, state park camps, soil erosion camps and biological survey camps. Projects were coded to identify what type of project the camp companies were used for labor. For example, SCS-27 located at Wetumka Oct 1933 was used for Soil Conservation labor. Although most of the 215,352 enrollees from Oklahoma work in the state, some were assigned to units in other states, primarily Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. With a documented 85 camps through the state and most of those used for soil conservation, the most visible legacy of the CCC are the 10 state parks. The CCC began the work starting in 1934 with 5,000 men in 26 camps within the state to develop Boiling Springs, Roman Nose, and Quartz Mountain in the Western part of the state, while Osage Hills, Beavers Bend and Greenleaf were located in the eastern part of the state. Later with the help of the Works Progress Administration the CCC helped construct Lake Murray, Lincoln Park in Oklahoma City that included the Zoo Amphitheater, Clayton Lake, and many other municipal and state parks. Most of the work construction within these parks were forestry, permanent buildings for recreation and picnic tables, as well as walking trails.

Starting in 1935 the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was established and began to work in the same locations of the CCC, usually building permanent structures such as pavilions, bathhouses, cabins, and roads side by side with the CCC workers. Some of those sites that use both agencies to construct recreational facilities were The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, the CCC constructed every lake dam within the park while the WPA constructed the roads including the road up Mount Scott, Robber’s Cave State Park, Roman Nose State Park, and Quartz Mountain State Park. Many other parks were constructed by both agencies.

Since the Department of War was responsible for the administration of and training at each of these camps a Commanding Officer, a Second in Command and normally the Camp Doctor were all military. Most of these officers were reserve officers call to duty for these camps. Their responsibilities include discipline but was not as strict as the military’s discipline, usually those that were un-discipline were just discharged and sent home.

The CCC’s soil conservation work included assisting farmers with erosion plans and crop rotation training. The following map shows the locations and types of CCC camps that was published in 1936 by the Oklahoma State Planning Board.

The amount of work the Enrollees performed during their stay was about 8-12 hours daily to included a military style of duties and regiment. This include a Reveille call at 6 am, physical training, mess duties, and Retreat Call at 10 pm. Off duty or down time activities included games such as softball, basketball, baseball, board games, etc., Company 1817 located near Wewoka, Oklahoma claim to have the “best baseball playing field outside the Yankee Stadium”. Enrollees were also offered educational benefits to include GED training and certification, libraries, and vocational training.

Of the 85 camps there were 5 separate all African-American CCC camps and a few camps made up of mixed companies with the ratio of mixed being 195 whites to 5 African-Americans. In these camps separate facilities were always maintained and most of those in the mixed camps were cooks, or janitors. Although several race related incidents happened at some of the mixed camps, for the most part the need for work and family pay over shadowed the those current issues of race relations. Mostly the segregated camps were located near already established race accepted places such as Ft. Sill, Boley or Keystone area.

Whenever a camp was located near a town, local communities would benefit with economic and social benefits. Visitors were welcomed to tour the camps and local civic groups would usually invited camp officers to luncheons and meetings in an effort to keep the local citizens informed about the CCC’s work. Skilled workers near the camp were usually employed to help train and supervise the enrollees in the many tasks that had to be preformed.

CCC Camps and Units

PROJECT 

CO. # 

 

DATE 

RAILROAD 

POST OFFICE 

LOCATION 

Park Name

NP-1 

808 

 

5/16/1933 

Sulphur 

Sulphur 

Camp Branch 1 mi NW 

Chickasaw National Recreation Area

F-1 

810 

 

5/24/1933 

Heavener 

Stapp 

Camp Prater 2 mi E 

 

F-2 

812 

 

5/27/1933 

Cache 

Ft. Sill 

 

 

SP-11 

834 

 

11/28/1934 

Ardmore 

Ardmore 

Lake Murry 11 mi S 

Lake Murry State Park

SP-6 

842 

 

10/17/1933 

Davis 

Davis 

 

Chickasaw National Recreation Area

SP-13 

849 

 

11/3/1934 

Ardmore 

Ardmore 

Lake Murry 12 mi SE 

Lake Murry State Park

F-5 

859 

 

10/7/1934 

Cache 

Cache 

Panther Creek 9 mi SE 

Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge

BF-2 

859 

 

10/7/1934 

Cache 

Cache 

Panther Creek 9 mi SE 

Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge

SP-10 

863 

 

5/1/1934 

Perry 

Perry 

 

 

SCS-2 

867 

 

7/24/1934 

Stillwater 

Stillwater 

Camp Winter 1 mi W 

 

SCS-11 

867 

 

10/7/1934 

Guthrie 

Guthrie 

 

 

SP-15 

868 

 

6/27/1933 

Ponca 

Ponca 

Lake Ponca 3 mi NE 

Ponca Lake

F-4 

870 

 

11/20/1933 

Cache 

Cache 

Elm Island 12 mi SW 

Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge

BF-1 

870 

 

11/20/1933 

Cache 

Cache 

Elm Island 12 mi SW 

Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge

SP-8 

872 

 

11/17/1933 

Tecumseh 

Tecumseh 

 

 

SP-4 

873 

 

10/17/1933 

Oklahoma City 

Oklahoma City 

Lincoln Park 7 mi SW 

 

P-66 

875 

 

11/20/1933 

Clayton 

Nashoba 

 

 

P-51 

876 

 

6/2/1933 

Broken Bow 

Battiest 

 

Beavers Bend State Park

SCS-21 

884 

 

6/14/1933 

Rush Springs 

Rush Springs 

1 mi SW 

 

SP-5 

884 

 

1/7/1935 

Ada 

Ada 

 

 

SCS-24 

885 

 

6/14/1933 

Chandler 

Chandler 

Camp Gibbs 1 mi NE 

 

PE-56 

887 

 

6/18/1933 

Keystone 

Keystone 

We-Kan-Tak-It 6 mi SE 

 

SCS-22 

887 

 

9/18/1933 

Broken Bow 

Broken Bow 

 

 

SP-2 

895 

 

10/3/1933 

Oklahoma City 

Oklahoma City 

Lincoln Park 6 mi SW 

 

SP-24 

895 

 

11/6/1933 

Pawhuska 

Pawhuska 

Osage Park 14 mi SW 

Osage Hills State Park

P-52 

899 

 

6/11/1933 

Pine Valley 

Pine Valley 

 

 

SCS-1 

1801 

 

7/24/1934 

Stillwater 

Stillwater 

 

 

S-62 

1802 

 

6/12/1933 

McAlester 

McAlester 

 

 

P-64 

1802 

 

4/28/1934 

Cove, Arkansas 

Smithville, OK 

16 mi NE 

 

P-53 

1803 

 

6/12/1933 

Broken Bow 

Eagleton 

 

 

SP-1 

1806 

 

6/19/1933 

Davis 

Davis 

 

 

S-54 

1808 

 

6/20/1933 

Broken Bow 

Idabel 

Mt. Fork 33 mi N 

 

SCS-25 

1810 

 

9/9/1933 

Binger 

Binger 

Camp Haskell 1 mi E 

 

SP-9 

1813 

 

4/16/1934 

Ardmore 

Ardmore 

Lake Murry 11 mi SE 

Lake Murry State Park

SP-26 

1813 

 

2/20/1937 

Ardmore 

Ardmore 

Lake Murry 10 mi SE 

Lake Murry State Park

F-3 

1815 

 

6/19/1933 

Talihina 

Talihina 

 

 

F-4 

1815 

 

10/22/1934 

Heavner 

Pine Valley 

Pine Valley 3 mi SW 

 

SCS-23 

1817 

 

6/16/1933 

Womoka 

Womoka 

Camp Temple A. Carter 1 mi NW 

 

SCS-27 

1817 

-C 

10/21/1933 

Wetumka 

Wetumka 

Little Harlem 1 mi SW 

 

S-55 

1825 

 

7/12/1933 

Wilburton 

Wilburton 

 

 

SP-12 

1825 

-V 

10/30/1934 

Tulsa 

Tulsa 

Mohawk Park 7 mi NE 

 

SP-15 

1825 

-CV 

10/8/1937 

Ponca City 

Ponca City 

Ponca Lake 4 mi NW 

 

E-58 

1827 

 

6/14/1933 

Warden 

Warden 

 

 

SCS-3 

1853 

 

7/28/1933 

Stillwater 

Stillwater 

2 mi E 

 

SCS-8 

1853 

 

10/23/1935 

Geary 

Geary 

Camp Karn 1 mi S 

 

SCS-1 

1861 

-V 

7/24/1934 

Stillwater 

Stillwater 

2 mi NW 

 

SP-23 

2806 

 

8/20/1935 

Pryon 

Spavinaw 

Spavinaw Lake 25 mi NE 

 

MA-1 

2806 

 

10/8/1938 

Henryetta 

Henryetta 

Metropolitan Park 1 mi NE 

 

SCS-15 

2807 

 

8/19/1935 

Stigley 

Stigley 

Camp Nichols 1 mi N 

 

SCS-16 

2807 

 

4/5/1938 

Wagoner 

Wagoner 

Camp Searcy 2 mi NW 

 

SCS-26 

2808 

 

8/16/1935 

Checotah 

Checotah 

Rosendahl 1 mi W 

 

SP-14 

2809 

 

7/22/1935 

Okmulgee 

Okmulgee 

Lake Okmulgee 1 mi W 

 

SP-16 

2810 

 

8/19/1935 

Lonewolf 

Lugert 

Lake Altus 2 mi E 

 

SCS-18 

2811 

 

8/12/1935 

Garber 

Garber 

Camp Seagull 1 mi NW 

 

SCS-33 

2811 

 

8/21/1939 

Buffalo 

Buffalo 

1 mi W 

 

SCS-4 

2812 

 

8/16/1935 

Blackwell 

Blackwell 

Holopeter 1 mi SE 

 

SCS-6 

2813 

 

8/15/1935 

Sentinel 

Sentinel 

Winningham 1 mi SE 

 

SCS-17 

2814 

 

8/13/1935 

Purcell 

Purcell 

Will Rogers 1 mi E 

 

SP-20 

2815 

 

8/15/1935 

Broken Bow 

Broken Bow 

Beaver Bend 1 mi W 

 

SCS-9 

2816 

 

8/12/1935 

Duncan 

Duncan 

Camp Weston 1 mi SE 

 

PS-1 

2816 

 

11/14/1941 

Sentinel 

Sentinel 

Camp Winningham 1 mi W 

 

SCS-18 

2817 

 

8/17/1935 

Nowata 

Nowata 

Virdigris 1 mi S 

 

SP-21 

2819 

 

8/20/1935 

Watonga 

Watonga 

Roman Nose 1 mi SE 

 

SCS-13 

2821 

 

8/17/1935 

Idabel 

Idabel 

Fairgrounds 1 mi W 

 

SP-17 

2822 

 

8/3/1935 

Woodward 

Woodward 

Boiling Springs SP 6 mi NE 

 

SCS-14 

2823 

 

8/19/1935 

Morris 

Morris 

1 mi S 

 

P-65 

2824 

 

8/15/1935 

Wright City 

Wright City 

1 mi NE 

 

P-68 

2824 

 

10/16/1939 

Cove, AR 

Smithville, OK 

Octawa 24 mi NW 

 

SCS-19 

2825 

 

8/19/1935 

Pryor 

Pryor 

Camp Wilkerson 1 mi S 

 

SCS-5 

2826 

 

8/13/1935 

Clinton 

Clinton 

Camp Church 1 mi NE 

 

Army-1 

2827 

-C 

7/1/1935 

St. Sill 

Ft. Sill 

.5 mi E 

 

SCS-29 

2829 

-C 

9/25/1935 

Konawa 

Konawa 

Beezley 1 mi SE 

 

SCS-30 

2830 

-C 

9/26/1935 

Boley 

Boley 

Inspiration Hill 1 mi NW 

 

Army-3 

2830 

-C 

11/26/1941 

Ft. Sill 

Ft. Sill 

2 mi SW 

 

SCS-10 

3813 

-V 

5/15/1935 

Wynnewood 

Wynnewood 

Wiley Post 1 mi NE 

 

SP-19 

3814 

-V 

7/23/1935 

Wilburton 

Wilburton 

7 mi N 

 

SP-11 

3814 

-V 

7/30/1941 

Ardmore 

Ardmore 

10 mi SE 

 

SCS-20 

3815 

-V 

7/29/1935 

Yukon 

Yukon 

Camp Progress 1 mi SW 

 

SCS-7 

3816 

-V 

8/12/1935 

Hobart 

Hobart 

Kiowa Construction Camp 1 mi SE 

 

SCS-7 

3886 

 

7/1/1938 

Hobart 

Hobart 

Kiowa Construction Camp 1 mi SE 

 

SCS-32 

3886 

 

5/29/1939 

Gould 

Gould 

Camp Nowata 

 

Army-1 

4823 

-C 

10/21/1941 

Ft. Sill 

Ft. Sill 

2 mi SE 

 

Resources

  • The Tree Army: A Pictorial History of the Civilian Conservation Corps, 1933-1942 – Stan Cohen, 1993, ISBN:0933126115
  • https://gateway.okhistory.org/search/?q=civilian+conservation+corps&t=fulltext&sort=&fq=
  • Chronicles of Oklahoma, Volume 48, Number 2, Summer 1970 Page: 224-234: Life in Oklahoma‚Äôs Civilian Conservation Corps, by Reid A. Holland.
  • CCC Camps Oklahoma – https://ccclegacy.org/CCC_Camps_Oklahoma.html

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