All of us have questions we’d like to ask those relatives whose lifespans overlapped with ours.
Now I have one more.
My great-granddad, Fred Ufkes, and his brother were elected in 1941 as AAA committeemen in Hancock County, Illinois, from Bear Creek Township.
A little bit of online reading provided some historical background and a quick insight into a committeeman’s purpose.
- Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938–Wikipedia
- the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938--the Living New Deal
- PDF of the 1938 act from the National Agricultural Law Center
- “Marketing Quotas Under the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938″ by Neil Brooks & Donald A. Campbell and appearing in the George Washington Law Review in 1958 briefly discusses committeemen and their purpose.
While it would be interesting to learn more (all my ancestral families were living on functional farms during this time period), there’s only so much time in the day. Google searches for specific terms may locate additional items and newspaper searches may also provide additional references to the functioning of these committeemen.
Fred’s son was my grandfather and likely would have remembered something about his father during this time period. I actually stumbled across this reference while looking for a reference to my grandfather’s 1941 marriage. Family tradition indicated that Fred “worked for the ASCS office to supplement his farm income.” That’s impossible as the ASCS (Agricultural Stabilization and Conversation Service) was founded in 1961 (“Agricultural Stabilization and Conversation Service” on Wikipedia) and Fred Ufkes died in 1960.
The reference to ASCS was undoubtedly to some governmental agency or function. It may have been the AAA work referenced in this newspaper item–or it may have been something else.