Liberty County Relief Programs (1933)

The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) and the Civil Works Administration (CWA) both commenced operations in 1933. FERA distributed clothing for children, men, and women, and vegetables, fresh fruits and cereals. It also provided certifications for the CWA. The CWA employed persons to work on county records, maintain county-owned and maintained property, roads, and bridges, and for pro­grams involving farm management. It also employed persons to dig drainage ditches, and cut firebreaks in timberland.

C.B. Jones, D.S. Owen, and Joseph B. Fraser Jr. were members of a county-governed board for FERA and CWA. Elizabeth Stevens Amason was the first administrator for the board, Lucille Brewton Wood was her assistant, Russell Branch was the auditor , and Louise B. Groover was the clerk ­typist.

One of the earliest activities of the CWA was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Young men were signed up to do forestry work and were placed in camps in various parts of the state with U.S. Army or National Guard officers as their commanders. They, of course, worked closely with the Geor­gia Department of Forestry.

Young men from other parts of Georgia lived in tents in a CCC camp at the National Guard Armory at Hinesville, and engaged in area forestry work. Some of the fire breaks they cut in timberland later became public roads.

Seventeen young men from Liberty County were in a CCC camp at Fort Benning, Georgia, and sent back to their families a poem which appeared in a newspaper in Columbus, Georgia. It was promptly reprinted in the Liberty County Herald:


Roosevelt’s my shepherd; I shall not want;

He maketh me lie down on straw mattresses; He leadeth me inside a mess hall;

He restoreth me to a job.

He leadeth me in the paths of reforestation For his country’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of The shadow of poison oak and ivy

I will fear no evil, for he art with me.

He prepareth a saw and an axe before me in the Presence of my commanding officer.

He annointest my mind with discipline.

My shoes runneth over from marching.

Surely beans and employment will follow me All the days of the Roosevelt administration

And I shall dwell in a tent forever.


Both the FERA and CWA were sponsored in Liberty County by the Georgia Emergency Relief Administration.