CPS Unit Number 112-01

CPS Unit Number 112-01

Camp: 112

Unit ID: 1

Title: East Lansing Experiment Station

Operating agency: BSC

Opened: 7 1943

Closed: 4 1946


CPS Unit No. 112, an Agriculture Experiment Station unit located at Michigan State College in East Lansing, Michigan operated by the Brethren Service Committee, opened in July 1943 and closed in April 1946. The men, assigned primarily in the dairy and soils science departments, worked in college barns with the herd, in the soil testing laboratory, or in extension work across the state.

East Lansing, Michigan, United States
Camp staff:

Directors: Victor Stine, Donald Brumbaugh

The people:

Men in Brethren camps and units tended to report diverse religious affiliation when they entered CPS, although the Brethren projects usually included around half of the men who reported Brethren affiliation. 


Men in Brethren projects reported considerably more education and professional experience than those who enlisted in the Army and Navy, and entered CPS with an average of 12.22 years of education.  (Sibley and Jacob p. 171- 172)


More men in both Mennonite and Brethren camps reported from rural areas when entering CPS than did men from Friends camps.  Twenty-nine percent of men in Brethren camps reported their occupation as farming or other agricultural work upon entering CPS.  (Sibley and Jacob p. 172)

The work:

The men with the dairy department worked daily in the college barns milking and tending the dairy herd. Others worked in the college creamery making butter, ice cream and cheese, as well as pasteurizing and bottling milk.  They delivered these products.  Men also worked in the dairy manufacturing laboratory.


Men who worked in the soils department operated experiments in the soils testing laboratory.  That included work in an experimental greenhouse or on the muck soils experimental farm where they tended small plots and checked results.  Men in this department also performed extension field work located across the state. 


During the life of the unit, the men completed 11,516 person days of project work, according to statistics found in Selective Service Form DSS 52.  (in Eisan, p. 236)

Camp life:

The men organized few unit meetings due to the fact that they lived in a variety of locations.


Single men lived in rooms in various sections of town where students lived.  They ate in the College Union cafeteria.


As some of the men were married, they arranged their own accommodations, and in lieu of room and board, received a cash allowance.


For the most part, the men followed their educational, recreational and religious interests outside the unit in already established organizations.  They attended church in town and participated in programs there.  They used the recreational and educational facilities available to them in the university and surrounding community.


For more information on Brethren agricultural units see Leslie Eisan, Pathways of Peace: A History of the Civilian Public Service Program Administered by the Brethren Service Committee.  Elgin, IL:  Brethren Publishing House, 1948, Chapter 7, pp. 239-272. 


For more information on women COs see Rachel Waltner Goossen, Women Against the Good War: Conscientious Objection and Gender on the American Home Front, 1941-47. Chapel Hill, NC:  The University of North Carolina Press, 1997.


See also Mulford Q. Sibley and Philip E. Jacob, Conscription of Conscience:  The American State and the Conscientious Objector, 1940-47.  Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1952.


Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Camp periodicals database.