CPS Unit Number 116-01

CPS Unit Number 116-01

Camp: 116

Unit ID: 1

Title: University of Maryland

Operating agency: BSC

Opened: 9 1943

Closed: 10 1946


CPS Unit No. 116, an Agriculture Experiment Station unit at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland operated by the Brethren Service Committee, opened in September 1943 and closed in September 1946. Men worked in the Dairy Barn with the herd, in the Dairy Laboratory in chemical analysis of tests, in the Livestock Laboratory cleaning and assisting with tests, as well as in other departments.

College Park, Maryland, United States
Location Description:

The Agriculture Experiment Station at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, was eight miles from Washington, D.C. 

Camp staff:

Directors: Edgar Grater, Raymond Summers, Earl McNutt, Melvin Holt

The people:

Men in Brethren camps and units tended to report diverse religious affiliation when they entered CPS, although the Brethren projects usually included about half 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 brought an average of 12.22 years of education.  (Sibley and Jacob p. 171)


More men in both Mennonite and Brethren camps reported entering CPS from rural areas than did men from Friends camps, who more frequently entered from urban areas.  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 worked in many phases of agriculture. 

  • Those who worked in the Diary Barn fed and milked 100 cows, all on various experiments for food and production.
  • Men in the Milk Plant pasteurized and bottled milk, made ice cream and cheese.
  • In the Dairy Laboratory, men tested the effect of particular foods or food deficiencies on dairy animals, utilizing chemical analysis.
  • Men in the Livestock Laboratory cleaned laboratory equipment used in tests and assisted in rabies tests and experiments.
  • In Agronomy, one man participated in the grading of all corn for Maryland.  He also assisted with soil experiments analyzing soil productivity.
  • In Botany, men worked in the greenhouse.
  • Those who worked in Horticulture analyzed foods and worked in food dehydration.
  • In the Entomology department, men performed mechanical work with sprayers.
  • In Poultry, men worked with experimental pens of chickens.
  • In Agriculture, men performed mechanical work sorting grains and seeds. (from the University of Maryland Brethren Service Committee-CPS Unit Descriptions, page 1 reported in Eisan p. 261-262.)


During the life of the unit, the men completed 22,136 days of project work, according to statistics found in Selective Service Form DSS 52.  (in Eisan p. 236)

Camp life:

The men lived in a large rented house in College Park.  One man took charge of cooking while others shared household tasks. 


The men engaged in more work activities than was the case in other agricultural college projects, by virtue of living together.  However, the men actually participated in more individual than group activities for educational, recreational and religious purposes due to the wealth of resources available at the university and in Washington, D.C.


The unit published a camp paper College Park Newsletter beginning in October 1946 until the unit closed.


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. 


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.