CPS Unit Number 024-01

CPS Unit Number 024-01

Camp: 24

Unit ID: 1

Operating agency: MCC

Opened: 2 1942

Closed: 9 1946


CPS Camp No. 24 Subunit 1 at Hagerstown, Maryland, a Soil Conservation Service camp on a farm northeast of Hagerstown, Maryland, opened in February 1941 and closed in September 1946. Mennonite Central Committee purchased the farm in late 1941. The men specialized in poultry production.

Hagerstown, Maryland, United States
Location Description:

In late 1941, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) purchased the farm, located six miles northeast of Hagerstown and south of Leitersburg .

Camp staff:

Directors: Grant Stoltzfus, Jacob Mellinger, Clyde Stoner, Chester Long, Mark Kniss

Matron: Mrs. Jacob Mellinger, Mrs. Noah H. Miller

Office Assistant: Ruth Brunk Stoltzfus

The people:

Approximately thirty-five men made up this unit, and the majority of the men reported affiliation with various Mennonite denominational groups.  Typically, men in Mennonite camps and units when entering CPS had reported farming or other agricultural work as their occupation.  The men on average had completed 10.45 years of education when entering CPS.  (Sibley and Jacob pp. 171-72)

The work:

This unit specialized in poultry production, raising as many as 7000-8000 chicks each season.


The men built their own living quarters, replaced old farm buildings or built new ones.  In addition to working on the projects of the farm, they performed general conservation work in the county.

Camp life:

CPS men experienced low moments on many occasions, particularly when subjected to ridicule for their stance through name calling and hostile acts.  According to Goossen, at Hagerstown, the men demonstrated one way of coping by naming their dog “Conchie”. 


The men published a camp paper The Soil from November 1942 through December 1943. Beginning in January 1944 they published Green Pastures and it continued through December of that year. From March through May in 1946, the men published The Weekly Processor, which was distributed from CPS Camp No. 34 at Bowie, Maryland.


For more information on CPS No. 24 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, pp. 264-279. 


See also for CPS No. 24 Melvin Gingerich, Service for Peace: A History of Mennonite Civilian Public Service. Akron, PA: Mennonite Central Committee printed by Herald Press, Scottdale, PA 1949, pp. 177-181.


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.


Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Camp periodicals database.