CPS Unit Number 097-14

CPS Unit Number 097-14

Camp: 97

Unit ID: 14

Operating agency: BSC

Opened: 5 1943

Closed: 10 1946



CPS Unit No. 97, subunit 14, located in Chenango County, New York, was operated by the Brethren Service Committee.

Chenango County, New York, United States
The people:

Levi Ziegler, area supervisor appointed by the Brethren Service Committee, established an office in Oneida, New York to work with men in the five New York counties with approved dairy farm units.  Trying to create a sense of common purpose, he made regular visits, organized meetings and picnics, and distributed literature to the men.  Ziegler was assisted by William Cline. Farm hand work required seven-day weeks.


A U. S. Employment farm placement representative from Jefferson County, New York communicated the level of his interest in using COs to serve on farms.  He told Colonel Kosch that he planned to “use every man, even epileptics, feeble-minded, parolees, probationers, and women”. . . and that it seems “like one heck of a waste of good material to leave able-bodied, efficient farmers in camps where what they are doing will bear no results for seventy-five years”. (Degraff to Kosch,  March 18, 1943, in Robinson p. 196)


The success of the program, combined with the critical shortage of farm hands, “prompted the regional director for the War Manpower Commission to ask for an additional fifty C.O.s in March 1945 to work on farms in Otsego and Tompkins Counties”.   By that time, however, the demand for CPS men to work in hospitals far exceeded the supply and Selective Service reluctantly denied the request.  (Robinson p 198)