Looking back: Paul D. Camp hosts farmers

Published 10:52 am Friday, March 11, 2016

by Clyde Parker

MARCH 11, 1916

Not only is Paul D. Camp a successful businessman, having founded, with brothers James L. and Robert J., Camp Manufacturing Co., he is also a prominent Southampton County farmer. And, incidentally, he is Mayor of the Town of Franklin.

Recently, on Mr. Camp’s spacious front porch of his Clay Street home, one of the best and most interesting farmer meetings ever held in Southampton County took place. Mr. Camp’s home, “The Elms”, although in the town, heads up a vast and productive 300-acre farm which stretches well into the County, south of Franklin. Brother James L.’s property, of approximate equal acreage, borders the southwestern part of Franklin and is parallel to Paul D.’s farm.

The purpose of the meeting was to acquaint farmers with the most recent ideas, methods and practices pursuant to good and productive farming. County Farm Demonstration Agent J. T. Bryant led the program and introduced several farmers having expertise in various aspects of agriculture.

W. H. Vincent of Capron talked on alfalfa, its value as a forage crop, and its best method of cultivation.

E. W. Crichton, one of the most successful farmers of the Capron community, talked on the general subject of hog-raising, with special reference to the proper kind of food for hogs during certain seasons of the year, keeping them rid of vermin and the prevention of hog cholera.

V. R. Leigh of Drewryville gave his experience with the use of hog cholera serum which is recommended by the U. S. Government. At cost by the State, for the convenience of our County farmers, the serum is kept at the County Clerk’s office in Courtland. Leigh’s treatment with the serum has been quite effective at an average cost of 20 cents per hog when administered, in the Spring of the year, to 50 pound porkers.

There were a number of questions asked and helpful answers given during the get-together.

The genial host, Mr. Camp, has shown that not only is he an extremely successful businessman but is also an extremely successful farmer. He told the group about his success with various practices, applied on his farm, that have saved him considerable sums of money and time. He gave some examples – such as tarring rusting fences in order to extend the life of the fence.

He has devised a simple dipping vat for hogs to rid them of ticks and vermin.

Mr. Camp has devised extra throat-latches on his horse bridles which prevents the horse from rubbing his bridle.

Mr. Camp also advocates more tilling for farms which he and brother James use extensively on their adjoining farms. He advocates the raising of more sheep and cattle. And, he is promoting a more efficient pure seed law.

“The Elms” functions as a full-time farm operation. Mr. P. D. is very interested in all kinds of row-crop farming and livestock. He has milk cows, sheep, and draft horses right there at the Elms. He also has

work- mules, since most hauling is done by animals instead of machines. There is also a working dairy and large barn behind the main house.

The only mechanical unit is a tractor that is used to run the silage cutter that blows the chopped green corn into the silos to be later fed, of course to the stock.

At the conclusion of the various discussions, refreshments consisting of sandwiches, iced tea, homemade ice cream and cake were served by Mrs. Camp and her lovely daughters, Ruth and Texie.


In the PROHIBITION bill, now before the Virginia Legislature, are two exception provisions: one for sale of liquor under certain restrictions, by drug stores, and the other allowing liquor to be shipped into the State, under certain limitations, to specific destinations for special events.

Prohibition leaders want in the bill a provision that would allow any county or city to not have liquor shipped into their county or city at all, and that no drug store can sell any alcoholic beverage.

John Crafford Parker recently weighed in on the issue. “My experience and observation teaches me that intoxicating liquor is not necessary to the health or welfare of anyone, however agreeable it may be to the appetite.

Hence, I am in favor of absolute prohibition and do not believe that we can ever have that so long as liquor is allowed to be shipped into our midst or sold by drug stores, or anyone else, no matter how stringent the restrictions under which it is shipped or sold.”

Parker continued. “I am therefore in favor of including Southampton in the list of counties to be exempt from the shipment and drug store provisions above referred to, so that when the law goes into effect no liquor can legally be shipped into the county to anyone for any purpose, and none sold in the county by anyone. In other words, I want Southampton County to be DRY in fact as well as in name. We can’t have it that way so long as ‘blind tigers’ can have it shipped to them, or drug stores are allowed to sell it.”

“I have wired our Senator J. E. West asking him to have this county exempt and shall write to Senator J. S. Musgrave, making the same request. I, by this means, call upon and request every believer in real prohibition in this county to at once wire or write to Messrs. West and Musgrave, making the same request that I have made. Act immediately. Time is short. The bill will soon be passed beyond the point of amendment. Let us do all we can to have this county absolutely dry in fact as well as in name.”

CLYDE PARKER is a retired human resources manager for the former Franklin Equipment Co. and a member of the Southampton County Historical Society. His email address is magnolia101@charter.net