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The Prince George's Community Council, a federation of community organizations, was founded in 1919 as an attempt to find solutions to local problems in education, social service, health and sanitation, home economics, agriculture, roads, law enforcement, and recreation. The collection also touches upon the issues of tobacco, play grounds, county home rule, the community chest, child hygiene, and tuberculosis. The council's records include its constitution, ledgers, correspondence, and minutes.
This collection is open for research.
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
0.75 Linear Feet
The Prince George's County Community Council records span the period 1919 to 1940. The collection includes correspondence, meeting agendas, minutes, and reports as well as membership lists and a financial ledger, all of which document the Council's efforts to solve local problems.
The Prince George's County Community Council (PGCCC) was organized at the end of World War I in May 1919 as a federation of community organizations and as an outgrowth of the work done by the men's and women's County Councils of Defense. The emphasis of the Council's activities was to make a coordinated effort at understanding and solving local problems in the areas of education, social service, health and sanitation, home economics, agriculture, roads, law enforcement, and recreation.
The Council met twice a year, usually in May or June and November or December, and the meetings typically lasted an entire day. By paying annual dues of $2.00, community organizations were entitled to send four voting delegates and as many other members as desired to the Council's meetings. A diverse group of associations belonged to the Council, including the Women's Club of Laurel, the Beltsville Grange, the College Park Home and School Association, the Vansville Farmer's Club, the Ardmore Citizens Association, and the Women's Christian Temperance Union of Hyattsville. In addition to reports from standing committees, meetings featured speakers, a luncheon, and some form of entertainment. Guest speakers included, among others, professors, representatives from state agencies, and Red Cross officials; the county's public health nurse, social service worker, and extension agent gave reports at meetings regularly. Speakers covered a wide variety of topics. Titles of presentations included: "Training Women for Rural Leadership," "The Future of the High Schools of the County," "What Is the Best Solution of the County Alms House Problem," and "Relation of Health of White People as Affected by Colored People."
Since the Council met only twice a year, smaller committees carried on most of its work. There were, for example, a Committee on County Taxation, the Alms-House Committee, and the Public Health Committee. By working with local officials and businessmen as well as state legislators, the PGCCC was able to make changes that members felt improved the quality of life of county citizens. In a letter dated February 12, 1929, C. P. Close, president of the Council, described in detail some of the Council's activities. According to Close, the council was "instrumental in having a system of police courts established to handle minor cases which previously had swamped the county court." Members also worked with the Capitol Park and Planning Commission to develop parks and roadways in the county, as had been done in the District of Columbia, and the Council worked diligently to raise funds for the salaries of public health nurses.
Members elected George Waters, Jr., as the organization's first president, and T. P. Littlepage, who served as president from 1920 until 1921, followed Waters. In 1922, members elected C. P. Close to the presidency, and he remained in this position until 1933, when W. B. Posey succeeded him. W. A. Duvall was the president of the organization in 1935, and H. J. Patterson presided from 1936 until 1939. P. E. Clark followed Patterson as president in 1940. The date of the Council's dissolution is not known; no mention of disbanding the Council is made in the last minutes included in the collection, dated June 6, 1940.
The collection is organized as three) series.
Mrs. Charles E. Janes donated the records to the University of Maryland Libraries in 1941.
Metal fasteners were removed and replaced with acid-free strips covered by plastic clips. Handwritten dates, which were probably added the first time the collection was processed, in the upper, right-hand corner of some of the meeting records were retained, unless obviously incorrect.
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives