Ralph Waldo Green Papers 1903-1946

Size
1.3 linear feet
Location

For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff.

Call number
MC 00126

The Ralph Waldo Green papers include materials documenting Green's education at Cornell University, his career as an editor in the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service, his experience as an agricultural-cooperative organizer, his tenure at North Carolina State College, and his avocation of ornithology and conservation. The papers include professional and personal writings by both him and his wife, Charlotte Hilton Green. The collection also contains correspondence, clippings, memorabilia, photographs and a scrapbook.

Ralph Waldo Green (1885-1946) taught economics at North Carolina State College in Raleigh, North Carolina, from 1925 until 1946. Green also worked as an agricultural editor for the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service. Green received a B.S. from Cornell University in 1914 and an M.S. in Sociology from North Carolina State College in 1925. For a brief time, he was connected with Tri-State Tobacco Cooperative as editor and organizer and during World War I, he served in the Quartermaster Corps of the United States Army.

Biographical/historical note

Ralph Waldo Green was born June 23, 1885, and died June 15, 1946. Green earned his Master of Science in Sociology degree from North Carolina State College in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1925 and taught economics there in the Basic Division from 1925 until his death in 1946. He went to the North Carolina State College Agricultural Extension Service in 1920 as an editor and worked several years as an organizer for the Tri-State Tobacco Cooperative Association.

Green's commitment to agricultural cooperatives stemmed from observation of labor inequities involving native populations and concurrent mismanagement of natural resources in Hawaii and Cuba. He lived and worked in both locations prior to moving to Ithaca, New York, in 1909. He earned his Bachelor of Science from Cornell University in 1914, and was a member of both Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, and Theta Delta Chi fraternities.

Green did publicity work for the Liberty Loan Committee during the early years of World War I, and was an assistant editor for the New York State College of Agriculture at Cornell, training in agricultural journalism under Professor Bristow Adams. As an editor at Cornell, Green first coined the phrase "Agrigraphs" for pithy (one or two sentence) news pieces concerning agriculture. After graduation from Cornell, Green worked as an editor for the Bureau of Markets in Washington, D.C., where he wrote about the need for war gardens and stressed production marketing to "feed a hungry world." He resigned in 1918 to enlist in the Quartermaster Corps and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. World War I ended before Green saw active service.

In 1920, Green and his wife, the former Charlotte Hilton, moved to Raleigh, and Green traveled the state by train while working as an editor for the North Carolina State College Agricultural Extension Service. Impatient with the lack of funding, Green felt the Extension Service "did much with little." One of his colleagues at this time was Mrs. Jane McKimmon, who invited Green's sister, Ruby Green Smith, to speak in Greensboro about their joint profession of home demonstration agents. Green also edited The Extension Farm News and the first issues of 4-H Tar Heel Club News, which started in April 1920.

Green's travels about North Carolina acquainted him with the dismal living conditions of many farmers and he observed the cycle of overproduction especially in peanuts, cotton and tobacco crops. The ethic of "plant, plant, plant," led to lower crop prices and poor economic recompense. Green was involved with the Association of College Agricultural Editors, serving as Treasurer. Green left the Extension Service to become editor of publications for the Tri-State Tobacco Cooperative, which hoped to galvanize farmers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia into working together for economic benefit. At its peak, the Cooperative reached a membership of 90,000 small farmers in the three states. At this time Green wrote the prose-poem "I am Co-operative Marketing," which ran in newspapers around the world. Although the cooperative marketing effort was backed by church leaders, the influence of the "tobacco tycoons" against the concept prevailed.

In 1925, upon the receipt of his master's degree, Green was offered the position of Associate Professor of Economics and Rural Sociology at North Carolina State College. Although impatient with "educational palaver," Green taught in the first summer session ever offered at NC State and remained there until his death in 1946. He was invited to teach two economics classes at Meredith College in Raleigh in 1945. He also served as the coach of the men's Racquet Squad.

Green met his future wife, Charlotte Hilton, in 1913 in Ithaca, New York, where she taught in one-room schoolhouses around the state. Ralph Waldo Green and his wife, Charlotte Hilton Green, were active birders and conservationists, hosting many ornithological sightings on their property, Greenacres, located just outside what were at that time the city limits of Raleigh. This property was later subdivided into 15 lots and forms a present neighborhood bounded by St. Mary's Street and White Oak Road in Raleigh. Ornithologist Dr. Arthur Allen recorded many of his first southern birdsong recordings at Greenacres. Charlotte Hilton Green wrote a nature column for the Raleigh News and Observer entitled "Out-of Doors in Carolina." A compilation ensued, which led to a book entitled Birds of the South published in 1933. The Greens helped found the North Carolina Bird Club in 1937, and Ralph Waldo Green was also a member of the Raleigh men's Horticultural Club.

Scope/content

The Ralph Waldo Green Papers include Green's professional and personal writings, correspondence, clippings, memorabilia, photographs, and a scrapbook. Writings by Charlotte Hilton Green are also included. The material relates to his academic career at North Carolina State College, his role as an agricultural cooperative organizer, his work as an editor for the Agricultural Extension Service and his avocation for ornithology and conservation.

The Writings and Publications Series includes Green's professional publications and article notes. Included are administrative and financial material from his sojourn with the Tri-state Tobacco Cooperative, his handwritten notes and note cards for speeches, and some short stories and poetry. Also included are professional publications by Charlotte Hilton Green.

The Correspondence Series, 1904-1946, contains university and professional correspondence, including ideas for logo design for the Tri-state Tobacco Cooperative, and organizational matters for the Association of College Agricultural Editors. Also included in this series are personal correspondence, postcards, and letters of condolence to Charlotte Hilton Green upon Green's death.

The Biography Series contains a sixty-page biography of Ralph Waldo Green by Charlotte Hilton Green, memorabilia, obituary clippings and the signature book from Green's funeral, personal photographs, including two oversize class graduation photos, school exams and papers from Cornell University, and a scrapbook detailing construction of the Green's two houses and their property Greenacres.

Physical description

4 archival storage boxes

Arrangement

The collection is divided into three series: Writings and Publications, Correspondence, and Biography. The oversize scrapbook has been dismantled from the original album and the pages encased and rehoused in an acid-free box with the original page order maintained. The two class photos are housed in a separate constructed enclosure.

Use of these materials

North Carolina State University does not own copyright to this collection. Individuals obtaining materials from the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections Research Center are responsible for using the works in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ralph Waldo Green Papers, MC 00126, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Source of acquisition

Donated by Mrs. Ralph W. Green on September 18, 1979, February 4, 1980 and October 17, 1980.

The entire collection, including materials not available online, may be viewed in the Special Collections reading room in D.H. Hill Library.

The collection is organized into three principal series:

Writings and Publications Series 1905-1946 (MC 126 Series 1)
Size: 0.5 linear feet

The Writing and Publications Series includes Green's professional publications and article notes for the Liberty Loan Committee, the New York Agricultural Extension Service at Cornell, and the United States Bureau of Markets. The material with the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service includes short runs of the Tar Heel Club News, the Extension Farm News, and a single copy of North Carolina Rural Life. The material with the American Association of Agricultural College Editors includes a copy of their journal, A.C.E., and a meeting program from 1920. The Tri-State Tobacco Cooperative material includes a copy of his prose poem "I am Cooperative Marketing," a copy of "A Handbook of Cooperative Marketing," a small pamphlet entitled "Biggest Thing in the South." and a copy of a North Carolina Supreme Court decision involving the Tobacco Growers Cooperative. Also in this series is administrative and financial material from Green's sojourn with the Tobacco Cooperative, which includes lists of tobacco warehouse rents, and field agent budget calculations. Other material includes Green's handwritten notes and note cards for speeches, some short stories and poetry (in folder MC126.2.10 is a letter from McClure News Syndicate with editorial suggestions concerning a short story Green submitted) and five Raleigh News and Observer articles by Charlotte Hilton Green.

1 Archival Box

Articles and Notes- the Liberty Loan Council, Cornell Agricultural Extension Service, United States Bureau of Marketing 1905-1919
Box 1, Folder 1
Articles and notes-North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service 1920-1921
Box 1, Folder 2
Tar Heel Club News, including volumes 1:1, 3-6, 7 and 11 1920-1921
Box 1, Folder 3
Extension Farm News, including volumes VI:4, 8-12, 17-20, 22, 24 and volume VII:8 1920-1921
Box 1, Folder 4
American Association of Agricultural College Editors, including volume IV:3 of A.C.E.
Box 1, Folder 5
Tri-State Tobacco Cooperative-Articles, publications and notes
Box 1, Folder 6
Tri-State Tobacco Cooperative-Administrative and financial material
Box 1, Folder 7
Notes and note cards for speeches
Box 1, Folder 8
Short stories and speeches
Box 1, Folder 9
Short stories and speeches, letter from McClure News Syndicate
Box 1, Folder 10
Charlotte Hilton Green - Professional Writing
Box 1, Folder 11
Correspondence 1904-1946 (MC 126 Series 2)
Size: 0.2 linear feet

The Correspondence Series (1904-1946) contains university and professional correspondence and personal correspondence, postcards, and letters of condolence to Charlotte Hilton Green upon Green's death. Among the professional correspondence are letters from Dean Bristow at Cornell with hand rendered ideas (which have been encapsulated) for logo design for the Tri-state Tobacco Cooperative, and letters addressing Green's role as Treasurer for the Association of College Agricultural Editors. There is a 1945 letter from North Carolina State College which informs Green that Meredith College had requested he teach two classes in Economics at their campus, followed by a later letter from the president of Meredith College which thanks Green for teaching those classes. The postcards have been encapsulated; they date from the early twentieth century and include such destinations as Paris and Hawaii.

0.4 archival boxes

1904-1946
Box 2, Folder 1
Including condolences to Charlotte Hilton Green 1946
Box 2, Folder 2
Biography 1885-1946 (MC 126 Series 3)
Size: 0.45 linear feet

The Biography Series (1885-1946) contains a sixty page biography of Ralph Waldo Green written in a draft format by Charlotte Hilton Green. She expounds on Green's early impressions of unfair treatment towards the native peoples of Hawaii and Cuba, his great exuberance for life and his "lamentable lack of self-discipline." She writes at length about their mutual enthusiasm for bird-watching and their ambitious plans for the property they owned outside the Raleigh city limits, which they called "Greenacres." This series contains such memorabilia as Green's wallet, lecture notes and test books from Cornell University, a 1914 class directory from Cornell University, and an officer's pay voucher from 1918. There are personal photographs of Green, his wife, and other companions, including two oversize class graduation photos. There are obituary clippings, tributes and the signature book from Ralph Waldo Green's funeral. There is also a scrapbook detailing the clearance and development of the Green's property Greenacres and showing construction of the Green's two houses, the Willows and Brookside. There is a list of plants for Green's Victory Garden and a 1945 bill for plants from the Burpee Company Seed Growers. There is a 1978 Christmas letter written by Charlotte Hilton Green mentioning the eventual disposition of Greenacres after Green's death.

0.9 archival boxes

Biographical information and memorabilia-includes wallet, pay voucher, Cornell class directory
Box 2, Folder 3
Biographical information - Cornell class notes, papers and test booklets
Box 2, Folder 4
Biography written by Charlotte Hilton Green
Box 2, Folder 5
Obituary clipping, tributes and funeral signature book
Box 2, Folder 6
Personal photographs
Box 2, Folder 7
Biographical material on Charlotte Hilton Green
Box 2, Folder 8
Two graduation photographs, Cornell University
Flat folder 3, Folder 1
Cover of scrapbook
Flat box 4, Folder 1
Photographs of "Greenacres," negatives, and the construction of the Green's two houses
Flat box 4, Folder 2
List of plants for victory garden, itemized bill from Burpee Company Seed Growers
Flat box 4, Folder 3
M.S. Diploma - North Carolina State College 1925
Flat box 1
Photos in album unknown
Flat box 1

Access to the collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, or our web form.

Mailing address:
Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111

Phone: (919) 515-2273

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ralph Waldo Green Papers, MC 00126, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Use of these materials

North Carolina State University does not own copyright to this collection. Individuals obtaining materials from the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections Research Center are responsible for using the works in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.