Register of the Church of Brethren, Brethren Service Commission, Civilian Public Service records

Finding aid prepared by Danielle Lopez
Hoover Institution Archives
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA, 94305-6010
(650) 723-3563
© 2008

Title: Civilian Public Service records
Date (bulk): 1943-1945
Date (inclusive): 1941-1946
Collection Number: 69029
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 6 manuscript boxes (2.4 linear feet)
Abstract: Collection includes memoranda, bulletins, newsletters, and reports, relating to compulsory non-military public service, conscientious objectors, and the work of the Brethren Civilian Public Service Committee in the United States during World War II.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
Creator: Church of Brethren. Brethren Service Commission. Civilian Public Service.


Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.


Collection is open for research.
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Publication Rights

For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Church of Brethren, Brethren Service Commission, Civilian Public Service records, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

Acquisition Information

Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1969.

Historical Note

Civilian Public Services Camps ran 1941 to 1947 for conscientious objectors drafted in World War II. In a joint operation between church and government, the camps operated as compulsory non-military public service for conscientious objectors. The Civilian Public Service (CPS) provided a response to low labor shortages and another option for drafted individuals who expressed their right to not take part in military services. The Brethren Service Committee operated technical agencies in over 71 CPS Camps around the country.
Established in 1941, the Brethren Service Committee of the Church of the Brethren chose to run the CPS Camps. The Church of the Brethren has been involved with the relief of suffering from war or natural disasters with a foundational belief in peace. Church of the Brethren members relocated to CPS camps as conscientious objectors who preferred to act on their beliefs to live in peace. The World War II draft created a labor shortage and in part the CPS camps replenished the loss of labor. The Brethren Civilian Public Service camps formed a complex arrangement between churches and governments.
In consultation with the National Service Board of Religious Objectors each camp operated to serve specific government technical agencies including forest, soil conservation, public health, fish & wildlife, agriculture and foreign services. Due to labor shortages camps provide government services deemed “work of national importance.” Over 12,000 conscientious objectors lived in Civilian Public Service Camps working in various lines of work. The program was an essential wartime program and aided the government in fundamental resources. Camp operations continued up to eighteen months after the end of World War II.
Civilian Public Service Alumni, “The Civilian Public Service Story: Living Peace in a Time of War.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

Scope and Content of Collection

Collection includes memoranda, bulletins, newsletters, and reports, relating to compulsory non-military public service, conscientious objectors, and the work of the Brethren Civilian Public Service Committee in the United States during World War II from 1941-1946. Series one provides a glimpse into the Civilian Public Service Camps through newsletters and bulletins written by the conscientious objectors. Series two consist of memoranda’s and papers from the Brethren Service Committee and National Board of Religious Objectors.

Arrangement Statement

The collection is organized into two series: Civilian Public Service Camps and Brethren Civilian Public Service Committee.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Conscientious objectors--United States.
Service, Compulsory non-military--United States.
World War, 1939-1945--Conscientious objectors.
World War, 1939-1945--United States.


Civilian Public Service Camps, 1941-1946

Scope and Contents

Materials include newsletters, bulletins, and memos focused on the Brethren Civilian Public Service Camps. Newsletters and bulletins comprise of camp news, rosters, upcoming activities and editorials. The conscientious objectors living within the camps wrote and assembled the materials. Titles include The Columbian, Salamonie Peace Pipe, Manana, CrestViews, The Tide, Second Mile, View Point, Camp Walhalla News Kane Pennsylvania, and Dairy Diary. The majority of Brethren Civilian Public Service Camps operated 1942-1946.
Box/Folder 1:1

No.6 Largo, Indiana, 1942-1946

Box/Folder 1:2

No.7 Magnolia, Arkansas, 1941-1943

Box/Folder 1:3

No.16 Kane, Pennsylvania, 1942-1943

Box/Folder 1:4

No.21 Cascade Locks, Oregon, 1942

Box/Folder 1:5

No.24 New Windsor, Maryland, Undated

Box/Folder 1:6

No.27 Florida, 1942-1945

Box/Folder 1:7

No.29 Lyndhurst, Virginia, 1943

Box/Folder 2:1

No.30 Wellston, Michigan, 1942-1943

Box/Folder 2:2

No.36 Santa Barbara, California, 1942-1944

Box/Folder 2:3

No.42 Wellston, Michigan, 1943-1944

Box/Folder 2:4

No.43 Adjuntas, Puerto Rico, 1942-1946

Box/Folder 2:5

No.47 Sykesville, Maryland, 1945

Box/Folder 2:6

No.48 Marienville, Pennsylvania, 1943

Box/Folder 2:7

No.51 Ft. Steilacoom, Washington, 1944-1945

Box/Folder 2:8

No.56 Waldport, Oregon, 1942-1944

Box/Folder 2:9

No.70 Dayton, Ohio, undated

Box/Folder 2:10

No.80 Lyons, New Jersey, 1945

Box/Folder 3:1

Columbia University CPS Unit, 1943

Box/Folder 3:2-4

Elgine, Illinois Camp, 1942-1945

Box/Folder 3:5

Unidentified Camp Newsletters, 1943-1945


Brethren Civilian Public Service Committee, 1942-1946

Scope and Contents

This series consist of memoranda’s, pamphlets, reports, and papers not specific to camps but rather the Brethren Service Committee. The National Service Board for Religious Objectors memos from 1943 to 1945 can be found within the series. Memos written by Harold Row, Brethren Civilian Public Service Director,to Camp Directors addressed various administrative topics. The remainder of the collection highlights the Brethren Service Committee’s activities.
Box/Folder 4:1-2

National Service Board for Religious Objectors Memorandas, 1943-1945

Box/Folder 4:3-4

Reports, 1943-1946

Box/Folder 4:5

Pamphlets, 1942-1946

Box/Folder 5:1

Papers, 1943-1946

Box/Folder 5:2-3

Memoranda, 1943

Box/Folder 5:4

Memoranda, 1944

Box/Folder 6:1-2

Memoranda, 1945

Box/Folder 6:3

Memoranda, 1946