History of 601st Civilian Conservation Corps Company


CCC Company 601, SCS-17, West Salem, Wisconsin


From Sparta Civilian Conservation Corps District, Sixth Corps Area, 1937 Annual




Company 601, the pioneer company of the Sixth Corps Area, was organized at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, on April 12, 1933. In May 1933, the company was moved to Bangor, Wisconsin, where a tent camp was built up, about seven miles east of the present location.


Captain Goldman was the first Company Commander, and remained with the company for approximately eight months. The work program at this time was under the supervision of the State Conservation Department, and consisted wholly of gully erosion control, by the construction of permanent structures.


In November, 1933, Lieutenant Moore took command, and the company moved to Camp McCoy, but remained here only a short time, for on the 27th of December, the men of Company 601 moved into new barracks at Camp Douglas, where they remained until May, 1934. At this location, the company distinguished itself by winning the Army and Navy Journal award. Work projects carried on while the company was situated at Camp Douglas was under the supervision of the Forest Service.


Lake in the spring of 1934, another camp was established in the present area, being located about three miles southwest of West Salem on the then existing U.S. Highway No. 16 and about three miles southwest of the present camp location. The Commanding Officer at this time was Lieutenant Bruce, who was later succeeded by Lieutenant (now Captain( Hofto. The work program was again under the supervision of the State Conservation Department, and the major portion of the work program again emphasized gully control, but improved agricultural practices were encouraged to some degree. Woodland improvement work also was introduced during this period.


In October, 1934, the company moved back to Camp Douglas and worked under the supervision of the Forest Service as it had done the previous winter. Early in May, 1935, a tent camp was again established at West Salem on the same location, but this time it was under the supervision of the Soil Erosion Service, now the Soil Conservation Service. The work program was enlarged to include the complete erosion control program for a farm as a unit.


While at this location, Company 601 became the Fourth Sub-District Headquarters. Major McMorris was the first Commander of this Sub-District and was succeeded by Major Bowman who continued in this capacity until the Sub-District Headquarters was moved to Sparta. Capt. Elmer J. Jantz, who took command of Company 601 during the summer of 1933, continued his command until November, 1936, and was instrumental in making this one of the outstanding camps of the Corps Area.


A permanent camp was built two miles west of West Salem and was occupied in October of 1935. This camp is situated on the banks of the La Crosse River, and is surrounded by beautiful wooded hills and fertile farm lands.


Since the work program of this company has come under the supervision of the Soil Conservation Service, agreements have been made with forty-three cooperators for complete erosion control work to include in the work program conservation surveys, forestry, wild-life conservation, sheet erosion control, agricultural line and limestone, gully control and stream bank control. A new project recently undertaken by this company is the beautification of the new U.S. Highway No. 16 which passes directly by the camp.


Capt. C.D. Keith, the newly appointed Inspector of the Fourth Inspection Area, has established his headquarters at Camp West Salem.


Company 601 is now under the command of Lieut. Clinton H. Sigel, USNR, and he has as his staff, Lieut. Harold G. Van Schaick, Junior Officer; Lieut. James C. Fox, Camp Surgeon, and Mr. George A. Hougen, Educational Advisor.


The present Camp Superintendent is Mr. Richard E. Reinke, and the following men are on his staff: Robert M. Harbeck, A.J. Kelly, M. Varenick, L.E. Bidwell, W.E. Truesdell, E. Rosenthal, J. Olson, O. Jacobsen, and R.W. Reit.


Members of Company 601 are proud of its accomplishment. Under a competent Army personnel, it has maintained its high standards for efficiency and constant improvement, and its educational program has received outstanding ratings from the Corps Area Headquarters. The work projects have been carried on efficiently, and over 200 days have passed since a lost-time accident.


----- Submitted by Curator

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Company Roster, 1937, CCC Co. 601, Camp SCS-17, West Salem, Wisconsin, Sparta District, 6th Corps Area

The 1937 Sparta District Annual on the Wisconsin Historical Society Website - with scans of all pages!


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