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A New Deal for Carbon Hill, Alabama
A Photographic Document by William C. Pryor
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Letter to Hon. E.W. Kelley, City Commissioner, Carbon Hill, Alabama
Walker County [Alabama] Health Department

National Archives and Records Administration,
Records of the WPA, "Division of Information,
Photography Division," RG 69, E 703, Box 10.


September 4, 1937

Hon. E.W. Kelley City Commissioner Carbon Hill, Alabama

Dear Mr. Kelley:—

This is to express to you my appreciation of the muchly needed improvements which have been made at Carbon Hill, Alabama, to make it a better and healthier town in which to live.

Of course, as County Health Officer, I am very familiar with your little town and have been for several years worried about the sanitary and malarial problem there.

The sanitary condition of the residential section of the city was very bad and as a consequence there was quite a bit of sickness among the children from diarrhea and dysentery and the typhoid fever had to be held down by the use of anti-typhoid serum. The sanitary condition in the business part of town was the worst I have ever seen owing to the fact that the sewage from some of the business houses and hotels were empied directly into the storm sewers and some were emptied into the septic tanks directly. As a consequence the odor from these storm sewers were very strong around the man holes on Front Street, which was very objectionable to a self respecting town.

And now since the installation of the sewer system and the disposal plant and the installation of 120 pit privy toilets in the unsewered area have changed the sanitary conditions of Carbon Hill wonderfully. There was expended $3600.00 under the direction of the County Health Dept. in the installation of these pit privies.

Carbon Hill and vicinity was almost surrounded by mosquito breeding pools of water as the result of stripping coal and leaving these catch basins. Then there was the Pavitt Swamp extending from inside the City limits of Carbon Hill about a mile down through the property of the Brookside Mining Co. Then there was about 80 acres of mosquito breeding pools just South of the Frisco Depot. Then there was the Pocohuntas breeding pools which was responsible for quite a bit of malaria in that immediate vicinity.

As the result of these places Carbon Hill had lots of malaria, but since these places have been abated by the ditching of 22,642 lineal ft. of ditching and the filling of 8 of these mosquito breeding pools at the cost of $16,931.40. This incidence of Malaria has been greatly decreased and there has also been an almost complete eradication of the pest mosquito as well as the malaria breeding mosquito. As a consequence of the work on Sanitation and Malarial Control Carbon Hill has been changed to one of the best sanitated and "freest" of mosquitos to be found in this country.

I wish to commend you for your cooperation in the betterment of the living conditions in your little town.

Very respectfully,

/s/ A.M. Waldrop County Health Officer.

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A New Deal for Carbon Hill, Alabama
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