An Outline of Activities at Garner State Park

As told by James Garner,
CCC enrollee
Covering Two Years, starting
October 20,1938 and ending
September 14, 1940

(note: James Garner is not related
to John Nance Garner, for whom the park is named.)

CCC Co. 879 Camp SP-42-T

President Franklin Roosevelt established the CCC Camp in 1933; work began April 5, 1933 and ended ended June 30, 1942.

James Garner's account of his experience in the CCC, first as a truck driver and then as assistant to the camp doctor and daily life in a CCC camp.

First assignment as a Truck Driver:

Assigned as full time truck driver. 1) Served at Mother Neff State Park, McGregor, Texas. Hauling lumber; 40 huts built of lumber, door in front and window in each of three sides, wood stove, one light globe hanging in center of room. 2) Served at Garner State Park.

Duties at Garner while a truck driver:

Pick up supplies daily, in Uvalde:

Weekly, in San Antonio (stayed overnight and ate at a cooking school)

Note: There was an old Silver mine about 100 yards west of Hwy 83, at the top of the hill, about half a mile north of where it crosses the Leona river. (a sign on the highway said Silver Mine Pass)

Reassignment after six months as assistant to the camp doctor.

Duties as doctor's assistant:

Daily Life



Classes were held two hours each week night, after work, where many of the boys earned high school diplomas.

Each person learned a trade in whatever type of work they were assigned.


A laundry truck came from Uvalde each week to pick up and deliver laundry and dry cleaning. A vendor came each week to bring supplies to the canteen, where we sold candy chewing gum, soda water, razors, stationary etc.

What We Learned

Community Service


In conclusion, I would like to express my sincere gratitude, and appreciation, for having been afforded the opportunity to serve two years in the CCC Camp, here at Garner Park, and to do my small part in helping build and develop our State Parks. What I learned here helped prepare me for what came later, as I served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II, in the Pacific, and in the occupation of China after the war was over. Then after that, serving in the United States Air Force Reserve.

I want to thank the personnel of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, especially Janelle Taylor and David Ham, for allowing me to come here, 65 years later, and tell my story.

Most of all, I thank God for keeping His protective hand on me throughout the long healthy and happy life I have already lived.

God Bless America.

James L. Garner
September 16, 2005

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