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The S. S. McCreary County was commissioned November 19, 1919, during WWI and named in honor of McCreary County in recognition of its sale of Liberty Bonds exceeding its quota by a larger percentage than any other county in the United States.
During a WWII Labor Day observation in 1942 Mr. J. E. Butler, President of the Stearns Coal and Lumber Company, urged those in attendance to purchase stamps and bonds. He stated he felt McCreary Countians could buy more just as they did during WWI when McCreary County went over the top and was given the honor of launching a ship that he called the Yamacraw (pictured above as the McCreary County). On Monday, September 14, 1942, the McCreary County Woman’s Club sponsored the sale of bonds and sold $3,400. Employees of the Stearns Coal and Lumber Company were also provided the opportunity to purchase War Savings Bonds as part of their Payroll Deduction Plan. The report for August 1942 was as follows. Mine 1 – (221 on payroll) $522.80, Mine 4 – (205 on payroll) $498.50, Mine 18 – (130 on payroll) $401.00, Mine 11 – (222 on payroll) $845.97, Mine 17 – (22 on payroll) $308.24, Co-Op – (337 on payroll) $1,010.81, Logging – (125 on payroll) $18.75, Saw Mill – $100.25, Lumber Yard – (80 on payroll) $96.87, Planing Mill – (25 on payroll) $58.78, Power House – (18 on payroll) $95.72, Machine Shop – (29 on payroll) $6.25, Office – (40 on payroll) $771.53, Wholesale – (14 on payroll) $25.00, K & T Railway – (47 on payroll) $183.52, Electric Shop – (25 on payroll) $7.00, Carpenter Crew – (40 on payroll) $0.00, Stores – (10 on payroll) $25.00. Liberty Bonds were war bonds sold in the United States to support the Allied cause in both World Wars.
In addition to the sale of Liberty Bonds, school children and adults collected scrap metal. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) sent representatives to McCreary County to assist in the collection. Students in McCreary County rolled old boilers, logging equipment, and other pieces of metal a half mile or mile to the collection sites which were often county schools.