Published On: Wed, Mar 5th, 2014

Preserving Pocahontas

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Pres. PocaThe Big Flats (Edray) Extension Homemakers Club is seen here in about 1968. Front row l-r: Hulda Friel, Eula Friel, Flossie Campbell, Virgie Friel. Back row l-r: Flossie Beverage, Betty Rae Weiford – Home Extension Agent, Nora Miller, Ruby Waugh, Virgie Wheeler.

The history of Homemaker Clubs in West Virginia goes back to the 1913 passage of an act by the Legislature that provided for the employment of agents to disseminate practical information relating to agriculture and domestic science. By 1915, there were 16 registered groups made up of farm women organized primarily to assist with the girls’ tomato and canning clubs. Promotion of home food production and preservation accelerated during World War I. The homemakers clubs participated in Red Cross drives and the sale of Liberty Bonds. This wartime effort was repeated during World War II, with particular emphasis on food preservation and participation in a nationwide mattress-making project, designed to provide decent bedding for low-income families. By then, home economic agents were working in almost all W. Va. counties and the homemakers groups became known as Farm Women’s Clubs. Extension programs were later broadened to include home furnishings, health and nutrition, money management, and leadership development. The name of the clubs changed to Home Demonstration Clubs in 1954, and to Extension Homemaker Clubs in 1968, which is about the time this photograph was taken. Preserving Pocahontas “Farm Women, Home Dem Scrapbook” Collection, ID: PHP000570

Access the “Preserving Pocahontas” Digital Library at www.pocahontaspreservation.org or www.preservingpocahontas.org If you have photographs or documents to be scanned for the county Historical Archive Project contact Preservation Officer B. J. Gudmundsson at 304-799-3989 or email info@pocahontaspreservation.org Prints of photographs from the archives are available.

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