IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co. Li'l Bits

Cooperative Extension Service
in Allamakee county


The Cooperative Extension Service was organized in 1918, but young people's clubs in Allamakee co. developed at the turn of the century. They formally became known as 4-H clubs in about 1918. Early clubs in Allamakee county were the Sow and Litter Club, Pure Bred Calf Club, and Poultry Club.

According to the May 1921 Edition of the Farm Bureau News, the Boys and Girls Bee Club started in 1921 with seven new members: Jennie Russell, Elmer Ellefson, Ralph Ellefson, Calvin Simmons, Alfred Hansmeier, Robert Hager, Carl Brandsmeier.

T. E. Stanton, County Agent in 1925, reported his annual report: "... that a good start was secured in the Dairy Calf Club work when eighteen boys of the Better Dairy Calf Club exhibited their calves at the Allamakee County Fair. This club was organized in the early part of May [1925] and the majority of the members secured calves from their fathers herd which they fed and took care of until after the Fair. Many of the boys are still feeding and caring for their calves. This Club was organized with no particular breed in mind but any dairy calf, either grade or purebred, was satisfactory and as a result, four Brown Swiss calves, six Guernsey and eight Holsteins were among the group. "

The club meetings were a community affair with town residents coming out to the meeting locations to participate in the meetings. A Poultry club also started about the same time. Stanton reports, One meeting of the Poultry Club and the Calf Club was held in conjunction which worked out very satisfactory as the poultry members showed an interest in the dairy club work and the dairy club members showed an interest in the poultry club work. Members of such clubs are disappointed if regular meetings are not held. In many instances, a group of boys drive fifteen and eighteen miles to attend these meetings. No doubt, many of the boys in this dairy calf club realized for the first time, the problems connected with feeding. In one instance a father of two club boys found the club heifers doing so well under the management of the boys that he decided to take better are of the calves in his herd and those calves were given the same feed and same management as the calves received from the club boys.

The Clothing Clubs in Allamakee County were a source of interest among the girls, their parents and friends. In 1925, Mrs. Albert Bahr was chairman for the girls club committee. That year sixty-five girls enrolled in clothing work with thirty-six completing the year. There were five clothing clubs in 1925, namely the Wide Awake Club of Waterloo township; the U-Go I-Go Club of Ludlow township; The Up and Sewing Club of Makee township; The Be Square Club of Union Prairie township and the Merry Workers of Iowa township.

Fifty-three meetings were held as a total by all the clubs and sixty-six demonstrations were given by the girls at these meetings. During the year, ninety-five dresses were made and sixty-five under garments. Club leaders report the total value of these garments at $713.35, with accost of $288.12, making a total savings of $425.23.

Allamakee co. Extension Agents
1918 -- July 1919 Floyd Laughlin
1919 -- 1920 F. J. Kloser
Jan 1921 -- April 1923 S. S. Mathisen
May 1923 -- Mar 1924 H. M Nichols
Mar 1925 -- Jan 1927 T. E. Stanton
Dec 1928 -- Nov 1928 H. C. Jackson
Dec 1928 -- July 1961 F. C. O’Riley

Office Managers
1918 – Feb 1, 1920 Jessamine Purdy
Feb 1920 – May 1926 Minnie Leikvold
May 1926 – Oct 1927 Dorothy Simmons
Mov 1927 – Dec 1932 Eva Collins
Jan 1933 – Sep 1936 Mary Sullivan
Oct 1936 – Sep 1946 Leona Ludeking

~Iowa State University, History of Cooperative Extension Service in Iowa
~transcribed by: Sharyl Ferrall

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