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Indiana Extension Homemakers Association

 Organization

Dates

  • Existence: 1913-

Historical Information

The Indiana Extension Homemakers Association began in 1913 as a social and educational organization for women. Before changing to their current name in the 1960s, the group(s) were also referred to as Home Economics clubs and Home Demonstration clubs, due to the focus on demonstration work to educate women about matters relating to the farm and home. In these efforts, the home was recognized as a contributing factor to the relative success of farms, and the work of homemakers was recognized as critical to ensuring said successes. Many of the lessons taught were related to food preservation, gardening, sewing, and home maintenance.

Although the clubs were not restricted to rural membership, the affiliation of the homemakers extension with farms and the farm extension services resulted in a membership that was primarily rural. The IEHA has also been instrumental in the growth and success of 4H programs throughout the state. Early leaders and educators in the Indiana Extension Homemakers Association include notable women from Purdue University like Lella Gaddis, Virginia Claypool Meredith, and Eva Goble.

Although the meetings and mission of the Extension Homemakers Association was always officially to educate women and make home processes more efficient and productive, the groups also served as a social outlet for women who typically did not spend much time outside of the home. More closely related to this social aspect of the Homemakers Association was the Extension Homemakers Chorus (1934-1974), organized and conducted by Albert Stewart. Individual chapters or counties would practice songs from the song of the month books distributed by Stewart before occasionally meeting as a large group to rehearse and perform. The chorus performed throughout the state, as well as some more notable national and international performances.

The Indiana Extension Homemakers Association remains active throughout the state today, and has expanded their reach to include philanthropic endeavors. Their vision statement, created in 2012, states: "The Indiana Extension Homemakers are dedicated to empowering and enriching the lives of individuals, families and communities.

Citation

MSP 133, Indiana Extension Homemakers records, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.

Citation

Arnold, Eleanor. 1993. Memories of Hoosier homemakers. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Indiana Extension Homemakers Association records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 196
Abstract The collection includes papers, publications, artifacts, and a scrapbook, which document the history and activities of the Indiana Extension Homemakers Association, an educational and social group for homemakers in Indiana.