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McNeill, Roberta



  • Existence: 1881-01-29 - 1956

biographical statement

Anna Roberta McNeill was born in 1881 in Canada. She attended the MacDonald Institute, which was a part of the Ontario Agircultural College. was an Assistant in Home Economics Extension at Purdue University. The MacDonald Institute specialized in the education of rural women in home management skills.

McNeill was invited to Purdue as a home demonstration agent, where she taught in the field and at the university's Farmer Institutes. Through her work, she became close friends with Lella and Kate Gaddis, and eventually moved in with them as a boarder. McNeill authored several Extension Bulletins on cookery and safe food preservation, and was a member of the Indiana State Home Economics Association. In a 1916 annual report, McNeill reported that there had been 127 home economics classes offered around the state, a testament to the impact that she and Gaddis had on rural women in Indiana.

McNeill left Purdue and Indiana in 1918 to move to South Dakota. Once there, she married Dr. David Whitton in 1919. Sometime before David's death in 1949, the Whittons moved back to Ontario. Roberta died there in 1956.


Klink, Angie. 2011. Divided Paths, Common Ground: The Story of Mary Matthews and Lella Gaddis, Pioneering Purdue Women who Introduced Science Into the Home. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Roberta McNeill papers

 Collection — Box: Communal Collections 31, Placement: 12
Identifier: MSF 261
Scope and Contents The collection consists of one folder which contains 3 copies of a bulletin by Roberta McNeill.
Dates: 1917