AMES, Iowa – Ten counties have added their 4-H history to Iowa 4-H History by County, a blog detailing the history of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development. The history blog is a partnership of the Iowa 4-H program and the Iowa 4-H Foundation.
Historical information is available for Audubon, Boone, Davis, Dubuque, Harrison, Kossuth, Marion, Polk, Scott and Woodbury counties.
“We’ve also added information about an early Iowa State president’s connection to 4-H,” Greving said. “William Beardshear, Iowa State’s president from 1891-1902, believed in educating the whole person — heart, head and hands, what he called the ‘three Hs.’ Other educators who followed in his footsteps added ‘health’ and 4-H was born.”
According to the 4-H online history:
• Audubon County began organizing 4-H clubs in 1924 with a baby beef club, sheep clubs and girls clothing clubs.
• In 1951 Boone County 4-H’ers participated in electrical education training schools, emphasizing lighting and motors and increasing awareness of electrical safety hazards.
• Davis County 4-H’ers participated in countywide free health screenings in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.
• In 1949 an achievement show in Dubuque County was seriously curtailed — such public gatherings were prohibited because of polio concerns.
• Harrison County 4-H started a babysitting course in 1971. This program has continued throughout the years and today is held in six school districts across the county with 75 to 115 participants per year.
• A focus on service in Kossuth County during World War II included a bond drive and salvage drives for paper, aluminum, rubber, scrap iron and waste fat.
• Marion County 4-H’ers began naming their clubs in the 1930s, including Win or Grin, We-X-L and Summit Strivers.
• In Polk County more than 500 people annually attended 4-H Rally Days in the early 1960s.
• Scott County 4-H’ers carry on a tradition of Family Fun Night each winter for current 4-H families along with long-time supporters for a catered meal, a few award presentations, games and prizes for youngsters and a raffle to help raise funds for county 4-H programs.
• A new girls 4-H club was organized at the Sanford Center in Sioux City in 1959, becoming the first interracial club in Woodbury County.
View the full history on the blog, at http://www.iowa4hfoundation.org/4hhistory.
Over the next two years, 4-H staff and volunteers will be reviewing more county 4-H histories, adding to the blog each month, said Shelly Greving, marketing director for the Iowa 4-H Foundation.
“We want this to become a living history of 4-H. We hope 4-H members, alumni, volunteers, leaders and staff will add their comments and continue the history of 4-H, sharing the many facets of each county’s 4-H program,” Greving said. “Individuals may choose to continue the legacy of 4-H by making a donation to directly impact Iowa 4-H or their county 4-H program.”
Those who wish to support 4-H in their county may make a donation to their county 4-H endowment through the Iowa 4-H Foundation, http://www.iowa4hfoundation.org.