Craighead County Home Demonstration Club Records
Scope and Contents
- 1936 - 1993
Conditions Governing Access
In 1912, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) founded a nationwide association of Home Demonstration Clubs whose purpose was to bring consumer science education to homemakers. The USDA partnered with established organizations across the country, such as the University of Arkansas, in order to help manage the various clubs. This model was applied to any state that expressed interest in being part of the program. The national association provided overall leadership to the clubs, including curricula, while the state organizations were tasked with administration of local chapters.
Local clubs were established in Arkansas by women interested in participating in the AHDC’s program. Each chapter appointed its own president, treasurer, and secretary to administer the group on a yearly basis. Educational materials were sent to each chapter from the AHDC and included a record book for the secretary to fill out at each meeting, in addition to a “yearbook” which detailed the curriculum for the year. A typical meeting outlined in a yearbook would include a song, lesson, and a corresponding craft or demonstration. Regional Home Demonstration Agents would also attend local chapter meetings in order to give demonstrations regarding particular skills, such as canning food. From 1938 to 1954, Mary Britzman served as the regional Home Demonstration Agent for Craighead County and was succeeded by Juanita Fuller, who served from 1954 to 1982.
The Home Demonstration Club (HDC) was a popular activity for homemakers and helped encourage strong communities. In 1955 alone, there were 46 clubs in Craighead County with 1,281 members. The clubs frequently held competitions, coordinated with one another on projects, and held combined holiday parties. The clubs in Craighead County included the Homemaker’s Club in Jonesboro (c. 1963-1981), the Clinton Club in Brookland (1941-1961), the Aggie Road club (1938-c.1980), and the Otwell Club (1939-c. 1980). All of these clubs regularly maintained records of their meetings, in addition to maintaining membership lists, and records of projects and events.
In 1966, the AHDC changed its name to the Arkansas Extension Homemaker’s Council (AEHC). This was in part because of the creation of the new Agricultural Extension Service at the University of Arkansas which was also tasked with community outreach. However, local chapters were still referred to as Home Demonstration Clubs. This change is reflected in the materials from the Home Demonstration Club.
In 1992, the national association changed its name, which prompted the AEHC to once again rename itself the Arkansas Association for Family and Community Education. After only a year, the state’s club council voted to separate itself from the national organization and become an independent organization. Therefore, in 1993 they reverted to the AEHC name and committed to working solely on local administration of clubs with the express purpose of helping Arkansas families through education.
3.7 Linear Feet (This collection is comprised of four series contained within 4 document boxes, 3 oversize boxes, and 8 volumes.)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated to Archives and Special Collections by the Arkansas State University Museum in 2013. Due to the nature of the transfer, this material was artifically assembled into a collection.
- Craighead County Home Demonstration Club Records Finding Aid
- Meredith McFadden; Flora Smith, Editor
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
Part of the Archives & Special Collections - Dean B. Ellis Library Repository
Arkansas State University
Dean B. Ellis Library
P.O. Box 2040
State University AR 72467 United States