The Birthplace of 4H
Goldenrod School House -- Click on Thumbnail for larger Photo Mrs. Jessie (Field) Shambaugh - Click on thumbnail for Larger Photo Friends of Page (FOPC© Clarinda, Water Tower
Friends of Page Co., (FOPC©) Iowa: History
Page County is NOT the Birthplace of 4-H

      See: 4-H Club National Headquarters       See: 4-H Club History Timeline

per the National Headquarters 1901 A.B. Graham, a school principal in Ohio, began to promote vocational agriculture in rural schools in out-of-school "clubs."

1902 Graham formed a club of boys and girls with officers, projects, meetings, and record requirements. He sought assistance of the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station and Ohio State University. His clubs are considered the founding of 4-H.

Click on Thumbnail for Larger Photo The club concept was adopted in Iowa by O.H. Benson in Wright County and Jessie Field Shambaugh in Page county. Benson and Field designed a 3-leaf clover symbol.

Wallaces' Farmer magazine sponsored contests for raising corn from high grade seed corn. Seaman Knapp was hired by USDA to promote better farming methods in the South. His greatest work was the demonstration of methods of fighting the boll weevil in Texas. He used demonstration plots to show that applying theory and technique is a useful way of getting new information to people.

   Mrs. Jessie (FIELDS) SHAMBAUGH, was the "Founder of 4-H" in America!
 (per Omaha World Herald, dated 16 Jan 1971.)
   In 1901 a young school teacher, Miss Jesse Field, age 20yrs was teaching in the rural Goldenrod School located in Fremont Township in Page Co., IA.. In order to create additional interest, especially in older boys and girls, she supplemented the basic 3R's with lessons in basic farming and homemaking, which she had learned while attending Farm Institute programs with her father. She felt this extended education would help build self confidence and esteem in her rural students as well as keeping them interested in attending school. She met with them before and after school for these additional experimental studies.

Miss Jessie Field returned to finish her college degree and after graduation took a teaching position in South Dakota. Her brother, Henry Fields, who was starting in the nursery and seed business, urged her to return home to fill a county education position. In response to his insistence, in 1903 Miss Jessie Field, a22y was elected to the position of Page County Superintendent of Schools.

As superintendent of the 130 rural schools in the County, Miss Jessie Field organized her teachers into a group she called the "Page County Progressives" to implement her extended curriculum idea in all the schools. Soon "Boys Corn Clubs and Girls Home Clubs" were meeting after classes in all the schools. They worked on many of their projects during school lunch and recess times or at home with the help of parents. The students chose the three leaf clover as their emblem.

Ribbons and pins showing their new emblem -- each of the three leaves of the clover contained an "H" representing Head, Heart, and Hand, centered with a yellow kernel of corn bearing the name "Page", and on the stem of the clover, the name "IA." -- were given to all students who participated. Miss Jessie Field's philosophy was that "everyone who tries is a winner!" Soon "friendly competition" between the schools expanded to competition in corn growing and judging in Omaha and at the IA. state contests. The students gained self confidence and pride in their learning accomplishments.

After Page Co. was acclaimed as "The Best Rural Schools in America" by the National Educational Bulletin in 1908, the ideas of learning by doing spread far and wide. Co. superintendents from the south and east visited the county schools to learn about this novel new twist in teaching young people and took the ideas back to be implemented in their own schools. In Page Co., summer camps were held in the Clarinda City Park with demonstrations, classes and contests to further the learning and enthusiasm of accomplishments -- and for fun!

By 1910 the ideas fostered in this rural school environment had spread throughout the state and even the country, and an additional fourth "H" leaf, representing Health, was added to the clover emblem. The organization formed to enhance the lives of rural students had indeed brought new extensions to learning and cooperation of parents in the process of preparing young people to meet the future.

Today "The Very Beginnings of 3H and 4H" are displayed and interpreted at the Goldenrod School and Nodaway Valley Historical Museum in Clarinda. Goldenrod, listed on the National Register of Historic Places as "The Birthplace of 4H" is a working school, hosting area school classes in a country school setting. Visitors of all ages enjoy seeing the changes that have taken place in Page Co. 4H clubs through the years. Exhibits, displays and audiovisual presentations are available. For more information contact:

 Source: Nodway Valley Historical Society NVHS, Box 393, Clarinda, IA., 51632 or telephone, #712-542-3073.

As usual the HVHS in misinformed and misleading in their claim as to the "Founder of 4-H in America" per the National Headquarters of 4-H that claim belongs' to Mr. A.B. GRAHAM, of Springfield Township, Rual Schools in Clark County, Ohio in 1901...prsjr

See Biographical Profile FIELD Family for Continuation! and SHAMBAUGH Family for Continuation!

   Ohio Historical Marker
 THE BIRTHPLACE OF 4-H  Dated: March 12th, 2003
Click on Thumbnail for Larger Photo  A.B. GRAHAM, Supertendent of Springfield Township Rual Schools in Clark County. establisfed the "Boys and Girls Agricultural Experiment Club" which revolutionlzed agricultural education and nonformal youth development methods. The first meeting of the Club, said to be the nation's first farm club for young people, was held at this site on January 15, 1902 in the basement of the Clark County Courthouse.
This was the start of what would be called a "4-H Club" a few years later.
Through the years, the overall objecttive of A.B. GRAHAM and 4-H has remained the same the development of youth as individuals and as responsible and productive citizens.
     2003      3-12

Go to FOPC© Families Index Goto Friends of Page Co.© Homepage Goto FOPC© Queries

Mrs. Vera B. (Duncan) WILSON, 1896-1988, age92yrs - Click on Thumbnail for larger Photo! These records are part of the "Genealogy Computer Package" *** PC-PROFILE *** Volume - II. DUNCAN & Related Families© Compiled and self Published in Oct. 14, 1993 by Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. with the assistance of my late mother
Mrs. M. Lucille (WILSON) SARRETT. (1917-1987, age age 70yrs) & My Grandmother: Mrs. Vera B. (DUNCAN) WILSON (1896-1988, age 92yrs) The "Work-Books" were compiled by listing the various families, born, married, died, and a history of that family branch. In 1996 I started "Up-Loading" this material on the now called Friends of Page Co., site...prs   E-Mail: Paul R. Sarrett, Jr., Auburn, CA.
 Friends of Page County, President
Text - Copyright © 1996-2009 Paul R. Sarrett, Jr.
Created: Dec. 01, 1996; Sep. 10, 2000;  Jun 15, 2009;