Extension Homemakers around the Hoosier state are celebrating 100 years of service on Sunday, April 7. The Rushville Republican has been featuring memories, stories and tributes to the many accomplishments and members involved throughout the years. Have you been a member or was a mother or grandmother a member in the past. Become involved again in making new memories by calling Gracie Marlatt at the Extension office at: 932-5974. The local celebration will begin at 2 p.m. April 7 at the Root Building at the Rush County Fairgrounds. Everyone is welcome.
Today, we’re pleased to shine the spotlight on our remaining groups including: Extension Educators, Past Presidents, Wide Awake Homemakers, Noble Niters Homemakers Club, Posey Township Home Helpers Club, Hint Hunters Homemakers Club of Rush County and The Manilla Town and Country Club.
Rush County has been blessed with wonderful Extension Agents or as they are called today, Extension Educators. Our current educator is Gracie Marlatt, and she gives tirelessly to help make Extension work. Another we want to mention is Cathy Burkett, educator from 1986 – 2003. In 2000, she was injured when static electricity caused a fire to ignite at the gas pump and she was severely burned. As a result of this accident, Cathy created a lesson “Do’s and Don’ts at the Gas Pump.” There were magazine articles and also a video made. Many of these things are still being used today. Dorothy Cranor served as Educator 1966 – 1985, and I believe was instrumental in helping getting the Senior Center. So, we have been fortunate to have such good leaders.
On May 26, 1952, all former county presidents of what was then the Rush County Home Demonstration Council (later to become Rush County Extension Homemakers Council) were invited by Mrs. Fred (Nancy) Bell, who had served five years as the first county president to a noon luncheon at her lovely home. After stories of past years had been told, it was decided to form a permanent organization of past presidents. The club’s goal would be to help the county programs in any way possible. Their first project was to prepare a history of Home Economics clubs in Rush County and to make a permanent record of this. Each past president was asked to prepare a history of her term of office. On Achievement Day in 1954, a beautifully bound book containing these histories was presented to Miss Helen Greely, from the Rushville Public Library. Past Presidents still meets two times a year and they continue to add to this group, each one who has served as president of Extension Homemakers as they finish their term.
Wide Awake Homemakers Club
Twelve Richland Township ladies met at the home of Mrs. Clifford Senour in 1928 to organize the Wide Awake Homemakers Club. The club has met continuously since that time and is one of the oldest clubs in the county. The first lesson was given on laundry by Mrs. Clifford Senour and Mrs. Alton Wilson. For many years, several ladies from each club went to Purdue in January for the lessons. Now the lessons are given locally. For many years, meetings were held in the Richland School Gym. That is also where the annual Chicken & Noodles dinner was held to raise money to support various charities of the club. Three members have served as county president – Ruth Smith, Dorothy Jinks & Marjorie Emsweller. Member Laverne Farthing was the director of the county chorus for several years. Through the years many of the club members’ daughters have followed in their mother’s footsteps and joined the Wide Awake Club. Although membership shrinks, they continue to uphold as best they can the ideals of our Homemaker’s Creed.
Noble Niters Homemakers Club
In the summer of 1959, an afternoon meeting of the Noble Homemakers was held at the home of Grace Armstrong. During the social, it was discussed how to get the young homemakers interested in joining a club as many of them either worked or cared for small children at home. The idea of meeting at night was suggested and someone needed to organize the club. Lillian Geise offered to leave the afternoon club and try an evening club. After a meeting at the county office with Jean Cox, Extension Agent, a group of interested ladies met at the home of Lillian Geise. They decided on the name “Noble Niters”, since they met at night. This was the first club to meet at night. The first lesson was on “Milk and Egg Cookery”. The Ways and Means Committee suggested a dime chance for the door prize and they still have a door prize today. They donate to First Books, Mental Health Gift Lift, local food pantry, Manna Mission at Main Street Christian Church. Margie Meyer has served as County President. They are a very active club with members of all ages. At one time they had three generations of members.
Posey Township Home Helpers Club
Posey Township Home Helpers Club was organized in 1936. They are still a very active club. They hosted the Spring Tea for the county last year. They prepare tray favors for Miller Merry Manor and Rush Memorial Hospital in the Fall and at Easter time. They have done this for many years. Their members help on the county level by working on committees at the Rush County Fair. Through the years they have baked cookies for Ride-A Bike, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Bowl for Kids Sake, and just where ever needed. They enjoy eating out and taking a short trip in September.
Hint Hunters Homemakers Club of Rush County
Hint Hunters Homemakers Club was organized in 1949 by Mrs. John Cooper with 23 members who wanted to learn new methods of child rearing, cooking and homemaking.
The club participated in many community projects and has been represented at the local, county, state and national levels.
Some of the activities have included sponsoring a 4-H Achievement program, financial aid to the Rural Youth Club’s trip to the choral festival in Washington DC, published a cook book, collected Betty Crocker coupons to purchase a dialysis machine and many other things.
The following poem was written by Gloria McCane for Hint Hunters 50th birthday.
Twenty-three ladies met in 49 to form a club for homemakers.
Not a social club – they wanted to be better cooks and bakers.
We celebrated our 50th birthday. Our club is still alive.
Members have come and gone, but we survived.
We learned home repairs, bargain shopping, eve how to clean.
Retirement planning to “go out” financially, you know what I mean.
We kept our club solvent with bake sales and served election day lunches.
Grocery channels, white elephant sales, and tooth brushes by the bunches.
The years passed – we grew as homemakers, women and mothers.
We shared tears, laughter, joys and fondness for each other.
We enjoyed Dirty Bingo, Cookouts in the rain and snow and $1 grab bagged.
We still look fine, but unfortunately, some parts have sagged.
Happy 50th Birthday to us – Happy Birthday to us
We may be fifty – but just watch our “dust.”
The Manilla Town and Country Club
The Manilla Town and Country Club was organized on a cold, snowy day in February, 1963, at the home of Marilyn White. By the time the meeting was over, it had snowed several inches. They have had several other snowy evenings and a few cancellations over the years. Members Rosemary Wright and Nancy Kuhn have served as county presidents and Nancy went on to hold the office of State Secretary. Over the years, they have eaten out at The Country Fare in Homer, Durbin Hotel, Hearthstone, Margaret’s Tea Room, Bluebird, Kopper Kettle and Shirley Hinshaw’s to name a few. Their first money making project was a Tupperware Party at the Manilla School. Recently they have donated to the food bank at the Little Blue River Church, Phoenix House, Rush County Mental Health and First Books Program. They continue to support Rush County Fair by sitting at the Root Building.
The local 100 year celebration will begin at 2 p.m. April 7 at the Root Building at the Rush County Fairgrounds. Everyone is welcome.
– Rushville Republican