Guide to the
IRVING EXTENSION HOMEMAKERS CLUB SCRAPBOOKS
1.5 linear ft.
Accession Numbers: 9798-20; 9798-54; 9900-62
Collection Number: 17
Prepared by Kevin Kendro
CITATION: The Irving Extension Homemakers Club Scrapbooks, Collection 17, Volume number, Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.
The Irving chapter of the Extension Homemakers Club, originally known as the Home Demonstration Club, and now known as the Family and Community Education Club (FCE), was established in 1929, making it the oldest women’s organization in Irving.
The national organization’s beginnings trace back to 1912 and what were know as “tomato clubs.” The Texas Agricultural Extension Service employed women to travel the state and show young girls how to grow, can, and market tomatoes.
In 1914, the Texas State legislature created the Cooperative Extension Service, and a year later the Texas Agricultural Extension Service. The first Home Demonstration Clubs were organized in 1915 in cooperation with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service and Texas A&M University. The purpose of the arrangement is “to provide research-based, unbiased, educational information that will improve the quality of life of families and individuals.” The clubs are tax supported by County Commissioners Courts and the state and federal government with direction from county extension agents and Texas A&M University. All women are invited to become members regardless of race, creed, or economic condition.
In practice, a county extension agent meets with the local home demonstration club and conducts meetings relating to home making and family management.
The first county-wide Home Demonstration Councils were formed in 1924. The councils serve as an advisory committee and means of communication to women throughout the county. In 1926, the Texas Home Demonstration Association formed, with the purpose of contributing to a college fund for female 4-H Club members.
Through the years, the topics addressed at meetings have changed as family and home life have changed. At the first meeting of the Irving club, the women were taught how to convert out-of-style wooden bed frames into sofas. Today the meeting topics range from home economics tips to family heath and financial planning.
In 1993, the organization changed names to the Family and Community Education Club or FCE. The FCE is still affiliated with the Agricultural Extension Service and Texas A&M University. In 1998, the Irving chapter of the Family and Community Education Club ceased operation.
The Irving Extension Homemakers Club Scrapbooks, Collection 17, Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.
Scope and Content Note
The collection is comprised of six scrapbooks and a manual; the latter details the installation ceremony for club officers. The scrapbooks span the years 1971-1998, but there are several years for which there are no scrapbooks. There are no volumes for the years 1978-1983 or 1988-1990. The volumes are in good condition and have been left intact.
The scrapbooks are made up primarily of photographs of meetings, newspaper clippings about the club, and pamphlets and brochures relating to meeting topics. The people in some of the photos are identified; in others they are not. Sporadically throughout the volumes are membership rosters, brief meeting minutes, and financial reports. All of the material is glued to the scrapbook pages.
Volume 1, labeled 1976-1977, actually contains material covering the years 1971-1977 with the bulk of the material covering 1975-1977. The organization’s fiftieth anniversary was held in 1976, and a good deal of the material in the scrapbook relates to this event. Volume 4, labeled 1987, contains material from late 1986 as well as 1987. There is one loose page at the back of Volume 5, 1991. The Local History and Genealogy Librarian found this page after the collection had been transferred to the Archives. The collection processor placed the page in the volume most closely related in time.
For interested researchers, Volume 3 contains information on the opening of Heritage Park and the Central Library. Volume 5 is dedicated to Francis Orton, a long-time member of the club and long-time Irving resident.
The Irving Extension Homemakers Club Scrapbooks were donated to the Irving Archives in three accessions. Mrs. Frances Orton donated four volumes to the Local History and Genealogy Department of the Irving Public Library at an unknown date. These were Volume 1, 1971-1977, Volume 3, 1985-1986, Volume 4, 1986-1987, Volume 5, 1991. In November of 1997, the volumes were transferred from Local History and Genealogy to the Irving Archives.
Volume 2, 1984-1985, was donated to the Irving Archives by Ethel Rains and Marge Henderson, club members, on February 2, 1998. The third accession occurred on February 15, 2000, when Mrs. Rains and Mrs. Henderson donated Volume 6, 1992-1998, to the Irving Archives. Included in this accession is a 1989 handbook detailing the ceremony for the installation of club officers.
Prior to their donation to the Irving Public Library or the Irving Archives, the scrapbooks were kept in club members’ homes.
Literary Rights Statement
Permission to publish from the Irving Extension Homemakers Club Scrapbooks must be obtained from the Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.
Series I. Scrapbooks
Vol. 1 Scrapbook, 1971-1977
Vol. 2 Scrapbook, 1984-1985
Vol. 3 Scrapbook, 1985-1986
Vol. 4 Scrapbook, 1986-1987
Vol. 5 Scrapbook, 1991
Vol. 6 Scrapbook, 1992-1998
Booklet-"Installation Ceremonies for Club Officers." Compiled by Dallas County Extension Homemakers Clubs, 1989.