“Rewriting History” to Benefit Franklin County 4-H

Iowa’s first 4-H camp for girls was held in Mayne’s Grove in June 1923. It was attended by 135 girls and 28 leaders from 18 clubs.

At the start of a new year, Americans often reflect upon the past and prepare for the future. One of my 2013 resolutions is to print a coffee table book that provides interesting stories about Franklin County farm families, as well as historical accounts of the 4-H organization. Proceeds from this book will go toward a permanent scholarship for county 4-H’ers who are interested in pursuing higher education.

Getting this book to print is going to be a “project,” no doubt! I put skill that I gained through 4-H to use in early 2013 by developing this project outline:

Goal: Print a coffee table book by December 2013 that will benefit the Franklin County 4-H Scholarship

Objective: Collect stories from 25 county farm / 4-H families


  • Conduct a communications workshop
  • Feature 12 county farm families on TheFieldPosition.com
  • Feature “Franklin County 4-H Facts” each Friday this year
  • Recruit each county 4-H club reporter to submit one story
  • Invite residents to submit stories about their Century Farms or in honor of their loved ones.

A team of Franklin County farm boys, coached by V. B. Hamilton, was named the 1930 Iowa Champion Judging Team. Team members were Wilbur and Willard Latham, Earl Shaull and J. Verald Brown.

Tactic #1 will take place on Saturday, Jan. 12. 4-H club reporters and anyone interested in exploring communications careers are invited to attend this workshop, from 10 AM to 2:30 PM, at the Franklin County Extension Office in Hampton.

Tactic #2 begins tomorrow when feature April Hemmes and Ruth Kazmerzak on TheFieldPosition.com. Be sure to “tune into tomorrow” for their story.

Tactic #3 involves sharing 4-H facts. Although it’s only Thursday, I couldn’t resist sharing a few facts today:

  • Cooperative Extension in Franklin County began with the organization of the Franklin County Farm Bureau in 1918. Extension work was a service offered through Farm Bureau.
  • The first 4-H club formed was a countywide Purebred Sow and Litter Club.
  • Because of the success of the first club, the next year they started a Pure Bred Short Horn Calf Club.
  • Girls clubs were organized with an emphasis on home furnishings, music appreciation and health.
  • Until 1955, girls who wanted to raise and show livestock could only do so by belonging to a boys’ club. This was also the year they began a county girls livestock 4H club and the Livestock Queens were formed.

We hope you’ll join our efforts, too! “Like” Franklin County Extension on Facebook and watch for “Fun Fact Friday.” Watch for “Friday Farm Family Features” on TheFieldPosition.com. Share your own family’s farm and/or 4-H story. Click here to download a form and to learn more about the donor levels. Feel free to contact me directly to see how I might help tell your story.

Twenty-eight baby beeves were exhibited at the 1925 Franklin County Fair. 4-H members sold each for $150 and netted $30/animal.