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Kendalia Neighbors' Study Club


"Home Demonstration Club" background

"Home Demonstration" had its beginning in 1912 when Edna Trigg began teaching girls in "tomato clubs" how to grow and preserve tomatoes.  As the name implied, home demonstration gave emphasis to homemaking skills.

On May 8, 1914, Congress passed the Smith-Lever Act which mandated state and local governments to match federal funding in order to establish agriculture extension work by trained men and women.  Prior to 1914, because of Mrs. Trigg's pioneering, other trained females were going into the rural areas teaching new techniques in sewing, gardening, home improvement and management, and animal husbandry.

World War I brought emphasis on canning and preserving food products.  In 1926, county agents began broadcasting instructions and techniques on the radio.  During the Dust Bowl and the depression of the 1930's, it became imperative to eke out as much as possible with anything that was on hand.  Women were taught to make meals with corn and beans, as beans provided necessary protein.  They were taught how to refinish furniture and mattresses, canning, and home sewing.

There were 152 clubs in Texas in 1917 with just under 2,000 members.  In 1934, there were 49,000 women enrolled in 2,268 clubs.  By 1937, many black women were involved in home demonstration.  The zenith of membership was reached during World War II when "victory gardens" and "victory canning" were pushed. Interest dropped after World War II when families left the rural area for city jobs.  In 1984, the membership was 28,686 and in 1994, membership was 12,000 including some male members.

In August, of 1960, the Kendall County Commissioner's Court authorized hiring a county agent in August, 1960 with her term beginning Sept. 1, 1961.  Mrs. Hazel Myers began organizing the Kendalia Club in August, 1962 with the new club holding their first meeting on September 13, 1962.  There were 27 members with Flo Walker as President, Margo Johnson as Vice President, and Joy Brussel, Secretary-Treasurer.  The first agent who was hired in 1962 was Sue Gottwald Bodkin.  Charter members were Louise Bindseil, Joy Brussel, Alice Edmondson, Emma Fischer, Mildred Fox, Bernice Gourley, Pat Granberg, Judy Hamilton, Amy Harwell, Bette Harwell, Ann Haynes, Nora Heidrich, Margo Johnson, Alice Kneupper, Dolly Kneupper, Dorothy Kneupper, Mattie Kneupper, Pauline Kneupper, Norma Krause, Dora Lux, Hazel Myers, Abeline Pahmeyer, Mae Petri, Jean Schaffer, Meta Treiber, Flo Walker and Thekla Wengenroth.

Activities of the Kendalia Club initially consisted of pattern alteration, use of soaps in the water in this area, tour of flower nurseries, planting and gardening methods, an interest in quilt making and other topics of interest to the homemaker.  The club made many quilts to raffle.  In fact, it was noted at the May 14, 1964 meeting, the Treasurer reported a bank balance of $10.50 after paying $9.50 for printing off raffle tickets.  There was also 55 cents on hand.  By August, they had a balance of $165.13 after the raffle.

"Extension Homemakers' Club" background

The first title of the Texas Clubs was Home Demonstration Clubs.  In 1972, it was renamed to Extension Homemakers' Club and in 1994, it was named Texas Association of Home and Family Community Education.  WOW! Texas Extension Education Association was the name from 2001 until the present, 2013.  Agents for Kendall County:  Sue Gottwald Bodkin - 1962-1967, Margaret Malaer - 1969-1979, Teresa Echert Hollis - 1980-1987, Rebecca Rogers 1988-2003, Angela Welborn Fiedler, 2003-2012, Jana Osbourn, 2012 to the present 2013.

"Kendalia Neighbors' Study Club" background

The Kendalia Neighbors' Extension Association voted on November 10, 2011 to dissolve this organization and form a new organization by the name of Kendalia Neighbors' Study Club.  The reasons for dissolution was mainly because of all the paperwork the KNEA had to complete as it was associated with a federal and state organization. Out of the $12 in dues collected from members, 25 cents remained with our local club.

The funds that remained in the old organization were divided with three non-profit organizations, fifty percent to the Kendalia Community Club, and twenty five percent to each Kendalia Library and the Kendalia Volunteer Fire Department.

Purposes of the new organization will follow the same guidelines as the old organization with funds to be used for scholarships and other non-profit organizations and/or as the organization sees the need.