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Florida Home Economics Association Records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2005-017

Scope and Contents

The Florida Home Economics Association Records are historically significant because they document the history of a statewide professional organization that developed instructional programs for families and institutions for the purpose of improving living conditions and homemaking.

Significant individuals cited in the collection include Margaret Sandels, Dean of the Florida State College for Women/Florida State University School of Home Economics, Ruth O'Connor, FSCW Professor of Home Economics, and Boletha Frojen, Florida State Supervisor of Home Economics Education.

FHEA materials include correspondence, financial records, membership records, meeting minutes, publications, and reports kept by FSCW faculty active in the Florida Home Economics Association. There are also student papers, most of which are closed because they contain confidential grade information.


  • created: 1918-1969
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1938-1945

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been transferred to the Florida State University Libraries. All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

The Florida Home Economics Association (FHEA), whose goal was "the development and promotion of standards of home living that will be satisfying and developing to the individual and profitable to society," first met on November 28, 1919, at the Seminole Hotel, Jacksonville, FL. Edith M. Thomas, the State Supervisor of Home Economics, chaired the meeting, and became its first president, serving from 1919 to 1920. The FHEA was founded as an affiliate of the American Home Economics Association (AHEA), formed in 1908. According to its Constitution, the FHEA was to reach its goal "by the study of problems connected with the family and the institutional household; by improving and extending home economics instruction in schools and colleges and in adult education programs; by improving professional education for all home economists by encouraging and aiding investigation and research in problems of home economics, and by issuing publications and holding meetings through which there may be wider and better understanding of the value of home economics interests."

The first FHEA district association was the West Coast Home Economics Association, that first met in April 1921. The next groups to organize were Lake, Seminole, Orange, and Osceola Counties in 1923, the South East Florida Association (Dade, Palm Beach, Broward, Martin, and Okeechobee Counties) in 1925-1926, the Florida Central East Coast Association (St. Johns, Flagler, Volusia, Brevard Counties) in 1927, the Central Association (Alachua, Putnam, Dixie, Columbia, Levy, Marion, Gilchrist, and Bradford Counties) in 1928, the Capital City Association (Leon, Jefferson, Gadsden, Wakulla, Liberty, Franklin, Jackson, Suwanee, Madison, Taylor, Lafayette, and Hamilton Counties) in 1929, and the Ridgeland Association (Polk, Highlands, De Soto, and Hardee) and North Florida districts (Nassau, Duval, Baker Counties), organized in 1930. The objectives of the district associations, according to Boletha Frojen, President of the Florida Home Economics Association 1928-1930, were "contact with our fellow workers - home makers, home demonstration agents, lunch room or institutional managers, dietitians, research workers, home economics women in business, and teachers - discuss problems in common, in working toward the same goal - that of improving living conditions and home making."

Among its accomplishments during the 1920s and 1930s were the compilation of a list of trained women who held positions in hospitals and educational institutions in Florida, the creation of tentative standards of accomplishment for high school classes in Home Economics, the compilation of data concerning the relationship of the Home Economics teacher to the health program in the schools, and the promotion of the George Reed Act (1929), establishing a federal law furthering vocational agriculture and home economics education in Florida by assuring home economics a fairer share of future federal funding. By the 1940s, the Association had grown. Its membership comprised professional home economists, public school and college teachers, home demonstration agents and extension specialists, Farm Security Administration supervisors, demonstrators of food, clothing, and commercial equipment, dietitians, and homemakers.

Instructors at Florida State College for Women actively participated in the FHEA. Faculty members included School of Home Economics Dean Margaret R. Sandels (FHEA President, 1925-1926), Professors Jennie Tilt (FHEA President 1927-1928), Home Economics Professor Dr. Ruth Connor (FHEA President, 1940-1942), Associate Professor and Dietitian Anna May Tracy (FHEA President, 1931-1932 and Acting State Supervisor for Home Economics Education in 1939), Laura Veach Clark, Henrietta Sivyer, and Assistant Professor Leila Venable. FSCW's Home Demonstration Division staff active in this organization included Flavia Gleason, Virginia P. Moore, Ruby McDavid, Mary A. Stennis, Isabel Thursby, and Mary Ellen Keown, (FHEA President, 1933-1934). At FSCW, Dr. Connor was in charge of FHEA student clubs.

Later FHEA Presidents included Mayme R. Smith(1934-1935), Gertrude Pedersen (1935-1936), Edith M. Davis (1943-1944), Lois Culpepper (1944-1945), and Dr. Hazel T. Stevens, (1953-1954). According to Penny Ralston, Dean of the Florida State University College of Human Sciences, the FHEA became the Florida Association of Family and Consumer Sciences in 1994.


27 boxes

Language of Materials



Correspondence, financial records, membership records, meeting minutes, publications, and reports kept by Florida State College for Women faculty active in the Florida Home Economics Association.

Method of Acquisition

The donor cannot be determined.

Existence and Location of Originals

Portions of collection available online?: No

Processing Information

The collection was processed in December 2005 and January 2006.

Florida Home Economics Association Records
Burt Altman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 10/29/2019: Added Scrapbook series, which includes box and location information.

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US