Commentary

MILAM HISTORY

Milam’s Edna Trigg started HD clubs in Texas
Joy Graham

This is the latest in a series on Milam County women.

Edna Westbrook Trigg was born Dec. 30, 1868 between Milano and Cameron, the daughter of Ervin and Rachel (Walker) Westbrook.

She attended school in the Liberty community and earned her teaching certificate by attending summer normal schools in Cameron.

She married Charles Trigg in 1892. They had a son and a daughter.

In 1911, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture asked her to help introduce home demonstration work in Milam County. She served as a county collaborator for girls’ tomato clubs.

She was teaching and the principal of Liberty school agreed after being told this would not interfere with her teaching.

In 1912 she organized community girls ages 10 to 18 into clubs; each member was responsible for raising 1/10 acre of tomatoes, selling part of the harvest and canning the rest.

During this same time, boys in clubs in Milano raised corn. In August, both clubs, showed their products, this being the first time girls exhibited agricultural products in the state.

In 1913, the girls exhibited at the Rockdale Fair and the State Fair of Texas in Dallas and won over $100 in prize money.

Trigg encouraged club members to save their money, establish college funds and compete for scholarships. After lack of salary funding forced her to discontinue in 1915, she continued working to organize community councils for farm women.

She traveled to Childress to conduct a two-month canning clinic.

In 1916, she was offered the position of home demonstration agent for Denton County. What a challenge, the first home demonstration agent, a stranger to all and a “government woman” at that.

These were times just before the depression. She challenged farm families to plant more vegetables and introduced food and nutrient consumption to guard against diseases of malnutrition.

She died Nov. 15, 1946, and is buried in Denton.

She is recognized for her work with a Texas Historical Marker on the grounds of the Milam County Courthouse.

marygraham99@yahoo.com


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