Jessie Field Shambaugh

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Celestia Josephine "Jessie" Field Shambaugh (21 June 1881 – 15 January 1971) was an American educator and activist known as the "Mother of 4-H Clubs."[1]

Life and career[edit]

Born near Shenandoah, Iowa to Sol E. and Celestia Eastman Field, she graduated from Tabor College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1903. She taught in Antigo, Wisconsin, Shenandoah, Iowa, and Helena, Montana before becoming superintendent of schools in Page County, Iowa in 1906.

In 1910, she designed a three-leaf-clover pin with the letter "H" on each leaf, representing "head," "hands" and "heart." A fourth leaf for "home" later became "health." By 1912 they were called 4-H clubs, and the national 4-H organization was formed in 1914.

Field moved to New York City in 1912 to work for the national YMCA. She married Ira William (I.W.) Shambaugh in Redlands, California on June 9, 1917.

Shambaugh died in Clarinda, Iowa of pneumonia following a fall.[2]


  1. ^ Longden, Tom. Famous Iowans: Jessie Field Shambaugh. Des Moines Register
  2. ^ Staff report (January 18, 1971). Jessie Shambaugh Dead; A Founder of 4-H Clubs. New York Times

External links[edit]