The Queen of American Agriculture: A Biography of Virginia Claypool Meredith (Hardback)

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Queen of American Agriculture
Purdue University Press
6.00" x 9.00"

Book Description

Virginia Claypool Meredith's role in directly managing the affairs of a large and prosperous farm in east-central Indiana opened doors that were often closed to women in late nineteenth century America. Her status allowed her to campaign for the education of women, in general, and rural women, in particular. While striving to change society's expectations for women, she also gave voice to the important role of women in the home. A lifetime of dedication made Virginia Meredith "the most remarkable woman in Indiana" and the "Queen of American Agriculture." Meredith was also an integral part of the history of Purdue University. She was the first woman appointed to serve on the university's board of trustees, had a residence hall named in her honor, and worked with her adopted daughter, Mary L. Matthews, in creating the School of Home Economics at Purdue University.

About the Author(s):

Frederick Whitford works for the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service in the College of Agriculture. He received a BS in wildlife management from Louisiana Tech University, and an MS and PhD in entomology from Iowa State University. He has authored more than 250 research, extension, and regulatory publications, and has delivered at least 4,000 presentations to a wide array of audiences. He has written several other books about the history of Indiana agriculture, all published by Purdue University Press.


A downloadable brochure of Whitford's agricultural history books with discount information is available here.


Dr. Andrew Martin is a training specialist with the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, where he manages Indiana's commercial pesticide applicator training program.  He received his bachelor's degree in soil and crop science, his master's degree in soil management, and his Ph.D. in education, all from Purdue University.  Martin's professional interests include instruction in ethics and pesticide use, the history of pesticide applicator certification and training, and program evaluation.  He resides in Delphi, Indiana, with his wife, Joyce, and children, Ruth, Andrew, and Daniel.

Phyllis Mattheis, historian and General Federation of Women’s Clubs member, serves in numerous ways to preserve Indiana’s canals and historically important landmarks. She documents the lives of prominent people from Cambridge City and Wayne County in Indiana, and enjoys speaking on historic topics to various groups. Phyllis and her husband, Jerry, restored and reside in the Overbeck House, which stands adjacent to the Oakland Farm property once owned by Virginia Meredith.