Divided Paths, Common Ground: The Story of Mary Matthews and Lella Gaddis, Pioneering Purdue Women Who Introduced Science into the Home
Divided Paths, Common Ground: The Story of Mary Matthews and Lella Gaddis, Pioneering Purdue Women Who Introduced Science into the Home (Paperback)
In the early 1900s, Mary Matthews and Lella Gaddis forged trails for women at Purdue University and throughout Indiana. Mary was the first dean of the School of Home Economics. Lella was Indiana’s first state leader of Home Demonstration. In 1914, Mary hired Lella to organize Purdue’s new Home Economics Extension Service. According to those who knew them, Lella was a “sparkler” who traveled the state instructing rural women about nutrition, hygiene, safe water, childcare, and more. “Reserved” Mary established Purdue’s School of Home Economics, created Indiana’s first nursery school, and authored a popular textbook. Both women used their natural talents and connections to achieve their goals in spite of a male-dominated society. As a land grant institution, Purdue University has always been very connected to the American countryside. Based on extensive oral history and archival research, this book sheds new light on the important role female staff and faculty played in improving the quality of life for rural women during the first half of the twentieth century. It is also a fascinating story, engagingly told, of two very different personalities united in a common goal.
About the Author(s):
Angie Klink writes biographies, histories, documentaries, children’s books, essays, and advertising copy. Klink was the scriptwriter for the 2013 documentary about public education, Rise Above the Mark, narrated by actor Peter Coyote. She is the author of Kirby’s Way: How Kirby and Caroline Risk Built their Company on Kitchen-Table Values (Purdue University Press, 2012), a spirited profile of one of the Midwest’s leading businessmen, his wife, and their company, the Kirby Risk Corporation. In her book Divided Paths, Common Ground: The Story of Mary Matthews and Lella Gaddis, Pioneering Purdue Women Who Introduced Science into the Home (Purdue University Press, 2011), Klink brings to life two remarkable female educators who improved the lives of American women. She also has authored the popular lift-the-flap children’s books Purdue Pete Finds His Hammer and I Found U. Klink is published in four titles for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She has won forty-four American Advertising Federation ADDY Awards and an honorable mention in the 2007 Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. She holds a BA from the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University.