Mary Sjoberg: Cook County Style Queen
4-H Clubs offered more than just farm animal projects to children growing up in rural Minnesota during the 1930s. Mary Sjoberg of Grand Marais in Cook County enjoyed participating in domestic 4-H projects, like clothing, health, and room furnishings. She wrote about her experiences in 4-H in the 1937 Cook County Agricultural Extension Service Annual Report.
My 4-H Club Achievements
My years in 4-H club work have proved to be very successful to me. I have been in club work seven years. Each project is very valuable in itself and I also learned so much through my demonstrations.
I have been enrolled in sewing, cake, canning, room furnishing, thrift, garden, junior leadership and health.
Besides winning many high prizes at the County Fair, I have won honors in contests and demonstrations. I won as Health champion one year, as County Style Queen three years in succession, one year winning sixth in the state. I have won trips to the State Fair also in a room furnishing demonstration and in a sewing demonstration. I have won two gold pins, one for being the Most Outstanding Home Economics girl in the county, one for having the best long time record, and one gold medal and a silver pin for style queen contest. I also expect to get two pins for my style queen work this year.
Junior Leadership is one project that almost any girl from 15 to 21 would like because of the variety of things that can be done for the community, home, country, and for the other club members. As a junior leader I helped take care of the meetings. One year I acted as president. I have helped with County Achievement and Sub-district Contests, club programs, club booths, etc. This project was very interesting because we had so many young members in our club.
I feel that any girl can learn and profit by taking 4-H club work as a project and as a profitable past-time. It brought fun into my leisure moments and also brought us girls more closely together for cooperative work.
Sjoberg, Mary Cook County Agricultural Extension Service Annual Report, 1937. State Archives Collection, Minnesota Historical Society.