Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on April 5, 2011 at 1:25 PM by Global Reach

J.L started the boys’ club in the mid 1940’s.  Like the girls’ club the Williams Boosters club is still going.  At the time J.L was leader, the club was primarily a livestock club.  All the boys from the Williams club exhibited at the county fair, with prize-winning results.  The members always had a club tour where they showed each other their projects and got advice from their leader.  If girls wanted to have livestock projects, they had to become members of the boys’ club, and had a dual membership in the county program.

The girls’ and boys’ clubs worked together on family activities such as the annual Christmas party and occasional picnics and wiener roasts.  They also worked together on the food stand which the boys organized and built at the county fair.  That effort is continues.

J.L was one of several county 4-H leaders who came together to organize the Hamilton County 4-H Foundation. The Foundation was first organized to help youth make their “Club Calf” purchases, but since that time the Hamilton County 4-H Foundation has been instrumental in supplying awards and opportunity scholarships to thousands of Hamilton County 4-H’ers.  This 4-H Foundation was founded before the Iowa 4-H Foundation in 1949.   During the 40 and 50’s he served as president of the Hamilton County Extension Council.

4-H was not the only youth-centered activity in which J.L. and Edith were involved.  They met in the 1920’s when both of them brought young people to a leadership camp at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.  Edith was from Princeton, Illinois and J.L. from Cedar, Iowa.  They were married in 1929.

The American Youth Foundation conferences at Camp Miniwanca in Michigan also were important to them from the 1920’s through the 1980’s.  They were instrumental in establishing a Hamilton County Scholarship to these annual conferences for outstanding 4-H award winners.  They worked on the conference staffs for many years.

From the 1940’s through the early 1970’s, Edith and J.L. Ruby were a stabilizing influence in Hamilton County 4-H, and are gratefully remembered by former members of the Williams Clubs.

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Categories: Hamilton

J. L. Ruby was one of my main life mentors in Williams, Ia. Along with Superintendant Shelton and Ken Sutton, my coach who just passed (Oct. '12). J.L. taught me not only how to judge cattle at the county fair. He taught me about the world; going on that trip to Russia with Iowa farmers on an exchange as he did when Kruschev and JFK were at standoff. He just gave me a lot overview to the land, our water supply, and the world I couldn't get anywhere else in Williams in the '50's. For that I'm ever indebted to J.L. Ruby. He and Edith deserve their place in the 4-H Hall of Fame.
Neal Lekwa | | 3/20/23 at 3:16 AM
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