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Delury, Abigail (1868-1957)

Abigail DeLury (centre), Director of Women's Work (Homemaker's Clubs), ca. 1920.
Saskatchewan Archives Board R-A8827

Abigail DeLury, born in 1868, was raised in Manilla, Ontario. She trained as a teacher at Port Perry Model School and Toronto Normal School. In 1904, she enrolled at Macdonald Institute, Ontario Agriculture College, and in 1906 received her Diploma in Home Economics. After graduating, she first taught at Macdonald College at McGill University and later moved to Moose Jaw. During the summers of 1911 and 1912, DeLury was employed by the University of Saskatchewan to speak to women about forming Homemakers Clubs. In 1913, she was appointed the first Director of Women’s Work at the University. Through lectures, demonstrations, short courses, conferences and conventions she and her staff provided a wide range of homemaking programs for rural women in such areas as nutrition, cooking, gardening, dressmaking, and home nursing. She also trained judges for fairs. She was the author of the University’s first home economics extension bulletins, as well as of History of Homemakers’ Clubs of Saskatchewan and Handbook for Homemakers’ Clubs. DeLury was also an advocate of school health programs and community libraries. In 1930 she returned to Manilla after her retirement, and died there on June 10, 1957. She was inducted into the Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2005.

Marilyn Lewry

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Further Reading

Rowles, E.C. 1964. Home Economics in Canada, The Early History of Six College Programs: Prologue to Change. Saskatoon: University of Saskatchewan.

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