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Adelaide Hoodless

Born near St. George in Brant county, Adelaide Hoodless was motivated to her advocate role when her youngest son died in infancy after drinking impure milk. She organized Household Science classes at the YWCA in Hamilton and persuaded the Province of Ontario to undertake a province-wide program. She influenced Lord Strathcona to assist in financing the Ontario Normal School of Domestic Science and Arts in Hamilton in 1900. Mrs. Hoodless prevailed upon Sir William Macdonald, the tobacco millionaire, to contribute financially to the establishment of Macdonald Institute in Guelph and Macdonald College in Quebec.

Mrs. Hoodless is perhaps best known as the inspiration behind the WomenÕs Institute movement. Along with Erland Lee, she drafted the charter for the organization and helped organize the first Institute at Squire's Hall, Stoney Creek. That meeting, February 19, 1897, opened the way for the Federated WomenÕs Institutes of Canada and internationally, the Associated Country Women of the World.

At a meeting of the Federation of Women's Clubs in Toronto on February 25, 1910, Mrs. Hoodless made an appeal for a university school of Home Economics. While she was speaking she had a heart attack and died a few minutes later. But she had done the pioneer work for the founding of a Department of Household Science at the University of Toronto.

  • Mrs. Hoodless was in the vanguard of many movements in the interest of women
  • She had a part in founding the Y.W.C.A. in Canada, and became national president in 1898.
  • Mrs. Hoodless was a member of the founding executive of the Victorian Order of Nurses in 1897.
  • She was also involved in the founding of the National Council of Women.

The Adelaide Hoodless Homestead is now the property of the Federated Women's Institutes of Canada and Women's Institute branches on P.E.I. help to support the Hunter Hoodless Homestead at St. George, Ontario.

Though the beginnings were humble, Adelaide Hoodless felt the need for an ongoing effort to better the lives of women and rural people everywhere.

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