The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983 Page: 232
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
tension services. Farm spokesmen noted that the nation's population
was still overwhelmingly rural and that country people, when compared
with those in urban centers, suffered cultural and technological depri-
vation. In Texas, the Agricultural and Mechanical College at College
Station responded to such appeals in the 188os by planting demonstra-
tion farms, establishing the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station,
and conducting farmers' institutes throughout the state. In 19o3,
Semon A. Knapp, working in cooperation with A8cM College, located
one of his famous experimental farms near Terrell, Texas. By 1912,
A8cM was cooperating with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in a
variety of programs partially funded by the federal government.2 These
efforts were designed mainly to upgrade the agricultural techniques of
Texas farmers and did not encompass the full range of services envi-
sioned by the progressives.
In the meantime the University of Wisconsin was leading the way
in developing broader extension programs. In 1885, in part to stifle ap-
peals by the Grange for the establishment of a separate agricultural col-
lege in Wisconsin, the university's board of regents authorized a series
of farmers' institutes. They proved very successful in satisfying the
Grange. Frederick Jackson Turner, the great western historian, and
others at the university urged that this technique be extended to other
groups and include other subjects. To support their argument they
cited the successes of English universities in conducting a lecture sys-
tem, known as university extension, and other outreach work done by
such eastern institutions as The Johns Hopkins University. Turner, in
particular, having worked in the Johns Hopkins program, encouraged
such ventures in Wisconsin. Thus, by 1897, the university held me-
chanics' institutes, offered summer school, sent out lecturers, and ad-
ministered correspondence courses.3
The early extension activities, other than the farmers' institutes,
2Archibald J. Rose to G. W. Allen, Jan. 8, 1890o, letterbook, Archibald J. Rose Papers
(Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas, Austin; cited hereafter as
BTHC); Proceedings of the Texas State Grange, IV (1877), 41; ibid., V (1878), 28; Texas
Extension Service, Historical Notes and Staff Lists for the years 1903-1904, 1910, 1914 (Ar-
chives, Texas A&M University Library); Annual and Biennial Report of the Board of Di-
rectors for the years 1890o, 1891, 191o, 1913, ibid.; Alford C. True, A History of Agricul-
tural Extension Work in the United States, 1875-1923 (New York, 1969), 6o; Alford C.
True. A History of Agricultural Education (Washington, D. C., 1929), 196-2oo; Henry C.
Dethloff, A Centennial History of Texas A&M University (2 vols.; College Station, Tex.,
1975), II, 382-404.
SMerle Curti and Vernon Carstensen, The University of Wisconsin, 1848-1925 (2 vols.;
Madison, 1949), I, 711-739; Ray Allen Billington, Frederick Jackson Turner, Historian,
Scholar, Teacher (New York, 1973), 69-71, 97-98.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983, periodical, 1982/1983; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101209/m1/268/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.