Ohio 4-H History
1902-1911 (First Decade)
* 4-H is born. A.B. Graham, superintendent of schools for Springfield Township in Clark County, established a “Boys’ and Girls’ Agricultural Club.”
Approximately 85 children from 10 to 15 years of age attended the first meeting on Jan. 15, 1902 in Springfield, Ohio in the basement of the Clark County Courthouse.
This was the start of what would be called a “4-H Club” within a few years. The first “projects” included food preservation, gardening and elementary agriculture.
* Members of the first Boys’ and Girls’ Agricultural Club exhibited their products at the Community Farmer’s Institute in Springfield, Ohio.
A.B. Graham named Superintendent of Extension at the Ohio State University College of Agriculture by W.O. Thompson, OSU President.
There were 20 Boys’ and Girls’ Agricultural clubs with 1,036 members.
* The first 4-H emblem was designed as a three-leaf clover emblem. The three H’s stood for Head, Heart, and Hands. A fourth “H” was soon added and stood for “Hustle.”
* The present 4-H emblem, a green four-leaf clover with an “H” in each leaf was adopted. The four H’s stood for Head, Heart, Hands and Health. (The fourth “H” which previously stood for “hustle” was designated for “health.” )
1912-1921 (Second Decade)
* The first four 4-H club agents were hired in four counties.
* W.H. Palmer became the first State Leader of Ohio 4-H Club Work.
* 126 boys traveled to the Ohio State University Campus in Columbus to receive recognition as livestock judges. This event was called “Club Week” and evolved into “Club Congress” and then into the “Ohio 4-H Youth Expo” which is currently still being held at OSU.
* Ohio Governor Cox transferred the contests of the Agricultural Commission to the 4-H Club office of the Extension Service.
* The first 4-H clubs participated at the Ohio State Fair exhibiting poultry, pigs, canning, and demonstrations.
* Summit County 4-H Agent, R. Bruce Tom, conducted the first 4-H camp.