Listowel Junior Women's Institute, Perth County, Ontario
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The Listowel Junior Women’s Institute of the North Perth District was formed in the former town of Listowel in Perth County on December 6, 1949. The first Women’s Institute in Ontario was established in 1897 by Adelaide Hunter Hoodless in Stoney Creek. Farmers’ Institutes had been established in Ontario in the 1890s to educate men about agricultural practices. The Women’s Institutes focussed on home economics and cultural activities. In 1919, the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada was formed at a meeting of provincial representatives as a co-ordinating body. The Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario was founded the same year. The Ontario government created an Institutes Branch in the Department of Agriculture in 1894 to supervise and regulate the Farmers Institutes. By 1920, the Farmers’ Institutes had disbanded and the branch concerned itself with directing Women’s Institutes. It was called the Women’s Institute branch, the Home Economics Branch and the Rural Organizations and Services Branch at different periods in its history. The Branch offered course in home economics in partnership with the institutes. It also supported the activities of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario. In 1925, the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario established a standing committee for historical research and current events. In the mid-1930s, the wife of Lord Tweedsmuir, Governor General of Canada from 1935-1940, suggested that all Women’s Institutes create local history books. These became known as the Tweedsmuir histories.