Referred to as the “Mother of 4-H,” Jessie Field Shambaugh (1881-1971) organized boys’ farming clubs and girls’ homemaking clubs during her tenure as school superintendent for Page County, Iowa. The hard work and generosity Shambaugh showed towards her students was reciprocated in part through the use of the auto pictured above. According to a profile on Iowa Public Television:
Jessie Field Shambaugh started countywide junior achievement shows similar to today’s [4-H] fairs. In 1909 Jessie and her troops entered their exhibits in the international corn show at Omaha and won. First prize was a brush automobile. The 600 kids who participated voted to let the county school superintendent, Jessie, use the car, which allowed her to visit their schools more often than she could by horse and buggy.
[Said her daughter] Ruth Shambaugh Watkins: She made them feel sure it was their car. When they heard the little car coming up, putt-putt-putt-putt-putt, they would all run to the steps, and the teacher would let them, to see their car. And then the boys took turns with cranking it, and she gave them many, many rides… She was so eager to give the children a feeling of self-worth or that here were things that they had achieved… This was, you know, learning to do the best better.