UW-Stevens Point: Home Economics Timeline: Past To Present (1902-2002)
A celebration of 100 years of dynamic change in Home Economics
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A celebration of 100 years of dynamic change in Home Economics

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Compiled and written by Heather Lipinski, class of� 2004

Picture (36x22, 251 bytes)iss Ethel Hill was born in Ashland, Wisconsin on September 16, 1918. She was the eldest of four children born to Lydia and Victor Hill. She attended elementary school and completed sixth grade in Ashland; then her parents purchased a farm in Barksdale. She and her siblings completed elementary and high school at Ondossagon, a rural elementary and high school to which students were transported to school by horse drawn buses until about 1932 when all were motorbuses.

Miss Hill chose to attend Stevens Point Teachers College upon recommendation of an aunt who thought the requirement of home economics, a home management house, was a good program. The house known as Sims Cottage was a duplex built to house two groups of four senior class home economics majors for a semester. Miss Bessie May Allen was the supervisor of the house. Each student had a schedule of duties for a period of a week at a time. The duties consisted of cook, dining room girl, upstairs girl, and downstairs girl and hostess. The cook prepared menus which were approved by Miss Allen, shopped for groceries and prepared the meals; the dining room girl assisted the cook, served the food and cleaned the dining room; the upstairs girl had charge of cleaning the bathroom and doing the laundry; the downstairs girl kept the living room, the entry and stairway clean and acted as hostess. Miss Allen had a sitting room and bedroom upstairs and alternated eating meals with the two groups. Another requirement was two girls in turn were to plan, cook and serve a rather formal dinner, the other two would do the serving and clean up. Their guests were usually two professors and their spouses. Very few students had cars so groceries had to be delivered, but many times they walked and carried the groceries back to campus.

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Even though Miss Hill remembers being rather intimidated by Miss Allen she also remembers her kindness. When Miss Hill found herself with no transportation to go to her first job interview, Miss Allen drove her. There were many people throughout her career who were an inspiration to her, two of whom were Miss Allen and Miss Helen Meston, the foods instructor whom she looked on as a �perfect lady.�

Miss Hill worked her way through school so there was little wasted time. She was a member of the girl�s glee club that prepared for a Christmas concert each year. She was also a member of a girl�s trio that practiced every morning. She spent as much time as possible with friends. A message she has for students is �Don�t take things for granted. Be serious about your education, make good friends and treasure them.� She keeps in contact with her friends, especially her roommate, Corinne Sandmire Seago. There are many who are no longer living.

Miss Hill graduated from CSTC in 1940 with a Bachelor of Science degree. After she completed college she taught at high schools in Green Lake, Eagle River and Ashland. She was also a County Home Demonstration Agent in Clark and Pierce Counties. She was Assistant State 4-H Leader and one of her assignments in addition to supervision of club work in seventeen counties was the state 4-H club music program. She attended Teachers College, Columbia University where she earned her Master of Arts degree. Her course of study was mainly in rural sociology, clothing, pattern drafting, fashion, textiles and a clothing industry field trip class. While attending Columbia she lived in the International House and also took advantage to attend the opera, theatre, concerts, going to museums, shopping in the big department stores � and a World Series baseball game.

Miss Hill began teaching at Central State Teachers College in 1956. The department was small and the classrooms were the same as they had been when she was a student. She had a variety of subjects to teach. The department began to grow as the college enrollment grew. More faculty and more courses were added; she then taught all of the clothing classes and textiles. When the College of Professional Studies building was built and the School of Home Economics moved to the building she taught only the clothing construction classes. When the college became a University there were many organizational changes. It was an exciting time to be teaching.

In 1966 she joined four other university professors in building a complex of three duplexes and a common garage for all. The group enjoyed developing their property, which they fondly called �The Meadows�, with landscaping trees, shrubbery and flowers, and a large vegetable garden. Miss Hill lived there 34 years.

Since retirement in 1980 she has taken several trips to Europe and traveled in Canada and the states. In 2001 she moved to an independent living apartment in Stevens Point and spends her time with volunteer and committee work, writing letters, reading, helping a friend and doing water color painting � and Daisy, her cat. She said, �Some days aren�t long enough.� She will attend the Clearing, Door County for more study of watercolor painting and hopes to focus more on her paintings.

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