Albert B. Graham

March 13, 1868 — 

January 14, 1960

Albert Graham, an educator from Ohio, is inducted as the founder of the 4-H Club movement.

During 1902, while serving as superintendent of public schools in Springfield Township, Graham began holding Saturday morning meetings outside his school house for rural children to learn practical skills by doing. The meetings concentrated on projects that students could readily understand and complete.

The “club” was so popular that in 1903 Graham contacted the Ohio Experiment Station at Ohio State University for support. Together with the Dean of Agriculture at the university, the pair designed a plan to organize more clubs and projects.

By 1904, the movement had spread to neighboring counties. Under the direction of school superintendents, over three thousand youths were enrolled in thirteen township clubs in Ohio. From this, 4-H Clubs grew rapidly to become one of our nation’s most well-known educational clubs for rural youth. In 1905, Graham was invited to Ohio State University to become the state’s first Superintendent of Extension.

The 4-H clover emblem and “Head, Heart, Hands and Health” motto were adopted nationally in 1911 and have endured as a testament to the institutional importance of the 4-H movement.