(1900 – 1977)
Bess Fleming was born in Brundidge, Alabama, in 1900. After graduating from Brundidge High School, she went to college at Montevallo, where she earned her B. S. degree in Home Economics. Later, Miss Fleming received her M. A. degree in Home Economics from Auburn University.
Her first employment was as a teacher at Dothan High School from 1923 to 1926. The next two years found her teaching math and English in Auburn. In 1928, Bess became a Home Demonstration Agent and soon was named State Specialist in the Alabama Extension program. Perhaps her greatest distinction was serving as the state’s first 4-H leader.
Described by coworkers as a “terrific person”, Bess Fleming was always cheerful. Her son remembers her overriding characteristic being “her love of people. She made friends easily and devotedly; she admired intellectual accomplishment and gentle manners.” The combination of her pleasant personality, intelligence, and high moral character proved effective in her leadership role.
Bess Fleming set an outstanding example for the young 4-H’ers she led. Parents, teachers, and community leaders all appreciated the hard work that brought success to her many projects. At the time of her marriage to Emil Wright, Sr., in 1934, this devoted lady followed procedure and resigned her position with Extension.
In honor of her years of exceptional leadership and service, the name Bess Fleming Wright is inscribed on the dedicatory plaque of the Extension Memorial Chapel.
Chapel Plaque Inscription Number: 131