(1884 – 1973)
Elizabeth Forney was a born educator and leader, characteristics which make for excellent Extension workers. She distinguished herself at all three — educator, leader, and Extension agent. It was with great sadness that her family and friends said good-bye for the last time on April 2, 1973. She had been living in Clearwater, Florida, at the time of her death.
Born in Newton, North Carolina, on August 28, 1884, Elizabeth migrated with the rest of the Forney family to Rock Hill, South Carolina. There she began her education and went on to attend Winthrop College, receiving her Bachelor’s degree in 1915.
Elizabeth began her career as a teacher of home economics and math in the Anderson, South Carolina, city schools in 1910. Further migration brought her to Sylacauga, Alabama, in 1915 after graduating from Winthrop, where she taught school for another two years. It was then that she chose the Extension Service as her career. Her first assignments were in South Carolina as a home demonstration agent and as a state dairy specialist from 1917 to 1923. During 1923 and 1924, she took post-graduate work at Columbia University.
Miss Forney came to the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service in 1924 as the home demonstration agent for Lauderdale County. She served also in Marshall and Lee Counties. In 1925, her reputation for excellence was rewarded, and she was promoted to the position of district home demonstration agent. She was one of three district agents for women’s work and supervised one third of the state. Further distinguishing herself, she was promoted to State Home Demonstration Agent and headquartered in Auburn for three years before taking her well-earned retirement in August 1946.
Miss Forney was a strong individual who took her work seriously. She is remembered for her leadership abilities and her dedication to a noble profession. It is to honor this great lady that the name of Elizabeth F. Forney is inscribed on the dedicatory plaque of the Extension Memorial Chapel.
Chapel Plaque Inscription Number: 25