(1918 – 1998)
An Opelika native, Miss Elouise F. Lipscomb graduated from Lee County Training School and earned a B.S. at Alabama A&M University. All of her thirty-two-year Extension career was in Morgan County. She began as Home Demonstration Agent in July 1944.
Elouise Lipscomb was a compassionate and caring agent who earned the love and respect of “her people” through her hard work, personal example, and plain talk, seasoned with humor as well as her presence in community activities. She organized sixteen home demonstration clubs and taught canning and drying methods of preserving surplus fruits and vegetables, nutrition and food preparation, and home improvements projects.
In a Hartselle Enquirer article honoring Miss Lipscomb on her February 28, 1977, retirement, she told about a sewing machine-cleaning clinic. She said, “I told them not to bring machines that didn’t work, just those that needed cleaning, but they brought them anyway. We just got under the shade trees and tore them down and cleaned them and put them back together and they ran like a top! One lady was so pleased that she came around afterward and asked, “Miss Lipscomb, can you fix clocks, too?”
She was a role model for women and youth. She worked with 4-H clubs until the late 60s and four 4-H Club members were state winners who attended the national 4-H congress.
A former coworker said, “Elouise Lipscomb taught me the things that are not found in textbooks. As a young home economist just out of school, she taught me that visits to the homes of families that I worked with were important. She taught me that making the extra time to talk with the young people in 4-H would encourage them in their activities. She taught me that professionals kept their promises to the people in the county, even if it did mean making another trip out from the office in the afternoon.
“But most of all ‘Lip’ (as she had us call her) taught me not to refuse the hospitality that was offered by the families I was visiting. If they invited you to stay for supper, you accepted. And if they offered you sauerkraut sandwiches on white bread, you ate it and said thank you at the end of the meal. For many of them, they were serving you the hospitality from their meager resources. We are to return that hospitality with a gracious spirit.
“And at the end of her life, Elouise Lipscomb taught me to suffer with compassion for others and the belief that those of us in Extension have chosen a profession to help Alabama families.”
She held the offices of vice president and secretary, Alabama Association of Negro County and Home Demonstration Agents, and served the National Negro County and Home Demonstration Organization as parliamentarian and reporter. She was also a member of the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences.
As a lasting tribute to her pioneering and enterprising efforts, the name of Elouise F. Lipscomb is inscribed on the dedicatory plaque of the Extension Memorial Chapel.
Chapel Plaque Inscription Number: 406