(1877 – 1970)
May I. Cureton served the Extension Service well in home demonstration work for 31 years. As district home demonstration agent for North Alabama, she was loved by many and respected by all.
Miss Cureton was born on January 30, 1877, in Rising Fawn, Georgia. She attended high school in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and spent two years of college at Martha Washington in Abingdon, Virginia, and two years at George Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee. She was the principal of a public school in Georgia for seven years prior to her career with the Extension Service.
Her Extension work in Alabama began when she was appointed county home demonstration agent for Lauderdale County in 1916. Miss Cureton also did some work with the Girls’ Club (forerunner to 4-H) during this time. She was a home demonstration agent for Madison and Calhoun counties before being named assistant state home demonstration agent for a seven-year period. This dedicated lady became district home demonstration agent for North Alabama in 1928 and remained in that position until her retirement in 1947.
A faithful and efficient Extension worker, May Cureton was effective in her projects and programs. Held in high esteem by those she helped, her service was greatly appreciated and she was loved by coworkers, farm families, and especially the young people in 4-H.
In 1944, Miss Cureton was named 1944 “Woman of the Year in Service to Alabama Rural Progress” by Progressive Farmer magazine. In honoring Miss Cureton, the magazine’s editor said in part: “This hard worker has such a warm manner and such a genuine interest in people and in farming as a way of life, rather than merely a vocation, that everyone loves her.”
As a lasting tribute to this woman and her life’s work, the name of May I. Cureton is inscribed on the dedicatory plaque of the Extension Memorial Chapel.
Chapel Plaque Inscription Number: 20