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Rosa Bouton

Founder and Head, School of Domestic Science (Department of Home Economics)

Related Buildings

Home Economics Building (Old)

Rosa Bouton (1860-1951) founded the Home Economics Department at the University in 1898. Originally devised as a two year program in Domestic Science, the program quickly expanded under her guidance, and in 1906 the Department of Home Economics was made a unit within the Industrial College, and in 1909 moved to the College of Agriculture. Funding for a new structure to be erected on the Farm Campus was provided in 1905, and the course of study was expanded to a four year college degree. Professor Bouton worked closely with architects Fiske and Dieman to build a specialized facility that included kitchens, living and sleeping rooms, and classrooms. By the end of Bouton's tenure, the program had grown from 27 students to 310 in 1912.

Rosa Bouton received a teaching certificate from the Nebraska Normal School (Peru State) and then completed bachelors and masters degrees at the University of Nebraska in 1891 and 1903 respectively. She began teaching in 1891in the Chemistry department. Professor Bouton resigned in 1912 to move to California where she opened a successful pastry shop in San Diego. Rationing during WWI forced her to abandon this business, and at the age of 60 Miss Bouton was required to begin yet another career. She spent the next 14 years as a home demonstration agent with the Agricultural Extension Service serving rural women and communities in then untamed Northeastern Arizona.

Source Information:
Lincoln Journal Star, April, 1935;
Obituary, Lincoln Star?, Feb. 1951. Uiversity Archives Bio/Bib file.