Elizabeth W. Peterson

Honored by:Mr. & Mrs. Mark E. Watson and Mr. & Mrs. Clair B. Watson
Brick location:D:3  map

Beth was born the eldest of four children to Charles E. and Emma Peterson of Boone, Iowa. Beth's father was half owner and manager of a man's clothing store in Boone. Beth's only living sister, Marcia Watson, lived in Des Moines and remained very close to Beth.

Beth graduated from Iowa State University, earning her degree in home economics education. She accepted her first job in Humboldt, Iowa, as a home economics teacher and held this job for two years. She then accepted a position as a home demonstration agent for the Extension office and was assigned to Webster County. She was officed out of Ft. Dodge and her primary responsibilities included organizing a 4-H program and helping form 4-H clubs around the county. She also met with groups of 4-H mothers to give information about nutrition, clothing construction, and selection and home management.

In 1935, Beth was asked to join the state extension staff as head of the department for Textiles and Clothing at ISU. She was a faculty member and she, along with everyone else, was asked to do her part for the war effort. Beth had a 10-minute radio program where she encouraged her listeners to grow Victory Gardens so the fruits and vegetables could be used in the war effort.

When the war ended, Beth took a home economist position with the DuPont Company in 1946. She traveled the U.S. and listened to customers talk about the new synthetic products DuPont produced. The researchers would then use this customer feedback to improve their products to better satisfy their customers. Dacron, nylon and Lycra were just a few of the new products that she found herself working with at DuPont. Beth fondly remembers being the first person to wear colored nylon hose. They were a dark green color that just looked smashing with her green broadcloth suit. While employed at DuPont, she was listed in Who's Who in American Women!

Beth retired from DuPont in 1968 and continued on with her hobby of traveling. She established an apartment in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and in her retirement years, she sewed most of her own clothing and volunteered at senior centers in Albuquerque. She moved in December of 1995 to continue recovering from ulcer surgery and to be closer to her sister.

Submitted 7/1/96