Ruth Stimson        
Centennial Celebration        
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A Centennial Celebration

As a Home Demonstration Agent, Ruth worked for the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Extension Service. 1962 was an important year for UNH, a land-grant institution, because it was the 100th anniversary of the Land Grant College Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862.

Sponsored by Senator Justin Morrill from Vermont, the legislation called for each state to be given land by the federal government which it would sell, and then use the proceeds to establish a college. Morrill Hall at UNH honors Justin Morrill.

To celebrate the Centennial, UNH organized a parade to take place on campus. Extension Service staff in each NH county was given the responsibility to build a specific float. Ruth helped create Rockingham County's entry.

"Rockingham County's assignment was to depict Senator Morrill watching President Lincoln sign the Land Grant College Act in 1862," says Ruth.

"Bob Goodrich, Assistant Agriculture Agent, was Morrill, and Edward Upham, Agriculture Agent, was Lincoln as he was very tall. Nancy Thompson and I found pictures of the men, and were in charge of make-up.

"Ed and I went to a costume storage barn to find period outfits. Everything, including top hats, was available, except beards. So Bob grew one, but Ed declined. Consequently, I tried to create (a beard) out of curled hair used in upholstering furniture. Ed wore it, but it was very scratchy, he reported."