Adelaide Hoodless, née Hunter, educational reformer, founder of the Women's Institutes (b at St George, Canada W 26 Feb 1857; d at Toronto 26 Feb 1910).
Adelaide Hoodless, née Hunter, educational reformer, founder of the Women's Institutes (b at St George, Canada W 26 Feb 1857; d at Toronto 26 Feb 1910). Hoodless was jolted out of a comfortable middle-class life when an infant son died in 1889 after drinking impure milk. Thereafter she devoted herself to women's causes, specifically to the better education of women for motherhood and household management. She campaigned for domestic science (home economics) in the schools and advised the provincial department of education on this subject. In 1897 she founded the first Women's Institute (Stoney Creek, Ont); within a few years this movement spread across Canada and around the world. Working with Lady Aberdeen, she helped found the National Council of Women, Victorian Order of Nurses and the national YWCA. Basically conservative, Hoodless believed women's natural destiny lay in the home, and she never supported the suffragette cause. She was the author of Public School Domestic Science (1898).