Lizzie Lurline Collier
leader. Mentor. Teacher
2022 Inductee, Georgia Women of Achievement
"This calls for better rural schools, better roads, better health facilities, more modern conveniences in the home, more attention to home beautification and more time for play, for social life and hospitality among rural people."
October 16, 1893
City, Town, Region
Jackson County, GA
“I have had one of the most fascinating lives on God’s good earth and people made it possible,” said Lurline Collier at age 87. Her outreach was extensive in a 36 year career with the University of Georgia’s Cooperative Extension Service, 21 years as State Home Demonstration Agent. She enabled many people, especially rural women, to strengthen their families, homes, and communities and to recognize their roles in supporting Georgia’s number one industry-Agriculture.
Lurline was born in Jefferson Georgia, October 16, 1893, the 8th of 11 children to Benjamin Howard Collier, longtime Jackson County Sheriff, and Frances Arnold Collier. Her “firsts” as the county’s youngest teacher, female deputy sheriff, and woman to qualify to vote established her involvement in public service. She died at 92 in Commerce Georgia, January 13, 1986.
She was an educator, homemaker, seamstress, food preserver, public servant, civic worker, farmer, nutritionist, artist, church leader, horticulturist, and culinarian. Her talents were shown in educational and recreational activities she planned that enhanced the lives of girls, women, wives, mothers, and families.
Lurline’s enthusiasm for life-long learning and teaching grew while studying at Jefferson’s Martin Institute and in continuing to teach after her 1913 State Normal School graduation as World War I neared. When Jackson County’s Home Demonstration Agent from 1917-1923, she rode many days by freight train and wagon to prepare meals and provide care, with minor help, for 27 rural families ill in the 1918 flu pandemic. Appointed a delegate to the 1919 White House Conference on Children and Youth, she served on its executive committee, involved in this national child welfare organization throughout her career.
Graduating cum laude with a B.S.H.E.in 1924from UGA’s College of Agriculture, she was named Northwest District Director then designated DeKalb County’s first Home Demonstration Agent. Appointed State Clothing Specialist in 1926, she became State Girls 4-H Club Agent in 1927 prior to the Great Depression. Promoted to State Home Demonstration Agent in 1932, she was dedicated to her profession, retiring in December 1953. Lurline advanced policies and programs on nutrition, children, and rural families in the state and nation with many still benefitting people today. Newspapers across Georgia and the U.S printed numerous articles of her activities.
Believing programs succeeded from leadership developed within the community, Lurline traveled to farm and home meetings and special interest conferences across Georgia and other states. She spoke on farm families’ problems and needs, suggesting solutions, or gave demonstrations on diet and nutrition, food preparation and preservation, and home and self-improvement projects. She inspired many to become leaders and problem-solvers by providing useful information to share with others back home. Her interactions with farm and city women also provided insight of common ground in bridging their differences, a social concern of the era. Lurline motivated the two groups through programs that improved relationships in shared ideas, concerns, and responsibilities thus building respect and cooperation.