Adelaide H. Hoodless

(1857 - 1910)

Inducted in 1981

Origin: Brant County

Nominated by: Federated Women's Institutes of Ontario

Specialty: Women’s Institute

Born near St. George in Brant County, Adelaide Hoodless was motivated to her advocate role when her youngest son died in infancy after drinking impure milk. She organized household science classes at the YMCA in Hamilton and persuaded the Province of Ontario to undertake a province- wide program. She influenced Lord Strathcona to assist in financing the Ontario Normal School of Domestic Science and Arts in Hamilton in 1900. Mrs. Hoodless prevailed upon Sir William Macdonald, the tobacco millionaire, to contribute financially to the establishment of Macdonald Institute in Guelph and Macdonald College in Quebec.

Mrs. Hoodless is perhaps best known as the inspiration behind the Women’s Institute movement. Along with Erland Lee, she drafted the charter for the organization and helped organize the first Institute at Squire’s Hall, Stoney Creek. That meeting, February 19, 1897, opened the way for the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario, the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada and internationally, the Associated Country Woman of the World. Adelaide Hoodless was national president of the YWCA in 1898 and a member of the founding executive of the Victorian Order of Nurses in 1897.