New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum Home Page

Gottwald, Allie Sue

About | Abstract


The interview details the consultant's career with the New Mexico Extension Service.

Interviewee Allie Sue Gottwald, female, born in 1940
Date Range 1962-1992
Date & Location February 1 and 7, 2000, Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum
Project Rural Lifeways
Region Southwest New Mexico
Number of Tapes 2
Transcribed March 8, 2000
Download Abstract


Tape 1, Side A

Allie Sue Gottwald was born, raised and, for the most part, educated in Texas. She was born in Caldwell County, Tex., and lived in Gonzales County also. Her great grandparents settled in Gonzales County in the 1800s and she and her brother still own the land. The farm is registered with the Texas Historical Register. They now raise some cattle and grow alfalfa. Allie Sue's father, in addition to farming, taught vocational agriculture and was a superintendent of schools.

Ms. Gottwald began her career with the Agricultural Extension Service of Texas; she was hired as Junior Assistant Agent in DeWitt County in 1962. She was later appointed County Home Demonstration Agent in Kendall County with an office in Boerne, Tex.

Tape 1, Side B

The consultant quit her job while in the process of getting a divorce. Her marital status made employers hesitant to hire her. However, within six or seven months (by April 1968) she had accepted a position with the National Dairy Council. She became Program Coordinator for West Texas, based in Lubbock. In 1970 she went to work for the Extension Service of New Mexico as Assistant Home Economist in Albuquerque. By 1975 she had taken a job as a 4-H agent in Doña Ana County in order to pursue a master's degree in home economics at New Mexico State University.

Her first office in Doña Ana County was in the old hospital in Las Cruces. Later the office was moved to the county courthouse. In December 1980 Allie Sue took a state-level job as an Extension Program Specialist in Leadership Training. In this capacity, she served as advisor for the New Mexico Extension Homemakers' Clubs. Seeing the need in these clubs for the use of correct parliamentary procedure, she studied the procedure and became a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians. She continued working with young people in 4-H groups. Between 1985 and 1987 she was State Program Leader for Home Economics and Community Development. She was Operation's Director in charge of personnel and budget for a couple of years then resumed working as a leadership specialist.

Tape 2, Side A

Allie Sue Gottwald discussed her genealogy further, going back as far as her great grandparents on both her mother's and her father's sides of the family.

Ms. Gottwald has contributed to the historical record of women in the American West. She was instrumental in publishing the book, Voices of American Homemakers. The book was a product of an oral history project of the National Extension Homemakers Council. She also produced a videotape on this subject in 1992, called "Women of the Land," while recuperating from an automobile accident. The injuries she sustained in the accident were a factor in her decision to retire upon completing the videotape.

The consultant is now writing a book on parliamentary procedure, a sort of "Roberts' Rules Made Easy," according to her. She no longer spends time repairing and decorating houses for resale as she once did, but this has given her more time to do oil painting and travel.