A group of mothers made an effort in February 1923 to prioritize baby nutrition. (Photo by Whitney Lewis Photography/Getty Images via Canva)

Nutrition for babies over the first few decades of the 20th century took a big step forward through various improvements. According to a story published in the “Journal of Nutrition,” the majority of infants at the time were breast-fed but there was also a certain amount of formula feeding that went on.

“Availability of the home icebox permitted safe storage of milk and infant formula, and by the 1920s, feeding of orange juice and cod liver oil greatly decreased the incidence of scurvy and rickets,” Samuel J. Fomon wrote in the February 2001 article. “Use of evaporated milk for formula preparation decreased bacterial contamination and curd tension of infant formulas.”

In Philomath, a group of mothers led an educational effort related to nutrition and their babies.

“Twelve young mothers of Philomath met at the home of Mrs. Gibbs on Tuesday, January 30th to discuss a nutrition project for babies and children under school age,” The Corvallis Gazette-Times reported on its front page in the Feb. 6, 1923, edition. “The home demonstration agent emphasized the importance of right feeding at this age, and suggested that a six months study of food for young children would be (of) permanent value. A physical examination is planned for Friday, February 9th at the home of Mrs. Gibbs, the child welfare leader. A committee will be chosen to plan work which will be of greatest interest to the majority of mothers enrolled.

150 years ago

Farmers: By the Corvallis Gazette of the 18th inst., I learn the farmers held a meeting in Philomath for the purpose of “considering the feasibility of co operation among farmers,” which meeting adjourned to meet on Saturday, Feb. 1, 1873, in Corvallis, for the ostensible purpose of forming a Farmers’ Club. … Farmers of Benton County, it seems to me the first thing to consider at your meeting is to take measures to support home manufactures, and second keep out of debt. If you do not observe these two vital principles, all the Farmers’ Clubs you may organize will not remedy the evil. For I hold there can be no clubs formed that will protect a man who is in debt. Farmers should protect themselves by using a little more economy.” (Published Feb. 1, 1873, in the Weekly Corvallis Gazette).

125 years ago

Church: The protracted meeting that has been in progress at the Radical U.B. church for the past four weeks, has accomplished great results. About 25 persons have professed conversion. The meetings continue to grow in numbers and interest, every available seat being occupied. The pastor, T.J. Cocking, opened the doors of the church last Sunday and received eight members into full fellowship. The christian people are working with might and main to push the work forward. (Published Feb. 4, 1898, in the Corvallis Gazette).

100 years ago

Athletics: The new conference-that-is-to-be includes the institutions not in the Northwest of Pacific Coast conference, and will have for members the Oregon State Normal School, Linfield College, Pacific College, Philomath College, Albany College and probably others such as North Pacific Dental and Mount Angel colleges. It is the purpose of this conference to clean up athletics. (Published Feb. 4, 1923, in the Albany College News).

75 years ago

Education: Benton county schools, including Corvallis, will have to improve their general condition a great deal to meet standardization requirements, Mrs. Helen P. Baker, county superintendent, expressed belief today after the first inspection by the state department of education was completed early this week. This inspection was carried out by Florence Beardsley and Elizabeth Rader, from the Salem office, in the Philomath grade schools. The inspection was “thorough,” according to Mrs. Baker, who accompanied them, and on preliminary checking the Philomath school met state standards on only two subjects, its teachers and its school supplies. (Published Feb. 5, 1948, in the Corvallis Gazette-Times).

50 years ago

Basketball: Philomath shook off a five-game losing streak last night and handed Central Linn a 63-47 Emerald League basketball setback. Ron Bennett scored 22 points, Ken Noble tallied 13 and John Davis scored nine to lead the Warriors to their first league victory. PHS now has a 6-8 overall record. “There’s nothing like a win,” beamed PHS Coach Chuck Vaughn. “We’ve really needed this.” (Published Jan. 31, 1973, in the Corvallis Gazette-Times).