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Mrs. Flora (Snyder) Black was a civic leader, from Somerset County, who formed a group in 1914, originally called "Die Hausfauen" because most members were Pa. German women. The group provided community networks to help women on farms in Somerset County and across the state. She formed this group because she was missing the social aspects of school and was convinced that farm women should also have time to get together for fun and learning. As the anti-German sentiment grew during World War 1, Flora Black and the other founders, changed the name of their organization to the “Society of Farm Women.” She served eleven years as president of this society that she founded, and two terms as president of the Somerset County branch. Flora Black was active in the society until her death in 1951 at the age of eighty-one. The marker memorializing Flora is located on U.S. Route 219, three miles northwest of Meyersdale, PA. Erected by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in 2006.


  • This is the marker that sits on the property in front of the farm that Flora and Franklin owned while they were married with kids.
  • This is the property and farm house that Flora Black owned with Franklin.
  • Flora Black and the women that were in the Society of Farm Women.
  • Portrait of Flora Black.
  • The road that the Marker is located on

Flora Snyder (Black) was born on February 20, 1870 in Somerset, Pennsylvania where she grew up. After attending schools in Somerset, she went to Maryland College for Women. After college, she moved back to Somerset County, married Franklin Black in 1893, and had four children. Missing the social aspect of school, she became convinced that farm women should also have time to get together for fun and learning.

On October 14, 1914, Flora Black and about a dozen other women from the Somerset County Are founded “Die Hausfrauen” which means “the housewives” in German. They named it this because many of the women were of German descent. This organization was founded to contribute to the power and influence of farm women, to contribute to the community activity of farm women, and to develop leadership and promote better living and working conditions in the farm homes of Pennsylvania.

Around the same time Flora Black founded her organization, there were many conventions going on where women could come together to learn and show off their agricultural skills. During the 1910s NC State College hosted the annual Farmers’ and Farm Women’s Convention. College faculty, as well as personnel of the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service, helped organize the events, presented the lectures, and conducted demonstrations of agricultural and home economics techniques and practices. For the two years of American involvement in World War I, these conventions provide a good window into the impact of the war on agriculture and rural citizens. The convention’s program for farmwomen focused on food conservation in order to get farm families to consume more of the food they grew themselves rather than purchasing food that is needed for the military and allies. These activities went hand-in-hand with U.S. Food Administration efforts to encourage Americans to consume less of certain foods so they would be available other places. Women also learned how to use cornmeal to save flour, made from wheat, and to serve leftovers creatively to reduce waste.

As the anti-German sentiment grew during World War 1, Flora Black and the other founders, changed the name of their organization to the “Society of Farm Women.” She served eleven years as president of this society that she founded, and two terms as president of the Somerset County branch. Flora Black was active in the society until her death in 1951 at the age of eighty-one.

The marker memorializing Flora is located on U.S. Route 219, three miles northwest of Meyersdale, PA. Erected by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in 2006. The marker says: “On this farm lived Flora Black, a civic leader active in the county and Commonwealth. Here on October 14, 1914, she organized the Society of Farm Women of Pennsylvania. In the ensuing years, groups in many Pennsylvania counties became Society affiliates, in furtherance of its aim to strengthen the role of farm women and promote better conditions in farm homes across the Commonwealth.”

Doss, Cheryl R. “Women and Agricultural Productivity: Reframing the Issues.” Development policy review : the journal of the Overseas Development Institute. John Wiley and Sons Inc., January 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5726380/.

“Flora Black Historical Marker .” ExplorePAHistory.com. Accessed February 14, 2020. https://explorepahistory.com/hmarker.php?markerId=1-A-3B.

History, Little Bits of. “Flora Black (1870-1951).” Flora Black (1870-1951), January 1, 1970. http://littlebitsofhistory.blogspot.com/2012/03/flora-black-1870-1951.html.

Kosmerick, Todd. “World War I and Agriculture.” NC State University Libraries, August 18, 2017. https://www.lib.ncsu.edu/news/special-collections/world-war-i-and-agriculture.

McMurry, Sally Ann. 2017. Pennsylvania Farming : A History in Landscapes. Pittsburgh, Pa: University of Pittsburgh Press. https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1685515&site=eds-live.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

History, Little Bits of. “Flora Black (1870-1951).” Flora Black (1870-1951), January 1, 1970. http://littlebitsofhistory.blogspot.com/2012/03/flora-black-1870-1951.html.

History, Little Bits of. “Flora Black (1870-1951).” Flora Black (1870-1951), January 1, 1970. http://littlebitsofhistory.blogspot.com/2012/03/flora-black-1870-1951.html.

History, Little Bits of. “Flora Black (1870-1951).” Flora Black (1870-1951), January 1, 1970. http://littlebitsofhistory.blogspot.com/2012/03/flora-black-1870-1951.html.

History, Little Bits of. “Flora Black (1870-1951).” Flora Black (1870-1951), January 1, 1970. http://littlebitsofhistory.blogspot.com/2012/03/flora-black-1870-1951.html

History, Little Bits of. “Flora Black (1870-1951).” Flora Black (1870-1951), January 1, 1970. http://littlebitsofhistory.blogspot.com/2012/03/flora-black-1870-1951.html.