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www.ruralsociology.org


This website is devoted to making the history of

the Rural Sociological Society and rural sociology more accessible.

Additions and suggestions are always welcome! 


"Firsts" in Rural Sociology

Below is a list of "firsts" in Rural Sociology. These include items such as the first textbook or the first department.

This list is a continual work in progress. If you know of other "Firsts" that should be included, please email the RSS Historian.


First Course1894 at the University of Chicago.

First Course at an Agricultural College: 1904 Rhode Island Agricultural College.

First TextbooksConstructive Rural Sociology. John M. Gillette. 1913. (New York: Sturgis and Walton). Introduction to Rural Sociology. Paul L. Vogt. 1917. (New York: Appleton).

First DepartmentCornell University. Department of Rural Social Organization. 1918.

First national organization to have “Rural Sociology” in its name: National Association of Rural Sociology Extension Workers. (est. 1931)

First President of the Rural Sociological Society: Dwight Sanderson (1938-1939)

First editor of the journal Rural Sociology: Lowry Nelson (1936-1940)

First section organized in the American Sociological Association [Society]: Rural Sociology Section (1922).

First Chair of the Rural Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association [Society]: Dwight Sanderson (1922).

First President of the American Sociological Society [ASA] to serve in the position while employed outside of academiaCarl C. Taylor. (RSS President 1939-1940. At the time, Taylor was head of the USDA’s Division of Farm Population and Rural Life.)

Most Influential Research Report in Early Rural SociologyThe Social Anatomy of an Agricultural Community. Charles J. Galpin. 1915. (Research Bulletin No. 34, Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station. Madison, WI.)


Please send suggestions, ideas, or changes to: 

Julie N. Zimmerman
Historian, Rural Sociological Society
Dr. and Mrs. C. Milton Coughenour Professor of Rural Sociology
Department of Community and Leadership Development
Graduate Faculty, Department of Sociology
500 Garrigus Building
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40546-0215
(859) 257-7583
jzimm@uky.edu