Dr. Hallie Farmer is remembered as an
outstanding leader in the movement to bring women into full political
participation in governmental affairs, an effective foe of voting
discrimination and prison abuse, an educator of note, and a progressive
Described in the Birmingham News as the "undisputed champion
of Alabama's politically-minded women, this head of the department of political
science and history at Alabama College [now the University of Montevallo] gave
leadership to women's organizations in the state for more than thirty years,
being especially active in the Business and Professional Women's Clubs and the
American Association of University Women."
Dr. Farmer was a firm believer in citizen participation in government.
When public affairs were not pleasing to her, she wrote letters to her
representatives at all levels of government and advised women's organizations
to do likewise. She is particularly remembered for her service on the
legislature-appointed committee to investigate the prison system, her drive for
penal reforms, and her leadership of the crusade among women to abolish the
poll tax. For several years she was on the Bureau of Public Administration at
the University of Alabama and was one of the founders of a cooperative program
at the Universities of Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee for training young men
and women for governmental positions. Dr. Farmer served two four-year terms on
the Montevallo Town Council.
An extensive write on legislative and historical subjects, her
Legislative Process in Alabama is considered a classic in its field. The
scholarly Dictionary of American Biography, published in the 1930's
includes some fifty biographical sketches that she contributed, and she
regularly published articles in leading professional magazines.
This Indiana native who came to Montevallo in 1927 with A.M. and Ph.D.
degrees was awarded an honorary degree in 1956 upon her retirement. In 1954,
the State Business and Professional Women's Clubs gave her their first
"Woman of Achievement" award. She was among the first group of women
elected to the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame.