I got this from a web site thank-you The Boone County Fair

The Grange (officially known as The Order of Patrons of Husbandry) is a fraternal organization with a rich history and a highly visible community presence in the United States. (For historical information, see Birthplace of an American Treasure)

The organization is a perfect example of a grass-roots, bottom-up group. The backbone of the Grange is the more than 3,000 local "subordinate" Granges which are located in more than 30 states. These Granges offer a wide range of locally-oriented programs and activities for children, youth and adults. Each holds regular meetings where issues of community concern are often discussed. There are social events, contests and community service projects sponsored by the Granges.

On the county or regional level these local Granges band together into units known as Pomona Granges, primarily for discussion of concerns which affect a larger territory. On the statewide level Granges cooperate by supporting a State Grange organization which oversees the activities of all subordinate Granges as well as conducts lobbying and other activities on behalf of all members in the state.

The National Grange is situated in its own office building just a couple of blocks from the White House. National programs are headquartered there and lobbying staff is active on Capitol Hill.

The Grange at each level is guided by 16 elected officers. The officer slate at each level is led by a master. This title, which refers to the position functioning as the organization's president or chairperson, is one of several officer names dating back to the feudal English estates. The vice president is called the overseer and there are people assuming the duties of secretary, treasurer, chaplain and an executive committee. A lecturer is responsible for the short programs at each meeting and, often, the Grange's community service program.

The Grange, like the Masons, Odd Fellows, Elks and Moose, is a fraternal organization. One distinctive feature of fraternal orders is their emphasis upon traditional procedures for conducting their meetings. These procedures, often called rituals, employ members who have specific parts to play in opening and closing ceremonies. The Grange, like other fraternities, has levels or "degrees" of membership and a member advances from one level to the next by participating in or observing the rituals for that level.

Joining a local Grange is a positive step which can bring many personal rewards. Prospective members are recommended by existing members but, in actuality, anyone interested in joining merely needs to approach a member and ask for an application.

The Grange has the historical distinction as being one of the first major national organizations besides the church which sought the membership and involvement of everyone in the family. Grange members have an equal voice and an equal vote at meetings regardless of their age, sex or position within the Grange. Children ages five through 16 are eligible to belong to a junior Grange, whether or not they come from a Grange family.

The Grange provides numerous benefits for its members. Among those are insurance programs provided exclusively for Grangers by Grange companies. Grange Advantage, a program of the National Grange, offers credit card, college selection services and other money- saving programs.

But perhaps more than anything else, the Grange's interest in legislative action sets it apart from all other fraternities, service and family organizations. Since its earliest years, the Grange has included legislative involvement -- from a strictly non-partisan position -- as one of its distinctive characteristics. All policies which the Grange fights for on the local, state and national levels is decided upon by the grass-roots membership. Much Grange policy reflects the predominantly rural and small-town composition of its membership and therefore deals with topics of concern to those people: rural quality of life issues, farm programs, rural economic development, environmental and consumer issues, taxation, transportation and similar topics.

For Further Information:

People, Pride and Progress: 125 Years of the Grange in America by David H. Howard (Washington, D.C.: National Grange, 1992). Hardback copies available through libraries or for $12 plus $3 for shipping/handling from the National Grange, 1616 H. St. NW, Washington, DC 20006.

Knights of the Plow: Oliver H. Kelley and the Origins of the Grange in Republican Ideology by Thomas A Woods (Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press, 1991). Available through most libraries or bookstores. [Note: The "Republican ideology" mentioned in the title is not the Republican Party.]

Women of the Grange: Mutuality and Sisterhood in Rural America, 1866-1920 by Donald B. Marti (New York: Greenwood Press, 1991). Available through most libraries or bookstores.

The Grange--Friend of the Farmer by Charles M. Gardner (Washington, D.C.: National Grange, 1949). Available through most libraries.

Note: If your local library does not have the titles you seek, ask them to secure the books through "Inter-Library Loan" services.


I got this from a web site thank-you The Boone County Fair


Grange Hall" redirects here. For other Grange Halls including individual Grange Hall buildings, see The Grange (disambiguation).
Grange Hall in Maine, circa 1910

The Grange, officially referred to as The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, is a fraternal organization in the United States which encourages families to band together to promote the economic and political well-being of the community and agriculture. The Grange, founded after the Civil War in 1867, is the oldest American agricultural advocacy group with a national scope. Major accomplishments credited to Grange advocacy include passage of the Granger Laws and the establishment of rural free mail delivery.

In 2005, the Grange had a membership of 160,000, with organizations in 2,100 communities in 36 states. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C., in a building built by the organization in 1960. Many rural communities in the United States still have a Grange Hall and local Granges still serve as a center of rural life for many farming communities.


I got this from a web site thank-you Google


Promotional poster offering a "gift for the grangers", ca. 1873.

President Andrew Johnson commissioned Oliver Kelley to go to the Southern States and to collect data to improve Southern agricultural conditions. In the South, poor farmers bore the brunt of the civil war and were suspicious of northerners like Kelley. Kelley found he was able to overcome these sectional differences as a Mason. With southern Masons as guides, he toured the war-torn countryside in the south and was appalled by the outdated farming practices. He saw the need for an organization that would bring people from the north and south together in a spirit of mutual cooperation and after many letters and consultations with the other founders, the Grange was born.[1] The first Grange was Grange #1 in Fredonia, NY.[2] Seven men and one woman co-founded the Grange: Oliver Hudson Kelley, William Saunders, Francis M. McDowell, John Trimble, Aaron B. Grosh, John R. Thompson, William M. Ireland, and Caroline Hall.[3]

Paid agents organized local Granges and membership in the Grange increased dramatically from 1873 (200,000) to 1875 (858,050). Many of the state and local granges adopted non-partisan political resolutions, especially regarding the regulation of railroad transportation costs. The organization was unusual at this time because women and any teen old enough to draw a plow were encouraged to participate. The importance of women was reinforced by requiring that four of the elected positions could only be held by women.[4]

1967 U.S. postage stamp honoring the National Grange

Rapid growth infused the national organization with money from dues, and many local granges established consumer cooperatives, initially supplied by the wholesaler Aaron Montgomery Ward. Poor fiscal management, combined with organizational difficulties resulting from rapid growth, led to a massive decline in membership. By the turn of the 20th century, the Grange rebounded and membership stabilized.

The Granger movement succeeded in regulating the railroads and grain warehouses. The birth of the Cooperative Extension Service, Rural Free Delivery, and the Farm Credit System were largely due to Grange lobbying. The peak of their political power was marked by their success in Munn v. Illinois (1877), which held that the grain warehouses were a "private utility in the public interest", and therefore could be regulated by public law. However this achievement was overturned later by the Supreme Court in Wabash v. Illinois (1886).[5]

Other significant Grange causes included temperance, the direct election of Senators and women's suffrage. (Susan B. Anthony's last public appearance was at the National Grange Convention in 1903.) [6] During the Progressive Era of the 1890s to the 1920s political parties took up Grange causes. Consequently, local Granges focused more on community service, although the State and National Granges remain a political force.

In the 20th and 21st centuries, the position of the Grange as a respected organization in the United States was indicated by a membership that included Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, artist Norman Rockwell, businessman Frederick Hinde Zimmerman, and Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic.[6] The monument to the founding of the Grange is the only private monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.[7]

Grange membership has declined considerably as the percentage of American farmers has fallen from a third of the population in the early 20th century to less than two percent today. In the last 15 years, the number of Grange members has dropped by 40%.[8] The State of Washington has the largest membership of any state, at approximately 13,000.[citation needed]

The Grange today[edit]

Union Grange Hall in Slatersville, Rhode Island, now a community center

As of 2013 the Grange continues to press for the causes of farmers, including issues of free trade and farm policy. In its 2006 Journal of Proceedings, the organization's report on its annual convention, the organization lays out its mission and how it works towards achieving it through fellowship, service, and legislation:

"The Grange provides opportunities for individuals and families to develop to their highest potential in order to build stronger communities and states, as well as a stronger nation."

As a non-partisan organization, the Grange supports only policies, never political parties or candidates. Although the Grange was originally founded to serve the interests of farmers, because of the shrinking farm population the Grange has begun to broaden its range to include a wide variety of issues, and anyone is welcome to join the Grange.

The Junior grange is open to children 5-14. Regular Grange membership is open to anyone age 14 or older. The Grange Youth, a group within the Grange, consists of members 14-35.

In 2013, the Grange signed on to a letter to Congress calling for the doubling of legal immigration and legalization for illegal immigrants currently in the United States.[9]

Rituals and ceremonies[edit]

Grange in session, 1873

When the Grange first began in 1867, it borrowed some of its rituals and symbols from Freemasonry, including secret meetings, oaths and special passwords.[10] It also copied ideas from Greek and Roman mythology and the Bible. Small, ceremonial farm tools are often displayed at Grange meetings. Elected officers are in charge of opening and closing each meeting. There are seven degrees of Grange membership; the ceremony of each degree relates to the seasons and various symbols and principles.[11]

During the last few decades, the Grange has moved towards public meetings and no longer meets in secret. Though the secret meetings do not occur, the Grange still acknowledges its rich history and practices some traditions.


The Grange is a hierarchical organization ranging from local communities to the National Grange organization. At the local level are community Granges, otherwise known as "subordinate Granges". All members are affiliated with at least one subordinate. In most states, multiple subordinate Granges are grouped together to form "Pomona Granges". Typically, Pomona Granges are made up of all the subordinates in a county. Next in the order come State Granges, which is where the Grange begins to be especially active in the political process. State Masters (Presidents) are responsible for supervising the administration of Subordinate and Pomona Granges. Together, thirty-five State Granges, as well as Potomac Grange #1 in Washington, D.C., form the National Grange. The National Grange represents the interests of most Grangers in lobbying activities similar to the state, but on a much larger scale. In addition, the National Grange oversees the Grange ritual. The Grange is a grassroots organization; virtually all policy originates at the subordinate level.

The motto of the Grange is: "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity." Indeed, the word "grange" itself comes from a Latin word for grain, and is related to a "granary" or, generically, a farm.

See also[edit]

Grange building east of Longmont, Colorado