Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Grange

It's funny what you remember sometimes.  When I was growing up, I used to watch Little House on the Prairie.  I actually used to enjoy that show sometimes.  Anyway, I remember one episode when they were talking about the Grange.
 Officially, the Grange is referred to as the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry.  Grange comes from an old British word for farm.  The Grange itself was an organization formed in 1867 as an advocacy group for farmers.  Nominally, it had it's start in the South after the Civil War when Oliver Kelley was commissioned by President Johnson to evaluate the conditions of farmers in the south.  The first meeting was held in Fredonia, New York, the founders were seven men and one woman.
The Grange was active in regulating the railroads and grain warehouses in getting fair prices for farmers.    It was also active in getting rural mail service.  They also were responsible for the direct election of Senators and the woman's vote.
The Pittsfield Grange was formed in 1901 and continues to exist today.  It allows more than farmers though.  The Grange is still an active group nationwide but not as powerful as it used to be. 

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