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Patrons of Husbandry. Ohio State Grange. Fort Meigs Grange #2125 (Perrysburg, Ohio) - MS 269

Introduction | Agency History | Scope and Content | Series DescriptionInventory

Introduction

The Fort Meigs Grange collection consists primarily of records from the local level of the Grange organization. The major series of minutes, election results, quarterly reports, and incoming correspondence provide a detailed portrait of the Fort Meigs Grange. The monthly progress and inspection reports, bills and receipts, statements of objectives, applications, statements of rules, regulations, and by-laws, resolutions, newsclippings, programs, photographic prints, song sheets, pamphlets, brochures, and magazines provide additional information on the Grange operations. All these records, which apparently were kept as a part of the responsibility of the Secretary of the Fort Meigs Grange, date from 1938-1957.

The collection was donated to the Center for Archival Collections by Mr. Aaron Russell of Perrysburg, Ohio, and transferred to the Center May 18, 1982. There are no restrictions on the use of this collection. The register was prepared by M.A. Bosh in September 1985 and revised by Marilyn Levinson, Curator of Manuscripts, March 1991.

Agency History

The National Grange, the oldest farm organization in the United States, was founded December 4, 1867. Established largely in response to poor agricultural conditions left by the Civil War, it was intended to help heal the woulds of war and bring social betterment to the farm. Its membership was comprised of farm families and the goals were social, educational, fraternal, community, legislative, and cooperative. The founders were William Saunders, A.B. Grosh, William M. Ireland, John Trimble, John R. Thompson, F.M. McDowell, and Oliver H. Kelley. Carrie A. Hall, niece of O.H. Kelley, is called "The Mother of the Grange", for it is she who suggested the idea that women be involved. From the start, the Grange was a farm family organization.

As it was to be an organization for the family, the name given it was "Patrons of Husbandry", but over the years "Grange" became the common term for the organization (though the official name has not changed). The Grange has enjoyed popularity in the sense that from its humble beginnings it has grown into a truly national organization, with national, state, and local level groups in 40 states.

The founding date of the Ohio State Grange was 1873, however, that of the Fort Meigs Grange, the local grange in Perrysburg, Ohio is not clear from the collection's records. The history of the Fort Meigs Grange is left unclear in terms of the collection except for the period 1938-1957. During this period, though, the records show the local grange was an active organization which strove to achieve the goals of the National Grange. Social activities, recreation, and ritualism promoted the fraternal and social elements of the Grange. Other activities promoted education, cooperation with local, state and national granges, as well as other local organizations. Civic and community services were provided by the Fort Meigs Grange through lobbying for legislative issues of concern to the Grange organization.

Scope and Content

The Fort Meigs Grange collection has broad, versatile research potential. For purposes of researching local level Granges, the collection is excellent for the period 1938-1957. Minutes, election results, quarterly reports, and incoming correspondence comprise the majority of the Fort Meigs materials.

The minutes, which appear to be fairly complete for the period September 1938 to October 1956, provide specific information on all aspects of the Grange meetings, including members, business, finances, committees, ceremonies, programs, correspondence received, and a record of the Fort Meigs Grange Secretaries through the years. The election results provide the lists of officers elected annually in the years 1938-1942, 1944-1945, and 1949-1953. The quarterly reports, which cover the years 1940-1955, provide added detail on membership totals and dues owed to the Ohio State Grange, as well as by-laws and regulations from the State Grange. The incoming correspondence includes the period from March 1941 through October, but the bulk of the material is from the 1940's. This material provides information on aspects of Grange activities such as the legislation supported by the Fort Meigs Grange, meeting details, Grange charitable donations and services, aid appeals from other local Granges, and personal information on members and their families.

Additional records series within the Fort Meigs materials includes membership records, inspection reports, bills and receipts, progress reports, applications, rules, regulations, by-laws, programs, clippings, and photographs. While these materials add further detail to the picture of the Fort Meigs Grange, their limited coverage lessens their research value.

Generally, the material specifically on the Fort Meigs Grange provides a clear, detailed description of the local organization, but there are a few notable deficiencies of the collection. The principal weakness is the lack of material relating to the Grange prior to 1938 or after 1957. The scattered nature of the financial records do not provide complete information on revenue, sources of funding, and expenditures. The correspondence series is the incoming material only. Finally, the membership records are vague, with only one precise membership list available.

Printed material from the Ohio State Grange and National Grange, particularly the Journals of Proceedings from state and national conventions, has been removed and separately cataloged in the general collection. A scattered number of National and State Grange programs, pamphlets, and brochures are located with printed material at the end of the collection.

Series Description

PROCEEDINGS

MINUTES
September 8, 1938-October 25, 1956, n.d.
Arranged chronologically
Information provides includes old/new members, old/new business, debts owed/paid, committees, ceremonies, programs, record of communications received by Grange, illnesses of members, births to members, and Grange secretaries over the years. Also, there are two undated sheets with minutes recorded.

ELECTION RESULTS
1938-1942, 1944-1945, 1949-1953
Arranged chronologically
Lists contain names of offices, and winners of those offices for each given year.

MEMBERSHIP RECORDS
February 9, 1939-February 24, 1943, n.d.
Arranged chronologically
Information includes membership applications and list of seventh degree members of Fort Meigs Grange; also a list of the names and addresses of Grand Masters of other Ohio State Granges

CORRESPONDENCE

CORRESPONDENCE - INCOMING LETTERS/CARDS
March 1, 1941-October 8, 1957, n.d.
Arranged chronologically
Includes letters pertaining to Fort Meigs Grange activities, contests, requests for charitable donations and services; thank you letters and cards for gifts, flowers, expressions of sympathy sent to members; correspondence relating to legislation supported by the Grange; and letters pertaining to insurance matters. There is an occasional out-going letter in the series, attached to its appropriate incoming letter.

CORRESPONDENCE - INCOMING POSTCARDS
March 18, 1941-January 9, 1957
Arranged chronologically
Includes acknowledgement of orders or dues paid, meeting notices, invitations and appeals for aide from other local Granges, and information pertaining to legislation supported by the Grange. Includes a few picture postcards.

REPORTS

QUARTERLY REPORTS
1940-1955
Arranged chronologically
Records of Fort Meigs Grange membership totals for old and new members and total dues owed to the Ohio State Grange. Also contains list of by-laws of the Ohio State Grange, regulations for election of delegates, information on concerns of local granges, and the names/addresses of grand-masters and secretaries of Fort Meigs Grange.

INSPECTION REPORTS
October 25, 1950-July 23, 1953
Arranged chronologically
Annual reports which include information on membership, ceremony, ritual, charitable contributions, funds, community service, and debts.

PROGRESS REPORTS
December 26, 1955-April 21, 1957
Arranged chronologically
Reports from the participants of grange programs, including the Fort Meigs Grange/4-H Gilt Chain Program (with the rules and regulations) and the Wood County Pig Contest.

LITERARY PRODUCTIONS

SONG SHEET
n.d.
Words to the song "It's a good thing to be a Granger".

LEGAL DOCUMENTS

RESOLUTION
n.d.
Resolution in support of Parental Responsibility law in Ohio

FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS

BILLS AND RECEIPTS
March 31, 1942-March 31, 1946
Arranged chronologically
Credit statements for Ohio State Grange dues, receipts for charitable contributions, and receipts for Grange membership in the Wood County Natural Resources Council

SCRAPBOOKS AND SCRAPBOOK MATERIALS

NEWSCLIPPINGS
March 7, 1957
Article copied from the Washington, D.C. Evening Star, discussing the Grange building in Washington

PRINTED MATERIALS

PAMPHLETS
1942-1956, n.d.
Arranged chronologically. Miscellaneous pamphlets describing aspects of the Local, State, and National Grange, including supply catalogs, statements on legislation, membership drive guides, and a pamphlet describing the functions of a Grange Secretary

FLYERS
1943, 1951-1952
Arranged chronologically
Blank forms for the National Grange Food Production Contest, and the Grange Community Service Contest

BROCHURES
1946-1957
Arranged chronologically
Ohio State Grange project program and National Grange project program booklets.

PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIALS

PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINTS
n.d.
Unidentified print of a large brick house, and a booklet of prints showing group of people planting trees

Inventory

Box 1

Folders

  1. Minute book, September, 1938-April 1943
  2. Minute book, May 13, 1943-November 27, 1947
  3. Minute book, December 11, 1947-February 14. 1952
  4. Minute book, February 28, 1952-October 25, 1956
  5. Minutes (loose sheets), n.d.
  6. Election results, 1938-1942, 1944-1945, 1949-1953
  7. Membership records, February 9, 1939-February 24, 1943
  8. Membership records (Seventh Degree list), n.d.
  9. Membership records (Grand Master list), n.d.

Box 2

Folders

  1. Correspondence - Incoming letters/cards, March 1, 1941-February 23, 1944
  2. Correspondence - Incoming letters/cards, October 22, 1945-October 19, 1951
  3. Correspondence - Incoming letters/cards, 1952-December 1956
  4. Correspondence - Incoming letters/cards, January 14, 1957-October 8, 1957
  5. Correspondence - Incoming letters/cards, n.d.
  6. Correspondence - Incoming postcards, March 18, 1941-November 21, 1946
  7. Correspondence - Incoming postcards, April 5, 1947-January 9, 1957

Box 3

Folders

  1. Quarterly reports, 1940-1944
  2. Quarterly reports, 1945-1949
  3. Quarterly reports, 1950-1955
  4. Inspection reports, October 25, 1950-July 23, 1953
  5. Progress reports, December 26, 1955-April 21, 1957
  6. Song sheet, n.d.
  7. Resolution in support of Parental Responsibility law in Ohio n.d.
  8. Bills and receipts, March 31, 1942-March 31, 1946
  9. Newsclipping, March 7, 1957
  10. Supply catalogs, 1942, 1953, n.d.
  11. Legislative statements, 1943, 1947, 1949
  12. Operation Forward membership drive, 1956
  13. Secretary's Handbook, n.d.
  14. Grange Food Production Contest form, 1943
  15. Grange Community Service Contest forms pamphlet and guide 1951, 1952, 1953
  16. Ohio State Grange project program, 1946, 1949, 1956
  17. National Grange project program, 1956, 1957
  18. Photographic prints, n.d.

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