MS 269 - Patrons of Husbandry, Ohio State Grange, Fort Meigs Grange #2125 (Perrysburg, Ohio)
|Title||MS 269 - Patrons of Husbandry, Ohio State Grange, Fort Meigs Grange #2125 (Perrysburg, Ohio)|
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.
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.
CORRESPONDENCE - INCOMING LETTERS/CARDS
CORRESPONDENCE - INCOMING POSTCARDS
BILLS AND RECEIPTS
SCRAPBOOKS AND SCRAPBOOK MATERIALS