Oliver H. Kelly, Grange Founder
On December 4, 1867 in a small Washington, D.C. building that housed the office of William Saunders, Superintendent of Propagating Gardens in the Department of Agriculture, the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, more commonly known as the Grange, was born. Sitting around a plain wooden table, a group of seven earnest men planned what was destined to become a vital force in preserving and expanding American democracy. They were men of vision, they had faith in God, in their fellow man, and in the future.
The Seven Founders of the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry were Oliver H. Kelly, William Saunders, Aaron B. Grosh, John Trimble, John R.Thompson, Francis McDowell, and William M. Ireland. They were assisted by Caroline Hall.
Recognizing the importance of a viable agriculture and strong family unit, the Grange established these principles as cornerstones of the organization.
Early on, women were given equal representation and this has proven to be of great benefit to the Grange's success. It was the first organization to give women an equal vote with men in 1867, as well as full and equal recognition.
The Oklahoma State Grange came into existence in 1915, shortly after statehood. The Grange has worked tirelessly for Oklahoma's family farmers and rural communities since its inception. Rural communities are the backbone of our nation and a key part of our national self-identity. Today, farming and rural communities face serious social and economic challenges. That's why the Oklahoma State Grange is working to preserve family farms, rural communities and the rural lifestyles they represent for generations to come.
The Grange Emblem
The Grange emblem has a lot of history behind it. The seven-sided emblem represents the seven degrees of the Grange, and the seven founders. "P of H" stands for "Patrons of Husbandry". The name "Grange" was chosen because old English farm estates, each a complete community, were called Granges. The sheaf of wheat represents our interest in agriculture.
The Grange was originally an organization of farming families, and while now it embraces both rural and urban members, it still retains a strong rural and agriculture interest.
Purpose of Grange
The Purpose of Grange is to build a program of fellowship, service, and member activities within a framework of fraternalism, embracing all members through meetings and activities.
Across America, communities, farms, schools, hospitals, and families are undergoing tremendous changes. The Grange, which has chapters in more than 4,000 communities across the land, is the center of a grassroots effort to improve the quality of life in rural areas and across the nation. Grange members share ideas, organize themselves for action in their communities, and initiate programs that will address their concerns and improve their lives.
Grange members are as diverse as the broad citizenship of our nation. They range in age from you to old. They are from diverse ethnic heritages, as well as diverse religious denominations. What brings these people together is a common desire to improve their communities, states, and the nationa through constructive, nonpartisan political action. The diversity of America's communities calls us to a greater unity. A community and nationsucceeds when its citizens realize the power available to each individual when they work together.
Grange Declaration of Purpose
United by the strong and faithful tie of an agricultural fraternity, yet welcoming all of good moral character to membership, we mutually resolve to labor for the good of our order, our country and mankind.
We shall endeavor to develop a better and higher manhood and womanhood among ourselves, to foster mutual understanding and cooperation, to suppress personal, local, sectional, and national prejudices.
The Grange is not a partisan of party organization. We must always bear in mind that no one, by becoming a patron of Husbandry, gives up that inalienable right and duty which belongs to every american citizen to take proper interest in the politics of one's country.
We desire a proper equality, and fairness; protection of the weak; restraint upon the strong; in short, justly distributed power.
Join the Oklahoma State Grange
The contributions of vibrant rural communities are irreplaceable. you can make a difference. With your support, we can help rural communities to be places where people want to live, work, and raise their families in the 21st Century.
Join the Oklahoma State Grange now and join us in our vision and purpose as we defend family farms, help sustain rural communities, and protect our nation's rich rural cultural heritage.
Your membership will help the Oklahoma State Grange continue programs that work for rural communities in Congress, and in our State Legislature, support local farms, preserve heirloom skills and crafts, provide local activities for rural children and young adults, and promote volunteer community service projects across the state and nation.
Contact the Oklahoma State Grange Membership Director today, and find out more about the programs and benefits of Grange membership.