|KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS|
KANSAS STATE GRANGE.
On August 5, 1867, William Saunders, a clerk in the Agricultural Department, formerly a farmer, and O. H. Kelley, a farmer from Minnesota, who was a clerk in the Post Office Department, were the first to perfect a plan of organization for the National Grange, and on December 4, 1867, at the office of Mr. Saunders, in Washington, the first Grange was organized. Mr. Saunders was chosen Master; J. R. Thompson, Lecturer; Rev. A. B. Grosh, Chaplain; O. H. Kelley, Secretary.
A subordinate Grange was soon after established at Washington to establish the efficiency of the ritual. It numbered about sixty members. Mr. Kelley accepted the position of traveling agent April 1, 1868, and issued the first dispensation for a Grange at Harrisburg, Penn.; the second at Fredonia, N. Y.; the third at Columbus, Ohio; the fourth at Chicago; and in Minnesota he organized six Granges, making ten during the year. In 1869, there were 39 dispensations granted; in 1870 only 38; in 1872, there were 125; but in 1872 there were 800 dispensations granted.
First Grange in Kansas. - In April, 1872, the Hiawatha Grange, Brown County, was organized, the first one in the State. Osage Grange, Crawford County, was the first one organized in Southern Kansas. There were only nine Granges in the State up to December, 1872. William Duane Wilson came from Iowa in December, 1872, into Kansas, and in connection with a few Granges in the south part of the State, effected a temporary organization of the State Grange, with the following-named persons as officers: Master, F. H. Dumbauld; Overseer, J. Bell; Lecturer, J. A. Cramer; Secretary, G. W. Spurgeon; Treasurer, H. H. Angell.
Farmers' State Convention. - On April 26 and 27, 1872, a State Convention of Farmers was assembled at Topeka, representing forty counties, under the following call of the State Board of Agriculture:
Office Kansas State Board of Agriculture, )
To the Farmers of Kansas:
Subsequently the call was enlarged as follows:
Since issuing the above, applications have been received from the "Farmers' Union" of Douglas County, and from farmers of various parts of the State, requesting that Farmers' Unions, Granges of the Patrons of Husbandry, and all other farmers' organizations, as well as townships and counties having no such organizations, each have a representation in said Convention.
Hon. J. K. Hudson was temporary Chairman, and the permanent organization was as follows: Hon. John Davis, of Davis County, for President; Jonathan Weaver, of Saline, and Alfred Taylor, of Johnson, for Vice Presidents; J. K. Hudson, of Wyandotte, for Secretary, and J. T. Stevens, of Douglas, Assistant Secretary.
The Farmers' Platform. - The convention resolved that the Farmers' Co-operative Association of the State of Kansas, co-operated with the State Board of Agriculture and the State organization of the Patrons of Husbandry, and adopted the following platform:
WHEREAS, Agriculture in its various departments is the basis of all material prosperity, and
Among the delegates present may be named D. W. Foster, of Allen County; Thomas Goudy and R. H. Cunningham, of Anderson; George W. Glick and R. A. Van Winkle, of Atchison; A. J. Buckland, of Barton; J. F. Babbit, of Brown; H. W. Beck, of Butler; W. S. Romigh, of Chase; J. B. Quimby, of Clay; John Giesey, of Coffey; G. W. Shoel, of Crawford; John Davis, John K. Wright, of Davis; V. P. Wilson, of Dickinson; G. Brenner, of Doniphan; Henry Bronson, J. A. Cramer, George Cutler, Charles H. Langston and Charles Robinson, of Lawrence; J. N. Foster, of Franklin; B. H. Bradshaw, William Cline and J. S. T. Milligan, of Jackson; Walter N. Allen, Valentine Brown, J. N. Insley and Edwin Snyder, of Jefferson; A. G. Chase, A. F. Evans and J. S. Van Winkle, of Leavenworth; C. M. Monroe, of Labette; R. B. McMillan, of Linn; M. J. Fiery, of Lyon; T. C. Thoburn, of Marion; Frank Leach, of Marshall; C. L. Pullman, of Miami; A. H. Grass, of Montgomery; S. J. Willes, of Morris; T. H. Butler, of Neosho; G. H. Nicolay, of Osage; John A. Beal of Pottawatomie; C. W. Clapp, of Reno; William F. Allen, O. W. Bill and Washington Marlatt, of Riley; W. B. Christopher, of Russell; T. H. Cavanaugh, of Saline, Thomas Buckman, M. A. Campdoras, C. G. Gardiner, Alfred Gray, Samuel Kosier, John G. Otis, W. P. Popenoe, A. A. Ripley and George L. Young, of Shawnee; C. S. Brodbent, of Sumner; J. M. Bisbey, C. B. Lines and E. N. Morehouse, of Wabaunsee; G. M. Parks and Charles Williamson, of Washington; J. H. McKelvy, of Woodson, and J. K. Hudson, of Wyandotte.
The Gist of the Speeches. - There was a large number of earnest, thoughtful men in this body, and considerable speaking talent. Mr. Bronson said:
Want of organization has kept farmers form accomplishing reforms, and we desire all to work with the means that accomplished these ends, whether by Farmers' Unions or by the Patrons of Husbandry.
Mr. Allen hoped the farmers' organization would be a legal body corporate, as it could compel officers to a stricter account than could any political organization. Mr. Glick was of the opinion that the tariff and the banking laws were the principal causes of the oppression of the agricultural interests. The people pay for the use of our currency $30,000,000 a year; tribute is paid to two or three salt rings, who receive some eight to ten millions from the people, the Government receiving from the same $200,000. Lumber and iron received consideration. Mr. Hudson said the farmers throughout the State needed organization and co-operation. The key of the difficulty lay in the ballot box. Gov. Robinson advocated county and State organizations, auxiliary to a national one, and all should be in correspondence with headquarters. While he did not advise any political action, his advice was to vote for the known friends of the farmer, and the farmers would soon find they had plenty of friends.
Address to the Farmers of Kansas. - In the published pamphlet of the proceedings of the Convention, the following is extracted:
The origin of the Convention is well stated in the proceedings. Its objects were well and plainly developed during the sittings, and finally took definite and satisfactory shape in the Constitution of the Farmers' Co-operative Association of the State of Kansas. We expect this association to be the organized medium of communication between its members and the outside world, making known our thoughts, deeds and aspirations. The farmer of America is no longer the serf or boor of the middle ages. He has, by contact with the culture and enlightenment, become a man of thought and judgment. He wishes to make his influence known and recognized in the markets of the world, in the counting-rooms of business and in the halls of legislation, by other means than mere pounds avordupois. He wishes to unite with all virtuous men in teaching, by word and example, the importance of public honesty and integrity. These things cannot be done while farmers remain in an isolated condition.
Meeting of the State Grange. - There were 409 organized Grangers at the first meeting of the State Grange at Lawrence, July 30, 1873. Dudley W. Adams, of Iowa, Master of the National Grange, and T. A. Thompson, of Minnesota. Lecturer of the National Grange, were present and largely aided in forming and shaping the State Grange, and in giving the secret work of the Order to the delegates.
The following-names persons were elected as the first officers of the State Grange: Master, T. G. Boling, Leavenworth County; Overseer, M. E. Hudson, Bourbon County; Lecturer, John Boyd, Montgomery County; Steward, E. D. Smith, Jewell County; Assistant Steward, J. B. Richie, Franklin County; Chaplain, W. S. Hanna, Franklin County; Treasurer, H. H. Angell, Cherokee County; Secretary, G. W. Spurgeon, Neosho County; Gate keeper, C. W. Lawrence, Leavenworth County; Ceres, Mrs. Mattie Morris; Flora, Mrs. M. H. Charles; Pomona, Mrs. Amanda C. Rippey; Lady Assistant Steward, Mrs. Jennie D. Richie; Executive committee, F. H. Dumbauld, Neosho County, W. P. Popenoe, Shawnee County; J. B. Shaeffer, Jefferson County.
Sixty counties were represented at the meeting of the State Grange held at Topeka, in February, 1874, at which the Secretary reported 975 organized granges, representing an actual membership of over 27,000, which, by April 1, was increased to 1,200 granges, with a membership exceeding 30,000.
Master Boling having resigned, M. E. Hudson succeeded him, and William Sims, of Shawnee County, succeeded Mr. Hudson. W. P. Popenoe was re-elected a member of the Executive Committee; W. H. Fletcher, of Clay County; was elected Gatekeeper, Mr. Lawrence having failed to accept and qualify. John G. Otis, of Topeka, was chosen State Agent. There were about 30 deputy agents; about 40 county agents.
Constitution of Kansas State Grange. - The first article of the Constitution is as follows:
This Grange shall be known as the Kansas State Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry, and in all its acts shall be subject to the Constitution of the National Grange.
Article 2 related to Members; Article 3 defined Legislative Powers; Articles 4 and 5 related to Meetings; Article 6 defined the duties of the Master; Article 7, of the Overseer; Article 8, of the Lecturer; Articles 9 and 10, of the Steward and Assistant Steward; Article 11, of the Secretary; Article 12, of the Treasurer; Article 13, of the Gatekeeper; Article 14, of the Chaplain; Article 15 relates to Electors; Article 16, to the appointment of Committees; Article 17, to a Committee of Finance; Article 18, to the Executive Committee; Articles 19 and 20, to the Fiscal Year and to Quarterly Dues; Articles 21 and 22, to Appeals and Withdrawals; Article 23, to Councils; Article 24, to Deputies; Article 25, to Jurisdiction; Article 26, to Applications; Article 27, to traveling expenses of Delegates; Article 28, to powers of the Master and the Executive Committee, with reference to suspensions; Article 29, to Amendments to the Constitution.
By-laws of the Grange. - The rules of order established were thirteen in number, and the order of business was blocked out for a four days' session.
Constitution and by-laws for County and Subordinate Granges were given as recommended; Rules of Order, Manual of Practice, Parliamentary Practice and How to Organize a Grange with general recommendations, by W. P. Popenoe. Our business agencies were explained by John G. Otis; A. Patrons' Mutual Insurance Association, by S. H. Downs, and the funeral ceremony to be performed at the last sad rites over deceased members.
Address of Worthy Master M. E. Hudson. - At the second annual meeting, held at Topeka, February 19-21, 1874, Master Hudson said:
To be a Patron of Husbandry is not of doubtful propriety, but the proudest of our land are knocking at our doors. We are substantially a unit in the opinion that the order should in no sense become a political party; at the same time there are questions fundamentally affecting our material interests which can only be reached through legislation. The questions of transportation, taxation, finance and corruption in public places, are such as come home to the pockets of our members, and it seems imperative that they be discussed in the Grange.
Patrons' Hand Book. - April 1, 1874, J. K. Hudson, then publisher of the Kansas Farmer, in publishing a book of the above named title for the use and benefit of the order of the Patrons of Husbandry, said:
The Grange, recognizing woman as man's equal in all things, gives an influence in its educational and social working of very great value. New social ties are formed; old neighborhood feuds are bridged over, and in the discussion of subjects pertaining to the social and educational welfare of farmers, a higher and broader culture will ensue. Libraries are being formed; more reading and thinking will be the result, the influence of which will a thousand-fold repay the cost of the organization, not only upon the present members, but upon future generations. The Grange recognizes that education, good morals and a higher culture, are essential to its permanent success and highest usefulness. In all the deliberations of the National Grange, the State Grange and subordinate organizations, the most advanced and progressive reforms in education, temperance and good morals have received full sympathy and support.
Annual Gathering of the Patrons. - In the autumn of 1874, the Executive Committee of the Grange adopted the following resolution:
Resolved, That for the purpose of advancing our business interests, promoting general acquaintance and good fellowship among the Patrons of our State, we would recommend an annual gathering or re-union of all our membership, so far as possible, at the annual State Fair in each year; and would further recommend the State board of Agriculture to permanently locate the State Fair at some central point within the State; and that our State Grange, from year to year, make arrangements whereby large numbers of our membership could be provided with cheap and comfortable board and lodging, and all needed facilities for holding business meetings, Grange meetings and social gatherings. And we would most earnestly request that Patrons take hold of these annual exhibitions, and make them the grand exponent of productive labor and material wealth within our State, and the gathering together of our people from every part of the country for mutual consultation, comparison and profit.
Destitution from the Grasshopper Raid. - On the fair grounds at Leavenworth, at the meeting of the State Fair in 1874, the following resolutions were adopted by the Executive committee of the State Grange and the business agents of the Grange for twenty-seven counties:
Resolved, That whatever aid may be given by the State of Kansas for the relief of its citizens, be in the shape of direct relief, and the relief thus appropriated by the Legislature be placed under the control of the county and township officers of the county in which the aid is to be used - first, in the employment of those needing relief in some useful occupation for the public benefit; and secondly, directly to those in need, in the shape of provisions, clothing, or money, as the county board and Trustees may deem most expedient and safe in securing the object in view, and in preventing misapplication of the public money.