Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Grange History 1873-1985
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
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Grange History 1873 - 1985
Bradford - Sullivan Counties
Complied by Earl Bidlack, Marion Bidlack, Doris Saxton
Typed by Janet PETERS Ordway
If you have photos, old or new, of these Granges, please get them to us to illustrate the chapters as they are added.
POMONA GRANGE DEPUTIES – MAY 16, 1970


Ruth Fish, Elsie Springer, Ellsworth Andrus, Theodore Dunbar

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DEPUTIES


Andrew Springer, Jasper Smith, Luther Snyder, Theodore Dunbar, Ellsworth Andrus

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POMONA DEGREE TEAM 1970

Front Row, left to right – Ruth Fish, Robert Peters, Ida Jeanne Ford, Ellsworth Andrus, Richard Smith

Middle Row, left to right – Charles Saxton, Gus VonWolffradt, Elsie Springer, Lois Meeker, Hilda Austin, Dorothy Lewis.

Back Row, left to right – Louis Sturdevant, Gaylord Isham, George Hartung, Jasper Smith

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NOTABLES AT GRANGE DINNER – 1970

Among those attending the annual Pomona Grange Legislative Dinner at Burlington were, from left, John L Brackman of East Canton, Pomona legislative chairman; Ellsworth Andrus of East Smithfield, Pomona Master; State Rep. Kenneth B Lee of Eagles Mere; and State Rep. Andrew S Moscrip of Towanda. Nearly 200 Grangers from three counties attended the affair.
 
 

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Seated – Ronald Harris, Bruce Morse Jr., Janice Sturdevant, Anita Moon, Louis Sturdevant, Richard Smith

Standing – William Stalford, Janet Peters, Neil Peters, Marsha Mills, Ronald Stalford, Connie Mills, Donald Wilson, Roberta Moon, Pam Morse, Marilyn Stalford, Mary Louise Smith, Diane Morse, Mary Lou Harris.

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POMONA CHORUS

The Bradford-Sullivan Chorus was organized by Mrs. Reva Adams, Lecturer. It functioned first as a part of the State Contest.

Mrs. Howard Smith was chosen as its director who served several years. In 1976 they won First Place at Sharon Pennsylvania State Grange. The following year they repeated First Place, receiving the blue ribbon.

Mr. and Mrs. James Brown and Douglas Yale were later directors.

The group and their directors are to be commended for their fine work.

(Picture)

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POMONA CHORUS

Granville grangers were entertained by the Pomona Grange Chorus, considered one of the best in the state. It was directed by Mrs. Howard Smith Jr, of West Burlington.

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THE DAIRY PRINCESS PROGRAM

In order to fully explain the Grange’s involvement of the Bradford County Dairy Princess Pageant, let’s first look at the origins of the Pageant.

In 1963 the Towanda Chamber of Commerce and the Bradford County Extension Service promoted the first Dairy Princess Pageant, and Viola McQueen made history by being the first Dairy Princess.

The Towanda Chamber of Commerce and the Bradford County Extension Service promoted the Dairy Princess Pageant from 1963-1971.

1964 was a very special year for Bradford County. The Dairy Princess Pageant was called-Area 13 Dairy Princess Pageant. Area 13 included ten counties with 15 contestants from nine counties participating. On June 13, 1964 the pageant was as such:

4:00 pm – get acquainted at Towanda Country Club

5:30 – 7:00 pm – Dinner and Entertainment at Towanda Country Club

7:30 pm – Grand Parade

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8:00 pm – Selection of Area 13 Dairy Princess at the Towanda High School

Rosalee Morse, the daughter of Bruce and Betty Morse, was crowned as the Dairy Princess of Area 13. Rosalee Morse then went on to become the first and only Pennsylvania State Dairy Princess to date from Bradford County.

Another important event happened on July 24, 1965. The Pennsylvania State Dairy Princess Contest was held in Towanda. It was reported that 600 people were expected to view the event.

Most Dairy Princess Pageants in the late 1960’s and thru 1971 consisted of a banquet with e crowning of the Princess.

On March 6, 1972, Orville A Yoder, the Bradford County Extension Agent, sent a letter to people who were interested in the Dairy Princess program and asked the following questions:

  1. Is our county Dairy Princess program worth the time, effort, and money?
  2. How can it be changed to make it a more effective program?
  3. Who should sponsor the affair?

  4.  

     
     

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  5. Should it be curtailed, expanded, or dropped completely?
  6. Who should serve on the county committee?
  7. Do you have definite ideas for improving the event?
On person, John Brackman, had an idea for improving the event. John Brackman had heard of and seen a Dairy Festival in Bath, New York, that was an all day affair. John Brackman and William Swingle together decided to Co-Chair the 1973 Dairy Princess Pageant trying to copy the one they saw. John Brackman came to Pomona Grange and told of his idea and asked Pomona to sponsor the Dairy Princess Pageant. After much discussion Pomona decided to sponsor the pageant. In being the sponsor, Pomona agreed to pick up any expenses which weren’t covered by the donations from farmers and businesses. Also Pomona agreed to help promote and to find candidates and floats.

Suddenly Pomona was once again trying something new. Trying to show outsiders what Gerald Shumway wrote in the 1974 Dairy Princess Supplement to the Daily Review. "The fact that it is

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sponsoring the Dairy Princess Festival this year shows that it is still active and interested in promoting a good rural life."

As was said, John Brackman and William Swingle were Co-Chairmen in 1973. Ruth Fish was recording Secretary and Steward Rosengrant was Treasurer. The festival was held in Towanda and included a parade up Main Street to the high school where booths, exhibits, and farm machinery were on display. There was a milking by hand contest, and Royal Haven Maple Belle, an All-American Heifer, owned by Lynn and Bonnie Miller, was on display. Most important, thirteen candidates entered the contest with many of them sponsored by subordinate granges. A supplement to the Daily Review contained a photograph and introduction of each candidate, along with a small grange history which told of the grange slogan " A School out of School."

The following description was written about the 1973 festival:

On a very humid June 9, over 60 units were paraded up Main Street in Towanda for the Dairy

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Festival Celebration. The items included: color guards, bands, floats, machinery, antique cars and trucks, and the dairy princess candidates. Around 3000 people watched and were amazed at the size of the parade and how smoothly the spectacle took place.

Emphasis in the parade on dairying and dairy products was very evident.

Pomona grange was noted as sponsors in 1973 and 1974. Since the festival was paying its way there was no need for a sponsor. John Brackman’s dream had come true, the dairy industries supported it, organizations participated and people came. But John and the rest of his committee decided to move the festival around the county. The festival now travels in a rotation to Towanda, Canton, Wyalusing, the Valley Area, and Troy.

Activities at the festivals have included: milk chugging contest, milking contests, square dance exhibitions, cutest costumed calf contest, clown contest, tug-of-war, a milk run, petting zoo, exhibits, mini-tractor pull and as always

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a parade.

In 1965 it was reported 600 were expected to view the State Pageant in Towanda, and now it is estimated that as high as 6000 people enjoy the festival.

Expenses have gone from $487.35 in 1971 to over $5000.00 in 1982. Some of the past and present grangers who have served as chairmen of the festival include: John Brackman, Brian Harris, Eugene Harris, Ronnie Harris and William Swingle.

Many of our Dairy Princesses, which are listed below, were grange members or their parents were. Also many of the Princesses won awards at the State Pageant.
 

1963 Viola McQueen 1964 Rosalee Morse
1965 Cheryl Brister 1966 Janet Isabell
1697 No contest 1968 Mary Ann Calkins
1969 Linda Edsell 1970  Kathy Fleming
1971 Jean Hovan 1972 Helen Terrell
1973 Debbie Kingsley 1974 Carol Edsell
1975 Janet Bacon 1976 Wanda Sue Herman
1977 Jane Squier 1978 Kathy Foust
1979 Penny Allen 1980 LuAnn Shedden
1981 Jean Sheeley 1982 Valarie Moon

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1983 Anita Wrisley 1984 Wendy LaMont
1985 Melissa Wilcox    

Our county dairy princesses now promote milk the year round not just in the month of June.

The Bradford County Dairy Festival has been called one of the best in Pennsylvania and has been used as an example for other county dairy princess programs.

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