Stony Fork Grange
The United States has always been fertile ground for organizations. Most of the early ones were of rural origin but their careers were brief. The exception is the Patrons of Husbandry better known as the Grange. The title was selected because old time English estates were known by that name. It is a fraternal organization with the purpose of bettering country life and much of its considerable strength is derived from it legislative service. Many laws leading to the improvement of rural life originated in the order.
Local members celebrated their centennial in 1974. The county Grange boasts the title, Chemung County Pomona Grange No. 1. The first meetings were held in the old Farmer’s Club Hall until 1917. It now rotates meetings among the various subordinate Grange buildings in the county.
The year 1874 saw the organization of eleven subordinate Granges in the county. One more appeared the following year and three in 1913. Of these early Granges, two, Veteran and Horseheads, fell by the wayside but were reorganized in 1907. Newtown Centennial Grange in Breesport was organized in 1967 but was short lived. There are now four active organizations in the county, Horseheads, Veteran, Chemung and Chemung Valley which ahs the number 57 and has never been dormant. The death of the others reflect the change from a basically rural community to an urban one.
The State Grange awarded golden Sheaf awards to fifty year members in 1933 and has continued the practice as well as adding silver awards to twenty five year members. The young members of the family have their own Junior Grange, where countless numbers of children have received their first training in leadership.
A State Grange Headquarters in Cortland was dedicated in 1973. The yearly meetings had been held in a different county every year before this. Elmira had been the selected city in the years 1950, 1953 and 1960 but the first one was an early 1891.
A name associated with the growth of the Patrons of Husbandry was William Armstrong who was the first Master of old Chemung Valley, for ten years Master of the State Grange and editor of the "Husbandman." The first copies of this paper, dated 1874 are now in the library at Cornell.
Other people remembered for their leadership were Mr. and Mrs. O.M. Wixon, Mr. and Mrs. O.J. Sears. Still working for the betterment of rural residents are Charles Mosher, Mr. and Mrs. William Stedge, and Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Benjamin. Although the credit due the Grange may have been forgotten, rural residents all over the country owe thanks to it for many benefits that came their way because of the efforts of The Patrons of Husbandry.
I just received your forwarded email from National Grange requesting information on Granges in Tioga and Bradford Counties.
Here is the information on those PA Granges still operating as of the beginning of 2005:
Wysauking-Sheshequin Grange #58
Charleston Valley Grange #54
Some of these Granges may have either closed or be in the process of consolidating with other Granges in the area and the paperwork has not yet reached me. I have listings for all of the Granges that used to be in these two counties but the best way for me to get that info to you would be to copy the cards with info and send them to you. I would be more than glad to do that but it will probably not be for another week until I can get to that and I will need your postal address.
PA State Grange
Public Relations/Membership Director
Presented at 100th anniversary
September 28 1991
Researched by Marie Aylesworth
Dues records began 1892
Secretary records began December 18, 1909
Well known members;
Walter Krotzer, Tioga County commissioner
Frank Snyder, PA State Representative
William B. Wilson, first Secretary of Labor under President Woodrow Wilson
Charter was dropped for President John F. Kennedy December 12, 1963
Debates in grange;
1910-resolved it is better to marry for love than money
1911-does it pay for a farmer to go in debt for his lime?
1935-how much shall a man help with the work in the home?
1910- Sister Moyer reported that the oil can leaked, suggested to buy a new one
1913- Grange to procure a rope for a swing for the picnic
1950- A hole in the roof discovered, an investigation to be made
1954- Executive committee to purchase a piano whenever and wherever they see fit
1911- Noted to extend a vote of thanks to committee and honorably discharge them
1912- Minutes started by “Hall of Sebring grange” opened by master
1925- Leslie Moyer, Floyd Brion and any other entertainment they saw fit to draw a crowd
1912- From Harrisburg regarding oleo margarine
1918-Communication by federal board of farm organization to investigate selective draft law
Things obtained through grange;
1912- Shares in keystone grange exchange
1051- Sale of underwear
1952-Fair mado samples
1934- Membership between men and women, two points for new member and one point for reinstatement
1956- Largest attendance between men and women
1957-Men lost, served oyster supper to the ladies
1964- Guess the number of kernels on an ear of corn. Howard Sindingler won.
June 11, 1911- resolved that women should be given right of suffrage- final adoption by federal government 1920.
1939-cooperative with NY Central Railroad
1. Railroads should be kept in private ownership, rather than government.
2. Equal rights in rights with competition with highways, waterways and airways.
3. Put routes up to grades instead of super highways.
1959- Went on record to oppose local option in the primaries
1979- Opposing abolishing agriculture department in schools
1983- Various resolutions sent regarding route 15
1988- Animal rights
Answer by a verse on friendship, current events, rules of highway safety, fishing experiences, how grange was organized, lurking dangers in home, school days, foods, life 50 years ago, Halloween pranks.
March 30, 1912-nothing doing
1930- Each member to have a poem or reading
1949- Glen Butters enacted being a drunk putting a key in the key hole. Leon Ostrom picked Floyd Kreger by the elbows. Floyd Kreger won contest of eating donuts and was able to whistle first
1955- Temperance movie by Paul Witt
1924- Meeting on the stoop to pass out groceries
1927-Not enough for meeting but was given a surprise visit by Nauvoo Grange
1933-Flower march for deceased member Brother Norman. $3.19 collected
1937-Spaghetti supper to be served but Grant and Howard didn’t show up with hamburg.
1937-Trustees borrowed $45 to buy a piano
1942-Question to conserve gas so held only one meeting a month
1943-Checked with government to see if it was legal to go to grange? Reply yes.
1945- Souvenirs from South Pacific were shown by Donald Brown.
1960- B. F. Hebe granted a life membership
1979-Honored charter members, Charles Moyer, Claude Norman and Leo Plank
1911-Is grange doing for farmers as intended?
1912- Grading of the schools to meet with directors
1930- Is gardening the farm garden a liability or an asset?
1948- Universal military training and daylight savings time-against
Schools, highways, cancer insurance, solid waste, ambulance association, sales tax, and soil conservation.
1926- Sent $2 to girls dorm at State College
1949-$0.49 per member for milk for human kindness
1960- Picked up litter from Nauvoo to East Point
1961- Material for Danville State Hospital
1964- Gave Fire Company $136.25
1964- $2 paid for goats for Guatemala
1969- Gifts to residents at broad acres nursing home
Collection of eye glasses
1916-americam woodsmen $12 for one meeting a month or $20 for two meetings and pay the janitor and extinguish all lights.
June 5, 1924-Ku Klux Klan to hold meetings as long as satisfactory.
1929-Frumean Yomans held dances on Wednesday evenings as long as they were carried on in a respectful manner.
1946- VFW meetings were held twice a month, also elections, church meetings,political meetings,Boy Scouts, extension services, and annual dinner meetings for Mr. Barbour’s military unit
No meetings from December 23,1922 to June 1 1923
1931- $0.40 for an oyster supper
1932- Benefit dance for the ball team
1939- Evils of marihuana presented by Amber Butters
1946- Discussion to form Grange library
1947-Orrin Brion established 4-H jersey club
1949-Romain and Mildred Harer honored for perfect attendance for one year
1950-established a juvenile grange with Hannah Messner as leader
There was at one time a home economics club;
August 12, 1902 record book for “cash in various ways”
There have been two women as Worthy Master;
1913- Dorothy Norman
1964-66 Mildred Harer\
Income for 1893-$339.90
May 31, 1928; Mr. Seamans, Agriculture teacher, influenced the following to join the grange( 28 members); Francis Maneval, Ernest Black, Lawrence Plank, John Raker, Leslie Moyer, Miles Raker, Glen Emmick, Orrin Brion, Kenneth Brion, Arnold Weaver, Floyd Brion, Clinton Repard, Frank Snyder, Russel Miller, Lewis Zeafla; October 25, 1928; Dorothy Minnie, Floyd Dietrick, Theron Stroud, Theodore Aylesworth, Ellsworth McCarty. John Harrer, Romain Harer, Russel Repard, Alvin Raker, Raymond Page, Raymond Maneval, Romain Pequignot, Bert Miller.
November 8, 1928; suggestion by good of the order, Brother Comstock, that we would eat supper, which we did
Valentine read for lecturer; Violets are blue, roses are red, I wish I could find you in my bed
Business most often considered; may 1960- toilets to be repaired
October 26, 1961- Albert Snyder to contact Jackson school to obtain toilet
November 1961-replacing toilets tabled until spring
November 12, 1970-toilets available at Blossburg if men will go after them
June 9, 1977-discussion on building an outside toilet
November 10, 1977-committee appointed to study different types of toilets
July 27, 1978- finally! Results of the work bee on building the new toilets can be seen.
History of Sebring Grange ( undated, attached to the copy researched by Marie Aylesworth, it’s the work of an earlier person)
Sebring Grange No. 107 was organized in November 1891 by William Jones from Charleston. He came with a horse and buggy staying two days going from house to house telling the people of the advantages and the help they would receive by joining the Grange.
The meetings were first held at the home of Eugene Lynch, one of the Charter Members, the place is now owned by Alfred Pequignot. Then a vacant house was rented of Conrad Kohler nearer Sebring and the meetings were held there until the hall was ready. The Charter was recorded at Pennsylvania State Grange January 20, 1892.
The hall we are now meeting in was built approximately two years after the Grange was organized. The lot of 1 acre was bought from Dave Kohler. The timber was donated by Daniel Zinck, another Charter Member. Several bees were held all work being donated. The hall was built in about two month’s time. This included cutting and skidding the logs, peeling the bark, sawing the timber, making the shingles and erecting the building.
The Grange on the completion of the hall was in debt approximately $ 300, this was for such things as window glass, nails, and lamps. This debt was soon paid off by proceeds received from dances, suppers, and initiation fees. In 1893 there were 81 members.
William Norman had a store selling groceries and farm implements and shared the profits equally among the Grange members.
There are none of the Charter members living. Albert Norman joined in 1892 and helped with the building of the hall. We have two 50 year members, Albert Norman and B. Frank Hebe. The lowest number of members at one time on record was 20, the highest 96. The present membership is 53.
Some of the Charter members recalled by the present members are as follows:
Edward Ostrom, William Norman and wife, George Norman and wife, William
Weiskopf, James Wyley and wife, Andrew Wyley and wife, William
Dennison, Eugene Lynch, Daniel Zinck.
SEBRING GRANGE # 1047
Organized November 2, 1891 By Wm. R. Jones
Officers; Master: Eugene Lynch
Lecturer; Lydia E. Kohler
Sec’y; Mary A. Lynch
Members (15) George Norman, Mary Norman, Wm. Norman, Anne Norman, Eugene Lynch, Elizabeth Lynch, Mary A. Lynch, Gus Pequignot, Elizabeth Norman, Wm. Hughes, Thurse J. Krause, Wm. Weiskopf, Lydia E. Kohler, Davis Kohler, A.R. Wilson
*** An attached newspaper clipping, date unknown, “The new Grange Hall
at Sebring cost about $ 1000. The lodge has 55 members”
Material typed by Gary Parker, RR # 6 Box 6227 Montrose PA 18801, email@example.com