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
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
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 young 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 nation through constructive,
nonpartisan political action. The diversity of
America's communities calls us to a greater
unity. A community and nation succeeds 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
Join the Putnam Valley Grange
The Putnam Valley Grange was founded in 1897 and our beautiful Grange Hall was originally constructed in 1900/1901. Much of the building was destroyed by fire in the 1970s, but the structure was lovingly rebuilt by the membership. Today, Putnam Valley Grange serves the community of its members in Putnam Valley, NY and the surrounding area - the only surviving Grange in all of Putnam County, NY.
Early photo of Putnam Valley Grange Hall (left) - Mill Street heads off into the distance towards Shrub Oak
More early days at the Putnam Valley Grange Hall