National Grange (Washington D.C.)
Patrons of Husbandry
PATRONS OF HUSBANDRY
PATRONS OF HUSBANDRY was founded as a farmers' lodge on 4 December 1867, in Washington, D.C. It served as the vehicle through which the Granger movement operated. It had a secret ritual like the Masons and admitted both men and women to membership. Each local unit was known as a "Grange." In 1876 the order reached its peak membership of 858,050, but by 1880 the collapse of the Granger movement had reduced this figure to 124,420. Thereafter, by abandoning business and politics for its original program of social and educational reforms, the order began a slow and steady growth. By 1934, the Patrons of Husbandry again claimed over 800,000 members, mainly in New England, the North Central states, and the Pacific Northwest. By 1974, membership had declined to about 600,000. Of late years it has not hesitated to support legislation, both state and national, deemed of benefit to farmers. In the early twenty-first century, the Grange and the Patrons of Husbandry actively supported movements to diversify the crops of tobacco farmers into other marketable products. They also encouraged use of the money pending from tobacco class action settlements to ease dislocation in tobacco farming.
Nordin, Dennis S. Rich Harvest: A History of the Grange, 1867–1900. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1974.
Wiest, Edward. Agricultural Organization in the United States. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1923.
John D.Hicks/h. s.
See alsoGranger Movement .