Michigan State Grange / Women In The Michigan Grange
Michigan State Grange
Organized in 1873, the Michigan State Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry held its first annual meeting in January 1874 at Allen's Hall which once stood on this site. The Michigan Grange grew rapidly with over six hundred "subordinate granges" by 1876. Dedicated "to educating and elevating the American farmer," these local units promoted rural concerns including rural free delivery mail and pure food laws. The State Grange supported Michigan Agricultural College, now Michigan State University,
and its creation of agricultural extension services. Many Grange leaders played important roles in state politics including Cyrus G. Luce, whow eas elected Michigan Grange Master in 1880 and Michigan's governor in 1886.
Women In The Michigan Grange
The National Grange, founded in 1867, was one of the first fraternal organizations to admit women and men as members on an equal basis. From their positions of influence in the Michigan Grange, women like Mary Bryant Mayo worked to reduce the isolation of rural women and improve women's educational opportunities. Mayo organized the Fresh Air Project, which took Detroit women and children to farms during the summer. Jennie Buell and Ida Chittenden mobilized the Grange to win woman suffrage in Michigan, a goal they achieved in 1918. Dora Stockman, who served on the State Board of Agriculture and in the Michigan legistature, created Four Leaf Clover Clubs (the present-day 4-H Club) for Grange children.