The Grange

The Rock Hill Grange #1378 was presented its charter on April 26,1915, listing its 20 charter members as: Robert Davies, Mallie W. Davies, Horatio Hoyt, Fannie R. Hoyt, Sanford D. Case, Nellie Case, H. Eugene Barnum, Lillian Barnum, Blake Marvin Case, Sr., Lena Case, K.R. Jones, William A. Case, Adelaide L. Case, J.W. Colby, T. Colby, Percy L. Bowers, Geo. F. Calhoun, Clara Davies, C.E. Gordon and Leon Barnum. Their occupations were listed as: farmers, farmers’ wives, housekeeper, nurse, farm laborer, schoolteacher, farmer’s daughter, farmer’s son, chauffeur, postmistress, hatter, carpenter, merchant, millinery, iron worker, storekeeper. Through the years their activities included: distributing petunia seeds to 4-H clubs and flower seeds as Flower Show Contest prizes. They held a Masquerade Dance. ln 1923, they voted to build an indoor and an outdoor closet. They endorsed the Anti-Daylight Savings Ass’n. On September 21, 1923 they discussed getting electric lights. On December 7, 1923, they discussed merits of auto, life and fire insurance. On January 18, 1924, each member brought to the meeting a “pound” (in weight) wrapped package which was auctioned off. Proceeds used to buy a new kettle for the Grange.

In June, 1924, they held a “5 cent” supper, that is, each article to be sold at 5 cents per portion. Receipts were $36.03.

The State gave $30,000 to the County for the benefit of tubercular cattle and the Farm Bureau culled the members’ poultry for 1 cents a bird.

In July, 1924, a Strawberry Supper was held, grossing $30.50.

ln October of same year, the “Oyster Supper” grossed $71.00, and the “Clam Chowder Supper” netted $67.00.

They held a Fair on August 11, 1925, selling foodstuffs and hand-made items which grossed $94.28.

In November 6, 1925, they again discussed electric lights but decided in March 19, 1926 to postpone installation because “the Company had raised the rates and considerable trouble was brewing.”

The minutes of May 7, 1926 noted that a Bill had been passed which raised the salary of schoolteachers from $250 to $300. (per year!).

On May 21, 1926, they voted to sell cards at 10c apiece which represented shingles to help a sister Grange (kittery) rebuild after destruction by tire. The Grange Hall was heated by cord wood and lighted by oil lamps during all of this period. The password was new each year and only revealed to those members in good standing. In February, 1927, there were 130,000 Grange members in good standing in New York State. They suspended local meetings for the summer of 1927.

The meeting on February 3,1928 revealed the attempt to wake up the Grange by bringing in the young people and trying to arouse interest in the Grange. On March 2,1928, discussion and decision to build an outside toilet. By July 6,1928, they held a dance to raise money for electric lights which were installed August, 1928 at a cost of $103.50. The meeting of October 5, 1928 discussed Daylight Saving Time.

On January 17,1930 a debate was announced: “Resolved: That poor cooking causes more misery than strong drink”. Judges decided that strong drink causes more misery than poor cooking, although poor cooking causes heaps of trouble. On February 21, 1930 discussed what to do with the Prohibition problem. September 19, 1930 discussed auto insurance for every member owning a car. On June 5, 1931, discussion to give trustees power to sell the Grange HaIl. December 4, 1931, resolved to sell the Hall and property for $1800 since debts and due interest were unpayable.

December 18,1931, last meeting held, sold the piano for $15. The Grange Hall was located on Rock Hill Drive on the site where David Appel now has his office, opposite the present Post Office.

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