|The Grange was founded in the 1860's by seven men: Aaron B. Grosh, William M. Ireland,
Francis McDowell, William Saunders, John R. Thompson, John Trimble, and Oliver
Hudson Kelly (although Oliver Hudson Kelly is credited as the original founder.)
The Grange insignia at the right has seven sides that represent the seven founders. The P of H at the center of the bundle of wheat stands for Patrons of Husbandry, which literally means "supporters of agriculture". The bundle of wheat represents a crop of major importance to American farmers.
The Grange was started because Kelley and the other founders recognized the need for an organization that would protect and advance the interests of the independent farmer. While the portions of the American economy that the farmers dealt with were well organized and a powerful force in government, the average farmer had little say in the laws that governed them. The railroad companies and wealthy merchants had long had an influence in the government & had no interest in protecting farmers.
The Grange was created to give farmers a voice. Through local debates and resolutions, farmers could combine their votes with others & soon became one of the most powerful influences in America. Even to this day, each local Grange is charged with creating resolutions that affect, influence or create state and federal laws. While many of these resolutions deal with agriculture, many more are concerned with education, public safety, deaf awareness, and rural communities. Please see my Current Legislation page to find out what Grange Resolutions have been presented to the Vermont State Legislature for action.