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Michigan State Grange records

Identifier: 00187

Scope and Contents

The records of the Michigan State Grange are held by the MSU Archives and the Bentley Historical Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The MSU Archives holds the Grange records from the following counties: Allegan, Barry, Benzie, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Clare, Clinton, Eaton, Grand Traverse, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Kalamazoo, Kalkaska, Kent, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, Otsego, Ottawa, Shiawassee, St. Joseph, Van Buren, Wexford.

The counties held by the Bentley Historical Library are Alcona, Antrim, Arenac, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Crawford, Emmet, Genesee, Gogebic Hillsdale, Iosco, Jackson, Lenawee, Macomb, Marquette, Menominee, Midland, Monroe, Montmorency, Oscoda, Otsego, Sanilac, Saginaw, Schoolcraft, Shiawassee, Tuscola, Washtenaw, and Wayne. The end of the finding aid contains the list of materials held by the Bentley Historical Library. This list may have changed in format since the original was given to the MSU Archives.

The records held by the MSU Archives are arranged alphabetically by county, then by grange name, and by type of record. The style of record keeping varies from year to year and grange to grange. For consistency the records were grouped into three major categories, Membership materials, Minutes, and Treasurer. When donated, the materials were labeled by the donor with the county grange name and type of material on the inside cover of the record books. However the classification of the type of the material sometimes did not fit with the actual content of the material. In these cases the material was classified according to actual content.

The Membership materials consist of membership applications, dues record books, and roll books. Applications were arranged alphabetically by date. The dues and roll books often contain similar information. The dues books record the names of the members and whether they paid their dues and sometimes the amount paid. In some cases the dues were also tracked by cards. The cards are alphabetized by name. The roll books often are lists of members, sometimes what meetings they attended, or what status they achieved as member.

The Minute records and books mainly consist of accounts of the grange meetings. Sometimes they contain other information such as treasurer reports or membership lists. They may contain highly detailed accounts of the meetings or general accounts. The minute books were sometimes called Secretary's Record or Subordinate Grange Record books. Granges often stuck loose materials in the pages and covers of the books. When possible these were left in book and labeled with the date of the page in brackets [ ].

The Treasurer records consist of the financial accounts of the grange. They vary in content. Sometimes they are very in-depth listing individual dues, and detailed lists on what the money was spent, other times the money is listed in broad categories. Because the treasurer books sometimes list who paid dues they are also a good place to check for membership information.

Additional materials such as reports, bylaws, or newspaper clippings are listed alphabetically with the various record types.


  • Creation: 1873 - 2009


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Historical Note

The Michigan State Grange is part of the National Grange, which is the oldest agricultural organization in the United States. The National Grange was formed on December 4, 1867 in Washington, D.C. under the name The Patrons of Husbandry. This fraternal organization was organized for the social, economic and educational improvement of rural families. The seven founders were Oliver Kelley, William Saunders, Aaron Grosh, William Ireland, John Thompson, Francis McDowell, and John Trimble who was assisted by Caroline Hall. The Grange was the one of the first groups to admit women as equals to men.

The Michigan State Grange was formally organized on April 15, 1873 at the Court House in the Village of Kalamazoo. The formation united the twenty local Granges that had already been established in 1872. The first local grange organized was Burnside Grange #1 on January 10, 1872 in Lapeer County. The Michigan Grange held its first Annual Session in Kalamazoo on January 21-23, 1874.

Members of the Grange "provide service to agriculture and rural areas on a variety of issues, including economic development, education, family endeavors, and legislation designed to assure a strong and viable Rural America." The members create and publish a list of issues of concern each year. "Major objectives of the National Grange support stewardship of America's natural resources; promotion of world-wide free trade; a combination of local and federal support for rural education, medical, communications, and road systems; non-partisan political participation; assurance of safe and properly labeled food products; organization of cooperatives and other economic services to support rural Americans; and elimination of direct government farm programs so as to assure a competitive and efficient farm system."

The National Grange is recognized as the "parent branch" of the organization. Under the National Grange is the state Grange. The Pomona Grange is the county level organization. Subordinate or local granges work on the community level and report to the Pomona Grange.


67 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Additional Grange Collections at the MSU Archives

Other Grange materials at the MSU Archives include Missaukee Grange #918 records (collection 00106); Dora Hall Stockman papers (collection UA 1.1.11); Ravenna Grange #373 records, Muskegon County (collection c.00153); The Grange Visitor publication (collection c.00520).

External sources: Michigan State Grange records, 1873-2003 ; Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University.

Property Rights: Michigan State University.



Michigan State Grange Records
3 Ready For Cataloging
S. Roberts
September 2005
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US