The founder of the Grange, Oliver Hudson Kelley, was asked by President Andrew Johnson to tour the South to see what steps could be taken to rehabilitate the war devastated rural areas.
Kelley, a Freemason himself, proposed that a new secret society dedicated to the advancement of rural life would help serve this purpose.
The Order was founded in Fredonia, New York, in 1867.
The Masonic fraternity was its model, but it was open to both men and women. From the beginning, meetings of the Granges were not only ritualistic but educational. In some respects, the Grange resembles a typical secret society.
Last updated: October 16, 2014 at 9:56 am
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