Records (1874-1876) consisting of minutes and bylaws of Hearts Ease Grange.
The creation of Hearts Ease Grange #144 on January 8, 1874, at Magnolia, Swift Creek Township, Pitt County, brought a few Pitt County farmers and their wives into the Granger Movement. The movement had begun with the creation in 1867 of the Patrons of Husbandry. Oliver Hudson Kelley, the founder, helped organize ritualistic orders (mostly in what then was the Northwest) to bring together farmers for the purpose of discussing and studying their problems. Before its decline about 1876, the Granger Movement spurred farmers to organize politically to cause government to regulate railroads and grain elevators. Grangers also became involved in a variety of cooperative enterprises.
Twenty men and ten women founded the Hearts Ease Grange for the "improvement of the farmer." The organization met regularly (usually one Saturday a month) at least until April 8, 1876. The minutes of these meetings include lists of officers and members, as well as brief description of business transacted. Committee reports, elections of officers, the induction or dismissal of members, the appointment of delegates to meetings, and the collection of dues were among the regular activities of Hearts Ease Grange. Other actions included the collection of $12.70 for the "Louisiana Sufferers" (May 23, 1874), the expulsion of a member for saying the Grange was "nothing" and a "humbug" (Mar. 13, 1875), and the ratification of a committee report regulating the merger of Hearts Ease Grange with Springfield Grange #331 (July 10, 1875).
Bylaws of the organization, penned in the rear of the volume, discuss matters such as elections, dues, committees, fines, officers' duties, and the expulsion of members.
Gift of Pitt County Historical Society
Processed by M. York, December 1980
Encoded by Apex Data Services
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