History: Rocky Mound Grange (1941)

Contact: Sheri Stuve
Email: teathymes@hotmail.com


----Source: HUMBIRD ENTERPRISE (Humbird, Clark Co., WI) 09/27/1941

History of the Rocky Mound Grange (1871-1874)

Some Old History of Rocky Mound Grange

Through the kindness of Harry N. Carter, of Portland, Ore., the following information regarding the Grange was obtained from Charles McKinley, who lives near Vancouver, Wash. Mr. McKinley is a cousin of Henry Stallard, of this village

"The Grange was started and the hall built about 1871 or 1872, it lasted only a year or two, and in Charley's opinion was never of much benefit to the members. Edgar Houghton was the first, and possibly the only manager. The first stock of goods was bought from or through Montgomery Ward, who was a merchandise broker and who sold to other Granges in the state. The hall was built on a lot south of the railroad tracks and just north of Sant. Andrus' house. After the Grange broke up, Mr. Colfix [stepfather of Charles McKinley], occupied the hall as a residence for about two years." [Mr. Colfix was a teamster for E. D. Carter.]

"The Grange held monthly meetings-- first part of the evening devoted to business and the latter part to a social good time-- dancing, card playing, etc., and they did have good times. The parties usually lasted till along toward day break and were an event at a time when parties were not too frequent. At times at least, music was furnished by Fred Whitcomb's orchestra. The hall had a good floor and was popular for dances. Mr. Colfix, mentioned above, was a charter member of the Grange and one of its first officers. Among other charter members were Geo. Iffland, Sr., the Harveys of Houghtonburg, and a good many over in Garden Valley."

From records dating from Nov. 18, 1876, the following notes are gleaned:

Some of the early members were: E. P. Houghton, H. W. Colfix, P. E. Dunn, C. B. Travis, Oliver Fowler, T. J. Andrus, W. H. Clark John Phelps, J. M. Botsford, Wm. Staves, G. A. Tracy, Thos. Fitzmaurice, George Gilleland, C. S. Miller, Henry Hickman, John Stallard, Elisha Horel, Wm. H. Nettleton, Wm. R. Thomas, L. Bronson, E. J. McKinley, H. Hobbs, John S. Zingsheim, Permelia Boss, Caroline Houghton, Cordelia A. Houghton, Peter Zook, Orin Wilson, Frank Hyde, M. A. Nettleton, Richard Hickman, Ida Maxon, James Travis.

On Nov. 18, 1876, a re-organization meeting of the Grange was held and a new lot of articles of agreement adopted, a majority of the members declaring "Whereas this instrument shall amend such original resolution by the substitution of the following in place thereof, and that the original purpose of the company was to erect a hall building 24 ft. wide by 60 feet long for the use of the said Grange of P. of H. under the supervision of the board of trustees of the same."

The hall had been erected at a cost of $1108.25. The old records have disappeared, but the cost of construction and insufficient profits from the mercantile business floored the first organization, data of which is given by Mr. McKinley above. C. S. Miller was president at this time and E. J. McKinley secretary. John Stallard served as treasurer.

Then follows records of numerous meetings held for the purpose of levying assessments to pay expenses and the transfers of stock owing to non-payment of assessments. The Grange as a society soon disbanded.

In 1879, the Masonic lodge, which was instituted five years previous (1874), leased the second floor; and at a special meeting of the Grange held on April 15th of that year it was voted to move the building to lot 10, block 7 of the village of Humbird. The building committee to make the move were F. W. Whitcomb, Warren Page and W. H. Clark. The building was moved from its original location to the lot where it stood when destroyed by fire last May, during the summer of 1879. The Grange now existed in name only, members of the Masonic lodge, being the majority stockholders. The lodge "rented" the second floor of the building and the first floor was used, as intended for mercantile purposes. W. H. Clark, S. A. Wise, Stallard & Zerbel, Curtis & Edwards, being some of the occupants. The late F. J. Simons started in the hardware business in this store.

In 1907, the first floor was remodeled into club rooms, dining room and kitchen.

Officers as finis is written on this old organization, the Rocky Mound Grange No. 441, Patrons of Husbandry of the State of Wisconsin, are Moritz Kretschmer, president; H. E. Laffe, vice president; N. S. Fristad, treasurer; E. T. Hale, secretary.



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