Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

With the Indiana State Grange meeting at Westminster hotel this week, local interest will be focused on that organization. The national association was founded in 1867 as the Patrons of Husbandry" with the term "grange" used to signify the name of the place of meeting. Organization in Indiana began in 1869 with a few granges organized at that time. It took the panic of 1873, however, to cause the farmers to join the organization in large numbers. That depression hit the farm communities hard, and soon nearly every township in the state of Indiana had a grange. During the fall and winter of 1873-74 many organizations were effected in Kosciusko county. In January of 1874 a huge mass meeting was held at the fairgrounds in east Warsaw to call attention to the farmers' economic plight.

Farmers in Monroe township organized the Monroe Grange on October 9, 1873, with H. I. Stevens as Master. The Crystal Lake Grange was organized at Atwood on December 16, 1873. January of 1874 saw the organization of the Mound Prairie and Stony Point Granges in Prairie township and the White Oak Grange in Harrison township. All of these organizations were very active and soon had their own halls. The officers of the Grange bore such titles as Master, Overseer, Lecturer, Steward, Chaplain, Secretary, Ceres, Pomona and Flora. the rapid growth of the organization can be readily understood by noting that the Monroe chapter was No. 425 while Stony Point chapter was No. 1094.

The mass meeting at the fairgrounds in Warsaw in January 1874, was preceded by a parade through the streets of Warsaw. Four hundred wagons representing twenty-four Kosciusko granges and one Whitley county organization took part in the parade. The wagons carried such mottos as "peace and good-will to all", "farmers' rights", and "equality for all".

Warsaw Times-Union Tues. Oct. 13, 1953