Michigan State University

Grange Visitor Collection

From 1875-1896, The Grange Visitor was the official newspaper of the Michigan State Grange, a delegate body of the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, a fraternal organization and advocacy group for farmers and rural communities.

In 2013, MSU Libraries digitized almost the entire print run of The Grange Visitor to make this resource more widely available to those interested in the early development of the Michigan Agricultural College and the history of Michigan agriculture. This project was made possible with funding from the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) under the auspices of Project CERES, a collaboration between CRL, the United States Agriculture Information Network (USAIN) and the Agriculture Network Information Collaborative (AgNIC).

View all 402 issues

Michigan State Grange

At its peak, the Michigan State Grange represented the interests of over 600 subordinate local and county granges around the State, with over 33,000 members. Featuring State Grange news, legislative updates, reports from the Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University), recipes and advice for the homemaker, literary features, obituaries, advertisements, and communications from county and local granges,  The Grange Visitor provides a unique window into Michigan’s agricultural and rural history. Its pages track grass-roots efforts in support of national causes such as rural education, Rural Free Delivery, pure food laws, agricultural extension services, and women’s suffrage. Additionally, many of MSU’s iconic faculty were active Grange members and wrote for The Grange Visitor.

A sampling of the many articles of interest found throughout The Grange Visitor:

Women at the Agricultural College

February 1877: "Is it not a curious fact that [...] the Agricultural College is the only one whose doors are closed against the admission of woman?"

The Farmer and the University

April 1891: "... we have heard either covert or open attacks upon the University of Michigan, calculated to mislead public sentiment and place that institution in a false light before the people."

Woman Suffrage [Part 1]

August 1879: "The suffrage of all citizens I deem of great importance, and how any intelligent person can view it otherwise, is something I cannot understand."

Woman Suffrage [Part 2]

September 1879: "So, brothers, grant us the same rights our forefathers demanded and considered worth giving their lives for."

Robert Kedzie on "Fradulent" Maple Syrups

February 1876: "The members of that family ate freely of the syrup, and were all made very sick by its use. They became alarmed and sent a can of the syrup to the Agricultural College for analysis..."

A System of Organization for Road Improvement

May 1892: "Unfortunately the question of better public roads is one very near to the tax payer's pocket book."

Collection prepared and introduced by Anita Ezzo.

Text files of the complete Grange Visitor Collection are available for bulk download.