MINOT – Douglas Hodgkins, retired Bates College professor, was the speaker at the November meeting of the Minot Historical Society, discussing the history of Lewiston Junction Grange and the founding of the Grange.

He told of the founder, Oliver Hudson Kelley, and the need for the Grange as an agricultural fraternity. Kelley was the commissioner of agriculture and he went south where he found deplorable agricultural conditions. He determined that farmers needed to organize, so the Grange was founded in 1867 for the purpose of education. It then became a political force, mostly in the midwest.

The first Maine Grange was in Hampton in 1874. Lewiston Grange was second to be formed. Meetings were first held in the schoolhouse. A separate stockholders organization was formed to build a hall.

Hodgkins told of the Grange store, the many times the hall was moved, the renovations, the declining membership and the 1990 selling of the hall. In 1994 there were only 10 members left and it was decided to surrender their charter. Maine still has many active Granges.

In other business, it was noted that the Program Committee met to formulate the 2005 programs. Work continues on the William Ladd Homestead and taping of Minot residents is continuing to preserve the town’s history.

Minot town reports of previous years were accepted for the archives from Mr. and Mrs. James Roux and the Robert Greer family.

The society will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11, at the Minot Town Office. The topic will be “Cemeteries and Obituaries,” with Noella Hemond discussing the research she has done on the subject.

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