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Bonus Grange Records (Boone County)


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Bonus Grange Records (Boone County), 1910-2002 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Bonus Grange Records (Boone County), 1910-2002

ID: RHC/RC/281

Extent: 2.5 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 11/13/2006

Subjects: Boone County (Ill.), National Grange, National Grange. Bonus Grange (Boone County, Ill.)

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Bonus Grange records date from 1910 to 2002 and include meeting minutes, annual and quarterly reports, membership and treasurer’s records, and photographs.  The meeting minutes are complete from the Grange’s organization in 1910 to its dissolution in 2001 except for the July 1927 through 1932 time period.  The information contained in the minute record books vary from volume to volume but may include the roll call and election of officers, number of members attending the meeting, financial information such as bills paid and treasurer’s reports, a health report on the Grange members, information on the projects and programs the grange was involved with, and reports from the various committees such as Legislative, Agriculture, Women’s Activities, Youth, and the Junior Grange.  The treasurer’s book documents the financial details of the Grange while the dues account books and dues receipt book provides information on membership.  Of special interest are the badges, the fan, and the Bonus Grange seal.

Collection Historical Note

The Bonus Grange was organized on September 27, 1910 by Robert L. Eaton of Elwood with Eugene Frey as Master.  Twenty-three people signed an agreement to form the Grange in Bonus Township.  The Grange met in the homes of the members until 1917 when they voted to build a meeting hall.  The first meeting in the new building was held on December 21, 1917.  In 1918, the Grange installed a furnace and carbide lights and built a horse barn to shelter the horses during meetings.  

The Ladies Social Hour Club (Bonus Woman’s Club) and the Jolly Workers group raised money to purchase curtains, silverware, dishes, sink, and piano for the hall.  They also helped raised money to pay the interest on the loan and to help pay off the mortgage.  

The Grange raised money by having card parties, serving food at farm sales, having annual turkey dinners, serving chicken dinners, having bazaar consisting of homemade articles, selling broody hens and dozens of eggs, and buying coal by the carload and grease by the bulk to resell them.  

Community service was an important part of the Grange.  The members bought a chair lift and a wheel chair for 2 young disabled people in Belvidere, worked the Boone County Fair, gave cash donations to the Special Education Program for hearing impaired children of Boone County, made stuffed toys for the Singer Health Center for Christmas gifts for the children, helped clean Larson’s Cemetery, and cooked breakfast for the Relay for Life walkers.  

By the end of 2001 the Grange was unable to fill the chair position and had not been able to conduct a meeting in full forum for a long time so they voted to disband the Grange at the November 16th meeting.  The money left in the treasury was donated to the Boone County Council on Aging (Keenage Center), the Boone County Historical Society, and to the Boone County Fair Board.

Subject/Index Terms

Boone County (Ill.)
National Grange
National Grange. Bonus Grange (Boone County, Ill.)

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection belong to the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Source: Patricia Huntington

Acquisition Method: Patricia Huntington of Belvidere, Illinois donated the Bonus Grange records to the Regional History Center on November 13, 2006.

Related Materials: Researchers interested in the Grange movement in northern Illinois should check the Regional Collections Guide to Sources for other Grange collections held by the Regional History Center.

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Folder 1-5: Minute Record Books, July 11, 1945-March 13, 1970

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