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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/387

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salary was dropped entirely, and the secretary's reduced to $600. A bill for services from Herr Prenzel, who had been working for the order in Germany since 1875, was dismissed with little ceremony. The National Grange was not poor, having always kept about $50,000 to its credit invested in Government bonds, but it had given up the idea of converting the world. But the low-water mark had been reached. Cash receipts in 1880 increased two hundred per cent over those in 1879. More Granges had been organized than in any year since 1874. The growth was especially marked in New England. The State Grange of Connecticut was revived after a dormancy of six years, and Maine began to claim more Grangers in proportion to population than any other State. At the session of the National Grange for 1885, held in Boston, delegates were present from all the States and Territories but eight. It is not easy to explain this growth, as there seems to be no great principle underlying it. Some New England Patrons are agitating free trade, but that can not be called a Grange issue, as Pennsylvania Patrons want protection extended to farm-products. The harmless practice of holding great fairs is gaining ground. At a recent one in Pennsylvania, lasting a week, the local paper says: “Over fifty thousand people were present on one day, and the sale of machinery direct to the farmers ran up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Never were manufacturers and consumers brought into more direct and friendly relations.” This is, perhaps, the latest development of Grange anti-middleman ideas.

The most enthusiastic Grangers at present are the farmers' wives and daughters, who are attracted by the social opportunities. In fact, the order seems to be going back to the educational and social basis of the founders, and its boasts are no longer co-operative ventures so much as Grange buildings and libraries, and the Grange schools that exist in several States. In these directions, and in what it has done to heal sectional differences between North and South, the Grange can boast its best achievements.





CONNECTED with our considerations upon the climate is a subject which has excited great interest since the first settlement of the country, and about which much has been written, for the most part vaguely. I allude to the variations in the levels of the lake-waters. Many causes contribute to create a perpetual fluctuation, or rise and fall, in these inland seas.

  1. From "Memorials of a Half-Century." New York and London. G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1887.