Contact: Kara O’Keeffe
Greenville, Wis. – The Wisconsin Historical Society has announced the listing of the South Greenville Grange in Greenville, Outagamie County, in the National Register of Historic Places. National Register designation provides access to certain benefits, including qualification for grants and for rehabilitation income tax credits, while it does not restrict private property owners in the use of their property.
The South Greenville Grange No. 225 is significant for its history as a Grange hall, specifically the local subsidiary of the national farmers’ organization, the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry. The objective of the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry was to educate the American farmer in sound farm practices as well as provide a place for socialization. What began as an educational and social organization quickly became a farm lobby for a brief period, when in the 1870s the Grange led the fight against the monopolistic grain storage and transportation companies, to alleviate the plight of the American farmer who was being squeezed by the price fixing of the railroad and elevator monopolies.
This building, constructed in 1928, has a large auditorium with a stage on the second floor, and a dining room, kitchen and other service spaces on the first floor. While the building served the Greenville Grange organization, it also served the social and entertainment needs of the entire Greenville area. The Greenville Grangers hosted community dinners, dances and performances, and other community organizations were able to host their meetings and functions here too. The South Greenville Grange played an important role in the community and continues as the oldest surviving, functioning Grange organization in the state of Wisconsin. The Greenville Grange is an important landmark that conveys the community’s historical cultural identity.
We gratefully acknowledge the Fuldner Heritage Fund which paid for the preparation of this nomination. This endowed fund, created through a generous donation by the Jeffris Family Foundation and administered by the Wisconsin Historical Society, supports the nomination of historically and architecturally significant rural and small town properties.
The register is the official national list of historic properties in America deemed worthy of preservation and is maintained by the National Park Service in the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Wisconsin Historical Society administers the program within Wisconsin. It includes sites, buildings, structures, objects and districts that are significant in national, state or local history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture.
To learn more about the State and National Register programs in Wisconsin, visit www.wisconsinhistory.org.