A history of Sunflower Grange

1907 – 1958 history courtesy of Mildred (Bean) Curtis, Douglas County News, 1958


Sunflower Grange No. 162, Sedalia, Colorado, was organized December 8, 1907; with 81 members.  The first meeting was called to order at 8:00 o’clock in the Manhart Hall, with Master Morris in the chair.  After all members were given the obligations, Brothers Morris and Ferris installed the Officers of the Grange as follows:

At the meeting December 28, six charter members were given the obligations:

An election for an executive committee was held and elected were:

Meetings to be on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays during the winter and the 2nd Saturday during the summer.  After drilling the new members in the secret work, the grange was closed in the 4th  degree, to be opened again, January 11, 1908.

The new year (ed: 1908) was started with Master White.  There was a report of the committee on the constitution and bylaws which was adopted as read.  The Grange extended a vote of thanks to Sister Gallaher for the beautiful Bible.  A motion was made and seconded that the Secretary procure working tools, a ballot box and a seal for the Grange.  In 1909, George Newmarch was Master. 


In 1910 J.,A. Kroger, Master, had a Grange Day Celebration in September in Castle Rock, with Sunflower and Pikes Peak Granges.  There was a parade and prizes for costumes, a fine lunch was served on the Court House lawn, where they were entertained by some good speakers.  They then went to the Fair Grounds for games and field sports.  The gentlemens’ games included hammer throw, shot put and foot races with prizes of fountain pens, gloves, gold rings and stick pins.

For the ladies, there were mail driving, button sewing and foot races.  Prizes of toilet sets, cuff links, $10.00 in gold, auto scarf, shirt waist sets, and pocket books.  The boy’s ½ mile bike race was won by Charles Curtis, who won a baseball bat.  Gentleman’s bike race was won by Henry Curtis, 1st

 Harry Brown, 2nd, winning a watch fob and sleeve buttons.  Boy’s and Girl’s pony races were won by Harold McInroy and Josephine Lowell.  The baseball game gave Sunflower Grange 28 runs to Pikes Peak 21 and the Tug-O-War was also won by Sunflower.


In 1911-1912 Willis, was Master.  Will Walker’s Degrees team was one of the top teams in the State.

In 1913, William Woodhouse was Master.  The next Grange Day Celebration was held in October in Castle Rock, with most of the same activities – This item taken from the Denver Post
concerning the celebration.

“The Denver Post Band, headed by Carl Sandell, the tall drum major will be the feature of the Sunflower Grange.  Sandell, 7′ 2” tall in his stocking feet, will wear high heel boots and all that goes with them. It’s to be a decidedly tall affair.”


 1914-15 with Arch Curtis, Master, were gala years.  There were plenty of parties, picnics, Frontier Days and Fourth of July Celebrations.  Even though they had a long ways to go, and bad weather to race, they hitched up to the top buggy of some families such as: the Manharts, Curtises and Penleys with 9 to 13 to crowd in, had to use the wagon and sometimes they even hitched Old Dobbin to the sleigh, but they got there just the same.


 1915 was the big year with the building of the new hall.  Each member donated his share of the work.  Charlie Hier had a team to help move the dirt and Fred Steckman was in charge of the cement work and the rest were carpenters. The ladies were on hand to do their share.  One item said “Florence White took down a fine hot dinner on Monday.  Everybody kept happy with jokes, etc.  A WINDY

floating laborer was hired for a day or two.  He decided to tell a wild tale about the tall trees in California.  Fred Steckman said in his deep voice, “Yep,I’ve heard tell they were so tall it takes a half an hour to see to the top.”  The hired man didn’t stay long after that, and the work went much faster.

The following was taken from the Denver Post.

“The Sunflower Grange is building a Grange Hall – 32′ x 80′ with a basement story which will have a kitchen, dining room, furnace, and store room.  When completed, it will be one of the best halls in the State.  Members are donating the labor.”

 Sister Maude Brown, a lecturer, planned many entertainments to raise funds to finish work on the hall.  They had a shower for Mr and Mrs Sunflower Grange, who were Brother Horace Van Horn as Mr. Granger and Charlie Curtis made up as Mrs. Granger.  They received money and many useful gifts for their hall.  The host was so well pleased and grateful for the housewarming, he thanked his audience and kissed his better half.  Music was furnished by Mr. Fred and Miss Lyda Steckman.


1916 – with Master Bill Kroll, the hall was finished and ready for a celebration.   On July 4th, we had a picnic in the grove. There was a speaker and sports.  They divided into two teams, the Blues and the Reds, with Lawrence Berry Captain for the Blues and Willie White, Captain for the Reds.

First was a potato race, won by the Blues.  It was whispered if one of the Reds hadn’t put his two potatoes in the wrong box, the results would have been different.  The Girls potato race turned into a stabbing riot, and the Police Reserves and Firemen had to be called to restore order.  Joe Lowell won the 50 yard dash – and the standing broad jump.  Bert Lowell tried so hard to beat Joe Friendly that he lost his balance and came to earth so hard he had to be carried off the field, but he made a quick recovery when supper was called a few minutes later.  After supper, they had a “Virginia Reel,” to the tune of Torgan Wolfensberger’s accordian.  After a display of fire works, they went to the new hall for a dance.  There were about 400 present.

 Sunflower entertained Pikes Peak that year with a Frontier Day.  Horse  races with prizes of a $300.00 saddle, $50.00 gold watch and a loving cup given by the Denver Post.  They had Halloween

parties, one act plays, drills and dialogues, with a charge of 25c.  There was a grange play – “Buily [sic] Ranch,” at Sedalia and again at Franktown.  Arthur Backley painted the scenery of artistic logs and cabin which we used for many years.  Sister Ollie Brown portrayed Mrs. Burley.


1917-1918 – Henry Curtis, Master – Joined the Marines – not much doing.


 1919 – Fred Steckman, Master.  This was the year I joined the Grange.  There were about 10 candidates, whom they took up to the little room in the back, while they prepared to instruct us in the mysteries of the grange.  It was very dark in the little room.  When I heard Rose Quigley Blunt whisper, “They don’t really make you ride the goat, do they?” and of course we thought it was funny.  “Of course they do.”  When suddenly we heard tap, tap, tap, by the door.  Someone whispered “That’s someone with a broom trying to scare us.”  They opened the door and to our horrer, [sic] there really was a goat.  Someone got the bright idea and after running Oxnam’s goat all over town, while we waited in the dark, they were ready for us.  My sister, Hattie, had the first try.  The goat got her by the dress and she got so scared, she had tonsilitis the next morning.  But the one who turned into a goat rider was Minnie Hier, now Minnie Wyatt.  If you should want some lessons – ask her.

1920 – 1927


1928 to 1933,  E.V. Blunt . Through these depression years, there seemed very little activity except that in 1932, they took out a dance hall license for $25.00 and had a minstrel show that netted $85.00.

1934 – members of the Harmony Grange brought the traveling gavel and presented it to Master, Art Beeman.  Motion made to buy a piano.


1935 to 1938 – Gerald Morrelli was Master.  The grange was saddened by the death of Brother R.F. Klug.  Charter draped.


1939 to 1941 – Karl Scholz, Master.  The grange purchased a furnace for $20.00  William Allis won Cherry Guessing contest, transferred bank account to Castle Rock.  Motion made by Sister Benn to have membership drive between women and men.  Ladies won.

 In January 1940, Home Ec. Was organized with 22 members, meeting every second and 4th Tuesday.  We subscribed to the National Grange Monthly.  Charter draped for Brother Al Johns.  Had auction sale,  purchased music box.  Magazines and papers collected and sold, funds to go tro national building fund.  Decided to have Penny Martch to pay for flowers.  Sister Maude Wolfensberger and sister Cora Wilson, in charge of float for fair.  It won first.  National Defense seemed the big item.  Charter draped for Sister Elizabeth Manhart.


1942-1943  was a busy year with George Beeman as Master.  Sunflower had a degree team and put on the 3rd and 4th degree at Cherry Grange.  Sent cards and gifts to boys in the service.  Highway Safety Program, two essays, Mildred Curtis (now Stewart) won first place in the State and 3rd in the national.  Farewell party for Brother and Sister Hayes.

Ollie Scholz elected lecturer of Pomona.  She won a trophy from the State on educational program.  1943 was a wonderful year.  We paid off the mortgage on the Hall.  %50 was donated by the Home Ec.  Interest was deducted by Sister Mabel Brown.  We also purchased bonds worth $100.


1944 and 1945 Lewis Oxnam was Master.  A skit by Sister Helen Andrews and Sister Flo Hier was titled: “Sometimes You Find Them Dumber”.  Had a square dance team, and entered a play contest.

If you cast your eyes to the trophy case, you will see trophies for the play content, talent shows, balanced program, safety program, square dance program, ball team and a certificate for insurance.  All these Sunflower has won.

Brother Herb Stewart presented the Grange the gavel used by his grandfather, Henry H. Curtis, who was the first Grange Master in Sedalia, in 1876.

We repaired basement walls and joind the Blue Cross.

Silver stars were placed on our service flag for members oversees:  Robert Bungard, Joe Boseman, Vernon Scott and Alton Wyatt and Sister Elizabeth Price.


In 1946 with J.W. Bloder as Master, we donated $10 to the 4-H, brought new grange babies blankets and had an old-fashioned spell-down.


 In 1947 to 1949, Ken Curtis was Master.  Mrs Phipps gave the grange a large cook stove with two ovens.  Auction sale netted $60.54 with J.W. Bloder as auctioneer.  Minstrel show netted $87.

In 1949 a baseball team was organized.  In June 1949 Mildred Curtis Stewart was elected Queen of Sunflower Grange.  We also have a Rattlesnake Nel,  Sister Winifred Fiske who won the talent show.

Square dance set danced at Fitzsimmons Hospital.


1950 1950 – Bob Corbin, Master. Officers elected were installed by the Worthy State Master Lee Pritchard. Home Ec. Sewed cancer pads. Brother Lewis Oxnam and Sister Hattie Curtis and Velma Bains were appointed to find old by-laws and put them in permanent form. Entered quartet contest. 4-H Trophy Case placed in the Hall. The County Commissioners fixed our parking lot. Pantomime, entitled “Fireman Dan” by Henry Jr. and Mildred Curtis. Susie Hill put on a preview of television which was a big success, making a total of $146.


1951 – Master Ed Fiske reported seve chairs had been installed in the anteroom without cost.  All-girls degree team put on 1st and 2nd degree in full form which was beautiful.

1952 – 1953

1952 and 1953 – Karl Scholz, Master.  The Grange borrowed the money from its members (the amount to be paid back each year) to drill a well and put water in the Hall. Install restrooms.  Home Ec.

Had a Christmas party, with a turkey dinner, exchange of gifts and lots of fun.


 In 1954 and 1955, Scott Alexander was Master.  Henry Jr.  Painted the Hall.  When we needed money through these years, Ollie Scholz would think of ideas for making money and come up with one of her grand dinners.  With the help of the good grangers, we eventually solved the problem.


In 1956, Bob Corbin was Master.  As these 50 years have rolled by, from the horse and buggy, Model T’s, to the swept wing Dodge, airplane and rockets to the moon, it makes you wonder what another 50 years will mean to the Sunflower Grange.