Biographical or Historical Information
The Farmers' Alliance was first organized in Texas in 1875 in Lampasas County, and was reorganized in 1879 in Parker County. A non-partisan organization admitting women but not blacks as members, it was interested mainly in farmer welfare. By 1886 almost three thousand chapters had organized, setting up joint-stock stores and cooperatives throughout the state. Political issues such as railroad regulation and antitrust laws disrupted the organization, but they reunited to work for better economic conditions. In 1887 the Alliance merged with the Farmers' Union (pro-labor union with membership open to the white rural population, including non-landowners) and ultimately became a part of the national Farmers' Alliance and Cooperative Union of America.
The minute book in this collection details the meetings of the Mt. Enterprise Farmers' Alliance from its first organizational meeting on May 20, 1886, to the surrendering of its charter in December, 1890. Items discussed include election of officers, admission of members, renting of meeting hall and furnishing of it, contracts with local businesses, interaction with neighboring Alliances such as Redland, Union, and Henderson Chapters. Thomas Turner served as the first president, followed by Richard Madden. F.H. Lawler, F.G. Sory, and A.H. Chadwick were secretaries. The meetings included lectures on agriculture and prizes were awarded to encourage productivity.
A partial index to names mentioned in the minute book has been prepared, listing the first citation of each name