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Bowdish family receives Grange Legacy


January 23, 2019


HISTORIC LEGACY: Lucille Bevis, left, with Grange Legacy honorees the Bowdish family.

The Bowdish Family, representing Centerville Grange 81, was recognized at the recent National Grange Convention in Stowe, Vermont, as a Grange Legacy Family. The legacy award is presented to families who have five or more generations of service to the community, state, and nation through the grange organization. Thirty-three families from across the nation qualified for this recognition in 2018. The Bowdishes represented the entire west coast in the current program.

Their enduring tradition got its start in the 1890s and the early 1900s. They enjoy a unique family legacy that spans six generations on two sides of the family and involves six different subordinate granges in both Washington and Oregon.

Their involvement started with the J.W. Messinger family in Oregon and the John Harding family in Washington. Civil War Veteran J. W. Messinger owned a store in downtown Moro, Oregon, when the first grange opened its doors there. He soon became an ardent supporter of the organization and eventually Moro Grange Master. Across the river in Washington State, the John Harding family had settled in Cleveland, Washington. The Hardings became involved with the grange and assisted in obtaining the original Alder Creek Grange 890 Charter.

Pat Wallenmeyer is now the matriarch in their grange legacy. Pat spent her youth in the Vancouver area with her parents. They were members of Washington Grange 82 in Orchards, Washington. Pat was one of the original junior grange members when Washington Grange 82 organized their junior grange.

Her mother, Emma Fisher, had previously won a National Grange dressmaking contest and later Pat won a State Grange Sewing contest. Pat was also active in 4-H. She participated in meat judging and eventually was awarded an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. She had the privilege of being one of four 4-Hers out of 60 to shake hands with then President Eisenhower.

When Dale and Glenda Bowdish moved to Centerville, they established a large diversified farming operation. Their son, Dean, and daughter-in-law, Susan, are now actively involved in the operation, as well as William and his wife Tessa, Drew, and Nickolas. The Bowdish family are extremely active members and officers of Centerville Grange 81. Dean is Master, William is Overseer, Drew who is currently in college is Gatekeeper, Dale is a Past Master of both Centerville and Klickitat Pomona, at the present time a member of the executive committee, Glenda is Chaplain following many years of being the Centerville grange Treasurer, Tessa is Lecturer. Susan is now and has been Lady Assistant Stewart for many years.


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