WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 13 was a special day at the National Grange office when daughter of first Grange Youth Director, Wib Justi, met with National President Ed Luttrell to present just a portion her father’s collection of artifacts for the National Grange.
Mary Justi Sheppard, of Chesapeake Bay, Va., delivered framed photos, scrapbooks, audio recordings, pins and other memorabilia along with boxes of Wib’s personal collection to the headquarters.
“These are things that he had begun marking and told my mother [June Justi] were specifically to come to National Grange,” Sheppard said Friday as she opened a box to show Luttrell.
“These boxes tell an amazing story of the organization and the things our youth were able to accomplish,” Luttrell said. “And they’re just the start of what Mary expects to find as part of her father’s well-kept collection.”
Luttrell said much of the materials would be digitized in the coming months and years and would be stored as the Justi Collection at the National Grange building.
“Historians will look through this material and get a much better sense of the great things Grangers took part in and initiated thanks to Wib’s dedication to preserving this history,” Luttrell said.
As materials are digitized and released, Luttrell and Sheppard said they hoped those who supported continuation of youth programs in the Grange would take time to review materials and donate to the Youth Fund through the National Grange Foundation, a 501(c)3, tax-deductible charity, that supports things like leadership training and youth officer participation at National Session.
“He would just be over the moon with knowing his collection could help today’s Grange Youth,” Sheppard said. “He’d be delighted.”