North Carolina Agricultural
Hall of Fame Inductees
MRS. HARRY B. CALDWELL (VIRGINIA)
Margaret Virginia Hood Caldwell devoted her life to people and programs, always working to make people fell more comfortable and the world a better place in which to live. She used her gentle touch to bring about needed changes. She was small in her stature but not in her vision to make the world around her a better place to live. She had a keen mind, was able to see solutions to problems and had the ability to communicate these solutions to others.
As a youngster in her native, Selma, Margaret impressed her teachers with a sincere desire to better herself. She entered college as East Carolina, but continued her education at the Woman's College of North Carolina (now UNC-Greensboro) when her family moved to Greensboro.
The Grange had an early and lifelong influence on Margaret when it sent Harry B. Caldwell from Ohio to help reorganize the North Carolina State Grange. The couple married in 1930. From that time on, Margaret and Harry worked as a team, becoming closely identified with work of the Grange and Agriculture.
The National Grange chose Mrs. Caldwell to head its Junior Grange Program from 1938 to 1945. The materials she assembled during this tenure are still used by Junior Grange leaders throughout the nation.
In 1946, she was called to lead the North Carolina State Grange, becoming the first woman to serve as state head of the Grange. She also served in this position from 1963-75. Her work on behalf of the Grange and agriculture was international in scope. She represented the National Grange on a European tour and international conferences held in Italy, Ireland and England. She assisted her husband in forming the N.C. Grange Mutual Insurance Company, holding numerous position from clerk typist to office manager to company secretary.
Mrs. Caldwell became involved in many worthwhile activities including trustee to Appalachian State University and Mars Hill College; Director of National Friends of the Land and of Farmers and World Affairs; chairman of Vocational Agriculture Education Advisory Committee, and member of Community Colleges Commission, NCSU Public Relations Advisory Committee and Extension Service Study Committee.
In addition to her many Grange honors, Mrs. Caldwell was recognized as The Progressive Farmer "Woman of the Year" and the News and Observer "Tar Heel of the Week." She received the Doctor of Laws degree from the Woman's College of North Carolina, and the Future Farmers of America's honorary State Farmer Degree. She was also honored by the North Carolina Federation of Woman's Clubs.
Margaret and Harry B. Caldwell had two sons, Harry Jr. and Robert, and four grandaughters - Cathy, Margaret Elizabeth, Janet and Robin. Robert serves as the president of the N.C. Grange Mutual Insurance Company and Master of the N.C. State Grange. Harry Jr. was active in the Grange Insurance Programs until heart disease prevented him from continuing this work.
Mrs. Caldwell's greatest love was to work with people, especially the youth. She advocated improved opportunities for all youth. She lives on the Grange, he church, her family, but especially in the hearts of the youth and adults she touched throughout the years.