Wayne County Agricultural Society

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Current Contact Information
Address 199 Vanover St
City, State, Zip Wooster, Ohio 44691
Phone Phone: (330) 262-8001
Contact Title Manager
Last updated 2020-11


Wayne County Agricultural Society
Type Farming
Industry Agriculture
Fate Active
Founded Wooster, Ohio (1833 (1833))[1] Reorganized 12-01-1849[2]; 1887 Reorganized under new Legislative Act[3]
Headquarters Wooster, Ohio, United States
Number of locations 199 Vanover St., Wooster, Ohio
Key people Pete Armstrong

"Agricultural exhibitions (commonly called fairs) were held off and on in the Wooster area long before the Society was organized." The exhibits were mostly horses, cattle, sheep and poultry. Some entrepreneurs may have an invention or two to showcase, but not a lot of commercial exhibits. Early fairs during the mid-1880s did not offer food stands or dining halls. It is worth noting that the supply of water for man or animals came from the stream. Fairs were held to help farmers network and improve raising animals and crops. -- Betsy Bower. [4]

Contents

Directory[edit | edit source]

Locations[edit | edit source]

City Directories[edit | edit source]

Comprehensive History[edit | edit source]

Wayne Co Fair Board Organized In 1833[edit | edit source]

  • The Wayne County Agricultural society was organized in 1833, according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Columbus.

Only seven county societies were organized in Ohio before that date. These were Trumbull, 1818; Washington, 1819; Hamilton, 18919; Ashtabula, 1823; Portage, 1825; Geauga, 1826, and Athens, 1828.

The local society was set up under provisions of the Act of 1832 Legislature of Ohio, which provided for organization of agricultural societies. A report on the agricultural conditions in the county was filed with the House of Representatives Dec. 7, 1833, and is recorded in the House Journal of 1834.

The House committee examining the report said, "The society is now a prosperous condition and much benefit is expected to be derived from the society."

Yearly reports were made on crops and livestock production in the county, weather conditions, improvements and progress.

These reports on all Ohio counties are on file at the Department of Agriculture in Columbus, and in the library at the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station at Wooster.

The Wayne County Agricultural society was reorganized under the Act of 1846 on Dec. 1, 1849; and a fair was held at Wooster on Oct. 10-11 1850. This was the first county fair held here. It was first county fair held here. It was staged on a small fairgrounds near where the Freedlander residences is now located on N. Bever street.

The fair was moved to its present site in 1902. The 1953 fair plant, which would require $1,000,000 to replace today, has been entirely developed in the last half century and largely in the last 25 years. The county owns the fairgrounds, and there is no debt on it. [5]

May 20, 1850 - Board of Directors, James Johnson, secretary[edit | edit source]

  • "The members of the Wayne County Agricultural Society and all other interested are requested to meet at the court house in Wooster, Saturday at 10 o'clock a.m. A full attendance is earnestly required as the necessary arrangements will then be made for holding the first annual fair of said Society. The members will also hear in mind that the sum of one dollar should be paid on or before that day. This is actually necessary in order to enable the board of directors to draw from the state fund like sum and to publish a list of premiums to be awarded." -- By order of the board of directors, James Johnson, secretary, Wooster, May 20, 1850 [6]

First fair, October 10-11, 1850[edit | edit source]

  • Report filed with the State of Ohio - 230 Members joined the Wayne County Agricultural Society with 181 paid their $1 fee [7]

These Men Were On Original County Fair Board Which Functioned 100 Years Ago[edit | edit source]

  • Officers and directors of the first Wayne county fair, 100 years ago, were:

Thomas Reed, president; Dalton; Isaac Johnson, vice president, Wooster; James Johnson, secretary, Wooster; Lucas Flattery, treasurer, Wooster; managers, Jacob Bowman, Baughman Twp; Hugh Funk, Plain Twp.; J. H. Hitchcock, East Union Twp; and David Robison, Wooster.

Mr. Reed, a veteran of the War of 1812, was the grandfather of Jay Reed, of Weilersville and of Charles Reed, Burton City.

Lucas Flattery was the father of T. L. Flattery, Wooster insurance man, and was one of the organizers of the Wooster Cemetery association, where he served as superintendent in 1853-54.

Bowman, Funk and Battles were farmers in their respective townships, Mr. Funk, born in Virginia in 1802, was the grandfather of Mrs. W. D. Cummins and W. D. Funk, of Wooster, and of Paul Funk, Jeromesville. Mr. Battles was the father of the late Dr. W. J. Battles, and the grandfather of Mrs. David Slaybaugh, of Wooster. He died in 1900 at the age of 99 years.

David Robison was born at Chambersburg, Pa., in 1793, and came to Wooster from Zanesville in 1813, after which he made his home here. He established a tannery at the present location of the Weitzel dry cleaning establishment, and in 1832 established Robison's mill just south of the end of Pittsburg ave., a mill which operated until comparatively recent years. He was a farmer for some years, and also engaged in business enterprises in Fredericksburg, Jeromesville, Rowsburg and Ashland. Walter Robison, Nold ave., Wooster, is a descendant of a brother of David Robison, and a great-granddaughter, Ann J. Robison, lives in Toledo, were David's son, Dave Jr.; located during his lifetime. He died in 1870. The photograph reproduced here was taken in 1848, just a year before he was named a member of the first fair board.

Isaac Johnson, another member of the original fair board, was born July 23, 1903 and was married to Rachel Earnest on January 1, 1829. He died February 24th, 1869.

Wayne County Fair Board[edit | edit source]

President[edit | edit source]

Thomas Reed, 1849-[edit | edit source]

James Ihrig[edit | edit source]

William Taggart[edit | edit source]

D. S. Tintsman[edit | edit source]

William Armstrong, 1891[edit | edit source]

William Armstrong, 1891, 1895

D. S. Tintsman, 1892-1894[edit | edit source]

William Armstrong, 1895[edit | edit source]

A. Cunningham, 1896[edit | edit source]

G. J. Ebright, 1897-1898[edit | edit source]

G. J. Ebright, 1897-1898

John Sidle, 1899-1901[edit | edit source]

J. S. McCoy, 1910-1911[edit | edit source]

J. C. McClaran, 1912-1913[edit | edit source]

Russell Lehman, 1947-[edit | edit source]

R. E. Mairs, 1961-[edit | edit source]

Mike Hartzler, 1967-[edit | edit source]

Harold D. Miller, 1971-[edit | edit source]

Vice President[edit | edit source]

Isaac Johnson, 1849-[edit | edit source]

Mike Totten[edit | edit source]

William Taggart[edit | edit source]

Harry W. Graber, 1948-[edit | edit source]

Harry Mykrantz, 1961-[edit | edit source]

Jones Alexander, 1971[edit | edit source]

Secretary[edit | edit source]

James Johnson, 1849-1853[edit | edit source]

James Johnson, 1849-1853; 1857-1863

James Johnson James Johnson

George Rex, 1854[edit | edit source]

George Rex Rex

T. A. Adair, 1855-1856[edit | edit source]

T. A. Adair Adair

James Johnson, 1857-1863[edit | edit source]

James Johnson James Johnson

I. N. Kinney, 1887-1900[edit | edit source]

I. N. Kinney, 1887-1900

I. N. Kinney I. N. Kinney

William Armstrong, 1901[edit | edit source]

William Armstrong, 1901

William Armstrong William Armstrong

G. J. Ebright, 1902-1921[edit | edit source]

G. J. Ebright, 1902-1921

G. J. Ebright G. J. Ebright

Walter C. Foster, 1922-1928[edit | edit source]

Walter C. Foster, 1922-1928

Walter C. Foster Walter C. Foster

Walter J. Buss, 1928-1968[edit | edit source]

Walter J. Buss, 1928-1968

Walter J. Buss Walter J. Buss

Max H. Kister, 1969-1985[edit | edit source]

Max H. Kister Max H. Kister

Richard "Pete" Armstrong, 1985-2016[edit | edit source]

Richard "Pete" Armstrong Pete Armstrong

Matt Martin, 2016-Present[edit | edit source]

Matt Martin Matt Martin

Treasurer[edit | edit source]

Lucas Flattery, 1849-[edit | edit source]

Ben Eason[edit | edit source]

W. A. "Al" Wilson, 1888-1913[edit | edit source]

W. A. "Al" Wilson, 1888-1913

W. A. "Al" Wilson Al Wilson

Junior Fair, Secretary/Treasurer[edit | edit source]

Beverly Finley, 1961-[edit | edit source]

Slogans[edit | edit source]

Historical documents[edit | edit source]

Timeline[edit | edit source]

  • 1833 - Wayne County Agricultural Society was organized according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Columbus[8]
  • 1849 - December 01, Members of the first Wayne County Agricultural Society was reorganized. [9] [10]
  • 1850 - October 10-11, Wayne County's first "official" fair was held on land owned by D. I. Liggett on N. Bever St. [11]
  • 1859 or earlier - Wayne County Fair expanded two a three day event and the Agricultural Society purchased an 8-acre tract north of what was then Spring Street (area north of Park Avenue and south of Foster Path). Ephraim Quinby Jr. sold the land for $1,333. [12]
  • 1962 - Carnival fair style reached Wayne County, Ohio. [13]
  • 1869 - Site was sold by the fair board to J. G. Troutman for $8,900. [14]
  • 1871 - Agricultural Society announced, "We hope to see this exhibition well attended by all classes of persons. We can all well afford one or two days in the year in which t enjoy ourselves and make acquaintances. It is well for the farmer to mingle and converse with other farmers and men of other business and thus learn the ways, customs, terms, needs and improvements of all. It certainly would be a relief to the mechanic for two or three days at least in the year to leave his shop, and associate with men who labor in other channels of industry, to take their wives and little ones and enjoy a couple of days out in the open air. And for the professional man a little out-door exercise and sport would only invigorate his mind for the hard mental work which is before him. We would say to all, then, go to the Fair; take your family along with you, and a good mid-day luncheon also. The grounds of the Society are large and there are plenty of pleasant places for open air family dinners-- to go one and all and have a good pleasant time together. These Societies were formed originally for the improvements of Agricultural products, stock etc. and this still continues to be one of their principal object; but,the people have come to look upon fair days... as a time when people come together to see each other, to form new acquaintances, and to have a few days of respite and recreation from the cares, business and works of life." [15]
  • 1873 - First place was awarded a red ribbon (practice used today in Canada). [16]
  • 1873 - The Church of Christ women established a boarding house to help feed the crowd. [17]
  • 1875 - The Fair board permitted croquet to be played on the fairgrounds. [18]
  • 1876 - Livestock sale was added. [19]
  • 1878 - The Wayne County Fair was experiencing financial difficulties and the Branstetter Crossing was sold back to Andrew Branstetter. The Wayne County Independent Agricultural Society continued to operate a fair at this location for several years. [20]
  • 1879 - October 2, John Tormie was mistaken for another man and killed following a lengthy fight on the fairgrounds. His assailant became the only man ever sentenced in a Wayne County Courtroom to be hanged. [21]
  • 1878 - During this period of time the fair continued to have financial trouble. But, the Agricultural Society never disbanded, but no exhibition was held for a period of seven years. [22]
  • 1887 - Wayne County Agricultural Society was reorganized under a new Legislative Act.[23]

Resolutions[edit | edit source]

1850 October 11[edit | edit source]

  • "Resolved That the thanks of this Society be tendered to William Turner, Esq. for his able ... and eloquent address delivered on the present occasion.
    • Resolved That the interests of this Society demand that a copy of said address should be placed in the hands of every farmer and laboring man in the county and that a committee of three be appointed to solicit from Mr. Turner a copy of said address for publication.

Thomas Robison, G. W. Donnelly and S. Kaufman Esqs. were appointed said committee.

    • Resolved That James Johnson for his untiring exertions and labors to organize this Society and advance its interests, deserve the approbation and patronage of the citizens of the county.
    • Resolved That the thanks of this Society be presented to the ladies of the county for their presence and efficient aid on this occasion.
    • Resolved That the board of managers be requested to prepare a brief history of the proceedings of this meeting, including the names of successful competitors for premiums. The reports of awarding committees, the annual address, an abstract of the treasurer's report and such other information as they may deem appropriate and publish the same in pamphlet form for each member of the Society and for general distribution.
    • Resolved That a committee of three be appointed to present the names of suitable persons to fill the offices of this Society for the ensuing year.
    • "Which committee, having retired, soon reported the following list of officers for the ensuing year. Thomas Reed of Sugarcreek, President; Isaac Johnson of Wayne vice president; James Johnson of Wooster, secretary; Lucas Flattery of Wooster, treasurer; managers, Jacob Bowman of Baughman; Hugh Funk of Plain, Thomas S. Battles of Clinton, J. H. Hitchcock of East Union; David Robison of Wooster.
    • On motion the report was adopted and the officers unanimously elected.
    • "The following resolutions were then offered and adopted.
    • Resolved That the thanks of this Society be tendered to Jacob Miller, Esq. of Ashland County, Nathaniel Pierce, Esq. of Medina County and David Cox, Esq. of Holmes County for meeting with the Society and acting on awarding committees.
    • Resolved That the editors of the respective papers of Wooster be requested to publish the proceedings of this meeting in their journals.

-- (Signed) James Johnson, secretary" [24]

  • In addition to the premium list, which was prepared and published listing all of the first winners, the Society's report to the state included a treasurer's report stating that $187 had been received from members and $150 from the County Auditor, making receipts $337. Premiums and expenses totaled $236.66, leaving a balance of $100.34.
    • "The managers feel quite confident that much and lasting benefit will result from the organization of this society, and have no doubt, from the spirit manifested by all classes, that it will gain rapidly in public favor, that its numbers will be greatly increased, and that the next annual fair of the society, will be all its most ardent friends could reasonably expect.

-- (Signed) Thomas Reed, president" [25]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Business Letterheads[edit | edit source]

Business Photos[edit | edit source]

Maps[edit | edit source]

Newspaper articles[edit | edit source]

Newspaper full-text articles[edit | edit source]

Newspaper ads[edit | edit source]

Newspaper citations with no attached images[edit | edit source]

1940s[edit | edit source]

  • December 20, 1948: "Lehman, Buss Re-Elected As Fair Officers", The Daily Record, p. 0.
  • September 06, 1949: "These Men Were On Original County Fair Board Which Functioned 100 Years Ago", The Daily Record, p. 123.

1950s[edit | edit source]

  • August 21, 1953: "Wayne Co. Fair Premiums Total $20,000 This Year", The Daily Record, p. 123.
  • August 31, 1953: "These People Conduct Big County Fair", The Daily Record, p. 123.
  • 02, 1959: "Announcement has been made of the appointment of Walter J. Buss", The Daily Record, p. 0.

1960s[edit | edit source]

  • December 19, 1960: "Mairs, Mykrantz, Buss To Head Wayne Fair", The Daily Record, p. 0.
  • September 26, 1968: "Walter Buss, Wayne County Fair Manager For 40 Years, Retires" by Ken Blum, The Daily Record, p. 0.
  • December 04, 1968: "New Fair Secretary Is No Stranger To Annual Event", The Daily Record, p. 0.

2000s[edit | edit source]

  • September 14, 2007: "Meal of Memories Fair Board Emeritus Join for Final Feast", The Daily Record, p. 123.

2010s[edit | edit source]

  • February 19, 2012: "Economy's Weight Felt by the Fair Board, Too" by Steven F. Huszai, The Daily Record, p. 123.
  • October 26, 2013: "Wayne County Agricultural Society Members Can Vote Saturday for the Fair Board", The Daily Record, p. 0.
  • January 11, 2019: "New Buildings Expected for 2019 Wayne County Fair" by Emily Morgan, The Daily Record, p. 123.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wayne Co Fair Board Organized In 1833. Daily Record, Wooster, Ohio. 1953- September 11
  2. 1849-1886: Early Fairs Faced Growing Pains, Changes of Location. Daily Record. Wooster, Ohio. 1998 August 15.
  3. Wayne Co Fair Board Organized In 1833. Daily Record, Wooster, Ohio. 1953- September 11
  4. 1849-1886: Early Fairs Faced Growing Pains, Changes of Location. Daily Record. Wooster, Ohio. 1998 August 15.
  5. Wayne Co Fair Board Organized In 1833. Daily Record, Wooster, Ohio. 1953- September 11
  6. 1849-1886: Early Fairs Faced Growing Pains, Changes of Location. Daily Record. Wooster, Ohio. 1998 August 15.
  7. 1849-1886: Early Fairs Faced Growing Pains, Changes of Location. Daily Record. Wooster, Ohio. 1998 August 15.
  8. Wayne Co Fair Board Organized In 1833. Daily Record, Wooster, Ohio. 1953- September 11
  9. Wayne Co Fair Board Organized In 1833. Daily Record, Wooster, Ohio. 1953- September 11
  10. 1849-1886: Early Fairs Faced Growing Pains, Changes of Location. Daily Record. Wooster, Ohio. 1998 August 15.
  11. 1849-1886: Early Fairs Faced Growing Pains, Changes of Location. Daily Record. Wooster, Ohio. 1998 August 15.
  12. 1849-1886: Early Fairs Faced Growing Pains, Changes of Location. Daily Record. Wooster, Ohio. 1998 August 15.
  13. 1849-1886: Early Fairs Faced Growing Pains, Changes of Location. Daily Record. Wooster, Ohio. 1998 August 15.
  14. 1849-1886: Early Fairs Faced Growing Pains, Changes of Location. Daily Record. Wooster, Ohio. 1998 August 15.
  15. 1849-1886: Early Fairs Faced Growing Pains, Changes of Location. Daily Record. Wooster, Ohio. 1998 August 15.
  16. 1849-1886: Early Fairs Faced Growing Pains, Changes of Location. Daily Record. Wooster, Ohio. 1998 August 15.
  17. 1849-1886: Early Fairs Faced Growing Pains, Changes of Location. Daily Record. Wooster, Ohio. 1998 August 15.
  18. 1849-1886: Early Fairs Faced Growing Pains, Changes of Location. Daily Record. Wooster, Ohio. 1998 August 15.
  19. 1849-1886: Early Fairs Faced Growing Pains, Changes of Location. Daily Record. Wooster, Ohio. 1998 August 15.
  20. 1849-1886: Early Fairs Faced Growing Pains, Changes of Location. Daily Record. Wooster, Ohio. 1998 August 15.
  21. 1849-1886: Early Fairs Faced Growing Pains, Changes of Location. Daily Record. Wooster, Ohio. 1998 August 15.
  22. 1849-1886: Early Fairs Faced Growing Pains, Changes of Location. Daily Record. Wooster, Ohio. 1998 August 15.
  23. Wayne Co Fair Board Organized In 1833. Daily Record, Wooster, Ohio. 1953- September 11
  24. 1849-1886: Early Fairs Faced Growing Pains, Changes of Location. Daily Record. Wooster, Ohio. 1998 August 15, p.3.
  25. 1849-1886: Early Fairs Faced Growing Pains, Changes of Location. Daily Record. Wooster, Ohio. 1998 August 15, p. 3.

What Links Here[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]