Wayne County Fair Board

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Wayne Co Fair Board Organized In 1833

  • 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. [1]

May 20, 1850 - Board of Directors, James Johnson, secretary

  • "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 [2]

First fair, October 10-11, 1850

  • Report filed with the State of Ohio - 230 Members joined the Wayne County Agricultural Society with 181 paid their $1 fee [3]

These Men Were On Original County Fair Board Which Functioned 100 Years Ago

  • 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


Thomas Reed, 1849-

James Ihrig

William Taggart

D. S. Tintsman

William Armstrong, 1891

William Armstrong, 1891, 1895

D. S. Tintsman, 1892-1894

William Armstrong, 1895

A. Cunningham, 1896

G. J. Ebright, 1897-1898

G. J. Ebright, 1897-1898

John Sidle, 1899-1901

J. S. McCoy, 1910-1911

J. C. McClaran, 1912-1913

Russell Lehman, 1947-

R. E. Mairs, 1961-

Mike Hartzler, 1967-

Harold D. Miller, 1971-

Vice President

Isaac Johnson, 1849-

Mike Totten

William Taggart

Harry W. Graber, 1948-

Harry Mykrantz, 1961-

Jones Alexander, 1971


James Johnson, 1849-1853

James Johnson, 1849-1853; 1857-1863

James Johnson James Johnson

George Rex, 1854

George Rex Rex

T. A. Adair, 1855-1856

T. A. Adair Adair

James Johnson, 1857-1863

James Johnson James Johnson

I. N. Kinney, 1887-1900

I. N. Kinney, 1887-1900

I. N. Kinney I. N. Kinney

William Armstrong, 1901

William Armstrong, 1901

William Armstrong William Armstrong

G. J. Ebright, 1902-1921

G. J. Ebright, 1902-1921

G. J. Ebright G. J. Ebright

Walter C. Foster, 1922-1928

Walter C. Foster, 1922-1928

Walter C. Foster Walter C. Foster

Walter J. Buss, 1928-1968

Walter J. Buss, 1928-1968

Walter J. Buss Walter J. Buss

Max H. Kister, 1969-1985

Max H. Kister Max H. Kister

Richard "Pete" Armstrong, 1985-2016

Richard "Pete" Armstrong Pete Armstrong

Matt Martin, 2016-Present

Matt Martin Matt Martin


Lucas Flattery, 1849-

Ben Eason

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

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

W. A. "Al" Wilson Al Wilson

Junior Fair, Secretary/Treasurer

Beverly Finley, 1961-

  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. 1849-1886: Early Fairs Faced Growing Pains, Changes of Location. Daily Record. Wooster, Ohio. 1998 August 15.