Allamakee co. IAGenWeb

Chapter 9
Past & Present of Allamakee County, 1913
Agricultural Society & Farmers' Institute


Agricultural Society.
Agreeable to a notice signed by Geo. C. Shattuck, John Raymond, D.H. Gilbert, John A. Townsend, Thos. A. Minard and Robert Isted, a meeting was held at Waukon, on the 7th day of June 1853, of which John Raymond was president and Joel Baker, secretary, and which resulted in the formation of the "Allamakee County Agricultural and Mechanical Society." The first officers of the society were:
President -- John A. Wakefield
Vice presidents -- Robert Isted, John Laughlin & Wm. C. Thompson
Recording secretary -- J.J. Shaw
Corresponding secretary -- John Haney, Jr.
Treasurer -- A.J. Hersey

The original roll (Agriculture Society) 18 persons:
John Raymond
John S. Clark
Robert Isted
M.B. Lyons
John A. Wakefield
Reuben Smith
C.W. Cutler
Absalom Thornburg
L.S. Pratt
M. Lashman
G.C. Shattuck
Scott Shattuck
Austin Smith
John Haney Jr.

June 23d at a meeting of the directors it was voted that there be a county fair at Waukon on the 13th of November. At this fair Ezra Reed and G.C. Shattuck took premiums on sheep. Robert Isted, John M. Cushing, and Shattuck, took premiums on Swine. Patrick Keenan, John Raymond, D.H. Gilbert, Robert Isted, and Abraham Bush, took premiums on cattle. Jehial Johnson, J.B. Cutler, Moses Shaft, G.C. Shattuck, took premiums on vegetables. L. Abbott took premium on wheat, Moses Shaft on corn. John A. Wakefield on best ten acres of corn. Benjamin Beard, L. Abbott, Mrs. L.T. Woodcock, Mrs. J.A. Townsend, Mrs. J.M. Cushing, and Mrs. Prescott, took premiums on household products. This was the first agricultural fair ever held in the county, and for those early days was a grand success, although held on the open prairie.

The society continued to hold occasional fairs with more or less success, for years. At a meeting held in Waukon January 8, 1868, the society was reorganized as the "Allamakee County Agricultural Society," under which title it still exists. At the time of reorganization John Haney, Jr., became president, John Plank, Sr., vice president, D.W. Adams, secretary, and Charles Paulk, treasurer. A tract of seventeen acres adjoinin the town of Waukon on the north, was purchased for fair grounds, enclosed with an eight-foot tight board fence, and a half mile race course laid out and graded, at a total cost of $2,129.48, and nearly all paid for by the ensuing fair that fall. Exhibition buildings, grand stands, and other improvements were made from time to time, and the fairs were very generally successful until recent years, when all county fairs, were largely given over to the amusement features.

A few years ago the society sold its grounds to the city of Waukon, which has its waterworks plant located thereon, and devoted the proceeds to the construction of a new and larger grand stand and other improvements, and clearing off of incumbrance. It reserved the use of the grounds for fairs and other exhibitions, and its later exhibits have met with better financial results, a renewed interest being manifested through the county. Its forty-fifth annual fair is to be held in this year, 1913. The present officers of the society are:
President -- B.O. Swebakken
Vice President -- Otto Helming
Secretary -- George S. Hall
Treasurer -- T.B. Stock

Center, Ole Rema
Fairview, J.J. Broderick
Franklin, Floyd Clark
French Creek, Andy Laughlin
Hanover, Tom O'Brien
Iowa, Fred Meyer
Jefferson, Tom Mullaney
Lafayette, James Mooney
Lansing, Lou Hirth
Linton, J.C. Campbell
Ludlow, A.S. Pieper
Makee, E.W. Goodykoontz
Paint Creek, H.A. Hendrickson
Post, C.P. Bachtell
Taylor, O.H. Monserud
Union City, Ben Hartley
Union Prairie, John T. Baxter
Waterloo, Ben Schwarzhoff
Makee, J.C. Beedy, honorary member.

Farmers' Institute.
Of greater practical benefit than the fairs, to the farming community, has been the Farmers' Short Course held annually for the past three winters at Waukon, under the auspices of the Allamakee Farmers' Institute, with instructors from the State College at Ames. These courses have attracted a large attnedance from all over the county, and aroused much enthusiasm in regard to improvement of agricultural conditions. The officers of the Farmers' Institute for the current year are:
President -- C.G. Helming
Treasurer -- D.D. Ronan
Secretary -- A.G. Meiners
Assistant secretary -- B.C. Opfer
Vice Presidents --
Center, Fred Ericson
Fairview, Anton Wachter
Franklin, Gordon Clark
French Creek, Andrew Laughlin
Hanover, Oscar Jacobson
Iowa, Thomas Reburn
Jefferson, James Barlow
Lafayette, Leslie Gruber
Lansing, Thomas Teelling
Linton, Muryl Hefner
Ludlow, John Simmons
Makee, Adam Herman
Paint Creek, I.I. Satrang
Post, E.R. Smith
Taylor, Bernard Houlihan
Union City, Alfred Meiners
Union Prairie, J.P. O'Neill Jr.
Waterloo, John Hermanson.

~transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall

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