Muscatine County, Iowa
Muscatine Journal & News-Tribune
Centennial Edition
31 May 1940

Section 4 - Page 12, Submitted by Liz Casillas, April 4, 2012

West Liberty Making Plans for 78th Annual
Offering Coming Fall

The West Liberty fair will be noting its 78th anniversary when backers of the annual summer exposition open their 1940 show to the fair-goers of the county and adjoining territory in August.

For the past 69 years the fair has been presented to the public at its present location. For nine years prior to that time, however, the event was conducted successfully at a site north of West Liberty.

At the time of its founding and for four years thereafter the fair was operated by an organization known as the Cedar County Agriculture society. According to early fair data, this organization was short-lived and soon gave way to the Union District Agriculture society, which since that time has functioned to direct arrangements for each year’s exposition.

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Original plans for the fair were drawn up at a meeting held in school house No. 2 in Springdale township on April 2, 1859. Organization of the Cedar County agriculture society was effected at the same time with Moses Varney acting as president, and Laurie Tatum as secretary.

In August of the same year, the first fair was staged at the site north of West Liberty. A total of 188 entries were filed in the opening exposition, and receipts from membership fees amounted to $74. Only $27.15 was taken in at the gate.

The first fair in 1859 was governed by a constitution drawn up with the following signers:

    Moses Varney, Laurie Tatum, Elisha Todd, Emor Reed, William Branson, Alpheus Hirst, Thomas James, James Martis, Thomas Leech, Richard Besson, Elisha Stratton, James Ball, J. H. Painter, Thomas Walker, Teene C. Taber, Nathan Taber, Gilbert Smith, Moses Butler, Griffith Lewis, James Brimmer and Thomas Madin. Honorary members at the time were Barik Smith, Hanson Hammond and William Lundy.
The first fair was unique in many details. Records reveal that the society at that time offered a premium for the best cultivated farms of 160 acres and 40 acres. Other premiums were offered for such items as the best farm wagon, fan mill, horse rake, butter, cheese, bee hive, six brooms, lot of baskets, horseshoeing for work horse, tin work and boot and shoe making.

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Almost from the start, women have taken an active part in the staging of the fairs, though records from the earliest years of the fair contain only slight mention of feminine contributions.

The first women’s names to appear in the records were in 1860 when in “Class M, Domestic Manufactures,” consisting of bread, butter, cheese, preserves and the like, the committee was composed of Rebecca Galbreth, Joanna Crosier and Frank Galbreth.

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A battle between the Rock Island and “Q” railroads over the route between Wilton and Cedar Rapids became evident by this date. The Rock Island railroad announced it would build a route to Tipton from Wilton and thence to Cedar Rapids. –– News stories of April 3, 1883

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Photo ~ COME TO THE FAIR” – “Heigh Ho, Come to the fair,” was the favorite tune of the era when Muscatine entertained thousands of visitors back in that period around 1890 and earlier when a street fair was one of the long anticipated community events. Second street presented an appearance like that shown above when festivities were at their highest point.

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First Staff of Police Officers Numbered Six

Muscatine’s first police force consisted of six officers, two being assigned the first ward, two to the second ward and two to the third ward. The department was created by an ordinance that defined the duties of the policemen.

The first policemen were Samuel Wolf and Myron Ward, in the first ward; William A Drury and John Suyler in the second ward; and D. S. Zeddicker and William Delaney in the third ward.

One Muscatine policeman was killed by lightning shortly after the Civil war, old Journal files disclose. He was Thomas D. Moore, who was struck by a bolt, July 13, 1869, while patrolling his beat on Ogilvie’s hill in the present third ward of the city. A year before a school house on the same hill was struck by lightning, the article stated.

Growth of Muscatine through the years has necessitated an enlarged police department entrusted with the maintenance of peace and protection of property throughout the city.

Mark Taylor is the present chief. Other officers are Menzo Grady, assistant chief; William Harris, Fred Kopp, and W. D. Rynearson, all desk sergeants; and James Selman, Harold Wickey, William Khone, John Strain, Ted McGill, William Freese, Bernard Flake, Joseph Maher, Ray Stark, Charles Fish, Clifford Richardson, Maynard Eckhardt, Edward Lord, and William Meyers, all patrolmen.

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“The Editor-in-Chief of this paper, accompanied by his wife, starts this evening for Burlington where, as president of the Iowa Press association, he takes charge of the editorial excursion to Texas. W. C. Kegel, of the Journal force, also accompanies the excursion, having been chosen commissary of baggage.” – April 22, 1878.

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“We acknowledge receipt of P. T. Barnum’s Illustrated News for the season 1878 in which he announces that his ‘own greatest show on earth’ will visit Muscatine the latter part of August. – April 16, 1878.

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A Fair Deal To The Public For OVER 32 YEARS

Photo ~ Wm. Glastein

Buyer and Seller of
Horses –– Mules
Hides –— Furs
Wool and Junk

Back in 1908 I started in the business of buying and selling horses and mules. Since that time have conducted many public sales and supplied the world’s largest users. Today we are wholesalers and retailers as well as buyers of all kinds of Junk, Wool, Furs, Hides and new and used structural steel. We pay the highest prices for all we buy so be sure to see us before you sell wool, etc. No matter what you have to sell see me first. I’ve built my business by paying more for your goods.

1908        WM. GLATSTEIN        1940
Phone 1753 - 327 Oak Street

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Page created April 8, 2012 by Lynn McCleary