Chapter XXV
Agricultural Societies 

The First Fair in the County - Mountain Park - Organization of the Jefferson County Agricultural Society - Officers - Buildings and Grounds - Receipts and Expenditures

The first agricultural fair in Jefferson county was held on the grounds of the Mountain Park Association, October 5, 6 and 7, 1870. These grounds, now owned by the estate of Nathan Carrier, jr., were then the property of Jacob Emery and son, who advertised the fair as "Jacob Emery & Son, proprietors." The fair was quite successful, and the exhibits, though not numerous, were of an excellent character. The exhibit of stock was very good, the papers of that day speaking of this feature of the fair as a "credit to the county, and showing the interest taken by our people in improving the stock." The horses of Judge St. Clair, of Bell township, and Thomas Holt, of Beaver, received special mention.

For some reason this was the last exhibition held at Mountain Park, but the race course, which was a very good one, was used for that purpose for several years. There is no record of any premiums being paid by this association.


On the 10th of February, 1879, a meeting was held at the office of James T. Carroll, esq., in Brookville, for the purpose of organizing a society to be known as the "Jefferson County Agricultural Society." On motion Thomas R. Holt was elected president of the meeting, and James T. Carroll secretary; the object of the meeting being announced in a brief address by Dr. W.J. McKnight, after which the society was organized by the election of the following officers: President, Thomas K. Litch, of Brookville; vice-presidents, Joseph Grube, of Henderson township; James E. Mitchell, Punxsutawney; Stacy B. Williams, Oliver; James U. Gillespie, Clayville; Robert A. Travis and George Gourley, Perry; Henry Lewis, Porter; E.W. Jones, Beaver; Joseph Thrush and U. Matson, Rose; A. Carrier, Clover; Robert A. Summerville, Union; Allen Cathers, Winslow; James McCurdy and A.L. Smith, Washington; Stephen Oaks, Eldred; Oran Butterfield, Barnett; Thomas Craven, Polk; Dr. John Thompson, Corsica; John Smathers, Ringgold; William Aharah, Heath; Daniel North, McCalmont; John B. Pantall, Young; Henry Brown, Bell; L.P. Seeley, Reynoldsville; George K. Tyson, Big Run; Paul Darling, Brookville; Samuel A. Hunter, Knox; David B. McConnell and Levi Shuckers, Pine Creek; John Ostrander and John Fox, Warsaw; Samuel Geist, Worthville; secretary, Thomas L. Templeton, Brookville; executive committee, Thomas R. Holt, Beaver; Oliver Brady, Pine Creek; David Eason, John Garrison, Nathan G. Edelblute, Brookville.

The association was incorporated May 2, 1879, under the name of the "Jefferson County Agricultural Society and Driving Park Association," and the following officers elected for the year: Thomas K. Litch, president; Thomas L. Templeton, secretary; J.E. Long, assistant secretary; M.V. Shaffer, treasurer, with the same executive committee given above. A fair was held on the grounds, which had been secured by lease, within the borough limits, from the John Dougherty estate, the fall of that year, which proved a success both financially and otherwise, and the association assumed a permanent footing.

Exhibitions, in every way creditable to the county, have been held each succeeding year, and premiums amounting to an average of $2,000 have been paid. In 1880 N.G. Edelblute was elected president of the association, with Messrs. Templeton and Shaffer re-elected, continued the officers of the association until 1886, when the present management was elected: W.H. Gray, president; S.H. Whitehill, secretary; J.B. Henderson, treasurer. Directors, W.H. Gray, H.C. Litch, S.A. Hunter, G.B. Carrier, Joseph Bullers. There were originally one hundred and twenty-four stockholders holding two hundred and forty-seven shares.

In 1884 the association bought of Colonel Silas J. and Mrs. Kate D. Marlin, two and one-half acres of land on the south side, upon which the main buildings of the association are erected, at a cost of $2,250, which was conveyed by deed February 7, 1887. They also rent other ground adjoining, from Bishop Brothers, Means’s heirs, A. Beach, George A. Jenks et al., making the enclosure occupied by the grounds cover about ten acres. These grounds are on level ground, lying in the bend of Sandy Lick Creek near where it unites with the North Fork and forms Red Bank. They are well adapted for the purpose, and are within easy access of all parts of the town. Two main buildings, machinery hall, grand and band stands, with good stabling for over five hundred horses and stock, and abundant accommodations for poultry, compose the buildings. The half-mile track is an excellent one. The ground, buildings, etc., owned by the society, are worth about $10,000.

During the eight years that exhibitions have been held by the association the receipts and expenditures each year have been as follows:




Fair Receipts

























This society has done much to improve the mechanical, industrial, agricultural and stock raising business of the county, as it has brought the farmers together, and by competition and comparison has added a new incentive to all that which was needed to bring Jefferson county up to the place she should occupy in the agricultural column of the State.

Source:  Page(s) 324-326, History of Jefferson County by Kate M. Scott. Syracuse, N.Y., D. Mason & Co., 1888.

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