THE FIRST FAIR ASSOCIATION 1858 AND 1859



        The first attempt for a Fair Association was made in 1858. On the second of January in that year the Cumberland County Agricultural Society was formed with, Michael Ruffuer, as President; C. W. Pickering, C. C. Jones and Daniel B. Green, as Vice Presidents; James M. Ward, as Treasurer; A. G. Caldwell, Recording Secretary; and James LaDow, Corresponding Secretary. This Association held two Fairs in the month of October 1858 and 1859 at Greenup. The ground selected was an elevated spot in the north part of the village, which was partially surrounded by a brush fence. No regular premiums were offered, but cups and special prizes were offered and competed for in a spirited manner. The people took an active part in making these exhibitions successful, and in the event were instrumental in awakening a widespread interest in the improvement of agricultural subjects. In 1860, the exhibitions were removed to the county seat, then called Prairie City, and were held on a ten-acre tract west of town until the fall of 1865. The association had adopted plan too liberal’ for the financial success of the enterprise, and at that time the association, finding itself unsuccessful, disbanded and gave place to a new organization. Under the new regime the site of the exhibitions was transferred to a plat of ten acres north of the village. This organization though adopting stricter rules of membership, proved a failure so far as finances were concerned. Ten acres were bargained for and Fairs held continuously from 1866 until about 1874, when the mortgage held on the land was foreclosed. Another reorganization followed, and the land redeemed, but the association held it but a short time when this property was sold and forty acres purchased about oneself a mile southeast of the county seat Here Fairs were regularly maintained until 1880, when another reorganization was effected. The Fairs had degenerated somewhat and were not financially successful. At this juncture certain of the wealthy stockmen and farmers conceived the design of forming a stock company. This was done under the name of the Cumberland County District Agricultural Society. The former associations grounds were purchased and ten more acres added; large improve - ments were added, such as box stalls, a large covered amphitheater, new fencing outside and safety railing on each side of the track, the additional land cleaned of underbrush, etc., etc.
The organization held its first exhibition in October 1883, with the following officers:
C. G. Jones, President; L. L. Logan, Vice President; William L. Bruster, Secretary; W. S. Everhart, Treasurer; A. A. Neal,W. H. Caty S. M. Pennington, C. G. Jones, and Veley Perry, Directors. The stockholders are: L. N. Brewer, A. R. Huston, W. L. Bruster, C. G. Jones, W. H. Caty, J. A. McCandlish, R. D. Ashwill, W. C. Prather, Charles Hanker, L. L. Logan, L. B. Ross, Guy M. Lemen, Leon Sumerlin, Silas White, F. J. Heid, S. C. Miller, A. A. Neal, S. B. Pennington, F. M. Pennington, Veley Perry, Wesley Perry, George Starger, Harlow Park, S. C. Hol­sapple, T. P. Prather, V. E. Clark, W. S. Everhart.


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