The History of Keokuk County, Iowa



The Keokuk County Agricultural Society was organized in 1857. John C. Hogin was prominently identified with the society during a number of years after its first organization. Grounds were bought south of Sigourney near the premises now owned by A. G. Brown. The grounds were fitted up at considerable expense and the society prospered for a number of years, but at the beginning of the war the annual fairs were discontinued and the grounds were suffered to go down. During the progress of the war the grounds were sold to pay a debt which had accumulated and the society went out of existence.

The society was never reorganized although several unsuccessful efforts were made to do so in 1868 and '69. On August 13, 1870, a number of the leading citizens of the county met at Sigourney for the purpose of organizing another society. Articles of incorporation were adopted and the following gentlemen were chosen directors: Hon. T. A. Morgan, of Adams township; John Edgerton, Prairie township; John Dillon, English River; John Stouder, Liberty; Benj. Parish, Steady Run; _______ McClure, Clear Creek; H. N. Newton, Lafayette; Samuel Brunt, Lancaster; W. Clubb. Van Buren; Edgar Whiteman, Sigourney; J. W. Trotter, German; J. R. Speirs, Jackson; Thomas Thornloe, Washington; Allen Dunn, Warren; John Morrison, Benton; O. N. Johnson, Richland; J. A. Lowe, Sigourney. The first officers of the society were: president, T. A. Morgan; vice-president, Thomas Thornloe; secretary, J. H. Shawhan; treasurer, J. A. Donnell. The first fair under the auspices of this new organization was held in the following September. There being no grounds suitably arranged the fair was distributed around. The court-room was used for a floral and fine art hall; the court-yard was used for the display of agricultural implements; the stock-pens were south of town in A. G. Brown's barn-yard and the race-track was located down on Uncle Johnny Rentfro's bottom. Notwithstanding the inconvenience of this arrangement and the short time which elapsed between the time of organization of the society and the fair, the exhibition made at this time was among the best ever had in the county.

The present fair-grounds were purchased and fitted up the following year and the society since its organization has been in a flourishing condition.

The tenth annual fair was held on the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th of September last. The premium list shows an aggregate of $1000 offered in premiums. The following is a list of the present officers of the organization:

President—T. C. Cunningham.

Vice-President—J. P. Minteer.

Secretary—A. J. Pope.

Treasurer—J. F. Abernethy.

Executive Committee—T. C. Cunningham, T. A. Morgan, J. P.     Minteer, Thos. Thornloe, T. J. McNabb.

Chief Marshal—J. H. McCormick.

Superintendent of Grounds—Ben. Crocker.

Superintendent of Floral Hall—N. W. Churchill.

Superintendent of Amphitheatre—H. W. Tracy.

Directors—H. W. Tracy, Richland township; J. R. Speirs, Jackson township; Ben Crocker, Steady Run township; W. F. Bottorff, Benton township; T. J. McNabb, Warren township; S. W. Brunt, Lancaster township; D. N. Henderson, Clear Creek township; C. F. Singmaster, Lafayette township; John B. House, German township; J. P. Minteer, Sigourney township; T. C. Cunningham, Sigourney city; Wm. Mead, Van Buren township; Thos. Thornloe, Washington township; Ben Bates, Prairie township; N. W. Churchill, Adams township; T. A. Morgan, English River township; Jesse L. Westfall, Liberty township.

Transcribed by Pat Wahl. Thank you, Pat!


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