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Curtiss-Wedge, F.; Jones, Geo. O. (ed.) / History of Dunn County, Wisconsin

Chapter XII: three Dunn County institutions,   pp. 74-77

Page 74

Agricultural Society and Fair-A society called the Dunn County Agricultural
Society was started in 1872 and a single fair was held, after which operations were
suspended for a time owing to the difficulty of transportation.
On June 19, 1885, a new Dunn County Agricultural Society was organized at
a meeting held in the courthouse, when 44 farmers signed the constitution. George
Gallaway called the meeting to order, and the officers elected were: William Millar,
president; Theodore Louis, L. D. Brown and John H. McGilton, Sr., vice presidents;
H. W. Reed, secretary, and Samuel Black, treasurer. No fair was held the first
year, but in that year the county board was induced to appropriate $3,500 for the
purchase of 50 acres of land east of the :- ty for a fair ground. The first fair was
held in 1886, when the gate receipts were 8965.62.
Since then fairs have been given annually except during the war years of 1916,
1917 and 1918. But while this gap appears in the annuals of the fair, each succeed-
ing exhibition from the beginning has been an advance over its predecessor. '" he
aim has been to make a show worth while to the people-a fair of real educational
value. Thus the amount put into the plant and into premiums has increased
with the increase of receipts. The purpose has not been to make a profit but to
create an enterprise of the highest service, bearing in mind that prudence requires a
margin of safety for continuance of the life of the institution and as provision against
the rainy day.
For the last five years the society has been on a stock basis: its indebtedness has
been cleared up, improvements have been made on the grounds, and its finances are
in a prosperous condition. The policy of the county board toward the fair has been
liberal and, in short, the fair is in a better position than ever to serve the public.
In 1924 a new grand stand was erected that will seat 3,000 people, 2,000 of the
seats being covered by a roof. Along the front end of the stand there are several
box sections with a capacity of six to each section.
The following statistics illustrate the growth of the fair. Gate receipts-1886,
8975.62; 1923, 88,802. Grand stand receipts-1886, 867.15; 1923, $1,348.50.
Amount of premiums-1886, S349.50; 1923, 85.690.
A good idea of the present activities and financial status of the institution may be
obtained from the annual report of the society for 1924, the fair being held that
year from September 16 to 19 inclusive, which contains the following items:
Receipts-From the state since last report, $4,345.37; from Appropriations-
Aid, 82,500.00; from subscriptions or gifts, $67.50; from loans, 813,500.00; from
memberships, $20.00; flom ga- e receipts, 88,274.25; from grand stand and bleachers,
82,823.25; from entries-speed, 8265.00; from space and privileges, $1,875.22;
from stall and pen fees, 8370.80; from advertisements, 8393.00; cash on hand at
date of last report, $5.12; total 834,439.51.
Disbursements-Total premiums actually paid, $5,486.50; for ribbons and ban-
ners, 8315.70; for repayment loans and interest, $8,190.03; for plant and equipment,
89,578.83; for officers' salaries, 8274.00; for purses-speed department, $2,352.70;
for special acts and features, 84,088.82; for advertising and publicity, $337.30; for
printing and supplies, 8816.74; for judges and superintendents, 8474.71; for police,
gate and other help 81,085.14; for insurance, 8455.51; for water, light and power,
8210.88; for hay and forage, 8398.85; general expense, 8361.24; cash on hand, $12.56;
total, $34,439.51.
Assets-Value of grounds owned, 85,000.00; value of buildings owned, $31,-
076.03; cash, 812.56.
Liabilities-Capital stock outstanding, S1,810.00; bonds or mortgage loans,
$5,000.00; notes payable. S1,550.00.

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