Kittson County Fair Marks Advancement

by

Chuck Howe

 

Following a time honored custom, agricultural societiesand annual fairs are so closely associated that the names are almost synonymoustoday. This is true in Kittson County. The Kittson County Agricultural wasorganized in 1888. The first minutes show that a meeting of directors tookplace in the office of the Kittson County Enterprise June 9, 1888. Thiswas not the first meeting as the record shows that the directors had beenchosen earlier. E. W. Wagner was named chairman and Edward H. Love, secretarypro tem. Captain H. W. Donaldson was elected president and Mr. Love, permanentsecretary. The fair date was set on October 20. At a meeting in July ofthe same year, Captain Donaldson resigned and Mr. Love became president.Vice Presidents chosen were Robert Thompson, W. F. Wagner, Frank Strenquist,Henry Hales and Frank R. Calmer.

The directors were J. M. Daniels, A. J. Perrault, JohnSyoholm, R. Saliebakke, Andrew Johnson, L. Johnson, John Englund, AugustClauson, William Keiver, Joe Thomas Ingles, N. Peterson, John Jenkins Jr.,John Ross, Alex Turner. On July 21, 1888, it was voted to officially organizeand incorporate the society. The date for the first fair was set early inthe summer months but change the date to October 5 and 6 and the recordslists the following members of the committee.

The first grounds of the fair were located a block southof the Swedish Lutheran Church. A mile track was built but there was nograndstand, but there were seating facilities such as planks resting onbeer kegs. Beer kegs were plentiful then and there wasn't enough money providedto build a grandstand. But buildings were provided. One of the first beingstructure that household art work, canning and other similar exhibits. Livestockand other animals, such as, poultry were shown out in the open, insteadof buildings like today. Those were old day, pumpkin fairs and althoughthe exhibits were modest affairs the entertainment compensated for the lack.

There were also balloon ascensions and parades and otherspecial attractions, but the biggest thrills were the horse races, but todayit's stock car racing. In those days, a fast stepping trotter was the lastthing in track speed, although three minutes was a good record. The bangtail that performs on the Hallock track may not have been in class withthe Maud S but they thrilled the fair visitor and proved to be quite excitingas means of entertaining.

At a meeting March 9, 1889, a committee was appointed tomeet with the directors of St. Vincent Association and try to get them tocombine with the Hallock Fair. But since both fairs are still in being knowthat the mission was not successful. The fairs of Hallock in 1889 was setfor October 3 and 4.

In October, 1905, P. Lockwood was employed to take careof the fair buildings and fair grounds. About that time, two more attractionswere paid to attend. The Patten Company Carnival was brought to Hallockfor 1908 and 1909 fairs and other amusements also provided.

Also, fireworks for display. The following year, the fireworksalone cost $570.00 to which the cost of freight from Chicago and assistantsto help with the display.

In 1923, other attractions were also added to Hallock Fair,Auto Polo and Aerial Circus. With the event of Auto Racing, it wasn't toohard to draw large crowds to the fair.

But in 1932, the horses wer still having their races andthat year the purse was worth $400.00.

March 8, 1934, they have taken necessary steps to acquireadditional storage - a tract of 14 acres being involved.

With the improvements to the past years in Hallock FairGrounds and buildings. The activities of the 4-H Club have made the livestockmore interesting and more attractive.

Now, today, everything at the Hallock Fair has been moreupdated, such as, the stock car racing, the demolition derby, and thrillingrides for the kids and adults as well, places to play games and try to wina teddy bear. Better racing horses, here you can look at trailers or campers.

On yearlings and calves were raised $2.00 for first placeand for second place was $1.00; and on sheep and lambs were $5.00, $3.00and $2.00. There were special prizes of $10.00 on each yearling Polled AngusBull and heifer.

Awarded by Captain Donaldson and this same prize also wasapplied to shorthorns. Although Captain Donaldson donated $45.00 and precictedby the committee. $50.00 was appreciated for the races. This wasn't muchbut the horses couldn't count money anyway and ran just as though the pursehad much more money.

At the meeting June 2, 1889, the board voted to buy theproperty on the west side of Hallock on which side the race track had beenbuilt, then it was also furnished with a grandstand and also improved thetrack. The land where they purchase their grandstand was owned by the GreatNorthern Railway Company and T. M. George, P. H. Ronzen and A. M. Eklund.The fair the following year was set August 1 and 2 of the month and therewasn't much for improvements. The association went into financial difficulties.

But the improvements were (possible words illegible) madeand for a time progress continued. The sale of stock had increased the membership(possible words illegible) and stimulated interest in the fairs.

But I suppose they had places where you could go and eatif you happen to get hungry.

The fair is usually a big event all around the world, peoplegetting out and meeting new people. A lot of them meet old friends and havea lot of fun.

The Hallock Fair is a big event around here during thesummer time because people in town and people that live out in the countrycan have some fun.

In the early days, they also had some sort of fair up inSt. Vincent.

Another golden jubilee which their special anniversay editioncommemorates the inauguration of St. Vincent Fair. The Fiftieth Annual St.Vincent Fair took place a few years ago in celebration.

The St. Vincent Fair was conducted by the St. Vincent UnionIndustrial Association which was originally the Kittson County AgriculturalSociety. The organization of the present Kittson County Agricultural Associationcaused the St. Vincent organization to adopt its present title of 1889.The St. Vincent Union Industrial Association was organized September 1,1884.

Agricultural had not advanced very far relatively fromthe pioneer status 1884. Early methods still obtained, grain binders hadbut recently been introduced, grain separators were crude with the bandsand the straw bucked away from the carrier and labor devices were few.

The St. Vincent Fairs while strictly rural expositionshave become prominent for high grade 4-H club and other activities withwhich they are associated.

The grounds at which the fair was held at a large buildingfor industry art and other displays known as the Reid Hall, livestock andpoultry are not housed as they are shown but one a day.

Until a few years ago, no carnival had been brought tothe ground at fair time but the experiment a few years ago proved a greatsuccess.

 

Bibliography

The Kittson County Fiftieth Anniversary

The "F" Encyclopedia World Book, FairsP>

The Kittson County Fiftieth Anniversary

The "F" Encyclopedia World Book, Fairs