The First Monroe County Fair
The Monroe County Fair has been a local attraction for one hundred eighteen (118) years which is a long time. The first fair was held in 1850 on the grounds of the Monroe Academy near Woodsfield -- believed to be in the area where Ohio Street is now located. James R. Morris served as secretary of this fair.
The first fair was listed as a success and an award of $5.00 was made to Jacob Tschappat for the best gallon of grape wine. The names of the judges were not given, the number of entries in this category were not given, nor were the qualifications of the judges given.
Wine evidently was rated higher or more rare than oxen. A pair of oxen, the prize winners, was only awarded a prize of $4.00. Showing prize oxen were S.P. Jones, Robert Clingen, and Joel Yost.
Peter Witten showed the best stallion, winning $5.00, and Israel D. Riley exhibited the best mule, being awarded $2.00.
Prizes which were typically awarded one hundred, eighteen (118) years ago were as follows: Mrs. Robert Clingin received a prize of $1.00 for the best five pounds of butter, Mrs. B.P. Briggs was awarded a prize of $1.00 for the best cheese, Mrs. F. Koehler was awarded a diploma for the best wool carpet, and Mrs. M.M. Salisbury was awarded a prize of $1.00 for a pair of blankets.