- The first meeting of the Rock County Agricultural Society
was held in January of 1851 in Janesville
- at the courthouse. J. P. WHEELER of La Prairie Township
chaired the meeting and the following officers were elected:
- President - J. P. WHEELER (La Prairie Township)
- Vice-Presidents - W. F. TOMPKINS (Janesville), Ansel
DICKINSON (Bradford Township), Joseph GOODRICH
(Milton), J. M. BURGESS (Janesville) and A. W. POPE
- Recording Secretary - Josiah F. WILLARD (Rock Township)
- Corresponding Secretary - Andrew PALMER
- Treasurer - John RUSSELL (Janesville)
- Board of Directors - 20 members (one from each township in
- On October 1-2, 1851, the "Rock County Agricultural
Society & Mechanic's Institute" held the
- first fair in the county in the Springbrook area. It was
a combined county fair and state fair (Wisconsin's first) and
about 5,000 people attended. Other combined county and state
fairs were held in Rock County (moving from the Springbrook location
to the present county fair location in Janesville) during 1857,
1864, 1866 and 1877.
- At the onset of the Civil War, the Society disbanded and
no fairs were held during the war.
- Another agricultural group organized after the complete of
the war and the fairs resumed.
- For more information regarding the fairs in Rock County,
read The Janesville Gazette's August
- 14, 1985, article "First
State Fair held in Janesville."