AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY - 339
GREENE COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY.
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In the year 1837, or 1838, a society was formed which had for its object the encouragement of agricultural and mechanical pursuits. All persons were entitled to a membership by paying one dollar. In the fall of this year the first meeting was held in the court house yard, on which occasion there was a large attendance. The display was an extensive one, consisting of farm productions, fancy needle-work, etc.
During the second year of its existence, the. society purchased grounds in the eastern part of Xenia, on the Columbus pike, containing seven acres. Subsequently additional lands were added. In 1866 it became apparent that new grounds must be secured; the old location proving too small. A heated discussion arose as to the new site. The citizens of Jamestown and vicinity demanded that it should be located on the Xenia and Jamestown pike. The Xenians on the other hand contended that it must be selected in close proximity to the county seat. The latter were triumphant, and the grounds were located at Xenia. This action caused much dissatisfaction, which terminated in the organization of a new society, which received the name of the `1 Union Agricultural Society," and held its exhibitions at Jamestown.
The original organization purchased thirty-six acres of ground
340 - HISTORY OF GREENE COUNTY.
(the present location), and held fairs thereon each succeeding year. The society became financially embarrassed, and the grounds were sold. They passed into the hands of Eli Milleu, Esq., who has leased them to the members of the association. A few years ago the practice of horse racing was abolished, and at this time the annual meetings are gotten up for the sole purpose of displaying agricultural productions and farming implements.
The old records have been lost or destroyed, consequently it is impossible to ascertain the names of the original officers. Squire McClung was elected president in 18P0, and continued in that capacity until his death, when D. McMillen, one of the original members, was elected; he was succeeded by Thomas B. Johnson, who in turn was followed by J. B. Lucas, the present incumbent. Dr. McClellan was one of the first secretaries. That office is now occupied by Hugh McQuiston. Mr. Leaman was treasurer for nineteen years. The society is now in a prosperous condition, attracting a large number of spectators and, exhibitors each year.