Excerpt from Reunion Booklet 1890
The Wilmington Agricultural Society
This society is one of the oldest and has, ever since it was first organized, been called one of the best and most prosperous organizations of the kind in the State. So great was its reputation that about the year 1860 Judge Collamer said at the State Fair at Rutland, “Wilmington has beaten the State every time.”
The society was organized about 1850, and with the exception of two years, has held an exhibition every year since-the exhibition this year being the thirty-eighth since its organization. Soon after the society was organized the town was divided into two sections called the Eastern and Northern. Each provided themselves with a large wagon-The Eastern forty and the Northern thirty feet long-covered with white cloth, with read and blue curtains, and usually trimmed with evergreens. These wagons freighted with joyous maids, matrons, and little folks and drawn by all the oxen which could be gathered from each section and lead by the Wilmington Cornet Band (which is still in a flourishing condition) was usually the great feature of the day. Much good-natured strife was aroused between the two sections for the honor of having the best and largest team. In 1859 the records show that the Northern team had sixty-one pairs of oxen, and the Eastern fifty-three pairs-one hundred and fourteen in all. It has ever been the object of the society to strive to excel in everything, and it would seem that the motto which floated over the wagon from the North, “This is the best that we can do,In eighteen hundred and fifty-two,”
Had ever been the motto of the society. These wagons were run until 1878, when on account of there being less oxen kept, many farmers using horses instead, they were discontinued.
Although in later years there has not been as good and exhibition of oxen, it has been made up by the increased exhibit of young stock. The exhibit of 1888 was universally considered as one of the best in the history of the society. Within the last few years the low price of stock and the high price of horses has led many to increase their stock of horses, and now the need of a place suitable to show our horses and colts in connection with our cattle it felt.
It would seem that one of the best proofs of the push and determination of the people of Wilmington is in th efact that in all this time visitors have never been charged a penny for admission to the fairs, and whenever any money was needed to pay expenses the people have bountifully supplied it when asked. It has been no present pecuniary return which has induced the farmers to so nobly sustain them, as no money premiums were available, and the honor of having the best was the reward for which all sought, trusting that the advantage so obtained would return a reward in the future. During the past two years subscription papers have been circulated and money raised, which has been divided into money premiums by the society. This has added not a little interest, and makes it more of an object for our farmers to bring out their neat stock, and should the money premiums continue to be offered we look for a larger exhibit and better fairs in the future.
Officer of the society, 1890: President, Adin Adams; Vice President E. A. Fitch; Secretary C. M. Russell; Treasurer, J. M. Bassett; Directors, J. H. Stowe, Spencer Robinson, J. H. Kidder, F. R. Smith, O. F. Howe; Marshal, F. E. Ray; Assistant Marshals, Mills Brown, F. H. Aldrich; Auditors, E. M. Haynes, N. D. Mann; Out Door Committee of Arrangements, C. W. Bissell, E. M. Haynes, D. G. Hubbard, J. W. Temple, P. G. Hubbard, In Door Committee of Arrangements, C. C. Clark, A. W. Rice, A. L. Haynes, Miss Ida Harris, Miss Martha Lawton.