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Remembering the Knox City Fair
Information provided by Carol Hayes
“The Knox City Fair is a thing of the past, the 1929 fair, the eighteenth annual, being the last, the buildings having been sold at public auction Saturday by order of the fair association.
The total amount received for the buildings was $3,049, but a small fraction of the original cost. That amount takes care of the indebtedness, which was $2,100, leaving more the $900 in the clear. The grandstand was parceled off in five sections to individual buyers, as were the stables, all being sold separately. Floral Hall was bought by S.E. Strickler and James Bowen. An attempt had been made to organize a new fair association, which would bid in the property as a unit and try to keep the fair, which had been slipping financially for several years, running.” (The Edina Democrat, 1929?)
The Knox City Fair was held annually from 1912-1929, located on the curve east of Knox City. According to Carol Hayes of Knox City, the train coming from Quincy would let people off at the fair in the morning and the train coming from Kirksville in the evening would stop to pick them up.
A notice To The Public was printed in the 1912 Fair Book: “The officers and Directors of the Knox County Fair Association take pleasure in making this their first annual announcement of their coming Fair, which will be held August 13, 14, 15, and 16, 1912.
The Association was organized by the Business men of Knox City and farmers of vicinity and adjoining counties with the sole object of promoting Agriculture and stock raising industry in this and adjoining Counties. They desire to impress strongly upon the minds of the Farmers that this is not a money making scheme.
The people, not the premium list, make the Fair, without the earnest and hearty co-operation of every man, woman, and child in Knox County and surrounding country we cannot hope to succeed. Your presence every day during the Fair is earnestly solicited.
Examine our speed program, our Horse, Mule, Cattle, Sheep, and Hog rings, and Poultry, Agriculture, Horticulture, and Floral departments. Bring your stock and help us to make this the greatest Fair ever held in Knox County. Efforts will be made to get the Q.O. & K.C. Railroad to make reduced rates during the Fair. Our Fair Grounds are conveniently located, being within four blocks of the business part of the city, with cement walks to Fair Grounds. An abundance of water on the ground free to all. Good music. Come, bring your neighbors, your wives, your sweethearts, your cousins, your uncles and your aunts, and help to make Knox City Fair of 1912 the best fair in Northeast Missouri.
To the Horsemen: Come to Knox City and see one of the best 1-2 mile tracks in the country. Ample number of stalls and plenty of good water (bedding furnished free).
Bring your individual drinking cups.
Grounds will be cleared at 8 P.M. and gates closed at 9 P.M. each day.
No person will be allowed to remain on the Fair Ground over night without groom ticket or pass from the Association that entitles them to admittance to the Fair the following day.
PRICES OF ADMISSION. Each person on foot or in vehicle or on horseback 35 cents. Each vehicle or automobile 25 cents. Each horse under saddle or to halter 15 cents. Children under 8 years old free.” (Knox City Fair Book, 1912)
Fair Association 1912 – President, E.A. Simpson; Secretary, Andrew Schenk; Treasurer. Directors – J.B. McKay, Lon Ladd, A.B. Anderson, W.A. Gray, E.A. Simpson, W.M. Meriwether, Rial McReynolds, Fred Wolter, Jr., A. Pettit, C.D. Lewis, John Triplett and C.L. Burk. Capital Stock — $11,000.00. There were 110 Stockholders.
Prizes: Poultry First Place — $2.00; Wheat, Oat, etc. — $1.00; Fruit and Preserves — $1.00; Cakes — $1.00; $1,000 Saddle Ring; Horse Racing Trot Pace – paid up to $300.00;
Advertisers in the 1912 Fair Book included the following: (Knox City ads) Knox City Poultry Co, W. E. Ross & N.L. Bishop; J.R. Northeatt, Physician, Surgeon; Browning’s Restaurant; Geo L. Kelly, Druge Wallpaper and Paint; Lon Ladd, Livery, Feed & Sale Stable; J.W. Dent, harness, etc.; P.B. Anderson, Meat; Fred Wolter & Son, Buick Automobiles, pumps, hay rakes, fence, etc.; Andrew Schenk, Insurance; J.W. Meriwether & Son, Auctioneers; Traverse Millinery Co., hats, etc.; Knox City Bee newspaper, Harvard L. Yeoger; Ed Seeger, Hardware, Nails, Staves; Citizens Bank of Knox City, J.H. Myers, President, A. Pettit, Cashier; Dick Brothers General Merchandise; Maple Ridge Stock Farm, Ben Anderson; W.M. Seeger, Furniture Undertaking Goods; W.W. Davis, Dry Goods, Shoes, Hats, etc.; J.L. Cornelius, Grain, Seeds, Feed, R.E. Keller, Manager; C.D. Lewis, Dry Goods; J.W. Simpson, Lightening Rods; George D. Hope Lumber Co.; Home Bank, J.B. McKay, President, Peter Hone, Vice-President, A.B. Anderson, Cashier.
(Edina ads) T.J. Lycan Banking House; Klote Music House, Pianos & Organs; Collins & Sandknop, Eggs & Poultry; W.M. Winger, Fine Cigars; Bank of Edina; Miller Wagon Co.
In the 1929 Fair Book the following Forward was printed by The Board of Directors: “We herewith present the program for the eighteenth annual fair.
Tuesday will be preparation day only, no admission, and no program will held on Tuesday.
We have been endeavoring for several years to give a good fair.
Financially it has not been successful, otherwise it has reached our expectations.
We feel this year we are going against some unforeseen obstacles, therefore we earnestly request all our friends and patrons to assist us in entertaining a large attendance. We are making every effort to put on as good a program as was ever had at the Knox City Fair.
We will have excellent entertainment, an abundance of amusements, good racing Wednesday and Thursday, and a Friday night fair.
The Newark band will be with us, with some extra good music. It will be a treat for you. We solicit your patronage.” THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS.
The last Knox City Fair was held August 14, 15, and 16, 1929.
Fair Association 1929 – President, C.J. McKay; Secretary, Fred Wolter. Directors – J.W. Meriwether, L.P. Westcott, W.L. Cottey, C.F. McKay, Guy E. Triplett, W.L. Eyman, Guy Clauson, J.L. Cornelius, Paul McReynolds, Lon Ladd and J.H. Layman. Capital Stock — $14,000.00.