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Jersey County Page     Jersey County History

Early Societies

From History of Greene and Jersey Counties, Illinois, Springfield, IL: Continental Historical Co., 1885, pp. 162 – 167. Not a complete transcription. There will be typographical errors.

Agricultural Society

     For many years the farmers of Jersey county were in the habit of attending the county agricultural fairs of the neighboring counties, especially that of Greene county, but in the fall of 1867, while visiting at the latter place, several well-to-do agriculturists of Jersey county, among whom were William Kirby, E. O. Hartwick and Ezekiel Davidson, after talking the matter over, thought that their home county could support a fair, and at that the time had come when some movement looking to that end be inaugurated. When they came home, they did not let the matter drop, but arranged a meeting when there were present, besides the above named gentlemen, David E. Beaty, Jeremiah Beaty, Lathrop L. Kirby and William Shephard. This meeting was held at the office of Benjamin Wedding, at Jerseyville. After a preliminary discussion it was agreed among themselves that they would canvass among their friends to see how much money could be raised for the purpose of purchasing grounds, etc. At a meeting held on April 13, 1868, the committee reported that they held subscriptions to the amount of $9,855, and a permanent organization was determined on. Hugh N. Cross, James H. Belt, J. H. H. Simmons, J. E. Starr and William Kirby were appointed a committee to draft a constitution. At this meeting an address was delivered by D. M. Woodson of Carrollton, which did considerable good. At a meeting shortly after this a constitution was reported and adopted, and an election held for officers, which resulted in the choice of the following gentlemen: David E. Beaty, president; Samuel W. Davis, secretary; William Kirby, treasurer; and William Shephard, Hugh N. Cross, J. H. H. Simmons, Lathrop L. KIrby, Jeremiah Beaty, James H. Belt, Jasper M. Terry, James E. Starr, Archibald Craig and Caleb A. Post, directors. John N. Squier acted as temporary secretary of this meeting. This organization effected, it was determined to hold a fair that fall, and the necessary steps were taken to purchase the ground and fit it up for the purpose. These grounds in the north portion of the city of Jerseyville, were bought and improved at a cost of nearly $15,000. Before the fair came off, Mr. Davis resigned the secretary-ship and Morris R. Locke was elected to that office, and has held it ever since, thus conducting the society through every fair ever held by this highly successful organization.
     The first fair of the Jersey County Agricultural and Mechanical Association was held at the grounds near Jerseyville on Oct. 13, 14, 15, and 16, 1868, and provided a decided success. Thus was inaugurated a series of annual fairs, second to none in the country and the most successful county exposition on record.
     The second annual fair was held Oct. 12, 13, 14 and 15, 1869, under the official management of the following gentlemen: David E. Beaty, president; Morris R. Locke, secretary; E. Davidson, treasurer; William Shephard, Hugh N. Cross, L. L. Kirby, James H. Belt, Addison Greene, Jasper M. Terry, Archibald Craig, C. A. Post, James VanHorne and Charles Eldred, directors. Smith M. Titus was the grand marshal of the occasion.
     The third annual fair occurred on Oct. 11, 12, 13 and 14, 1870, and was a complete success. The officers for this year were as follows: Hugh N. Cross, president; Geo. E. Warren, vice-president; Morris R. Locke, secretary; E. Davidson, treasurer; H. O. Goodrich, C. C. Cummings, John Buckels, Jr., William H. Fulkerson, H. N. Belt, Jr., L. L. Kirby, Joel Cory, Sr., Jeremiah Beaty, Henry Ryan, Isaac R. Ely, W. D. Curtiss, and C. M. Hamilton, directors.
     The fourth fair was held Oct. 10, 11, 12 and 13, 1871, and was a pronounced success, a greater one than ever before held. The gross proceeds of this exhibition, as reported by the treasurer, was $5,903. The officers for this year were: Hugh N. Cross, president; William H. Fulkerson, vice-president; Morris R. Locke, secretary; Joseph G. Marston, treasurer; with Moses Cockrell, Robert Newton, C. M. Hamilton, Joel Cory, Sr., John G. Dougharty, Henry D. Ryan, John A. Cory, C. C. Cummings, J. H. Belt, N. C. Beaty, and William Kirby on the board of direction.
     And so on each year the fairs have been held, and the society has prospered until the name of the Jersey county fair has obtained a state-wide, if not a world-wide reputation, for being the finest, the best conducted, and the msot successful of agricultural expositions. The various officers who have helped to make this the prime success that it is, have been picked from the very best business men of the county, and these have not thought it beneath their dignity to attend to it closely, and hence its almsot unprecedented success. The following is a complete roster of the officers, directors and committees for the year 1885, and for the annual fair of that year: P. D. Cheney, president; Robert Newton, vice-president; John A. Shephard, treasurer; Morris R. Locke, secretary; James S. Daniels, J. V. Striker, H. C. Terry, J. L. Post, M. B. Travue, Spencer Wyckoff, G. C. Cockrell, L. L. KIrby, Andrew Bierman, J. N. Lurton, Leslie Cross and J. R. Colean, directors; Col. W. H. Fulkerson, grand marshal; J. R. Colean, clerk of races; N. C. Beaty, Sup’t of the grounds; J. N. Lurton, Sup’t of amusements; Leslie Cross, Sup’t of arena. On the reception committee are the following: Mr. and Mrs. David E. Beaty; Mr. and Mrs. H. O. Goodrich; Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ryan; Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Fulkerson; Mrs. Antonnette V. Cross; Mr. and Mrs. Oliver P. Powel; Mr. and Mrs. Ed. Trabue; Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Conklin.

Old Settlers’ Society

     On Saturday, Oct. 7, 1871, a meeting was held at the court house in Jerseyville, for the purpose of organizing the Old Settlers’ Society, of Jersey county. Among those who were present and took part in the organization were Cyrus Tolman, J. M. Hurd, Geo. B. Warren, Jos. G. Scott, J. M. Terry, Caleb Noble, Murray Cheney, J. N. English, Geo. W. Lawder, T. F. Brock, Geo. H. Jackson, J. E. Cooper, Joel Cory, Thomas Wedding, John Brown, William Keller, William McDow, John R. Black, Alfred Hinton, James T. Post, ___ Vandyne, George Hoffman, John P. Stout, Andrew Gillham, Irvin Little, J. J. Simmons, Robert Latham, John Utt, D. G. Wyckoff, William Hackley, Moses Cockrell, Penuel Corbett, Glover Short, J. T. Grimes, Geo. W. Burke. Officers were elected to serve until the next regular meeting of the society, as follows: President, Cyrus Tolman; Vice-presidents, Benjamin F. Slaten, T6, R11; Brook Stafford, T6, R12; Geo. Stafford, T6, R13; William Hackney, T7, R10; Thomas McDow, T7, R11; John M. Hull, T7, R12; Thomas Wedding, T7, R13; Jeremiah Bell, T8, R10; J. E. Cooper, T8, R11; John Brown, T8, R12; Z. Reddish, T8, R13; D. P. Pritchett, T9, R10; William Waddle, T9, R11. George H. Jackson was chosen secretary.

Jersey Co. Farmers’ Mutual Ins. Co.

     This association was chartered on February 22, 1861, and organized June 6, 1862, with the following incorporators: Joel E. Cory, Lewis Randolph, George E. Warren, J. Murray Bacon, O. P. Powel, J. E. Cooper, Robert C. Whyte, Israel Squier and William Darby. On organization, officers were chosen for the government of the same, and for the transaction of business. They were as follows: J. E. Cory, president; J. E. Cooper, vice president; George E. Warren, secretary; Lewis Randolph, treasurer. Joel E. Cory remained president until his death, which occurred Feb. 13, 1872, when he was succeeded by Hugh N. Cross, who also remained in that office until removed by the hand of death, Nov. 21, 1883, when Jonathan E. Cooper, the present president was elected to that office. George E. Warren remained in the office of secretary from the date or organization until May 10, 1880, when he was succeeded by R. P. Shackelford, who held it until May 1, 1882, when Jett A. Kirby, the present incumbent was elected. The company, which is purely mutual one, has issued a total number of 1,241 policies, and has now insured property to the value of $250,000. There has been paid losses to the amount of $20,985, but no assessment has been made for the past three years, showing a healthy state of affairs, largely owing to the business abilities and integrity of the officers of the company. Taking the average cost of insurance for 20 years, from the date of organization, it is found by this company to be about $2,70 per year on $1,000. The present officers are: J. E. Cooper, president; Edward Trabue, vice president; Jett. A. Kirby, secretary; John I. Whyte, treasurer; Lewis Randolph, Arch. Craig, J. E. Cooper, Orin Palmer, A. Beiermann, John I. Whyte, D. E. Beaty, Edward Trabue and L. L. Kirby, directors.

Jersey County Page     Jersey County History