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Jersey County Fair
Among the prominent and beneficent institutions at Jerseyville is the County Fair held here annually. The first fair was held on the beautiful grounds of the Association Oct. 13-18, 1868 and was a pronounced success. The officers at the time were David E. BEATY, president; Samuel W. DAVIS, secretary; Wm. KIRBY, treasurer; and Wm. SHEPHARD, Hugh N. CROSS, J. H. H. SIMMONS, L. L. KIRBY, Jere BEATY, J. H. BELT, J. M. TERRY, J. E. STONE, Arch CRAIG, C. A. POST, directors.
Then was inaugurated a series of annual fairs which have been attended from the beginning with phenomenal success. The wise and liberal policy pursued by the managers in appropriating the net proceeds to beautifying and improving the grounds has resulted in securing exhibition grounds and facilities unsurpassed in the state. Home interest in the fair is unabated and so long as it continues, the fair will be a continuous success. The Association has just concluded another highly successful fair.
There are three railroads traversing the territory of Jersey County, two which have stations at Jerseyville, viz. the Kansas City division of the Chicago & Alton R.R. and the main line of the St. L. A. & S. R.R. The Chicago & Alton branch was for many years the only road at Jerseyville, and contributed greatly to the early development of the place. In recent years the road was extended to Kansas City bringing Jerseyville on the main line of this road and adding materially to the commercial importance and advantages of the city.
The St. L. A. & S. is what was a branch of the Wabash running from Bates through Jerseyville to Grafton on the Mississippi River built in 1881-82. It is now operated by an Independent Company and was last year extended from Newbern, – a point south of Jerseyville, to Alton where connections are made with the I. & St. L. to St. Louis. On the line of this road known as the Bluff Line, about 14 miles from Jerseyville on the Mississippi river is Clifton Terrace a now famous pleasure resort visited by thousands of strangers and pleasure seekers the present season. An island in the middle of the river just opposite, affords a mile or more of still water making it a desirable place for boating, bathing or fishing and the present season bath houses have been erected on the island, and daily, numbers of our citizens and others may be seen sporting in the surf. This railroad company contemplates extensive improvements at Clifton Terrace and on this island in the near future and the plans for a capacious summer hotel are now being made. It is indeed a beauty spot in natures realm and the matchless scenery of the place together with the contemplated improvements will always make it a popular resort. Further along on this line of road, in Jersey County toward Grafton are the Piasa Bluffs. Assembly grounds and the grounds of the Piasa Bluffs Assembly Co. to establish a Western Chautauqua here that shall rival the famous Chautauqua of New York in physical attractions and in its scientific religious and literary features, while the Improvement Co. contemplates extensive and ornamental improvements on their grounds, the same now being duly surveyed into streets and walks and town lots. Some fifteen cottages it is said, are now under contract for erection on these grounds, and a commodious summer hotel as well. We are thus, at Jerseyville, within a half hours ride of these river attractions, where we may enjoy a change of scene and air and such recreation as is suited to our taste.