Winnebago County Agricultural Society

City: Rockford

County: Winnebago

State: Illinois

The Winnebago County Agricultural Society was created and formally organized on April 13, 1841. It held an annual fair in Rockford, alternating between the east and west side of the Rock River each year. The inaugural fair was held October 13, 1841 and included exhibits of livestock, agricultural products and fresh garden produce, and homespun items. The fair constituted the first cattle show held in northern Illinois. The society's committee on awards selected winners in a variety of categories and awarded cash prizes to the best in show. Although the organization disbanded after a number of years, another society was formed in 1852 and formally organized in February 1855. Dubbed the Winnebago Agricultural Society, it operated its annual fair on leased land until 1858, when it purchased lands dedicated to its annual exhibits.

Charles A. Church, History of Rockford and Winnebago County Illinois (Rockford, IL: W. P. Lamb, 1900), 172-73; The History of Winnebago County, Ill., Its Past and Present (Chicago: H. F. Kett, 1877), 290.