The History of Genesee County, MI
Chapter IX
The Agricultural Society

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Clayton



To encourage the agricultural interest of the county there was early formed the Genesee County Agricultural Society. For this purpose a preliminary meeting of prominent farmers of the county was held January 12, 1850, in Flint. 


At an adjoined meeting on February 13, a constitution was adopted and the following officers elected: 

Hon. Jeremiah R. Smith Grand Blanc


Elbridge G. Gale Atlas
Isaac Middleworth Argentine
Alfred Pond Clayton
Daniel Dayton Davison
George W. Piper Forest
James Hosie Flushing
Benjamin Pearson Flint
William Tanner Fenton
E. Fletcher Gaines
Daniel H. Seeley Genesee
Rowland B. Perry Grand Blanc
John Farguharson Montrose
John Richards Mundy
Garret Zufelt Richfield
Richard Buel Thetford
Daniel Montague Vienna

Recording Secretary

James B. Walker Flint

Corresponding Secretary

George M. Dewey Flint


Augustus St. Amand Flint

Executive Committee

Jonathan Dayton Grand Blanc
C. D. W. Gibson Grand Blanc
John L. Gage Flint
C. N. Beecher Genesee
Peabody Pratt Flint


The object of the society, as set forth in the first article of the constitution, was "to promote agriculture, horticulture and mechanical arts in Genesee county, Michigan." The first fair of the society was held in Flint, October 2 and 3, of that year, in a grove near the Methodist church. In 1871 the society was legally incorporated, the corporators and trustees being Elijah W. Rising, Francis H. Rankin, Oren Stone, Charles B. Beahan, Charles Pettis, Henry Schram, William J. Phillips, Frederick H. Kellicutt, Jesse M. David, Grant Decker, Levi Walker and John L. Gage.

The fair-grounds of the society were from time to time enlarged and improved. In 1854, four acres known as the "Stockton tract," then recently added tot he village plat of Flint, were purchased of Messrs. Fenton and Bishop, for about four hundred dollars, on which the annual fair was held in October of that year. The proceeds of the fair in 1855 enabled the society to pay in full for the grounds. Two years later this area was nearly doubled, by the purchase of an adjoining tract, from Hon. Artemas Thayer, at two hundred and twenty dollars an acre. Later a small tract was added by purchase from Colonel Fenton. These grounds were in the south part of the city near the Thread river. In 1870 new fair grounds were selected. The society purchased of John Hamilton, for ten thousand dollars, tracts from the NcNeil and Hamilton out-lots, to which the buildings of the society were removed. The old grounds were sold and platted as city lots. In 1877 the new grounds were enlarged by the purchase of two more lots from "John Hamilton's out-lots" for five hundred dollars.

Among the early presidents of the society were Jeremiah R. Smith, Benjamin Pearson, Grand Decker, Jonathan Dayton and Henry Schram. For many years F. H. Rankin, Jr., was the secretary and a leading spirit in keeping up interest in the annual fair. With the growth of the city of Flint, the lands of the society were sold for platting purposes, and the society disbanded.



History of Genesee County, Michigan, Her People, Industries and Institutions
by Edwin O. Wood, LL.D, President Michigan Historical Commission, 1916

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

HTML by Deb

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