Celebrating 60 years of Clay County Fairs

Editor’s note: This is the second of several columns compiled by Sharron Jensen that tell the history of the Clay County Fair. The 2013 Clay County Fair will be held in Vermillion Aug. 8-10.

On January 5, 1953, a group of representatives of the county met to set up a board to organize a Fair Association. O.S. Westburg, president of the 4-H leaders association, took charge of the meeting. Others present were Les Zeller, Mrs. Walter Hendricks, R.L. Venard, H.O. Gunderson, Wm. Gibson, Conrad Westlund, and Harold Adamson, J.H. Litzelman, Sidney Abild and Ervin Cleland.

A report was given on the progress of the committee and it was decided to set up a board of representatives to include 4-H leaders, Farm Bureau, Farmers Union, Corn Belt Feeders, county commissioners and city council. Chamber of commerce and County Home Extension Clubs to form a non-profit corporation with by-laws and articles to manage the fair grounds.

A temporary board was set up consisting of the presidents of the various organizations and the 4-H building committee and Mrs. Welch and Mr. Vernard (county agents) to serve as ex-officio members. The presidents were to go back to their various organizations and ask for their support.

A permanent board would be set up at a later time. These board members were Conrad Wastlund, Harold Adamson, H.O. Gunderson, Wm. Gibson, Ralph Leer, J.H. Litzelman, Les Zeller, O.S. Westburg, Mrs. Walter Hendricks, Mrs. Welch and Mr. Vernard. Mr.Westburg was asked to serve as chairman and Mrs. Hendricks was asked to serve as secretary. Mr. Weeks was asked to draw up the necessary corporation papers and by-laws.

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