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Newspaper Clippings for
October, 1859

Waukegan Gazette8 October 1859
The new era for Millburn and which we have so frequently spoken in our paper of late came off as announced on Wednesday last at Strang's Corners.

We did not get so early a start as we intended consequently did not arrive on the ground until about noon.

Some distance from the lively scene on our way thither, could be observed a lively crowd, for it was a crowd of people bustling about and going to and fro, the younger portion of the male members trying the metal of their favorite Bays and Greys, and each striving apparently with the other as to who could contribute the most in making the first fair a lively, merry one. The sight in the distance was truly enlivening and invigorating, and we longed to be on the spot to take part in the exercises of the day and mingle with our solid friends of the Millburn neighborhood, a great majority of whom we have know long and well, and the acquaintance has been a very agreeable one on our part, and we trust the same can be said from the other side.

We were very soon on the ground, and were never more surprised than to the number of persons there were present to see the show, and the large quantity of stock and other articles to be seen. The area marked out for the Exhibition was in the large field bounded on the north by Mill Creek Road and on the west by the highway leading north through this thriving village and nearly in front of Mr. George Strang's residence.

A track was staked off and a furrow plowed round so as to indicate distinctly its size, as well as to admonish all those who had "blood to show off," that they must "keep within in the ring". Several acres just at the corner were taken up with the cattle and sheep stalls; the temporary building for the exhibition of Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, Fine Arts, Textile Fabrics, Embroidery and miscellaneous articles; the Refreshment Stand and the FIFTEEN HUNDRED PEOPLE who came to see the sights. Everything was well arranged so that all persons could have an unobstructed opportunity of viewing what there was on exhibition, a comfort not always evident at Agricultural Fairs, so far as our experience goes, at least.

We saw some excellent stock on the ground; many of the animals of half, three-quarters and a few full blooded, the Durham predominating, still, some of the Devon blood was observable. We notice one young Devon cow, that was a perfect picture. Whose property she was we could not ascertain,--no name appearing upon the entry cards. Grade cattle of excellent points, running into the two varieties named above, were the most numerous While Natives were none the less noticeable, as possessing qualities ______ as requisite. The stock, as a whole, was quite thin in flesh; we expected that indeed, how could it be otherwise after passing through such a dry season as we have experienced. Still this did not distract from the good points which were _______ by the cattle we saw. A goodly number of fine looking bulls were on the ground, more and better than we had any idea there were owned in that vicinity. The President of the Society, Peter Stewart, Esq., had on exhibition his two year old Durham Heifer and her calf, which took the premium at our County Fair last week. We do not ever recollect of seeing a larger two year old than this. If she had the flesh upon her, suscriptable of being put upon cattle of her breed of any age, she would weigh very heavily indeed. We regret being unable to say who were the owners of several fine creatures we saw upon the ground and of which we took especial notice; the entries being made by numbers entirely, debarred us from getting names.

The Sheep were in very fine show indeed: our friend Geo. Purvis, who knows probably more of the points and habits of this domestic animal than any other man in the county, had several of his flock at the Fair; among them we noticed two as fine looking Bucks, one a full blooded Spanish, the other French and Spanish mixed, as any we ever saw. He also showed several Grade sheep, a fair average of his entire stock, as he assured us. They were a Grade possessing a good quality of wood, and looking in good order.

Harvey S. Shepard, of Antioch, showed us three fine looking Bucks and several Pigs of the Suffolk variety, we should say. Who the other exhibitors of sheep and swine were we could not ascertain from the cause assigned above; there were quite a number of exhibitors, however, besides the two we have named.

The show of Horses was large and creditable mostly consisting of horses of all work. Very few either single or matched carriage horses were shown, and a very small show of Stallions. We noticed a few Stallion colts and but a few. Geo. A. Wright paraded his fine, large team of roadsters, the same that took the premium at Libertyville last week. They are indeed a noble team of horses and George knows it too. Our friend John K. Pollock the efficient Secretary of the Society exhibited two very large two-year colts of the Messenger breed, one of which weighted 1312 lbs., the other 1100 lbs.; they are mammoth fellows, and when they get their growth, will do, we think, so far as size is concerned.

The sale of stock which was to be a prominent feature of this Fair, came off during the day. We heard of something like a dozen sales being made, some to farmers present, the balance to the butchers of the city, Messrs. Peters & Co. and Richard Hook. We also saw a team of two or three year old colts sold. They were put up at auction and brought $116, a very low price, we should say, for horses that looked as well as these did. They belonged to a Mr. Webb.

Although the transaction in cattle were small, still it was a good beginning and will ultimately grow into something much more important, now that the principle has been so successfully inaugurated. There would no doubt have been many more sales made had the number of fat cattle offered, been larger. These fairs for the purpose of effecting sales of stock are quite a common thing in Great Britain. They afford an excellent opportunity for butchers and drovers to make large purchases without crampling all over the country to find the cattle, and we are told, by those who know of them that the system works well. That they can be conducted here as well as in England or Scotland there is now no further doubt, and our friends at Millburn have the full credit of being the first in the West, so far as we know, of establishing public Fairs for the sale of Stock. May they have the pleasure of seeing the pattern they have so wisely set imitated by other communities.

The Plowing match came off about noon, four persons entering for the championship, each to plough a certain piece of soil land in a given time. Those entering were James Thain, Ebenezer Stevens, George A. Wright and Henry Lewin. The two first named certainly did by far the best work, and to us it would be a difficult task to decide which was the best. James Thain's land appeared the smoothest of the two, while Mr. Stevens turned the deepest furrow. We never saw finer plowing than that done by these two gentlemen. Mr. Thain did his work with a common plow, while the other had the advantage of a plow designed on purpose for sod.

Of Fruits and Vegetables, there was a first rate display better by far than was shown at our County Fair last year. Among the exhibitions of the former were Alfred Payne of Fremont and B. F. Steadman of Millburn, the names of the others we could not learn.

Daniel H. Harmon had the best show of potatoes, consisting of eight distinct varieties; many of which were very fine examples. Geo. Purvis had several kinds of Vegetables; all of which looked well. Indeed, the show of Vegetables was as good as we could wish, or hope to see, and far better than we had any reason to expect. Our friends at Millburn deserved much credit for the fullness of these departments. The show of Grains was large. We counted _____ samples of Wheat of the different Spring and Winter varieties; some of which could be called poor. There were two or three samples, each of Barley and Oats, all good. We noticed also appearing the grains samples of seed corn, rye and grass seed; all of which looked well.

In the Textile Department was a large collection of Worked Bed Quilts, Crochet and Worsted Work, ________ the best handiwork of the women and girls of Millburn and vicinity, and they may well be proud of such production. We never saw so good a general collection of these things at any Fair before which is saying a good deal, but no more than we are justified in expressing. Added to this department was also a fine lot of Embroidery of exquisite workmanship, such as would do credit to any exhibition. To whom we should give credit for all this fine work we cannot say for reasons already explained.

We noticed some very fine oil paintings exhibited by Wm. Buffum, Esq., also by others some Electrotype Casting, of bronze medallions, and a fine specimen of wood turning in the shape of a raised medal, the most perfect thing of the kind we ever saw. The bust and lettering on the medal were perfect. Miss L. Shepard showed several very fair specimens of Oriental Paintings, enclosed in rustic frames of her own construction. They were every way meritorious. The Hair Work by Jenny Trotter was very fine indeed. Mr. Puvis exhibited two antique snuff boxes, and a checker board. The former are choice old relics brought by him from Scotland. One contains a fine female miniature, painted on ivory, probably the early love of our friend George, as he is very choice of it. The Board was a present to him from Edward Hearne, Esq., on account of his being the champion of the neighborhood at the game of checkers. Robert Pollock, Esq., pointed out to us a family record, very neatly executed by his youngest daughter, Sarah, with worsted upon perforated card board. It gives the complete genealogy of his immediate branch of the Pollock family, and as such is held in very high estimation by him.

Richard Pantall had a quality of Boots Shoes of his own make on exhibition; and we noticed near them a lot of very fine domestic Woolen Socks and Stockings, also several bunches of Yarn.

Some good housewife had upon the table several prints of beautiful looking butters; another had a crock of the same article of equal merit; while another presented a loaf of bread, affording the committee good opportunity of testing both.

Mrs. Joshua Wedge's premium Currant Wine was splendid. We can qualify as to this having had tasting proof of its excellence.

G. M. Hasting, the Shakerman, had a large collection of his Herbs at the Fair. They are infinitely ahead of any we every saw put up by the Shakers, and the Western Druggists are beginning to find it out, as he sells all he can put up. His brother, Charles Hastings, exhibited Broom Corn and Sorghum Cane, both fine samples. Some other person had a quantity of corn in the stalk that for height would do credit to any _________.

We do not remember of ever attending a gathering of any kind, where more general good feeling appeared to prevail then at the Fair in Millburn. All ______ to enjoy themselves heartily. We were sorry to not being able to remain for the address, which we learn was an able one delivered by Edwin Hearn, Esq. For the kindness and cordial hospitality received from our friends at Millburn, we return our sincere thanks. We hope to meet them all again, on similar occasions, but whether we do or not, the pleasing remembrances of this occasion will never be effaced from our memory.

P. S. The address of Mr. Hearne will be published next week. It would have appeared in this issue but for a dirty trick played upon us by a supposed friend to whom the copy was entrusted for deliverance to us. It's a long life that has no turns. Mr. P.
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