Putnam County, Illinois History and Genealogy
Newspaper Articles
Buel Institute and Putnam County Fair


 The Putnam County Fair - Sept. 12, 1872
1874 Buel Institute Fair - 28th Exhibition (Henry Republican)
1877 Buel Institute Fair - 31st Exhibition ( Henry Republican)
Sale of the old Buell Institute grounds (1898)
Farmers Pressed For State School A Century Ago (November 21, 1951)

1849 Buel Institute Fair Announced
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, September 14, 1849
Buel Institute. - The third annual fair of this Institute will be held at Lowell, in this county, on 2d day of October next. An address will be delivered by J. A. Wight, of Chicago, and other speakers are invited who will doubtless do much to render the occasion interesting. All who feel an interest in the improvements that are rapidly being made in our farming and mechanical implements, in the production of our rich soil, the manufacturers of our work-ships should attend the fair at Lowell. It is at such exhibitions where the true wealth, the skill and progress of a country are discovered to view, and our farmers and mechanics are enabled to compare the products of one section with those of another, of one work-shop with those of another work-shop, &c.; thus encouraging a spirit of emulation amongst the bone and sinew - the genuine democracy of our beloved state, which will do more towards enriching us than millions of money could in the hands of a silk-stocking and purple-robed aristocracy. Let us all go to Lowell, the 2d of October and if you have nothing to take with you, you can certainly find something there to bring home.

Fourth Annual Fair of the Buel Institute
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, October 5, 1849
Fourth Annual Fair of the Buel Institute at Lowell, La Salle County, October 2d, 1849

In pursuance of public notice given by the Executive Committee, a Fair of the Buel Institute was held at Lowell, LaSalle County, on Tuesday the second day of October 1849. Owing to the inclemency of the weather for several days previous to the fair, much stock as well as a number of articles of produce and mechanism were not brought in for exhibition. But such as were presented were of an excellent order. The places designated by the committee were for stock of various kinds, on the south end of the public square - for domestic manufactures, in the School house.

The forenoon was principally employed by the viewing committees in making out their reports. At two o'clock dinner, prepared by Mr. Perkins, came off, and though tables sufficiently large were prepared to accommodate 200 persons, there was scarcely room for the ladies. After two or three courses, however the crowd felt satisfied; and, it is presumed, none left dissatisfied because there was not enough prepared.

After dinner, a procession was formed by C. R. Potter, marshal of the day, to a small grove at the side of the hill, near the road, where seats had been prepared for the audience and the officers. The audience being seated, Mr. Ware, of Granville, President, introduced Mr. Clark as chaplain, who opened the proceedings with prayer. Mr. Wight was then introduced to the audience as orator. The address was excellent - short, practical and interesting. After the address the committees reported as follows:

Stallions and Brood mares
The committee on stallions and brood mares would award the following premiums:
1st premium - W. M. Laughlin, Union Grove, Putnam County, (on Onus*)
2d. - Mark Baldwin of Bureau County on Sampson
(*Onus had taken the premium last fair, and is therefore not entitled to it this year, by the by-laws of the institution. This report was changed giving the 1st premium to Sampson and the 2d on a horse owned by Mr. Sprague of Granville.)
1st on mares - Jacob Rowen of Vermillion.
No 3d premiums were awarded.
The committee would recommend to the raisers of horses to devote more attention to that important branch of the farmer's business.
Wm. Hawes,
P. Savage,
Oct. 2d, 1849.

Work Horses and Colts
The committee on work horses, colts, &c., having performed their duties, would respectfully report, that they award on 3 year old colts:
1st premium to Asa Holdridge of Point Republic
2d to Peter Savage, Bureau Co.
Two year old Colts
1st John Baird of Putnam Co.
2d Robt. Blackwell, Galloway
One year old Colts
1st to David Reeder, Galloway
2d to Bailey Barras, Lowell
1st premium - J. T. & L. L. Bullock of Point Republic
2d to Chas. Weston, Granville
The committee on colts and work horses recommend that a premium be awarded to R. D. Lyman of Ottawa, on a Jack, and also on a mule-colt, which they consider very large and superior for its age.
Wm. Reddick,
John Wier,
J. N. Reeder,
Oct. 2d, 1849

The committee on cattle having viewed all that have been presented would respectfully report as follows:
On Bulls
1st premium - David Griffin, Sandy
2nd - D. W. Jones, Sandy
3rd - C. Gaylord, Sandy
On Cows
1st premium - John Hendricks, Peru
2nd - J. T. and L L. Bullock, Point Republican
Heiffers, 3 year old and under
1st premium - J. T. and L. L. Bullock, Point Republic
2nd - John Hendricks, Peru.
1st premium - John Hendricks, Peru
2nd - John Hendricks, Peru
1st premium - J. T. and L. L. Bullock, Point Republican
2nd - J. M. Reeder, Galloway
All of which is respectfully submitted.
A. Turner
D. Reeder
Chas. Weston,

Committee on Swine award the following premiums:
1st premium - J. T. Bullock, of Point Republic
2nd - J. N. Reeder, Galloway, all of which is submitted.
J. Hopkins
J. G. Ross
A. J. West

No report was made on sheep, but one being presented.

Dairy Products
Your committee on dairy products having thoroughly examinted a very commendable variety of butter and cheese, take pleasure in submitting the following report:
1st premium - Mrs. E. F. Hinman, Granville
2nd - Mrs. W. A. Pennell, Granville
1st premium - Elmer Baldwin, Farm Ridge
2nd Thomas Ware, Granville
Your committee cannot too highly urge upon our farmers the importance of attending strictly to this branch of their occupation. It will not only afford them a ready market for what they product, but a luxury for their own consumption.
Thos. Ware
J. F. Little
Mrs. O. Turner
Mrs. J. Rider

Committee on mechanism have examined several wagons, a prairie plough, a chain pump, and several bee hikes and would recommend the following:
That on lumber wagons, the
1st premium be awarded to P. Allen, Lowell
2nd to Mr. Burgess, Bailey's Point
The prairie plough presented by Mr. Bronson Murray has every appearance of being well calculated for breaking prairie and from its cheapness and apparent advantages, deserves more notice than your committee are able to give it at present, not having seen it in operation.
The endless chain pump or water elevator presented by F. W. Rowe, answers admirably for the purpose of elevating water from a well. Its superiority exists in the chain being covered with a metal which is not liable to rust, and the facility with which water can be elevated with it. The committee would award a premium to Mr. Rowe. They would also award a premium to Dixwell Lathrop for his superior bee palace and his excellent honey.
A lot of stone ware, brought in by M. Kirkpatrick was too late to receive any attention from the committee.
All of the above is respectfully submitted.
L. W. Weston
H. Kingsley
G. M. Newton

The committee on Fruit submit the following report.
A very commendable variety of apples, peaches, pears, and quinces were presented. Col. J. Wires of Lacon, Mr. R. Ware of Granville, and Mr. Chapman of Hennepin Prairie, exhibited some fine specimens of apples. But those presented by Mr. D. Myers of Magnolia, and by Mr. M. Robinson of Granville, were superior, both as to beauty and variety. Both these gentlemen are practical fruit growers and the specimens of apples which they presented are such as those who buy trees from their nurseries may expect when grown to maturity. The committee recommend a premium to be awarded to Mr. Robinson, as presenting the best specimen and variety of apples.
Of peaches, those presented by Dr. J. S. Bullock, of Vermillionville, and L. L. Bullock, Point Republic and Mr. Clark of Granville, were worthy of special notice. Those of Mr. Clark were superior, and the committee recommend a premium be awarded to him.
Mr. Aaron Whittaker of Caledonia, exhibited a variety of sweet potatoes. The committee recommend a premium be awarded him.
We cannot close our report without calling special attention of this association to the importance of cultivating fruit and selecting the best varieties. A little early attention to the orchard will award to the farmer as well as the mechanic and professional man a rich and abundant reward and afford a most healthful and delicious luxury.
Some fine pears were shown by Mr. Robinson of Granville and Mr. Myers of Magnolia, but the committee have not felt authorized to award premiums.
C. R. Clark
M. Robinson
D. Myers

Domestic Manufactures
The committee on domestic manufactures to whom was assigned the duty of viewing and awarding premiums for the most deserving articles of domestic manufacture, ask leave to present the following articles as deserving of notice and premium.
Flannel - Premium to C. Dyer, Lowell
Blanket - premium to H. Hurd, Lowell
Worsted Portfolio - premium to Miss Ann Seely of Lowell
Bead work - premium to Miss Hoffman of Galloway settlement
Woollen mittens - premium to S. Harwood of Gollway settlement
Wooled Knitted Shawl - premium to Mrs. J. D. Hullinger, of Granville.
Palm Leaf hat - premium to Miss M. P. Church of Granville.
Lace Cape - premium to Miss E. A. Leonard, Lowell
Knitted Saque - premium to Granville Sewing Society
Water color Painting - premium to Miss M. P. Church, Granville.
The committee would remark that the small amount of funds placed at their disposal, made it necessary to limit the number of premiums to a very few articles, or to make the amount of each premium exceedingly small, in order to do justice to many articles of merit exhibited; of the two the committee preferred the latter course, believing that the amount of premium was less an object than the credit of meritorious production.
C. Todd
Mrs. J. S. Bullock
C. R. Potter
Miss L. M. Pennel
Miss M. P. Church

The next annual meeting of the Institute will be held on the first Tuesday in December, when an election for officers will be held.
Particular attention is asked to the quarterly meetings.
Ralph Ware, President
V. Presidents: Wm. Seely, Jas. G. Ross, Ira L. Peck
L L. Bullock, Rec. Secretary
W. A. Pennel, Cor. Secretary
A. Holdbridge, Treasurer
Executive Committee
Lowell, Oct. 2, 1849

Henry Republican, September 12, 1872

Putnam County Fair

The 26th annual exhibition of the Buel Institute and Putnam county agricultural board will be held at Hennepin, Sept. 24, 25 and 26. The officers of the board are putting forth every effort to make one of the grandest exhibitions ever held in “Old Putnam”, and their efforts will doubtless be crowned with success.

Taken From the Henry Republican
August 13, 1874

Putnam County Matters - Buel Institute Fair

The Putnam county fair - one of the oldest in the state - celebrates its 28th exhibition on September 22-24 next, at Hennepin. It’s fair ground is located in a grove, which adds the blessings of shade to other conveniences in this sequestered spot. Its officers are the following: President, John Swaney; secretary, P. B. Durley; treasurer, W. H. Casson.

These gentlemen, with other prominent citizens who hold important positions of committees, have labored assiduously for the success of this exhibition, and with a hearty co-operation from the citizens of the county and vicinity it can be said that Putnam county has an exhibition equal to any of its neighbors, and prosperous, because her people sustain their home enterprizes. Nothing has been left undone this season to make Buel Institute successful in her display as also in her finances. The premium lists are printed and ready for distribution. Each farmer and citizen is invited to consult its pages, and prepare himself and herself to contribute to their time-honored and home-exhibtion. Take something - stock, machinery, domestic handiwork, or novelty - everything contributes to the great variety, and there will be no lack in interest. The “general consent” will make a fair a success, and a satisfaction to one and all. Buel Institute will do that this fall.

September 13, 1877

Buel Institute Fair

The Putnam county agricultural fair has been in existence over 30 years, its 31st exhibition taking place last week at Hennepin. It has passed through many vicissitudes, experienced hardships and prosperity, but has weathered the storm, and has come out successful, honored and well patronized, and bearing the distinction of being the oldest institution in the state.

The fair this year was better than many of its predecessors. In stock - horses, cattle, swine and sheep, - there were an increase of entries over last years, and new pens had to be constructed to accommodate the exhibitors. There was a fine display of plows as was ever on the ground, as also agricultural machinery generally. We noticed a fine display of wagons and carriages, and to the credit of the place, were mostly of Hennepin make. A. V. Speer had a fine specimen of a wagon on the ground, as also two open carriages, all of which were entitled to blue ribbons, and such has been his reputation as a reliable maker, that late years, to show his vehicles at the fair was sure of an immediate sale at good figures. Mr. Trewiler had also some good work in carriages on the ground.

The Floral Hall was well filled. There was a great variety of needlework, and some of it very fine. We noticed some fine crayon work. Among these pictures a portrait of a Putnam county lady, now deceased, wore the blue ribbon, and was the work of H. K. Smith of Clear Creek, a genius with a crayon. A cross enshrouded with flowers in an artistic manner, a purse of skillful and delicately wrought needlework; also a cushion on which was embroidered a cat, and a tidy, all these had blue ribbons, and were the handiwork of Miss Emma Louis, daughter of Mathias Louis of Snachwine. There were the usual comfortables and handsome patchwork bedspreads, shirts handsomely made, and a great variety of novelties of home industry.

C. & W. Eddy had a department well filled with novelties from their store, which was very tastefully arranged and was generally admired. The fruit department was full and contained fine specimens of apples, pears, peaches, plums, grapes, etc. Mr. A. H. Gaston was here exhibiting the Birkett pear, scions of which he had on sale. The vegetable kingdom was well represented. Some of the largest ears of corn we have seen this season were on exhibition. The specimens of wheat, oats, rye, etc. were very choice. The mammoth pumpkins, squashes, watermelons, etc., will be hard to beat. The pastry department had its shelves well ladened with leaves of bread and cakes that were tempting indeed, including a choice lot of honey, jars of preserves and specimens of cheese and butter. There were the usual organs, the Estey being represented by M. E. Kellogg of Pischel & Kellogg of LaSalle, and the Smith by the Bowlby Bros., which amid continous singing and playing made Floral Hall very melodious with their music.

There the usual horse trotting, lady equestrianism, etc., a Miss Horton carrying off the premium of the latter exercise, giving, before she left the track, an exhibition of her daring ability for fast riding by making one round of the half mile track. The Hennepin brass band was engaged to furnish the music for the several days of the fair, and right well did it discharge the duty imposed upon it. It has a capital leader in Adam Deck, is equipped with good instruments and is a well drilled company. Hennepin can well be proud of her band.

On the fair ground we met Gen. Henderson, congressman of the 6th district, and one of the prominent republicans of the house. Putnam county was a former "stamping ground" of his, and he remembers it with much affection, particularly so, as it was in that region he wooed and wed his wife, at an early day. We also met Thomas Judd and G. G. McAdams of Wenona on the grounds, also Editor Cook and wife who provided dinner and done all in their power to make it pleasant for us and our family; and also Mr. and Mrs. A. V. Speer, and their charming daughters, to whom we are indebted for special favors; Miss Hattie Patton, who fills the Hennepin corner of The Republican so charmingly; Wm. Eddy, one of the most successful merchants of this region, and Col. Crampton the versatile witty correspondent of the Inter-Ocean, and half a dozen other prominent journals in various parts of the country. We also shook hands with Mr. J. H. Seaton, school superintendent, A. T. Purviance, county clerk, Mr. John Swaney, G. C. Read, sheriff, Judge Williams, Rev. McVay and wife of Granville, Hon. E. V. Raley, and a number of others. We also met the Misses Jones and the Misses Whitney from this city and Kate Becker, who has been visiting in Putnam county for a week or more. There were the usual refreshment stands, a couple of chuck-luck operators, that should never be allowed on the fair grounds, good order, and all things considered one of the most successful fairs ever held in Putnam county.

Taken From the Putnam Record, August 4, 1898

The grounds of the old Buell Institute and Putnam County Agricultural society was sold at Master's sale last Saturday.  The tract comprises 20 acres moe or less, and P. Dore was the purchaser at $1,050.  We understand Mr. Dore intends to leave the grounds in the present shape so they can be used for picnic purposes as heretofore.  We are pleased to learn this, as it would be too bad to spoil so beautiful a place by cutting off the timber.
Farmers Pressed For State School A Century Ago
Dixon Evening Telegraph (Dixon, Illinois) November 21, 1951
Granville, Ill., (AP) - If a group of pioneer farmers had been successful the state of Illinois would have had a agricultural and mechanical college in 1851 or 1851, years before the chartering of the University of Illinois in 1867. A century ago residents of LaSalle, Putnam and other counties met in Granville in Putnam county with the idea of establishing a state supported university. At the old Buel Institute Professor Jonathan B. Turner advocated a school to math, mechanics, farming and allied subjects to those unable to enter colleges of liberal arts, medicine, the ministry and law. Turner had been one of the prime movers in the Buel Institute formed to advance interests of farmers in 1846 and also was greatly interested in spreading higher education. The Granville convention named a committee to take up the matter with the legislature but nothing came of it. Members of the committee, in addition to Turner, were Marcus Morton of Morgan county; Elijah Iles of Sangamon county; W. J. Phelps of Peoria; Dr. Ames of Winnebago county; John Davis of Decatur; John E. Woods of Quincy; John Hise of LaSalle county and Aaron Shaw of Lawrence county.

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