On October 4, 1853 a number of Yamhill county farmers held a meeting, the outcome of which included the successful organization of an agricultural society; Oregon’s first (History of Organization of Oregon State Agricultural Society by George H. Himes in The Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society Vol. 8, No. 4 – Dec., 1907).
The following March the nascent Yamhill County Agricultural Society held another meeting and made arrangements to hold a fair in the fall at Lafayette, one of the Oregon Territory’s busiest communities.
On the appointed day, October 7, 1954, the fair took place as planned. The secretary of the society, Ahio S. Watt, recorded the prize winners:
To Mrs. K. Davis, for best bedquilt; W. T’. Newby, bestflour of Oregon manufacture; Clayton Richardson, best acre of wheat; E. T. Stone, best pair of pigs; Charles H. Burch, best bull; Stephen Hussey, best cow, bull calf, and yoke of oxen; John G. Baker, best stallion; Joseph R. Young, second best stallion and best brood mare; S. M. Gilmore, best one-year colt; Daniel Johns, best two-year-old horse; Solomon Allen, best two-year-old filly and best sucking colt; John Monroe, best span of horses; Barnet Haggart, best single gelding.
But especially notable, it would seem, was a specimen of corn in the ear exhibited by F. B. Martin, that would compare favorably with that of the best corn-producing countries, both in length and size of ear, and in the apparent quality of the corn.
And Joseph Watt’s stool of wheat wasn’t too shabby either. It was supposed to be the production of one grain of the bluestem variety, that numbered ninety-six full, large heads.