HISTORY OF CARBON COUNTY
Pages 649 & 650
That people possessing
comparatively poor natural advantage may sometimes succeed most admirably is
well illustrated in the fact that the farmers of Carbon County have for a
quarter of a century maintained an agricultural society which compares very
favorably with those of many
counties which are better favored in soil and topography. It seems to be almost invariably the rule that nature does not in one and the same locality enrich the miner and the husbandman. But here, especially in the southern portion of Carbon County, midway between the coal mountains to the northward and the iron lands of Lehigh County, the tillers of the soil have made the most of their arable lands, and attained results of which they may well be proud. The region contains some exceedingly fine farms, carried on by men of progressive spirit who take a deep and intelligent interest in agriculture. That the people of the county who follow farming have made the most of their opportunities, and have possessed a spirit of enterprise, is fully evidenced by the organization and healthful existence of the society to which we devote this brief chapter.
The first meeting of the Carbon County Agricultural Society was held Aug. 7, 1858, at which time the following officers were elected, viz.: President, John G. Kemerer, of Mahoning; Vice-Presidents, Andrew Graver, of Franklin, William Rehrig, of Mahoning; Secretary, Thomas L. Foster, of East Mauch Chunk; Corresponding Secretary, E. H. Rauch, of Mauch Chunk; Treasurer, Joseph Obert, of Lehighton. A committee was appointed to draft and report a constitution and by-laws, consisting of Maj. Robert Klotz, Thomas L. Foster, W. O. Struthers, Thomas S. Beck, Amos Riegel, Jacob Andreas, Rev. C. G. Eichenberg, and Lewis Haney. At the same time a committee was appointed to solicit membership, consisting of Thomas Kemerer, Charles S. German, John Craig, Peter Hartz, Tilghman Arner, and Col. John Lentz. One week after the first meeting another was held, at which the constitution and by-laws were adopted. Three weeks after the organization of the society the committee appointed to solicit signers of the constitution reported that eighty-seven persons had become members. On the same occasion that this report was made it was resolved to hold an agricultural and mechanical fair at Lehighton or Weissport, to continue three days from the third Tuesday in October, 1858, and Col. John Lentz, Thomas Kemmerer, John Craig, Joseph Obert, and Andrew Graver were appointed as a committee to procure, grade, and otherwise prepare grounds, and erect stalls, sheds, canvas inclosures, etc. A committee was also appointed to prepare a premium list, consisting of Charles G. Bauer, William Kemmerer, E. H. Rauch, Thomas S. Beck, and George H. Davis. The society made a very modest start, limiting the total amount of premiums to be offered to two hundred and fifty dollars.
At a meeting held September 10th the committee appointed to secure and prepare grounds reported that they had selected Lehighton as the location, and commenced operations for their preparation. Permanent officers were now elected, as follows: President, Col. John Lentz (one vice-president from each election district); Secretary, William Kemmerer; Treasurer, Thomas Kemmerer. Preparations for the fair were continued, and it was held successfully. In January, 1859, the society was incorporated by action of the Court of Quarter sessions of Carbon County. On the 14th of the month the second annual meeting was held, and following officers elected for the year, viz.: President, John Lentz; Secretary, William Kemmerer; Treasurer, Thomas Kemmerer.
From this time on the principal officers elected were as follows:
1860 - 61. - President, Amos Riegel; Secretary, William Kemmerer; Treasurer, Thomas Kemmerer.
1862 - 63. - President, Charles Meendsen; Secretary, E. Bauer; Treasurer, Thomas Kemmerer.
1864. - President, Leonard Yeager; Secretary, William Kemmerer; Treasurer, Thomas Kemmerer.
1865 - 67. - President, John Lentz; Secretary, Joel Rex; Treasurer, Thomas Kemmerer.
1868 - 70. - President, John Lentz; Secretary, Joel Rex; Treasurer, Joseph Obert.
1871. - President, Thomas Koons; Secretary, Z. M. Long; Treasurer, Joseph Obert.
1872. - Same, with exception of treasurer, who was E. H. Snyder.
1873. - President, Gen. William Lilly; Secretary, N. B. Reben; Treasurer, E. H. Snyder. (The president
and secretary resigned, and Peter Laux was then elected to the former office, and W. C.
Frederic to the latter.)
1874. - President, Peter Laux; Secretary, W. C. Frederic; Treasurer, E. H. Snyder.
1875. - President, Thomas Koons; Secretary, T. S. Beck; Treasurer, T. D. Clauss.
The society had improved the grounds which it had purchased, erected an exhibition-building, a ticket-office, sheds, stalls, fences; constructed a good race-track, and held successful fairs upon those grounds annually until 1870, for all of which the energetic men who effected and maintained the organization are entitled to great credit. In 1870 the town authorities of Lehighton desiring that the grounds should be vacated that streets might be extended, the society took action to sell their old property and buy new. Their purchase being effected, they built larger and more substantial buildings than they had before used, and thereby incurred considerable of an indebtedness. Fairs were held on the new grounds, but not with the success that attended the former exhibitions, and the result was that the society was unable to discharge its indebtedness, and in March, 1875, the grounds were sold on the foreclosure of a mortgage.
This led to the formation of a new society. On March 20, 1875, a meeting was called by some of the older members of the defunct society and other citizens of Lehighton and the surrounding country, to take into consideration the purchase of the grounds and the organization of a new society. The purchase was duly made, and the Carbon County Industrial Society came into existence as the successor of the Agricultural Society. It was in a large measure composed of the same men who had been the leading spirits in the former organization, and in objects and methods was patterned upon the society which it supplanted. The Carbon County Industrial Society was incorporated June 3, 1875, its first officers being: President, Thomas Koons; Secretary, W. M. Rapsher; Treasurer, A. G. Dollenmayer; Directors, J. A. Horn, James Sweeney, A. G. Dollenmayer, Thomas Mantz, David O’Brian, T. D. Clauss, and C. H. Seidel. There was no delay in perfecting arrangements for the holding of a fair the same season, and thus there was no interval allowed to occur in these beneficial exhibitions, which were commenced in 1858.
The officers of the Carbon County Industrial Society for the years since 1875 have been as follows:
1876. - President, Thomas Koons; Secretary, W. M. Rapsher; Treasurer, A. G. Dollenmayer; Directors,
J. A. Horn, Henry Beineman, A. G. Dollenmayer, Thomas Mantz, C. H. Seidel, William Wagner, and Max Schweibnitz.
1877. - President, J. H. Horn; Secretary, W. M. Rapsher; Treasurer, A. G. Dollenmayer, Directors,
William Wagner, William Horn, F. P. Semmel, Charles Seifert, Max Schweibnitz, Thomas Koons, Edwin Lensinger.
1878. - President, J. A. Horn; Secretary, W. M. Rapsher; Treasurer, T. D. Clauss; Geologist, Elwen
Bauer; Librarian, Max Schweibnitz; Chemist, G. A. Frey; Directors, Alfred Whitting, Thomas Koons, Elwen Bauer, Charles Seifert, Henry Beineman, Max Schweibnitz, Thomas Mantz.
1879 - 80. - President, J. C. Kreamer; Secretary, W. M. Rapsher; Treasurer, J. A. Horn; Geologist, Elwen
Bauer; Librarian, Max Schweibnitz; Chemist, G. A. Grey; Directors, Thomas Mantz, N. G. Rex, Thomas Koons, Elwen Bauer, Lewis Armbruster, Charles Seifert, G. A. Frey.
1881. - President, E. H. Snyder; Secretary, Elwen Bauer; Treasurer, J. A. Horn; Geologist, Lewis
Armbruster; Librarian, Max Schweibnitz; Chemist, G. A. Frey; Directors, Thomas Mantz, N. G. Rex, Thomas Koons, Elwen Bauer, Edwin Sensinger, Charles Seifert, G. A. Frey.
1882 - 83. - President, E. H. Snyder; Secretary, Elwen Bauer; Treasurer, Valentine Schwartz;
Geologist, Lewis Armbruster; Librarian, Max Schweibnitz; Chemist, G. A. Frey; Directors, J. C. Kraemer, J. T. McDaniel, David Ebbert, N. G. Rex, Thomas Mantz, Henry Beineman, George Kemerer.
The History of the Counties of Lehigh & Carbon, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,
Alfred Mathews & Austin N. Hungerford
Published in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1884
Transcribed from the original in August 2004
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