Davis Volunteers for Historical Society

Skip Davis regularly volunteers for the Clinton County Fairgrounds Historical Society, and he is passionate about preserving the history of the fairgrounds.

Davis started working for the Clinton County Fair Council (based out of Frankfurt, Indiana), but he quickly realized his calling was to a different part of the organization.

“I knew that I was too old for the fair council, but one of the other members suggested putting up large historical pictures around the fairgrounds,” Davis said. “We didn’t know where to start, so we formed the historical society. I’m the president, and we have four members on the board and two or three volunteers helping with the research.”

The buildings on the county fairgrounds each have a unique and vital history.

“The first county fair was held in 1853 on private property located immediately south of the city limits of the day,” Davis said. “In 1872, the county purchased 48 acres located about 12 blocks to the south. The Administration Building was built in 1909 and is located in the northwest part of the fairgrounds. The livestock shows were held south of that building until the ladies who visited the county fair voiced their opinions about walking through the livestock areas in nice clothes.”

The historical society's goal is to preserve and promote the history of the county fairgrounds.

“We’ve gone through the financial records, and we kept the annual reports that have helped us find much knowledge,” Davis said. “We were able to tie things together for that building, and now we want to make it a historical site for Indiana and maybe even the nation.”

They also have found issues of older newspapers that document the earlier years of the Clinton County Fair.

“We have the results from the first county fair and the premiums, which is valuable information,” Davis said. “We also have records of where the older fairs were held to show off the advancements in mechanics in agriculture, food product preparation, and other interesting skills and activities. Not much has changed since the beginning.”

Davis believes it is important to maintain the history of agricultural organizations like the Clinton County Fairgrounds.

“Future generations must see how things used to be and how things have progressed,” Davis said. “I think it’s good for them to know where they came from and how we got to where we are today.”