From the past


A brief history moment….

The humble beginnings of the Preble County Fair started to take root shortly after the arrival of its earliest settlers. Some of the more “spirited” individuals decided to have regular gatherings to compare livestock beginning in 1805. Meetings would typically take place in the spring and fall of each year at a variety of locations around Eaton, including the barn of William Bruce, along the banks of Seven Mile Creek at the old “Public Church”, and even in back alleys. One of those alleys would be called “Black Horse Alley.”

Coming off the success of the 1849 Fair, the citizens of Preble County decided to organize an agricultural society and on April 13, 1850, the Preble County Agricultural Society was formed. The Preble County Courthouse was selected for the exhibits with the stock display to take place at the “Commons” south of town. Charter members were L.T. McCabe, Enock Taylor, Henry Monfort, Newton Larsh, Jessie Stubbs, Jacob Smith, and Peter Shidler.

In 1854, New Paris, located on the Dayton Western branch of the Pan Handle railroad, began to gain success as a business epicenter in the area and would host the fair in a park of four acres, “elegantly fitted for the occasion.” The Fair would return to Eaton the following year and in 1866 would move to its current location.

The Fair was canceled on three occasions, twice during the Civil War in 1863 and 1864 and again in 1942 following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the previous year and in 2020 the fair was limited to just Junior Fair activities. Fairgoers have been entertained by musicians, circuses, professional wrestling, horse racing, stunt shows, rodeos, demolition derbies, and many others.

Once a meeting place to gather and compare livestock for the men of the area where disputes were sometimes settled with a hickory club, the fair would find most of its success and growth through the junior fair and 4-H activities. Young or old, the fair has been entertaining us here in Preble County, in some form, for over 200 years.

25 years ago…

Wednesday, Aug. 5, 1998

The 170-foot bridge crossing over Twin Creek in the Lewisburg Village Park was completed. The bridge gave access to all 35 acres of the park and was just one of the many projects in store for the park.

50 years ago…

Wednesday, Aug. 1, 1973

Eaton youth Kent Vosler, son of Dr. and Mrs. John Vosler, received confirmation from the All-America Selection Committee of the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches of America that he was selected as a member of the 1973 High School All-American Team for his outstanding achievements in one-meter diving.

75 years ago…

Wednesday, Aug. 4, 1948

Patrolmen Dean A. Girton was called on to go above and beyond the call of duty when he was called to an accident on Route 40 near Lewisburg. A freight truck lost 215 bushels of peaches, which Patrolmen Girton and bystanders pitched in to help recover.

100 years ago…

Wednesday, Aug. 1, 1923

Fly Exterminator leaves town disappointed after no success. After several attempts to dispose of his goods, he was stopped flatly during a sales pitch to which he replied, “I never saw such a neat looking place as Eaton. But please tell me where is the dirtiest part of your town and I will go there?”, to which a local resident responded, “There is no such a place.”

The salesman could be heard mumbling something about there being no flies in Eaton as he walked away.

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