The Missouri State Fair Begins

Representative Cyrus F. Clark, Mexico, introduced the bill that established the Missouri State Fair in January 1899. Backed by Governor Lon V. Stephens and the influential Missouri Swine Breeder’s Association, Horse Breeder’s Convention, and State Poultry Association, it passed in April of that year. Given eighty days to select a site, the State Board of Agriculture requested bids. Centralia, Chillicothe, Marshall, Mexico, Moberly, and Sedalia responded. Brisk competition culminated with the selection of Sedalia. The inaugural Fair opened in 1901.

House Bill 279, signed January 19, 1899.
Established the Missouri State Fair.
Missouri State Archives

House Bill 879, signed May 24, 1899.
Legislative appropriation funding the Fair.
Missouri State Archives

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