Skip to content Skip to navigation

One Hundred Years Old. The Oldest Agricultural Society in Canada. Centennial of the King’s County Agricultural Society of Norton, N.B.

Article Title: 
One Hundred Years Old. The Oldest Agricultural Society in Canada. Centennial of the King’s County Agricultural Society of Norton, N.B.
Page Number: 
Article Type: 
Article Contents: 

One Hundred Years Old.

The Oldest Agricultural Society in Canada.

Centennial of the King’s County Agricultural Society of Norton, N.B.

The Kings County Agricultural Society will celebrate the hundredth anniversary on the 10 December by the dinner at the American House, Wolfville, to which are Invited the leaders of the local Government and Opposition, the members of the Dominion and Local Houses for the county and the prominent gentleman. This is the oldest agricultural society in the Dominion, and one of the oldest in the world, agricultural society were said to have been established in Italy early in the last century, but the oldest in Great Britain is the well-known Highland Society founded in 1783. In America the South Caroline Society was established in 1784 and is still in existence. The Philadelphia society was founded the same year.

The Kings County Society was founded December l0th 1789. “For the better improvement of Husbandry, encouragement of Manufactures cultivation of Social Virtues acquirement of Useful Knowledge and to promote the good order and wellbeing of the Community to which we belong” and their seal was plough with the motto ‘Vive ert Viras’. The first officers were "Jonathan Crane Esq Prest., Mr. Jno. Thos Hill. Vice do, Mr. James Noble Shanoon, Treasurer.

Mr. Jas Fullerlon Secty, and Mr. David Dennison Steward”, The minute books of the society are intact from the first and in a great state of preservation and furnish interesting reading for the student of Agriculture and history. That corporation was understood by the founders is evident from the fact that among the first business transacted was the appointment of an "agent In Halifax for the Vending of Beef etc” and inspectors were appointed whose business it was to see “That cattle sent to the agent were fit for market”' and the Cattle were divided in lots and each lot balloted for and sent in its turn. Although the “better improvement of husbandry” naturly occupied the greater part of the resources of the society, it by no means neglected the other objects that led to its formation, for in glancing trough the minutes we find that the members in addition to buying impured stock and seeds, making experiments in fertilizing land with marsh mud, lime, and plaster, treating new or strange crops, holding fairs and ploughing matches, found time and money to fence the public burying ground, buy a ‘Pall’ for the use of the community, institute Sabbath Schools and pay the teachers, found a circulating library— and also to recommend to the Town meeting and Court of Sessions needed reforms from time to time. Composed as the society always has been of the more prominent men of the place, these recommendations generally met a ready response, and it is within a few years that a memorial from the Society to the Municipal Council led to the purchase of a poors farm for the township Horton, which has resulted In decreased taxation and a great improvement In the condition of the poor. Although Dr. O. W. Holmes bas said:

Little of all we value here;
Wakes on the morn of its hundredth year
Without feeling and looking remarkably queer”
The King’s County Society bids fair to enter on its second century in a vigorous manner without any special peculiarities. In its venerable old age it has seen the Grange movement spring into sudden popularity, and as suddenly decline,' while the old society has held its even course, doing its work in an unostentatious manner,—and there seems no reason why it should not celebrate Its two hundredth anniversary.

The following are the names of first members of the Society. Some of them are now extinct in Kings County, but the majority are still to be found on or in the vicinity of the farms their fathers tilled, and are still as they were one hundred years ago, among the leading names of the place. Some of the names will not be unfamiliar in this community, the first on the list being that of the father of the late Hon. WM. Orane, Saokville, while others are almost equally well-known:

Jonathan Crane, Saml. Leonard, Wm. Read, Jes Allison, Jr, David Dennison, Thodorus Palmer, Simon Flich, John Thos. Hill, James Johnson Joshua Benett, J. Noble Shannon James Fullerton, Nath, Calkin, Jacob Bacon, Abijah Scott, Wm. Allison, Daniel Harris, Robt Çrowe, John Filils, Jr. , Robt. Leard, John Allison, Laurel Harding, Ellisha Fuller, Saml. Avery, David Borden, Chas Rathbern, Ellhua Woodsworth, S.Lilmore, Gideon Bigelow, Eleaxer Bishop, John Elderkin, Loran DeWolf, J. Noble Crane, Daniel Harris, Jeremiah Calkin. Jr. Abraham Leonard, Robert D. Bishop, Oliver DeWolf.