On this date in 1912, residents and visitors to Valley City, and students throughout Barnes County, had corn on the mind. Today marked the opening of Valley City’s big Corn Show, which included a Teachers’ and Boys’ Short Course in Agriculture.
The Armory building was decorated for exhibits, including poultry, produce, and booths for various businesses. Even that morning, additional exhibits were arriving by train or other means. These corn and industry exhibits numbered over two hundred and fifty.
There were lectures, shows, demonstrations of agricultural prowess, and even a basketball game. All schools throughout Barnes County had been dismissed, and a plethora of teachers and students attended. The teachers would not only take part in the festivities, but also attend the agricultural short course, which was promised to be “practical in every respect,” dealing with livestock and crop rotation. The teaching was to be done by specialists, including L. D. Center, who had been connected with the Agricultural College of Illinois and was a “leading authority on soils and farm crops.” He had originated an annual Farm Boys’ Encampment at the Illinois State Fair.
Children who came alone to the event were welcomed to stay overnight, and an information booth in the armory run by the local Commercial Club directed children to locations where they could “secure accommodations at moderate rates.”
The Times-Record reported that the Commercial Club, “speaking as a man,” wanted to see every Barnes County farmer in Valley City during the Corn show.
Dakota Datebook by Sarah Walker
Valley City Weekly Times-Record, December 5, 1912