The Lehigh County Agricultural Society, with just pride, celebrated last year (1901) its semi-centennial.
Fifty years ago a number of leading farmers and enterprising citizens became interested in the project of forming an agricultural society, which was to have for its aim "the improvement and advancement of agriculture, horticulture, live stock, and domestic and mechanic arts."
Several counties in Massachusetts and other states had organized such societies, and were holding annual fairs which were doing much good in promoting the interests of agriculture in those communities.
A series of meetings were held during the years of 1850 and 1851 at the Eagle Hotel, Allentown ; at Ruchsville, Breinigsville, and Millerstown. The first one, however, at which definite action was taken, convened at the public house of William Leisenring in Egypt, Whitehall township, on January 24th, 1852, Daniel Beisel acting as president and Dr. D. A. Moser as secretary. There it was resolved to organize an agricultural society for Lehigh County, and to this end a committee consisting of Messrs. Jesse M. Line, of Allentown; John Yost, of Salisbury; Charles Witman, of Saucon; Chas. Foster, of Upper Milford; James F. Weiler, of Lower Macungie; William Mink, of Upper Macungie; Jacob Grim, of Weisenburg; Joseph Moser, of Lynn; David Knerr, of Lowhill; Andrew Peter, of Heidelberg; John Fenstermacher, of Washington; Edward Kohler, of North Whitehall; Peter Mickley, of South Whitehall; Charles Ritter, of Hanover, and George Beisel, of Northampton, was appointed to prepare a constitution and report at an adjourned meeting to be held in the room of the commissioners, in the Court House at Allentown, February 3d, 1852. On that day the meeting was held at the place designated, and an address, strongly favoring the project, was delivered by Hon. Robert E. Wright, Sr. A constitution was read and adopted, after which an organization was effected and officers were chosen for the new society. Edward Kohler, Esq., who had taken a prominent part in the movement, was elected the first president. This position he worthily held until 1855. Fifteen vice-presidents were chosen, one from each township; Mr. Jesse M. Line was elected recording secretary; Dr. David A. Moser, corresponding secretary, and Owen L. Schreiber, treasurer.
1. "History of the Lehigh County Agricultural Society", History, Petition for Charter, Constitution, By-Laws, and List of Members of the Lehigh County Agricultural Society, Press of Berkemeyer, Keck & Co., 1902, pages 5, 7.
Lehigh County Agricultural Society 1902 (Membership)