Dane County

Dane County Agricultural Society

In mid 1933, the Dane County Agricultural Society found itself almost $9,000.00 in debt from the 1932 Dane County Fair. Influenced by the seeming success of the stamp scrip circulated by the Central Wisconsin Fair in Marshfield, the Dane County organization proposed issuing self-liquidating stamp scrip to retire its debt.

The board initially proposed to issue an amount of scrip equal to its obligations to fully pay off the debts by August when the 1933 fair would take place. Merchants were wary of the amount to be issued so the board reduced the amount to $5,000.00.

The initial issue of 5,000 $1.00 pieces of scrip was issued at the end of June. It was paid out to the employees of the Agricultural Society and to its creditors. Fifty-seven merchants agreed to receive the scrip and to sell the $.02 stamps that were necessary to negotiate the scrip.

Despite a significant as campaign and support from the Chamber of Commerce, the scrip was not well received. The Agricultural Society reported in September 1933 that enough stamps had been sold to retire only 25% of the scrip. It was not until November that the first piece of scrip to have 50 stamps affixed was presented for redemption.

Despite a pledge to only issue $5,000.00 in scrip, the Agricultural Society reported in December 1933 that about $10,000,00 in scrip was still outstanding. It was not circulating well and when it did change hands it suffered a discount of up to 50%.

Mismanagement of the scrip issue plagued the Fair Association into 1936 when it unsuccessfully asked for $3,000.00 from Dane County to pay off the remaining matured certificates.

%d bloggers like this: