Central Wisconsin State Fair Association

In 1932, the assets of the Central Wisconsin State Fair Association were tied up in the First National Bank at Marshfield which closed earlier that year.  The Association received $2,700.00 from Wood County to pay the prizes for the agricultural exhibits at the fair.  An additional $5,400.00 was to be provided by the State of Wisconsin if the Fair Association could demonstrate the ability to pay $2,700.00.  The State refused to pay its portion while the Fair Association’s money was tied up in the closed bank.    

When attempts to raise the money privately or through another appropriation from Wood County failed, the Fair Association approved the issuing of stamp scrip to pay the prizes.  The scrip required the purchase of a $.02 stamp upon every exchange or at least once per week. 

The scrip was not well received by the local merchants who found it cumbersome and objected to the stamp requirement.  Eventually, the local utilities were persuaded to accept it but often ended up with the entire issue being paid to it in a month.  The City of Marshfield was also convinced to pay it out to its employees.  This finally put the scrip in good stead and kept it circulating.

The amount of scrip issued was supposed to be no greater than $3,000.00.  The Fair Association issued more than this amount but the exact amount is unknown.  While the Fair Association issued the scrip, the local Commercial Club was responsible for handling the stamps and redeeming it.  When the Commercial Club became aware of the fact that the Fair Association issued more than the expected amount, the Commercial Club took possession of the remaining unissued notes and the printing plates. 

Most of the scrip was liquidated through the stamp process.  George S. Wood, the secretary of the Commercial Club, kept 350 unissued and 30 issued notes.  He destroyed the remaining notes in his possession.  Many of the unissued notes have sheets of unused stamps pasted inside them.  The remaining issued notes have the stamps pasted in singly with the initials of the user inscribed on them.

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