Stock Fair Days
During the late 19th and early 20th Centuries Seymour earned a reputation for having one of the best stock fairs in the state. It was an opportunity for area farmers and agricultural agents to buy and sell livestock and farm produce. In many ways, it was similar to a modern farm market only at a much grander scale.
The population of Seymour, normally around 1,000, practically doubled during the second Tuesday of the month during the summer and fall. Morrow Street extending west from Main was the center of activity. Robert Kuehne became one of the largest livestock shippers in the state, averaging sixteen carloads a month.
In October of 1894, the Appleton Post reported that the monthly stock fair was increasing in popularity.
“Stock fair Day in Seymour has got to be a big affair. Last Tuesday every street, alley, barn, and vacant lot was covered with teams, wagons and livestock. Kuehne Bros. always carry off the lion’s share of the purchases. Usually five to seven carloads of stock are shipped on these occasions.”
Much of the population growth, from 733 to 936 in five years, could be attributed to the rich agricultural land and industrious farmers. The Appleton Post of November 24, 1896 praised the growth of Seymour and specifically stock shipper Robert Kuehne.
“Robert Kuehne has bought from R. C. McIntire the tract of land where he has his shipping yards. He is making immense shipments of livestock and his business has outgrown even the monthly stock fair day, which out ranks any other in the state, so that he has to begin shipping before the regular fair day so as to prevent a blockade. The stock fair is held the second Tuesday of each month and has grown to be an enormous business.
The city is always crowded, with 300 to 400 teams being present from the surrounding country. Frequent shipping days occur during the month, and many times a whole trainload of livestock goes out from here. It is a mystery where it all comes from. Very often two days are consumed in bringing to this market stock which formerly went to other places. The establishment of the fair has been a great boon for Seymour, and Robert Kuehne has been a public benefactor in this direction.
With six trains passing through Seymour every day, and the stock fair and agricultural fair drawing throngs of people, two new hotels were constructed around the turn of the century.