Casselton was in the midst of its first state Corn Show on this day in 1913. Businessmen of the city planned the show to highlight the agriculture of the state, especially the growing and manufacturing of the several varieties of corn harvested in North Dakota. The city raised $1,500 to fund the event, and invested several months of preparation into throwing the show together. The show featured a 25-man band from Fargo, dozens of business booths featuring North Dakota products, hot-air balloon rides, carnival rides, a homemaker’s tent, several agricultural exhibits and demonstrations, nightly dances and daily parades, a motorcycle race, and a football game between Fargo and Casselton.
E. B. Klein, a prominent Casselton businessman, was in charge of the show’s decorating committee that covered the city in yellow, green, and white streamers. A gigantic arch made of corn and fodder was erected on the city’s main street, bearing the words “Corn is King” on one side, and “Welcome” on the other. The arch was over 25 feet high, and 38 feet long. Casselton’s main street was transformed into ‘Corn Row’, and featured product and machinery exhibits, corn displays, and entertainment pavilions. President Worst of the North Dakota Agricultural College opened the show with an informative presentation on crop rotation. Worst was considered one of the foremost agricultural experts in the nation at the time, and his speech was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience. North Dakota Governor Hanna closed the show with a second anticipated address.
Cash prizes were awarded in several categories to the show’s agricultural exhibitors. The coveted prize of ‘Corn King’ was awarded to Knute Tideman of Kindred for his gross yield of 109 bushels. His brother, Oscar, took second in the contest. A large number of Cass county schoolchildren also participated in the festivities; the North Dakota Better Farming Association created a separate judging category for the children to enter their produce in. The kids were also involved in a school parade on the last day of the show, and came in large numbers to see the juggling and ball-rolling sponsored by the show. All in all, the three-day event was a smashing success, both in terms of involvement and attendance.
Dakota Datebook written by Jayme L. Job
Fargo Forum and Daily Republican (Evening ed.). October 6, 1913: p. 1.
Fargo Forum and Daily Republican (Evening ed.) October 7, 1913: p. 1.
Fargo Forum and Daily Republican (Evening ed.) October 9, 1913: p. 1, 8.
Fargo Forum and Daily Republican (Evening ed.) October 13, 1913: p. 1.