Mary E. Chadwick
Daughter of John A. Chadwick
Watertown Gazette, 10 01 1914
Miss Chadwick and Woman’s Work.
The last issue of The Wisconsin Agriculturist contains a fine half-tone cut of Miss Mary E. Chadwick of this city, also the following article:
“Miss Mary E. Chadwick, of Watertown, had charge of the Department of Woman’s Work at the State Fair. This work in its several classes will be described in a later issue of The Wisconsin Agriculturist.
“In regard to herself and her past work in this department, this efficient superintendent writes, at our request:
“’I did my first fair work when the Agricultural Society was in existence. A friend was then superintendent of woman’s work and she asked me to judge the knitting and crochet work; I felt it was quite an honor, and honor was all there was in it those days, for the judges received no remuneration — at least , I did not.
‘The late Clinton Babbit of Beloit was secretary that year. The following year I had a position in the office of T. L. Newton of Beaver Dam, the new secretary, keeping an entry book for the art department and making out the tags.
‘The State Fair in those days was held on the Cold Spring race track and the secretary’s office, for the week preceding the Fair, was in the Plankinton House. During Fair week the corps of clerks met at the hotel each morning and were transported to the grounds in a large bus drawn by four horses. It was quite an imposing sight. Later when the society purchased the present site, we had our troubles getting to and from the grounds as the transportation facilities were not as perfect as they are now, and the dummy engine which could haul but two loaded cars in a train was forced to stop very often to get up more steam before it could proceed to Thirty-fifth Street, where we changed to the street cars. When the state foreclosed the mortgage it held on the fair grounds and the Wisconsin State Board of Agriculture was formed, your editor, Mr. C. H. Everett, was the first secretary, and I assisted him, before the Fair, and after, in figuring out and sending the premiums.
‘During these years of work in the office I had observed many things which I thought could be improved upon, particularly in the women's work department, and when, in 1901, the board asked me to take charge of that department I consented, with the stipulation that I be permitted to select my assistants. Permission was granted me to do so and two that are with me this year have been with me each year. Altogether, I have had a most efficient corps of assistants and to that fact I attribute the success we have had.
‘I remember that each year articles were lost and often overlooked so that they had to be taken back to Madison where they were kept until called for, some never reaching their owners. I inaugurated a number of charges, and while fault was found by some, I am sure that most of the exhibitors have come to agree with me, and last year, for the first time since I have been connected with fair work, there was not one article that went astray.
‘I have had some experiences that were not altogether agreeable of course, but the pleasant things far outnumber the unpleasant ones and I have made some very good friends throughout the state, whom I am glad to meet at least once a year’”
Mary E. Chadwick
History of Watertown, Wisconsin