Saturday, August 11, 2012

Queen of the Rich County Fair, 1931.

18 year old Helen Rex, Queen of the Rich County Fair, 1931.

My cousin’s comment about the Rich County Fair following the most recent Bessie Morgan Rex letter here triggered a memory of my mother,  Helen Rex Frazier’s, participation in one such fair. I have this nice picture of her as the “fair queen.” My father used to explain her becoming queen at his hand—he purchased enough winning votes to assure her reign. I always thought it made a great story, however, since there is no one left to double check the truthfulness of the tale, I tried my hand at the newspapers found here. Sure enough! In 1931, eighteen year-old Helen Rex of Randolph, Utah, did win the title of Fair Queen, after she received 3300 votes. According to my father, Glenn Frazier, then twenty-two years old and from Woodruff, Utah, he purchased most of them.

Rich County Fair and Rodeo. – Fair and Rodeo days, Sept. 22-23 at Randolph were very stormy days. This has been the case for the last three years and the funny part of it was,  fair weather prevailed up until the night of Sept. 22, and fair weather prevailed next day preceeding [sic] the Fair. This has been the case for the last three years. There is perhaps nothing worse than a storm period to keep the people from the neighboring towns from attending.

Due to the heavy storm, the financial side of the Big Show went behind. But the rest of the show met the expectations of the association. It is really the Biggest and Best Fair and Rodeo of Rich County.

The Rodeo was the snappiest ever held at Randolph. Several riders were thrown. The first one out of the chute was thrown and received a broken arm. A little later Henry Byrne, Rich County rider had has [his] bronc fall with him breaking his leg just above the ankle. The second day another rider was thrown and his foot caught in the stirrup. He received a broken shoulder and several kicks before he was finally released. Two lady riders rode some of the wildest horses—they rode them! You bet!

The loud speaker service did not turn out like it should have done. It was good the first half day, but some thing went wrong with it and the remaining day and a half it was entirely out of use. The kiddies hour the first day was very good and enjoyed very much by the large crowd, the children were very much disappointed when the system went on the “blink.”

Perhaps one of the greatest features of the show and ones that were enjoyed by all, were the clown acts, the fancy lady rider and the professional roper, Mr. Rooker. It hardly seemed possible for so many ropes to be kept going at the same time. Mr. Rooker is indeed a professional and one of the best in the West. “Pinky” Gist, funny clown, with his trick bules [sic]were enjoyed very much by young and old, as was the lady fancy rider.

The pulling contest which was scheduled for the two days was pulled the second day and caused a great deal of excitement.

Owing to the stormy weather, and the Fair being postponed the first day, G. I. Becker, Utah’s famous sportsman was unable to come but the strong man set came off in good shape. Mr. Attson gave some wonderful exhibits of strength.

Another great attraction of the Fair was the crowing of the Queen at the dance the evening of Sept. 23. Queens were selected from each town. Randolph, in order to give the other towns a better chance in the voting, was allotted two Queens. This was done to divide the Randolph votes. Special costumes were rented for this occasion and a special throne built for the Queen. Miss Helen Rex, who received the greatest number of votes became queen of the Fair. The other four Queens became maids in waiting. The trumpeters followed by the Queen, the crown carrier, the train bearers, the maids in waiting and chairman of the Rich County Fair Association, marched to the throne, where chairman P. H. Rex, crowned Miss Helen Rex, Queen of the Fair. This made a very beautiful scene.

The Queen committee deserves much praise for their efforts in making this attraction a success.
Dances were held Sept. 22-23-24 and record breaking crowds attended each night.

All Committees and Fair workers are to be commended for the efforts they put forth to make this the greatest Fair held in Rich County. Bad weather was all that made this impossible. Rich County people are not discouraged but will try and have the Fair at least three weeks earlier next year.

Out of the 9,580 votes cast:
Helen Rex (Randolph)--3300
Lola Johnson (Laketown)--2450
Elgie Moss (Woodruff)--2420
Dollie Nicolls (Randolph)--1350
Charlotte Cottie (Garden City)--1320

List of prize winners will appear in next week’s issue of The Reaper

I have no idea who the child is next to Helen, or where this picture was taken. The chair she is sitting in appears to be one of her great grandmother Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck's dining room table chairs.


  1. What great research you have done. The rodeo sounds very dangerous.

  2. I agree, the Rich County Rodeo sounded rough and dangerous in 1931.