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Full text of "At the sign of the Stock yard inn : the same being a true account of how certain great achievements of the past have been commemorated and cleverly linked with the present; together with sundry recollections inspired by the portraits at the Saddle and sirloin club"

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AT THE SIGN OF 
THE STOCK YARD INN 

THE SAME BEING A TRUE ACCOUNT OF 
HOW CERTAIN GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS OF 
THE PAST HAVE BEEN COMMEMORATED 
AND CLEVERLY LINKED WITH THE PRESENT; 
TOGETHER WITH SUNDRY RECOLLEC- 
TIONS INSPIRED BY THE PORTRAITS 
AT THE SADDLE AND SIRLOIN CLUB 



By ALVIN HOWARD SANDERS, D. AGR.,LL.D. 

EDITOR "THE BREEDER'S GAZETTE." 
AUTHOR OF "SHORTHORN CATTLE" 
AND "THE STORY OF THE HEREFORDS" 



Slock. 



WV-:, 



CHICAGO 

BREEDERS GAZETTE PRINT 

1915 



Copyright, 1915, 

BY SANDERS PUBLISHING CO. 

All rights reserved. 



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TABLE OF CONTENTS 

I— The Saddle and Sirloin Club 5-7 

II— An International Triumph 8-10 

III— The Grasp of a Friendly Hand 1 1-20 

IV— The Lighting of a Torch 21-26 

V— Dreams Come True 27-32 

VI— The Trophies of Miltiades 33-39 

VII— A Sanctum Sanctorum 40-45 

VIII— Aladdin's Lamp 46-50 

IX— Durham Divinities 51-59 

X— The Grassy Lanes of Hurworth 60-66 

XI— From Sire to Sons 67-73 

XII— A Master of Arts 74-88 

XIII— Romance of the Dukes and Duchesses 89-107 

XIV— The First Farmer of England 108-1 14 

XV— Northern Lights 1 15-125 

XVI— Creators of Pastoral Wealth 126-137 

XVII— "The Herdsman of Aberdeenshire" 138-143 

XVIII— When Success Came to Sittyton 144-154 

XIX— A Baronial Hall 155-160 

XX— Beginnings of Illinois Cattle-Breeding 161-170 

XXI— "Set Ye Up a Standard in the Land" 171-186 

XXII— The Sunny Slopes of Linwood 187-200 

XXIII-Aftermath 201-208 

XXIV— A Knight of the Golden Days 209-220 

XXV— The Inspiration of the Inn 221-224 

XXVI— History in the Making 225-238 

XXVII— Some Purely American Achievements 239-246 

XXVIII— The Laird of Netherhall 247-250 

XXIX— A Lover of the Land 251-256 

XXX-Fiat Lux 257-262 

XXXI— The Call of a Distant Past 263-285 

XXXII— Some Steps in Live-Stock Journalism 286-294 

XXXIII— Where Production and Distribution Meet 295-304 

XXIV— "Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot?" 305-3 1 6 

XXXV— A Wayside Shrine 317-319 

XXXVI-Falling Leaves 320-322 



333972 



To the members of the 
Saddle and Sirloin Glub 
and kindred spirits of 
every land, this volume 
is dedicated by 

The Author 



THE SADDLE AND SIRLOIN CLUB 

To those who are interested directly or indirectly 
in the Nation's greatest industry the Saddle and 
Sirloin Club has, from its very inception, appealed 
with compelling force. To those who are familiar 
with the history of modern husbandry and with the 
development of the leading types of improved domes- 
tic animals found in Great Britain and America, the 
Club is simply fascinating. To those who find in its 
quiet precincts a restful place of refuge in the heart 
of a more or less forbidding environment it is a source 
of endless satisfaction. In all directions round about 
there is naught but drear monotony and commonplace, 
a wilderness of bricks and yards and passageways, 
and over all there hangs persistently the pall of 
smoke emitted by the craters of ceaseless and co- 
lossal commercial activities. 

To those who glory in the triumphs of the 
master minds of the animal breeding world it is a joy 
forever. Members and guests alike feel instinctively 
the touch of its refining atmosphere. Even those 
who know nothing of the history of the Club and 
have no acquaintance with the names or deeds com- 
memorated by the portraits hanging upon its walls 
cannot fail to sense at once the presence of a 



AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



psychologic influence distinctly inspiring in its char- 
acter and operation. 

Thousands hurry by it day by day, yet know it 
not. Many enjoy its creature comforts, but few there 
be who catch its real significance. The vast majority 
of those who pass its portals know merely this: it 
serves as a convenient rendezvous for all those whose 
interests center within the busiest square mile of 
territory in all this world; a place where men contest 
fiercely and continuously for the prizes of successful 
competition; where power meets power and the race 
is only to the strong. 

You may be amazed at the overwhelming demon- 
strations of modern industrial efficiency seen in 
Packingtown. You may note that the Exposition 
Building's northern wall forms one side of the peace- 
ful courtyard of the beautiful Stock Yard Inn. You 
may stop for luncheon at the Glub, and may manifest 
a languid interest in its pictures. Some may be able 
to grasp the true relationship of all these things, one 
with the other; but unless you have some familiarity 
with the story, unless your memory can take you back 
to a day when there was no Inn, no International 
Show, no Glub, and above all unless one has at least 
a speaking acquaintance with the more notable 
Saddle and Sirloin portraits, one will miss entirely 



THE SADDLE AND SIRLOIN CLUB 



that which means so much to a rapidly-passing gen- 
eration. 

You who have heard day after day and night after 
night the applause of splendid audiences as the final 
proofs cf man's mastery of the mysteries of animal 
procreation and development have been presented in 
the great amphitheatre; you who have adjourned 
from the ringside to the taproom of the Inn, or 
sought the cozy corners of the Club to discuss the 
wonders of the shows; you who toil daily within the 
Yards — may appreciate fully the privileges you enjoy, 
and again you may not. 

I stood one day before the pictures of Tom Booth 
and Robert Alexander recalling visions bright and 
vistas fair of Warlaby and Woodburn. Some strangers 
passed that way, apparently pleased and interested. 
Obviously, however, they could not see the pictures 
I was contemplating. In another room I stopped. 
Linwood and Oaklawn were pulling at my heart- 
strings. Triumphs and tragedies unforgettable were 
passing in review on every hand, all unseen by those 
who were wandering aimlessly through the galleries. 
That night an impulse seized me. Was it possible 
to communicate to others even a faint reflection of 
the treasures of this place of dreams? Was it within 
the power of anyone to convey to the members of 



AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



this unique organization and their many guests, any 

adequate explanation of the reason why we find 

there so much to admire and even reverence? Gould 

words be found that might serve even in slight degree 

to give outward expression to what is inwardly felt 

by many of those who frequent lovingly the Saddle 

AND Sirloin Glub? And my fancy at the moment 

took this turn: 

Stranger within our gates, whoe'er thou art, 
Within these silent walls ye may commune 
With lofty spirits of a mighty past, 
Rich in achievements wrought in fruitful fields 
And benefactions rendered human kind. 

Here have we builded us an inner shrine 
Wherein the wrangling of the busy market place 
Obtrudeth not; whereto, in quiet hours we come 
To cast aside each selfish sordid thought 
And pledge ourselves to high ideals anew. 

So now, dear reader, if you would follow me in an 
effort at sketching broadly some of the stories that 
cluster around the Saddle and Sirloin Glub, I bid 
ye summon to your aid at once that intangible attri- 
bute of the human intellect, that essence of the soul 
perhaps — by whatever name it may be called — that 
lifts man high above the level of the brute creation: 
the power that can irradiate with living light dim 
places and dumb walls or hang a halo round the 
apparently commonplace. It comes not quickly at 



THE SADDLE AND SIRLOIN CLUB 



one's beck and call. Indeed, by some it is invoked 
in vain. With most of us, however, it is susceptible 
of successful cultivation. It is the subtle product of 
an abiding love for the higher and more elevating 
things of life, and finds fruition only in a knowledge 
of them. It comes, of course, in fullest measure to 
those favored of the gods who habitually seek and 
find "sermons in stones and good in everything." 



II 

AN INTERNATIONAL TRIUMPH 

All day long the cumulative work of generations 
of men had been on exhibition. Valued at well beyond 
the million mark, the latest creations of the art of 
arts had been admired and studied by a seething 
mass of humanity, to which city and country alike 
had generously contributed. With the lure of living, 
breathing, physical perfection strong in all their 
hearts, they had followed with unflagging enthusiasm 
the endless competitions and parades. Never had 
such appreciation been manifested in such a presen- 
tation. Never had the display of models been so 
splendid. Old countrymen familiar with the English 
Royal, the Scottish National and London's Smithfield 
frankly expressed amazement at the degree of per- 
fection, the quality and fidelity to type displayed. 

Ambassadors of foreign powers diplomatically dis- 
cussed the results achieved in America as contrasted 
with those obtained abroad. The Secretary of Agri- 
culture exchanged felicitations with the official repre- 
sentatives of neighboring nations. Governors of many 
states rejoiced in the visible evidences of the rural 
riches of our Western Commonwealths. Wall Street 
men rubbed elbows with magnates of the western 
range, or talked of Glydes and Shropshires. Everybody 



AN INTERNATIONAL TRIUMPH 



met or wanted to meet the English judge who had 
crossed the seas to apportion championship rosettes. 
Guests from the Orient and the Argentine concealed 
not their surprise and keen delight at the superb 
character and overwhelming extent of the exhibits. 

Presidents of universities, directors of agricultural 
experiment stations, landlords and tenants, feeders, 
farmers, students, packers, commission merchants, 
buyers and salesmen of high and low degree, men, 
and women too, from widely separated sections of 
our country, followed with an interest unrestrained 
the hard-fought battles of the ring. Rival college 
delegations shouted loud defiance back and forth 
across the field until all were hoarse. The thrill of 
combat was in the blood. The enthusiasm was elec- 
tric. The very air was charged. But at length the 
strenuous day was done. 

Massively magnificent and splendidly impressive 
incarnations of animate power in heavy harness thun- 
dered out of the great arena to the crash of brass 
and drums and the plaudits of the multitude. The 
assembled thousands rose en masse, and cheer upon 
cheer resounded throughout the amphitheatre. The 
last act of a stirring, realistic drama had been suc- 
cessfully staged. The throngs were quickly swallowed 
up in the crowded city street, and presently the 



10 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



brilliant scene had faded like the insubstantial pageant 
of a dream. 

At the Saddle and Sirloin Club a half hour 
later the big events of a satisfying day were being 
discussed by loitering groups of men engrossed in 
the interpretation of the real significance of these 
tremendous demonstrations. The International Live 
Stock Exposition, greatest of all competitions of its 
kind the world has ever seen, had gripped the nation. 
From gilded coigns of vantage on the walls choice 
spirits of another age looked down in mute approval; 
and thereby hangs this tale. 



Ill 

THE GRASP OF A FRIENDLY HAND 

Contrary to general understanding the estab- 
lishment of the International Live Stock Exposition 
was not the first move made by the present man- 
agement of the Chicago Union Stock Yards in the 
interest of progressive animal husbandry in the Mid- 
west states. The comparatively inferior character 
of the bulk of the cattle receipts at central markets 
quickly attracted attention. The one effective blow 
to 'be struck at this obvious weakness in cornbelt 
production was the elimination of the scrub or native 
sire, and the substitution of purebreds. 

Arthur G. Leonard is nothing if not direct in his 
instincts and methods. He had easily diagnosed the 
disease, and the remedy to be applied was indicated 
so plainly that anybody could write the prescription. 
With characteristic celerity he had soon evolved a 
comprehensive plan for distributing well-bred bulls 
on terms that would insure their being placed at once 
in service in various farming communities. The idea 
was of course similar to that upon which James J. 
Hill has acted in Great Northern territory. Prom- 
inent railway managers were approached and inter- 
ested in the project. This was before the era when 
baiting the transportation companies became such a 



12 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



popular and expensive national pastime, and the lines 
were able at that date to extend a cut rate for the 
handling of these missionary bulls. Before the plan 
was matured, however, its sponsor became convinced 
that while his remedy for the deplorable condition 
existing — the scarcity of good cattle — was the only 
one, he was in error as to who should apply it. It 
did not take long to convert him to the proposition 
that the breeders of the country were ready, willing, 
anxious and able to furnish these bulls direct to all 
customers at living prices; that anything like a broad 
distribution at the expense largely of the Union 
Stock Yard Company, and the transportation lines, 
would really be cutting the ground out from under 
the feet of the very persons who most of all needed 
the strong arm of a powerful ally in the fight they 
were making for more and better cattle on the farms. 
And so the bull business was forthwith abandoned 
for reasons which in this case appeared to be wholly 
sound. 

"Where there is a will there is a way." The dis- 
position to do something was present all right. It 
was merely a question of the form the energy would 
assume, and the country had not long to wait. 
"The show's the thing." That was the answer. And 
lo! the International Live Stock Exposition! 



THE GRASP OF A FRIENDLY HAND 13 



We must acknowledge at the outset our deep 
indebtedness to Great Britain for a majority of the 
most valuable varieties of improved domestic animals 
that have proved so useful and profitable in the 
development of our live stock industries; and in this 
same connection concede the fact that to Britain's 
historic colonial possession, our neighbor of the north, 
the Dominion of Canada, we are beholden for much 
that has been helpful and inspiring to our own 
people, both in the matter of men and materials 
in the upbuilding of our herds, studs and flocks. To 
Ontario especially we have turned time and again 
when seeking to call our own farmers to the colors 
of animal breeding as practiced so successfully for 
so many generations by our Scotch and English 
cousins. In that province have been implanted and 
preserved by men of British ancestry that same 
abiding faith in, and fondness for, good horses, sheep 
and cattle that have made England the birthplace 
and nursery of so much that the world enjoys in 
the way of highly developed animal life. 

Our Canadian brethren have for a great many 
years maintained at the Ontario capital one of the 
best managed agricultural exhibitions on either con- 
tinent. It is admirably conducted, is patronized and 
stoutly supported by the best men in Dominion and 



1-4 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



Provincial business and official life, and is an edu- 
cational institution of highest value, famous for its 
"get together" luncheons and banquets at which a 
spirit of mutual good will and public enterprise is 
fostered with extraordinary annual success. It was 
while in. attendance at one of these Toronto shows 
some years ago that a group of men including 
Robert B. Ogilvie, William E. Skinner, Mortimer 
Levering and G. Howard Davison conceived the 
idea of creating a great national show at Chicago, 
to be managed by and for the stock-breeding and 
producing interests of North America, and under- 
written financially by the Stock Yard Company. The 
scheme was laid before Mr. Leonard, who recog- 
nized at once the splendid vista opened. Here was 
the ideal method of putting the great resources and 
potential facilities of the Stock Yard property be- 
hind the live stock industry in a practical and super- 
latively effective manner. 

John A. Spoor, at that time President of the 
company, is an able and conservative man. His 
company was in the stock yard business first of all; 
but he was in full sympathy with everything that 
promised to promote American live stock interests, 
so long as it did not interfere with the just measure 
of his official responsibility to those whose invest- 



THE GRASP OF A FRIENDLY HAND 15 



ments were intrusted directly to his charge. He 
had implicit confidence in the good faith and judg- 
ment of his manager, Mr. Leonard. The big under- 
taking in short received his tentative approval, and 
later his unequivocal and hearty commendation. 

The initial convention called to commit the breed- 
ing interests of the country to the support of the 
projected International assembled in the hall of the 
Live Stock Exchange in November, 1899. The 
writer of these notes can bear personal testimony 
to the enthusiasm that prevailed upon that mem- 
orable occasion, because the most agreeable duty 
of serving that meeting in the capacity of Chair- 
man fell to our lot; and later — since this now per- 
force takes on more or less of the character of 
personal recollections with an unavoidable tinge of 
autobiography — we had the privilege of presiding for 
the first ten years of the show's existence at the 
meetings of its Board of Directors. Looking back 
at this distance I cannot refrain from paying high 
compliment to the unselfish devotion of the men 
who originally planned the rules, regulations and 
classifications of this great national institution, and at 
great personal sacrifice attended the meetings and 
superintended the launching of so great an enter- 
prise. In the course of some thirty years of identi- 



16 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



fication with the interests centered in this show, 
the writer has sustained various official relations 
with many representative men; but retrospection far 
extended brings to mind no pleasanter associations 
than those connected with the upbuilding of the 
International Live Stock Exposition. 

Let not those who view the show now after a 
lapse of fifteen years imagine that it blossomed into 
full flower in a night. Quite the contrary. Tem- 
porary and decidedly cramped accommodations for 
both man and beast were at first all that could be 
offered. But the disposition to help was there, and 
slowly but surely it won for itself liberal treatment 
at the hands of the Stock Yard Company and in- 
creasing patronage from the public. 

It was only a question of time when a great 
permanent building would be erected primarily for 
the benefit of the International. This of course 
involved the occupancy of a large tract of enor- 
mously valuable real estate and the erection of a 
huge fireproof structure specially adapted to ex- 
hibition purposes. Once more Mr. Spoor was ap- 
proached with the proposition to risk a large sum 
of money in a collateral enterprise, and again he 
demonstrated his faith in the soundness of Mr. 
Leonard's judgment, and in the future of animal 



THE GRASP OF A FRIENDLY HAND 17 



husbandry. He was already carrying the heavy 
financial responsibility directly entailed by these an- 
nual shows. Not only had prizes and all running 
expenses to be met, but there was ever hanging 
over head the matter of possible and unknown lia- 
bilities in the event of accident or some untoward 
disaster supervening. 

All that was suggested by President Spoor was 
that those chiefly concerned in the establishment 
of the big show on a permanent footing come for- 
ward with a guarantee fund of $50,000 to be 
subscribed by life members of a breeders' organiza- 
tion to be known as the International Live Stock 
Exposition Association; the fund to be placed on 
deposit, and both principal and interest allowed to 
accumulate until such time as its use in whole or 
in part might be determined in some manner mutu- 
ally satisfactory. This amount was promptly sub- 
scribed and paid in, the contract for the big structure 
on Halsted Street was let, and in 1905 the "house- 
warming" was duly celebrated. The contributors to 
the fund which thus insured the permanency of the 
International deserve to be held in grateful remem- 
brance. Those who came forward in this manner 
at that time demonstrated their interest in sub- 
stantial fashion, and they should not be forgotten 



18 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



by those who are now profiting, nor by those who 
will hereafter benefit by their act. Needless to add, 
it was not the $50,000 itself that the Stock Yard 
Company desired, but rather the establishment of 
an underlying personal stake in the success of the 
undertaking and the assurance of continued active 
support which the raising of the fund at that crisis 
represented. 

William E. Skinner, who served so successfully 
during many trying years as General Manager of the 
show, came to the States from Canada early enough 
in life to imbibe from his adopted country a good 
share of that optimism and largeness of vision that 
seems given to many who have been caught in the 
whirlwind progress of these United States towards 
unparalleled material accomplishments. Moreover, 
he hauled up in the boundless booming West, where 
familiarity for many years with the towering Rockies 
and the uncharted range instilled into his alert and 
retentive mind vivid conceptions of heights and 
depths and breadths immeasurable. He brought to 
the work of helping the International upon its feet 
not only the oxygen of the western plains and 
prairies, but a personal acquaintance with the stock- 
men of the trans-Mississippi country as wide as it 
was cordial and intimate. Put Skinner off at any 



THE GRASP OF A FRIENDLY HAND 19 



station west of Omaha, and he would probably call 
by his first name the first man he met, be he hack- 
driver, cow-puncher, ranch or railway superintendent, 
range owner, governor, congressman or a Senator 
of the United States, and the familiarity instead of 
being resented would bring the hearty greetings of 
good-fellowship growing out of mutual experiences 
or aspirations. 

As manager of the International, Mr. Skinner 
gained the confidence of those whose support was 
most essential to success. While his paths in more 
recent years have run in other directions, he will 
ever be credited by those who worked at his side 
in the old International days as one of the most 
potent of all factors in the evolution of the greatest 
of all modern live stock shows. 

However, this is not to be a history of the In- 
ternational. That institution, worthy as it is of a 
volume in itself, is but one of several outward 
evidences of the forward movement of the recent 
past in our live stock progress. The show is a 
material evidence of great forces effectively wielded 
in a practical direction. Behind the conception of 
the Saddle and Sirloin Glub and the erection of 
the Inn, is a recognition of the power of sentiment 
in its relation to work-a-day business affairs that is 



20 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



as unusual as it is intrinsically valuable, and it is to 
this, more particularly, that we would now address 
ourselves. 



IV 

THE LIGHTING OF A TORCH 

The initial successes of the International brought 
forward many problems pressing for solution. Among 
others this : How were the men who must be relied 
upon to make the Exposition, and how were the 
distinguished guests which such an institution was 
beginning to attract from all over the world, to be 
properly entertained and welcomed ? The antiquated 
hostlery, the Transit House, dingy and out of date, 
was impossible in that connection. Still it was there. 
It had served for a full generation, and must still be 
utilized. Then came the beginning of a solution. 

It all happened one afternoon in June, 1903. 
Mr. Leonard, Mr. Ogilvie and the writer of these 
rambling notes were passengers aboard a Chicago & 
Northwestern Railway train bound for the most 
beautiful of our inland capitals — the city of Madison, 
Wis. To be more explicit, we were on our way to 
pay a visit to the agricultural college of the great 
university, which from its semi -Venetian throne of 
beauty dominates a panorama of surpassing loveli- 
ness. Dean Henry was to be our host, and as the train 
raced northward through pastures green and fer- 
tile fields, we fell a-talking on a subject ever near 

21 



22 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



the heart of each — the development of a higher 
type of animal husbandry in the United States. 

The International Show, it was agreed, would 
serve as a rallying point for all who were interested 
in the flesh-making breeds, and it had already been 
proved that the draft, coaching and saddle types of 
horses could be made a big feature of the exhibition. 
Ogilvie was the especial advocate of those interests 
in the earlier conferences, and it must be confessed 
that at first he fought almost single-handed for their 
recognition. His acquaintance with the stock-breed- 
ing interests of Great Britain and America was 
extensive, dating back to the daring days when men 
of dauntless courage and boundless enthusiasm 
bid up to $40,000 for single specimens of a rare 
old bovine tribe. He had personally known all the 
leading luminaries of the American pedigree stock- 
breeding world, and had himself bred and exhibited 
successfully for a series of years Clydesdale horses 
of a type refined far beyond the average of their 
day. One needs but mention the name MacQueen 
to conjure up in the minds of the old guard of 
American showmen one of the chief ornaments of 
the draft horse competitions of a generation past, 
and one of the most noted breeding horses of his 
time, not to mention rare brood mares and flash 



THE LIGHTING OF A TORCH 23 



fillies always set before the judges in perfect bloom 
— and always the recipients of high honors at the 
hands of discriminating committees on awards. 

A Canadian by birth, and for many years engaged 
in merchandising in Chicago and Madison, Ogilvie 
had all his life been a constant attendant at the 
best Dominion and American shows and sales, and 
in his time he has probably been familiar with more 
of the important American collections of purebred 
cattle, horses, sheep and swine than any man now 
living. At Blairgowrie Farm he was able for some 
years to gratify his ambitions and indulge his fond- 
ness for Scotland's famous horse of heavy draft, 
and upon closing out all his Wisconsin interests his 
services became available in connection with the 
management of the International, with the Horse 
Department of which he has ever since been actively 
identified; and to his untiring efforts and ripe expe- 
rience is primarily due the triumphant success of 
that section of the big show. It is but a simple 
statement of fact to say that at the beginning his 
department was looked upon by all, save himself, as 
a more or less questionable side issue — a feature to be 
tolerated perhaps, but which promised little. If con- 
founding one's contemporaries and colleagues affords 
real satisfaction, Mr. Ogilvie must, in the light of 



24 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



what has since transpired, now be enjoying solid 
mental comfort as he views the splendid proportions 
into which this department of the International has 
developed. 

Robert Ogilvie is one of those who understand 
perfectly the weary years of work that lie behind the 
production of an outstanding animal of any type, no 
matter in what class it may be presented. He is 
one of those who glory in the accomplishments of 
the great constructive breeders of the past. Like 
all of the "initiated" he walks in spirit with Bake- 
well, the GoLLiNGS, old Tom Booth, Bates, Torr, and 
the laird of Ury. He kens McGombie too of Tillyfour 
and the Keillor Watsons. The Gruigkshanks, Jonas 
Webb and Tomkins are among the heroes he has 
canonized. 

Proper *'making-up" for show he recognizes at 
a glance, whether among Shorthorn bulls, the Here- 
ford calves or "humlie" bullocks. The best of shep- 
herds are keenly alive to the fact that he also has 
an eye for a proper woolly type or a 'leg o' mutton" 
rightly filled. Few can tell you more of Percherons, 
Shires, Belgians, Hackneys, Suffolks, Shetlands — all 
are to him alike familiar friends; and when the 
Clydesdale clans foregather, the sons of the shaggy, 
misty Northland, those who were born and reared 



THE LIGHTING OF A TORCH 25 



where the heather grows and blooms, can recall no 
more of the brilliant history of their favorites nor retail 
recollections of old days, great men and shows or 
epoch-making sires with finer grace or larger wealth 
of fit vocabulary! In these excursions into the lives 
and work of the masters who have founded and 
carried forward our modern breeds, as a raconteur 
of incidents and "accidents by flood and field" in the 
realm of animal breeding, it must be said that since 
the death of the lamented Richard Gibson — peace 
be to dear old ''Dick"! — Robert Ogilvie stands alone. 
But we are still aboard that train for Madison. 
Mr. Leonard had already carried out another im- 
portant enterprise in behalf of American stock- 
breeding; no more nor less than the erection of a 
building at the Yards in which various national 
pedigree registry associations should find a home, 
rent free, and a convention hall for members' meet- 
ings. We talked of this enthusiastically for a time, 
and then came the grand idea ! A club room? Yes, 
but what sort ? Primarily, of course, a place for the 
daily comfort of those in business at the Yards, but 
why not extend the proposition in such way as to 
make it a real haven of rest, a boon and blessing 
beyond compare, to those who shall come from far 
and near to see the great show, or participate in 



26 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



the conventions, banquets and other functions by 
which the newly-established crowning event of the 
year in American stock-breeding circles would surely 
be, in due course of time, annually attended ? The 
old hotel had no adequate accommodations of the 
sort required. To that all readily enough agreed. 
And as we journeyed on, a vision was unfolded. 
There was painted in fancy the beneficent ends to 
be subserved in a thousand different ways by the 
club of our dreams! An institution with incalculable 
possibilities ! The potential center of inspirations to 
be felt to the very outermost edges of a great 
periphery! And presently all that was lacking was 
its name! Before Madison was reached that point 
was settled once for all. To men who knew and 
reveled in the works of Dixon — "The Druid" of happy 
memory, whose apt titles and unrivaled volumes 
on British country life are still the delight of all 
appreciative men — the matter of a name for such 
a club as that in mind presented no problem what- 
soever. That was the least of the impediments. 
The decision was unanimous. 

And so the Saddle and Sirloin Glub — projected 
under a title now universally recognized as distinc- 
tive, significant, and in extraordinary degree appro- 
priate — was born. 



DREAMS COME TRUE 

The International had now been fairly started upon 
its spectacular career. The Pedigree Record Building 
had been completed and advantage taken of its hospi- 
table accommodations by a number of the important 
national registry associations. Best of all, the Club 
had been organized upon a permanent basis and 
given a home substantially and comfortably furnished. 

Splendid encouragement had now been extended 
by the John A. Spoor management to the producing 
industries. True, some effort had been made by the 
preceding administration at the Yards to lend a 
helping hand, but not so lavishly. The late John B. 
Sherman was for years General Manager of the 
Company. His splendidly executed bust — a partic- 
ularly faithful piece of modeling by Carlo Romanelli 
— may be seen in the Club library. While not com- 
monly credited with doing much for the encourage- 
ment of stock-breeding, Mr. Sherman, nevertheless, 
had been a contributor to the old fat stock shows 
of the early days — along with P. D. Armour and 
other Stock Yard magnates — and at considerable 
expense to his company, although with little profit 
to the cattle business, purchased a number of the 

27 



28 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



most famous of the bullocks sent into the first 
Lake Front shows, and maintained them in charge 
of that good old-time feeder, James Thompson, as a 
sort of side-show at the Yards, returning them year 
by year to the old Exposition Building at weights 
calculated to astonish cub reporters and lay folk 
generally. A steer called "Nels Morris" was sent 
downtown in 1880 at a weight of 3,125 pounds, 
and was carried over and returned in 1881, still 
weighing 2,900 pounds. He might have competed 
over a hundred years ago with ''The Durham Ox" 
or "The White Heifer that Traveled," but certainly 
served no useful purpose in 1880. 

Recognition should also be made in this connec- 
tion of the effort made by Elmer Washburn during 
the closing years of the old regime in the direction of 
a closer rapprochement with the patrons of the Yards. 
While the National Cattle Growers' Association of 
that period was endeavoring to secure legislation at 
Washington for the better protection of our herds 
and flocks from the threatened ravages of conta- 
gious pleuro-pneumonia and other devastating animal 
plagues, Mr. Washburn — who was manager of the 
Yards for several years — not only gave liberally of 
his time but money to the support of the movement, 
serving as a member of its executive committee. 



DREAMS COME TRUE 29 



DeWitt Smith of Sangamon Go., 111., then, as now, 
a man of commanding presence, influence and char- 
acter, was President of this Association at the time, 
and John Clay Treasurer. The writer was then a 
young man looking particularly after cattle matters 
for the newly-born ''Breeder's Gazette." This was 
in 1885. A new Secretary for the Association was 
wanted. DeWitt Smith alone, I think, of all the 
members of a committee charged with making a 
selection, thought he knew me fairly well at that 
time, and assumed the responsibility — all unbeknown 
to myself — of having me elected to that position. 
I always had an idea that John Glay was not spe- 
cially enthusiastic over the incident at the moment; 
but he was fond of Smith — as well as of DeWitt's 
brother, the major, a well-known character in north- 
western ranching circles in the early days — and 
stood, therefore, for the action taken. This proved, 
I may say in passing, the beginning of a personal 
friendship which I am happy to say has not to this 
day been impaired. Glay was, as a matter of fact, 
the vital force of this old-time National organization, 
raising single-handed all of the funds with which 
Smith, Major Towers, Tom Sturgis, Judge Garey and 
their colleagues waged the long fight which was really 
the beginning of the upbuilding of the National 



30 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



Department of Agriculture and its most important 
appanage, the Bureau of Animal Industry. 

The writer bears cheerful testimony to the efficient 
assistance rendered this important public service at 
a critical juncture by Mr. Washburn. Not only that, 
but when the bank addition to the Live Stock 
Exchange was planned, provision was made in its 
construction for a conspicuous recognition of the 
breeder, the feeder and the ranchman. This took 
the form of ornamenting the bank entrance with 
panelled figures in bas-relief of the late John D. 
GiLLETT — founder of our once great live cattle 
export trade, a typical western cowboy — and the 
outline of a well-bred bull. The latter is an at- 
tempted reproduction of the head and front of the 
Bates Duchess Shorthorn bull Duke of Underley 
(33745), bred by Earl Bective, and one of the 
greatest sires of his day in Britain. The writer 
supplied — at Mr. Washburn's request — a copy of the 
English etching by A. M. Williams from which 
this was made, and accompanied that famous archi- 
tect, the late Daniel H. Burnham, on several visits 
to the Northwestern Terra Gotta Works, where the 
figures were all executed, in an effort at perfecting 
the original modeling in the clay. Revolution in the 
executive control of the great property was im- 




WILLIAMS' ETCHING OF THE DUKE OF UNDERLEY 



DREAMS COME TRUE 51 



pending, however, and Mr. Washburn's period of 
service terminated before he had full opportunity to 
develop further plans for aiding the stockmen of the 
country in the work of expanding production and 
improving the quality of American meats. 

Practically valuable and useful as the Inter- 
national competitions and the bringing together of 
record associations have proved, future generations 
will accord the present management of the Yards 
even higher praise for the foundation and progres- 
sive evolution of the Saddle and Sirloin Club. 
Originally planned simply as a place where visitors 
and business men about the Yards might meet in 
comfort, it has developed a mission which, properly 
worked out, will lift it far beyond the level of any 
similar organization in existence. 

From the beginning it has appealed, both in name 
and in its possibilities, to a coterie of men who 
realized its advantageous relationship to North Amer- 
ican live stock husbandry. Foremost among these will 
always be mentioned Mr. Spoor and Mr. Leonard. 
However, Robert Ogilvie is, after all, the one who 
has labored most faithfully and most unselfishly for 
its development along broad national, or rather, inter- 
national, lines. Ex-United States Senator William 
A. Harris and Mortimer Levering — both now de- 



32 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



ceased — contributed much to the creation of the 
Club's distinctive atmosphere, and found special 
pleasure in its promise as a Pantheon. 



VI 

THE TROPHIES OF MILTIADES 

The Saddle and Sirloin Club is not yet old in 
years, as time is commonly measured, but it has 
already stored up riches in the way of treasured 
associations. Books and periodicals, prints and etch- 
ings, are found in almost every club; but one mo- 
mentous day in Saddle and Sirloin history a fine 
oil portrait of Prof. W. A. Henry, then Dean of the 
College of Agriculture of the University of Wisconsin, 
was hung upon the walls of the newly-organized 
institution at the Yards. An idea had been born in 
the brain of Robert Ogilvie. It has not yet come 
to full maturity. In fact, it has only just opened 
up a prospect of a future still but dimly discerned 
even by those who appreciate most the little that 
has already been accomplished. There are a few 
who rise not at all to the real conception. There 
are some who are even inclined as yet to scofT; 
but there will come a day when these unbelievers, 
like their ancient prototypes, will remain to pray 
devoutly within the temple. 

A truth which is recognized by all intelligent 
men was well enunciated by the founder of the 
American Republic: "Agriculture is the most health- 
ful, the most useful and the noblest employment of 

33 



34 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



man." A second proposition is that the creation, 
development and perpetuation of beautiful and prac- 
tical forms of animal life is the particular branch 
of agriculture calling for the exercise of the highest 
order of human intellect and skill. The Saddle 
AND Sirloin corollary is that those who have attained 
distinction in this field cannot be too highly exalted; 
that their names, their faces, their works should be 
preserved and "handed down as precious heirlooms 
from one generation to another as an inspiration to 
all who seek to follow in their footsteps. Nothing 
is more certain than that familiarity with the high 
accomplishments of those who have gone before 
serves as the best of all stimulants to those who 
are studying to equip themselves for this world's 
work in similar fields. Now, as in the days of old, 
the ambitious hear the call that stirred the Athenian 
youth: "The trophies of Miltiades will not let me 
sleep!" 

Stuart's speaking likeness of the great Dean of 
deans hung long in splendid isolation. Oil portraits 
smell of money, as well as varnish. They are not 
always to be had for the asking. But men who 
met each December to discuss, over a sirloin or a 
saddle, the breeding and performances of the Inter- 
national champions, were ever recalling the glories 



THE TROPHIES OF MILTIADES 36 



of the past, and zest was added to their discourse 
by the presence of living masters of the art of arts 
from far and near. If it were Richard Gibson in 
the chair you would be apt to hear something of 
DuNMORE or Tom Booth — or mayhap Sheldon and 
the Duchesses. If Senator Harris joined the circle, 
he might hark back to Warfield, the elder Renicks 
or to Robert Alexander — or if Linwood's palmy 
days were mentioned, something entertaining would 
surely be forthcoming as to Kinellar and the 
Golden Drops or the good old Quaker Scot ' of 
Sittyton. Both these men were fond of the history 
.of modern cattle-breeding; both had helped to make 
it. Both loved to tell how great results had been 
attained by others. Both are gone forever from 
our sight, but the spirits of both still live within the 
Club and help to sanctify it in the hearts of those 
who were once privileged to feel the charm of their 
inspiring comradeship. In another corner Montgom- 
ery of Netherhall might be holding Clydesdale court; 
and early in the International's career James Peter 
of Berkeley came to judge and grace the scene, 
bringing across the sea the story, old yet ever new, 
of Lord Fitzhardinge and Connaught. ' From these 
and other men of similiar type fell words of wisdom. 
From out their stores of knowledge those of less 



36 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



experience gathered that which whetted interest in 
their own endeavors. 

From such an atmosphere as this it was easy 
to evolve a plan of doing homage to the great men of 
the olden days. However, the large collection of 
portraits of men, living as well as dead, now to be 
seen upon the Saddle and Sirloin walls was not 
the work of a day, nor of a night. Neither, in its 
present form, does it reflect in all its details the 
underlying thought of those who first conceived it. 
There are doubtless pictures there that should not 
remain permanently in such a company; on the 
other hand, there are a great number missing that 
should be there. Which is but another way of saying 
that the gallery as it now exists is as yet incom- 
plete, and not at all beyond criticism. It would be 
strange indeed if it were. But, hov/ever faulty it 
may be in some details, whatever may be said as to 
the manner in which the project has thus far been 
carried out, there can be no difference of opinion 
among thoughtful men as to the worth of the plan 
itself, or as to the educational, historical and inspi- 
rational value of the portraits, as a whole, already 
in position. 

It is not the purpose of this little volume to dis- 
cuss in turn each of the subjects of all the portraits 



THE TROPHIES OF MILTIADES 37 



now entering into the composition of the Saddle 
AND Sirloin gallery. Some day a Boswell, with 
nothing else in this world to do, who might do 
justice to them all, may develop in our midst. Let 
us hope so. A book could be written around the 
careers of many of these individuals. In fact, such 
biographies in certain cases already exist. I know 
I could not exhaust my theme within the limits of 
one ordinary octavo in several illustrious instances. 
But we must for the present at least confine our- 
selves to general discussion. 

The first substantial impetus came when Robert 
Ogilvie sent forward his valuable paintings of Charles 
and Robert Colling, Thomas Booth and "Nestor" 
Wetherell, all done by Stuart in his palmy days 
at Madison for Mr. Ogilvie's own library. Their 
appearance awakened at once a responsive chord in 
the breasts of other appreciative students of the 
history of animal breeding, prominent among those 
so influenced being the late Henry F. Brown of 
Minneapolis, Minn., a one-time upper Mississippi 
lumber king, who on a modestly-equipped farm on 
the banks of Minnehaha Creek maintained through- 
out all the vicissitudes of a long and active business 
career a good herd of purebred cattle. Late in life, 
and while still in the throes of financial embarrass- 



38 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



ment, Mr. Brown learned that large areas of his 
cut-over and supposedly worthless northern timber 
lands were underlaid with valuable deposits of iron 
ore, and the discovery placed him again in his wonted 
comfortable position. While in attendance at the 
International Show he saw the Ogilvie pictures, and 
then and there absorbed the big idea of the Saddle 
AND Sirloin Glub. Soon afterward he volunteered 
to pay for the painting of a considerable number of 
the portraits of old-time Shorthorn cattle breeders, 
to be permanently retained as his contribution to 
the collection then in embryo. This revealed a vein 
of sentiment in Henry Brown's make-up that sur- 
prised not a few of his acquaintances; but among 
those who knew him intimately — rather than by 
hearsay — it was a characteristic action. 

In the meantime Ogilvie had entered into an 
arrangement with Stuart — whose Henry portrait was 
the nucleus of the collection — to come to Chicago 
and execute certain pictures already ordered. Stuart 
was a Scotchman who had spent most of his life in 
America, and at Madison had gained a reputation as 
a portrait artist by his studies of some of the lead- 
ing dignitaries of the State of Wisconsin, including 
governors, judges of the Supreme Court, United 
States senators and other personages of national or 



THE TROPHIES OF MILTIADES 39 



local fame. He was set to work upon Mr. Brown's 
order, and from old, and in most cases more or less 
unsatisfactory, photographs or other old-time originals, 
succeeded in working out pictures of Robert Bake- 
well, Thomas Bates, T. G. Booth, Jonas Webb, 
William Torr, Barclay of Ury, Amos Gruickshank, 
Robert Aitchison Alexander and others now to be 
seen in the Glub collection. All of those named 
hang in the private dining-room now known to those 
who follow the Club's fortunes as *'the inner shrine." 
It was Robert Ogilvie and Henry Brown, there- 
fore, who gave the gallery its most valuable and 
most impressive group. In the baronial hall, the 
Glub corridors and lounging rooms may now be seen 
portraits of many individuals who have left marks 
more or less important upon American stock-breeding. 
Some of these are of men still living; all, however, 
persons who have in some way rendered service 
presumably entitling them to this consideration. The 
living have, however, first of all to die, and have 
their works subjected to the acid test of time, before 
their portraits can have permanent residence assured 
or be considered by those who follow after in con- 
nection with the matter of admission to place among 
the "immortals" in any future extension of the Sanc- 
tum Sanctorum, which we are now to enter. 



VII 
A SANCTUM SANCTORUM 

Paul Potter could paint a bull, but he never 
bred one. Rosa Bonheur gave the world "The 
Horse Fair," but her models were creations of The 
Perche. It is one thing to draw well, and deftly blend 
pigments on the canvas. To produce a national or 
an international champion is quite another. The com- 
position of a great picture calls for genius. Some- 
thing more than that is demanded in the assembling 
and fusing of the materials that enter into the making 
of a breed. Fabulous sums have been paid by con- 
noisseurs for masterful examples of the art preserv- 
ative. Now andv then rich rewards have come to 
those who produce originals. 

For the most part, however, we have taken as a 
matter of course, and have accepted or appropriated 
without special thought or credit, the marvels of 
the animal -breeding world. We are in daily enjoy- 
ment of the fruits of the labors of great groups of 
men who were possessed of rare constructive gifts; 
but we scarcely know their names, much less have 
we any familiarity with their personalities or their 
labors. We know that without good live stock our 
grasses, grains and forage generally would cum- 

40 



A SANCTUM SANCTORUM 41 



ber uselessly the earth; that the soil itself would 
suffer by the absence of the golden hoofs. We are 
aware that we are the best fed people in the world, 
but few of us know or care particularly to hear 
about how we came by these generous supplies. 
The fat of the lahd is delivered daily at our doors, 
and yet we grumble. As for expressing gratitude 
to the great producers and providers, nothing is 
usually farther from our thoughts. We do not mean 
to be ungrateful, but despite the fact that we need 
cattle vastly more than cannon, we build our monu- 
ments to HiNDENBERGS, not to herdsmen. The sen- 
sational, the dramatic, gets the limelight always. 
The most illustrious exponents of the unobtrusive 
useful arts are rarely in the public eye or print, 
and so it comes to pass that many of the greatest 
benefactors of the race go to their reward for the 
most part unhonored and unsung. 

Although the Saddle and Sirloin Club does not 
yet fully comprehend its own great potential power, 
it is doing something to remind the country of these 
wholesome truths. It could do more, and let us 
hope that in the years to come it will give still 
further assurances to those of the present and the 
future who may render outstanding service along 
these lines, that their work and the influence of 



42 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



their example shall not be allowed to perish. Already 
its ideals are bearing fruit. 

The Kansas youth who receives his education at 
the Agricultural College at Manhattan sees through- 
out his entire course of study an heroic bust in 
bronze of the farmer- statesman of Linwood, designed 
and largely paid for by Saddle and Sirloin influ- 
ences. The faculty of the College of Agriculture of 
the University of Illinois, moved by the Saddle and 
Sirloin spirit, has founded a "Hall of Fame" that 
will endure indefinitely and receive an annual addi- 
tion. The American Guernsey Cattle Club, desiring 
to honor one of America's foremost expounders of 
the gospel of good blood and good management in 
the field in which that body holds so distinguished 
a position, presents his portrait to the Club, where- 
upon a movement is promptly projected for the 
erection of a monument to the great editor at the 
capital of his adopted state. In brief, the leaven 
which shall finally leaven the whole lump is already 
doing its beneficent work. But the real advance 
lies still ahead. 

When the great agricultural states shall erect 
shafts like that of Nelson in Trafalgar Square to 
the pioneers in their development; when some great 
soul shall some day give the Saddle and Sirloin 



A SANCTUM SANCTORUM 43 



Club a million-dollar memorial home, filled with rare 
mementos, paintings, bronzes and marbles of men 
and International champions, then and not till then 
shall we know that animal breeding, the art supreme, 
has in truth come into her own. Meantime, let us 
thank the gods that we already have one secluded 
nook where those whose lives are devoted to the 
study of the higher evolution of animal life may sit 
at the feet of great achievement and hearken to the 
plashing of inspiring fountains. 

It is just a little place, this sanctuary of which 
I speak, and its windows afford only the customary 
city view of myriad roofs and chimney pots. If you 
look closely you may get the outlines of the Nelson 
Morris golden calf; but even if you do you will not 
find many who can tell you anything about it. Besides, 
we are in a room called yesterday, so let us draw 
the shades upon today. 

I often enter this "holy of holies" of the Saddle 
AND Sirloin Club alone just to renew old acquaintance 
with those who there preside. When you know them 
you will like them, for I can assure you they are 
not only an altogether worthy, but a most compan- 
ionable lot. You will get the twinkle in the eye of 
Thomas Bates before you have been long with the 
keenest-witted member of the company, and you 



44 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



will also learn that the grim visage worn by good 
old Amos Gruickshank is but the mask of a kindly- 
soul reflecting nothing more than the granite of his 
Aberdeenshire hills. And if you had spent a good 
part of a lifetime delving into their secrets, you 
would find that it is the invisible in that little room, 
rather than the visible, that fires the soul of one 
who enters understandingly. 

To my mind, this little room is superbly sugges- 
tive and symbolical. It is not simply the one good 
old Yorkshire squire I see when I gaze upon the 
kindly face of Thomas Booth, but all his race and 
kin. And what a power for good they were in the 
world of rural progress! It is not alone the laird of 
Ury that fascinates me as I look at that extraor- 
dinary physiognomy, but through him I recognize the 
mighty impulse Scotland gave to the cause of better 
farming. It is not merely William Torr to whom 
we pay our homage as we contemplate those fea- 
tures once so familiar to all the countryside around 
Aylesby Manor, but rather do we recognize in him 
an outstanding type of the trained tenant farmers of 
Great Britain — men who have laid under obligation 
the agriculture of all the temperate zones of earth. 

Let it be said, once for all, and at the very 
threshold of our story, that while as a matter of 



A SANCTUM SANCTORUM 45 



fact these rare pictures are studies of individuals 
who in their day were largely identified with the 
origin and upbuilding of one particular breed that 
has attained a world-wide vogue, the Club wishes it 
distinctly understood that it exalts them only in the 
sense of their being truly typical of the entire class 
to which honor is intended to be paid. It is as types, 
therefore, that" they are in the larger sense to be 
considered. At all times it should be borne in mind 
that these particular worthies had peers and col- 
leagues by the score, each of whom wrought in his 
own way with varied valued materials, and your true 
Saddle and Sirloiner only bewails the fact that the 
entire great aggregation is not all here assembled. 
The time will come, let us hope, when the galaxy 
will be extended to its full and splendid limit. 



VIII 
ALADDIN'S LAMP 

Let us call first of all upon Robert Bakewell, 
patriarch of all the generations of animal breeders 
since his time; the man who first found a short cut 
to live-stock improvement. He flourished about the 
middle of the eighteenth century. We do not know 
as much of his life as would be the case had his 
contemporaries realized at the time the magnitude 
of his discoveries, or appreciated the far-reaching 
influence of his work. We know this, however, that 
flying squarely in the face of all preconceived notions 
governing the production of farm animals, he was 
the first of the world's great animal breeders, of 
which there is record, to demonstrate the power 
of the principle of the concentration of blood ele- 
ments as the readiest and most effective method 
of establishing and fixing desired characteristics. 

The scene of his labors was at Dishley, Leices- 
tershire, and his great success was made with the 
long-wooled Leicester sheep and Longhorn cattle, 
the' latter then a widely distributed type in all the 
midland counties. His work is said to have been 
conducted at first with more or less secrecy so far 
as the public was concerned. Aware of the general 
prejudice existing at the time against close breeding, 

46 



ALADDIN S LAMP 47 ^■^1' 



he probably did not care to call down criticism 
while still experimenting. Some have intimated that 
in the case of his "improved Leicesters" he was 
actuated by a desire to conceal one of the real 
sources of the betterment attained. One story ran 
to the effect that he had used in his earlier experi- 
ments an extraordinary black-faced "tup," which no 
visitor was ever permitted to see, and the occasional 
appearance of blackish lambs among the descend- 
ants of the Dishley sheep long years later was cited 
as an illustration of the power of atavism or rever- 
sion to an original type even after the lapse of 
many generations. 

Naturally progress was more rapid with the 
Leicesters than the Longhorns, and it was not 
long before the flockmasters of the entire kingdom 
were taking notice of the marvels being wrought. 
One celebrated ram, Two Pounder, is said to have 
earned £800 in a single season! The improvement 
of the Longhorns followed, and the Dishley "breed" 
became the prevailing popular type in all the neigh- 
boring districts. He is said to have maintained 
somewhat of a "museum," or as Dixon calls it, a 
"business room," in which there were preserved 
both skeletons and "pickled carcasses" illustrating 
interesting results attained. Among these latter 



48 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



trophies of the Longhorns were some joints that 
were prized relics of Old Comely, that died at the 
good old age of twenty-six, with fully four inches 
of outside fat upon his sirloin. The herd was dis- 
tinguished above all others for its depth of flesh, 
and Bakewell did not for a moment doubt that he 
had evolved a type which would ''represent the 
roast beef of old England forever and aye." At a 
sale in Oxfordshire in 1791 several of these Long- 
horn bulls fetched above 200 guineas each, and at 
Paget's sale two years later a bull of Fowler's 
Bakewell stock brought, for those days, the great 
sum of 400 guineas. King George III became in- 
terested, and honored the wizard with a royal inquiry 
as to his ''new discovery in stock breeding." 

To understand the full import of Bakewell's 
work it is necessary to know that his great suc- 
cesses antedated the creation of all the leading 
breeds of the present day. He had hit upon the 
secret of how to accentuate specific points and 
insure their perpetuation. That was the one great 
central fact developed by his work — the principle 
that proved the forerunner of universal improve- 
ment in all the various Island types. He little 
dreamed that through its application to other ma- 
terials his wonderful Leicesters and Longhorns 



ALADDIN S LAMP 49 



would in time be put in total eclipse. The live- 
stock kingdom of his day was one great conglom- 
eration of local types and nondescripts. The "im- 
proved Shorthorn" was as yet only incubating along 
the banks of the River Tees. In the abutting counties 
of York and Durham were many different sorts known 
by various names, all of which were soon to be suc- 
cessfully unified by the cement of inbreeding applied 
so persistently by the Shorthorn fathers after a con- 
templation of Bakewell's handiwork. Over in Here- 
fordshire at this same time were equally varied 
assortments of cattle soon to be brought together 
by a resort to the same magic power in the hands 
of Benjamin Tomkins, his contemporaries and suc- 
cessors. At a later date Ellman fairly made the 
Southdown sheep from Bakewell precedents. And 
so we might go up and down almost the entire line 
of the modern breeds and sub-varieties, and find 
in almost every instance that the first great results 
have been obtained primarily through the mating of 
near kin in accordance with the Bakewellian law. 
While his name has not been given to any of the 
types that owe their origin directly to his demon- 
strations, over in France they have created a 
beautiful breed of sheep, by a judicious blending of 
Leicester and fine-wool blood, which they call the 



50 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



Dishley Merino, in recognition of the great law- 
giver's English home. 

Is there objection anywhere as to the peculiar 
appropriateness of canonizing first of all in our 
Saddle and Sirloin sanctum sanctorum this man 
who in truth blazed the way for the great breed- 
builders of the succeeding generations? 



IX 

DURHAM DIVINITIES 

Those two old warriors yonder in knee breeches, 
high-cut waistcoats and stocks are commonly accred- 
ited with being the most active of all the originators 
of the one distinctively national British breed of 
cattle — the Shorthorn. The Herefords, the Devons, 
the Angus, the Galloways, the Ayrshires, the Sussex, 
the Norfolks and the Highlanders are also purely 
British products; but the "red, white and roan" 
is the one type of the entire lot that has found 
favor in nearly every part of the United Kingdom 
and Ireland, whereas most of the others are still 
bred mainly in the particular districts in which they 
were originated. This comment is made merely as 
a statement of historical fact relating to distribution 
in the British Islands only. As is generally known, 
certain of the others have gained world-wide fame 
in vastly broader fields than is afforded by all the 
acreage of England, Scotland and the Emerald Isle 
combined. 

These two are probably discussing their favorite 
subject: ways and means of eliminating certain of 
the obvious faults of the old Teeswater and Hol- 
derness stock, and improving on both. They are 
known to fame as Charles and Robert Colling. 

51 



62 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



The former farmed at Ketton Hall, and the latter 
on the farm of Barmpton, both in the valley of the 
River Tees, some three miles distant from the city 
of Darlington in the county of Durham. Cattle of 
the breed which they were largely instrumental in 
creating are still referred to in many parts of the 
United States as *'Durhams," although that name 
was rarely employed in the land of its nativity. 

Charles Colling paid a visit to Bakewell in 
1T83, and spent considerable time in a study of the 
results obtained. Evidently he was convinced, but 
at the same time he wisely deferred the actual 
application of the Dishley system until he became 
possessed of materials that suited his purpose. In 
1784 he had bought the Stanwick Duchess cow, 
to be referred to further on; but it was not until 
1789 that he obtained from Maynard of Eryholme 
a roan cow, always referred to in her later years 
as *'the beautiful Lady Maynard," and with her began 
the actual work of bringing order out of local cattle- 
breeding chaos. 

A human-interest story this of how modern 
stock-breeding got, in this purchase, its first great 
impetus. Picture a fair September morn. The 
master of Ketton Hall about to start on a neigh- 
borly visit to his friend Maynard, whose eight bul- 



DURHAM DIVINITIES 53 



locks sent forward annually to the March market 
in Darlington were always the object of much atten- 
tion as they stood on the pavement opposite "The 
King's Head." The men had much in common. 
Both loved good cattle, and this fondness for ani- 
mals met in their households steadfast sympathy. 
Mrs. GoLLiNG was as interested in the farm and in the 
big red, white or roan matrons of the fields and their 
lusty babies as was her lord and master. She knew 
the animals by name, and was much among them. 
In fact, tradition says that she was no mean judge 
herself. And so we see her with her husband as 
the Tees is crossed at Croft on this historic call 
at Eryholme. As they approach, Miss Maynard is 
discovered milking a rare roan cow, then seven years 
old. After the customary greetings the inspection 
of the herd begins. Both Mr. and Mrs. Colling 
had observed the foaming contents of the generous 
pail Miss Maynard had been busy filling as they 
were arriving. And so Durham presently fell to 
dickering with York, and the mother of the modern 
Shorthorn was headed toward her extraordinary 
destiny! At Ketton out of compliment to the mis- 
tress of Eryholme the name of this bovine Eve was 
changed to Lady Maynard. An admiring country- 
side subsequently added to this the sobriquet "the 



54 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



beautiful," by which designation she still lives in 
agricultural history. 

One of her daughters was mated with a bull 
that had been produced by another daughter, the 
progeny being a bull calf called — in commemoration 
of the old cow's precedence at Eryholme — Favorite, 
with which was at once commenced at Ketton a 
most extraordinary course of concentration. For 
years this bull was used almost indiscriminately upon 
his own offspring, often to the third and in one or 
two instances to the fifth and sixth generations, 
and with results that astounded all England and 
aroused even distant America. The get of Favorite 
were not only the most noted cattle of their day 
in all Britain, but his immediate descendants consti- 
tuted a large percentage of the entire foundation 
stock upon which existing Shorthorn herd book 
records stand. He was even bred back to his own 
dam, the produce being a heifer, Young Phoenix; 
and to still further test the power of Bakewell's 
scheme in dealing with such plastic clay this heifer 
was then bred to her own sire, the issue of that 
doubly-incestuous union being the bull Comet (155), 
the pride of his time and the first beast of the 
cattle kind to sell for $5,000! Mr. Fowler had 
once refused a thousand guineas for a Bakewell 



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DURHAM DIVINITIES 55 



Longhorn bull and three cows, but such a sum for 
a bull alone soon set all England talking of a rising 
power. 

It must of course be borne in mind that the 
animals subjected to this severe strain had been 
specially chosen originally for their scale and con- 
stitution. Great size was a leading tenet with the 
farmers along the Tees, and they had, up to this 
period, abstained religiously from any such course 
as that which had wrought marvels in the "Long 
Pasture" and straw-yards at Dishley. True, some 
of the old families of the district prided themselves 
upon having kept their own "breed" pure for many 
generations, but such liberties as Charles Golling 
took with the Lady Maynard blood were until then 
quite unknown in North Gountry live-stock hus- 
bandry. One can better imagine than describe, 
therefore, the sensation produced by this unparal- 
leled procedure and its marvelous results. 

We must not fail to mention here, however, that 
shortly before Gharles Golling acquired in Darling- 
ton market the first Duchess in 1784>, he had used 
for two seasons an unnamed bull that he afterward 
sold to go into Northumberland, a bull that had 
introduced a refining element in the Ketton cattle, 
which doubtless served — although at the time little 



56 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



comprehended — to pave the way for subsequent 
successes achieved; but this is another story pres- 
ently to be related. 

The sale of Comet, and the reputation gained 
through the exhibition throughout England of two 
enormous fat beasts, both by Favorite, called *'The 
Durham Ox" and "The White Heifer that Traveled," 
served to spread the name and fame of the Gollings 
and their "improved Shorthorns" throughout all 
Britain, obscuring altogether for a time the name 
and fame of Bakewell, and dooming the Longhorns 
to a swift decline in popularity. Moreover, these 
great doings did not escape the notice of a well- 
read pioneer in the then newly-settled far-away 
blue-grass region of Kentucky, resulting in 1816 in 
an order for the first Shorthorn cattle ever imported 
into the Middle West. And if there be people of 
this day and generation who think that our own 
forefathers lacked in enterprise, let Lewis Sanders 
of Grass Hills tell the simple story of an act that 
started the cornbelt of America on the highway 
to success in cattle-feeding: 

"I was induced to send the order for the cattle 
in the fall of 1816 from seeing an account of 
Gharles Golling's great sale in 1810. At this sale 
enormous prices were paid — 1,000 guineas for the 



DURHAM DIVINITIES 57 



bull Comet. This induced me to think there was a 
value unknown to us in these cattle, and as I then 
had the control of means I determined to procure 
some of this breed. For some years previous I was 
in regular receipt of English publications on agri- 
cultural improvement and improvements in the 
various descriptions of stock. From the reported 
surveys of counties I was pretty well posted as 
to the localities of the most esteemed breeds of 
cattle. My mind was made up, fixing on the Short- 
horns as the most suitable for us. I had frequent 
conversations with my friend and neighbor, Gapt. 
William Smith, then an eminent breeder of cattle. 
He was thoroughly impressed in favor of the Long- 
horn breed. To gratify him, and to please some 
old South Branch feeders, I ordered a pair of 
Longhorns; and was more willing to do so from the 
fact that this was the breed selected by the dis- 
tinguished Mr. Bakewell for his experimental yet 
most successful improvements." 

Charles Colling closed his career as an im- 
prover of cattle in 1810, at which time three-fourths 
of the herd were by the inbred Favorite and his 
son Comet, and the remainder by sons of those two 
celebrated bulls. A great company gathered beneath 
the limes that fine October day of more than a 
century ago to do honor to one of the pillars of 
British agriculture of that notable era. From both 
sides the river and from great distances landlords 



58 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



and their tenants, members of Parliament, and all 
that famous coterie that had for so long fore- 
gathered at the Yarm and Darlington markets, came 
with gigs or traps or saddlebags. Every yard was 
filled to overflowing, and scores left their horses or 
conveyances at adjoining farms. It was the event 
of a generation. Ketton was fairly "eaten out of 
house and home," and messengers were hurriedly 
dispatched to Darlington for fresh supplies. 

One Kingston was the auctioneer, selling by the 
glass, as did Strafford and John Thornton in more 
recent years. He had no aids, and received the 
munificent sum of five guineas for auctioneering the 
most famous herd of its time. The 47 head fetched 
about $35,000, the bull Comet, as already mentioned, 
bringing $5,000. The highest-priced female was 
the white cow Lily at $2,150. Mr. Golling had 
reserved one treasured cow, the deep-milking, broad- 
ribbed Magdalena by Comet; but Whitaker, one of 
the "old guard," importuned his friend to let him 
have her. A reluctant consent was given this pro- 
posal, and then indeed was Othello's occupation 
truly gone forever. We have here a fine illustra- 
tion of what one enterprising, intelligent farmer may 
do for the world at large, if he be possessed of 
vision and determination. Verily, peace and agri- 



DURHAM DIVINITIES 59 



culture have their victories no less renowned than 
those of war. 

After the sale Charles Colling was compli- 
mented with a valuable piece of plate bearing this 
inscription : 

PRESENTED TO 

MR. CHARLES COLLING, 

THE GREAT IMPROVER OF THE SHORT -HORNED BREED OF 

CATTLE, BY THE BREEDERS 

(Upwards of fifty) 
WHOSE NAMES ARE ANNEXED, 

AS A TOKEN OF GRATITUDE DUE FOR THE BENEFIT THEY 

HAVE DERIVED FROM HIS JUDGMENT, AND ALSO AS A 

TESTIMONY OF THEIR ESTEEM FOR HIM AS A MAN 

1810 

We do not hear of this sort of thing being done 
very often in these degenerate days. Why? I wonder. 



X 

THE GRASSY LANES OF HURWORTH 

Would the curious story of how a once nameless 
bull emerged from absolute obscurity into the lime- 
light of bovine glory interest anybody as we pass? 
Possibly not. Nevertheless he was to all intents 
and purposes the Adam of his race, and as such 
has to do directly with the forbears of trainloads 
of good bullocks contributed weekly to all our 
central markets. 

In that fateful year, A. D. 17T6, one John Hunter, 
a bricklayer by trade, lived in the sleepy village of 
Hurworth, situated on the north bank of the Tees 
in the county of Durham, just across that little 
river from Eryholme, the place where Charles 
Colling afterwards found and purchased Lady 
Maynard. Hunter had once been a tenant farmer 
and bred cattle. On leaving the farm and removing 
to Hurworth, he sold off all these except one 
particularly prized little cow, which he took with 
him. Let it be observed in passing that size was 
at this time accounted a most valuable asset in 
the cattle of the valley. As Hunter had no pas- 
ture of his own, this cow was turned loose to 
graze in the grassy lanes round about the village. 

60 



THE GRASSY LANES OF HURWORTH 61 



In due course of time she was bred to "George 
Snowdon's Bull," then in Hurworth. From him the 
cow dropped a bull calf. Soon afterward the cow 
and calf were driven to Darlington market and 
there sold to a Mr. Basnett, a timber merchant. 
Basnett retained the cow, but sold the calf to a 
blacksmith at Hornby, five miles out from Darling- 
ton. The dam of the calf taking on flesh readily 
would not again breed, and after some months 
was fattened and slaughtered. Growing to a use- 
ful age, the bull in 1783 was found, at six years 
old, in the hands of a Mr. Fawcett, living at 
Haughton Hill, not far from Darlington. 

Mr. Wright, a noted Shorthorn breeder, says 
that Charles Colling, going into Darlington market 
weekly, used to notice some excellent veal, and 
upon inquiry ascertained that the calves were got 
by a bull belonging to Mr. Fawcett of Haughton 
Hill, and at this time serving cows at a shilling 
each. Colling went to see him, but did not appear 
particularly impressed. A little later, however, 
Robert Colling and his neighbor, Mr. Waistell, 
who had also seen the bull, thought well enough 
of him to offer Mr. Fawcett ten guineas for him, 
at which price he became their joint property. 
Colling had seventeen and Waistell eleven cows 



62 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



served by him during the season. Evidently, how- 
ever, they were afraid of reducing the size of 
their cattle through his use, and in the following 
November Charles Colling took him off their 
hands at eight guineas ! 

Charles evidently thought there might be real 
value somewhere underneath that mellow hide, 
notwithstanding the fact that nobody seemed to 
think much of the bull, and put him in active 
service for a period of two years, selling him late 
in 1785, at ten years old, to a Mr. Hubback, at 
North Seton, in Northumberland. The bull had 
not been deemed worthy even of a name up to 
this date, but the time came when it was of the 
highest importance that he receive individual 
designation. His new owner used him until the 
year 1791, when he was fourteen years old, and 
he had been vigorous to the last. As he was ending 
his long and checkered career, these veterans of the 
early cattle trade woke up to the fact that they had 
been dealing with the very element their herds stood 
most in need of. The name of this Northumberland 
farmer was then assigned him, and as Hubback he 
figures in the history of the modern Shorthorn king- 
dom as the real founder of the dynasty. 

In other volumes I have had occasion to note 



THE GRASSY LANES OF HURWORTH 63 



how frequently an element of chance has served 
to point the way to explorers in this field in the 
early stages of their work. I would not undertake 
to say that the matter of judgment did not enter 
at all into the original selection and use of the bull 
that is regarded as the real progenitor of the im- 
proved Shorthorn; but certain it is that no one was 
particularly interested in, or excited about, Hubback 
(319) at the time he was first put in limited ser- 
vice by the Gollings. But he revolutionized the 
cattle-breeding of all York and Durham just the 
same, and imparted qualities which the herds of 
that region had not previously possessed, and which 
the best Shorthorns of our day still claim as a 
proud inheritance. 

It is certain that neither Waistell nor the 
Gollings appreciated the value of Hubback until 
after they had parted with him and saw the excel- 
lence of his calves as they grew up and developed. 
He was small, and this condemned him; but his 
dam, though also small (for a Shorthorn), was **a 
very handsome cow, of fine symmetry, with a nice 
touch and fine, long, mossy hair." All these qual- 
ities Hubback inherited. But scale was a big point 
in Shorthorns at that time, and this assumed fault 
led the Gollings to be wary. 



64 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



The subsequent reputation of Hubback was higher 
than that of any other bull of his time, and "it was 
considered a great merit if any Shorthorn could 
trace its pedigree back even remotely into his blood." 
His get had "capacious chests, prominent bosoms, 
thick, mossy coats, mellow skins, with a great deal 
of fine flesh spread evenly over the whole carcass," 
and the bull himself had "clean, waxy horns, mild, 
bright eyes, a pleasing countenance and was one of 
the most remarkably quick feeders ever known, re-. 
taining his soft and downy coat long into the summer. 
His handling was superior to that of any bull of 
the day." 

The full significance of this early episode comes 
to light in a subsequent narration. How often have 
only post mortem honors come to men as well as 
bulls! Meantime we must finish with, and take our 
leave of, Robert Colling. 

As a young man he had served an apprentice- 
ship with GuLLEY and other advanced farmers of 
their times, and early in his career bought Leicesters 
from Bakewell, which he managed so successfully 
that his ram-lettings became a reliable source of 
profit. Cattle engrossed most of his attention, how- 
ever, and he worked in close collaboration with his 
brother Charles. He had bought good cows from 



THE GRASSY LANES OF HURWORTH 65 



the best local sources, but like all his contempo- 
raries was working more or less in the dark. Pedi- 
grees were practically unknown. There was no 
uniformity of type, no agreement as to any fixed 
standard of excellence — no application as yet of 
Bakewell's method. But fate was silently shaping 
a great destiny for the Barmpton and Ketton herds, 
and through them a great new breed was presently 
to emerge. 

Among the best of the Barmpton cattle were 
the sorts subsequently known to fame as the Wild- 
airs, Red Roses and Princesses — tribes from which 
thousands of the best cattle ever bred in England 
or America have been directly descended. From 
Barmpton also came the bulls used in the founda- 
tion of the epoch-making herd of Thomas Booth, 
to be referred to presently, and the Princess-Hub- 
back blood from Barmpton after the lapse of many 
years became, through Belvidere, the basis of the 
greatest success achieved by Mr. Bates, which 
somewhat eccentric but extraordinary individual we 
are also soon to meet. 

Robert Colling made a partial sale of his herd 
in 1818 and retired in 1820, having for forty years 
contributed largely to the development and evolu- 
tion of the Shorthorn type. At the first sale 61 



66 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



cattle sold for near $40,000, the top being $3,060 
for the bull Lancaster, Mr. Booth giving $1,550 
for the bull calf Pilot (496), afterwards a famous 
sire. The end came in October, 1820, when the 
remaining 46 head sold for around $10,000. There 
was general depression in agriculture at this period. 
It appears, nevertheless, that about $50,000 was 
realized at the two auctions. 



XI 

FROM SIRE TO SONS 

The original of the pleasing portrait of Thomas 
Booth is a much-prized heirloom in the possession 
of a fine old Yorkshire family. It is so typical of 
the old school that the Club is deeply indebted to 
Mr. Ogilvie for its possession of so good a copy. 
The elder Booth was one of two men — the other 
being Thomas Bates — who completed in sensational 
fashion the work of establishing a new and highly 
improved type of cattle, through a continuance of 
Bakewell methods upon the Colling foundations. 
The two worked along different lines, and agreed in 
one point only, that the Hubback-Favorite blood 
supplied the best basis for further progress; but 
they sought it through different channels, were in 
pursuit of different ideals, and applied the blood 
after it had been obtained in a decidedly different 
manner. Both attained success such as rarely comes 
to men in any line of work. There were other able, 
forceful men engaged in similar efforts, such as 
Mason, Wiley, Whitaker, Wetherell and Earl 
Spencer; but among those who developed outstand- 
ing skill in the art, the Booths and Bates will ever 
stand pre-eminent in their day and generation. 

67 



68 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



Mr. Booth was the owner of the beautiful estate 
of Killerby, comprising 500 acres of arable and pas- 
ture land situated in the charming valley of the 
Swale, two miles from Gatterick. The house stood 
on the site of an ancient military stronghold, from 
which the estate took its name, that had been con- 
structed by the Earl of Arundel in the days of 
Edward I. The approach was through a park 
studded with noble oaks and elms. Here the old 
master began those experiments destined in later 
years to give to British herds and showyards some 
of the most perfect animals of a heavy flesh-carrying 
type the world has ever seen. In common with 
the GoLLiNGs and nearly all of his other contempo- 
raries, Mr. Booth endeavored to solve the problem 
of how to refine the old Teeswater stock. He real- 
ized the faults of the prevailing type and was among 
the first to concede that through Hubback (319) 
and the Bakewell system the Gollings had prob- 
ably hit upon the long -sought line of progression. 
Unlike Mr. Bates and many other breeders of the 
time, he did not deem it essential, however, to go 
to Ketton and Barmpton for females to carry on 
his experiments. He had an idea that by crossing 
moderate -sized, strongly bred Golling bulls upon 
large-framed, roomy cows showing great constitu- 



FROM SIRE TO SONS 69 



tion and an aptitude to fatten, he could improve 
even upon the work of the Gollings. To this ex- 
tent, therefore, he must be credited with greater 
originality than some of his brother breeders. More- 
over, the outcome revealed that he possessed quite 
as much skill as he had independence of character. 

Mr. Booth always put substance ahead of points 
of less practical importance, and from the very first 
regarded flesh-making capacity and breadth of back 
and loin of more value than persistent flow of milk. 
While there were some cows of marked dairy capa- 
city in his original herd, they soon acquired a dis- 
position to "dry off" quickly and put on great wealth 
of flesh — a trait which ever afterward distinguished 
the best of the Booth cattle. 

The inbred Colling bulls on the unpedigreed 
market-cow foundation had given Mr. Booth by the 
year 1814 two families of cattle in particular, called 
the Strawberries (or Halnabys) and the Bracelets, 
that made great weights and possessed plenty of 
substance and constitution, but lacked somewhat 
in refinement and quality. In that year his son 
Richard engaged in Shorthorn breeding at Studley, 
taking from Killerby three good cows, one of which, 
Ariadne, became the dam of Anna by Pilot, ances- 
tress of one of England's greatest showyard tribes. 



70 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



Richard followed in the footsteps of his father, 
using Killerby bulls upon selected market cows, 
from one of which, purchased at Darlington, he got 
his world-famous Isabellas. 

In 1819 Thomas Booth removed from Killerby 
to another farm he owned called Warlaby, giving 
over Killerby and a portion of the herd to the 
management of his other son, John B., then just 
married. The latter became one of the leading 
breeders and exhibitors of his time. The showyards 
of Great Britain have probably not since their day 
been graced by more wonderful cattle than his 
never-to-be-forgotten twins. Necklace and Bracelet, 
a queenly pair that took home to Killerby as tro- 
phies of showyard war no less than 35 class and 
championship prizes and medals, and one of which 
finished by gaining the Smithfield fat stock cham- 
pionship at London in 1 846 against S7 competitors. 
Speaking of John Booth, "The Druid" in "Saddle 
and Sirloin" says: 

"Mr. Booth was a very fine-looking man, upward 
of six feet and fifteen stone, with rare hands and a 
fine eye to hounds. This was the sport he loved best, 
and when he was on Jack o' Lantern or Rob Roy few 
men could cross the Bedale country with him. * * * 
He was full of joviality and good stories as well as 
the neatest of practical jokes. His friend Wetherell 



FROM SIRE TO SONS 71 



generally had his guard up; but when he received a 
letter, apparently from the Earl of Tankerville, say- 
ing that he was to lot and sell the wild White cattle 
of Ghillingham, he puzzled for minutes as to how on 
earth His Lordship ever intended to catch them and 
bring them into the ring before he guessed the joke 
and its author. * * * Booth judged a good deal in 
England, and never went for great size either in a 
bull or a cow. As a man of fine, steady judgment in 
a cattle ring, he has perhaps never had an equal. He 
died in 1857, after a weary twelve months' illness, 
in his seventieth year, at Killerby, and a memorial 
window at Gatterick, where he rests, was put up by 
his friends and neighbors and the Shorthorn world 
as well." 

Richard Booth succeeded to his father's estate 
of Warlaby in 1835. It is said that on his entrance 
at Warlaby he did not at first contemplate any 
special effort in the line of Shorthorn breeding. 
Unlike his brother John — who had the traditional 
Yorkshire love for the excitements of the race- 
course and the hunting field — Richard had never 
been given to active pursuits, and "was only a quiet 
gig-man" from the early days. Happily for the 
breed, however, he changed his mind in relation to 
cattle-breeding and devoted the remainder of his life 
to the upbuilding of what was beyond all question 
the most remarkable herd of its time and one of 



72 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



the greatest known in all the annals of live-stock 
history. 

To recount his triumphs as a cattle breeder is 
quite beyond the scope of this brief sketch. So 
long as men shall continue to admire bloom and 
beauty in fine cattle, and shall familiarize them- 
selves with the records of the past, the names of 
Faith, Hope and Charity, Grown Prince, Isabella 
Buckingham, Plum Blossom and her white son 
Windsor, Bride Elect, Soldier's Bride, Bride of the 
Vale — bought by Richard Gibson for 1,000 guineas 
— Vivandiere, Queen of the May, Queen of the 
Ocean, Lady Fragrant and Gommander-in-Ghief will 
call to mind true triumphs in animal breeding. 
Richard Booth died in 1864 at the ripe old age of 
76, and the annals of the art hold no record of a 
fairer fame. Shortly before his death an offer of 
£15,000 had been refused for the herd, then re- 
duced to thirty head ! "He sleeps in peace beneath 
the shade of the old gray tower of Ainderby, that 
looks down upon the scene of his useful and quiet 
labors." 

Tom G. Booth, whose portrait has also been 
accorded Sanctum Sanctorum honors, a son of John 
of Killerby, succeeded to the great herd at Warlaby, 
and with the cattle left by his uncle Richard car- 



FROM SIRE TO SONS 75 



ried the work successfully forward for many years. 
We shall meet him again as an enthusiastic bidder 
at the ToRR dispersion sale. 

The Booths adopted a system of leasing their 
bulls from year to year, instead of selling them 
outright, and to this uncommon practice has been 
attributed much of their success. The most prom- 
ising were sure to be in demand from responsible 
breeders, and those that turned out best could be 
recalled for home service. They let "the other fel- 
low" try them out first. So thoroughly were the 
Killerby and Warlaby herds advertised through their 
repeated victories at the Yorkshire and the national 
shows that competition for the bulls "on hire" was 
always keen. They divided with Thomas Bates 
and his disciples the best patronage of England, 
and as high as £1,500 was at times refused for a 
single season's use of a bull of outstanding merit as 
a sire. For solid constructive work along lines of 
their own selection, for sustained position, even into 
the third and fourth generations, the Booths occupy 
a unique and possibly unrivaled position in the rec- 
ords of the development of improved live stock 
during the past century. 



XII 
A MASTER OF ARTS 

That bright-eyed, brilliant-minded Northumbrian 
there, with the curly locks, in his day had little 
patience with his contemporaries. He bought the 
only cow really worth having in all England — accord- 
ing to his way of thinking — from Charles Colling 
in 1804, and from her bred a race of cattle that 
not only gained great renown during the lifetime of 
their creator, but after his death became the subject 
of almost frenzied international financial operations. 

It is now three and twenty years since I stood 

at the grave of this man, Thomas Bates, in the 

little churchyard at Kirklevington, near Yarm, in 

Yorkshire, and copied into a note book from the 

modest monument that marks his last resting place 

this inscription: 

This Memorial 
of 

THOMAS BATES 

of Kirklevington 

One of the most distinguished breeders of 

Shorthorn Cattle 

Is Raised by a Few Friends Who Appreciate 

His Labors For the Improvement of 

British Stock and Respect His Character 

Born 21st June, 1776— Died 26th July, 1849 

74 



A MASTER OF ARTS 75 



While I was thus engaged, my companion upon 
that memorable pilgrimage of 1892, the late la- 
mented Senator Harris, returning from a stroll 
deciphering the legends borne by various head- 
stones, repeated solemnly from the immortal **Elegy": 
"Each in his narrow cell forever laid, 
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep." 

Bates once told a crowd in Edinburgh, in the 
course of one of those after-dinner speeches which 
he was really fond of making, that while he then 
lived in York his heart was really in his native 
Northumberland, where he had resided until his fifty- 
fifth year. It was about this date — 1 830 — of his 
removal from Ridley Hall to Kirklevington that the 
portrait which has been copied for the Saddle and 
Sirloin Club was painted by Sir William Ross of 
the Royal Academy. 

The inspiring story of how this man sought first 
to educate himself thoroughly in the arts of agri- 
culture and constructive cattle-breeding before un- 
dertaking the task, as he saw it, of conserving that 
which was best for the benefit of succeeding gener- 
ations, and the subsequent success achieved, has 
been the theme of at least two English volumes. 
The main facts have been summarized by the writer 
hereof in a book prepared for American readers 



76 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



some years ago. Those who may be interested in 
the details of how he originated his famous Dukes 
and Duchesses are referred to these works. We will 
therefore merely summarize. 

Bates refused to follow the crowd from the very 
first. As a young man he had listened to the ani- 
mated debates of the Gollings, the elder Booth, 
Maynard, Mason, and the rest as they discussed 
at the "Black Bull" or the "King's Head" the rela- 
tive merits of the cattle shown in the streets of 
Yarm and Darlington; and while all were raving 
over the great "Durham Ox" at the show of March, 
1799, he left the throng to study quietly a heifer 
driven in from Ketton that was descended from the 
primal Duchess bought by Charles Golling in 1784. 
He was ever the student. He was wont to spend 
the week-ends with Golling or with Mason just 
preceding the Monday market days. And while they 
talked he went among the cattle and thought out 
his own conclusions. 

In 1804 he was able to gratify his chief ambi- 
tion. For the then great price for a cow of 100 
guineas he bought from Golling a four- year- old 
Duchess, then in calf to Favorite, and in due course, 
from that union, a bull called Ketton was produced. 
This Duchess was distinguished for her mellow 



A MASTER OF ARTS 77 



handling quality, undoubtedly derived from Hubback, 
was a rich and persistent milker, and when fed off 
at 17 years of age made a fine carcass of beef. 
Her son Ketton developed into a great bull and 
became the foundation sire of the herd. At Gol- 
ling's dispersion in 1810 a granddaughter of this 
first Duchess was bought at 183 guineas. As usual 
at that date Mr. Bates had not much company in 
his judgment. She was not the type then popular. 
The crowd cried for scale, and, then as now, was 
hot upon the trail of fat. Bates talked "quality" 
and ''touch" as indicating aptitude to fatten when 
desired, but few there were to listen to his argu- 
ment. He relied upon the blood of Hubback when 
not violently outcrossed, secured it in its purest 
and most concentrated form in these Duchess cows, 
and went his way. 

Time passed. Ketton's sons, Ketton 2d and Ketton 
3d, were used until 1820, and then the Duchess 
blood was once more doubled in through The Earl, 
called by Mr. Bates "the hope of the Shorthorns,'' 
a bull that was used with highly gratifying results, 
siring among other remarkable animals a bull which 
Mr. Bates so highly regarded that he named him 
2d Hubback. In him all that was best in the once 
nameless bull of a preceding sketch reappeared, and 



78 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



when the herd in 1830 was driven across country 
from Ridley Hall to Kirklevington, the cows, some 
fifty in number, "alike as beans," left a great impres- 
sion upon all who saw them pass. Up to this time, 
Mr. Bates did little or nothing in a public way to 
attract attention to his cattle. Others were still 
breeding largely for size. The hundred-weight was 
their chief measure of success. Refinement and 
quality were not yet fully appreciated. Tallowy hulks 
were at a premium. Heavy bone and grossness 
generally were still esteemed in a land where no 
joint or baron of beef was too ponderous for hearty 
Anglo-Saxon squires and their retainers. With 
ill-concealed contempt for the commonly-accepted 
standards of his day. Bates, almost alone in all that 
goodly company that builded up the breed that first 
stocked our American feedlots with good cattle, 
sought out the Hubback silkiness of hair and mellow- 
ness of touch. To him these things clearly indicated 
easy-keeping, quick-fattening characteristics, lightness 
of offal and a finer -fibered flesh, and along with 
this he never lost sight of dairy power as early 
exemplified in Lady Maynard. The week's butter 
ready for market was to him a source of pride as 
well as profit. Others might stuff" their favorite 
breeding bulls to make a showyard holiday. He 



A MASTER OF ARTS 79 



would steer his undesirable youngsters and make 
them up into money-making bullocks. The Booths 
and others might sacrifice their best cows and heifers 
upon the altar of Royal championships. He would 
fatten only shy breeders or barren females. And so 
he bided his time, seeking, as he himself did not 
hesitate to claim, the ultimate good of a dual-purpose 
type that should prove a mine of wealth to the farm- 
ers of succeeding generations, rather than permit 
himself to be lured into the pursuit of the guineas 
to be quickly gathered by following the fashion of 
his time in cattle-breeding circles. He applied the 
Bakewell methods to the Hubback-Lady Maynard 
blood, and through his Duchesses gave a character 
to the English and American herds of a later period, 
the value of which millions of pounds sterling could 
never adequately measure. 

Somewhere about 1830 Bates received a "check" 
in his progress with the Duchesses. Attractive and 
uniform as were the fifty cattle he drove from their 
Northumberland home into the upland pastures of 
Kirklevington, he had run up against that great 
scourge of incestuous matings long-continued — a 
serious loss of fecundity. He was in the position 
of a gardener who had produced rare and in every 
way desirable flowers having little tendency to 



80 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



reproduce themselves. This was a real menace, 
and a volume might be written on his troubles in 
the line of finding suitable outcrosses. Suffice it to 
say that he learned one day of the existence of a 
bull called Belvidere, of Robert Golling's old Red 
Rose or Princess strain, the foundation dam of which 
carried a double cross of Favorite on top of Hub- 
back, he of the Hurworth lanes. In Belvidere alone 
of all bulls then living Mr. Bates believed the 
original blood had not been subsequently tainted by 
what he would call injudicious crossing. Here then 
was the material that would regenerate the Duch- 
esses. Believing, therefore, as he did, that this was 
the one animal then alive that could save his pets 
from threatened extinction and at the same time 
give them still greater merit, we can well imagine 
with what impatience he urged his nag forward 
that 22d of June, 18S1, as he rode over to John 
Stephenson's beyond the Tees at Wolviston, to see 
"the last of a race of well-descended Shorthorns." 

It is related that as Mr. Bates entered the yard 
he caught a glimpse of the head of Belvidere through 
an opening in his box, and at that one glance saw 
something in the bull's physiognomy that assured 
him that here was truly what he long had sought. 
We can also fancy the effort required to conceal 



A MASTER OF ARTS 81 



his eagerness from John Stephenson. The bull 
proved a big one, possessing a lot of "stretch," 
with heavy shoulders and a commanding presence. 
The much-desired masculinity was there, and what 
was of equal importance, unlike so many of the 
other bulls of his time, he was ''soft as a mole to 
the touch." Asked to name a price, the owner was 
modest enough to place it at £50. The very next 
day Belvidere was on his way to Kirklevington. He 
was the product of the mating of a bull called 
Waterloo to his own sister! To such extremes did 
these old worthies go in their adoption of Dishley 
methods. The bull was then six years old, and as 
he had inherited the "hot-blood temper" of his sire, 
it is related that it took three men to get him safely 
away down Sandy Lane on his way to his great 
work of fructifying the seed that was to fill not only 
all England, but America as well, with square-quar- 
tered, straight-lined, stately cattle. Mr, Bates, with 
characteristic assurance, announced in advance that 
he would now "produce Shorthorns such as the world 
has never seen," and he did. 

For six years Belvidere was kept steadily in ser- 
vice, being succeeded by one of his own sons, dropped 
by Duchess 29th, she by 2d Hubback out of a 2d 
Hubback dam! Among the best heifers left by Bel- 



82 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



videre was Duchess 34th, that accidentally broke a 
leg as a yearling. The accident lamed her for life, 
but did not injure her for breeding purposes. Bred 
back to her own sire — mark this terrific inbreeding 
— she gave birth to Mr. Bates' bull of all bulls, the 
far-famed champion Duke of Northumberland, of 
which more anon. 

• By this time the superior grace, beauty and 
quality of the Bates cattle became a freely-admitted 
proposition, and it was at this interesting juncture in 
the breed's development that Felix Renick appeared 
upon the scene — that is Felix out there in the 
other room in the old high hat of the vintage of 
1 840. He and his colleagues, representing the Ohio 
Importing Company, went to England in quest of 
Shorthorns. They visited the leading breeding estab- 
lishments, including that of Mr. Bates, who told 
them frankly that Belvidere's sire, old Waterloo, 
then in his sixteenth year, and Norfolk, a 2d Hub- 
back bull owned by Mr. Fawkes of Farnley Hall, were 
the only two bulls in all Britain, aside from his 
own Belvidere, that were "in the least likely to get 
good stock"; a remark which illustrates the truth 
that Mr. Bates was never in the least backward 
about coming forward whenever the merits of his 
own "breed" were being weighed in comparison with 



A MASTER OF ARTS 83 



others. He sent the good cow Duchess 33d to be 
bred to Norfolk, and the resulting calf, a heifer 
named Duchess 38th, lived to become the maternal 
ancestress of the entire group of Dukes and Duch- 
esses which, long after Mr. Bates' death, in the 
hands of Samuel Thorne, James O. Sheldon and 
Walcott & Campbell, all of New York State, became 
the subject of the wildest bidding ever registered in 
the cattle business in Europe or America. 

The use of Norfolk and other good bulls derived 
from the Bates herd was now rapidly spreading the 
name of the Kirklevington cattle. The get of these 
strongly-bred sires possessed that finish and neatness 
for which their creator had so long striven; but it 
was not until the establishment of the Yorkshire 
show in 1838 that any effort was made to secure 
competitive honors. In that year the young Duke 
of Northumberland, already mentioned, was sent to 
York along with some of Belvidere's best daughters, 
and while "The Duke" was given first prize in the 
two-year-old class, he was beaten for the champion- 
ship. Duchess 41st headed the two-year-olds and 
Duchess 42d was second in yearlings. Mr. Bates 
did not agree with many of these ratings. He called 
Duchess 43d, "The Duke," and Red Rose 13th, his 
three best, and two of these had been missed entirely. 



84 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



In this connection it may be said that Mr. Bates 
was a great advocate of showing live stock by 
family groups. Isolated champions counted for little 
in his estimation. It was not, with him, so much a 
question of what a skillful fitter could do with a 
single animal that happened to be blessed with a 
strong constitution and a good digestion, but rather 
what results might be achieved, en bloc, through 
consanguinity. In this he was undoubtedly contend- 
ing for a sound principle, and in all cur modern 
shows it would be well if the views of this prince 
of British stock breeders upon this important point 
might find more general adoption. 

The English Royal Show was founded in 1839 
and held its first meeting at the old university town 
of Oxford. Mr. Bates, by the way, often expressed 
regret that at the two great national seats of learn- 
ing — Oxford and Cambridge — there were no profes- 
sorships in agriculture. He urged at all times the 
study of soils, chemistry, and the little-known laws 
of heredity in animal life, upon all who would listen. 
He made up his mind that he would wipe out those 
Yorkshire decisions by an appeal to the higher tri- 
bunal now set up, so we find him at Oxford in 1839 
with *'The Duke," now three years old, Duchess 
42d, Duchess 43d and a heifer of a newly-acquired 



A MASTER OF ARTS 85 



family, sired by one of his Duchess bulls. Each 
headed its class, and the unnamed heifer in honor 
of the victory was called the Oxford Premium Cow 
and became the ancestress of the Duchess-crossed 
family which, under the name of Oxfords, in the 
great days to follow, was destined to rank second 
only to the Duchesses themselves in the estimation 
of the breeders of two continents. Daniel Webster, 
the American orator and statesman, was present at 
this initial Royal Show, and made an address at an 
elaborate dinner given in the quadrangle of Queen's 
College, in the course of which he said, speaking of 
Mr. Bates' great success: "From his stock, on the 
banks of the Ohio and its tributary streams, I have 
seen fine animals which have been bred from his 
herd in Yorkshire and Northumberland." This was, 
of course, a reference to the animals imported by 
the Ohio Company under the leadership of Felix 
Renick, and reveals an interest in affairs agricul- 
tural, and in the farming of the Ohio Valley, that 
probably surprised Mr. Bates quite as much as it 
may interest present-day Americans. 

No higher proof of the superlative excellence of 
these products of the genius of Thomas Bates as a 
cattle breeder can be adduced than this sweeping 
victory over all England at the first national contest 



86 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



for honors. George Drewry, for long years after- 
wards herd manager for His Grace the Duke of 
Devonshire at Holker Hall, writing of these Oxford 
winners after the lapse of fifty years, said: **The 
two things that I remember best at Oxford were 
the Duke of Northumberland and Duchess 43d. 
These I still think were the best two Shorthorns 
that I ever saw." 

The sage of Kirklevington had now reached the 
age of three score years and five, and having vindi- 
cated, as he believed, the correctness of his prac- 
tices, was not disposed to enter regularly in the 
showyard battles of the time. The Booths were 
the ruling power at the ringside of those days, with 
cattle of tremendous substance and wealth of flesh, 
but lacking the elegance and dairy propensity of 
Mr. Bates' stock. John Booth of Killerby bantered 
Bates upon one occasion upon his lack of courage 
in not entering regularly the lists, and challenged 
him to show a cow at the Royal of 1842, held at 
the beautiful and ancient Yorkshire capital. This 
was accepted, and the broken-legged Duchess S4th, 
mother of the Duke of Northumberland, was driven 
across country nearly forty miles to meet the re- 
nowned Necklace. Although ten years old and taken 
direct from pasture, she turned the trick. Many of 



A MASTER OF ARTS 87 



the leading breeders of the day were present and did 
not hesitate to say to Mr. Booth that they thought 
his wonderful cow fairly beaten. "Then I am satis- 
fied," rejoined that good sportsman, and the great 
rival breeders remained the best of friends. 

The Duke of Northumberland was the crowning 
triumph of Mr. Bates' career. It was this bull and 
his dam, Duchess S4th, to which the veteran breeder 
alluded in a letter he addressed to a publishing house 
about to produce pictures of these animals, when 
he made the following characteristic, caustic, yet 
clever, comment: **I do not expect any artist can 
do them justice. They must be seen, and the more 
they are examined the more their excellence will 
appear to a true connoisseur; but there are few 
good judges. Hundreds of men may be found to 
make a Prime Minister for one fit to judge of the 
real merits of Shorthorns." 

Throughout almost his entire career Bates quar- 
reled with his contemporaries as to their methods 
and standards, but the time had nearly arrived when 
his life-work was to be completed, and the blood of 
the Dukes and Duchesses started on its great career 
of modifying the type of the cattle of two continents. 
He died in 1849, and in May, 1850, his herd was 
dispersed at auction. The times were not propitious 



88 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



for the making of high prices. The impressiveness 
and rare refining powers of the bulls of Kirklevington 
breeding had not yet overcome the great vogue of 
the BooTH-bred sires. The master had never married, 
and had no near kin to inherit or take an interest 
in his great legacy to posterity. A decade previously 
he could have taken £400 each for his Oxford prize 
females, or named his own price for "The Duke." 
British agricultural values of all kinds were now 
profoundly depressed. The best price made at the 
sale was £200, paid by Earl Ducie for the 4th 
Duke of York, which his breeder had valued at 
£1,000. Several Americans were represented, in- 
cluding Gol. L. G. Morris and N. J. Becar of New 
York. These gentlemen took three of the Oxford 
females; but the Duchess tribe remained intact for 
the time being in England, fetching the poor average 
of £116 each for the fourteen sold. Lord Ducie 
was the leading buyer, and with the transfer of 
these purchases to his estate at Tortworth Court, 
in Gloucestershire, the most dramatic story in bovine 
records has its real beginning. 



XIII 

ROMANCE OF THE DUKES AND DUCHESSES 

Robert Aitchison Alexander probably had a 
larger hand in molding the character of our west- 
ern cattle stock, as seen during the early days of 
the upbuilding of all our great central markets, than 
any other one individual identified with our agricul- 
ture throughout the great constructive period. I 
doubt if many bulls ever went upon the western 
range prior to the advent of the Herefords that did 
not carry the Bates Duchess blood. Practically 
every important cornbelt herd established during 
the rapid extension of good breeding that set in 
during the "Seventies" had as its dominant factor 
the blood of imported Duke of Airdrie or his sons 
and grandsons. Substantially all of the best cattle 
feeders of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Mis- 
souri were indebted to the Bates Duchess blood 
for the squareness and the levelness of the big 
frames that distinguished the export bullocks of 
Gillett's and Moninger's time. All of which is but 
another way of saying that Kentucky set the stand- 
ard and supplied the seed for these widespread 
early improvements, and that the most impressive 
sire ever used in the "Blue Grass" herds was this 
same Bates Duchess bull called — in honor of the 

89 



90 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



ancestral Alexander acres in Scotland — the Duke 
of Airdrie. Through his successful use at Wood- 
burn and his extensive patronage at the hands of 
the Renicks, Bedfords, Vanmeters, Warfields, Dun- 
cans and all the rest of that great coterie of cattle- 
men that once ruled in Central Kentucky, the old 
Duke of Airdrie set at an early date the seal of 
Thomas Bates indelibly upon our American cattle 
of the Shorthorn type — grades as well as purebreds. 
By that is meant that so prepotent did the Duke 
of Airdrie prove, so wonderfully did he impress his 
level conformation and finish upon his get even to 
the third and fourth generations, that his blood not 
only actually coursed in the veins of practically all 
our best western cattle at one time, but the type 
was so well liked, the transformation in the case of 
coarse or ill-bred cattle was so extraordinary and 
immediate, that all bulls that carried the Duchess 
blood were in demand at once and vastly in excess 
of the supply. To this fact may be clearly attrib- 
uted the inception of that remarkable chapter in 
international agricultural history known as the great 
"Bates Shorthorn boom." 

Question not, therefore, ye who saunter through 
the Saddle and Sirloin galleries, the right of 
Robert Alexander to his place of honor. The 



ROMANCE OF THE DUKES AND DUCHESSES 91 



portrait is a copy of one painted by an English 
artist of renown in London on the occasion of one 
of Mr. Alexander's trips to the other side while 
still a comparatively young man. And before we 
proceed to sketch the Duchess furore let us add 
that Mr. Alexander was by odds the most generous 
patron of improved animal breeding of his time in 
the United States, his ample fortune and his beau- 
tiful Kentucky estate being for years a Mecca for all 
who sought valuable materials for carrying forward 
advanced work with Shorthorn and Jersey cattle, 
Thoroughbred and Trotting horses, or Southdown 
sheep. The great four-mile racer Lexington was 
one of the particular joys of his long and useful life. 
Strangely enough, Duchess 54th — the ancestress 
of the sensationally - successful Airdrie Duchess 
family to which must be credited the virtual inau- 
guration of the craze for Bates Shorthorn blood 
throughout the United States, the progress of which 
movement soon stirred English cattle breeding to 
its very depths — had been outcrossed with the very 
last blood that Thomas Bates would have selected 
for such a purpose, that of John Booth's Bracelet, 
twin sister of Necklace, that the dam of the Duke 
of Northumberland had defeated at York as already 
related. And here our story impinges upon the 



92 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



Kirklevington dispersion of 1850, with which our 
last sketch was concluded. Upon that occasion 
Duchess 54th was bought by Mr. Eastwood for 
£94 10s. for Col. Towneley. The latter was a man 
of catholic tastes and wealth, wedded to no partic- 
ular line of procedure, a lover of good cattle, with 
an inquiring and receptive mind. To him the Short- 
horn world was afterwards indebted for the won- 
derful Towneley Butterflies. Sacrilegious as it would 
doubtless have appeared to Thomas Bates, Duchess 
54th was bulled by the white Lord George, son of 
Bracelet's daughter Birthday. A bull calf named 2d 
Duke of Athol was the fruit of this union of the 
two great rival houses, and while engaged in buy- 
ing a large selection of well-bred cattle from the 
best sources for shipment to Kentucky, Mr. Alex- 
ander saw and liked and bought the young Duke 
bearing this bar sinister upon his Bates escutcheon, 
and also his sister of the pure blood, a daughter of 
Duchess 54th, called Duchess of Athol. This was 
in 1853. The Duke was then a yearling and the 
Duchess a two-year-old, the sum of 500 guineas 
being given for the pair, a fact which indicates how 
rapidly values had risen since the dispersion sale a 
few years previously, and incidentally proving once 
again the old, old proposition that the time to buy 



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ROMANCE OF THE DUKES AND DUCHESSES 93 



good property is when nobody else seems to want 
it even at less than its obvious intrinsic value. To 
a service of her half-brother the 2d Duke of Athol 
or of a bull called Valiant — the exact fact as to 
the coupling never having been established — the 
young Duchess of Athol produced a heifer which 
Mr. Alexander named Duchess of Airdrie. 

Allusion has already been made to the fact that 
Lord Ducie was the principal buyer of the Dukes 
and Duchesses at the Bates dispersion. His Lord- 
ship was at this time, next to Earl Spencer, 
probably the closest student of cattle-breeding 
problems among all the noblemen of his time in 
England. He knew of the Bates contention as to 
the "exclusive" breeding of the Duchesses, and 
probably sensing a good speculation in them, se- 
cured most of them at the bargain prices prevailing 
at the time they were disposed of by Mr. Bates' 
executors. He had an idea, however, that they 
needed an infusion of fresh blood, and when Duch- 
ess 55th was knocked down to his bidding at 110 
guineas he remarked that he would send her to 
Earl Spencer's to be bulled by his MASON-bred 
Usurer, "to improve her shoulders." This he sub- 
sequently did, the cow producing a white heifer to 
the service, which he did not like; whereupon he 



94 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



is said to have affirmed that "Bates was right and 
I am wrong. I will never cross them again with 
anything but themselves." Just the same, this out- 
crossed white heifer lived to found the family 
known afterwards in England as Grand Duchesses, 
and in the course of time, when the pure blood 
had become wholly extinct, this particular English 
branch of the fine old tribe and the American 
Duchesses of Airdrie, carrying the Lord George 
(Booth) cross, through Mr. Alexander's 2d Duke 
of Athol, alone remained to perpetuate the ancient 
name. 

DuciE had been in feeble health for some little 
time prior to his acquisition of the cream of the 
Kirklevington herd, and did not live long enough to 
carry out his plans. He was a crafty individual 
and from all accounts not overscrupulous in shap- 
ing his plans to practically "corner" the Duchess 
blood. The bulls of that ilk, as well as the females, 
were not numerous. The tribe had been so closely 
bred that they were for the most part shy pro- 
ducers. In fact, the larger part of the herd during 
its later years consisted of tribes of other origin 
crossed with the Duke and Oxford bulls, chief 
among these in point of numbers being the Wild 
Eyes and Waterloos. One of the last sires used 



ROMANCE OF THE DUKES AND DUCHESSES 96 



by Mr. Bates had been the 3d Duke of York, 
which had been sold privately before the closing- 
out auction was held. Lord Ducie sent his agent 
to buy him, with instructions to send him to the 
butcher, and the bull was actually slaughtered at 
Tortworth. His Lordship supposed that this left 
him in possession of the only bull of the line then 
living; but upon being told that Mr. Tanqueray, a 
well-known breeder of that period, had recently 
come into the ownership of the 6th Duke of York, 

he is credited with testily exclaiming, "D that 

bull; I had lost sight of him!" However in the 
language of "Bobby" Burns, "the best laid schemes 
o' mice and men gang aft agley." The old Earl 
died and his herd was dispersed in 1853, and up- 
on that occasion Great Britain and America clashed 
for the first time for the possession of the Duchess 
blood. Becar and Gol. Morris, who had secured 
three of the Oxford females at Kirklevington's 
dispersion, were on hand now to contest for 
Duchesses, and in this were reinforced by Jonathan 
Thorne, also of New York City, George Vail of 
Troy, and Gen. Gadwallader of Philadelphia. Their 
English competitors were Tanqueray, Gol. Gunter, 
Lord Feversham and the Earl of Burlington. 
The eight Duchesses fetched an average of £401 



96 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



each, Becar and Morris jointly taking Duchess 66th 
at £735, Mr. Thorne securing the 59th, 64th and 
68th at £367, £630 and £420 respectively. Becar 
and Morris got Duke of Gloster at £682 and Vail 
& Gadwallader bought 4th Duke of York at £525, 
with the understanding that he was to be left in 
England one year before shipment to the States. 
Mr. Alexander then arranged to have his Duchess 
of Athol bred to the Duke of Gloster, and the prod- 
uce of that union was the Duke of Airdrie, that 
became, as we have already mentioned, the favorite 
sire of his time in the Middle Western States. He 
was brought over to Woodburn in 1855. 

In 1858 Richard Gibson, who figures later in 
these notes, made his first visit to a Royal Show in 
the land of his nativity. By that time a determined 
and wealthy constituency had got behind the Bates 
Shorthorn cult, and Lord Feversham sent one of 
his Ducie purchases, the grand bull 5th Duke of 
Oxford, to the national competition, which was held 
that year at Chester. This lineal Duchess-crossed 
descendant of the Oxford Premium Cow headed a 
strong class of aged bulls, and Gibson never quite 
forgot the impression that lordly beast made upon 
him at that time. "The way he moved and the air 
of conscious superiority he assumed I have never 



ROMANCE OF THE DUKES AND DUCHESSES 97 



forgotten." Such was Richard's comment made to 
the writer in speaking of this old-time champion 
many years ago. 

In 1861 GuNTER — who was now the sole possessor 
of Duchess females on the other side of the Atlantic 
— took Duchess 77th out to the Leeds Royal and 
beat Richard Booth's and Lady Pigot's entries. 
The Lady was one of several capable women who 
had espoused Shorthorn breeding enthusiastically, 
flying the flag of Warlaby. 

During this same year Samuel Thorne, who had 
in the meantime come into possession of Thornedale, 
the family seat near Millbrook, Dutchess Co., N. Y., 
while on a trip to England was besieged by British 
breeders, who were now beginning to realize what 
had been lost to America, to return some of the 
blood to the other side. This was before the Duke 
of Airdrie had made his great hit in western herds, 
and Mr. Thorne consented to humor his English 
friends, sending over for sale three Dukes and a 
bull and a heifer of the Oxford tribe, bred from 
Jonathan Thorne's purchases at the Ducie sale of 
1863. These were quickly picked up soon after 
being landed at Liverpool at from 300 to 400 guineas 
each. One of these, the 4th Duke of Thornedale, 
finally went to Gol. Gunter at Wetherby, where he 



AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



was kept in service until ten years old, enjoying, 
along with the T'th Duke of York, the celebrity 
which attached to the pair of being the only "pure 
Duke" bulls in England. 

In response to a similar call from Britain Mr. 
Alexander sent the fine bull 2d Duke of Airdrie 
and the 5th and 6th Dukes of that line to the 
mother country, all outcrossed with the blood of 
the Booths. The 2d Duke had been a winner of 
a $1,000 championship at St. Louis prior to his 
exportation. 

Meanwhile, the demand for the Bates cattle from 
the nobility and gentry of England grew with each 
succeeding year. It had to be met mainly by Duke 
and Oxford-topped cattle of various sound old British 
strains, for there were not Dukes and Duchesses 
enough for all. The outcrossed Grand Duchesses 
already mentioned now came into their own. The 
females, were not numerous, and had been held 
together, first by Mr. Bolden of Lancashire, and 
subsequently by Messrs. Atherton and Hegan, the 
latter paying the former the sum of £5,000 for 
nine cows and four bulls. Three of the females 
proved barren, and at Mr. Hegan's death in 1865 
the twelve cows and heifers and five bulls of this 
branch were auctioned off at Willis' rooms in the 



ROMANCE OF THE DUKES AND DUCHESSES 99 



city of London. This event was unique in the 
annals of cattle-breeding from the fact that the 
animals were not before the bidders when sold. 
They had, of course, been seen privately at Daw- 
pool before the sale. Lord Feversham presided, and 
there was a brilliant assemblage of peers, M. P.'s 
and notables generally. The females were offered 
in "blocks of three," and the entire lot was taken 
by E. L. Betts of Preston Hall in Kent, at 1,900 
guineas for the first trio offered, 1,300 guineas for 
the second, 1,800 guineas for the third and 1,200 
for the fourth. The bull Imperial Oxford, that was 
then being used upon them, went with them at an 
extra price of 450 guineas. The Duke of Devon- 
shire took Grand Duke 10th at 600 guineas. Two 
years later Mr. Betts resold the cattle. They had 
not been prolific; but the thirteen head offered 
brought the fine average of 432 guineas each, the 
"plum" of the lot, the celebrated Grand Duchess 
IT'th, bringing 800 guineas from Gapt. R. E. Oliver 
of Sholebroke Lodge. 

By this time events were shaping themselves 
for still greater activities in America. In 1866 J.O. 
Sheldon of White Spring Farm, Geneva, N.Y., bought 
the entire Thornedale herd of Duchesses, Oxfords, 
etc., at a reported price of $40,000, thus acquiring 



100 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



a monopoly of the "pure" blood this side the At- 
lantic. The following year Sheldon exported two 
Dukes and a Duchess heifer to England, along with 
some of the Oxfords. They were sold, after inspec- 
tion, by Strafford by candlelight in the cafe of 
the Castle Hotel at Windsor, where Mr. Leney, of 
Kent, gave 700 guineas for the white 7th Duchess 
of Geneva. For the entire shipment about $20,000 
was realized. In 1869 Mr. Sheldon parted with 
the two-year-old heifer 11th Duchess of Geneva, 
the yearling 14th Duchess and the bull calf 9th 
Duke of Geneva for a round $12,500 to E. H. 
Cheney of Gaddesby Hall, selling also about the 
same time the 8th Duke, a bull calf, for export at 
$4,000. 

By 1870 the Bates tribes proper were firmly 
held by powerful interests on both sides the Atlan- 
tic; but the speculative spirit engendered by the 
Thorne and Sheldon exportations and by their sales 
of young Dukes at prices ranging from $3,000 to 
$6,000 each, to various American breeders, was not 
only beginning to tell against the character of the 
cattle themselves, but bid fair to reach a dangerous 
height. The entire Sheldon herd was acquired by 
Walcott & Campbell of the New York Mills, at 
Utica, at around $100,000, and Richard Gibson was 



ROMANCE OF THE DUKES AND DUCHESSES 101 



placed in charge. The Duchesses had cost them 
about $5,500 each. Hon. M. H. Cochrane of Hill- 
hurst, Canada, had brought out three of the Gunter 
Duchesses from England, two at $5,000 each and 
one at $7,500. One of the former he sold to Col. 
William S. King of Minneapolis for the then un- 
heard-of price of $12,0001 Later on she was bought 
back and resold for return to England. In April, 
1871, Senator Cochrane exported the bull Duke of 
Hillhurst to Col. Kingscote at $4,000. He was 
sired by the 14th Duke of Thornedale, a bull that 
afterwards sold in Kentucky for $17,900, and in 
England the Hillhurst Duke begot the world-famous 
Duke of Connaught, for which Lord Fitzhardinge 
of Berkeley Castle paid the record price of 4,600 
guineas! In November, 1871, Cochrane sold to 
Earl Dunmore two Duchess heifers for $12,500. 
In 1872 Richard Gibson bought from Mr. Alexander 
three Airdrie Duchesses for export to E. H. Cheney. 
And so these ''days of most stupendous follies," as 
Col. King was wont to put it after all was over, 
proceeded to their international climax of 1873. 
Dunmore opened the ball that year with a purchase 
of ten head of Bates cattle from Hillhurst at 
$50,0001 And in the autumn came the deluge — 
the New York Mills dispersion. This is not the 



102 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



place to write in detail of that most extraordinary 
event, when England and America went jointly mad. 
The "pure" Duchess breed was now extinct in the 
land of its birth, and the fast and furious fighting for 
their possession did not end until the sum of $40,600 
had been bid for the 8th Duchess of Geneva! 

The sun went down that September afternoon 
upon an average of $18,740 for eleven Duchesses 
and three Dukes, the top figures being paid by Eng- 
lish bidders. Earl Bective took the 10th Duchess 
of Geneva at $35,000, and Lord Skelmersdale 
gave $30,600 for 1st Duchess of Oneida. Mr. 
Alexander led the American contingent with 
$2T,000 for the 10th Duchess of Oneida. It after- 
wards developed that the agent who represented 
Mr. R. Pavin Davies, of England, in the tense ex- 
citement of the day had exceeded his instructions 
in making the $40,600 bid, and the cow was after- 
wards taken by Col. L. G. Morris at the price made 
by her daughter, $30,600. 

What was the harvest? For the most part dis- 
appointment: deaths, abortions and failures to breed. 
The $36,000 cow became in England the mother 
of a splendid sire, the same Duke of Underley 
whose head in terra cotta relief may be seen any 
day, by those curiously inclined, in one of the panels 



ROMANCE OF THE DUKES AND DUCHESSES 103 



already alluded to in this volume as ornamenting 
the entrance to the National Live Stock Bank at 
the Chicago Yards. 

In 1875 Mr. Alexander sold the good bull 24th 
Duke of Airdrie and the 20th Duchess of Airdrie to 
George Fox, of England, at $12,000 and $18,000 
respectively. About the same time Cheney paid the 
proprietor of Woodburn $17,000 for the 16th Duch- 
ess of Airdrie. Avery & Murphy of Port Huron 
gave Cochrane $18,000 for Airdrie Duchess 5th. 
An interesting incident also of this period was the 
attempt to push into the limelight the Princess tribe, 
because of Belvidere's successful use nearly fifty 
years previously at Kirklevington. A. W. Griswold 
of Vermont sold five of these in 1875 for $18,000. 
Six head were subsequently sold in Kentucky for 
$15,725. The English took a hand in this, and 
several were exported at long prices. The Renick 
Roses of Sharon also caught the swell of this unpar- 
alleled speculation, and several of them were exported 
at long figures. At Lord Dunmore's memorable sale 
of Aug. 25, 1875, where the Duke of Connaught 
fetched 4,500 guineas, the RENicK-bred Red Rose 
of the Isles topped the females at $11,650 from 
Earl Bective. On this great occasion thirty-nine 
head sold for $149,335, an average of $3,829! 



104 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



We might continue this narration on down 
through the decade following; but, after the figures 
already quoted, sales of Duchess cattle at from 
$10,000 to $20,000 each begin to lose their in- 
terest. They were still selling at those figures at 
intervals after the writer began his work. As a 
boy in 18^6 I saw Albert Grane pay $23,600 and 
$21,000 respectively for Airdrie Duchesses 2d and 
3d at Dexter Park. In 1S77 I saw the 22d 
Duchess of Airdrie knocked off by Gol. Judy for 
$15,000, and wondered why. I figured later that 
the descendants of the old 10th Duchess of Airdrie 
had brought in round figures the great sum of 
$300,000! 

In 1882 Senator Cochrane sold his Hillhurst 
Duchesses at Dexter Park, including the famous 
old Woodburn-bred 10th Duchess of Airdrie and a 
number of her descendants, receiving an average of 
$2,080 on 23 head, belonging to various Bates 
families. The late John Hope, superintendent of the 
Bow Park herd at Brantford, Ont., — at which estab- 
lishment John Clay made his start in business in 
America — bought four Duchesses here at prices rang- 
ing from $4,^00 to $8,500. Ghas. A. Degraff of 
Lake Elysian Farm, Janesville, Minn., gave $3,025 
upon this occasion for the 8th Duke of Hillhurst. 



ROMANCE OF THE DUKES AND DUCHESSES 105 



Mr. Hope was for many years a prominent figure 
in the American shows and salerings, and the herd 
in his charge was fortunate in the possession of 
probably the best of all the latter-day Duchess bulls 
in North America — the imported 4th Duke of Clar- 
ence, not only a good show bull, but a prepotent sire, 
one of the most noted of his get being the white 
steer Clarence Kirklevington, champion alive and on 
the block at the American Fat Stock Show of 1884. 
Hope was completely wrapped up in **the Duke," 
and always spoke of him in terms of the most af- 
fectionate regard. I have known many cases of 
strong attachment of a master for a pet horse or 
hound, but Hope's feelings toward the 4th Duke 
of Clarence seemed deeper than I have ever ob- 
served elsewhere on the part of an owner or herds- 
man toward a beast of the bovine species. And 
when the end came for poor John — who under the 
spell of an insufferable nervous depression com- 
mitted suicide in 1894 — he betook himself to the 
old Duke's box to end his own sufferings. Hope 
was of English birth, a good all-around judge of 
farm animals, experienced in all the arts of show- 
manship, and, as evidenced by the act just men- 
tioned, was full of sentiment. Unfortunately, he was 
identified with a sinking ship so far as the financ- 



106 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



ing of a cattle-breeding establishment conducted 
along Bates lines was concerned. Still, he was in 
comfortable circumstances personally at the time 
of his death, and only disappointment at not obtain- 
ing the title to the farm was advanced at the time 
as an inciting cause for the rash act which ended 
his career. Hope was a man who should have 
lived out a long and satisfying life, and had he 
done so he would have been one of the stanchest 
supporters of Saddle and Sirloin aspirations and 
policies. 

Charles A. Degraff, big, generous-hearted, noble- 
minded patron of animal breeding, until overtaken 
ail too soon by the grim reaper, was one of the 
kingliest characters of his generation. Minnesota 
was indeed fortunate in the early days of the de- 
velopment of her agriculture in having such men 
as William S. King, N. P. Clarke, Henry F. Brown 
and Charles A. Degraff to spread with lavish 
hands the materials for the foundation of her sub- 
sequently splendid live-stock husbandry; but easily 
the kindliest, greatest-hearted of them all was 
"Charley" Degraff. 

In 1883 came some of the last brilliant flashes 
of the Duchess boom. Holford of Castle Hill sold 
the 3d Duchess of Leicester and the 3d Duke of 



ManMM— jgijii— gaaagaaan m ii« riii-ii*r<nrMinr'f^' - i f — 1 1 ir ■ 1 1 --n n. ■ - i i — -i n-. • • - 
ROMANCE OF THE DUKES AND DUCHESSES 107 



Leicester to Lord Fitzhardinge at $5,Z50 and 
$4,500 respectively, and Earl Bective paid $7,625 
for the Duchess of Leicester. And about this date 
the 8th Duke of Tregunter, that had been exported 
to Australia, changed hands in that land of illimit- 
able pastures at $20,000. But the bloom was fad- 
ing. The primal excellence of Charles Colling's 
Stanwick cow of 1783, the excellence of the first 
Duchess bought by Mr. Bates, to say nothing of the 
really grand specimens that came with the use of 
Belvidere, had been largely lost through reckless in- 
and-in breeding, directed, not by the master mind of 
Thomas Bates, but for the most part by amateurs 
who were little less than gamblers, faithless alto- 
gether to the high ideals of the creator of the type 
and loyal only to the god of gold. 

The story needs no written moral; but what a 
tribute to the genius of him who rests yonder 
across the sea in the little churchyard of Kirklev- 
ington! Verily this narrative of the belated apprecia- 
tion of the work of Thomas Bates, and the fierce 
struggle for the possession of his legacy to the bovine 
world that occurred so many years after his decease, 
recalls the fate of the creator of the tale of Troy: 

"Seven wealthy towns contend for Honrier dead, 
Through which the living Homer begged his bread." 



XIV 
THE FIRST FARMER OF ENGLAND 

Here is a story of success in farming and stock- 
breeding that reveals, in startling fashion, the 
possibilities of a noble profession persistently and 
intelligently pursued — a recital that contains more 
inspiration perhaps than almost any other that may 
be told in Saddle and Sirloin circles — the tale of 
William Torr. 

In the portrait you may see a faint reflection 
of the "cheery sun-at-noonday smile" which was the 
outward manifestation of a disposition that endeared 
him at once to all who came into his presence. 
He attained to a distinction second to none other 
that can be bestowed upon a Briton-born, the 
sobriquet of "the first farmer of England." In a 
land where practically every man, woman and child, 
from His Majesty at Buckingham Palace down to 
the very humblest, have an inborn affection for the 
soil and a pride in rural achievement, the phrase 
we couple with the name of Torr is redolent of 
fertile, well-kept fields, rare herds and flocks, rich 
swards bedecked with buttercups, the hawthorn 
hedge, the smooth hard highway winding in and out 
between stone walls, distant spires or turrets half 

108 



THE FIRST FARMER OF ENGLAND 109 



hidden by the oaks or elms that guard some stately 
home — the open country of this island garden of 
the North Atlantic! To be first, or even among the 
first, in a land which above all other lands realizes 
in fullest measure one's fondest dreams of all that 
God's great out-of-doors should be, stamps him to 
whom it is applied as possessing every claim to 
that immortality with which we love to invest those 
whose portraits pass the curtains of the inner shrine. 
May election to that chamber be ever closely guarded! 
ToRR was a Lincolnshire man who first of all 
became a master of the arts of tillage, his crops 
being the envy of his brother tenants throughout all 
the east of England. An admirer of good sheep, he 
took up the Leicesters, giving them that unremitting 
care and thought which has made Britain so famous 
for its fleecy wonders. His heart, however, was ever 
with the Shorthorns, and after due deliberation he 
decided to cast his fortunes with the house of Booth. 
His real career as a cattle-breeder began when in 
1 844 he leased the famous Leonard, one of the best 
stock-getters of his day, and to the very last he re- 
mained a devoted and determined adherent of that 
line of breeding. Like all other great constructive 
breeders, he put ultimate results above temporary 
expediency. He had a definite end in view from the 



110 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



very first, and swerved not from the path marked 
out. He bred especially for the oblique, well-laid 
shoulder, great foreribs, broad loins and heavy flesh, 
possessing mellowness without undue softness, and 
prized especially a furry coat. Substance and con- 
stitution too were cardinal considerations, and the 
uniformity in these particulars which he succeeded 
in establishing in later years provides the proof of 
his genius in the manipulation of animal form. 

Greatly enamored as he was of the massive old 
Killerby and Warlaby stock, Torr had seen the Duke 
of Northumberland at his best, and often spoke of 
him as the finest show bull he had ever seen, and 
it appears that he conceived the notion that a dash 
of Bates might possibly prove helpful in the course 
of his own experiments. He once journeyed to 
Kirklevington in the earlier days of his Shorthorn 
work with a view towards hiring the 4th Duke of 
Northumberland, which he regarded as even a better 
bull than the first of that name. The deal was 
practically closed, but Mr. Bates undertook to stipu- 
late that the bull should be bred to only 25 cows, 
whereupon Torr rejoined, "Very well, Mr. Bates, you 
have your bull and I have my money." At a later 
date some of the blood was secured, however. At 
the Kirklevington dispersion Torr had particularly 



THE FIRST FARMER OF ENGLAND . Ill 



admired the Waterloos, and decided to go on with a 
branch of that family which he had introduced into 
his own herd five years previously by the purchase 
of a cow called Water Witch, sired by the 4th Duke 
of Northumberland out of Mr. Bates' Waterloo Sd 
by Norfolk. By the use of Booth bulls upon this 
sort he produced one of the most prolific and one 
of the best groups in the Aylesby Manor herd. His 
pet family, nevertheless, was the Flower tribe, de- 
scended in the maternal line from Nonpareil, for 
which Earl Spencer had paid 370 guineas, the 
highest figure reached at Robert Golling's sale of 
1818. 

It will be remembered that Thomas Booth, un- 
like Bates, had builded up his original herd by using 
Colling bulls upon females of his own selection. 
Torr pursued a similar policy; that is, he resorted 
to the Booth blood only for his sires, buying his 
foundation breeding cows wherever he found types 
to his liking. True, his Ribys and Brights went 
back to Booth's Anna; but they had crosses of 
extraneous blood put in after Whitaker's purchase 
of a cow of that derivation at the Studley sale of 
18S4. The reuniting of the Booth blood in this 
case proved a pronounced success, so much so that 
when the herd was finally dispersed Mr. T. G. Booth 



11.2 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



took the cream of the lot back to Warlaby, as will 
presently be noticed. 

It is with the outcome of Mr. Torr's operations 
that we are here concerned, rather than in the details 
of his breeding operations; and as the verdict placed 
upon his work by his appreciative fellow-countrymen 
was one of the most flattering that ever fell to the 
lot of a breeder of improved live stock in any land, 
we hasten now to present it. He had once said, 
"It takes SO years for any man to make a herd 
and bring it to one's notions of perfection." For- 
tunately he lived to devote that space of time to 
the Shorthorn cattle. He died in 1876, and the 
cattle went to the auction block in September of 
that year. Dun more had just made his $3,800 
average on 39 head of BATEs-bred cattle. 

Warlaby had been suffering severely for some 
time from the effects of long-continued high feeding 
for show. A tendency to shy breeding had already 
developed, when a virulent visitation of foot-and- 
mouth came along, bringing disastrous consequences 
in its train. The stock stood, therefore, at this 
time sadly in need of vigorous rehabilitation. The 
herd that William Torr had created at Aylesby was 
confessedly not only the best collection of Booth- 
bred cattle in the kingdom, but the best herd of 



THE FIRST FARMER OF ENGLAND 113 



any line of breeding at that date on either side 
the Atlantic. Hence it came to pass that when its 
dispersion was announced, visitors from far and 
near gathered literally by the thousand, and with 
Tom Booth at their head. 

Luncheon had been set for 1,500 guests, a great 
canvas accommodating 2,000 people was provided, 
and yet the crowds overflowed all Aylesby and 
vicinity. Great landed proprietors and peers of the 
realm mingled with eminent breeders, all intent upon 
showing their respect and love for the man who 
had accomplished so much for his country's good. 
Factors, herdsmen and agents mingled with the 
throng, eagerly examining the cattle and making 
notes on the various lots preparatory to laying bids 
for absent principals. It was, in brief, a scene that 
has had few parallels in agricultural history; and 
the disposition of eighty-five head of Torr's own 
production for the great sum of $243,1 44. 5T must 
be regarded, all things considered, as the most re- 
markable result ever yet worked out by an individ- 
ual breeder of Shorthorns or any other class of 
cattle. 

Mr. Booth improved to the utmost this opportu- 
nity of laying hold of sound old Killerby and Warlaby 
blood, and gave the top price, $12,900, for Bright 



114 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



Empress, and the second highest, $8,900, for Bright 
Saxon. For Bright Spangle he paid $6,300. Riby 
Marchioness went to Ireland at $7,530, and the 
beautiful Highland Flower to Rev. T. Staniforth 
at $8,960. The top for bulls was $4,185, reached 
three times, Riby Knight going at that figure to 
New Zealand. The 22 Annas averaged $4,180 
each, and 21 Waterloos made but $1,275 each. 
No such sale of cattle of one man's own produc- 
tion is on record. The point is, that a tenant 
farmer by devoting thirty years to a single purpose 
bred up a herd that was appraised at public vendue 
at nearly $250,000! 

What has been done can be done again. His- 
tory repeats. 



XV 

NORTHERN LIGHTS 

Decidedly a man of action, you will not be long 
in locating the particularly striking portrait of 
Barclay of Ury, who first stirred Aberdeenshire on 
the subject of better cattle. Robertson of Ladykirk 
in Berwickshire and Rennie of East Lothian had at 
an early date carried the "Durham" colors across 
the Tweed, but their portraits are yet among our 
missing. When turnip culture came at last to be 
introduced into the far north, the time was ripe for 
advancing the standard of quality in the local herds. 
The result of that awakening is now a familiar 
chapter in live-stock history. Wherever an Aber- 
deen Shorthorn or a poll is to be seen — and there 
are few portions of North America where these are 
not in evidence — there is occasion for removing one's 
hat in memory of Gapt. Barclay, one of the most 
unique personalities, one of the most extraordinary 
characters, to be met with in live-stock literature. 

Descended from a prominent old Kincardineshire 
family, he inherited the estate of Ury, situated along 
the little River Gowie, near the unpretentious village 
of Stonehaven on the North Sea coast. You pass 
through it now by train on your way up to Aberdeen. 

115 



116 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



In Barclay's time you would mount the box or 
take a seat inside of the ''Defiance," in which famous 
old-time coach the Captain had a financial and deep 
personal interest. He was a claimant of the earl- 
dom of Monteith, and writing of him the late Wm. 
McGoMBiE of Tillyfour, one of the founders of the 
Angus "doddie" breed, once said: 

"No one would have made any mistake as to 
Gapt. Barclay being a gentleman, although his dress 
was plain — a long green coat with velvet collar and 
big yellow buttons, a colored handkerchief, long yellow 
cashmere vest, knee-breeches, very wide top-boots 
and plain black hat." 

So much has been written of Barclay's exploits 
as perhaps the greatest all-around sportsman of his 
day, that his place as a contributor to Scottish 
national wealth, and, incidentally, to the world's 
riches, cattle-wise, has never quite been fully ac- 
knowledged. He was himself an athlete of renown, 
and it is marvelous that he should have been able 
to actively indulge his keen delight in the domains 
of coaching, coursing, the prize-ring, fox hunting, 
military training and other exercises demanding 
physical strength and endurance, and at the same 
time devote so much attention to the introduction 
of good blood into his native Northland, and to the 
production of cattle which formed the beginnings 



NORTHERN LIGHTS 117 



of the Aberdeenshire herds that afterwards met 
with world-wide recognition. But he was no 
common mortal, this lion-heart of Scotland. He 
once walked one thousand miles in one thousand 
hours upon a wager! He once drove the "Defiance" 
through from London all the way to the city of 
Aberdeen — a distance of fully five hundred miles, 
without leaving the box — to win a bet of £1,000! 
At the end of the journey, upon a friend remarking, 
"Captain, you must be tired," he rejoined: "I have 
£1,000 that says I can drive back to London again, 
starting in the morn;" but there were no takers. 
He was an officer in the local regiment. He loved 
boxing, and trained several noted professionals for 
important bouts. He had a famous breed of game 
fowls, and would always back his birds to win in 
the pit. But above and over all was his steadfast 
devotion to Ury itself. Big himself, he did every- 
thing on a scale that seemed huge to most of his 
countrymen. Speaking of this "The Druid" says in 
"Field and Fern": 

"Everything he had to do with, down to his glass 
tumblers, was always on a gigantic scale. His cattle 
must be up to their knees in grass, and his wheat- 
wagons — with four or six horses and the drag on — 
seemed like an earthquake to the Aberdonians when 
they rumbled down Marischal Street to the harbor. 



118 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



Well might the surveyor tremble by reason of them 
for the safety of the Old Bridge. His bull Champion 
was cut up for refreshments at one of his sales, 
and when he thought there might be some mistake 
about the arrival of the regular beef supplies, he 
had twelve geese killed and spitted on an ashet 
before the fire. He would have his rounds of beef 
of a certain circumference, and it was because he 
despaired of finding a bullock of the regulation size 
that he made Champion stand proxy." 

Confirmatory of all this is McCombie's assertion 
that "his horses were the strongest and his fields 
the largest in the country. He once said that he 
'did not like a field in which the cattle could see 
one another every day.' " 

The estate of Ury proper comprised about 4,000 
acres, of which the Captain had about 400 acres in 
his personal control. It was naturally a poor, sterile 
soil, littered with the stony debris of the ancient 
glaciers from the Grampians; but his father at 
prodigious outlay of labor had reduced, by the free 
use of lime and the culture of roots, 200 acres to 
a good state of fertility. Two hundred more were 
reclaimed from the heather and 1,200 acres planted 
to timberl At such a cost did these pioneer North- 
of-Scotland farmers make productive lands of their 
ancestral barrens. 



NORTHERN LIGHTS 119 



Capt. Barclay began with Shorthorns about 
1822, and when the herd of Mason of Chilton was 
sold off in Durham in 1829 he bought probably the 
best cow in that far-famed old-time collection. 
This was the celebrated Lady Sarah, which he took 
out at 150 guineas, and she proved a fine invest- 
ment. She produced, after her arrival at Ury, the 
bull Monarch (4495), and here comes in again the 
appeal to Bakewell. Monarch, bred back to his 
own dam, sired the bulls Mahommed and Sovereign. 
The former was sold, but turned out such a capital 
breeder that he was bought back and kept in ser- 
vice by the Captain until 1841. Lady Sarah left 
three heifers that gave rise to good families. 
Amos Gruickshank, who got his first bulls from Ury, 
once said: "I question if ever there was a better 
breed of Shorthorn in England, Scotland or any- 
where else than the Lady Sarah tribe." 

Barclay was a friend and intimate of four of 
the best cattle judges of their time: William 
Wetherell, William McCombie, Hugh Watson and 
Jonas Webb, upon whose judgment and advice he 
is said to have frequently relied. The former 
bought old Lady Sarah when 13 years old at one 
of the Ury sales, and sold her to Watson. The 
latter shares with McCombie in Scottish history the 



120 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



honor of being one of the originators of the Aber- 
deen-Angus "humlies." 

The first Ury herd was closed out at auction in 
1858, the eighty head bringing £5,000. The bull 
Mahommed was retained, and shortly another herd 
was in process of formation. This was sold in 
1847, Wetherell being the auctioneer, and it was 
upon this occasion that Campbell of Kinellar laid 
the foundation by purchase for his afterwards 
famous herd. 

Ury was undoubtedly the corner-stone of the 
Scottish Shorthorn structure. The bulls from the 
Barclay herd were used originally to cross upon 
the native black cows, and the improvement wrought 
was so apparent that probably a majority of the 
herds of the district received an infusion of Ury 
blood. The result was a demand for Shorthorn 
bulls that finally turned the attention of such men 
as Grant Duff of Eden, Hay of Shethin, the Gruick- 
SHANKS of Sittyton, and many others to the pro- 
duction of purebred Shorthorns. 

The Gaptain once kept a pack at a neighboring 
estate called Allardyce, and hunted in Turiff and 
Kincardineshire. It was due to this connection that 
he acquired the habit of signing himself "Barclay 
Allardyce." It is related that he would often ride 



NORTHERN LIGHTS 121 



forty miles to a meet. He was wont also to go to 
Leamington, a fashionable English watering place 
near Warwick, for the hunting season, where he 
made something of a sensation by appearing at one 
of the grand balls in his old green coat and black 
knee-breeches. He was a supporter also of the 
turf, commonly attending the Epsom Derby. 

One of his friends characterized him as *'a great 
eater, a man of fine, simple faith and always in 
condition." Dixon says that "when he first met 
Hugh Watson at a coursing meeting, and seeing 
that he was a man after his own heart, asked him, 
as if it was a highly intellectual treat, 'Would you 
like to see me strip tonight, and feel my muscle?' " 

Dixon has also left this picture of the redoubt- 
able Captain: 

"At home his own habits were very quiet and 
simple. He was always ready with his subscription 
for any good object, and every Monday twenty or 
thirty people would be waiting for him about the 
front door after breakfast for their sixpences, of 
which he carried a supply in his waistcoat pocket. 
On New Year's Day he had always his friends 
to dinner, land he sat obscured to the chin behind 
the round of beef which two men brought in on a 
trencher. Mr. Kinnear was the perpetual Vice, 
and everybody made a speech. The Captain's was 



122 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



quite an oration, or rather a resume of the year, and 
concluded with special eulogium on those who 'have 
died since our last anniversary.' Not infrequently 
he killed one or two before their time, perhaps more 
from a little dry humor than by mistake; and then 
he begged their pardon and said, *it didn't matter 
much.' For some time before his death he had suf- 
fered slightly from paralysis; but a kick from a pony 
produced a crisis, and two days after, when they 
went to awake him on the May morning of '54, he 
was found dead in bed. He lies in the cemetery of 
Ury, about a mile from his old home^ — the trainer of 
pugilists with the gentle apologist for the Quakers — 
and his claim to the earldom of Airth and Monteith 
seemed to die out with him." 

Let us hope that in due course of time Hugh 
Watson and William McGombie will find their proper 
places in the inner circle of the Club alongside 
Barclay and Amos Gruickshank. It must be borne 
in mind that there was a native race of polled 
cattle in Angus, Aberdeen and contiguous counties 
long before Barclay introduced the Shorthorn, 
Hugh Watson of Forfarshire was the man who had 
done most to develop the doddie type within itself, 
and his success with the blacks was commensurate 
with that of the Gollings with the Shorthorns. He 
commenced at Keillor in 1809, and never deserted 
the type to the date of his death. He was on 



NORTHERN LIGHTS 123 



terms of close friendship with such congenial spirits 
in the south as John Booth, Anthony Maynard, 
Wetherell and Torr, and is said to have followed 
closely in his wonderful manipulations of Angus 
form the methods of those eminent English breeders, 
including resort, at times, to close inter -breeding. 
Booth's Bracelet and Charity were Keillor's beau 
ideals of beef form, and he directed his operations 
with the blackskins to the attainment of a similar 
type. 

McGoMBiE was the man who saved the "doddies" 
from virtual extinction in Aberdeenshire at a time 
when the Shorthorns were threatening to engulf 
the indigenous type on its native heath. He began 
about 1830, and for full fifty years devoted his 
rare skill and judgment to the improvement of the 
"bonnie blacks." The story of his triumphs would 
fill a volume. 

I once spent a day at Ballindalloch, that great 
stronghold of the Angus high up in the valley of 
the Spey the guest of the late Sir George Mac- 
Pherson Grant, and the pictures seen that day are 
mirrored plainly still in memory after the lapse of 
more than twenty years. The ancient castle with 
its narrow spiral stairway in the tower, the views of 
distant hill and wood, the winding river, the pas- 



124 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



tures leading up to where the purple heather grows, 
the glossy- coated cattle, Sir George's brother 
Campbell in his Highland kilts, Mackenzie of Dal- 
more, a fellow-guest to argue with, and the baronet 
himself for guide ! 

This was when the Ballindalloch Ericas were 
to be seen in all the glory of their flesh, finish and 
rotundity — neat, thick, low, wide and as like as peas 
in the same pod. Sir George had attained the very 
top of the tree as the foremost breeder of Aber- 
deen-Angus of modern days, and frankly acknowl- 
edged that the foundation of his success was laid 
by the purchase and free use of the bull Trojan, 
bought from McCombie in 1865. Thus are the 
links forged in the chains of all these annals of 
the breed. The whole splendid story of how the 
great work of one generation has been carried for- 
ward by the next, and the fruit of it all preserved 
and handed down for the benefit of the farming 
world, should be held up before the present gener- 
ation at every opportunity and at any reasonable 
cost. 

Has the Saddle and Sirloin Club anything yet 
to do? OhI ye who know not the paths of glory 
in the animal breeding realm, ye who are not con- 
scious of the miracles that have been worked in 



NORTHERN LIGHTS 125 



pastures and paddocks on both sides the North 
Atlantic, familiarize yourselves with the historic 
places that await you in a thousand beautiful and 
secluded nooks and corners of this fine old world 
and answer. 



XVI 
CREATORS OF PASTORAL WEALTH 

There are many instances in live-stock history 
of "community breeding" carried to extraordinary 
heights of success. Draw, for instance, circles hav- 
ing radii of say twenty or thirty miles around the 
cities of Hereford, Darlington and Nogent-le-Rotrou, 
and you would circumscribe the districts wherein 
great men lived out their useful lives preparing for 
the world's everlasting benefit the Hereford cattle, 
the Shorthorn cattle and the Percheron horse. 
The case of the Clydesdale and the Ayrshire country, 
the accomplishments of Aberdeenshire, of the Isles 
of Jersey and Guernsey, the great contribution 
by the Netherlands and various other outstanding 
illustrations, all serve to point alike the moral, and 
adorn the tale, of how splendid enduring sources 
of world wealth have been worked out within the 
boundaries of a restricted area through the per- 
sistent co-operation of enthusiastic groups of men 
bound together by the ties of keen, mutual interest. 

If ever an ideal Saddle and Sirloin Club were 
to come into existence, it would have separate rooms 
devoted to the exploitation of the origin and devel- 
opment of all the leading breeds that are now such 
important factors in our national economy. Sup- 

126 



CREATORS OF PASTORAL WEALTH 127 



posing for a moment we enter what might be called 
the "Darlington Room." In its center is seen a 
topographical map. Its dominant feature would be 
the Valley of the Tees, beginning, say, at Barnard 
Castle and ending where Middlesbrough bids the 
peaceful little river farewell as it passes into the 
bosom of the German Ocean. Far in the north is 
Durham cathedral's "majestic gothic shade." To the 
east the vale of Cleveland. In the south Derwent 
water, Northallerton and the grassy vale of the Swale. 
And everywhere historic homes and steadings! Wyn- 
yard, Wolviston, Acklam, Kirklevington, Sockburn, 
Brawith, Brandsby, Marton-le-Moor, Studley Royal, 
Skipton Bridge, Warlaby, Braithwaite, Carperby, 
Marske, Ravensworth, Barningham, Stanwick, Gain- 
ford, Dalton, Aldbrough, Smeaton, Cleasby, Eryholme, 
Barmpton, Ketton, Chilton! Mark also those an- 
cient and honorable "clearing houses" already men- 
tioned in these tales, the "Black Bull Inn" and the 
"King's Head" in the streets of Yarm and Darling- 
ton — twin capitals of this district of great destiny. 
On the walls of this imaginary room are portraits 
of at least a score of presiding judges of the olden 
cattle courts, and rare old prints of famous bovine 
favorites. Mementoes of these breed-makers also 
find here a fitting resting place, and as the people 



128 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



turn from the International championship battles of 
today to touch these relics of patron saints, their 
faith and fast allegiance is indeed renewed. Some 
day we may see this room, and from it pass on to 
others wherein we shall find equally impressive 
mementoes of the birthplaces and creators of other 
pastoral assets. 

Meantime, take as another type of these old 
field marshals of York and Durham, William 
Wetherell of the Ogilvie group. Unfortunately 
we cannot now show you the prints that once hung 
in his modest home at Aldbrough. Pictures of the 
GoLLiNGs, Thomas Booth, Sir Tatton Sykes, Wiley 
and Barclay of Ury were there; also the portrait 
of a cow that Booth had sold as a two-year-old 
and bought back later at beef price, producing three 
heifers for which Rennie of Phantassie bid 500 
guineas unavailingly. Weaver's painting of Comet 
was also Wetherell's. In the presence of these 
and other reminders it was easy to draw a wealth 
of old-time cattle lore from this "Nestor" of the 
great fraternity that wrought such marvels in this 
little kingdom of Darlington. Wetherell, in his 
time, bred four distinct herds. He first caught the 
divine fire when as a mere boy he gazed with wide- 
eyed wonder as the bidding went to a thousand 





.A 


■h 


1 


■' i 











CREATORS OF PASTORAL WEALTH 129 



guineas at Ketton in 1810, and at Robert Golling's 
sale eight years later he made his maiden purchases. 
He was active, vigorous, aggressive, persistent and 
a walking cyclopedia of facts dealing with Short- 
horn development. Recognized also as one of the 
best judges of his time, fond of his friends and 
ever ready to join in debate, he was a welcome 
and frequent visitor throughout all the valley and 
beyond. He combated the old craze for mere size, 
and preached constitution first, last and all the time 
as the bas-is of all success in animal breeding. 

Wetherell was an auctioneer besides being him- 
self a frequent and liberal buyer of top cattle, and 
no amount of bad luck ever seemed to swerve him 
from his devotion to the Shorthorn cause. Pleuro- 
pneumonia once carried off 24 of his cows in a 
single season, and the best bull he ever owned de- 
veloped such a temper that he had to be shot for 
fear of possible fatalities to the attendants. His 
faithful herdsman, John Ward, was one of the mas- 
ters of his profession in a day when showyard and 
salering generals of the first-class were much in 
evidence. The final dispersion sale was a memora- 
ble occasion. The crowd had been liberally enter- 
tained at the ''King's Head" the night before, and 
the proprietor "in a white waistcoat on a pony" 



130 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



personally directed the selling. He spoke feelingly 
of *'auld acquaentance," and a blue bullock-van 
with "The Cumberland Ox" in six-inch letters on its 
side, did duty, according to Dixon, "as catalogue 
and counting house." John Charge, then bowed 
and feeble under the weight of years, was in the 
throng, and, leaning on the arm of a friend, told of 
how "nine and forty years before he had joined to 
buy a leg of Comet," having been one of the four 
to pay 1,000 guineas for the bull at the Ketton 
sale. Lady Pigot, from her brougham, sent in the 
300-guinea bid that took Stanley Rose, the highest 
priced lot of the day. 

Another fine type of these wonderful English 
farmers, although belonging to a somewhat later 
era, was Jonas Webb, of Babraham in Cambridge- 
shire, one of the recognized builders of the beautiful 
Southdown breed of sheep. You will find his por- 
trait also in the Ogilvie lot. Mr. Webb was another 
man of decided originality. It is indeed extraordi- 
nary that England should have produced so many 
big-brained men capable of mapping out independent 
courses, and following up schemes of breeding, 
usually along Bakewell lines, leading to fame and 
sometimes fortune. One can readily imagine what 
zest must have animated those sessions of the long 



CREATORS OF PASTORAL WEALTH 131 



ago when these strong-minded, virile personalities 
came in frequent mental contact. 

The creation of the Southdown must be classed 
as one of the notable achievements of a century 
phenomenally prolific in great gifts to agriculture. 
What a Thoroughbred racer is to the road, track 
and saddle horse stock of the world, so is the South- 
down to most of our great modern middle-wooled 
mutton types of sheep. 

JoNAS Webb merits a monument for his work 
with Southdowns alone. For years his fiock was 
drawn upon by the best breeders of England as 
well as by royalty. Choice specimens were often 
sent to leading shows, and the Babraham pens 
were ever a center of attraction. A particularly 
fine group was forwarded for exhibition to one of 
the earlier Paris Universal Expositions, and in con- 
nection with this a story is told that proves that 
Jonas Webb was quick as well as deep. One day 
during the Exposition the Emperor, Napoleon III, 
drove through the live-stock section. It was of 
course a gala day. The carriage, drawn by four 
white horses richly caparisoned, was halted at the 
ruler's request in front of the Southdown pens. Mr. 
Webb chanced to be on hand. The distinguished 
visitor after admiring the sheep with every indica- 



/ 



152 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



tion of enthusiasm asked to whom they belonged. 
Like a flash came back the reply, "Yours, your 
majesty, if you will accept them." The gift was 
graciously received, and some weeks later there 
came to Babraham, with the compliments of Napo- 
leon III, a magnificent chest of silver, said to this 
day to be one of the finest in all England. 

Although not in the Teeswater district, Mr. Webb 
began with Shorthorns in 1858,. and bred them with 
success along paths of his own choice until his death 
in 1862, at which time his herd numbered about 
150 head. At this date it was one of the best 
large herds in England, and a brilliant future was 
assured for it had the proprietor lived longer to 
carry out his plans. When dispersed at prices rang- 
ing up to 400 guineas for the bull Lord Chancellor, 
quite a number were bought for export to Prussia, 
Austria and Australia. Mr. Jonas Webb Jr., a grand- 
son of this distinguished breeder, became associated 
with the late John Thornton — the successor of 
Strafford, the great English live-stock auctioneer 
— and will be pleasantly remembered by many Amer- 
icans who had the pleasure of meeting him upon 
the occasion of his visit to the States some years 
since. 

The late Sir Walter Gilbey of Elsenham Hall, 



CREATORS OF PASTORAL WEALTH 133 



Essex, during his lifetime was made a baronet, on 
request of the Prince of Wales, by a stroke of 
Queen Victoria's pen, in recognition of distinguished 
services rendered to British agriculture and horse- 
breeding. Americans may consider that an even 
greater honor has come to Sir Walter dead. A fine 
copy, by Nyholm, of Sir W. Q. Orchardson's pres- 
entation portrait, adorns our Saddle and Sirloin 
walls. At his own sweet will a monarch may make 
a belted knight. Something more than that is a 
condition precedent to admission to this our Amer- 
ican Academy. The original of this fine portrait was 
paid for by subscriptions from more than 1,200 
different people — a fact that illustrates the subject's 
wide popularity — and the presentation speech was 
made by the prince, who was afterwards crowned 
King Edward VII. This event took place in 1891, 
at the Royal Agricultural Hall in London, the 
ceremonies being presided over by the Duke of 
Portland, Master of Horse to the Grown. 

Sir Walter's father was a stage-coach driver 
on the run from Essex to White Chapel, and the 
son rose from poverty to enormous wealth. He was 
ever fond of a good horse, and a great fortune 
made in trade was freely used in forwarding the 
cause of agricultural advancement and in promoting 



134 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



interest in the production of Shires, Hackneys, 
Hunters and ponies. As a boy he was sent out to 
render some non-military service in the Crimean 
campaign. It is related that he exchanged his ration 
of rum with the soldiers for candles to enable him 
to sit up late at night and play cribbage, of which 
card game he was very fond. In later years he 
often told the story of how the first horse he ever 
owned be bought with money won at this pastime 
in Crimea. While we may not encourage our own 
youth to get a start in live stock in this particular 
fashion, it was at least to young Gilbey's credit 
that he traded off the rum instead of drinking it 
himself. Probably that is one reason why he won 
at cribbage over those who disposed of their pota- 
tions with less wisdom. He lived to develop a 
business as a wine merchant which paid into the 
royal exchequer taxes aggregating one million pounds 
sterling annually! So much for his capacity as a 
business man. 

At Elsenham he devoted his great talents and 
his ample fortune to arousing England to a realiz- 
ing sense of the importance of maintaining and 
still further improving the native breeds of horses 
and ponies. He was at different times President 
of the Shire Horse Society, the Hackney Horse 



CREATORS OF PASTORAL WEALTH 135 



Society, the Smithfield Club, the Hunter Improve- 
ment Society, the Polo Pony Society, the Shetland 
Pony Society and the Essex Agricultural Society. 
It was through his efforts that the Royal Commis- 
sion on Horse Breeding was created. He was also 
a Jersey cattle fancier, the herd at Elsenham being 
accounted one of England's best. 

Like most other men who have accomplished 
things worth while in animal breeding. Sir Walter 
was a profound student. He was learned beyond 
most of his contemporaries in respect to the origin 
and development of the British types, and was the 
author of numerous addresses and pamphlets deal- 
ing with various aspects of horse breeding in the 
British islands. Some of these, notably **The Great 
Horse," and "Thoroughbred and Other Ponies," were 
published by Vinton & Go. in book form. '*The 
Great Horse" deals largely with the remote ances- 
try of the English Shire or Cart horse. In fact Sir 
Walter is commonly credited with having rescued 
not only the Shire and the Hackney, but the Hunter 
from deterioration and decay. He paid $4,300 for 
the stallion Spark at a time when the Cart horse 
type was losing favor, and gathered a group of 
public-spirited men together and put the Shire Horse 
Stud Book of England upon its feet. In 1894 



136 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



he bought the Hackney stallion Danegelt, the best 
horse of his type in all Britain at that date, for 
$25,000, in order to prevent his sale for export, and 
put him in service at Elsenham. He got but three 
seasons' use of that celebrated sire, but always 
claimed that, notwithstanding that fact, this was 
one of the best investments he ever made. The 
Danegelt blood has ever since fairly dominated the 
Hackney world. Sir Walter was also the originator 
of the annual London Cart Horse Parade, one of 
the most imposing affairs of its kind ever inaugu- 
rated. The equipment at Elsenham was one of the 
most complete in existence, the extensive and well- 
arranged paddocks, as well as the riding and driving 
schools, being recognized as among the best in 
Great Britain. 

At one time Sir Walter erected a lot of model 
cottages for his tenants. And here one little inci- 
dent happily illustrates his understanding. He saw 
to it personally that no washing was to be done in 
the house. He built the washhouse apart from the 
cottage, and the ugly coal-hole likewise. Said he: 
"No man wants to come home to his dinner or his 
supper and find the place full of steam and soap- 
suds." Volumes of rural uplift are summed up in 
that phrase. The world needs more men of the 



CREATORS OF PASTORAL WEALTH 137 



GiLBEY type — men whose sympathies with the agri- 
cultural masses take practical turns. 

Is it any wonder England became the nursery of 
so many rare types of improved domestic animals, 
with the finest minds and greatest fortunes in the 
kingdom so actively interested in their welfare? 



XVII 
"THE HERDSMAN OF ABERDEENSHIRE" 

As a companion picture to that of Charles and 
Robert Colling there should be a similar canvas 
portraying Amos and Anthony Cruickshank. You 
may see the portrait of grim old Amos hanging 
there just now alongside Thomas Bates, whom he 
in nowise resembled; but I have seen no picture of 
the brother who really had a large part in the 
founding and upbuilding of the great Scottish herd 
that turned England and America topsy-turvy after 
the Booth and Bates manias had finally run their 
course. Amos was the resident farm and herd 
manager, and is generally credited with the concep- 
tion of most of the plans that yielded such splendid 
ultimate results; and yet it was Anthony's steadfast 
financial and moral support and active, intelligent 
co-operation that made possible the fame of that 
"farthest-north" of all great cattle-breeding farms 
— Sittyton of Straloch in Aberdeenshire. 

Mr. Bates and the Booths and their contempo- 
raries in the Shorthorn ranks had beaten all other 
breeds of cattle to the goal of a lucrative inter- 
national fame through their prompt adoption and 
persistent practice of Robert Bakewell's methods; 
but the time at length arrived when their followers 

138 



'THE HERDSMAN OF ABERDEENSHIRE" 139 



were not only unhorsed, through an overindulgence 
in the theory of close breeding, but were brought 
face to face with the palpable fact that while they 
were riding their pet hobbies to an inevitable fall, 
men possessed of penetration like unto that which 
had worked such wonders in Yorkshire, had been 
quietly duplicating the triumphs of Kirklevington 
and Warlaby in other quarters. The Tomkins, John 
Price of Ryall, the Hewers, Rea and Philip Turner, 
MoNKHOUSE,*'the blind breeder of The Stow," Rogers, 
TuDGE — the Hereford fathers in brief — were laying 
the foundation for the future conquest of the western 
American range in the grassy vale of the Severn. 
Beyond the Tweed, Barclay of Ury, Robertson of 
Ladykirk, Rennie of Phantassie, Hay of Shethin, 
Grant Duff of Eden, Sylvester Campbell of Kin- 
ellar, the elder Marr of Uppermill, the Gruickshanks 
and their contemporaries had worked out along inde- 
pendent lines the secret of how to profitably produce 
prime beef in a land where straw and "neeps" and 
a bit o' cake had to take the place of luxuriant 
permanent southern pastures in the agricultural 
economy. And there were others far beyond the 
hills of Lammermoor who contributed heavily to 
the cause which finally landed "Prime Scots" at 
the top of Smithfield market. Wm. McGombie of 



140 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



Tillyfour and Hugh Watson of Keillor were evolving 
the *'bonnie blackies." In the farming of the Aber- 
deenshire granite there was no place for cattle that 
could not pay the rent. They must be a fast-ripening 
sort, quick to convert the roots and scant herbage 
of the Northland into thick-cutting beef at earliest 
possible age. And so, side by side, the builders of 
the Aberdeen polls and the Aberdeenshire Short- 
horns, each pursuing the same end under different 
flags, gave the world at last the types that have 
divided with the Herefords the honors that are 
falling in these latter days to the beef breeds in 
our Chicago shows and markets. 

It is to Amos and Anthony Gruickshank that 
the Shorthorn breeding world is primarily indebted 
for the cattle that have enabled them to meet the 
great invasion of the "doddies" and the Herefords. 
After the cup of the Booths and of Bates had been 
drained to the very dregs, when the burly white- 
faces and the richly-furnished, high-dressing blacks 
were pressing the colors of the "red, white and 
roan" to the very wall, it was to the seed obtainable 
only from good old Amos Gruickshank that a panic- 
stricken army of Shorthorn supporters on both 
sides the sea turned, and found that which saved 
them from the great enveloping movement of the 



'THE HERDSMAN OF ABERDEENSHIRE" 141 



rival breeds in the early eighties. The silent sage 
of Sittyton deserves his place upon Saddle and 
Sirloin walls. 

It was in a little back room in Anthony Gruigk- 
shank's place of business in the Aberdonian capital 
that Barclay of Ury, Grant Duff and a few others 
of that stamp met to found the Royal Northern 
Agricultural Society. Anthony took to banking and 
merchandising in the city, but Amos remained out 
on the hills. He began in 1837 with bulls from 
Ury, and until the month of May, 1889, a span of 
more than fifty years, he was wedded only to his 
cattle. Antedating Torr, he also outlived the Wizard 
of Aylesby, reaping in his own lifetime the reward 
of the good and faithful servant that he was. "The 
herdsman of Aberdeenshire," the phrase often ap- 
plied in loving compliment by his contemporaries, 
meant as much to him in a region that became 
world-famed for its cattle wisdom, as Torr's title 
of "the first farmer of England" did to the great 
tenant farmer of a land more highly favored by 
nature. 

Like the elder Booth, the Gruickshanks were 
omniverous in their quest for foundation stock. They 
did not think that the future of the breed in their 
country hinged upon the purchase of any particular 



142 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



animal or animals. If Amos had possessed a clear and 
fixed opinion at the start as to what was required 
by his environments as had Bates when he began, 
possibly their success might have been more imme- 
diate. But he was the canny Scot. He would feel 
his way. He would follow no man's lead. Bates 
might boast as much as he liked of his week's 
butter and his Duchess-Princess style, refinement 
and prepotency. The nobility and gentry of the 
south might stand in line begging Booth to sell a 
female or lease a favorite sire. He came from a 
far country, where the soil was not deep, the re- 
wards of husbandry not lavish, and where the bumps 
of caution, tjxrift and conservatism were fully devel- 
oped. He had little to say, but he did a deal of 
thinking. And wherever they found a beast that they 
thought might serve their purpose, they bought it. 
And so from widely different sources both north 
and south o' Tweed were purchased the cows, heifers 
and bulls with which they wrought until around 1 860. 
Among these were such excellent bulls as the 
ToRR-bred Fairfax Royal; Matadore, bred in Lincoln- 
shire and an own brother in blood to Mr. R. A. 
Alexander's celebrated cow Mazurka; Plantagenet, 
bred by Towneley and bought from Douglas of 
Athelstaneford; the pure Booth Buckingham, for 



"THE HERDSMAN OF ABERDEENSHIRE" 145 



which 400 guineas was paid; The Baron, selected 
by Anthony Gruigkshank at a sale of Tanqueray's; 
Lord Bathurst; Master Butterfly 2d, son of the 
1,200-guinea bull Master Butterfly; Lord Raglan 
and Lancaster Comet. Prizes galore were won by 
these bulls and their get, but it was not until the 
advent of Lancaster Comet that the star of Sitty- 
ton began its marked ascendency. 



XVIII 

WHEN SUCCESS CAME TO SITTYTON 

We talk a lot about scientific breeding and the 
various accepted laws alleged to govern the trans- 
mission of individual characteristics. From time 
immemorial the phrase "Like begets like" has been 
in a general sense a commonly accepted proposition. 
There is sometimes added to this expression the 
words, "or the likeness of some ancestor," and in 
this latter statement we open wide the door to all 
sorts of variations from immediate paternal and ma- 
ternal characteristics. Stock-breeding is by no means 
the simple mathematical proposition represented by 
the equation 2+2=4. The whole theory of the 
paramount efficiency of close breeding grows out of 
a consideration of this "some ancestor" proposition; 
the case being summarized in the hypothesis that 
the more we reduce the number of unrelated for- 
bears, the fewer chances we are taking on a mere 
leap in the darkness of a multiplicity of varying 
individualities. The greatest results attained thus 
far in the establishment of reliably prepotent groups 
have come through this process of eliminating a 
large percentage of the unknown factors and substi- 
tuting a frequent recurrence of identical or homoge- 
neous elements reflecting the desired characteristics. 

144 



WHEN SUCCESS CAME TO SITTYTON 145 



Prior to 1860 the Gruickshanks were floundering 
in a sea of uncertainty, in so far as the production 
of a uniformly good lot of cattle was concerned. 
Some progress had been made in this direction by 
adherence in the selection of new material to ani- 
mals approximating as individuals the type sought, 
regardless of consanguinity; but the mating of two 
animals of similar type but of widely variant bloods 
does not always yield four. On the contrary, the 
addition may turn out in that case almost anything 
from to 9. The situation at Sittyton in this re- 
spect, after more than twenty years of effort, did 
not differ materially from that in a thousand other 
herds of pedigreed cattle where similar methods 
were being pursued. The cattle were all of regu- 
lation herd-book pattern, all qualified for the great 
work of regenerating the roadside stock of the 
country, but had not yet reached that point to 
which all enthusiastic breeders aspire, where the 
surplus shall be eagerly sought at good values by 
owners of other purebred herds. 

A study of the life-work of Amos Gruickshank 
reveals one fact of great importance and signifi- 
cance to the student. His real success did not 
begin until he did, in a way, what Thomas Bates had 
done. He was by no means so sure he was right 



146 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



from the beginning as was the great manipulator of 
the Duchess-Hubback-Favorite line; but that was 
temperamental. His admiration for the Lavender 
( or Lancaster) family in the hands of Wilkinson of 
Lenton paralleled in a degree Mr. Bates' historic 
attachment of a generation previous. But mark the 
difference. Bates was cocksure of his position, and 
forecast with marvelous accuracy the results he 
notified the world he was about to achieve. Re- 
member the story of the purchase and use of Bel- 
videre, and then read of Gruickshank halting on 
the very brink of complete success with the blood 
which he undoubtedly believed to be the best for his 
use in the entire kingdom. Fortunately, his love 
for the Lavenders triumphed over his inborn wari- 
ness before it was too late. We come to the turn- 
ing point of his career, the use of Lancaster Comet. 
Our good friend Robert Bruce, formerly of 
Darlington, but now superintendent of the Royal 
Irish Show in Dublin, is one of the best-informed 
men, cattle-wise, now living. I once crossed the 
Atlantic with him many years ago, and he it was 
who planned my first itinerary of the British herds 
of a quarter century ago. He was the intermediary 
in the final sale of the Sittyton cattle in 1889, 
and not even William Duthie, upon whom the 



WHEN SUCCESS CAME TO SITTYTON 147 



mantle of the Aberdonian Caesar finally fell, enjoyed 
a more intimate or more cordial relationship with 
Mr. Gruickshank. In the course of certain reminis- 
cences Mr. Bruce once hit upon the incident that 
helps to unlock the secret of Sittyton's success. 
One has to bear in mind Mr. Cruickshank's usual 
imperturbability to appreciate how deeply he must 
have been moved upon the occasion to which we 
will now refer. Robert Bruce relates that in speak- 
ing of his first visit to Lenton to inspect Mr. 
Wilkinson's herd Mr. Gruickshank said: "After 
seeing the cattle I was so excited that when I tried 
to write to Anthony at night I could not use a pen. 
I had to write with a pencil." This little incident 
proves two things: First, the fact that in spite of 
his habitual self-control, Amos Gruickshank pos- 
sessed a latent enthusiasm capable of being thor- 
oughly aroused. It indicates also that there was 
something in the Wilkinson stock not found in 
other contemporary herds. 

In the autumn of 1858 it was thought desirable 
to purchase a stock bull for use at Sittyton. A 
good young red one was desired at that time. Mr. 
Gruickshank wrote to Wilkinson, inquiring if he 
could furnish such a bull. He replied that he 
could not, but recommended old Lancaster Comet 



148 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



(11663), then in his eighth year, which he offered 
to sell at a nominal price. After first examining 
the herds of Mark Stewart, S. E. Bolden, Richard 
Booth, Col. Towneley and Messrs. Budding without 
success, Mr. Gruickshank wrote to Wilkinson that 
he might ship Lancaster Gomet. He was forwarded 
to Sittyton in November, 1868. Mr. Gruickshank 
went to the station to meet the bull, and his first 
glimpse of "his great head and horns lowering upon 
him over the side of the truck" caused him to turn 
away in disappointment. Lancaster Gomet had a 
large head, with horns of great length. They were 
well enough set onto the head and curved toward 
the front. They were not very thick nor were they 
pointed at the tips, being more uniform in thickness 
from base to point than is ordinarily observed. One 
sarcastic neighbor, of the type often present upon 
such occasions, remarked: "If he wanted a High- 
land bull he might have got one nearer home." 
Notwithstanding the horns, however, Lancaster 
Gomet was a good bull. He stood near to the 
ground, had a beautiful coat of hair, a round barrel, 
straight top and bottom lines, level quarters, nicely 
filled thighs, carried plenty of flesh and was active 
on his feet. In size he was about medium. He 
had been a great favorite with Mr. Wilkinson and 



WHEN SUCCESS CAME TO SITTYTON 149 



was closely bred, being the product of mating a bull 
called The Queen's Roan to his half-sister, both 
parents being sired by the good bull Will Honey- 
comb that had been used for some years by Mr. 
Wilkinson, and was deemed worthy of illustration in 
one of the early volumes of Coates' Herd Book. 

Lancaster Comet was scarcely as massive as 
Mr. Gruickshank would have liked and was relegated 
to the Glyne farm, it is said, *'to hide his horns." 
The following spring he was turned into a pasture 
along with a lot of cows that had not settled to 
the bulls by which they had been served. He ran 
out quite late in the field that fall, and contracted 
rheumatism so severely that it became necessary to 
send him to the shambles. About a dozen calves 
resulted, but all but one were allowed to pass out 
of the herd in the ordinary course of trade. There 
was a bull among these, however, that possessed an 
indefinable something that appealed to the master's 
hand and eye. He made no boasts and indulged in 
no prophecies. He just put the youngster one side 
and carefully noted his development. This calf of 
destiny was dropped on the 29th of November, 1859. 
By 1861 he had grown into a bull deemed good 
enough to be shown at Leeds and Aberdeen, but he 
was handicapped for age at the former exhibition, 



150 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



and left the ring without a ribbon. This was a 
Royal competition where the best herdsmen of 
England had entered their most highly-fitted cattle. 
At the Royal Northern the young Sittyton entry 
was apparently not so well thought of by the judges 
as by his breeder, and he was set down to third 
place. This was somewhat discouraging, more 
especially as Anthony, who had most to do with the 
naming of the youngsters, had bestowed upon the 
lone son of the big-horned old Wilkinson bull the 
somewhat ponderous title "Champion of England." 
But the race is not always to those who get away 
first. Then as now, however, showyard honors were 
the prime basis of reputation, and reputation is what 
brings buyers with full pocketbooks. The Aberdeen 
verdict was, therefore, somewhat disconcerting, and 
for a time it was questioned whether the unsuccess- 
ful candidate should be retained for service or passed 
along. It was at this critical juncture that Amos 
saved the day. He went over young Champion of 
England carefully, inch by inch, and declared, with 
characteristic mental reservation, in favor of his 
tentative reservation and cautious use. The bull 
was particularly strong on his fore-ribs, developed 
remarkable feeding quality, and scon began to assume 
more massive proportions than had been displayed 



WHEN SUCCESS CAME TO SITTYTON 151 



by his sire. He was not so level in his quarters as 
Lancaster Comet, drooping a bit from the hips to 
the tail, a fault which he probably inherited from 
his dam. His calves soon evidenced rare promise. 
They were robust, thick-fleshed, near to the ground, 
and possessed a propensity for putting on flesh 
such as had not been shown by the get of any of 
his predecessors in service. His owners now 
resolved to use him freely and not risk impairment 
of his usefulness by putting him in high condition 
for the shows. Meantime, the settled policy of test- 
ing the best bulls obtainable from contemporary 
stock was not abandoned. 

The BooTH-bred Windsor Augustus and Prince 
Alfred, the great show bull Forth, called "the grand- 
est Shorthorn of his time," Lord Privy Seal, Baron 
Killerby, Rob Roy, Count Robert, Knight of the 
Whistle, and other bulls of high repute were intro- 
duced into the now extensive herd while the 
Champion of England's get were coming on. And 
when they began to mature, the Cruickshanks knew 
their long quest for the best stock bull in Great 
Britain had been ended by poor old crippled Lan- 
caster Comet. The Champion of England's calves 
came up to the mark which had for so long eluded 
these determined, enterprising men. A fortune had 



152 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



been spent on bulls, and lo! they were nursing 
unawares a calf from a plainish mother that had 
been left by the inbred Wilkinson sire on their own 
farm. One after another of the sons and daughters 
of this the greatest stock bull Scotland has ever 
known, grew up into cattle of the real rent-paying 
sort. Pages might be filled with the names, pedi- 
grees and performances of his descendants in the 
showyards and breeding-pens of Britain and America, 
but space will not here permit. Such cows as 
Village Belle, Village Rose, Princess Royal, Morn- 
ing Star, British Queen, Carmine Rose, Silvery, 
Mimulus, Surmise, Gircassia, Violante, Finella and 
Victorine would alone suffice to make the reputation 
of the most ambitious breeder. Not only were these 
and other of the best of the Champion's heifers 
retained for breeding purposes, but his bulls were 
given a trial along with sires obtained from other 
herds. 

A long and costly experience had by this time 
impressed the uncertainties attending the intro- 
duction into a mixed-bred herd of bulls, no matter 
how satisfactory their individuality, of widely diver- 
gent bloodlines, and although it was contrary to 
their predilections the Cruickshanks were so satis- 
fied with the hair and flesh and feeding quality of 



WHEN SUCCESS CAME TO SITTYTON 163 



Champion of England's stock that they determined 
to begin a policy of concentration. This they did 
through the use of such bulls as Grand Monarque, 
Scotland's Pride, Pride of the Isles, Caesar Augustus, 
Royal Duke of Gloster, Roan Gauntlet, Barmpton 
and Cumberland. 

There is not in Shorthorn history a record of 
greater success attained in the production of valu- 
able cattle for practical farm and feedlot purposes 
than that which attended the breeding operations 
at Sittyton after the practice of using these home- 
bred bulls was adopted. The herd began at once 
to take on a uniformity in essential points which it 
had not hitherto possessed, and the further the 
concentration of blood was carried — up to a certain 
point — the better the results. The fruit of Mr. 
Cruickshank's appeal to the practice of inbreeding 
was the establishment of a well-fixed type of short- 
legged, broad-ribbed, thick-fleshed cattle feeding to 
satisfactory weights at an early age; and the same 
concentration of blood that served to fix these 
desirable characteristics insured the prepotency of 
the stock for reproductive purposes. The herd 
became the fountain head of Shorthorn breeding in 
the north. The Sittyton bulls became the standard 
sires of Scotland. The value of the service the 



154 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



Messrs. Gruickshank had rendered was now univer- 
sally conceded in their native land, and leading 
American breeders gladly availed themselves of the 
privilege of selecting stock bulls from this premier 
Aberdeenshire herd. 

And so extensively was the blood of Champion 
of England doubled, redoubled and doubled yet 
again throughout all the years down to 1890, and 
so universal was the use of the Gruickshank bulls 
for the twenty years following, that the bull which 
the Leeds Royal judges of 1861 did not see at all, 
lived to become quite the modern regenerator of 
his race; England herself, following America's lead, 
finally falling into line in the patronage of the 
Aberdeenshire herd when William Tait leased the 
great Field Marshal for service in the herd of Her 
Majesty the late Queen Victoria, at Windsor. 

Mr. Gruickshank's agent for the distribution of 
young bulls and heifers in America for many years 
was the late James I. Davidson of Balsam, Ont.; 
but the man who did most to hasten the replace- 
ment of the long-suffering BATES-bred bulls on this 
side the water by the fleshier, quicker- feeding 
Sittyton sorts was the late Senator W. A. Harris; 
but that is another story. 




THE SAJNCTUM SANCTOIUJM OF 111!. s\l)DLE AND 
SIRLOIN CLUr> 



^ i. ', 

Hi* 


' 



BARONIAL HALL. SADDLE AND SIRLOIN CLUB 



XIX 

A BARONIAL HALL 

The Club had not been long in operation before 
it became apparent that the original cafe was wholly 
inadequate to accommodate the distinguished guests 
that thronged the Club rooms during show week, 
and to provide for this, plans for what has since 
come to be known as "the baronial hall" were 
developed. The opening of the International was 
near at hand, and it was regarded as doubtful if 
the work could be expedited sufficiently to have the 
room in readiness at the appointed hour; but a 
few grains of the "I will" spirit injected into the 
proposition insured prompt and satisfying results. 
Carpenters and joiners were set to work. Great 
hewn timbers were quickly fashioned, and placed in 
position to support the lofty Gothic pointed roof of 
an old baronial hall. Plasterers, electricians and 
decorators made short shrift of a transformation 
scene remarkable for its success and effectiveness, 
and when the International's gates were thrown 
open to the public that year, the apparently impos- 
sible had been accomplished. 

In this hall now hang many portraits. So many, 
in fact, that we may not here attempt to tell the 
stories that center around each one. Rest assured 

15S 



156 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



that history and romance did not end with the days 
of mail-clad warriors. There is material here for 
books and books detailing splendid work in the 
foundation and upbuilding of our western states. 
We may call the massive frames upon the Sanctum 
Sanctorum walls the "seats of the mighty." It is 
there that we bow down more especially to the 
creative genius of a glorious past. We know those 
deities by their works and gladly render them our 
homage. When we come into the baronial hall, 
however, we stand in the presence of a later 
generation. A few there are who had performed 
their service to the state and to their fellowmen 
before my day, but a large majority of these public- 
spirited men were at one time very near and dear 
to me. In my youth, in the sombre days when 
help to me meant everything, these men were kind 
and generous. When but a mere student of the 
mysteries of which they were masters, trying to fit 
myself to serve them, I had ever a welcome warm 
and cordial at their firesides. They were among 
the great men of the American cattle trade, men 
of wealth or brains or both, and wisdom abode with 
them. I grew up among these men, a few of whom 
are still honored members of the communities in 
which they reside, but with these exceptions they 



A BARONIAL HALL 157 



have passed from earthly scenes. Would that I had 
the time to tell, and the reader the patience to 
listen to, the stories of each and every one ! 

The mere names of such men as Gapt. James N. 
Brown, Gol. James W. Judy, Hon. Lafayette Funk, 
J. H. PicKRELL, Gol. W. A. Harris, Richard Gibson, 
N. P. Glarke, Henry F. Brown, Emory Gobb, John D. 
GiLLETT, George Harding, Frank Prather, Gharles 
E. Leonard, Lewis F. Allen, Ben F. Vanmeter and 
S. F. LocKRiDGE may mean but little to the average 
passer-by, but a story goes with each that would start 
ambition's glow in almost any young man's breast. 

Once there was a great show of splendid animals 
established in the historic Exposition Building that 
stood where the Art Institute of Ghicago now houses 
a different, and in some respects a less valuable, 
class of exhibits. The home of the original Amer- 
ican Fat Stock Show disappeared before the city's 
growth. An exhibition that had registered a com- 
plete and in every way desirable economic revolution 
in cattle production in the United States was driven 
upon the streets. It had been nurtured, managed 
and kept alive largely by the self-sacrificing labor 
of these baronial hall veterans and their contempo- 
raries of the Hereford and Aberdeen-Angus faiths, 
with Lafayette Funk usually at their head. But 



158 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



fate had decreed the old show's demise. First it 
was allowed to drift into the street -car barns at 
Washington Boulevard and V/'estern Avenue. A de- 
termined few, however, insisted that so great a boon 
to the west was worth saving — someway, somehow; 
and so, when it was all but abandoned to its fate, 
it was my own good fortune to seek and obtain 
permission to invite the exhibitors the succeeding 
year to send their beautifully fitted bullocks to the 
old sheds of Dexter Park, at the Union Stock Yards. 
However, the obsequies were not very well attended, 
and the once great show perished from lack of that 
support to which it had every moral and financial 
claim. But upon its ruins there has since been 
builded that of which we are all exceedingly proud. 
I am sorely tempted here to talk of Gol. Judy, 
and his convincing oratory on the auction block; of 
Henry Pickrell and Baron Booth of Lancaster; of 
Ben Vanmeter, the Young Marys and the Roses of 
Sharon; of N. P. Clarke's splendid contribution to 
northwestern Shorthorn, Galloway and Clydesdale 
wealth; of "Charlie" Leonard's financing of the Herd 
Book purchase from Lewis F. Allen; of "Sim" Lock- 
ridge and all he has done for Indiana and the west; 
of the Prathers and Gillett; but when should I 
ever finish? 



A BARONIAL HALL 159 



Whenever you dine in, or wander through this 
high-roofed hall and note the portraits here displayed, 
remember simply this: each and every man helped 
to scatter far and wide the gospel of good farming, 
better breeding, the salvation and re-creation of the 
soil through animal husbandry as an absolutely 
essential phase of American agriculture. And here 
again, as in the "inner shrine," we may say they 
are but types. Hundreds like them have lived and 
labored along similar lines to the permanent better- 
ment of the states of their birth or their adoption, 
and their portraits ought to be here. There seems 
nothing to do in the face of this embarrassment of 
riches but to submit typical recitals of things done 
by a few of those who dwell in spirit within these 
precincts, and from the sketches now to follow let 
Saddle and Sirloin visitors judge as to what the 
collection as a whole must represent in American 
agricultural progress. 

I have spoken of there being portraits here of 
men who had finished their work before my time. 
We will, therefore, first endeavor to outline the 
career of a pioneer who did for Illinois what Charles 
E. Leonard's father did for the state of Missouri. 
We will then speak of two of those who at a later 
date were important figures in proceedings that left 



160 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



their impress deep upon the agriculture of two con- 
tinents. After hearing of Gapt. James N. Brown, 
Gol. W. A. Harris and Richard Gibson, an applica- 
tion of the doctrine ex pede Herculem may enable 
one to form some idea of the wealth of high 
accomplishment with which this Valhallan hall is 
filled. 



XX 

BEGINNINGS OF ILLINOIS CATTLE- 
BREEDING 

Illustrative of the pioneer type — men who helped 
make these middle western states, and who left a 
great impress for good upon our cornbelt agriculture, 
as well as sons to carry forward their beneficent 
plans — I can conceive of no better case than that 
afforded by Capt. James N. Brown of Grove Park, 
Sangamon Co., 111. What is said to be a very good 
likeness of this contemporary and friend of Abraham 
Lincoln hangs in the baronial hall. 

Amidst scenes famous the world over for their 
pastoral beauty, James N. Brown was born in Fay- 
ette Co., Ky., Oct. 1, 1806. In the green pastures 
and by the still waters of this central Kentucky 
home he early imbibed that love for good cattle, 
good horses, good sheep, good blue grass, good corn- 
fields and good farming that was to prove of so 
much value to the newer west in the years that 
followed. He was educated in the common schools 
of Kentucky, finishing at Transylvania University at 
Lexington. While he followed his father to Illinois 
in 1834 at the age of 28, it appears from a copy of 
the Lexington (Kentucky) "Observer and Reporter," 
printed Sept. 16, 1835, containing among other inter- 

161 



162 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



esting news matter of the period an account of a 
fair held a short time previous — that the young man 
was awarded first prize for his two-year-old Short- 
horn heifer Helen Eyre, in competition with some of 
the most eminent cattle breeders of the day. He 
had obtained his first Shorthorns from his uncle, 
Gapt. Warfield, and surely he could not have made 
a better beginning, for the names of Benjamin, 
Elisha and William Warfield will be forever famous 
in the annals of Kentucky agriculture. He had 
seen enough of the broad-backed, deep-ribbed, thick- 
fleshed and heavy-milking cows in the woodland 
pastures of his native state to realize that stock of 
that description would necessarily prove a valuable 
asset in the subduing of the prairies of the west, 
and he determined to advance the flag that had 
already been successfully carried from Virginia to 
Kentucky still farther into the interior; and so the 
"red, white and roan" came by his hand into the 
land called Illinois. 

Whatever may have been the achievements of 
Gapt. Brown in his other relations of life, the most 
enduring basis of his fame in the records of his 
adopted state will be found to rest upon the fact 
that he was the first to recognize the fact that the 
best way to get the most profit out of good grass 



BEGINNINGS OF ILLINOIS CATTLE-BREEDING 163 



and good corn, without robbing the land of its 
fertility, was to stock it with good cattle. He was, 
therefore, our first great advocate and apostle of 
conservation. And when he departed this life, in 
1868, he left behind not a run-down, worn-out, 
ready-to-be-abandoned farm that had been worked 
as a mine and stripped of all its native treasures, 
but the three thousand acres of blue-grass pasture 
known as Grove Park, tenanted by well-bred animals, 
with every acre richer than when it came into his 
possession! 

Full details as to his earliest operations in pure- 
bred live stock are unfortunately wanting. All we 
know is that he was the first to bring the Short- 
horns from the blue grass of Kentucky into central 
Illinois, and that as fast as the early settlers were 
able to avail themselves of the benefit of his exam- 
ple, they profited by it. They came to him from far 
and near, and went away convinced that he had 
shown the way to be pursued. As fast as they were 
able they bought the seed that was to blossom into 
the harvest that lies today at the bottom of many 
central Illinois fortunes. 

In the early fifties he made a journey to Ohio, 
and brought back the noted bull Young Whittington, 
that had been imported from England by the Sciota 



164 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



Valley Company in 1852, and about the same date, 
in partnership with his brother Judge William Brown 
of Jacksonville, bought a number of valuable cattle 
from leading Kentucky breeders. Meantime, he had 
been elected to the state legislature in 1840, 1842, 
1846 and 1853, serving in that body as a colleague 
of Abraham Lincoln. During this service he intro- 
duced and secured the passage of a bill creating a 
State Board of Agriculture, and was elected its first 
president. At the first exhibition, held at Springfield 
in 1853, he was met in competition by Henry Jacob y, 
Stephen Dunlap and G. M. Chambers of Sangamon, 
and others who by this time had become interested 
in the introduction of good blood into the state. 
Upon that historic occasion Capt. Brown carried 
away six prizes — the beginning of a long, successful 
and always honorable career as an exhibitor at this 
show. The following year he returned to the fray 
at Springfield, and in 1855 made his way to Chicago 
to meet old and new antagonists. At Alton, in 1856, 
he broke a lance for the first time with James M. Hill 
of Cass County, a man destined to prove from that 
time forward a foeman worthy of his steel. On Sept. 
11, 1856, a public sale of Shorthorns was held at 
Grove Park, the top price paid being $715 for the 
six-y^ar-old cow May Dacre, descended from the 



BEGINNINGS OF ILLINOIS CATTLE-BREEDING 165 



Sanders importation of 1817. Other good specimens 
brought from $400 to $600. 

By this time, thanks largely to Gapt. Brown's 
persistent enthusiasm, interest in the work of live- 
stock improvement was spreading rapidly, and in 
1857 he helped to organize the Illinois Importing 
Company, formed for the purpose of bringing out 
fresh blood from the fountain-head in Great Britain. 
Dr. H. G. John of Decatur, Henry Jacoby of Spring- 
field and Gapt. Brown were selected as a committee 
to carry the purpose into effect. Of the weary 
weeks of travel by land and sea at that date it 
is scarcely necessary to speak. Money was freely 
risked and time and comfort sacrificed in a supreme 
eifort to place Illinois in the front rank of this essen- 
tial branch of husbandry. The herds of England and 
Scotland were seen, selections made, shipment ar- 
ranged for, and the commissioners returned. Weeks 
elapsed with no tidings of the good ship ''Georgia" 
that carried the precious cargo, and it was only 
when fears were bordering upon despair that she was 
finally reported safe at anchor at Philadelphia, sixty 
days out from Liverpool, with several valuable cattle 
and a fine Thoroughbred mare lost at sea. The ship- 
ment included, besides cattle, a choice selection of 
Southdown and Gotswold sheep and Berkshire swine, 



166 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



and Gapt. Brown afterwards became a successful 
breeder of these as well as of high-bred horses of 
the roadster type. 

In accordance with the practice established by 
various companies of similar character in Ohio and 
Kentucky, the imported animals were sold at auction 
soon after their arrival, and the success of the sale 
was largely due to the vigor and confidence with 
which values were supported by Gapt. Brown. He 
realized that at this crucial period in the introduction 
of the breed into the prairie states those who were 
most actively espousing the cause of live-stock im- 
provement as a means to a prosperous agriculture 
must show their own faith by their works. He knew 
the advertising value of good prices. He knew that 
Lewis Sanders had ordered out the great importation 
of 1817 by reading an account in an English paper 
of the sale of Gharles Gollings' famous bull Gomet 
for one thousand guineas, his reasoning being that 
if such a public valuation were possible, it indicated 
a degree of merit in the breed that rendered such 
animals an essential element in the proper advance- 
ment of American farming. And so we find Gapt. 
Brown, at the great sale of the Illinois Importing 
Gompany of 1857, taking out the choicest animal 
of the entire offering, the two -year- old heifer 



BEGINNINGS OF ILLINOIS CATTLE-BREEDING 167 



Rachael 2d, against the bids of a syndicate of cen- 
tral Illinois breeders, at the then very large price of 
$3,025. This was the second highest price ever 
paid up to that date for a Shorthorn female in 
North America. The sale was a great success, 
27 head bringing $31,455, an average of $1,165. 
Henry Jacoby and Gapt. Brown jointly acquired the 
bull King Alfred at $1,300. The heifer Western 
Lady also went to Grove Park at $1,325, and be- 
came the ancestress of a very valuable family of 
cattle. 

It is of interest to note that this great importa- 
tion included the first specimens of the afterwards 
famous Aberdeenshire type of cattle ever brought 
into the state — four head from the then compara- 
tively unknown, but subsequently world-renowned, 
herd oi Amos Gruickshank. 

During the years that followed, the Grove Park 
Shorthorns gained a national reputation. A constant 
competitor at the State Fair, and a regular exhibitor 
at the Gounty Show of his own beloved Sangamon, 
Gapt. Brown's entries were always presented in the 
pink of condition, and in the famous showyard battles 
of the ensuing twenty years with Pickrell, Spears, 
Duncan, Hill, Sodowsky, Taylor, and all the invading 
hosts from other states, there was never a time 



168 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



when his exhibits failed to evoke admiration and gain 
judicial recognition. To undertake to set forth the 
names and breeding of the Grove Park showyard 
celebrities would be to place an unwarranted tax 
upon your time and patience. One needs but to 
mention the names of Grace Young, Illustrious and 
Tycoon to conjure in the minds of the old-time 
fair-goers almost all that heart could wish in the 
line of bovine beauty and perfection. From 1856 
to 1867 inclusive, for eleven years in succession, 
the grand herd prize at the Illinois State Fair was 
won by Capt. Brown's cattle. At one of the great 
St. Louis fairs, after Robert A. Alexander's imported 
Duke of Airdrie had won a special one-thousand- 
dollar prize, the regular championship of the show 
was awarded to Capt. Brown's imported King Alfred. 
No man can calculate the money value to Illinois 
and other western states of the example set by 
James N. Brown as a farmer and cattle-breeder. 
He not only won fame for his fine cattle, but as 
early as 1856 Grove Park was awarded the prize 
offered by the Illinois State Board of Agriculture 
for the best arranged and most economically con- 
ducted grazing farm in the state. He was a great 
lover of trees, and his black locust groves and lines 
of black walnut called forth the admiration of all 



BEGINNINGS OF ILLINOIS CATTLE-BREEDING 169 



visitors. He was also awarded a prize for a valuable 
treatise on raising and feeding cattle on the prairies 
of Illinois. This will be found on page 572 in volume 
2 of the Transactions of the Illinois Agricultural 
Society. 

Gapt. Brown was the foremost advocate of the 
value of blue grass in this state. He always claimed 
that one hundred acres of it were equal in value to 
sixty-six and two-thirds acres of corn, in the rearing 
and management of live stock. Would that his voice 
could be raised today by way of protest against the 
wholesale destruction of pastures that has attended 
the grain-growing craze of recent years in our lead- 
ing agricultural states! 

During the later years of his life the three sons, 
William, Charles and Benjamin, were in partnership 
with their father in the management of the estate, 
and under the firm name of James N. Brown's Sons 
they continued the breeding and feeding operations 
with profit to themselves and the live-stock interests 
of the west, a marked instance of their influence 
for good being their insistence, at the foundation of 
the Chicago Fat Stock Show late in the seventies, 
that the big four and five year-old bullocks then so 
popular were really unprofitable and should not be 
encouraged. Capt. Brown had always insisted that 



170 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



early maturity was the keynote of success in meat- 
making, and his sons succeeded in inducing the 
State Board of Agriculture to include in the prize 
list for the initial show a class for yearlings and 
calves. This they followed up by winning first prize 
on a yearling steer weighing 1,400 pounds. They 
thus pioneered a proposition that has revolutionized 
the American cattle trade. 

Adjacent to Grove Park is a hallowed spot called 
"Woodwreath." There the blue grass he so fondly 
loved runs riot perennially around the grave of 
James N. Brown. The state of Illinois is the better 
for his having lived. 



M 




ROMANELLI'S BRONZE BUST OF THE LATE UNITED STATES 
SENATOR WILLIAM A. HARRIS. ERECTED ON THE 
CAMPUS OF THE KANSAS AGRICULTURAL 
COLLEGE AT MANHATTAN. 



XXI 
"SET YE UP A STANDARD IN THE LAND" 

The Club's portrait of the late Senator Harris 
— Col. William A. Harris of Linwood — is far from 
satisfying. Romanelli's bust, a replica of which 
may be seen in Robert Ogilvie's office on Exchange 
Avenue, reveals vastly more of the real character 
of the man who was apparently raised up by destiny 
to overthrow the broad walls of a bovine Babylon 
and set a great industry once more in the paths 
of rectitude. 

He was my friend. Possibly I should stop at 
that. So far as I myself am concerned, volumes 
could add nothing to those four words. There were 
others, many others, who have felt the charm of his 
wonderful personality — who also loved him. Possibly 
few of these knew him as I was privileged to know 
him — knew all that I knew; but many surely caught 
a glimpse at intervals of the spirit that dwelt within. 
Perhaps I may express in some degree the sense of 
loss they feel, as they wait in vain for him to take 
his accustomed place; but my own must remain 
unspoken forever. He knew what I thought. I never 
told him, nor had any need to tell him. This is the 
story of how he leaped into leadership almost over 
night. 

171 



172 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



Upon another wall you will find a picture of that 
pugnacious old pioneer, Lewis F. Allen — the George 
GoATES of America — the man who first collected 
and published the pedigrees of our "Durhams," and 
indeed this was no light task. Weary were the 
journeys and long were the quests that preceded 
the appearance of the initial volume of the American 
Herd Book in 1854. It represented, as have all sim- 
ilar efforts, before and since, the assembling of the 
best possible information available concerning animals 
and breeding operations of which but fragmentary 
records had been preserved. Gonducted as a private 
enterprise, the Herd Book, small and wholly profit- 
less for years, finally became a valuable property, 
and the subject of long negotiations and bitter 
exchanges between the founder and those who in 
later years perforce became his patrons. It might 
be noted here in passing, that a struggling young 
lawyer in Buffalo, N. Y., named Grover Gleveland, 
a nephew of Mr. Allen's, once found employment 
in checking the pedigrees of cattle forwarded for 
entry in this Herd Book. 

Breeders generally favored taking over the record 
from Mr. Allen after it had become an important 
public institution; but the old man, stiff-necked 
always, gave them no encouragement. Then they 



SET YE UP A STANDARD IN THE LAND" 173 



began to pick flaws in his earlier work, and at length 
openly revolted against what they denounced as his 
unbearable tyranny. Under the leadership of Judge 
T. G. Jones, who was quite as belligerent and forci- 
ble a character in his day as Mr. Allen, the Ohio 
breeders established a pedigree record of their own. 
Kentucky went still further, and under the powerful 
patronage of Robert A. Alexander developed the 
American Shorthorn Record Association, with a 
membership distributed all through the Upper Mis- 
sissippi Valley States, and began the publication of 
a register which subsequently proved to be the lever 
necessary for prying Mr. Allen off his high Herd 
Book horse. But that is another story. 

In March, 1882, a regular meeting of this new 
Kentucky organization was being held at Lexington. 
"The Breeder's Gazette" had just been established, 
and I was sent to report the proceedings. There I 
met for the first time Gol. William A. Harris, then 
of Lawrence, Kans., a Director in the Record Asso- 
ciation. Among his Kentucky friends and admirers 
he was at his best. Born at Luray, Va., the son 
of a former member of Gongress and one-time Min- 
ister of the United States to Rio Janiero, Harris 
was a student at the historic Virginia Military 
Institute at the outbreak of the Civil War, a pupil 



174 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



of the professor so swiftly to rise to fame as Gen. 
"Stonewall" Jackson. The senior Harris was 
opposed, as were so many other Virginians of that 
fateful period, to secession; but when the Old 
Dominion decided to ''go out," his son was one of 
the first to respond to the call of his beloved 
native state. Proof of his rare gifts were not of 
slow development. His splendid mental and physi- 
cal endowments marked him early as a born leader 
of men, and by the time Gettysburg was reached 
he was Chief of Ordnance of a Division in Long- 
street's corps in the Army of Virginia under 
Robert E. Lee. In later years a study of Lee's 
characteristics led me to discover many points of 
resemblance between the idol of the Confederacy 
and Col. William A. Harris. After Gettysburg the 
young officer went home on furlough, and with 
prophetic vision declared that the war was over. 
The beginning of the end, he could clearly see, had 
been reached upon that bloody battlefield. The war 
left the Harris fortune a wreck, and the young 
engineer went out into the great new west to seek 
his fortune. Employed in locating the Kansas 
Pacific R. R. line from Kansas City to Denver — 
now a part of the Union Pacific — Col. Harris, with 
his inborn love of country life and well-bred animals, 



SET YE UP A STANDARD IN THE LAND" 176 



was impressed one day by the beauty and obvious 
fertility of a tract of land converging near the sur- 
vey for the line as it skirted the north bank of the 
Kansas River some 25 miles west of Kansas City. 
He took out his notebook and made a memo- 
randum as to its location. Months passed. The 
rails were going down and trains were put in ser- 
vice. A capable man was wanted to take charge 
of the sale of the railway's land holdings that were 
a part of the Government's subsidy to the builders 
of the road. Harris was chosen and went to the 
beautiful little city of Lawrence to make his home 
and headquarters. The entry in his notebook had 
not been forgotten. The tract of land — afterwards 
to acquire fame under his control — was purchased, 
and as rapidly as funds could be spared for the 
purpose, purebred Shorthorns were accumulated and 
put upon what Goburn always fondly called "the 
sunny slopes of Lin wood." 

Several busy years then supervened, and the 
first great campaign for settling up the dry lands 
of west Kansas was inaugurated. For awhile 
Harris handled it; but as the criminal character, 
from his standpoint, of the proceeding of enticing 
"butchers and bakers and candlestick makers" away 
from comfortable homes farther east, and luring 



176 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



them out to their inevitable ruin, became more and 
more manifest, his conscience asserted itself and a 
lucrative position with exceptional opportunities for 
enriching himself at the expense of innocent and 
trusting immigrants was voluntarily abandoned. For 
a considerable time he continued to maintain his 
Lawrence office. The Government gave him charge 
of the closing out of the Delaware Indian Reserva- 
tion lands. Needless to say, no tainted penny ever 
found its way into his none-too-comfortable personal 
bank account during his incumbency of that office. 
Meantime, he was preparing Linwood Farm for his 
own home, with his heart set upon cattle-breeding 
as a vocation worthy of any man, and particularly 
demanded in the midst of a new and but partially 
developed agriculture in a land specially blessed by 
nature. He was just entering upon this fruitful 
period of his career when I had the great good 
fortune to meet him that day in March at the Blue 
Grass capital in 1882. 

In his room at the old Phoenix Hotel in Lexing- 
ton, after the adjournment of the Record meeting, 
I told him that I intended making a tour of the 
leading Kentucky herds before returning to Chicago. 
He replied that he was just then looking for a new 
bull to put in service at Linwood, and was to begin 



SET YE UP A STANDARD IN THE LAND" 177 



his search on the following day, proposing that we 
make the rounds of the larger establishments to- 
gether. I had been strongly attracted to him from 
the first, and of course gladly assented to his prop- 
osition. That was the commencement of as firmly 
rooted an attachment as could well exist between 
men. Together we tramped about those wonderful 
woodland pastures by day, and together we roomed 
at night. The evenings passed all too quickly around 
a roaring, open fire with gracious hosts and charming 
hostesses, and when we would retire to our room 
for the night we would compare notes and exchange 
ideas as to the merits or faults of what had been 
seen in the fields and boxes. Horses and dogs came 
into the discussion, but Shorthorns — always Short- 
horns. Grasses, orchards, homes, stone walls, roads 
and gardens, the whole life of the people in that 
American Yorkshire, in fact, all came in for a share 
of consideration, and presently the glow of a great 
enthusiasm in reference to all those things took full 
possession of my youthful spirit. Some faint reflec- 
tions of that first great wave of interest in the 
better things that go with country living still possess 
my soul, but the primal inspiration came with all- 
compelling force under the tutelage of this great 
Virginian. We were in the land of my fathers. 



178 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



Born and reared on the Iowa prairies, this was my 
first introduction to the "old Kentucky home," 
where early in the nineteenth century a grand- 
mother of saintly memory had become the bride of 
one of the pioneers that crossed the Blue Ridge 
to begin life in the valley of Kentucky. 

One night we had been the guests of the late 
Mr. A. L. Hamilton, whose wife was a daughter of 
one of the makers of Kentucky cattle history — Ben 
F. Vanmeter. What memories are indeed recalled by 
the mention of that name! Gol. Harris, like practi- 
cally all other western breeders of that period, had 
stocked up with BATES-crossed cattle. Unlike many 
of his contemporaries, however, I soon discovered 
that he was not merely in quest of that which 
might fairly be expected to prove immediately prof- 
itable. Others were buying and selling very largely 
at that time on the strength of the reputation of 
the ancestors of the cattle they were handling, 
rather than upon the real excellence of the animals 
themselves for practical farm and feedlot purposes. 
And this easy course seemed a royal road to suc- 
cess. **Buy a Barrington for $3,500, because some 
other fancier looking for the Bates blood will come 
along and give you as much, perhaps more, for the 
first calf." That was the recognized basis of values, 



"SET YE UP A STANDARD IN THE LAND" 179 



but Harris did not approve of it. Moveover, he 
did not hesitate to say so, even in the very hotbed 
of that propaganda. Upon "Archie" Hamilton's 
library table there chanced to lie a copy of a 
pamphlet entitled "Catalogue of Shorthorn Cattle, 
the property of the Messrs. Cruickshank, Sittyton, 
Aberdeenshire, Scotland." During some lull in the 
conversation Col. Harris arose and walked about 
the room. He chanced to pass the table, and with 
a slight show of interest noticed this foreign-looking 
catalogue, and picked it up. Turning to me he 
asked: "Have you ever seen any of these Aber- 
deenshire cattle?" I knew instantly what was pass- 
ing in his mind. He had not yet found a bull in 
the herds we had examined that met his ideas of 
what was needed to enable the Shorthorn to com- 
pete with the Hereford on Kansas grass and corn. 
He had admired many of the cows and heifers we 
had seen. The heifers by the 20th Duke of Air- 
drie in particular I remember attracted us by their 
uniformity and finish, but as yet no bull had been 
found that was short enough on the leg, deep 
enough through the chest, low enough in twist and 
flank, and we had almost finished our tour. 

Bound to these genial Kentuckians by ties of 
blood, kindred spirit with them in all that is meant 



180 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



by residence south of Mason and Dixon's line, flat- 
tered by them, honored by them, how natural for 
the Colonel to work hand in glove with them in 
this cattle business, as most other men with south- 
ern connections had done, and, in fact, were still 
doing, in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas. 
They could not understand why they had been 
unable to sell him a bull. Had they not offered 
him their bluest blood, and at special prices? Even 
then they were shrewd enough to discern in this 
gracious but determined man a character to be 
reckoned with. But he was about to go home, as 
the auctioneers say, "bull-less" in spite of their 
best endeavors. 

"Yes," I replied to the query about the Scotch- 
bred cattle, '1 have seen a few of them, but you 
know they are not numerous. You know what the 
imported Duke of Richmond has done for J. H. 
PoTTS & Son; and an old Scotchman, Robert Milne, 
near Lockport, III, has had the blood for a long 
time." The next question was, "What do you think 
of them?" My answer was that they were much 
thicker-fleshed than the cattle we had seen in Ken- 
tucky, standing nearer to the ground, and that the 
get of the few Aberdeenshire bulls in the country 
were beginning to win most of the prizes at our 



SET YE UP A STANDARD IN THE LAND" 181 



northern fairs; but I hastened to add, "they are not 
looked upon with favor by leading breeders, because 
they say that these cattle, while good beef animals, 
are too plainly-bred to be introduced into first-class 
herds." 

Sounds funny now, doesn't it, in the light of all 
that has since transpired? but it was a truthful 
answer then. At that moment our host re-entered 
the room, and the Sittyton catalogue, with all that 
it meant at that hour to the future of the breed in 
England and America, was for the time being dis- 
missed altogether from our minds. At length our 
delightful pilgrimage had reached its termination. 
Although Gol. Harris was at this time my senior 
by many years, we were both at the threshold alike 
as students of the existing situation in respect to 
pedigree cattle-breeding. This chance meeting had 
revealed to my mind a new viewpoint. It had not 
up to this time occurred to me that the headlong 
BATEs-ward drift in the Shorthorn trade could or 
would be checked. I took it for granted at that 
time that ''whatever was" in the Shorthorn world 
at that date "was right." It was Gol. Harris' in- 
sistent reiteration of the absolute necessity for cattle 
of greater constitution and feeding capacity and his 
absolute refusal of the Bates bait so alluringly set 



182 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



before him in Kentucky, together with his evident 
determination to try and find something better 
adapted to Kansas needs, that opened up to my 
mind for the first time a vision of a way out from 
the thralldom which was slowly but surely relegating 
the Shorthorn of song and story to the bovine 
scrapheap, so far as the needs of ordinary farmers 
and feeders were concerned. The mere traffic in 
pedigrees was having its inevitable result. Commer- 
cialism had completely displaced constructive breed- 
ing. The old excellence was dying hard, however. 
Such a cow as old imported Lally 8th by 7th Duke 
of York in the Hamilton herd was a great Short- 
horn in any age, and she was not alone. Still the 
bulls that were up to standard were few and far 
between, and so when this great man of whom I 
write left Kentucky in the early spring of three and 
thirty years ago for his Kansas home, a new era in 
the world's Shorthorn cattle-breeding had been 
unconsciously ushered in. His parting words were: 
"If you can locate any good young cattle of this 
Gruickshank blood for sale, wire me at once." 

In an earlier sketch I have alluded to various 
debts, agriculturally speaking, we owe to our neigh- 
bors of the north. Canada was now to become the 
source of the blood that was about to revolutionize 



"SET YE UP A STANDARD IN THE LAND" 183 



the fortunes of our most widely disseminated breed. 
James I. Davidson, whose portrait you will enjoy 
studying when you find it upon the Saddle and 
Sirloin walls, an old friend of Amos Gruickshank, 
had been for some time past bringing out small 
selections of young bulls and a few heifers from 
the Sittyton surplus. Aside from the celebrated 
Hillhurst and Bow Park establishments, the Bates 
cult had never attained as much headway in Canada 
as in England and the ''States." Ontario is a western 
Scotland. Scotch names, Scotch thrift, Scotch thor- 
oughness in tillage and Scotch insistence on practi- 
cally useful animal types are much in evidence. 
Toronto is its Aberdeen. There its farming and 
stock-breeding activities center. There is held an 
agricultural show not excelled, if equaled, in many 
respects, elsewhere on the continent. There, as we 
have already said, our own "International" was first 
conceived. 

These good Ontario farmers had for a long time 
quietly absorbed such importations as were made 
from Aberdeenshire. Such men as John Dryden 
and the Millers were alive to the value of the 
North Country rent-paying sort; but until Col. Wil- 
liam A. Harris arrived upon the scene in the 
western states, the introduction of the type had 



184 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



not been pressed with any vigor or with any partic- 
ular success. Potts and a few showmen here and 
there were breeding from Aberdeenshire anteced- 
ents, but had not succeeded specially, as George 
Ade would say, in "breaking into polite society" 
with their low- headed, compactly- fashioned, beefy 
favorites, many of which had plain horns and 
*'dumpy" quarters. They were 'plebeian" by birth, 
and the bulls could not see over a fence! They 
had big middles, that was true, but they were bad 
at both ends! Moreover, they would not milk! They 
were all right for a plodding farmer perhaps, but as 
ornaments to a gentleman's park or pasture not to 
be seriously considered. Such were some of the 
comments of the entrenched powers of that time. 
The large holders of the Bates blood looked upon 
them with undisguised contempt, or at least so 
pretended. Down in their hearts many of them 
realized that the fine cattle they had received at 
the hands of the preceding generation had not been 
fairly or judiciously handled. They had indeed sown 
the wind, and were now about to reap the tornado 
invited by their own indifference, and in due course 
it came from Kansas. 

Among those who had protested earnestly against 
the rapidly accelerating loss of stamina and practi- 



"SET YE UP A STANDARD IN THE LAND" 185 



cal utility in our western cattle, due to excessively 
incestuous and illy-considered close breeding, was 
James H. Kissinger of Glarksville, Mo.; and, by the 
way, where is his portrait? As yet, echo only 
answers, "where!" He had once been in partner- 
ship with the late J. H. Pickrell of Harristown, 111. 
— whose picture we are glad to say is in the Club 
collection — and together these two broad-gauged, 
old-time cattlemen had brought into Illinois, Iowa 
and Missouri some of the best Shorthorns yet pro- 
duced. Kissinger had already been in close touch 
with ''Uncle Jimmy" Davidson, and was buying Aber- 
deenshire cattle from him. Shortly after my return 
from Lexington with a virtual commission from Gol. 
Harris, I was advised that Kissinger proposed 
offering a few recently imported Gruickshank cattle 
which he had just brought in from Davidson's. 
This information I promptly put in possession of 
the laird of Linwood. The sale date was announced, 
and Harris was early on the ground. He was out- 
spoken in his praise of these blocky, sturdy-looking 
imported cattle, declaring them to be in his opinion 
exactly what was needed to correct the growing 
tendency toward lightness of flesh, and loss of feed- 
ing quality, in cornbelt cattle stocks. He was 
already looked up to by many of the most practical 



186 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



cattle-growers in the splendid blue-grass country of 
which Kansas Gity is the capital, and those who had 
not large sums already invested in the prevailing 
popular type were more than ready to range them- 
selves under his progressive and virile leadership. 
Before the Kissinger sale was opened, Harris 
had seen and admired a young red bull of the 
Gruickshank blood which had been retained by the 
seller for his own use. He was the type that had 
been sought, but not found, during the Kentucky 
quest. Approached in the forenoon of the day of 
sale upon the subject of parting with this good 
yearling, Kissinger at first declined to consider 
selling him; but wisely enough he finally decided 
that here was a chance to interest and identify 
with the slowly-moving cause in which he was so 
deeply concerned, a man who was certain to have 
many followers, and he agreed to let the bull go 
into the ring, provided the Golonel on his part 
would undertake to see that the youngster made 
not less than $1,000. The bull was Baron Victor. 
He went to Linwood at $1,100, and within three 
years had turned the Shorthorn business of the 
Kansas Gity territory upside down. Along with him 
from this same sale went the three thick imported 
heifers, Violet's Bud, Victoria 63d and Victoria 69th. 



XXII 

THE SUNNY SLOPES OF LINWOOD 

The bull lots at Lin wood were ideal — woodland 
richly set in blue grass, surrounded by substantial 
stone walls and each provided with an open shed 
for shelter. My first visit was made shortly after 
the original Sittyton quartet arrived at their Kan- 
sas destination. In the lot skirted by the highway 
leading down to Linwood station stood young Baron 
Victor. He has been dead for many a year, and 
his great sons and grandsons have also long since 
gone the way of all flesh; but the picture of the 
Baron as he stood there in the midst of rare 
sylvan surroundings in June, 1882, has but one 
companion-piece in my memories of similar scenes. 
One day at Tillycairn William Duthie's Scottish 
Archer, standing knee-deep in an Aberdeenshire 
pasture, was flashed upon my vision. That has not 
yet been forgotten. And so with the son of Barmp- 
ton that had come to Linwood to start western 
American Shorthorn breeding upon a new and saner 
course. He looked every inch a bull, masculine 
from the tip of his none-too-attractive horns to his 
heels. Wiseacres shook their heads as they looked 
at that strongly individualized front. "Bad horns!" 
Yes, it is true, they were heavy and they had a 

187 



188 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



tendency to bend upwards that was not altogether 
pleasing to those who sought beauty first in looking 
at a Shorthorn. At that time Gol. Harris did not 
know the story of old Lancaster Comet, as referred 
to elsewhere in these sketches. If so, he would 
have had readier answer to these critics. The 
Baron was a richly- colored red, not the blackish- 
red that so persisted in the descendants of the 
$ 17,900 14th Duke of Thornedale, but verging on 
the yellow side — that golden skin that was once 
one of the crowning glories of Abram Renick's 
Roses of Sharon. He had the short, broad face, wide 
between his full bright eyes, that is the almost 
unerring sign of the quick feeder, the good "doer," 
and as he grew to maturity he developed a wealth 
of curly hair about the horn-base and across the 
forehead. In after years Gol. Harris — who was one 
of the closest students of hereditary power I have 
ever known — often spoke of this latter characteristic 
as an almost infallible sign of prepotency. Of 
course if these locks grew upon the head of a bull 
not satisfactory in point of general conformation, 
that would count against rather than for him, be- 
cause in the case mentioned it would forecast the 
stamping of undesirable points; but Gol. Harris 
always held the long, curly frontlet to be a marked 



THE SUNNY SLOPES OF LINWOOD , 189 



indication of constitutional vigor, and if the curls 
extended back along the neck, so much the better. 
Hereford bulls usually have it. Bison bulls always 
carry it in profusion, and there are none to question 
their iron constitutions. 

Baron Victor had a thick, short neck running 
quickly into a chine of exceptional width. The 
shoulders were heavy as in the case of all really 
masculine bulls, but well placed, and there was a 
world of lung and heart room beneath his wide- 
flung foreribs. The back was broad, and loin deeply 
covered with good mellow flesh. Back of the hips 
he showed a little of the traditional Gruickshank 
weakness, but the quarter was long and heavy, 
flanks full and twist well let down. He had ample 
bone, the shortest of legs, and in his prime moved 
with singular freedom and precision. One often 
hears the expression that certain animals possess 
"strong character." In human kind the word may 
have reference to morals, or at least to things 
rather more esthetic than are contemplated when 
the term is employed in bovine description. In the 
case of a bull it means that he has an individuality 
of his own as distinguished from the common herd; 
that there is something in his head and eye that 
says: **I am I myself; not any old animal." There 



190 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



have been bulls, for example, like the enormous 
flesh-carrier Young Abbotsburn of Canadian and 
Columbian Exposition fame, that carried wonderful 
carcasses of thick-cutting beef. His head was the 
head of a feeder, short and broad, but there was 
little or no expression in his countenance; none of 
that commanding clear- the -way presence that dis- 
tinguishes the "I am here" type of the vigorous 
male. All over his physiognomy was written docil- 
ity and "I don't give a rap what happens so long 
as I get my meals." And he sired but few out- 
standing cattle. History must give him credit for 
the champion show cow Mary Abbotsburn; but she 
came near being the one exception that proved the 
rule. Not so, however, with Baron Victor. His 
was a lordly port. A glance from him, like the 
royal request, was an understood command. Not 
that he was ugly, for he was not, but he knew 
what he had come into the cattle kingdom for, and 
insisted upon his proper rights and prerogatives as 
master of the harem. A few younger bulls were 
usually allowed to run with him for company. 

It is now near thirty years ago. It may be that 
memory is not as trustworthy as in my earlier days; 
it may be that the sharp contrast of type presented 
at that date heightens the effect; but I am bound 



THE SUNNY SLOPES OF LINWOOD 191 



to say here, that while I have in my time visited 
^ many of the greatest beef-cattle breeding establish- 
ments of the world, I recall no such extraordinary 
groups of youngsters as those sent into leading 
western sales and shows from Linwood Farm, 
the first fruits of the use of Baron Victor in the 
Harris herd. The cross upon the BATES-topped 
Marys, Josephines, Roses of Sharon and other 
typical American tribes of that era was as amazing 
as it was instantaneously successful. The aggres- 
sive, rich-fleshed, blocky Sittyton Victoria bull nicked 
in such startling fashion that the west looked on 
in wonder. Such hair, such depth of covering, such 
breadth of beam, such shortness of leg, such early 
maturity — the cornbelt's dream of baby beef realized 
at last! 

Breeders from far and near were overjoyed. The 
long-looked-for leader, and the long-sought cross, 
had arrived. "The Gruickshank bull's the thing.** 
That was the unanimous verdict of all unprejudiced 
beef-producers who saw those first famous line-ups 
of the Baron Victor progeny at the Kansas City 
sales. The half-bloods went like hot cakes at remu- 
nerative prices, and just to show how the pure blood 
had worked out in comparison with the "crosses," 
Victoria 63d's sappy heifer, Linwood Victoria by 



192 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 

Baron Victor — the first Scotch-bred calf dropped 
at the farm — was put through the initial sale, 
and the scramble for her did not cease until "Uncle 
Sammy" Steinmetz, a thrifty Missouri breeder, nod- 
ded his head for "another five" after the $1,000 
corner had been turned. It must be remembered 
that this was in the days when nothing save Bates- 
bred cattle were supposed to be worth four figures. 
The sale, therefore, of this choice heifer at such a 
figure marked the virtual beginning of a demand 
for Aberdeenshire blood that has not yet run its 
course. 

The readers of these notes will not be taxed 
with a presentation of details as to the assembling 
of the great herd to be seen in the Linwood pastures 
from, say, 1883 to 1890. Expense \^as not spared 
in the purchase of the best material with which 
Amos Gruickshank could be induced to part. The 
choice of the American imports from Sittyton were re- 
served for Linwood's option. The genius of the great 
Scotchman himself was invoked in the selection of 
young bulls and heifers likely to advance the cause 
of the Gruickshank stamp in the United States. 
William Duthie alone, Mr. Gruickshank's closest 
adviser and contemporary in his declining years, had 
the pick of a bull ahead of Linwood. Lot after lot 



THE SUNNY SLOPES OF LINWOOD 193 



of broad-ribbed, furry-haired, compactly-fashioned, 
wonderfully -matured yearlings and two-year-olds 
came out from Aberdeen to Kansas. I remember 
well one shipment that chanced to arrive upon the 
occasion of one of my frequent visits in the early 
eighties. All hands, including Francis Thompson 
and his brother "Will" — Scotch boys sent out by 
Mr. DuTHiE to help develop the North Country pil- 
grims in the sunny west — were at the station to 
help unload and get the precious freight safely 
home. Pressed into service myself, the Colonel 
asked me which one of the lot I preferred to lead. 
My' fancy fell upon a particularly sweet roan heifer, 
which I was informed was Lavender 34th. I was 
told that she was of Amos Cruickshank's own 
choosing, and I held her halter in a memorable 
parade that began at Linwood siding, and ended in 
the blue-grass enclosure that lay between Linwood 
house and the Baron Victor paddock. This heifer 
was just such a type as Bapton Pearl, afterwards 
renowned throughout American cattle-breeding 
circles as the mother of Whitehall Sultan; and 
she lived to produce a number of very valuable 
calves. 

A rare good cow of Campbell's Kinellar Golden 
Drop sort, carrying Bates crosses, had been added 



194 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



to the herd. She had the grand air, carriage and 
finish of the old-time Duchesses, and the flesh that 
was such a cardinal point with Mr. Gruickshank 
and his Aberdeenshire neighbors, and by crossing 
her with Baron Victor, possibly the best individual 
cattle ever seen at Linwood were obtained. Then 
came Lavender S6th, noblest of all the Gruickshank 
cows of her day on this side the Atlantic, and 
Princess Alice — marvel of thickness, finish and milk 
— a paragon of double-deckers. And as the seasons 
came and passed, under the masterful guidance of 
the owner Linwood came to be the home of the 
best herd of Shorthorns on the American continent 
— the Mecca towards which the most progressive 
breeders directed their steps in quest of bulls to 
head their herds. The tide was definitely turned to 
the Aberdeenshire blood. The proprietor was hailed 
as the regenerator of a breed. His services as 
judge were in request at all the leading shows. In 
the councils of the American Shorthorn Breeders' 
Association his judgment was all but supreme. 
Younger breeders found in him an honest, trusted 
adviser, and many dated the beginnings of their 
success from days spent in his pastures. Eloquent 
and convincing always, his addresses and his inti- 
mate conversations were an absolute inspiration. 



THE SUNNY SLOPES OF LINWOOD 196 



and he had no warmer friends and admirers than 
in the ranks of his contemporaries of the Hereford 
and Aberdeen-Angus camps. 

Throughout this, beyond question the happiest 
period of his life, the betterment of the cattle 
stocks of the United States had his entire attention. 
All the wealth of his great intellectual gifts were 
showered upon the problems connected with the 
improvement of our western herds. By day and by 
night he ministered personally to his favorites. 
Like Thomas Bates, he knew and habitually fondled 
all his favorites. The animals themselves under- 
stood his devotion, and courted his hand as he 
approached. In the midnight hours he would re- 
spond to any unusual call from about the cattle 
barns. The lantern would be lighted, and he would 
make the rounds to ascertain the trouble. Fit to 
grace, as he afterwards did, the Senate chamber at 
Washington, once the choice of several great states 
as nominee for the Vice-Presidency of the Republic, 
this great, simple-hearted man did not deem it be- 
neath his dignity to do these things. He had no 
patience with those of his neighbors who complained 
of "bad luck" with cattle. The only luck he 
recognized was that which came as the reward of 
unselfish, unending devotion to that which he loved. 



196 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



Hard times overtook us all. He saw the Kan- 
sas farmers suffering, despite their most strenuous 
labors. The rewards of husbandry were hazardous 
and inadequate. The usurer was abroad in the 
land. Those who recognized the Colonel as a 
worthy champion of the cause of all who toiled 
early and late to create the harvest, went to him 
as children to a kindly father. He was invited to 
meet with and talk to them. He could not refuse; 
and here was the beginning of the end of Linwood 
Farm and all its bovine wonders. 

In the summer of 1892 we went together to 
Great Britain, landing at Liverpool. Our very first 
day in rural England drew from him after a consid- 
erable silence the simple comment, "This makes 
me sick!" I knew what he had worked out. The 
settled, all-pervading air of comfort, the matchless 
greenery of the well-kept fields, the fine old homes, 
the ivy -covered walls, the beautiful roads, the 
hawthorn hedges: the inheritances of the centuries — 
everything that appealed strongest to his senses 
and temperament here unfolded in an apparently 
endless panorama, and these people occupying this 
Garden of Eden had been born into it all! Here 
was a land where somebody else had done something. 
The best years of his own life had been spent in 
helping subdue a virgin wilderness. 



THE SUNNY SLOPES OF LINWOOD 197 



We landed at New York some weeks later, and 
a tslegram that awaited him at the old Fifth Avenue 
Hotel robbed him then and there of a peace of 
mind which I am absolutely certain he never after- 
wards quite regained, even up to the final hour. 
This message notified him that at a political con- 
vention that had been held at Wichita, while we 
were upon the Atlantic, he had been unanimously 
nominated amidst great enthusiasm for congress- 
man-at-large, under an apportionment at that time 
effective, for the state of Kansas. 

"Why," said he, "did this have to come to me 
just as I was returning home from this splendid 
trip, my mind fairly filled with new ideas, hopes 
and plans for the future of my home, my farm, my 
herd?" This was the natural protest of a man 
who had never sought public office and wished only 
to live out his simple life among "green fields and 
running brooks." I verily believe he had at that 
hour a premonition that this really meant farewell 
to all he valued most on earth. All the way to 
Chicago he could not shake off" the pall that seemed 
to fall upon his spirits. A good soldier always, 
ever ready to respond to what he felt might be the 
call of duty, he buckled on his armor and made 
the fight. People may have differed with him in 
his views upon various questions vitally aff'ecting 



198 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



the farming community, but no man ever questioned 
the honesty of his purposes. Ten years of turmoil 
supervened. Linwood never knew him more. Gin- 
cinnatus had been called from the plow to fight the 
battles of his countrymen, and he was mortally 
wounded in their service. 

The election and re-election to the House of 
Representatives; his powerful influence upon im- 
portant legislation; the inevitable neglect of lands 
and cattle; the death of the mother of his children; 
the grim struggle politically and financially; the 
election to the Senate of the United States; con- 
tinuous business depression requiring the sale of 
his Shorthorns and the farm at bottom prices — all 
these followed in fast succession, and at last the 
inevitable turn of the wheel that left him once more 
in private life. 

Too honest to accumulate money in politics, too 
proud to ask for help in the hour of adversity, too 
brave ever to show the white feather, he came 
back from Washington to the west at my solicita- 
tion — broken in purse and spirit — to begin anew 
his old-time relationship with the stockmen of the 
nation; so that we found him in his declining years 
on the rostrum, or judging and assisting in the 
management of shows, prominent in state and 



THE SUNNY SLOPES OF LINWOOD 199 



national conventions wherever his great experience 
and his acknowledged talents could be invoked for 
the uplift of those who live upon the land. It is 
fitting that his last public service should have been 
as Managing Director of the International Live 
Stock Exposition, and it is peculiarly appropriate 
that his last public address should have been to 
the Shorthorn breeders of America, assembled in 
annual meeting at the old Grand Pacific Hotel on 
the night of Dec. 1, 1909. 

Senator Harris was, in my judgment, the ablest 
man who has been identified with cattle-breeding 
in the United States since my acquaintance with 
that industry began, and had he not been called 
from the farm to the forum, would have attained 
a reputation as a constructive breeder second to 
none of those who have written their names highest 
in the Hall of Agricultural Fame. Broad-minded, 
liberal and just, he was planning a blending of the 
best Herd Book bloods in such fashion as could 
scarcely fail in his hands to set a new milestone 
in Shorthorn history. He did enough from 1882 
to 1892 to demonstrate his power, and those who 
aspire to great deeds in the realm of animal hus- 
bandry will find in his life and teachings the sound- 
est of all foundations to build upon. 



200 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



Truth, integrity, sincerity, courage, originality 
and capacity, and an abiding love of nature and 
his fellowmen! All these were his, and during 
those last pathetic years, when he was a constant 
frequenter of the Saddle and Sirloin Club, he 
endeared himself by a thousand characteristic words 
and deeds to all with whom he came in contact. 

The corn is ripening as we write, in the autumn 
sunshine in the land he understood so well. Soon 
the drifting snows will follow. The endless pano- 
ramas of the seasons will continue in their courses; 
the miracles of life and death will still be wrought 
in the future as in the past; men will come and 
reputations go; but here was a man we cannot afford 
to forget. Speed the day when a really satisfying 
portrait finds place in the most sacred niche to 
which it can be assigned by loving hearts and 
willing hands. 



XXIII 

AFTERMATH 

Amos Gruickshank was a bachelor and a Quaker 
— a man little given to speech at any time. His 
brother Anthony had two sons, John W. and Edward, 
who for some years maintained a good herd at 
Lethenty, Inverurie, in which Booth blood was 
extensively used. John Dryden of Canada and 
Edward were on rather close terms of friendship, 
and many good Shorthorns of mixed Sittyton and 
Warlaby extraction came over to the Dryden farm 
from Lethenty. The latter herd was closed out, 
however, many years ago. After Anthony's death 
Amos carried on the great herd at Sittyton until 
1889, when, bending under the weight of years, the 
old veteran let it be known that he would retire. 
There was talk for a time that the entire herd 
would be taken over by a syndicate of Americans. 
Davidson, Dryden, Harris, Potts, Kissinger, Wil- 
liam Miller and others conferred in reference to 
this; but before action looking towards definite steps 
could be had a deal was closed by Robert Bruce 
with Thomas Nelson & Sons of Liverpool, which 
contemplated a transfer of the entire world-renowned 
collection to Argentina. Fortunately, however, two 
men who were destined to preserve and carry for- 

201 



202 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



ward admirably the excellence of the parent stock, 
William Duthie of Gollynie, Aberdeenshire, and J. 
Deane Willis of Bapton Manor, Wiltshire, England, 
came to the rescue and saved the most of the 
more valuable material for the northern hemisphere. 
It was not until several years after this had 
taken place that I was able to indulge a long-cher- 
ished ambition to personally meet and talk with Mr. 
Gruickshank. Mr. Duthie accompanied Senator 
Harris and myself to Sittyton, and there we met 
not only the master of the house but his nephew, 
John W., above mentioned, the latter a man of high 
intelligence and refinement. The old man sat in 
the chimney corner, wrapped in a warm gray woolen 
robe with a red skullcap upon his head, and although 
he gave us hearty welcome he permitted neighbor 
Duthie to do most of the talking. Now those who 
knew both men will readily understand this situation, 
I am sure. Gollynie is ever ready with his words — 
and there is commonly both wit and wisdom in 
them. Sittyton was always chary of them. From 
the two one good average conversationalist could 
have been readily made. However, I managed at 
last to put a few pointed questions to the reticent 
old man, to which monosyllabic answers only for the 
most part were returned. In fact, I was reminded 



AFTERMATH 205 



of a similar effort I had made some years previous 
to draw out another octogenerian cattleman who 
was also more given to making history than talking 
about it. I allude to "Uncle" Abram Renick of 
Kentucky. The first, last and only time I ever saw 
him was at one of the Vanmeter-Hamilton sales of 
1882 or 1883. He was then quite feeble and when 
I asked, "Mr. Renick, did the 4th Duke of Geneva, 
as a matter of fact, really do your old Roses of 
Sharon any good?" he simply said, after thinking it 
over for a moment, "I don't know that he did, but 
he helped to sell them." That was all I could get; 
but there was a deep significance, as a matter of 
fact, in those few words. And so with Mr. Gruick- 
SHANK. When I asked if he considered that his 
herd in its later years had stood in need of an 
outcross — some reinvigoration through fresh blood 
elements — he merely shook his "frosty pow" and 
said, "It may be so, but I was too old to do it." 
By inference he recognized the fact that some loss 
of size and substance had set in, but the great and 
always difficult task of seeking to revivify a strongly 
inbred type must, in his case, be left to younger men. 
How DuTHiE and Willis — the one working in the 
north of Scotland and the latter in the south of 
England — set about this undertaking, and how clev- 



204 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



erly they manipulated the heritage they had from 
Amos Gruickshank, forms one of the most brilliant 
chapters in modern live-stock history. 

William Duthie and Deane Willis are still living. 
Both deserve all the lavish praise that has been 
bestowed upon them. Willis has a most delightful 
home in a land where winter as we know it never 
comes, where the grass is always green, and where 
there is a garden I shall not soon forget. The old 
stone house at Bapton has pictures and trophies 
galore that tell the story of accomplishments in the 
modern cattle-breeding world that sustain the best 
traditions of ancient York and Durham. He came 
out to the States several years ago to judge, and 
is one of the many distinguished guests who have 
been entertained at the Saddle and Sirloin Club. 
While in America he had the satisfaction of seeing 
some of the wonderful effects of the widespread 
use of a great bull he gave to us — Whitehall Sultan. 

Mr. Duthie was out judging at Toronto some 
seasons since, but his time was so limited that he 
did not get into the west. So, as the mountain 
could not come to Mahomet, some Saddle and Sir- 
LOiNERS journeyed over the border to greet him. 
Mr. Duthie is in many respects the most remarkable 
man I have ever known. In his native district he 



AFTERMATH 205 



is father-confessor to the whole countryside: banker, 
trustee, guardian, farmer, merchant, pillar of the 
"kirk," chairman of half the Boards in Aberdeen- 
shire, factor for Lord Aberdeen of Haddo House, 
and prince imperial of latter-day Shorthorn cattle- 
breeders in the Anglo-Saxon realm. A very dynamo 
for energy, outpointing any Yankee in native shrewd- 
ness, learned in the lore of northern cattle-breeding 
beyond all his contemporaries, successful as a pro- 
ducer of champions, a salesman of high-bred animals, 
ranking with our own Mark Dunham of international 
fame in draft-horse breeding circles, patronized by 
royalty and the leaders of the Shorthorn trade in 
both North and South America — he has builded for 
himself a record of success that insures his fame for 
all time to come in the annals of British agriculture. 
Many a happy hour I have spent with this virile, 
keen-minded successor to Amos Cruickshank, driving 
about northern Aberdeenshire. His two main breed- 
ing farms are Collynie and Tillycairn. Here and 
upon the neighboring farm of Uppermill — so long 
occupied by the Messrs. Marr — Shorthorns have 
been bred that have made showyard and salering 
records that shall be memorable for generations yet 
to come. To this most companionable genius I have 
to confess my obligations for many valuable histor- 



206 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



ical facts utilized in my work in the past twenty 
years; but the thought of how much Duthie really 
knows that has never yet been got from him in the 
interest of the cattle-breeding world makes me regret 
that I have not accepted a repeated invitation, 
cordially pressed, to occupy for a season the com- 
fortable farmhouse at Gollynie, where we could have 
time to get his recollections of Aberdeenshire history 
covering a span of half a century. Some day such 
a dream might come true; but he has already passed 
three score and ten, and it's a far cry these awful 
days from Chicago to those bonnie Aberdonian banks 
and braes. 

Mr. Duthie is a man of wonderful conversational 
powers, possessing an inexhaustible store of Scot- 
ticisms, and once kept everybody entertained so 
long over the afternoon tea at the late Mrs. Muir- 
head's — a sister of Mr. John Glay and then wife of 
Lord Aberdeen's estate manager — that we almost 
missed seeing the Shorthorns at Tillycairn entirely, 
although I had journeyed across the Atlantic partly 
for that particular purpose. In view of the effective 
grouping of the best things there to be seen, that 
awaited our final arrival late that afternoon, I have 
always had a sneaking notion that there was ''method 
in his madness" in beguiling us so long with his 
stories over Mrs. Muirhead's tea. 



AFTERMATH 207 



One of these only I happen to remember. U ran 
something like this: 

"Over near Tarves a good, honest, hard-working 
chap was about to be married. He invited all his 
friends and neighbors to the festivities, and the 
evening was passing off in jolly fashion. Sandy 
finally thought it was about time he made some 
public acknowledgment to the parson who had 
honored the company by his presence, and in fact 
had tied the marriage knot, so he raised his glass 
to propose a toast. He had premeditated this, of 
course, and in reality had prepared for himself a 
very neat little speech, the main point in which 
was to be the fact that they all knew and appre- 
ciated the good man so thoroughly that nothing the 
speaker could say would add to their repect for him, 
etc., etc., etc.; but in the excitement of the moment 
he lost his bearings a bit, winding up, somewhat to 
the dismay of his guests, with: *Gude friends, ye a' 
ken the meenister so verra weel, he has lived among 
us a' sae lang, that the least said aboot him the 
better.' " 

One night during the week that Mr. Duthie was 
judging at Toronto the management tendered their 
guest from across the seas a grand banquet, attended 
by many of the highest dignitaries of the Dominion. 
It was a large affair, and nearly everybody in due 
course was called upon to make a speech. Some- 
where around midnight the chairman pounced upon 



208 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



me, and I had a grain of satisfaction, in sparring for 
an opening, in retailing that same little yarn, using 
DuTHiE, however, as the hero of Sandy's wedding 
party instead of the minister. The company was at 
that hour in a mood to relish the idea of "the least 
said about Mr. Duthie the better," and in the fun 
that followed I absolved the gentleman from the 
sin of having delayed my game once upon a time 
v/hen wanting to view Shorthorns rather than listen 
to his good North Country jokes. 



XXIV 
A KNIGHT OF THE GOLDEN DAYS 

On the 20th of February, 1840, there was born 
not far from the massive walls of Belvoir Castle — 
one of the seats of the ducal house of Rutland in 
Leicestershire, England — one who was destined to 
play an important role in the progress of some of 
the great events already detailed. He was one of 
a family of fourteen, the eldest of eight sons. His 
surname was Gibson and his parents called him 
Richard. Throughout a long and eventful life his 
intimates knew him as "Dick." He became one of 
the pillars of the International Show, and one of 
the best loved members of the Saddle and Sirloin 
Club. His portrait is not as satisfactory as might be 
wished, but this little book would be wholly incom- 
plete without some reference to his life and work. 

The Gibsons removed from Leicestershire into 
Derbyshire when Richard was but six years old. 
He received his education in the grammar schools 
of Derby and Lincoln, and spent two years in the 
office of a grain merchant in the city last named, 
after which he returned to his father at Swarkeston, 
and spent four years familiarizing himself with the 
farming and stock-breeding operations as conducted 
upon a holding of some 600 acres, which was so well 

209 



210 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



managed as to win several prizes for exceptional 
results in cultivation. At the age of 21, accompanied 
by his brother John, he took passage by the steam- 
ship "Jura" from Liverpool for Quebec, determined to 
try his fortune in the new world. He had a letter 
of introduction to a Mr. Gox of Barrie, Ont. On the 
occasion of his visit to present his credentials at 
this farm the young Englishman was somewhat 
startled to see wild deer in the "bush" as he gazed 
from the bedroom window. This was his first intro- 
duction to the ultimate land of his adoption. Pro- 
ceeding from Barry to Hamilton he was advised to 
go to Spring Grove Farm (near Ilderton, some 13 
miles north of London, Ont.), then owned by the late 
George Robson. Here Richard remained until he 
had thoroughly learned Canadian agriculture, after 
which he accepted an offer to go to Long Island 
and take charge of an estate of 1 ,500 acres belong- 
ing to Mr. Delamater, a New York shipbuilder. After 
the lapse of two years in this service his activities 
were transferred to the management of a 1,400-acre 
farm near Utica, N. Y., owned by Messrs. Walcott 
& Campbell, proprietors of the New York Sheeting 
Mills, an extensive cotton manufacturing plant. 

There was no live stock of consequence upon the 
place when Gibson took hold of it. The owners 



A KNIGHT OF THE GOLDEN DAYS 211 



were ready enough to receive suggestions as to 
investments in that line, but possessed little prac- 
tical knowledge of the business. Mr. Campbell, a 
"canny" Scot, suggested Ayrshires, and a herd of that 
time-honored Scottish dairy sort was duly founded. 
With these, however, Gibson was not satisfied. From 
his early youth he had been a lover of the Shorthorn, 
and he still had visions of the "red, white and roan" 
in all the glory of their furry coats, broad ribs, deep 
chests and capacious udders, as seen in the show- 
yards and pastures of his native land. As a mere boy 
he had listened with rapt attention to the stories of 
Lancaster and Comet as told in the quaint language 
and with all the enthusiasm of illiterate but observ- 
ant herdsmen. The Shorthorn was at this time the 
pampered favorite of the British nobility, as well as 
the mainstay of the English tenantry. Prominent 
New Yorkers like Col. Morris, Samuel Thorne and 
J. O. Sheldon had already made importations of the 
popular Duchess and Oxford blood. Tom Booth was 
setting the English showyards wild with the mar- 
velous creations of Warlaby. The way was being 
paved for the most stupendous speculation in blooded 
cattle the world had ever known. 

Mr. Campbell's objections were finally overcome 
and a few Shorthorns, which he always referred to 



212 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



as "Gibson's things," were allowed upon the place. 
Richard did not mean to be content, however, with 
anything short of "tops," and after explaining at 
length the highly interesting situation then existing 
abroad as between the Booth and Bates tribes, and 
after having pointed out that practically no speci- 
mens of the former were then in the United States, 
he was commissioned to proceed to England and 
select ten head for importation. 

Tom Booth was then at the very climax of his 
reputation as a breeder of champion cattle. The 
famous bull Commander in Chief and the extraor- 
dinary cow Lady Fragrant — regarded by the critics 
of that day as the most marvelous specimen of the 
breed produced up to that date — had just been made 
British champions. It had never been the practice 
at Warlaby, however, to part with females, and it 
was only with the understanding that those put in 
oifer to Mr. Gibson were to be taken out of the 
country that any price could be had. Mr. Cochrane 
had just paid the unprecedented figure of $5,000 
for a Duchess heifer from Col. Gunter, and as the 
rivalry between the two great Shorthorn houses 
was then at its very height Mr. Booth would take 
no less than the same price for the fine show 
heifer Bride of the Vale, that was particularly desired 



A KNIGHT OF THE GOLDEN DAYS 213 



by the American buyer. She was accompanied by 
nine head, nearly all of Booth extraction, and two 
years later another importation of a like number 
was made for New York Mills. 

Mr. Sheldon, who had acquired all of the Thorne- 
dale Duchesses, scented danger to his speculation 
in Bates cattle by this invasion of the Booths; so 
he resolved to make terms, offering to sell one-half 
of the Geneva herd. Gibson advised its purchase, 
but Mr. Campbell replied, "But you don't know the 
price!" The answer was, ''Never mind the price; 
buy." The deal was closed, and the division made; 
the Duchesses cost an average of $5,500 each, 
and the Oxfords $2,800 each. A year later the 
entire Sheldon herd was taken over at an agreed 
price of $100,000 for about 50 head. The Booths 
were disposed of and some of them found their 
way back to England. 

There were then no Duchesses living on either 
side of the Atlantic descended direct from Mr. Bates' 
herd without admixture of blood from other sources, 
excepting those owned at New York Mills, so that 
when, in 1873, the time was deemed right for such 
an event the entire herd was advertised for sale at 
public auction. Shorthorn breeding at that date was 
engaging the enthusiastic attention of large numbers 



214 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



of wealthy and enterprising men in both Britain and 
Canada, and the announcement of this dispersion 
was the signal for the beginning of negotiations on 
both sides of the water looking toward an inter- 
national contest for the possession of this blood so 
highly prized. The golden guineas of the British 
were pitted against the "almighty dollar" of the 
Americans, on the tenth day of September, 1873, in 
a contest for the possession of these cattle, which 
resulted, as has already been related, in the as- 
tounding total of $381,990, an average of $3,504, 
for the 109 head, with a top price of $40,600, bid 
by one of the English commissioners for the 8th 
Duchess of Geneva! 

The sensational success of this venture brought 
Mr. Gibson into a prominence on both s;ides of the 
water that rendered him thenceforth a conspicuous 
figure in stock-breeding circles at home and abroad, 
and enabled him to engage in various important 
enterprises of his own. He embarked for a time 
in the importation and exportation of Shorthorns, 
selling 33 head at Chicago in April, 1882, for 
$24,300, and 20 head a year later at the same 
place for $20,330. On removing his family from 
the United States he had leased a farm at Ilderton, 
Ont., and in 1883 purchased Belvoir, on the River 



A KNIGHT OF THE GOLDEN DAYS 215 



Thames, near the village of Delaware, and built it 
up with the aid of sheep, cattle and judicious crop- 
ping into one of the prize farms of the Dominion. 
The star of the BATES-bred Shorthorns, of which 
Mr. Gibson was so fond, had begun to wane even 
at the time of his Chicago sales. The invasion of the 
west by the heavy-fleshed Herefords and Aberdeen- 
Angus had already begun to turn the Shorthorn 
tide into other channels. It was for many years a 
source of much concern to this valiant defender of 
the Kirklevington blood that the American public 
insisted upon drifting away from what he regarded 
as the true Shorthorn faith to wander far afield 
after strange gods. He did not believe in the 
Aberdeenshire type of Shorthorns, and did not hesi- 
tate to denounce them roundly as destined to ruin 
the breed in this country. That he sincerely be- 
lieved this to be true no one could question. He 
was often called as a judge at leading shows in 
Canada and the States, and if one of the lordly, 
high-headed, broad-loined, level-quartered sort, which 
he regarded as the true Shorthorn type, came 
before him in competition with one of the low- 
headed, heavy -bodied, shorter -legged Cruickshank 
stamp, there was rarely a doubt among the by- 
standers as to where Gibson would hang the ribbon. 



216 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



In this connection a personal incident may not be 
amiss. 

The writer hereof in the early eighties endeavored 
to introduce into American agricultural journalism 
the English system of critical comment upon the 
work of the judges at the great national competi- 
tions. This was an untried field in this country, 
and an early abandonment was freely predicted. 
In the face of the bitter rivalry, then becoming 
acute, as between the old and the new showyard 
Shorthorn types, the effort was peculiarly difficult 
and indeed at times impossible of successful accom- 
plishment. Upon one notable occasion a decision of 
Mr. Gibson's came in for sharp criticism, to which 
he replied through the press with vigor and the 
free use of sarcasm. We had up to that time been 
the best of friends, but this incident seemed to 
foreshadow an estrangement. In the meantime, 
however, work had been commenced on the ** His- 
tory of Shorthorn Cattle," brought out in the spring 
of 1900, and in the course of the preparation of 
the manuscript occasion arose for consulting Mr. 
Gibson in reference to certain facts resting spe- 
cially within his personal knowledge; so, swallowing 
a bit of pride and ignoring the friction that had 
arisen, a letter of inquiry was duly posted. For 



A KNIGHT OF THE GOLDEN DAYS 217 



some time there was no response, but finally a 
well-filled, large envelope put in its appearance. 
The letter, which was from Mr. Gibson, began, con- 
trary to previous practice, in a very formal manner 

— "Sir: Yours of received. I am not sure 

that I can answer your question. I" — but here the 
ice suddenly melted. Dropping abruptly conven- 
tional forms, Richard was himself again. "Oh, the 
devil, Alvin! What's the use! I'll tell you all 
about it." Whereupon he fell straightway into one 
of his delightful reminiscent moods and related 
one of the most interesting Shorthorn stories 
ever told. This was in 1899, and from that time 
until the closing hours of his life we were firm 
friends, serving together for nearly ten years upon 
the Board of Directors of the International Live 
Stock Exposition, maintaining all the while a cor- 
respondence into which he poured all the wealth 
of an astonishing fund of recollection, as useful in 
our editorial work as it was entertaining. It is unfor- 
tunate that these letters have not all been preserved. 
They were usually too personal in their nature for 
publication; but the one just quoted affords a fine 
insight into his generous character, carrying with it 
the lesson that life is too short for friends to quarrel 
over mere matters of individual judgment. 



218 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



Richard Gibson had an extraordinary appreciation 
of the fascination of the breeder's art. He loved 
all forms of high-bred animal life. Shorthorns and 
Shropshires were probably the chief objects of his 
affectionate study and regard; but his keen delight 
in all that revealed skillful manipulation of the 
mysterious forces of nature by the guiding mind of 
man extended throughout the entire range of the 
four-footed and feathered creation. Like "Jorrocks" 
of old, he was a devout believer in the efficacy of 
"a bit o' blood, whether it be in a 'orse, a 'ound, or 
a woman." He could be equally interested in a 
Christmas bullock, a **classy" Clydesdale, a Derby 
winner, a game-cock, or fox terriers. There was 
something of kinship in his love for country sports 
and animal life with such worthies as old Barclay 
of Ury. Fond of all that appeals to those who love 
the open country, he could see as much beauty in 
a hedge-row or an oak as some people can find in 
metropolitan galleries of art. And speaking of oaks, 
many years ago he asked for and received some 
acorns from one of the royal domains in England — 
in fact, the product of one of the most venerable 
and historic trees in the mother country. These he 
planted successfully at Belvoir, and shortly before 
his death donated some of the seedlings to the city 



A KNIGHT OF THE GOLDEN DAYS 219 



of London, Ont., which were planted in Victoria 
Park in commemoration of the coronation of King 
George, then impending. 

Mr. Gibson served as president of the Dominion 
Shorthorn Association and of the Canadian Kennel 
Glub, besides holding numerous other offices in con- 
nection with various organizations of stock breeders 
on both sides the line. He served as a member of 
the Agricultural Commission appointed by the On- 
tario Government in 1880. He was survived by his 
wife — a sister of Capt. T. E. Robson — and by three 
married daughters and by one son, Noel, a young 
man of the highest promise — indeed, a sterling rep- 
resentative of a family that has contributed largely 
to the extension of popular interest in improved 
farm stock on this continent. The Gibsons have 
in fact written their names indelibly in the litera- 
ture of improved stock-breeding during the past half 
century. Richard's name is forever linked with New 
York Mills. His brother Arthur was one of Eng- 
land's best-esteemed herd managers, and the work 
of William and John on this side the water is 
known to all who follow the course of the trade. 

Rich in sentiment, the mind of Richard Gibson 
was filled with an inexhaustible store of incidents 
illuminating the splendid story of the achievements 



220 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



of great men in the stock-breeding world. An easy 
and interesting conversationalist and possessed of a 
fine sense of humor, when surrounded by congenial 
companions, kindred spirits — such as were wont to 
congregate at the Grand Pacific Hotel in the old 
fat-stock show days and latterly at the Saddle and 
Sirloin Glub — he was at his best. Among those 
who loved the tales of the olden days there exists 
since his demise a sense of loss that finds no ade- 
quate expression. 



XXV 
THE INSPIRATION OF THE INN 

"As a tree planted by the waters and that spread- 
eth out her roots by the river, and shall not see 
when the heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; 
and shall not be careful in the year of drouth, neither 
shall it cease from yielding fruit." 

When, one night in the month of January, 1912, 
the old hotel disappeared in a chariot of fire, an 
opportunity for doing something monumental as well 
as practical was presented, and it was a moral cer- 
tainty in advance that this would be improved to the 
utmost. The inspirations of the Saddle and Sirloin 
Club could produce but one result. Essentially 
educational in its conception, and wholly utilitarian 
in its character, the Inn stands today — and let us 
hope will stand for generations yet to come — a 
splendid tribute to the land and the era that supplied 
the seed, the harvest of which is the stupendous daily 
business at the Yards ! A modern fireproof structure 
provided with all twentieth century comforts within, 
its exterior aspects preserve and perpetuate the 
quaintly picturesque and exquisitely artistic lines of 
the architecture of rural England of the long ago — 
the present masquerading in the garments of a glo- 
rious Elizabethan past ! A bit of the old world set 

221 



222 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



down in the very heart of the new ! A fascinating 
memento of an age when men had time to think, and 
cultivate the arts of friendly intercourse, the Inn 
looks calmly down upon the rush and roar of city 
rails and motors, and bids the breathless pause and 
find perspective. 

A wall 220 feet in length is presented to the city 
street, but a generous passageway admits man and 
beast and vehicle of whatever kind through a modi- 
fied type of the old-fashioned Scottish wynd into a 
quiet court. Over the main entrance is the porte- 
cochere that graced the old Guild House of the 
ancient city of Hereford. In the southwest wing you 
see the front of a fine old Yorkshire manor house 
woven into the long and beautiful facade. At still 
another point may be made out the lines of what was 
once John Harvard's home. Stop and study it. You 
have only just left the whirl of metropolitan life out- 
side the wall, and instantly you have come upon a 
scene whose dominant note is peace and real repose. 
You feel yourself suddenly halted in your accustomed 
race; and if at all responsive to the picture, you will 
presently begin to feel something in the nature of a 
benedic/tion. The slings and arrows of today are 
flying only beyond the gates. 

Practically all of our most widely -distributed 



THE INSPIRATION OF THE INN 223 



modern flesh -bearing breeds originated in England. 
John Bull has ever had a weakness for the toothsome 
viands. There is nothing much the matter with his 
stomach or his appetite. He has for generations 
preferred life in the open country to a mere existence 
in the midst of crowds. He loves his horses and his 
hounds. The horn of the hunter is to him the sweet- 
est of all sounds next to the full-throated music of 
the pack. He lives much among his four-footed 
friends. He understands them. He learned long ago 
how to develop them to a high state of perfection. 
He keeps a good table. He is a generous and par- 
ticular provider. His beef and his chop must be of 
the sort that satisfies. He objects not at all to the 
liberal proportion of fat that ever lies alongside the 
juicy cut that nourishes the body and makes glad 
the heart. 

He demanded something wholesome, something 
substantial, something good to eat and drink, not only 
in his home, but at the hands of ''mine host" of the 
village inn. His business took him frequently to his 
nearest market town, and after the bargaining was 
over for the day, it was his wont to join his colleagues 
of the countryside, men of similar type and tastes, 
at the ''King's Head," the "White Horse," the "Black 
Bull," or other local public house. Here, over bread 



224 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



and cheese or chop or joint — and too often perhaps 
the generous mug of "brown October ale" — the grand 
debate would start. It might take wide range, but it 
would inevitably turn to horses, dogs and bulls or 
"tups," with many a wager placed for subsequent 
adjudication. Out of these tap-room sessions grew 
the early shows where results were measured and 
experiences exchanged; and as the product of this or 
that procedure became of interest to the whole com- 
munity, notes were made and the foundations of 
pedigree registration at length established. Why not 
commemorate such scenes and thus remind ourselves 
occasionally of the debt we owe to those who gave 
us our good breeds and founded the trial by jury in 
the open showyard? Such was the reasoning of 
Arthur G. Leonard, to whom the west is indebted for 
this truly artistic memorial structure. 

Facing as it does the home of the International, 
connected as it is by steps and corridors with the 
Saddle and Sirloin Glub itself, and serving daily 
the patrons of the greatest live-stock market of the 
world, the Stock Yard Inn is America's one enduring 
monument to these grand old men and the times in 
which they lived, placed in the one spot, above all 
others on the continent, where such a work should 
stand. 



XXVI 
HISTORY IN THE MAKING 

In our tour of the club rooms we now arrive in 
Havana — that is to say, the smoking room, so 
called, of the Saddle and Sirloin Glub. They are 
all smoking rooms, so far as I have ever observed. 
But, anyhow, drop here into an easy-chair, and if 
you enjoy the weed pull away at your Perfecto if 
you like, while we seek through the floating cloud- 
wreaths the lines of certain extraordinary scenes. 
The well-trained eye can see these pictures stand- 
ing out in bold relief behind the canvas that carries 
the features of Mark W. Dunham. Note the pass- 
ing panorama. 

Under a gray old castle's frowning walls a draw- 
bridge falls across the moat. The trumpets sound. 
A glittering cavalcade emerges. Pennons gay and 
guidons flutter in the breeze. Steel and silver — 
corselet, hilt and morion — glisten in the morning 
sun, and noble chargers, mostly white and gray, 
prance proudly, bearing out into the medieval world 
brave belted knights and their retainers faring forth 
to meet what ere betides. 

Generations pass: in the far distance the rhythmic 
beating of heavy hurrying hoofs! It is a highway 

225 



226 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



builded by the kings of France. To the sound of 
the horn and the sharp note of the lash, the great 
diligence bearing the royal mails and laden deep 
with passengers and their gear comes into view. A 
rush, a roar of wheels, and the great freighted coach 
is gone. 

Agriculture calls: down the long furrows see the 
shining plowshares deeply driven. The mellow earth 
awakens, and lo, the stored up riches of a fertile 
field await the seed. Long is the journey and re- 
peated oft. From ''early morn to dewy eve" the 
living shuttles travel, back and forth; but weight 
that wearies not is harnessed. 

And yet again, last scene of all: a busy modern 
city street. Huge vans and trucks are rumbling 
ever on the granite blocks. Big grays and blacks 
march proudly to the music of a nation's commerce. 
Power, patience, dignity personified. Glory be to men 
who can produce such prodigies! 

Such is the prologue. Now for the drama proper. 

First an old brick farmhouse underneath great 
oaks. The town of Elgin, 111., some five miles dis- 
tant. North, east, west and south well-managed 
fields as far as the eye can reach. A country that 
knows and never loses sight of the value of golden 
hoofs in husbandry. Live stock has kept the dis- 



HISTORY IN THE MAKING 227 



trict rich for fifty years, and live stock will keep 
it rich forever. 

The time is about 1870. A gray stallion with 
a long white mane is seen approaching. His name 
Success — happy omen of what was even then in 
the womb of fate — is a household word for miles 
around. He is given a box in the Dunham stables, 
and the foundation of the greatest triumph ever 
known in draft -horse breeding in the world is laid. 

Presently we see groups of big gay Percherons 
unloaded at the little railway station, Wayne, that 
adjoins the farm along its northern boundary. They 
are freshly arrived from France. A big new barn 
goes up. Visitors come. Then more horses, more 
big red barns, more visitors. Then one by one the 
stallions are led away to Wayne, and shipped. 
Some go east, some go west. The best remain at 
Oaklawn. Each time we look greater numbers of 
horses are arriving, larger throngs of buyers, and a 
bigger, ever bigger equipment! 

On the hill overlooking the best-tilled fields in 
Illinois a Norman castle with towers and battle- 
ments appears. The old brick house becomes an 
office. Clerks and typewriters work from January 
to December trying to keep track of new impor- 
tations from the Perche and of Mr. Dunham's 



228 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



tremendous trade with every section of the Union. 
Special trains pull in from time to time from Chi- 
cago. Statesmen, captains of high finance, cabinet 
ministers, envoys of foreign powers, dignitaries from 
the ends of the earth and students from abroad, as 
well as from our own farming communities, count 
it a pleasure and a privilege to spend a day at the 
great show place of the middle west. 

And then one sad day a long funeral cortege 
passing down the Elgin road. Death ever loved the 
shining target. A band of coal-black Percheron 
fillies tramping in single file alongside in the pasture, 
stopping only at the fence that marks the end of 
their late master's landed possessions — an uncon- 
scious farewell from the fields! 

But how shall we supply the wealth of detail 
necessary to complete these pictures? Impossible. 
We can only sketch. 

As a young man I spent several short vacations 
at the old brick cottage — the birthplace of Mark 
Dunham, as well as of his son and successor, 
WiRTH. The latter was then a child romping under 
the oaks with a little red wagon. I grew into my 
own vocation during the period of Oaklawn's 
astounding creation, and I know of kindly acts and 
spoken words that angels in heaven must have 



HISTORY IN THE MAKING 229 



entered up to Mark W. Dunham's eternal credit 
long before the fateful day when his noble spirit 
winged its way homeward to the skies. Of these, 
however, I may not speak. 

There is no mistaking the place held by the 
Percheron in American commerce and agriculture. 
There is no way of even estimating in millions of 
dollars the additions to the national wealth directly 
due to the introduction of this exceptionally sound 
and serviceable horse of heavy draft. And wherever 
the Percheron is known, not only in the United 
States, but in France as well, there is recognition 
of the fact that the man who really made the 
breeding and rearing of big-type Percheron horses 
an important national industry in both countries 
was Mark Wentworth Dunham. He had colleagues 
and competitors in the work of advising America 
upon the subject of the peculiar adaptability of the 
French horses to our soil, our rural highways, our 
city pavements, our climate and our general agri- 
cultural conditions; but he had infinitely greater 
grasp of the possibilities involved to the peoples of 
both nations than any of his contemporaries, and 
brought to the task of educating American farmers 
up to an appreciation of Percheron blood a mind 
that would have made its possessor a man of high 



230 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



distinction in any calling to which he might have 
devoted his outstanding talents. 

Up to the time Mr. Dunham became interested 
in this business there had been only sporadic im- 
portations of stallions of heavy draft from various 
parts of northern France, and nobody in the west 
had given any special consideration to the matter 
of locating the particular district from which the 
material best fitted for our western uses might be 
most satisfactorily obtained. Many of the pioneer 
stallions had been picked up near Rouen or in other 
communities adjacent to the English Channel by early 
American live-stock importers, who had finished buy- 
ing cattle or sheep in Great Britain and ran across 
to the French coast to see what might be observed, 
agriculturally speaking, without making any special 
journeys of exploration into the interior. There was 
then, and is yet, in the north of France a good big 
horse known as the Boulonnais, and undoubtedly 
some of the original French horses brought to 
America — and indeed also others brought over after 
the era of stud books set in — were of that race; 
but as buyers extended their purchases southward 
through the territory which once constituted the 
province of Normandy, they found good colts being 
developed by farmers and dealers that had been 



HISTORY IN THE MAKING 231 



bought in a region of which the ancient city of 
Nogent-le-Rotrou was the commercial center. And 
so it transpired that the Perche proper — famed in 
song and story as "the land of good horses" — was 
"discovered." 

Mark Dunham was a student. He took nothing 
for granted. He wanted to know more about the 
horses of the different regions, and while little in 
the way of authentic information was available at 
the time, he began, in person and by proxy, important 
investigations. He was not long in convincing him- 
self that the heavier types produced in the Perche 
were bottomed upon blood that gave them a value 
for American uses beyond any other race of drafters 
in France. The district had for generations been 
noted for its big, long-distance trotters and diligence 
horses, capable of drawing heavy loads at a rapid 
pace. Tradition has it that the activity and endur- 
ance of these animals was due largely to the use 
of Oriental blood, but recent investigations indicate 
that at least some of these legendary Arabian an- 
cestors were more or less mythical. 

Gen. W. T. Walters, a wealthy resident of Balti- 
more, who had spent some years in France and 
was a great admirer of a good horse, had already 
made up his mind that the Percheron of the lighter 



232 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



sort would not only be unequaled for draft purposes 
in Maryland, but that well-matched pairs were ideal 
for carriage work. He imported a considerable 
number of these about 1866, and his private con- 
veyances, horsed by these strong-going grays, were 
for some years one of the attractive features of 
Baltimore streets and parkways. Prior to that date 
practically all of the big horses brought from France 
had been called by their American owners "Nor- 
mans"; not that anybody in the land from whence 
they came had ever thought of applying that title 
to them, but simply because they had been found 
and bought for the most part in the district adja- 
cent to the Perche, called Normandy. 

These "Normans" had already more than made 
good in the middle west. And no finer demonstration 
of the value of agricultural shows has to be recorded 
in live-stock history than is afforded by the fact that 
it was at an Illinois State Fair of the early seventies 
that this Dupage county farmer, M. W. Dunham, saw 
for the first time an imported "Norman" stallion, and 
was so greatly impressed that the beginning of his 
own subsequently sensational activities in this field 
has to be dated from that exhibition. The "Fletcher 
Norman Horse Go." was organized, with Mr. Dunham 
as one of the stockholders. Old Success and French 



HISTORY IN THE MAKING 233 



Emperor were purchased, and from that transaction 
dates the foundation of the most extraordinary 
achievement based upon draft-horse breeding the 
world has ever known. 

Mr. Dunham was first of all a good farmer. 
Efficiency was demanded in the management of his 
land and crops. He knew the rewards that wait 
upon thorough tillage, joined with stock- keeping. 
The "Norman" half-bloods in front of plows, harrows, 
cultivators and harvesters made things move. They 
would be a boon inestimable to American farming. 
A great future loomed before them. An illimitable 
field opened. Others were plodding along in the 
business of developing what his keen eye saw could 
be made an important matter from a national eco- 
nomic standpoint, and, incidentally, a profitable form 
of enterprise. He bought his partners' interests, 
utilized his bank credit and went to his life-work 
with a courage and determination born of complete 
faith in the certainty of success, and when he had 
finished he had not only amassed a personal fortune 
in a legitimate field, but the Percheron was placed 
in almost every nook and corner of the northern 
states, and France was the richer by reason of 
the enormous American demand that still pours a 
steady stream of ''Yankee" gold into the savings 



234 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



banks patronized by those shrewd, home -loving, 
thrifty farmers of the valley of the Huisne. 

The Percheron Stud Books of France and America 
had from their first inception the powerful support 
of the wizard of Oaklawn. In fact, they were almost 
his own children. He knew that pedigree records 
must sooner or later be demanded in the develop- 
ment of these horses, as they had already been 
found essential in other lines, and with characteristic 
enterprise and breadth of outlook he set the forces 
in motion that led to the printing of the initial 
volumes in Nogent and Chicago. None knew better 
than he that these could be at best the mere crude 
beginnings of registration. Criticism, therefore, di- 
rected against errors and omissions in this pioneering 
work fails to detract in the least from the soundness 
and value of the idea which those early publications 
reflected. There were naught but traditions and 
data of a wholly unsatisfactory character to serve 
as a starting point. The situation in that respect 
differed little, however, from that which has con- 
fronted the founders of all existing pedigree regis- 
tries. Those who were charged with the thankless 
task of assembling the foundation material in this 
undertaking simply did the best they could with 
the meager information then available. The use of 



HISTORY IN THE MAKING 235 



the misnomer "Norman" was first of all properly 
abandoned. Mr. Dunham and his confreres had no 
objection to anyone buying and bringing to America 
horses from the Boulonnais or other breeding dis- 
tricts; but he believed that the Perche was the home 
of the best of the French local types, and concen- 
trated his efforts upon establishing the truth of his 
contentions. Had he known positively what has 
since been established by recent researches in the 
archives of the French Government and of the 
Haras du Pin, he would doubtless have been even 
more forceful in his claims for his favorites. 

In another volume recently prepared under the 
writer's direction, this and other matters of co-ordi- 
nate interest have received such full attention that 
they will not here be further pursued. Neither will 
even an outline of Mark Dunham's own story be 
here attempted. His importing and breeding opera- 
tions were too extensive. His ambitious and patri- 
otic attempt to make the west more independent 
of the old world by the purchase and transfer to 
Oaklawn of a great number of the best mares of 
the Perche, the disappointments attending that 
historic venture, his demonstration that the breed 
must ever depend upon the progeny of farm mares 
at work in the fields rather than upon large collec- 



256 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



tions maintained in idleness, the marvelous effects 
of the Brilliant blood, the incursion into the coach 
horse field, the building of Oaklawn House, the enter- 
tainment of innumerable parties of distinguished vis- 
itors, the tragic death of the great architect of the 
Percheron fortunes — these and collateral matters 
of incidental interest cannot be drawn in detail into 
this reference. He was probably the greatest sales- 
man the horse-breeding interests of America have 
ever known. 

Mr. Dunham's death in February, 1899, at 67 
years of age, in the very prime of his mature man- 
hood, was a distinct calamity to his country. It 
occurred as a result of blood-poisoning from infection 
communicated in the course of an examination of 
an infected hoof. I was alone with him for an hour 
the afternoon before his death. His mind was clear; 
his facing of his fate heroic. He could not lie down, 
so great his suffering. Propped up in an invalid's 
chair he talked not of himself, but of my own little 
concerns, and I might here give an instance of his 
always self-sacrificing way, when anyone in whom 
he was interested was involved. 

Secretary Wilson during the winter of 1898-9 
had asked President McKinley to appoint me a 
member of the United States Commission to the 



HISTORY IN THE MAKING 237 



Paris Universal Exposition of 1900. The Commis- 
sioner-Generalship of the Commission had, however, 
already been offered to Ferd. W. Peck, another Chi- 
cagoan, and the President was finding it difficult, for 
political and geographical reasons, to comply in my 
case with Wilson's request. Mr. Dunham had spent 
most of the season in France on business, and when 
he returned found no end of work demanding his 
attention at Oaklawn. He happened in "The Gazette" 
office one day shortly afterward, and inquired if I 
expected to receive the compliment of the exposition 
appointment. I told him I did not think it possible 
under the circumstances, and that I had given up all 
idea of it. He was silent for a moment, and then 
asked, **Do you suppose that it would do any good if 
I were to go to Washington myself?" Grateful, of 
course, at this manifestation of interest, I replied, **I 
doubt it, and what is more, I wouldn't think of asking 
you to do it, for you have only been home a few 
days." His eyes twinkled — those who knew him will 
know just what I mean by that — as he replied: "Well, 
it's probably hopeless as it stands, isn't it?" I acqui- 
esced, but added that it was not a matter of any 
special importance anyhow. "Well," he rejoined, "I 
am going." And he did. Three days of his own val- 
uable time were given, and at his own expense he 



238 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



visited the national capital in my behalf merely 
because he thought it would be worth something 
to me to receive this recognition. 

Meantime, he was stricken, and the announce- 
ment of my appointment, which followed some little 
time after his death, had not yet been made. 
It was of this, not of his own fast-ebbing life, he 
persisted in talking, even as he was descending into 
the darkness. Presently he ceased speaking, and 
held out his hands for me to grasp. And then, after 
a little interval, he said, "I am not afraid to go." 
Our last interview had ended. He died next day, 
this man with the courage of a lion and the heart 
of a little child. 

Your cigars, I see, have long since turned to 
ashes, and thus also now dissolves our fleeting vision 
of a great career back into the elusive element from 
whence it sprang. The portrait, however, hangs 
there, just as when we saw it first. Possibly if you 
scan it closely now you may detect a glow that was 
not there before. 



XXVII 
SOME PURELY AMERICAN ACHIEVEMENTS 

The portraits of William S. VanNatta and Tom 
Clark look lonely now in this collection because, up 
to date, they are the sole representatives of one of 
the greatest groups of cattle-breeders yet developed 
by the live-stock industries of the United States. 
The Hereford alone among all the valuable British 
types of improved 4omestic animals has been im- 
proved over his English form by American minds and 
methods. 

One exception should be made to this general 
statement. The Berkshire swine have been decid- 
edly bettered in this country, from an American 
point of view, very largely through the genius of Hon. 
N. H. Gentry of Missouri. **Nick," as his friends 
love to call him, is beyond question one of the great- 
est constructive forces ever identified with American 
stock-breeding activities. His work with the Berk- 
shire is fairly comparable with the best efforts of 
the most successful breeders on either side the 
Atlantic, and if those who are interested in the 
American hog as a prime factor in cornbelt pros- 
perity do not see to it that his portrait is placed in 
the Saddle and Sirloin rooms, they will be failing 
in an obvious obligation. The story of Mr. Gentry's 

239 



240 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



production of the big, broad-ribbed, heavy-hammed, 
deep-sided, mellow-fleshed, early-maturing and finely- 
finished Berkshire hog by the concentration of the 
blood of old Longfellow and other porcine celebrities, 
will, when written, prove to be worthy of ranking 
with the best achievements of brainy men in other 
realms of stock-breeding. Here again the Bakewell 
scheme in the hands of a master in its application 
proved the touchstone of a triumphant success. 

The Hereford is playing such a stellar role in 
the range cattle business in North America that it 
is high time that this fact find more adequate 
recognition in our embryonic national gallery. In my 
judgment there could be no greater service rendered 
those who are perpetuating the great Hereford- 
shire grazing breed than the immediate authorization 
of portraits of Ben Tomkins, John Price of Ryall, 
the Hewers, Monkhouse, Rogers, Tudge, Turner, 
His Grace of Coventry, Arkwright, and other Here- 
ford fathers. And when we recall the wonderful 
work done in our own middle west by Gulbertson, 
Gudgell and Simpson, Funkhouser, Adams Earl, 
Charles B. Stuart, and their contemporaries and 
successors, it is self-evident that a grand Hereford 
room is to be one of the inspiring features of the 
Saddle and Sirloin Club of our imagination! 



SOME PURELY AMERICAN ACHIEVEMENTS 241 



I do not hesitate to advance the claim, realizing 
fully its sweeping nature, that the evolution and 
fixing of the modern American Hereford type, 
through adroit manipulation of the imported mate- 
rial, has been one of the most notable achievements 
in all the annals of cattle-breeding, ancient or 
modern. In their successful execution of a well- 
conceived plan, in the extraordinary accomplish- 
ments following the blending of the Anxiety, Gar- 
field, Wilton, Sir Richard 2d and other bloods, the 
Hereford cattle-breeders of the cornbelt have given 
proof of a skill and capacity for original work in 
type modification and development not surpassed 
by any like group in the old world at any period, 
and not yet equaled on this side the Atlantic, in so 
far as the records of the flesh-bearing breeds of 
cattle are concerned. 

I have personal recollection of what the English 
Hereford was in the late seventies and early eigh- 
ties. I knew the Anxietys, "old Grove," Tregrehan 
and "old Dick." I saw Garfield when first imported. 
I saw the Wiltons in all their Royal showyard 
beauty. Year in and year out I made the rounds 
of the pastures and paddocks in which the English 
ingredients were being mixed, and year by year I 
watched the ever-rising standard of the American 



242 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



product as the beautiful show herds came forward 
for public praise. The grace of Lord Wilton, the sub- 
stance of old Horace, the mellowness of The Grove 
3d, the quarters and loin of Anxiety 4th, fused by 
the fires of an enthusiasm and zeal fairly unparal- 
leled in animal breeding, gave the western world the 
most uniformly excellent type of cattle adapted to a 
particular purpose as yet credited to American 
breeding. 

True, we were indebted to Herefordshire for the 
original seed, and truly we must credit something 
of all this to Herefordshire men who became Amer- 
icans in time to participate in this high achievement. 
Likewise we cheerfully concede that even yet we 
find it helpful to return now and then to the old 
home for revivifying influences. It is meet, there- 
fore, that the pictures of William VanNatta as a 
rare type of the constructive American, and Tom 
Glark, as a stamp of the English -born contingent 
that so loyally supplemented American elforts with 
the "white faces," should hang side by side upon 
Saddle and Sirloin walls. 

The development of the Glub along broad lines 
will naturally call for a complete exposition of the 
origin and growth of the range business. That phase 
of the upbuilding of our biggest American industry 



SOME PURELY AMERICAN ACHIEVEMENTS 243 



is of course the most spectacular of all. The por- 
traits of Conrad Kohrs and Murdo Mackenzie alone 
now serve to remind us of this vital part of our 
live-stock production. I hope that some day the 
pen of a John Clay may be turned loose upon an 
account of the introduction and dissemination of 
the herds and flocks throughout the grassy empire 
of the plains and mountain meadows, and that the 
future will find a great Saddle and Sirloin hall 
filled with reminders of the men who have subdued 
the western wild, and made it a prolific source of 
profit and supply to the American people. In so far 
as the northern range is concerned Gonrad Kohrs 
stands out like one of the snowy peaks of the land 
he has helped to civilize. The Panhandle has known 
no greater master of range cattle strategy than 
Murdo Mackenzie. He is at present devoting his 
mature judgment touching ranch management to a 
big Brazilian syndicate, but a glad welcome awaits 
his return to the Rocky Mountain states. 

Fortunes have been won and lost in this western 
land and cattle business. Some men had success 
quickly thrust upon them only to see the glittering 
prize slip as rapidly from their grasp. Others 
attained the summits of eminence and wealth only 
after long and trying experiences in the foothills 



244 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



and the deserts that barred their progress. Kohrs 
and Mackenzie may well be taken as representative 
men of the latter class. 

What men of British descent have done in Aus- 
tralia and New Zealand, what men of Spanish blood 
have accomplished on subtropical ranges, is a part 
of the history of live-stock progress of which all 
may well be proud; but if we consider the original 
discouragements and the steadily restrictive operation 
of our national policies in respect to meat and wool 
production in our own arid west, it must be said 
that nowhere else have men wrested more in the 
way of animal production, for the general good of a 
great people, than have those who, at both personal 
and financial peril, planted and still maintain the 
standard of pastoral husbandry from the Rio Grande 
to the Saskatchewan. Big men have been developed 
in this big man's field, but the nation and the people 
have dealt none too generously by them. 

Speaking of things stock-wise that represent 
distinctively American work of an original character, 
it is never to be overlooked that the mortgage- 
lifting, home-building lard hog is one of the natural 
products of this fat land of the Indian corn. We 
have already said that the Berkshire has been 
palpably improved in the middle states from the 



SOME PURELY AMERICAN ACHIEVEMENTS 245 



point of view of adaptability to American purposes. 
The Poland -China, the Duroc -Jersey, the Chester 
White and the Hampshire are real American types, 
and their products figure a huge total in any anal- 
ysis of American sources of wealth. Great Britain 
has evolved nothing in the animal kingdom more 
nearly meeting a national need than these marvel- 
ous swine of ours. 

While it is not our purpose to exploit in this 
connection all the triumphs of American stock- 
breeding as contrasted with old Britain, we should 
not in this relation fail to refer to our harness and 
saddle horses — matchless in all the world for the 
special purposes they were designed to serve — our 
old-time work with the Vermont Merino sheep, and 
our triumphs in the poultry world. Enough, and more 
than enough, has been worked out upon American 
soil to demonstrate that when necessity or impulse 
spurs them on, our people can be quite as clever 
and capable in the application of scientific principles 
along untried paths as their brethren beyond the 
seas. 

This fact is here brought out to show that the 
Saddle and Sirloin Club has at its very doors 
a field in which recognition should be freely and 
indeed lavishly extended. There can be no higher 



246 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



stimulus to the American stock-breeder of the future 
than contemplation of the careers of the great 
American stock-breeders of the past. Where is 
there any fit collection of their portraits and suit- 
able mementos of what they have created? Where 
is fitting public record of their service to the 
country? 



XXVIII 

THE LAIRD OF NETHERHALL 

Since first its doors were opened the Saddle and 
Sirloin Club has entertained no greater figure in the 
animal-breeding world than the late Andrew Mont- 
gomery of Netherhall. We are perhaps not yet far 
enough removed from the field he occupied to take 
the full measure of his greatness. A succeeding 
generation with the right perspective will in all 
human probability write his name near the very top 
of the list of those who in comparatively recent 
years have improved upon the work of the original 
breed-builders of Great Britain. The "classy Clydes- 
dale" that captivates so many showyard visitors by 
his matchless grace is not the sole creation of any 
one man's brain. Like the Aberdeenshire Shorthorn, 
the Aberdeen -Angus, the Galloways, Ayrshires, West 
Highlanders and the Black-Faced Mountain Sheep, 
he is numbered among the many treasured types of 
improved domestic animals given by Caledonia to the 
farming world. The story of the Clyde has yet to be 
written. It will match that of the other leading mod- 
ern breeds, and it will be a long roll of honor that 
lists the names of those who first differentiated this 
Scottish type from the sturdy cart horse found south 
of Berwick and Carlisle; but wherever the Clydesdale 

247 



248 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



horse has gone during the present generation of men 
— and that means wherever men of British birth live 
upon the lands bounded by the seven seas — there is 
the name and the work of Andrew Montgomery 
already known and recognized. 

In his selection of Macgregor as a yearling at 
£65 and his immediate insistence that he had 
acquired possession of the one best asset of the 
breed at that date in Scotland, we have practically 
a repetition of the case of Bates and Belvidere. 
Asked by David Riddell of Blackhall, owner of 
Darnley — Macgregor's sire — what he would take for 
the newly-purchased colt, Andrew promptly replied, 
"£1,000 and Darnley." And then began that dou- 
bling in of the blood of Darnley and old Prince of 
Wales that has since been little less than a reve- 
lation to the Clydesdale breeding world. At about 
the same time he picked Macgregor, Mr. Mont- 
gomery had the discernment and good fortune to 
buy for £100 a yearling filly called Moss Rose 
that was destined to acquire a celebrity second to 
no other draft mare known to equine records. His 
contemporaries were not long now in discovering 
that a new Richmond was indeed in Bosworth field, 
and that all had to reckon not only with his show- 
yard entries, but his judgments. Lawrence Drew 



THE LAIRD OF NETHERHALL 249 



of Merryton and Prince of Wales were names to 
conjure with in the Valley of the Clyde prior to 
Andrew Montgomery's powerful advocacy of **a thick 
horse, richt at the grun." The upstanding type 
with short ribs, no matter how nice in their "kits" 
and hoofs, never appealed to him except as good 
crossing material for the heavier-bodied Darnleys. 
And Andrew, like Amos Gruickshank, had a 
brother who gave him stanch and ever intelligent 
support. The partnership that became a familiar 
one the world over as "A. & W. Montgomery" was 
formed, and the purchase of the famous Baron's 
Pride, which proved the real foundation of the great- 
est successes scored by the Montgomerys, is credited 
by Mr. Mac Neil age, the keeper of the Scottish 
Clydesdale seals, to William. Doubtless, however, 
this happy selection really represented a joint judg- 
ment. Together they pressed actively the Clydes- 
dale claims in every direction. They succeeded in 
interesting certain of the nobility and large landed 
proprietors of England. They personally visited and 
made sales in continental Europe, Canada and the 
United States, assisting conspicuously in the pro- 
curing of great geldings to be exhibited at Toronto, 
Chicago and elsewhere. Horses of their production 
were fitted and shown for years at all the leading 



250 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



British and North American shows, and were always 
in the very first flight. 

Personally a man of fine presence, a born judge 
of animal form, skilled perhaps beyond all his con- 
temporaries in the blending of Clydesdale types, 
shrewd and diplomatic enough to have graced any 
chancellery in Europe, Andrew Montgomery easily 
stood at the head of his profession at the time of 
his death at 64 years of age, in 1912. To him 
Scotland is indebted more than to any other one 
man for the great Clydesdale activity and advance 
that set in during the early seventies. The study 
of how the best Clydesdales have been produced 
since the Montgomery era was inaugurated is one 
that is at the present time interesting deeply a large 
number of devoted admirers of the breed, who find 
the latter-day accomplishments in this field intensely 
fascinating. 



XXIX 

A LOVER OF THE LAND 

In a preceding sketch entitled "From Sire to 
Sons" attention has been drawn to a typical English 
case of inherited farm properties splendidly carried 
on by a succeeding generation. This following of 
the son in the footsteps of the father comes as 
nearly being the rule in Great Britain in all walks 
of life as it is the exception in the United States. 
Our notes on the career of Gapt. James N. Brown 
remind us, however, that we too have some striking 
instances of filial carrying out of paternal plans in 
our own country. In fact there can be no finer 
illustration held up to the rising generation of farm- 
ers' sons than that of Gapt. Brown's son William, 
whose death occurred in 1908 at the age of 69 
years. His case fairly falls within the purview of 
this work, not perhaps by reason of any striking 
individual achievement in the realm of farming and 
cattle-breeding on the part of the deceased, but 
rather because he stood out in bold relief as a fine 
representative of a type the Saddle and Sirloin 
Glub delights to honor — a type which unfortunately 
has been all too rare along the trail that began in 
the flowery prairies and woodlands of the early days 

251 



252 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



and leads up to the vortex of contemporary western 
business life. 

Inheriting, along with his brothers Charles and 
Benjamin, a princely domain in the very heart of the 
cornbelt, gifted by nature with a fine mind and sub- 
jected to the usual allurements of young men of 
his class in the middle west, he yet clung to the 
simple life, resisting steadfastly to the end the 
ceaseless calls of the city. In the noonday and in 
the evening of his years the soft, cool touch of the 
blue grass, the rustle of the ripening corn, the chatter 
of the squirrels in the giant oaks, the highly-bred 
cattle in the park, the burly bullocks grazing in 
luxurious pastures, provided for him a sure and safe 
defense against all the vicissitudes inevitably attend- 
ing the passage of man's allotted three score years 
and ten. Happy indeed the man who is permitted 
to live out a long life in sweet content, honored 
and respected far and near in the midst of such 
prodigal pastoral wealth and beauty as surrounded 
William Brown at Grove Park from the cradle to 
the grave. 

He might have won success, as the world meas- 
ures success, in law or medicine or politics. He 
might have sought, as so many others born under 
similiar conditions have done, "the bubble reputation" 



A LOVER OF THE LAND 263 



even at the cost of forsaking the ancestral acres; 
but the lure of the land, an heritage perhaps from 
his soil-loving parents, saved him from what would 
have been to one of his tastes a fatal error. Some 
people have said he was lacking in ambition and 
enterprise. Well, perhaps that was true in a way. 
He did not possess that overflowing vitality and 
restlessness that make a man "get up and go'* 
in spite of all obstacles. To him the eternal mys- 
tery of the variation of animals and plants was a 
world close at hand well worth exploring. He may 
have been something of a dreamer. If close com- 
munion with nature in field, garden, forest or paddock 
is idling, he spent hours which others might have 
passed more actively, but not perhaps in the end 
more profitably. He was wedded to the old home; 
to his own vine and fig tree; to the wonders wrought 
by the subtle alchemy of the elements; to the tran- 
quil beauty of the star-lit night; to the glory of 
the sunset and the dawn; to the roar of the wind 
through the noble woods of Island Grove; to the 
pageantry of the passing storm — a man of sentiment 
as well as sense. 

William Brown often bewailed the fact that corn- 
state farmers did not breed more good cattle. As 
high as eight hundred to one thousand head of bul- 



254 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



locks were annually required to consume the wealth 
of grass produced on the estate, but it unfortunately 
became impossible to buy these direct from the farm- 
ers of Illinois, Iowa or Missouri. Believing, neverthe- 
less, that it was the duty of those who occupied a 
conspicuous position in the agricultural community 
to set a proper example in this regard, pedigreed 
cattle were steadily maintained in addition to the 
extensive feeding operations carried on, and the herd 
which had been the first to be founded in the state 
continued to be a dependable source of supply for 
those who appreciated the importance of good cattle 
as an essential adjunct to proper soil conservation in 
the middle west. 

For forty years William Brown was a regular 
buyer of feeding cattle in the Chicago market. 
From 1870 until about 1890 the plan was to buy 
three-year-old steers each autumn and graze them 
for twelve months, no grain whatever being used. 
It became apparent latterly, however, that it would 
not pay on such high-priced land to compete with 
the range on grass-fed beef, and so the plow was 
put through some of the richest blue-grass sod 
ever seen in the west and preparations made to 
grow and feed corn. After grain-finished bullocks 
began to be produced the number carried was 



A LOVER OF THE LAND 255 



reduced to about 400 per year. Good, well-bred 
two-year-old cattle were bought in the fall and 
carried in the stalkfields until spring. About March 
1 they were put in pasture well matted with cured 
grass, and the feeding of ear corn was commenced. 
The grain was thrown out daily from the wagons 
onto the grass, but never in the same place on 
consecutive days. Hogs, of course, followed the 
cattle. The beef thus made in the orthodox corn- 
belt fashion was of prime quality, and the Grove 
Park cattle were in eager request whenever they 
were offered in the market. 

It is perhaps unfortunate for the state and for the 
farming community at large that William Brown did 
not devote more of his time to public affairs. He 
was too modest and unassuming to push himself for- 
ward, and too fond of the clover blossoms and the 
cattle to permit his friends to saddle upon him any 
irksome responsibilities. A charming host, a reserved 
yet genial companion, not readily drawn out, but talk- 
ing easily and entertainingly, he was a man of great 
natural refinement and mental grace. 

In these days when men are so prone to lease 
their lands to be farmed by tenants who usually leave 
the soil poorer than they found it; when so many 
fickle-minded folk are coming and going in the cattle- 



256 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



breeding world; when other industries are absorbing 
so much of the best blood of our western land-owning 
families, it may be well to pause a moment, as we 
contemplate the trend from the farm to the counting- 
room, to note this instance of one who throughout a 
long and useful life proved that a man possessing 
gentle birth, classical education and qualities fitting 
him to shine almost anywhere in the busy haunts of 
men, can be prosperous, contented and eminently 
useful in his day and generation, even though far 
removed from daily contact with those things which 
so many seem to regard as essential to their hap- 
piness. 



XXX 

FIAT LUX 

We approach now another type. You will find 
the pictures in the main corridor as you enter the 
Club. I am not quite sure that journalists, scien- 
tists, teachers, authors or even cabinet officers have 
any special claims to the conspicuous recognition 
here accorded them. That the breed-makers and 
their disciples are entitled to first and best consid- 
eration in this general scheme goes without saying. 
However, as the object of it all is educational, I 
suppose that active promoters and forwarders of 
the cause fall legitimately within the general scope 
of Saddle and Sirloin purposes. The darkness that 
once dwelt upon the face of the agricultural deep 
is disappearing. That the light is breaking is due 
in large measure to the type of men here repre- 
sented. Each of those whose portrait here appears 
has helped to bear aloft the torch of knowledge 
somewhere along the highways or byways of our 
progress. 

The first of our great collegians to stir the 
country deeply upon the subject of animal feeding 
along scientific lines was Dean Henry, whose por- 
trait, as already recorded, was the beginning of the 
Saddle and Sirloin memorial galleries. It is indeed 

257 



258 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



diflficult to measure the far-reaching influence of 
Prof. Henry's work. His writings have been for 
years the subject of study and discussion in every 
land. Earnestness, sincerity, honesty and a peren- 
nially effervescing enthusiasm made him a tremen- 
dous power in the field of higher agricultural training, 
at a time when the cause had not yet felt the full 
force of the popular support since accorded the 
great movement which has been well reflected in the 
corridor of which we speak by portraits of Profs. 
Craig, Gurtiss, Garlyle, Davenport, Plumb, Waters, 
Skinner, Babcock and their colleagues, presented to 
the Glub through subscriptions made up by members 
of the student body at the respective institutions 
represented. 

As a matter of fact, the state of Wisconsin has 
been exceptionally prolific of men who have fairly 
won the shoulder-straps of high distinction in the 
service of the live stock and farming world. In the 
old days George Murray of Racine, Jerome I. Gase, 
George Harding, Rufus B. Kellogg, the Brockways, 
H. D. McKinney, I. J. Glapp and their contemporaries 
kept the fires of good breeding burning brightly, and 
into the service of the people at large there came that 
diamond in the rough, the Hon. Jere Rusk, first 
Governor, and then Secretary of Agriculture under 



FIAT LUX 259 



President Ben Harrison. Then there is William D. 
Hoard, editor, Governor and evangelist-extraordinary 
in the world-wide realm of modern dairying. Dr. 
Babcock, the great agricultural chemist of the Uni- 
versity of Wisconsin, who gave millions of dollars to 
the world when he discovered the test for butterfat, 
is a late and welcome addition to this outer corri- 
dor collection. His work has added immeasurably 
to the prestige of applied science throughout the 
farming world. 

"Tama Jim" Wilson of Iowa needs no special 
introduction at our hands. The three-time Secre- 
tary is a native of Ayrshire, Scotland, and has had 
exceptional opportunities of promoting scientific 
agriculture, which he has utilized to the fullest 
possible extent. Near him you will find the Hon. 
John Dryden, late Minister of Agriculture of On- 
tario, a man who was much more than an efficient 
public official in a responsible position. He was 
one of the best farmers in a district famous for its 
tillage, its Shorthorns, Glydes and Shropshires — 
that same part of Canada that gave the Millers 
and the Davidsons to North America. His picture 
may well be here preserved, and space awaits the 
portraits of his countrymen, James I. Davidson and 
rare old "Willie" Miller. These and other Gana- 



260 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



dians played conspicuous roles during the revolution 
in western cattle-breeding, discussed in the pages 
devoted to the work of Senator Harris. 

Dean Gurtiss of Ames has judged the draft 
horses in harness at the International for so many 
years, and with such universal satisfaction to the 
talent, that nobody knows what would happen in 
that sensational annual competition if he were to be 
suddenly translated to some other sphere. Gurtiss 
is one of the real ornaments of his profession. His 
knowledge of the breeds is broad; his acquaintance 
among breeders, feeders and dairymen nation-wide, 
and his poise has carried him safely through many 
a hot contention. 

Poor patient plodding Graig! None was ever 
better at planning scientific experimentation with live 
stock. At Madison, at Ames and in Texas he left 
his impress upon important animal husbandry work, 
and died, a great but uncomplaining suiferer, in the 
harness. As a member of the United States Tariff 
Board in 1909 I had esteemed myself specially for- 
tunate in engaging Graig to conduct the inquiry 
into production -cost of wool upon the western 
ranges; but troubles at that time were fast engulf- 
ing him in their toils, and before the inquiry could 
be started he was stricken cruelly, and gathered 



FIAT LUX 261 



to his fathers. If there was ever a self-sacrificing 
moral hero it was this same brave, frail, crippled 
John A. Graig. 

Dean Davenport, of the University of Illinois, 
the little giant of one of the hardest-fought battles 
in the history of western agricultural college work, 
will ever be remembered as the man who has made 
the Illinois institution, over which he still presides, 
one of the greatest of all existing schools of its 
class. How he did it none but himself will ever really 
know. Surrounded by such able, conscientious co- 
workers as MuMFORD, Coffey, and a faculty of alto- 
gether exceptional strength, he lives to enjoy his 
richly -merited success as he plans still greater 
things for Illinois. 

The portraits of Dean Henry, Jere Rusk, John 
Dryden and James Wilson look down upon me as 
I pass and seem to say, "There is one of our 
company here we would not wish you to ignore. 
We knew him well, and in the old days labored often 
side by side. Forget not the days of thy youth." 
My father! Yes, it is true he is also here. To be 
sure the artist has not done as well with this por- 
trait as he did in the case of the one that hangs in 
my own private office; but it serves. But what am 
I to say and where am I to begin? I can only yield 



262 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



myself to the occult influences of the hour and 
place, sink into that * 'comfy" corner chair, and 
drift without compass or rudder into the circling 
seas of introspection. Spirits of a day lang syne 
are surely hovering round about. Mystic voices from 
across wide waters seem to speak. The past rises 
even as a dream, from which I awake in boy-land. 



XXXI 
THE GALL OF A DISTANT PAST 

It was in the year 1868 that James Harvey 
Sanders — then engaged in banking and railway 
construction work designed to give adequate trans- 
portation facilities to a comparatively isolated com- 
munity in Keokuk county in the state of Iowa — 
found himself in a position to indulge his inherited 
fondness for farming and well-bred domestic animals. 
Born in central Ohio from Virginia parentage, he 
had not forgotten the impress made in the Sciota 
Valley and in the ''Darby Plains" country in the 
Buckeye State by the first stallions of heavy draft 
brought into those regions from the ancient French 
province of Normandy. The first cross of these big 
horses upon the native mares had been so success- 
ful in increasing the size and selling value of the 
colts produced, as compared with the ordinary types 
prevalent in those early days, that he determined 
to introduce the blood into that part of the newer 
west in which he had taken up his residence. 

At that date there were but few horses of pure 
French origin available. Old Louis Napoleon had 
been brought out from Ohio into Illinois, and had 
already laid the foundation for the subsequent pop- 
ularity of the so-called "Norman" horse in the 



264 AT T?IE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



middle west. Revisiting the old home in quest of 
a stallion carrying as much of the desired blood as 
was obtainable, he was fortunate enough to acquire 
by purchase a seven-eighths-bred horse called Victor 
Hugo, sired by the famous old-time imported stallion 
Count Robert, known locally in central Ohio as "the 
Baker Horse," and shipped him out to Iowa. The 
nearest railway station was some 30 miles distant, 
but the big, good-tempered iron-gray was as active 
as a cat, in fact, a prodigious "walker," and, led by 
the halter along the country roads, there was no 
difficulty experienced in landing him safely at the 
little village county seat of Sigourney. I was a lad 
of less than 10 at the time, but I have a distinct 
recollection of the sensation Victor Hugo made 
upon his arrival in the midst of a farming com- 
munity where a 1,600-pound drafter was an absolute 
revelation. Following the first introduction of 
French horses into Iowa by A. W. Gook of Charles 
City a few years previous, this was, so far as I can 
ascertain, the second "importation" of this type into 
the state. It may be of interest to Percheron 
breeders to add that this pioneer horse was out of 
a mare by "Old Bill," also called the "Valley Horse," 
and his grandam was a mare by old Louis Napoleon. 
Victor Hugo at once became the pet and pride, 



THE CALL OF A DISTANT PAST 265 



not only of the family, but of the entire country- 
side. I have since that time had the pleasure of 
riding and driving many a good horse. I have ex- 
perienced since then divers and sundry "thrills" 
incident to connection with various events of one 
kind or another; but if I were to live to be a hun- 
dred years old I do not imagine that I could ever 
experience again anything approaching the sense of 
supreme and of course exaggerated importance I 
used to feel when as a small boy I was set astride 
the broad bare back of this great horse, the reins 
of his fine bridle — bedecked at brow-band with red 
rosettes — placed in my hands, and started around 
the village streets or public highways. He was as 
gentle as a dog, and only once, on the occasion of 
a county fair, was I ever unhorsed as a result of 
my fondness for poor old Victor Hugo. I say "poor," 
because after several successful years, in the course 
of which he was patronized to the limit by the 
farmers of Keokuk and adjoining counties, he bled 
to death as a result of the rupture of a blood 
vessel in his head or nostril. I know I wept for 
days and would not be comforted. 

Then came the great imported horse Dieppe, 
and also Diligence, both bought from the Dillons 
of Bloomington, the former at $3,000 and the latter 



266 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 

at $2,500; the former probably one of the greatest 
sires of draft colts that ever crossed the Atlantic. 
He had no imported mares, but he revolutionized 
the farm horse stock of that part of Iowa in the 
early seventies, and was the direct cause of the 
subsequent embarkation into the draft-horse breed- 
ing and importing trade on a liberal scale by the 
Messrs. Singmaster. 

Meantime, James H. Sanders had noted the vast 
extension of good breeding that began sweeping 
over the Mississippi Valley states during the years 
following the close of the Civil War, and looked 
about for some means of keeping himself informed 
as to what was going on in that important branch 
of western agricultural development. At the State 
Fair he saw a few Shorthorns and certain other 
types of well-bred cattle, horses, sheep and swine. 
Still all this was merely incidental. He had been 
successful in business, and the major part of his 
time was still employed in buying right-of-way 
and materials for a railway to connect Cedar Rapids 
and Ottumwa. He had an interest in the local 
printing office, and as a result of his reading of 
Darwin's, Huxley's, Tyndall's, Spencer's and other 
scientific works determined to found and edit with his 
own hand a periodical to be devoted to the interest 



THE CALL OF A DISTANT PAST 267 



of blood-stock breeding. The little monthly "West- 
ern Stock Journal" thus came into being, printed 
upon a hand-power press, and each individual copy 
stitched with an ordinary thread and needle by the 
members of his own household, of which I was a 
junior with my first pair of long trousers. I couldn't 
stitch as many copies in an hour as my seniors, but 
I loved the little paper, and with my awkward fin- 
gers did what I could to help get the precious little 
messenger ready for distribution. It does not look 
particularly imposing as I gaze upon those initial 
issues now after the lapse of more than forty years, 
but it "took" instantaneously in Iowa and neighbor- 
ing states, because it satisfied a genuine demand for 
reading matter of that description. It was the first 
purely live-stock periodical ever issued in the world, 
and never was enterprise launched from more dis- 
interested or more essentially altruistic motives. 

The first purebred bull introduced into Keokuk 
county agriculture was a Shorthorn bought by my 
father from W. J. Neeley, an old-time breeder at 
Ottawa, 111., for account of T. A. Morgan. I shall 
never forget the first impression made by this 
straight-lined, level-quartered red yearling as I first 
saw him being led from the unloading chute down 
the roadway leading out to Mr. Morgan's place. 



263 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



When the American Indians first saw a white man 
their wonder must have been somewhat similar to 
my own at seeing my first beast of a highly improved 
character belonging to the bovine species. Nothing 
like this had ever before walked on earth — in my 
judgment. The bull was as great a creation of his 
kind as was Victor Hugo, but he did not belong to 
us — much to my disappointment — and I went back 
to our own cowyard to milk my quota of the native 
"fill-pails" assembled every evening, wondering how 
such beautiful animals as this proud young Short- 
horn ever happened. I think now that this was 
clearly the beginning of an admiration for fine cattle 
that in after years led me into a lot of hard work, 
in fact, into a vocation. 

Having now started his community squarely 
upon the road to draft horse and cattle improve- 
ment, and having through the "Western Stock 
Journal" called the entire west to arms in the cause 
of better breeding, my father went after the lanky, 
long-snouted swine of that period. This was in the 
days when David M. Magie was building so wisely 
at Oxford, O., the foundations of the Poland- 
China breed. A. G. Moore, his great antagonist of 
Canton, III, was also producing black-and-white 
spotted hogs that were having a wide vogue among 



THE CALL OF A DISTANT PAST 269 



the farmers of Illinois and Iowa. Father, with his 
natural leaning towards Buckeye State productions, 
sent to headquarters for a good boar, and Magie 
shipped out a hog that I can still see as plainly as 
though it were but yesterday he was uncrated — 
long, deep, heavy-boned, great *'lop" ears and some 
sandy spots along with the black-and-white. The 
black predomijiated, but the white spots were far 
more extensive than would have been accepted in 
Poland-China circles a few years later. This boar 
proved a good producer, and all of the half-blood 
pigs were quickly bought up by the neighboring 
farmers for breeding purposes. Later on a pair of 
Essex were bought, but they lacked the size de- 
manded by the feeders of that district, and the 
blood never became popular. An English type of 
whites, known then, and yet where bred, as 
Cheshires, next engaged attention, and with these 
was scored one of the most marked successes of 
that period. They had finish, weight and quality, 
and the fine fat litters captivated everybody on 
sight. These "chubby" pink-skinned pigs were the 
one special joy of my own youthful heart. The truth 
is I have never seen anything quite so attractive 
since. What a great thing indeed it is to be a live, 
healthy boy with all the world yet a terra incognito, 



270 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



with new marvels revealing themselves at every bend 
in the river! And how my brother and I pampered 
the chosen specimens selected for the county fair ! 
In clean pens, away from the midsummer heat, they 
were stuffed several times a day almost to the 
bursting point with cooked corn-meal "mush," boiled 
potatoes and milk, and, to take the place of grazing, 
the choicest weeds that pigs' palates ever knew 
were gathered in the garden and supplied in great 
profusion for their delectation. Grow ? Fatten ? 
Such porcine prodigies had surely not been seen 
before in that community ! And one great day, one 
summer when our pig crop was uncommonly excel- 
lent, it was decided to show at the State Fair at 
Cedar Rapids, and "we boys" were to be taken 
along ! Oh joy ! Oh rapture unconfined ! For weeks 
we slept but little, and our waking dreams were all 
of the grand experience ahead. I think I wore out 
two or three of the premium lists that August 
devouring them and all their contents daily. I knew 
the list of officers and directors "by heart." I knew 
who was to be grand marshal, although I did not 
know exactly what duties that functionary had to 
discharge. Had I known at the time that he was 
to be a kingly figure on a noble charger wearing a 
crimson sash, I should have died I fear of sheer 



THE CALL OF A DISTANT PAST 271 



excitement. I knew all the rules and regulations, 
and the money prizes in sight seemed to me enor- 
mous. You can rest assured, dear reader, that 
those pigs did not suffer for lack of food during 
those wonderful weeks of preparation. Scrubbed? 
Well, I should be almost ashamed to tell you how 
many times a week we climbed into those pens 
armed with brushes and hot "suds"! We ran a 
regular "beauty parlor" for our coming champions. 
And at last — it seemed to us the day would never 
come — the building of the shipping crates began, 
and then we knew that we were really going soon. 
Our county was still without a railroad. Progress 
from the south was slow, and delays and disappoint- 
ments interminable supervened to impede the com- 
pletion of the line in which the paternal fortune 
had been invested. So when this Cedar Rapids 
expedition was arranged it called for a thirty-mile 
haul to the town of Washington on the Rock 
Island's Kansas City line. Old Dieppe, the imported 
"Norman," was to go. Also two or three alleged 
trotters that had a trainer and sulkies and harnesses 
and boots and blankets and bandages galore, and 
could go just fast enough to lose every race in 
which they were ever started. We all knew that 
this outfit was unprofitable; but father loved a good 



272 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



road team and harness racing, and indulged his 
fondness for the sport at considerable cost. He 
was entirely serious and altogether practical in his 
efforts with the drafters, the Shorthorns and the 
pigs, but warned everybody against the allurements 
of the turf. Often I have heard him say, "If you 
will go and buy a cow that has formed the habit 
of sucking herself, you will have a piece of property 
of about the same value as one of these trotters." 
The great day dawned at last. The pigs had 
all been crated the evening before, and at sunrise 
the caravan started — one great wagon load of 
swine, another filled with feed, camp equipment and 
luggage of various kinds. The trotters drew the 
high-wheeled ''sulkies" and Dieppe was led. It was 
a merry party that took the road that morning, I 
assure you, and the evening found us putting up 
for the night at a wayside tavern a few miles from 
the town of Washington. Early the next morning 
we drove to the railway depot, and loaded the 
whole outfit into a Rock Island box car. I have 
since crossed the Atlantic and our continent many 
times, but never was there such a great adventure 
as this railway journey of the backwoods country 
boy of eleven to the great city of Cedar Rapids and 
the Iowa State Fair of 18^1. Father took a room 



THE CALL OF A DISTANT PAST 273 



downtown at a "swell" hotel, and gave me my 
choice of making headquarters there with him or 
stopping with "the boys" out on the fair grounds. 
I of course elected to stay with "the big show." 
An extra stall was rented in the horse barns, 
and an extra pen in the swine department. These 
were well bedded down with nice clean straw, and 
a bountiful stock of blankets served to convert 
them straightway into sleeping quarters fit for 
kings. I stayed with those pet pigs. A primitive 
cooking outfit had been taken, and never were 
there such banquets as were served that week. At 
night we would sit around the camp fire and specu- 
late on the morrow's doings. It was somewhat dis- 
concerting, to be sure, to find that other folks had 
good pigs also. In fact, we began to worry mightily 
about what would happen when we had to meet in 
the sweepstakes rings certain perfect Poland-Chinas 
that looked as if they too had not lacked prepara- 
tion. But we scrubbed our entries until they were 
simply immaculate, curled their hair and set them 
before the judges in such perfect condition that 
most of the class prizes and a few championships 
finally came our way, greatly to our relief and infi- 
nite satisfaction. The trotters, needless to add, did 
not give such a good account of themselves. 



274 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



Elliott & Kent of Des Moines had a herd of 
Bates and BATES-topped Shorthorns on exhibition, 
all red as cherries and nicely fitted, and I found 
myself wandering around to their stalls every day 
absolutely lost in admiration. P. R. McMillan & 
Son of Washington were showing Poland-Chinas. 
The son was a lad named Horace, destined in his 
mature years to lead the Percheron horsemen of 
the United States out of the mazes of a Stud 
Book registration tangle such as no other important 
breed ever had to face in the history of American 
stock breeding. They had been as successful with 
their pigs as we had been with ours. The Illinois 
State Fair was to be held on the following week at 
Peoria, and the feelings of both Horace and myself 
can better be imagined than described when it was 
announced that both herds were to be shipped and 
shown there, and we were to be allowed to go! 
Father and McMillan pere went on ahead to arrange 
the entries and the necessary accommodations, and 
we were to go by freight with the live stock. No 
trip around the world ever yielded any human beings 
greater excitements than did this expedition to these 
two Iowa youngsters. I was not just sure that the 
great steel bridge over the Mississippi at Burlington 
was going to stand up under the strain of our 



THE CALL OF A DISTANT PAST 276 



heavily-laden cars, but it did, and presently we 
were in Peoria. All was bustle and confusion. 
Adam Rankin of Monmouth was unloading a show 
herd of Berkshires when we arrived at the fair 
ground siding, and a lot of his pigs were uncrated 
on the platform to be driven across to the swine 
department by way of exercise. They got it. So 
did our entire party. Overjoyed, I suppose, at their 
unexpected liberty, with heads and tails up, they 
broke away from all control, and steeple-chased all 
over the fair grounds with our whole company in 
hot pursuit. That was my first real demonstration 
of Berkshire activity, cunning and real agility. 
Needless to say it took the ringleaders in this 
escapade three or four days to recover from their 
"spree," much to their owner's disgust. 

Such was my father's entrance into showyard 
campaigning. Such was my own first taste of life 
in the great world that had been discovered outside 
of Keokuk county. Several happy and prosperous 
years followed, so far as the stock-keeping ventures 
were concerned; but the financial panic of '75 
wrecked the St. Louis and Cedar Rapids railway 
corporation, and the savings of twenty years went 
by the board. Meantime, George W. Rust and John 
P. Reynolds of Chicago, noting the possibilities 



276 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



opened up by the field partially covered by the 
"Western Stock Journal," had established a monthly 
magazine called "The National Live Stock Journal," 
and now made overtures looking toward a consoli- 
dation of the two publications. The deal was con- 
summated, and James H. Sanders agreed to become 
an associate editor of the Chicago periodical. At 
first he prepared his copy at home and mailed it in 
to the head office. He early pressed me into such 
altogether minor and clerical service as I was able 
to render in the matter of assisting with the collec- 
tion of the news of the business and the handling 
of his proofs. 

Those were indeed trying days for one who had 
until now been uniformly successful in other fields; 
but the big horses earned enough to provide a re- 
spectable support for a considerable family. A famous 
Clydesdale show horse, Donald Dinnie, had been 
bought from George Murray of Racine for $5,000, 
and was added to the Percheron stud, and a liberal 
patronage was accorded. Those were the days of 
$20, $25 and $30 fees, and the aggregate bookings 
of all the stallions totaled a very tidy sum. But 
hard times now pressed heavily. Debts arising from 
the railway crash hung like a nightmare with no 
relief from their crushing weight in sight. George 



THE CALL OF A DISTANT PAST 277 



Wilkes,, the brilliant editor and proprietor of the 
great New York sporting weekly of that era, had 
noticed father's editorial work, and engaged him to 
attend and report the Grand Circuit races, begin- 
ning at Cleveland and running for some weeks down 
through Buffalo, Rochester, Utica and other eastern 
cities. Those v/ere the halcyon days of harness- 
horse racing in America. Fortunes were up in 
purses, the attendance was enormous, the sport 
royal, and an excitement and enthusiasm which can 
now scarce be realized followed the great contests 
of speed and endurance as the campaign progressed 
to its apotheosis. I have heard it said that the 
accounts of these memorable trotting meetings pub- 
lished from week to week as Doble and Mace and 
Marvin and other celebrated drivers fought their 
various battles, have not to this day been sur- 
passed. As examples of descriptive writing, they 
were so generally appreciated that Mr. Wilkes im- 
mediately offered the western writer the turf 
editorship of the "Spirit of the Times." The prop- 
osition was accepted, the old home in Iowa given 
up, the live stock sold, and removal to New York 
followed. While the salary was a liberal one, and the 
work congenial enough, the idea of selling all his 
time to someone else did not appeal specially to a 



278 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



man who had been his own master throughout many 
successful years, so that after the lapse of some 
twelve months, negotiations were undertaken which 
resulted in his acquiring an interest in the "National 
Live Stock Journal," and assuming at the same time 
its managing editorship. 

Thus was James H. Sanders embarked upon the 
work which ever after claimed his undivided atten- 
tion. It was a hard struggle at first. The income 
failed to meet the Chicago cost of living, and at 1 6 
years of age a desk was set aside for me, in order 
that I might begin an apprenticeship and incident- 
ally bring home $10 every Saturday night. The 
most active breeding interests at that date, 18Z6, 
were those which centered in Shorthorn cattle and 
trotting-bred horses. Father had the latter well in 
hand, and set me the task of "checking" the proofs 
of the many herd and sale catalogues being printed 
at the "Journal" ofRce for the leading Shorthorn 
breeders of the west. This was not only a "demi- 
nition grind," on account of its particularly tedious 
character, but called for most scrupulous and pains- 
taking care, in order to avoid errors in names or 
registration numbers. Those were the days of 
"fashionable" and "unfashionable" pedigrees. It made 
all the difference in the world, for example, in the 



THE CALL OF A DISTANT PAST 279 



selling value of an animal if one of the "crosses'* 
in the pedigree read "Duke of Airdrie 2743" or 
"Duke of Airdrie (12750)." The one was taboo, 
the other a name to be paraded with pride. Each 
and every name and number in the body of the 
pedigrees as well as in all the footnotes had to be 
carefully verified by reference to the English or 
American Herd Books before we put the "forms" 
to press. The whole Shorthorn world had gone 
stark mad on the subject of pedigrees and fash- 
ion. No one who had any special pride in his 
herd thought his equipment complete until he had 
an elaborately worked -out catalogue compiled and 
printed at the "National Live Stock Journal" office. 
George Rust was their biographer and historian. 
At first I could not, of course, be trusted to pre- 
pare any "copy" for these important publications. 
I could read proofs and "check" numbers, though, 
until I was blue in the face. And so after many 
weary months I perforce acquired a familiarity with 
the pedigree records and the breeding of the differ- 
ent herds that was subsequently to be turned to 
some account. This work was only for the vaca- 
tion months, however. During the winter I went to 
school: first in Chicago, then — for one year only — 
at Cornell University, and later taking a LL.B. 



280 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



degree at the Union College of Law in the class of 
1881, of which our present distinguished Chicago 
congressman, Hon. James R. Mann, was a member. 
I was to be a lawyer or a newspaper man — one or 
the other; I did not know which. I preferred the 
attractions of the law at that time, and pursued 
its study accordingly; but fate ordered my course 
otherwise. All through my law course I worked 
"on the side" on the Shorthorn catalogues, and as 
an assistant to the editor of the ''Journal," and one 
day something happened. 

It was the custom of the office to publish in 
the paper an editorial review of each catalogue 
prepared. These were, of course, written by the 
editors; but it so happened that when one which 
I had just finished compiling for the late Hon. 
William M. Smith of Lexington, 111., was due to be 
reviewed, no editor was on hand to do the work. 
The paper was about to go to press, and what was 
to be done about it? The business manager came 
to me and asked if I thought I could do it. I was 
naturally gratified, as well as very much surprised, 
that anyone should think me qualified to discuss 
such delicate questions as those touching the breed- 
ing of the Shorthorns of that period. I would try. 
The manager, Stephen G. Brabrook, knew nothing 



THE CALL OF A DISTANT PAST 281 



whatever himself about such things, but he had a 
very keen realization of the necessity of having the 
work bomb-proof. The "Journal" was the great 
authority by this time, and its editorial utterances 
must be carefully weighed before being expressed. 
I am quite sure that he at first looked upon the 
proposal that I tackle this job as more or less of a 
joke. And yet he evidently thought it possible that 
in a pinch I might get out something that it would 
do to print. So a few days later I handed in my 
maiden effort. I was sure enough of my facts. I 
had not slaved for several years over those inter- 
minable rows of herd books all for nothing. I had 
pedigrees drilled into my head so mercilessly that 
to this day, after nearly forty years, the numbers 
of all the more important breeding bulls from the 
time of Hubback down to 14th Duke of Thorne- 
dale come into my mind instantly at the mere 
mention of the animal's name; and in most instances 
I could fill in if required, without consulting the 
books, both the English and American numbers in 
cases where bulls were recorded on both sides the 
water. This is mentioned, not as anything specially 
remarkable, but merely by way of emphasizing the 
thoroughness of the "grinding" process through 
which I passed in this work from 1876 to 1880. 



282 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



"The review reads all well enough," said Mr. 
Brabrook, "but are you sure you have not made 
any 'breaks'?" I had courage enough to assure him 
that I believed it was 0. K., and so with some little 
trepidation the business manager in the absence of 
the editors put the stuff in type, and slipped it into 
the last form going to press. As for myself, I was 
frightened half out of my wits. There would be 
the devil to pay, sure enough, if I had "fallen down." 
The paper appeared, and a few days later in walked 
"Uncle Billy" Smith himself. My desk was in the 
business office, and when the dear old man took a 
chair and said, with mock severity, "Brabrook, who 
wrote that matter about my cattle?" I knew the 
end had come. I felt myself growing smaller and 
smaller every moment, and would have been truly 
thankful if the floor had mercifully opened and let 
me through where no one could witness my impend- 
ing humiliation and Brabrook's wrath. The latter 
was quite as sure as I myself that mortal offense 
had been committed through his and my own stu- 
pidity, and a good customer's further business lost 
forever. So he turned red and then white, and 
finally stammered, in tones absolutely apologetic in 
their quality: "Well, I believe that in the absence 
of our regular editors it was written by one of the 



THE CALL OF A DISTANT PAST 283 



young men here in the office." And then we both 
waited for the bolt to strike. It came swiftly 
enough, and when it was delivered one man's 
career in this world was settled. 

William M. Smith was one of the big men of 
his day in the state of Illinois, prominent in politi- 
cal and financial circles, an inveterate joker and 
retailer of good stories, beloved by everybody. His 
laugh was worth going blocks to hear, so hearty and 
so brimming with good nature. I suppose that the 
comment he made that morning in the office of the 
"National Live Stock Journal" in the old Honore 
Block — pulled down years ago to make room for 
the beautiful Marquette Building on the corner of 
Adams and Dearborn Streets — should perhaps not 
here be put on record. It meant nothing much at 
the time it was uttered to anybody but a poor boy, 
wavering as to what he should do with himself. It 
is of no consequence now to anybody, and yet it 
may serve to demonstrate anew the power of an 
appreciative word, spoken at a psychological moment. 
It may possibly lead someone else to turn on the 
inexpensive current of a kindly encouragement at 
some crucial period in some other boy's life. Such 
situations, as a matter of fact, are not infrequent 
in the lives of most of us as we journey through 



284 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



this vale of smiles and tears. This is what hap- 
pened : 

"Mr. Brabrook, who is the young nnan who 
did it?" 

"There he is over there, up to his ears in the 
Herd Books." 

"Well, I simply want to say that this review of 
my catalogue is the best one you have ever printed." 

That was all. But it was enough. When he 
had gone the ofRce manager came over to where 
I sat, took me by the hand, congratulated ourselves 
upon the wholly unanticipated denouement of our 
little incursion into the editorial field, went to the 
safe, opened a cash drawer — none too well lined — 
took out a new ten-dollar bank note and brought 
it to me as extra money earned. And, believe me, 
any who may have had patience enough to follow 
so personal a narrative thus far, that "X" looked 
bigger to me that day than any money I have yet 
seen in my business experiences up to date. I can 
assure you that there was nothing at all wonderful 
about the article itself, but, nevertheless, there- 
after all the catalogue reveiws were given me to do, 
and as each appeared in turn a "ten" was added to 
my little monthly wage. And that is how one Ameri- 
can came to take up and follow his father's calling. 



THE CALL OF A DISTANT PAST 286 



My old Latin school reader contained a lot of 
Aesop's fables, the concluding paragraph of each 
narration beginning with the expression, "hie fabula 
docet." And so, with this little leaf from the book 
of my own experience, the moral is plain: sooner or 
later opportunity comes to us all — suddenly perhaps, 
or quite by chance, and usually with no time to 
prepare one's self to meet the test. And when the 
hour arrives, then truly what has up to that mo- 
ment seemed a dull and aimless round of drudgery 
becomes the solid bridge upon which one has the 
chance to cross at once to better things. Despise 
not, therefore, the days of dry detail, the hours of 
unconscious preparation. The responsible heads will 
surely be away sometime when something happens, 
and then you get your day in court. 



XXXII 

SOME STEPS IN LIVE-STOCK JOURNALISM 

The years just prior to 1880 witnessed rapid 
progress in the distribution of good blood throughout 
the central states. The Herefords were winning 
their way throughout the corn country, and becom- 
ing the acknowledged regenerators of the range. 
Shorthorns had the call with the "fanciers," and 
were changing hands at high prices. Holstein- 
Friesians, Jerseys, Guernseys and Brown Swiss 
cattle were entering the dairy districts, and draft 
horses of the various French and British types 
were becoming popular. There was activity in all 
importing and breeding lines, and the "National 
Live Stock Journal" office was a sort of clearing- 
house for the reception and dissemination of news 
and ideas. Various organizations were formed to 
promote public interest. Pedigree registry associa- 
tions were projected, and in almost every case the 
advice and co-operation of J. H. Sanders was 
invited and secured. He participated actively in 
the formation of various societies, and was espe- 
cially prominent in the draft-horse breeding field. 
When the matter of establishing a stud book for 
the misnamed " Norman " horse was under con- 
sideration, he was induced to undertake the prep- 

286 



SOME STEPS IN LIVE-STOCK JOURNALISM 287 



aration of the initial volume. He had not delved 
very deep, however, in this interesting field before 
he learned that the heart of French draft-horse 
production, aside from the Boulonnais district, was 
the Perche, and at once pointed out the absurdity 
of the word "Norman" in connection with the 
French draft types, changing the title of the pro- 
posed Stud book to **Percheron-Norman," retaining 
the latter word only as a tub to the whale of 
American usage. Subsequently this meaningless 
hyphenated compromise was abandoned entirely, and 
the Percheron Stud Book of America was builded 
from the crude foundations thus laid in the late 
seventies. 

Mr. Sanders was ever a devotee of the turf, 
and was, during this same period, President of the 
Chicago Jockey and Trotting Club, which owned 
and operated a well-appointed course upon ground 
just west of the southern extension of Garfield 
Park, Chicago. He was also elected President of 
the Chicago Fair Association, which held great 
live-stock shows on this property in 1880 and 
1881. While all this was going on the business of 
the "National Live Stock Journal" had been growing 
rapidly. Its patronage came very largely from the 
editor's personal friends and fellow-workers in the 



288 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



realm of live-stock improvement, and in the fall of 
1881, as he had been only a minority stockholder, 
he decided to engage in the publication of a weekly 
to be under his own ownership, devoted to these 
same interests, and sever his former connection. 
The Chicago Fair of that year rivaled in every 
particular any state fair ever held in Illinois up to 
that date. I had just been admitted to the bar in 
Chicago, and was preparing to go west in the fall of 
that year to grow up with Colorado; but it seems 
that "the boss" had other plans, which were 
shortly to be revealed. He resigned his position 
as editor of "The National" during the summer 
months, and devoted all his energies to the show 
scheduled to be held in September. It had been 
impossible all these years, after providing for his 
family and the education of his children, to save 
money out of his editorial salary, and now even 
that was voluntarily relinquished! But he took the 
chance. I spent my vacation months working as a 
clerk in the Fair Association's office. After the 
show was over I had some $85 of my wages still 
in my pocket, and it so eventuated that this 
slender fund was destined to help "start some- 
thing." After conferences with friends during the 
fair, he had decided to begin late in the fall the 



SOME STEPS IN LIVE-STOCK JOURNALISM 289 



publication of "The Breeder's Gazette." One lead- 
ing breeder declared promptly that he would 
advance a few thousand dollars when the time 
came, with the understanding that the debt would 
be liquidated by advertising space in the new paper. 
Another promised $500 upon the same basis; in 
fact, encouragement was met on every hand. The 
general traveling agent of the old monthly, Henry 
F. Eastman, had also expressed in the meantime 
a desire to cast in his fortunes with the new paper. 
A little prospectus was prepared, with a schedule 
of proposed advertising rates, and it was planned 
to put the whole venture to a test by sending 
Eastman to the "great St. Louis Fair" with this 
formal announcement, and if he succeeded in mak- 
ing tentative advertising contracts sufficient to 
serve as a basis of credit, then cash would be 
borrowed to buy the necessary type and office 
furnishings to set "The Gazette" up in business. 
It was at this stage of the proceedings that my 
little "eighty-five" came into requisition. It so 
happened that at this particular juncture there was 
no money in sight to pay Eastman's expenses. 
Happily my own little savings were available, and 
within a week he was back with several thousand 
dollars' worth of perfectly good contracts. The 



290 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



venture was evidently to be a success from the very 
first. There was no longer doubt upon that point. 
The founder then asked me to "call off" my west- 
ern plans, and to stick to the ship. I assented 
upon one condition, to wit: that when "The 
Gazette " was once well upon its legs I should be 
allowed to pull out and go on my way to some 
fancied goal in the realm of jurisprudence. And so 
the co-partnership of J. H. Sanders & Go. was 
formed. The actual cash required for the first 
lease in the old Merchant's Building on the north- 
west corner of La Salle and Washington Streets, 
and for the purchase of a modest equipment, was 
advanced by the late Jerome I. Gase of Racine, 
who took a chattel mortgage on the concern as 
security for the loan. Mr. Gase was a millionaire 
manufacturer of agricultural implements, a patron 
of the turf and a warm friend of my father's. 
Thus was the infant *' Gazette " first financed. 

There was no question of father's ability to 
command the patronage of the stockmen of the 
country generally; but could we attract specially 
to our support the cattle business in competition 
with the older paper? That was the crux of the 
situation, and again those grinding years, to which 
allusion has already been made, began once more to 



SOME STEPS IN LIVE-STOCK JOURNALISM 291 



bear a little fruit. There was one, and only one, 
way of getting the attention of the great powers in 
western cattle-breeding at that period. In some 
way **The Gazette" office must be made a neces- 
sary source of information. Our equipment for 
answering pedigree questions and compiling herd 
and sale catalogues must be made superior to any 
other available. But how was this to be accom- 
plished? I thought I knew. When Georce W. Rust 
was forced by failing health to sell out of the 
"National Live Stock Journal" and remove to 
Colorado, he had taken with him a rare, and to us 
at this juncture, infinitely valuable collection of 
books, historic catalogues, manuscripts and docu- 
ments of various kinds throwing a flood of light on 
cattle-breeding operations in the United States 
from the earliest periods. Would he sell the col- 
lection, and if so, would it be within our reach 
with our limited means? He was living quietly at 
Boulder. In response to a letter he expressed a 
willingness to sell, and in twenty-four hours I was 
on a train bound for Denver. This was in Novem- 
ber. The first "Gazette" was not to appear until 
Dec. 1. I had not been among those precious 
records fifteen minutes before I felt certain that 
with that mass of original information at our dis- 



292 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



posal we could make a cattle paper of "The 
Breeder's Gazette" that would compel recognition 
in influential circles. It was a gold mine. The 
price was $1,600 cash. That staggered me a 
little; but I posted back to Chicago and recom- 
mended the purchase, even if we had to curtail 
expenditures in other directions. The deal was 
closed by wire, the draft forwarded and the 
material shipped. Hence the announcement appear- 
ing in the very first issue of "The Gazette" to the 
eifect that the Rust collection was to be a part of 
our library, and that cattle matters in the new 
paper would be in my special charge. Before the 
winter had passed the paper was upon a paying 
basis. 

A little later J. H. Sanders was named by the 
President of the United States as one of a com- 
mission authorized by Congress to locate lands 
adjacent to certain Atlantic seaboard cities for the 
establishment of quarantine stations for the deten- 
tion of cattle then being imported in large numbers 
from England, Scotland, the Netherlands and the 
Channel Islands. Prof. James Law of Cornell Uni- 
versity and the Secretary of the Treasury were the 
other members. This served to bring 'The Gazette" 
into still closer relationship with its patrons. In 



SOME STEPS IN LIVE-STOCK JOURNALISM 293 



1883 Mr. Sanders went abroad to study Percheron 
horse-breeding in France, assisting in the founding 
of the Stud Book for the race in its native land. 
He also held a special commission from the Secre- 
tary of Agriculture to investigate and report upon 
certain conditions surrounding our export trade in 
live cattle and meats with Europe. During his 
absence the writer hereof found himself for the first 
time charged with the entire responsibility of edit- 
ing and publishing the weekly issues of "The 
Gazette." I was then 23 years of age, and my 
reward for that summer's work was a gold watch, 
carrying inside the case an inscription which I value 
at the present moment quite as much as anything I 
possess. By this time the paper's patronage was so 
v/ell established that I could have then carried out 
m.y original plan of engaging in the practice of law, 
but in the face of the situation then existing it 
seemed folly to relinquish a work with which I had 
now become closely identified; and so here I am, 
after a lapse of more than thirty years, still shoving 
a pencil in the same old service, and with no 
regrets. 

The work of J. H. Sanders as author and editor 
has long since been concluded. It is a part of the 
history of the development of our American agri- 



294 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



culture. There may have been others in his day 
whose influence was farther-reaching in the matter 
of broadening and strengthening our live-stock 
industries — more stimulating in the matter of caus- 
ing two good animals to be grown where but one 
or none had been previously produced. It is perhaps 
not for me to undertake to enter up any verdict 
upon his long and arduous labors, often in the 
teeth of circumstances most emphatically adverse, 
and I do not, therefore, assume to do more than 
submit the foregoing outline of how he came to 
engage originally in stock-breeding; how he became 
the founder of live-stock journalism, and how, 
incidentally, this sequence of events set me upon 
my own little journey. 



XXXIII 

WHERE PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION 
MEET 

In all these ramblings up and down the country- 
side, at home and in foreign fields as well, we have 
merely been traversing the stepping-stones that 
lead at last to the practical business of utilizing in 
a big commercial way the output of myriad pastures 
and yards in the supplying of the world's necessities. 
To the men whose accomplishments are commem- 
orated by the Stock Yard Inn and the Saddle and 
Sirloin gallery — to the men who annually make the 
International Exposition — we are indebted for the 
seed that bears its never-failing harvest in the form 
of thousands of heavily - freighted trains annually 
unloaded in our great central markets. To the men 
who receive and find an outlet for all this product 
of farm and range, we are indebted for the facilities 
without which the nation's biggest industry could 
never have attained its present gigantic proportions. 

The library of the Saddle and Sirloin Club, 
cornering, as it does, upon Dexter Park and Ex- 
change Avenues, overlooks scenes that serve to 
remind us that we are in the immediate vicinity of 
the Yards — a fact that recalls us from our wander- 
ings among the producers far afield, and brings us 

29S 



296 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



at once in touch with the present. We have left 
the world of Charles Colling, Hugh Watson and 
Ben Tomkins and enter a domain in which such 
men as J. Ogden Armour, James J. Hill, Louis and 
Edward F. Swift and Tom Wilson of Morris & Co. 
are towering figures. 

The largest body of productive soil in all this 
world is that which would fall within the circum- 
ference of a circle, say 1,000 miles in diameter, 
the approximate center of which might be the 
campus of the University of Illinois. I presume 
that one may safely say that in respect to the 
number of comfortable homes, distribution of prop- 
erty, high average intelligence of the people and 
the independent character of its citizenship, history 
has no record of conditions at all comparable, 
extent of territory considered, with those existing 
today throughout the vast region that would be 
encompassed within a radius of about 500 miles 
measured from Dean Davenport's office. But 
harvests however bountiful, herds and flocks however 
countless, surplus soil products however abundant, 
merely cumber the earth as waste material until 
touched by the magic wand of someone able and 
willing to buy. In a land, therefore, like ours, 
where the very cornerstone of all prosperity lies in 



WHERE PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION MEET 297 



an adequate demand for the products of the farm, 
one should not underestimate the influence upon 
our agriculture of those to whose breadth of vision, 
to whose master minds, to whose powerful person- 
alities, to whose untiring industry and daring enter- 
prise, we are so largely indebted for the broad 
outlets that have made the central west the seat 
of the most opulent agriculture the world has ever 
known. 

At the very base of the pyramid of our prosper- 
ity is blue grass. No sooner had the plowshares 
of the pioneers pierced the bosom of our western 
prairies, turning under the wild grasses and the 
flowers of a virgin world, than this sturdy invader 
and its kindred crept slowly but surely from beyond 
the Ohio into every nook and corner of the newly- 
settled west, supplying the first green herbage of 
the spring, resting throughout the torrid summer 
months, only to rise into luxuriant profusion again 
with the autumn rains, supplying needed provender 
up to the very latest locking of the land in the 
grip of the northern winter. Permanent, persistent, 
perennial, the enduring basis of our pastoral wealth 
still lies securely hidden in its roots. 

And with the blue grass we have that marvel 
of all marvels, the Indian corn! Outside the limits 



298 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



of Argentina, there is no great area of cornland in 
all the world save our own. There has been no 
one product of either farm, mine or factory devel- 
oped by any other nation that compares in value 
and volume with the mountains of maize piled up, 
even in comparatively unfavorable years, by our great 
sisterhood of western states. Texas heaped upon 
Oklahoma! Their stores piled on top of Kansas' and 
Nebraska's! South Dakota and Minnesota swelling 
the huge yields of Iowa and Missouri! The states 
east of the Mississippi River lifting the harvest 
up to Himalayan heights! Tennessee joined with 
Kentucky, Ohio with Indiana, and Michigan with 
Wisconsin, completing the endless chain of this 
unparalleled production! In the center of it all, the 
state of Illinois! Within the boundaries of Illinois, 
imperial Chicago! At the bottom of the prosperity 
of that metropolis, the interests that make the 
Union Stock Yards; and its heart, its very core, 
"Packingtown!" 

In the days of old the breed-makers with whom 
we have been visiting sold their fatted bullocks on 
the streets of their local market towns to some 
village Swift. Later on the beasts were driven to 
some central fair, where buyers whose require- 
ments were on a larger scale came to barter for 



WHERE PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION MEET 299 



the big old-fashioned steers. And when the 
"Rocket" — the primal locomotive that stands at 
Darlington, the ancient Shorthorn capital — and its 
successors came along, then little vans were 
requisitioned, and the fat stock sent away by rail, 
maybe as far as London. So in our own country. 
The business of cattle-feeding, originating in the 
south branch of the Potomac, drifted over the Blue 
Ridge into the Ohio Valley, and the men who first 
used corn and blue grass on an extensive scale in 
the making of beef as a commercial proposition 
drove their herds over the mountains to find a mar- 
ket in the seaboard cities. Then came the settling 
of the cornbelt proper, the first lard hog, the pure- 
bred bull and steel highways. Then, too, arrived 
men of keen commercial instincts at the future 
hubs of western lake and rail transportation — men 
like James J. Hill, Philip D. Armour, Gustavus F. 
Swift and Nelson Morris. Corn and wheat without 
hogs, cattle and quick transportation had, in the 
early days, but little value. Beef and lard on the 
hoof in large quantities without a market, or means 
of getting to market, were a waste. A place where 
buyer and seller could be brought together was a 
prime necessity. Hence the stock yards; hence 
the packing houses; hence the ''granger" railways; 



300 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



hence the present vast-extended business of pro- 
ducing, marketing and distributing the meats that 
feed the nations. 

The enterprise of the pioneer packers and rail- 
way builders has supplemented admirably the work 
of the Sanctum Sanctorum fathers. Great markets 
for the American steer and the American hog have 
been found that did not formerly exist. The men 
whose portraits adorn the Saddle and Sirloin 
library have made possible a live-stock husbandry 
in these United States more extensive than any 
elsewhere in the world. 

Studied in the light of this relationship to the 
development of the middle west we will assuredly 
find in P. D. Armour one of the colossal figures 
upon the canvas that portrays the rise of our 
greatest industry. His story may serve to typify the 
achievements of the men whose pictures may be 
found in the Saddle and Sirloin's main lounging 
room. 

Born upon a farm in Oneida County, N. Y., in 
1832, he died in Chicago in 1901, so that he 
practically attained the traditional three score years 
and ten. As a young man he set out, with a stout 
heart, a few hundred dollars in his pocket and a 
pack on his back, bound for the goldfields of dis- 



WHERE PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION MEET 301 



tant California. We are told that he walked most 
of the way across the continent. He began life 
there, digging ditches for those seeking the precious 
metal, at $5 a day. Soon he took contracts for 
ditching, and in this way accumulated in the course 
of five years the sum of $8,000. He then returned 
to Oneida County, intending to buy a farm, but not 
finding one to his liking he recalled that on his 
way home he had passed through a promising town 
on the shores of Lake Michigan known as Milwau- 
kee, even then an important loading point for vessels 
carrying western products eastward. He had seen 
enough of the prairies and the plains to stir his 
imagination. The west had a destiny. He would 
stake his fortunes upon its development. And so in 
1859 he formed a partnership with Mr. Fred B. 
Miles to enter the produce and commission busi- 
ness at Milwaukee. 

This was in the days when the farmers of these 
parts smoked and cured their own meats and hauled 
their surplus, along with hides and pelts and bags 
of wheat, to Milwaukee or Chicago. There were 
thousands of homeseekers and an endless procession 
of people passing through, seeking locations or 
opportunities for entering business. These "over- 
landers" required provisions for their journeyings 



302 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



that would keep until used. The hour for the begin- 
nings of the modern packing plant had therefore 
struck. 

John Plankinton was operating in a small way 
at Milwaukee. Young Armour became his junior 
partner. This was in 1864. The business pros- 
pered. Meantime, Chicago loomed larger and larger 
on the map. The lake-carrying and the general 
outfitting trade began centering there, and in 18?'0 
Armour & Go. entered the field of pork-packing at 
this point. For the first eight years the business 
was confined to pork-packing, and the immediate 
effect of this large buying was a pronounced stim- 
ulation of stock-keeping throughout the cornbelt. 

The Union Stock Yard Go. had commenced 
operations in 1865. Other men of enterprise and 
vision saw the dawn of a wonderful era of expan- 
sion in food production in the central west. Gus- 
TAVus F. Swift and Nelson Morris, giants both in 
the making, began about 1875. Mr. Armour started 
killing cattle in 1878 and sheep in 1880. The 
open ranges of the arid west were by that time 
becoming the seat of extensive grazing operations, 
and Mr. Armour, his colleagues and followers, now 
feeling assured of steady supplies from farm and 
ranch, began developing new markets in all direc- 



WHERE PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION MEET 303 



tions. At the same time they commenced to work 
out with infinite patience and at large expense that 
marvelous line of by-products which has now be- 
come of such tremendous economic importance to 
the world. 

It would require hours to introduce at this point a 
complete review, giving dates, processes and figures, 
summarizing the evolution of the extraordinary busi- 
ness in fresh, cured and canned meats, lard, beef 
extract, glue, fertilizer, soap, bone novelties, hides, 
pelts, wool, leather, ammonia, pepsin, curled hair 
and other products of the modern packing plant. 
We would need still other hours to trace the begin- 
nings of the development of the science of refrig- 
eration as applied to the business of transporting 
and distributing food products. It would be a won- 
drous story if one could tell the particulars of the 
campaign waged for foreign markets. Suffice it to 
say that these men are selling food products to all 
the world. Their goods have been cached within 
both the arctic and antarctic circles, and a story is 
told of an unopened Chicago tin once found by 
African hunters safely stowed away inside a croco- 
dile killed on the Zambezi River. 

The aggregate value of the animals passed 
through the Chicago Union Stock Yards during the 



304 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



first forty-eight years of their existence totaled the 
unthinkable sum of $9,706,643,548! And there 
are other markets, and other Swifts and Armours. 
It is true that prices rise and prices fall, now as 
always — the producers ever bearing the larger risk, 
and sometimes meeting loss. Would that greater 
stability in values could be assured; would that the 
sunshine and the rain could always be rightly dis- 
tributed. But since time began this has not been 
vouchsafed to those who plow and sow and reap. 
An undoubted element of chance enters always 
into the operations of tillers of the soil and feeders 
for stock-yard markets. There is no denying that. 
Feasts are sometimes followed by famine; high 
values succeeded by falling quotations; but the con- 
servation of our soil demands imperatively the stead- 
fast maintenance of our live-stock industries, and 
the forces that can best insure the permanent pros- 
perity of the growers meet in the library of the 
Saddle and Sirloin Club. Packers, producers, 
bankers and kings of the transportation world are 
alike welcomed and honored under its roof. This is 
as it should be, for their interests are incontestably 
identical. 



i 


1} 

A 


1 



MAIN CORRIDOR OF THE SADDLE AND SIRLOIN CLUB 



ii 




i-r 









THE SMOKING ROOM— SADDLE AND SIRLOIN CLUB 



XXXIV 

"SHOULD AULD ACQUAINTANCE BE 
FORGOT?" 

Reference has already been made to Mortimer 
Levering and Howard Davison as men who not 
only were instrumental in founding the International 
Live Stock Exposition, but subsequently contributed 
largely to the creation of the atmosphere that has 
placed the Saddle and Sirloin Club distinctly in 
a class by itself. Both were members of what has 
been termed "The Old Guard." The former was 
unhappily called hence before his allotted time, but 
his portrait speaks to us still of golden hours when 
congenial spirits met to cultivate the joys of friend- 
ships based upon mutual interests. 

"Mort" came to us from Indiana. A devoted 
admirer of highly-bred animals, wherever the na- 
tion's choicest specimens were gathered for com- 
petition there would you find him. At Madison 
Square Garden, at Toronto, Chicago, or at leading 
state exhibitions, in Kentucky or Virginia, or may- 
hap at an English Royal, he might be seen among 
the real enthusiasts. For years secretary and gen- 
eral manager for the American Shropshire Sheep 
Breeders' Association, he drew into that organization 
one of the largest memberships ever enjoyed by 

30S 



306 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



any similar society. Jersey cattle also appealed to 
him with special force, and his interest in and 
expert knowledge of harness and saddle horses and 
ponies resulted in his being called often to officiate 
in the judge's box. He was secretary at different 
times of more different live-stock associations than 
any other man of his generation. It was as an 
officer of the International, and of the Saddle and 
Sirloin Club after his removal from Indianapolis to 
Chicago, that his rare social gifts brought him con- 
spicuously forward in the circles that centered in 
those two organizations. A willing and efficient 
worker when there were serious matters to be dis- 
posed of, it was in his leisure hours about the 
Club that his wit and his occasional impromptu 
impersonations commonly rendered him the life of 
any company. His place in Saddle and Sirloin 
life will never be entirely filled. 

Howard Davison of Altamont Farm, New York, 
a man of engaging personality and an official of the 
International Live Stock Exposition from its incep- 
tion, has perhaps never received his just dues at 
the hands of the American stock-loving public. His 
intimates know and appreciate him as one who has 
rendered outstanding service in the rise and prog- 
ress of the Shropshire sheep on this side the 



'SHOULD AULD ACaUAINTANCE BE FORGOT?" 307 



water. For years ardently devoted to their cause, 
he bought heavily of England's best, and has the 
unique distinction of being the only American who 
ever had the courage to send lambs of his own 
production to the English Royal Show, where his 
entries received official recognition in the ancient 
home of the breed in competition with the very 
flower of the old-world flocks. None but those who 
have seen the extraordinary Shropshire classes at 
an English national show can fully comprehend what 
it means thus to beard the British lion in his lair 
with animals of this particular type. Davison also 
had a deep-rooted interest in Guernsey cattle and 
in ponies of the larger types. He stirred New 
York City to the point of holding a national show 
at Madison Square Garden, modeled along our own 
International Exposition lines, but his Herculean 
labors in behalf of such an event unfortunately 
were not properly seconded in the great metropolis. 
I have said that Davison's real services have 
not yet been fully acknowledged. This, I believe, 
to be due primarily to the fact that he has always 
been such a prolific source of entertainment to his 
friends and associates that they have in many cases 
failed to get the more serious side of his nature. 
Once let a man gain a reputation as a humorist, 



508 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



and he has to work harder than anybody else in 
order to be taken seriously. The mere fact that 
"Davy" has a convulsing repertoire of songs and 
stories does not lessen in the least the value of 
his work in behalf of American live-stock hus- 
bandry. His portrait is soon to be put in the place 
where it belongs, by Levering's side. 

John Glay is another one of the pillars of the 
International Show. Scottish Borderer by birth, he 
hails from that historic region where the Teviot's 
"silver tide" is lost in "Tweed's fair river broad 
and deep." He has spent many a strenuous winter 
there in recent years raiding the red fox, one day 
with the North Northumberland hounds, and on the 
next riding hard and fast on the other side with 
the Duke of Buccleuch's. In fact, he was master 
of the first-named pack when the great clash of 
arms put an end to the "mimic warfare of the 
chase." Early in the organization of the Interna- 
.tional Show it was decided to bring out each year an 
old- country judge to help place the prizes on our 
Christmas cattle, and it has fallen to the lot of Mr. 
Glay and myself to extend these invitations. 

It is generally conceded that nothing has added 
more to the dignity and the prestige of the Inter- 
national than the bringing out of these gentlemen 



SHOULD AULD ACQUAINTANCE BE FORGOT?" 309 



to give US the benefit of unbiased outside expert 
opinion upon our best-fitted grade and cross-bred 
bullocks. Although in several notable instances 
prominently identified in their own country with 
particular breeds, in no case has any one of these 
visitors permitted that fact to warp his Chicago judg- 
ments. It has come to be an unwritten law that 
these distinguished guests shall arrive in Chicago 
on Friday or Saturday prior to the opening of the 
show, and be delivered, presumably for safe keeping 
away from all temptations, into the hands of 
William R. Goodwin, whose portrait you will find 
greeting you, by the way, among other familiar faces 
in what is commonly called the reception hall of 
the Saddle and Sirloin Club. Mr. Goodwin has been 
a "Breeder's Gazette" editor since time whereof 
the memory of the oldest "rail-bird" runneth not to 
the contrary. The dean of all show reporters living 
or dead, he keeps our British judges safe and sound 
at Oakhurst, where designing exhibitors or over- 
zealous friends may not get at them before they 
enter the great arena to undertake their trying task. 
These judges to date, in the order of service 
rendered, have been as follows: 1900, J. B. Ellis, 
Walsingham, England. 1901, James Peter, Berkeley, 
England. 1902, James Biggar, Dalbeattie, Scotland. 



310 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



1905, W. S. Ferguson, Perth, Scotland. 1904, John 
Ross, Meikel Tarrel, Scotland. 1905, Thomas B. 
Freshney, Lincolnshire, England. 1906, A. P. Tur- 
ner, Herefordshire, England. 1907, James Durno, 
Aberdeenshire, Scotland. 1908, George Sinclair, 
Dalmeny, Scotland. 1909, William Heap, Man- 
chester, England. 1910, H. M. Kirkham, London, 
England. 1911, J. J. Gridlan, London, England. 
1912, R. H. Keene, Westfield, Medmenham, Eng- 
land. 1913, J. R. Gampbell, Lairg, Sutherland, 
Scotland. 

Tom Glark, whom I have already mentioned in 
these notes, by reason of his long and sensationally 
successful showyard experience has steadily been 
the International directory's choice as general 
superintendent of cattle at the December shows. 
He came from Herefordshire as a young man, now 
near fifty years ago. You will scarcely credit this 
statement when you see him. You will swear it is 
an error when you talk with him. He wears lightly 
indeed the years that have passed over his head 
since he became a butcher's apprentice in Gleveland 
on his first arrival in the States, and no trick in 
the showman's trade is likely to escape his vigilance. 

Prof. G. F. Gurtiss has sat in the International's 
councils continuously as the special representative 



"SHOULD AULD ACQUAINTANCE BE FORGOT?" 311 



of the colleges. Probably no member of his pro- 
fession has had so extended an experience in deal- 
ing with live-stock competitions. It has been the 
steady aim of the management of the Interna- 
tional Show, as well as of the Saddle and Sirloin 
Club, to lend every possible encouragement to the 
colleges, their faculties, their graduates and the 
undergraduates, and Dean Gurtiss, needless to 
say, has served as an admirable connecting link in 
the consideration and execution of every plan 
touching educational topics. 

The Hon. A. J. Lovejoy, big chief in the Berk- 
shire camp, one of the ablest and most experienced 
fair managers in America, has worked hard in the 
International harness from the opening show. His 
management of the swine department has been 
continuous and successful, and he has served the 
association also as its President. 

Emil Ingwersen's name must be included in any 
reference to men who have given freely of their 
time and practical judgment to the fortunes of the 
big show, and the Club as well. No man is more 
conversant with our live-stock industries, and few 
could have been so eminently useful and depend- 
able in helping to meet and solve the problems 
arising in connection with both International and 



312 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



Saddle and Sirloin affairs. His services in the 
handling of the carload-lot exhibits, and his advo- 
cacy of the "short-fed special" prizes in connection 
therewith, entitle him to the grateful thanks of 
American stockmen. 

James W. Martin is another "wheel horse" in 
International team work. For years one of the 
most esteemed members of the directorate, a man 
whose "horse sense" is always in evidence, Mr. 
Martin has acted with Emil Ingwersen in the carlot 
section of the fat stock show, and always in the 
light of practical knowledge of his subject and with 
justice and fairness ever uppermost in the working 
of his practical mind. In the field of blood-stock 
production he has left a powerful impress for good 
through his intelligent and persistent work with the 
Red Polled Norfolks — one of England's best dual- 
purpose types of cattle. 

Gol. John S. Gooper, one of the martial figures 
of the Yards and known to nearly every horseman in 
America, has been a director of the International 
from the beginning, sharing with Ogilvie in the 
honors that have attached to the creation and 
upbuilding of the greatest equine displays now to 
be seen in any American showyard, and he is 
one of the faithful devotees of Saddle and Sirloin 



"SHOULD AULD ACQUAINTANCE BE FORGOT?" 313 



shrines. May he long be spared to a community 
in the conduct of whose affairs he has borne a 
distinguished and honorable part. 

O. E. Bradfute of Aberdeen- Angus fame; T. F. 
B. SoTHAM, known to all admirers of the Herefords; 
I. M. Forbes, a leader in Shorthorn circles; James 
Brown of Armour & Co.; G. B. Van Norman and M. 
P. BuELL, prominent in the commission trade; Fred 
Pabst, whose activities in connection with Wisconsin 
stock-breeding have made him a national figure; 
W. S. Dunham of Oaklawn; W. G. Brown, ex- 
President of the New York Gentral Railway; Frank 
Harding of the American Shorthorn Breeders' Asso- 
ciation, Overton Harris, President of the Hereford 
Association; Robert Miller, one of Ontario's best- 
known stockmen, and R. A. Fairbairn of New Jersey 
are also upon the honor roll of those who have 
served as International directors. Senator Harris, 
Richard Gibson and William E. Skinner have already 
been referred to at some length. 

I speak feelingly of these men, because it was 
my fortune to sit with them for many years at 
International business meetings. I know of their 
unselfish and invaluable service. I have seen them 
for so long, not only in council, but in action, that 
I realize more fully perhaps than the average patron 



314 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



of the Chicago exhibition how much our people are 
really in their debt. They have helped to carry the 
burden of the undertaking at a time when success 
was largely dependent upon their judgment and 
fidelity to the work in hand. These men are, in the 
natural course of events, being succeeded by others 
who will, I am sure, when we get out from under 
the curse of the "foot-and-mouth," carry the Inter- 
national to still higher levels. 

It would be almost criminal, in closing, not to 
speak of Tom Bell's masterly work in the ring in 
the handling of the elaborate evening programs. 
Such parades have probably never before been 
staged elsewhere in any showyard in all animal 
history, and the cleverness with which they have 
been managed has been the subject of Saddle and 
Sirloin comment many a time and oft. Mr. Henkle, 
Mr. Leonard's successor as General Manager of 
the Yards, has from behind the throne spent many 
a weary hour working out details that have been 
essential to right results. Barney Heide, placid and 
patient, saddled with the secretaryship and general 
superintendency, works fifty-two weeks in the year 
for everybody concerned. Statistician Horine, too, 
comes in for honorable mention, and ye who know 
something of the importance of a master mechanic 



SHOULD AULD ACGUAINTANCE BE FORGOT?" 315 



in devising and carrying out "while-you-wait" plans 
for the suitable housing and handling of a world's 
animal fair, forget not Bill Ray. 

George Harding & Son were the first to take 
advantage of the facilities offered by the Saddle 
AND Sirloin Club for entertaining on a large scale. 
On the eve of an important auction sale at the Yards 
they properly christened the main hall of the Club 
by giving a banquet to several hundred invited 
guests. This was really the dedicatory service 
celebrating the consecration of the Pedigree Record 
Building to its present uses, and in accepting Mr. 
Harding's invitation to occupy the toastmaster's 
chair for that evening, I had the pleasure of review- 
ing the sequence of events leading up to the results 
that had then materialized, and of felicitating the 
breeders of America upon coming into so valuable an 
heritage at that time. Since then innumerable lunch- 
eons and "get-together" dinners have been given 
at the Glub, at which matters relating to various 
important interests have been effectively promoted. 

Old acquaintance should indeed not be forgot, 

and I must not close without some reference to 

' everybody's friend Jack Hill, long time steward 

of the Saddle and Sirloin Club. If the world goes 

not well with you; if work or worry gets you on 



316 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



the run; if the heavens be hung with black; if 
"blue devils" are on your trail, then as the shades 
of night fall deep o'er Packingtown, hie ye to Hill, 
and let him make prescription. There is cheer 
a-plenty in the dinner of which he consents to be 
the architect. 



XXXV 
A WAYSIDE SHRINE 

Still another successful effort at throwing an 
ameliorating influence around the business at the 
Yards has to be recorded, and our task is done. 
And here again is seen the handiwork of Arthur 
Leonard. I refer to the office fitted up just outside 
the main entrance to the Yards for the personal 
use of Robert Ogilvie in recognition of services 
rendered in connection with the rehabilitation pro- 
gram so splendidly carried out by the present 
management. 

As Secretary of the American Clydesdale Breed- 
ers' Association, Mr. Ogilvie required room for the 
transaction of the business of that organization. 
You will recognize the place as you near the rail- 
way tracks on the right-hand side as you approach 
the stone arch leading into the greatest live-stock 
market in the world, and if you will enter the 
doorway of the unpretentious structure with the 
plastered and timbered second-story exterior you 
will find yourself inside the room where, in the 
evening of his life, Mr. Ogilvie not only discharges 
his secretarial duties, but where in the midst of 
surroundings- peculiarly unique and characteristic 
he welcomes every man whose heart beats respon- 

317 



318 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



sive to the traditions and inspirations of the Saddle 
AND Sirloin Club. 

The dominating feature of this place is a great 
broad-breasted chimney-place of good red bricks. 
Not one of those feeble imitations of the fine old 
fire-places of our fathers so often seen in these 
degenerate days, but a wide, deep, generous con- 
struction with a capacity that tells of solid comfort 
when old Boreas howls around outside and the big 
back-log is wrapped in cheery flames. Furnishings 
of solid oak stand upon a red-tiled floor. The walls 
bear photographs of various celebrities. As might 
be expected of a man who represents one of 
Britain's favorite breeds, portraits of the late King 
Edward VII and his present majesty of England — 
whose interest in good breeding at Sandringham and 
Windsor is a matter of pride with every man of 
British antecedents — occupy conspicuous positions. 
Clydesdale champions at the Highland, the Royal, 
Toronto or the International challenge your attention 
on every hand. Back of the massive table upon 
which the Secretary does his work photos of men 
whose names stand high on the scroll of live-stock 
fame keep watch and ward. Nearby is a treasured 
replica of Romanelli's heroic memorial bust of 
Senator Harris. 



A WAYSIDE SHRINE 319 



The mantelpiece bears this inscription: 

"DEDICATED TO THE 

DIGNITY OF HUSBANDRY, THE CULTIVATION OF THE 

HEART, THE JOYS OF FRIENDSHIP, AND 

GOOD WILL AMONG MEN." 

It is all in delightful contrast to the conventional 
business office, and here the Secretary sometimes 
sits and dreams. Here, and at the Club, he seeks 
as best he may to lead men to forget at times the 
lure of gold, and devote an occasional hour, at 
least, to thoughts of things outside the counting- 
room or market-place. He has proved the truth 
that mere financial gains have been reaped, many a 
time and oft, like Tam O'Shanter's joys, "ower dear" 
— at too great a sacrifice of health and happiness. 

Oh, yes, I know ! Sentiment, they say, butters 
nobody's bread; but my good friend, if ye are a 
stranger to it and inclined to call it weakness, 
hearken to this, my admonition ! You may yet live 
to see the day when your heart will feed upon it 
fondly, and find in its proper exercise a sweeter 
solace than was ever drawn by living man from 
bonds or mortgages. I am sure that if some of us 
had a little less of the one in our make-up we 
might have acquired more of the other forms of 
wealth; but, speaking for myself, I am content. 



XXXVI 
FALLING LEAVES 

The preparation of these notes has occupied 
various idle hours during my summer in the country. 
Opposite my window in the edge of a wood the 
oaks had just put forth their leaves as these 
recollections first began to take on the form of a 
settled purpose. Meantime, another seed time and 
harvest have come and gone. 

Last night there was an unmistakable note in 
the wind that tossed the branches overhanging the 
cottage roof. It was ominous of sleet and snows 
to come. Today the leaves are falling fast. One 
by one they silently part from the parent twigs 
and find rest upon the bosom of the earth that 
gave them birth. They have fulfilled their mission 
and the bare arms that bore them stand out now 
in bold relief against the autumn sky, awaiting the 
resurrection of another April's sun and showers. 
And as the maple, elm and oak cast aside their 
wondrous raiment, word comes that a comrade-in- 
arms, one who for more than twenty years has 
marched closely by my side, has put off that which 
is corruptible and put on incorruption. Joe Wing 
is dead. He too has spent many happy hours in 
and about the International showyard and the Club. 

320 









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FALLING LEAVES 321 



In the early watches of the night, like the leaf 
that is hurried away by a passing storm into the 
depths of the forest, he has departed. And he will 
no more return. He loved the whole Saddle and 
Sirloin world, and contributed through his unique 
mentality to its enrichment. 

We have been dealing here in large degree with 
men of the long ago; but I now begin to realize 
that, as a matter of fact, the charmed circle of those 
with whom I have walked and talked and worked 
within my own lifetime is rapidly narrowing. One 
by one the oldest and the best of friends are taking 
their way silently into the shades; and year after 
year the Saddle and Sirloin Club will become to 
me more and more a place of memories. Happily, 
however, the pictures and the scenes and incidents 
which they recall exert, not a feeling of depression, 
but of deep and mellow satisfaction. These men 
have not really gone on and left nothing of them- 
selves for our comfort and consolation. Here they 
have met and exchanged words and sentiments that 
live. Each has given something of himself to what 
I can only call again the "atmosphere" of these 
rooms. Nowhere else have these splendid types of 
men come together so intimately. No other spot 
has been the rendezvous of so many who have 



322 AT THE SIGN OF THE STOCK YARD INN 



helped to build and shape our live-stock history in 
recent years, and the larger grows the list of those 
who have gone to join the great majority, the more 
sacred will these portrait-covered walls become. 



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 
BRANCH OF THE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE 


THIS BOOK IS DUE ON THE LAST DATE 
STAMPED BELOW 


6EF 






$CP 18 ^9^3 






DEC 6 1934 
AUG 2 81935 






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■ '7 

OCT 3 '41 






FEB 2 5 '42 




5m-8,'26 



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333972 ^^5^/ 



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UNIVERSIJY/i)F C^F^IA LIBRARY 



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