The History of Short Horn and Other Cattle
From The History of Clark County, Ohio
Chicago: W.H. Beers & Co., 1881 - Page 398
By J.S.R. Hazzard, M.D.
The most intimately connected with the introduction and breeding of fine cattle in Clark County, like the great mass of cattle breeders, have given but little attention to the recording of facts relating to their respective herds; hence, the material of which this chapter is composed has been gathered with much difficulty and labor, from scraps and desultory notes made by different breeders, some of whom have long since passed away. it is from this mass of disconnected fragments that I have endeavored to winnow all that is unnecessary to their proper arrangement into an historic sketch, and to eliminate whatever of uncertainty that may invalidate its statements.
Casting about in quest of reliable data for a correct starting-point, I am constrained to believe I discovered it in the following narrative, presented by my old friend, John Price, now living within a mile of the spot around which so many reminiscences of his early life cluster. In 1822, he was living with his father, James Price, on the Duval estate, now owned by the heirs of the late John Mattison, the Kirkhams.
His father, owning a large dairy, produced a great amount of cheese, which necessitated frequent trips to Cincinnati by wagon to find a market for the almost exclusive product of their farm. It was while on one of these tours Mr. James Price observed a beautiful roan yearling heifer in a meadow belonging to a Mr. Frederick Nutts, of Montgomery County, Ohio. The striking resemblance this heifer bore to the fine cattle he had been used to seeing in England impressed him so strongly that he determined to buy her if it were possible; therefore, on returning from Cincinnati, he stopped at Mr. Nutts' overnight (Mr. Nutts being a tavern-keeper as well as a farmer). Mr. Nutts informed him that he had purchased the dams of his young stock in Kentucky; that they were purely bred durhams, from imported English stock. This statement Mr. Price readily believed from the appearance of the cattle, and it intensified his desire to own some of them, they being the first of the kind he had seen since leaving old England.
After much dickering, he bought the roan heifer for $40, which was considered an enormous price to pay for a yearling, when the best of milch cows could be bought for $6. He brought her home, congratulating himself upon being the owner of so beautiful an animal, but his wife did not see it in that light. "The beast is pretty, to be sure, but there is no sense in giving half a ton of cheese for it," was her forcibly expressed opinion. Not many months subsequent to the purchase of the heifer, Mr. Price bought of Mr. Nutts a roan bull calf of the same breed, paying $45, which still more astonished his wife and provoked adverse criticisms from his neighbors.
These two animals were undoubtedly the first short-horns to grace a pasture in Clark County, and perhaps the grade steers sired by this bull were the first three-year-old steers ever sold for the then unheard of price of $12 per head. Mr. Price was unfortunate with his heifer; she, by some means, fell into a spring, and died without issue, but the improvement made by the use of his bull upon his herd abundantly paid him for what, in that day, was deemed a wild speculation. To which family of short-horns these cattle belonged, or from which importation they descended, it is impossible to determine at this date, but they were undoubtedly short-horns, and were probably of the Sanders 1817 importation.
It seems proper, just here, to throw in a few sentences of explanation, to enable those unacquainted with the short-horn literature to understand some phrases and expressions peculiar to it. In 1822, the first volume of the English Herd Book was published; consequently, all cattle imported prior to this important event came without registered pedigrees. Antedating the Herd Book prominently stand what are known as the Miller, Gough and Patton stock; but more conspicuously, because nearer the sunrise of this important epoch in short-horn history, stands Col. Sanders' importation of 1817, and known in short-horn parlance as Seventeens. In 1846. L. F. Allen, Esq., published the first volume of the American Herd Book. The American Herd Book holds about the same relation to the English Herd Book that the earth does to the sun. They constitute the short-horn solar system, dividing the day from the night, or the authentic from traditional history. Many individual animals of those importations antedating the Herd Book era have since been recorded in both English and American Herd Books, and there are few herds in this country that do not number among their very best specimens of short-horns individuals tracing through the Herd books to those importations.
And yet, by some hyperpurists, they are tabooed, because the spots on the moon were not discovered prior to the creation of the sun. Early in short-horn history, a disposition existed to divide these noble animals into tribes and families. The practical breeding of the colling Brothers foreshadowed the idea, but it remained for Thomas Bates, Esq., of England, to fully inaugurate and insist upon its utility, as well as its convenience. Hence, we now have the Duchess, Princess, Kirkleavington, Oxford, Rose of Sharon, Young Mary, etc., etc., tribes, all springing from a common root, but supposed to possess inherent qualities peculiar to the tribe or family, on account of a certain line of breeding, but more frequently because bred by a certain distinguished breeder; therefore, we have Bates, Booth, Mason, Torr, Paley, etc., etc., cattle. In this country, families take their names from the imported cow to which they trace their pedigree; for instance a certain cow or bull is called a Donna Maria, because it runs back in pedigree to imported Donna Maria, by Gledhow, or an Arabella to imported Arabella by Victor, or a Scottish Bluebell to Scottish Bluebell by Molecatcher; the sire of the imported cow being added in order to distinguish imported cows of the same name, as, Red Rose by Earnesty from Red Rose by Skipton.
Again, breeders in this country have created sub-tribes, as the Louans, an offshoot of the Rosemary by Flash tribe; the Nannie Williams of the Helen tribe, and the Pixies of the Red Rose by Earnesty tribe. Hoping enough has been said to illustrate the subject, we come back to the development of short-horn interest in Clark County.
The germ planted in 1822 by Mr. James Price seems to have gained but little strength outside of his own pastures for a long time. Doubtless, however, his yearly demonstrations of improved blood over the scrub stock around him were silently and slowly gathering force, and only held in abeyance by embarrassing circumstances, peculiar to that time, until, in 1835, Hon. Alex Waddle determined to try the rearing of cattle that would make greater and quicker returns for the food consumed. Consequently, in the fall of 1835, he bought of Mr. Walter Dun, Sr., of Kentucky, ten grade short-horn heifers, all in calf to Mr. Dun's imported bull, Accomodation. Here he rested, and watched the results, and here we will leave him for the present.
In 1836, a very strong feeling pervaded the whole eastern and southeastern portions of the county in regard to this subject. Farmers appeared to awake from a Rip Van Winkle sleep that had so long closed their eyes and paralyzed their energies; consequently, the foundations for several herds were laid in this year. The first in order of time is William D. Pierce's, of Madison Township. He, in company with Mr. David Harrold, of Madison County, bought, of Col. Sanders, of Kentucky, several head of short-horns, but, from circumstances unnecessary to relate here, Mr. Peirce retained only the three-year-old roan cow, Miss Trimble, of the Rosemary tribe, for which he paid $450. Rosemary was imported in 1820, by Dr. Law, of Baltimore, Md. Miss Trimble was in calf to Pontiac when purchased, and in due time dropped Fair Rachel. Miss Trimble proved to be very prolific, dropping in all nine calves — five heifers and four bulls. Mr. Peirce embarked in his short-horn enterprise after the true English style, naming his farm Darlington, and henceforth his herd was known in short-horn circles by that euphonious sobriquet. At that time, it appears he did not own a bull, but bred Miss Trimble to Mr. Seymour's bull, imported Comet Halley, the issue being a red and white heifer calf, which he named Victoria. We will now leave Darlington, but will refer to it whenever time and events incorporate it in the woof of this narrative. We have incidentally referred to Mr. D. Harrold as purchasing cattle in company with Mr. Peirce in Kentucky. Although not a resident of this county, his farm is just across the line in Madison County, and his herd did as much toward grading up the common cattle of this county as any one within its borders, and it seems necessary therefore to speak of it somewhat in detail. The purchase made in Kentucky at the time already mentioned consisted of four heifers and one bull, all the heifers being descendants of the 1817 importation. Nicanor, the bull, was of the Rosemary tribe, roan in color, and is represented as being a superb specimen of his race in every respect. In addition to the cattle purchased, Mr. Harrrold bought three bulls belonging to Col. Sanders, to be hired out, after the English fashion, to enterprising farmers to use on their common cows. It appears that Mr. Rowland Brown, residing near South Charleston, and in this county, rented two of them, Zadoc and Miami, both red and white in color, and of great substance and fine quality, and withal very prepotent. Mr. Harrold kept the other, Montezuma, to use on his own herd. These bulls soon wrought a marked improvement in the cattle of that portion of the county; indeed, so manifest was the change that Mr. George Chamberlain, an extensive cattle dealer of that time, claimed that steers sired by Miami were worth 25 per cent more than any others in the country. About this time, Mr. Pugh, of Cincinnati, leased the Duval farm, and placed on it a large herd of the very best short-horns, purchased of Mr. Samuel Cloone, of Clinton County, Ohio. Of these cattle, Mr. George Watson, who remembers them well, says: "They could not be bettered.
Contemporary with Messrs. Peirce and Pugh, and a near neighbor to the latter, Mr. Thomas Wright, also from Cincinnati, established a herd of short-horns. Mr. Wright purchased his cows of Gen. James, Garrard, Ky., two of which were noted animals of their day; the red cow on account of her massive carcass and enormous milking capacity; the roan cow because of her beautiful symmerty, rich color and queenly hauteur. The descendants of the latter are still to be found in the county, attesting by their many excellences the royalty and prepotency of their distinguished ancestress. At first, Mr. Wright bred his cows to Mr. Pugh's bulls, but soon bought a roan bull calf, sired by Nicanor, of Mr. D. Harrold. This calf quickly developed into a splendid animal, but, becoming vicious, was slaughtered. As showing a peculiarity of Mr. Wright, the following incident is related by those cognizant of the facts: After recovering from injuries inflicted by this bull, he pierced the bull's eye-balls with an awl, totally blinding him; but, finding him still untrustworthy, he sold him to Mr. Benjamin Browning, to be slaughtered, and then, fearing he might be used for breeding purposes, persistently held to his halter until quite satisfied that his vicious pet was dead. At the time short-horn herds were springing into existence so rapidly in the southeastern portions of the county, Mr. Benjamin Moore was quietly gathering one in Pleasant Township, on the farm known as the Dawson farm. Not much can be learned about this herd, except that it was headed by a splendid red and white bull, bought of Col. Evans, Pennsylvania, named Powelton, doubtless a descendant of John Hare Powell's stock, near Philadelphia, and that, in 1837, Mr. Moore in connection with D. Harrold, rented of the Ohio Importing Company the bull Nimrod. To this bull Mr. W. D. Peirce bred Miss Trimble, and, on the 28th of April, 1838, she dropped a white bull calf, which was named Snowball, and in the following April she dropped a roan heifer by the same sire.
Mr. Waddle was so well pleased with the calves from his Kentucky grades that he bred them to Zadoc, the bull before mentioned. Mr. John Stickney, Sr., with others, caught the spirit of improvement, and bred their common cows to Nicanor, Montezuma, Miami, Mr. Pugh's Magnus, and Mr. Moore's Powelton; with splendid results.
There were at that time four herds established in the county, which, as leaven, set influences in motion that acted and re-acted upon the cold-blooded, slow going, slab-sided, ill-shaped and unprofitable bovine race around them.
The work was a great and noble one, requiring much labor, firmness of purpose and enduring patience, joined with large outlays of capital, against adverse criticism.
These pioneer short-homers had to deal with mind, as well as matter. Like missionaries in heathendom, they had to break the fetters of habit, and prejudice, and doubt, by ocular demonstrations, before they could convince their chary neighbors that theirs was the better way. To do this, they felt that much depended upon their skill in breeding and rearing their own stock, not only thoroughbreds, but more especially grades, which was really the great objective point of their venture. They believed the blood of this matchless race was capable of metamorphosing the veriest scalawag that cumbered their pastures into a thrifty and gainly beast; but, to succeed, they must follow closely and adopt the methods and appliances of the great masters of the art. In due time, therefore, these herds were seen at the county fairs, and those who remember the fairs when held at South Charleston, in those early days when fairs subserved the purpose for which they were created — to wit, educators — can recall the interested crowds lingering about those beautiful animals, listening with rapt attention to the exposition of their points of excellence, and striking contrast to the common scrubs, so earnestly pointed out by their owners. Old short-horners of those days who are still living, evoking the esprit de corps that held the multitudes around the show-ring, will glow with ardent admiration as those short-legged, straight-backed, massive-cropped, broad-hipped, level-rumped and fleshy -quartered animals pass in retrospect. Such men aver that short-horns of the present day do not compare favorably with those of the past; that line breeding —breeding to a gilt-edged pedigree and red color — have wrought a material change in their type; where style has been gained, constitution and size have been lost; where smoothness of contour and depth of flank have been obtained, the width of hip and milking quality have been compromised; and as the head and horn have been shortened and refined, the leg has been elongated and fertility impaired. Evidently, those pioneers made the best of the facilities at their command. Their young stock, thoroughbreds and grades, demonstrated the extreme possibilities which they promised could be realized. A demand for young bulls was gradually created, and the grading up process slowly inaugurated, the good effects of which are seen at the present day.
In 1841, Mr. Henry Stickney makes his debut, and, recognizing the improvement made in the stock by his father and brothers, John and George, he seeks to continue building upon the foundation so happily laid, by purchasing the bull Daniel Webster of Mr. Pugh. About that time, Mr. Pugh's lease expired, and he offered his fine stock at public auction; but money was scarce and bidding slow; he therefore closed the sale, and removed his whole herd to the neighborhood of Cincinnati. Not long subsequent to Mr. Pugh's departure, Mr. T. Wright determined to make a closing-out sale. At this sale, Mr. Benjamin Browning bought some of Mr. Wright's fine cows, laying the foundation of his future herd, of which more will be said hereafter. In the spring of 1842, Mr. Benjamin Moore offered his entire herd at public sale. None of his stock, however, fell into the hands of Clark County men at this sale, except a few cows bought by Mr. Andrew Goudy, who, so far as can be ascertained, merged them in his herd of common cattle, thereby attenuating their richer blood by promiscuous and indifferent breeding. The cows belonging to Mr. Moore's herd had the reputation of being splendid milkers, but they were not considered by stock men first-rate handlers. They were muscular enough, but not mellow and fine-grained; in the language of the butchers, "they did not die well." For several years, a calm seems to pervade short-horn circles broken only by the occasional sale of a young bull. It was during this interim of repose that Mr. Browning put Burleigh, a fine three-year-old bull, owned by Mr. W. D. Peirce, and a grandson of Miss Trimble, and sired by Nimrod. at the head of his herd, followed in due time by Bucyrus, of the same tribe. But, in 1847, Mr. Jacob Peirce attains his majority, and, thoroughly fascinated with what he considered the romance and poetry of agricultural life, short-horn breeding, and earnestly desiring to emulate Bakewell, Collings, Booth and Bates in attaining fame by pursuing one of the most intricate and treacherous paths that leads to that historic pinnacle, he starts with his father, Jonathan Peirce, for the Scioto Valley to buy a herd of short-horns. To show the enthusiasm and zeal that possessed his mind at this time, I quote his own words, found in his catalogue, July, 1859. He says: "I resolved to have the best short-horns in the country, regardless of price. I determined not to be outdone by any person in the State of Ohio as a breeder of fine cattle."
In accord with this sentiment, Mr. Peirce not only paid the highest prices for cattle, but made the most elaborate. arrangements for their care, providing a herdsman at $300 per annum, with a corps of attendants to feed and groom them after the most approved manner. Well, Mr. Peirce and father bought, at the time alluded to, six or eight cows and heifers of Messrs. George and Harness Renick. These animals were the very best, and belonged to such distinguished tribes as the Rose of Sharon, Donna Maria, Poppy, etc., and were only one remove from the imported cows. It does not appear that they bought a bull at this time, but bred their cows to William D. Peirce's young bulls, Snowball, Burleigh and Premier, also to imported Nimrod, imported Norfolk, etc. Indeed, the catalogue of Mr. Jonathan Peirce conclusively shows that he did not believe that the inimitable symmetry and exquisite beauty possessed by the renowned Cleopatra were the results of the unification of physiological units so wantonly attempted by the incestuous house of the Ptolemies, nor that the acknowledged prepotency, and up-headed and stylish appearance which characterizes the Bates cattle, should be attributed to in-breeding, but, taking the practice of the elder Booth as his guide, he bred most promiscuously, for he bred to no less than thirteen bulls in five years. Still, anxious to excel their confreres beyond the shadow of a doubt, they bought of Mr. Sherwood, of New York, in 1848, the splendid white cow Diana.
In striking contrast to Mr. Jonathan Peirce's course of breeding, Mr. William D. Peirce adopts the plan of in-breeding, using his young bulls, the descendants of Miss Trimble, upon their sisters and half-sisters, a la Colling.
In 1848, Mr. B. B. Browning purchased a bluish roan bull calf, quite young, of Mr. Knowles, near Sheffield, England, which he named Prince Albert. This calf was imported by Mr. Browning, and reared on his farm, and was not imported by the Madison County Importing Company in 1853, as stated in L. F. Allen's history of short-horns. He is duly recorded in the American Herd Book, and numbered 3284.
Another lull seems to have settled over short-horn activities, broken by Mr. George Watson purchasing of Mr. Shropshire, Kentucky, several short-horn cows and heifers, and the establishment of another herd on the Dawson farm by Mr. Collier, in 1850. But, in 1852, a re-action takes place, first indicated by Mr. Waddle buying the young bull, Arthur, of Mr. William D. Peirce; but the most important event was Mr. Jonathan Peirce's sale, which occurred on the 11th of March, 1852. At this sale, twenty-three cows and heifers and six bulls were sold, all of which have been lost sight of except the three cows bought by Mr. Alex Waddle. Hitherto, Mr. Waddle had bred only grades, but at this sale he lays the foundation of a herd that has won a commanding position among the short-horn herds of the county. In this year, Mr. W. N. Chamberlain embarked upon the inviting but rock-lined sea of scientific breeding by buying a beautiful heifer, of the Red Rose by Earnestly sort, of Mr. Matthew Bonner; and Mr. Henry Stickney enlarged his herd from Dr. Warfield's, Kentucky. Mr. Alex Waddle bought a young bull of Mr. Collier, which he named Collier, but, not desiring to use him upon his best cows, he, in connection with Messrs. William and Jacob Peirce, bought, at the sale of the Scioto County Importation Company, Alderman, a roan bull, at $1,150; Moss Rose, by Stapleton, at $1,200; and Mary, by Lord of the Manor, at $1,650. Mr. Waddle took Mary, Mr. J. Peirce Alderman, and Mr. W. Peirce Moss Rose. These prices were unprecedented, and marked an epoch in the history of short-horns in the county. Mr. Collier's herd was soon scattered, on account of his death, and no trace of it can now be found, other than the bull bought by Mr. Waddle.
In 1853, Mr. B. Browning was sent as one of the agents of the Madison County Importation Company to England, and assisted in buying the splendid cattle of that importation, which were sold in London, Ohio, in 1853, at public auction. At this sale, Mr. William Watson bought Princess, by Belted Will, at $690, who proved to be very prolific, and many of her descendants are still in the county. But short-born interests appear to have culminated in this county in 1854. An association was formed in that year, of which C. M. Clark was the prime mover and leading spirit, and an importation made under the agency of Dr. Watts, of Chillicothe, and Hon. Alex Waddle, of this county, who proceeded to England and bought nine bulls and twenty cows and heifers, which were sold near Springfield, on the 6th of September, 1854, at public auction. The agents had been exceedingly fortunate in their selections; their return with their cattle widely heralded by the leading newspapers of the country; the day was fine, the crowd large, expectation on tiptoe, and the cattle pleased the most fastidious connoisseur. Under this combination of favorable auspices, bidding was animated, and Buckingham was soon knocked off to William D. Peirce at $1,000. The beautiful roan yearling, New Year's Day, was taken by C. M. Clark at $3,500; Messrs. A. I Paige, H. Stickney, R. Oxtoby and William Watson were the fortunate purchasers of Czar, at $1,900; Hon. Alex Waddle took Lord Stanwick at $500, and Lord of the Isles at $575; Mr. A. I. Paige paid $1,425 for Aylesby Lady, and $1,100 for Dahlia; Roman 13th and her bull calf sold to Jacob Peirce for $1,300; Mr. Waddle paid $1,000 for Zealous, Zenobia $625, and $425 for Blushing Beauty; William D. Peirce paid for Lancaster 17th $900, $1,000 for Roan Lady, and $1,075 for Venus; George Watson and L. B. Sprague bought Zephyr at $400, and Lancaster 19th at $350; H. Stickney paid $290 for Butterfly, and C. M. Clark $1,125 for Easter Day. This is the largest acquisition of short-horn blood ever made before or since in this county, aggregating $17,690, and much valuable stock now in the county trace in their pedigrees to this importation.
Following close upon this great sale was another memorable event, to wit, the great National Cattle Show, which was held in Springfield, beginning October 28, 1854. This was an episode, and intensified the interest, already at the boiling point, in short-horn circles. To Mr. C. M. Clark is due the honor of bringing this great show to Springfield at this time. It doubtless did much toward educating our people to a proper conception of the possibilities to which this unrivaled breed of cattle could attain. All sections of our wide domain were represented, affording ocular demonstrations of the flexibility of nature, and the innate capacity they possessed of adapting themselves to their surroundings and maintaining their excellence, whether reared upon the stunted grasses of New England pastures, or luxuriating in the blue-grass lawns of the West; whether exposed to the rigor of Northern winters, or subjected to the torrid heat of the semi-tropics. Not only did the old breeders of the county avail themselves of the opportunity afforded by the great sale just mentioned to make important accessions to their respective herds, but several "parvenues" stepped into the arena and laid the foundations of future herds, with blood fresh from the fountain head. C. M. Clark started in the race under the most favorable circumstances. New Year's Day and Easter Day, beaux ideal short-horns, could not disappoint the most sanguine expectations. A. I. Paige, the happy possesor of the exquisite Aylesby Lady, and the symmetrical Dahlia, and joint owner of the royally bred Czar, might reasonably expect to realize results but little short of his most extravagantly tinted day dreams. Lancaster the 19th, whose veins were as full of blue blood as any Lancaster's that ever wore a rose; and Beautiful Zephyr, with hair as silky as thistle-down, and eyes as clear and placid as a mountain lake, doubtless filled Mr. Sprague's future with brightest visions of success. With the foundations laid, they began building upon them and making additions, as circumstances indicated. In the fall of 1855, Mr. W. N. Chamberlain bought of Mr. J. G. Dun, Knickerbocker, a roan bull calf of the tribe of Red Rose by Earnesty, which did more, perhaps, to bring his herd into notoriety than any other animal he ever possessed.
On the 17th of October, 1856, Mr. Jacob Peirce offered at public sale a draft from his herd of fourteen bulls and twenty-five cows and heifers. This was the first sale of the kind ever made in the county. His stock were in good condition, all catalogued, and their pedigrees complete — a great improvement upon his father's in 1852. Notwithstanding the preparations thus made, the cattle sold extremely low. The highest figure paid for a bull was $111; the lowest (bull calf), $30; $201 was the maximum paid for a cow, and $30 the minimum (calf). Several of these cattle belonged to what is now the fashionable Rose of Sharon tribe. None of these animals were incorporated into the then existing herds, nor formed a nucleus of a new one. In 1858, C. M. Clark made a large addition to his herd. He paid R. G. Corwin $500 for a little calf named Flora Bell, of the Scottish Bluebell tribe; Kitty Clyde and Kitty Clover came from Kentucky, and cost respectively $900 and $800; Snow Drop and Beauty, costing about the same, were also from the same State. About this time, Mr. B. Browning made another trip to England, and brought back with him a young white bull named Nelson Gwynn. This bull was not considered, by some good judges, as par excellence; he nevertheless left a good impress upon the stock of his neighborhood. He was sold and taken East. In 1859, August 10, Mr. Jacob Peirce brought his whole herd, fifty head, to the auction block. He stated in his catalogue that he had "gratified his ambition by carrying off the red ribbons in many hotly contested show-rings, both at home and abroad, and at county, State and national fairs," but adds, with a kind of melancholy pathos, "at an enormous cost." This sale was largely attended, but the tidal wave did not come, judging from the prices realized. Alderman, purchased in 1852, had been bred extensively on this herd, notwithstanding he gave a black nose to many of his calves — and, even at the present day, his descendants often show this disagreeable atavism. He had died, however, some time before the sale, from an attack of mad itch. Darling and Delightful, bred by Mr. A. I. Paige, from Dahlia and Aylesby Lady, and of the herd which took the first premium at the Ohio State Fair, brought $350 and $375 respectively. This was a terrible letting-down for descendants of such blue-blooded ancestry. Truly, bovine as well as human life is checkered. After a send-off of this kind, re-action in prices was almost impossible; some animals were knocked off for the mere nominal sum of $25. But a sharper competition seems to have existed for bulls. Starlight 2d, bred by D. Watson, of Union County, and sired by imported Starlight, brought $650; Crusade, $370; Don Quixote and Blucher, $250 each; Oscar, $50; and Nicholas, $45. Forty-eight head brought $6,422.50, averaging $133.80. Females averaged $122.54; bulls averaged $167.58. The price paid for one cow and one bull was not reported. Nearly all of these cattle were descendants of the Scioto County and Clark County importations, a few pedigrees being topped by Knickerbocker. Mr. Jacob Peirce did not breed so promiscuously as his father, nor approach in-breeding so nearly as did his brother William. This large herd was widely dispersed through the West and Northwest, only a very few remaining in the county, and they, like snow falling upon the bosom of the ocean, were soon lost in the general mass of common stock. Another turn of the wheel of time brings William D. Peirce's pioneer herd under the auctioneer's hammer, on the 20th and 21st days of June, 1860.
Mr. S. Howell, the administrator on Mr. Peirce's estate, offered the largest herd that had hitherto been thrown upon the market, comprising sixty-eight cows and twelve bulls. Of these eighty head of cattle, thirty-eight cows and one bull were descendants of Miss Trimble, the first short-horn ever bought by Mr. Peirce, and it is worthy of remark that every one approached their progenitrix in color. These cattle were low in flesh, and looked badly, and sold much below their intrinsic value, but there are no means by which their average price can be ascertained. Buckingham 2d and Roan Lady had died some time previously. Lancaster 17th, costing Mr. Peirce $900, sold for $59, but Mr. A. I. Paige, coming to the rescue, paid $400 for Venus — $675 less than she cost in 1854. Of course, such fearful depreciation of values for imported cows depressed prices for home-bred animals beyond recovery. Why the names of these imported cows appear so seldom in the pedigrees of Mr. Peirce's herd must be left to conjecture. Mr. L. B. Sprague took this opportunity of introducing into his herd some descendants of Miss Trimble; Mr. W. N. Chamberlain bought Violet for $59, and a three-year-old bull, Ignis Fatuus, for $54, and Will-of-the-Wisp was knocked off to Mr. J. V. Cartmell for $20. Many of these cattle were bought by farmers of the county at merely nominal prices, and thrown into the general herd and lost sight of as thoroughbreds, but produced a wonderful leavening effect upon the thrift and quality of the cattle in our county. Forebodings, consequent upon our political situation at this time, paralyzed enterprise in every department of business, and were doubtless largely responsible for forcing down prices below zero at his sale. During this year, Mr. W. N. Chamberlain purchased Dundenna, a very fine heifer, of Mr. James Rankin, Madison County, Ohio, and Mr. L. B. Sprague bought several cows of the T. Wright sort, of Mr. B. B. Browning. The original cow bought by Mr. Wright of Gen. Garrard, Kentucky, and referred to before, was slaughtered by Mr. Browning after she had attained the age of nineteen years. She was a remarkably rapid breeder, but in her old age became unusually fat. Mr. Sprague also bought Mr. Watson's interest in their stock jointly owned. Zephyr, which they had purchased at the Clark County Importation Company's sale, proved to be a slow breeder, and soon became excessively fat, ceased to breed, and was slaughtered. About 1862, Mr. Stickney sold Butterfly and twenty head, mostly of his Kentucky purchase, to Mr. Sprague; and Mr. Paige sold his imported cows, Aylesby Lady and Dahlia, to the same gentleman. Aylesby Lady had become a slow, if not a doubtful, breeder, and dropped Mr. Sprague but one living calf, a bull, which, owing to the diseased condition of her udder, was raised by another cow. Not long subsequent to the birth of this calf, she died from cancer of the head.
Czar had been sold to a gentleman in Clinton County some time before Mr. Paige disposed of his cows.
The country at this time was overcast with the blackest of war-clouds; upon it all eyes were fixed, the hearts of strong men quaked, and the moanings of many Rachels were heard. To be or not to be as a nation, was the supreme question that filled men's minds by day, and haunted their dreams by night, leaving no place to thoughts pertaining to a pursuit so incongruous to their surroundings as systematic and scientific breeding. Under these circumstances, it was not surprising that some relaxed their watchful care over their herds, and others abandoned theirs altogether, sending them to the shambles, while only the more hopeful preserved theirs from degeneracy by careful breeding.
It was under this state of depression that Mr. Chamberlain ventured to buy Victoria 3, an Imported Princess by Belted Will.
But in 1865, the war-cloud rifted, and, by 1868, the benign influences of peace had restored confidence to the public mind, and recuperation was everywhere manifest; consequently Mr. C. M. Clark offered his fine herd for sale in the fall of 1868, under much more favorable auspices. To be sure, his herd had been more fashionably bred, and had cost more than any in the county, which accounted for some of the strength given to prices, but doubtless, the facts mentioned above were large factors. Mr. Clark had bred and reared sixty calves during his short-horn career, and had been most scrupulous in the care of his stock; had won the red ribbon in almost every show-ring in the country, and, with all the prestige thus obtained, he offered them at public sale. Ten of his best cows averaged $1,000, and all the rest of his stock brought satisfactory prices.
New Year's Day had long since become unprofitable, and Easter Day in the decrepitude of age sold for a mere pittance.
Several young bulls were bought by farmers of the county, but Dexter was the only one that found a place in the herds of professional breeders. Mr. Clark did not use many bulls on his herd; perhaps the great majority of his stock were sired by Sir Robert Alexander. Duke of Clark and Dundee. It was about this time Mr. Sprague brought Gen. Burnside, a fine show bull, from Kentucky, and moved by a laudable ambition to attain pre-eminence as a breeder, he introduced into his herd, during the next six years, bulls possessing great individual excellence, and celebrated as sires, such as Dundee, Xenophon, Dexter, Imported Colonel and Col. Foote. In the fall of 1871, Mr. W. N. Chamberlain made a closing out sale. His stock had been carefully bred, and Knickerbocker more particularly, had brought his herd into considerable notoriety; besides, they were in good condition, but Mr. Chamberlain thought they sold too low. Except through the four cows bought by Mr. Sprague, no trace of this herd can now be found within our borders. Mr. Chamberlain acted upon the theory that the road to success led through a continuous breeding to prizewinning bulls, hence but few of his cattle were bred alike, or were uniform in characteristics, nevertheless they took prizes at county, State and national fairs. About this date Mr. Sprague added several cows to his herd, belonging to the Red Rose by Earnesty tribe, and made some important private sales. But, in less than a year, he announced that, on the 17th of October, 1872, he would offer Oak Grove herd at public sale. Dahlia, Butterfly and Lancaster 19th, the last of the Clark County importation, had previously been sent to the shambles.
The appointed day came, a lovely autumn day; the sun was bright, the air balmy; the crowd large and the stock in good condition. The bidding ran low at first, but gradually strengthened until fair prices were reached and maintained. At this sale Mr. George Watson & Son bought Clifton Duke 4th and four cows, and Mr. D. Heiskel, N. B. Sprague, Col. Cheney, J. S. R. Hazzard & Son, and several other Clark County citizens, were purchasers. About forty head were sold, leaving a remnant of ten head as a nucleus for a future herd. Mr. Sprague's herd contained some very fine animals, but there was a lack of uniformity, which could have been attained, if a different method in breeding had been pursued.
Early in 1873, Dr. Hazzard & Son bought Sir Walter Scott, a Rose of Sharon, and, on the 15th of May, Hon. Alexander Waddle offered his splendidly bred herd at public sale. This herd consisted of thirty-one head, mostly descendants of imported cows and bulls which he had bought twenty years before, and not a single vitiating cross could be found in any pedigree, but yet high prices were not realized. Hon. John Howell paid $370 for Zara, belonging to the Zealous tribe, but he got Zelia of the same tribe, for $55. John Waddle and Dr. Hazzard bought several cows. Mr. L. B. Sprague led off Blushing Maid, but Mr. John Heiskell preferred a Blushing Queen, and Mr. E. Merritt chose Beulah, while Mr. R. Hunt thought Zenith superior. Lord Stanwich did not live long enough to make much impression, Lord of the Isles was slaughtered, Zenobia failed to breed, but Mary, Zealous and Blushing Beauty became full of years, and did not go to the shambles until after a life of service. This was the last of the pioneer herds, all of which have subserved their mission, and their owners are worthy of commendation, and should be remembered as public benefactors. These veteran short-horners have realized that, however infallible the truism, like begets like, when applied to natural types, it is exceedingly fickle, when human hands essay to wield its prowess; that if animal form in the hands of Bakewell was as plastic as softened wag, not many Bakewells are produced in a century; that eminent breeders, like distinguished poets, are born, not made; that short-horn breeding inures to philanthropy, rather than to personal aggrandizement; that while its incertitude infatuates its votaries, it draws heavily upon their material resources.
Notwithstanding, as the old breeders retire, fortunately, the ranks are speedily filled by new adventurers, each hoping, that if a Bakewell or Colling should be needed, he will be the coming man.
Following closely Mr. Waddle's retirement, I. H. Hollingsworth, Esq., established a new herd in the same neighborhood, by the purchase of several fine animals of Messrs. Hadley & King, Clinton County, Ohio. Mr. Hollingsworth wisely laid a good base, as time and good management will demonstrate. About this time, Mr. L. B. Sprague purchased Horace Mann, a bull of the Red Rose by Skipton tribe, bred by Mr. D. Selsor, Madison County, Ohio. On July 15, 1874, at the Ackley House stables, Mr. John Waddle offered twelve cows and one bull at public auction, but prices ruled so low that they were soon withdrawn from market. At this sale, Dr. Hazard & Son purchased Mistletoe 4th, a Donna Maria. But, on January 6, 1875, Mr. Waddle again brought his herd before the public, and closed it out at low figures. Mr. Levi Jones was, however, unfortunate in the purchase of Harmony Belle, a descendant of Dahlia, she failing to breed, but Dr. Hazzard & Son took Royal Lad 2d, a two-year-old bull of the Donna Maria tribe, at $160. Mr. William Wildman organized his herd by a draft of good animals from the herd of Mr. S. H. Hadley, Clinton County, Ohio. In the fall of this year, Mr. J. M. Hodge concluded to engage in short-horn breeding, and purchased some very nice and fashionably bred animals of prominent breeders in Kentucky. June 22, 1876, Mr. L. B. Sprague made his final sale. Another fine day, a large crowd greeted Mr. Sprague.
At this sale, twenty five cows averaged $136; Horace Mann had become unsound and brought only $80, but Mr. N. B. Sprague paid $245 for Oak Grove Duke, a young bull of the Caroline by Dashwood sort. At this sale, Mr. C. F. Roher purchased a number of fine cows and heifers; also Mr. George Watson & Son, N. B. Sprague, D. Heiskell and several citizens of the county were purchasers. Mr. Roher headed his herd with Linwood Chief, a very fine young bull, bred by Mr. Bryan, near Urbana. Ohio, but, in November, Mr. Roher sold all the stock he had so recently collected, at public sale. At this sale, Mr. W. S. Thompson bought the bull just referred to, and four cows. During this year, Dr. Hazzard purchased Scottish Bluebell of C. M. Clark, Esq., and Victoria 10th and 11th of Mr. John Wilson. In 1877, Mr. George Watson & Son bought Equinox, a young bull of the Red Rose by Earnesty tribe, with several cows, of Mr. J. G. Dun, and made several important private sales. Clifton Duke 4th died about this time. October 3, 1878, Mr. W. Stickney bought at William D. Baird's sale a very nice cow of the Imported Princess by Belted Will tribe, and Dr. Hazzard & Son, a heifer calf of the same sort. Early in 1870, Mr. N. B. Sprague offered at public sale a draft from his herd; his cattle were in good condition, and brought fair prices. At this sale, Mr. Moore Goodfellow secured several fine animals, and Mr. Jacob Yeazel, Jr., bought Mr. Sprague's best breeding cow. Several other farmers of this county bought young bulls, but the females were generally taken by strangers.
This year was characterized by great activity among the short-horners in sales and purchases. Watson & Son sold ten head at good prices, and Hazzard & Son disposed of thirteen head, including Royal Lad 2d. W. S. Thompson sold Linwood Chief, and bought Loudon Duke from H. H. Hankin's herd, also four cows, all in calf, of J. D. Dun. Mr. D. Calvin procured three splendidly bred heifers from the herd of H. C. Merridith, Indiana. Messrs. M. J. Hodge and William Stickney brought from Kentucky some nicely bred young bulls, and Watson & Son bought three cows of Messrs. Black & Hays, Pickaway and Ross Counties, Ohio, and Hazzard & Son purchased Col. Foote of Mr. C. Dye, Miami County, Ohio. The quietude of 1880 was broken by Mr. N. B. Sprague buying a young bull of Mr. R. G. Dun; Mr. W. S. Thompson a Rose of Sharon cow at Hills & Co.'s sale, Delaware, Ohio, and Mr. A. Mouke a cow and bull calf of the same parties. There were at the present time ten established shorthorn herds in the county (one bull and four cows constitute a herd), besides a number of bulls and cows owned by farmers not professional breeders. These ten herds aggregate 170 head of as pure bred short-horns as the country can produce, and contain representatives of all the leading tribes and families. Short-horn blood introduced into our county sixty years ago has produced a wonderful effect upon our common stock, adding 50 per cent to their value. An animal is rarely seen in the eastern portion of the county that does not show more or less of the short-horn characteristics.
It is worthy of record, that there is not a white bull, and but very few white cows, in any short-horn herd in Clark County. Red, red and white, and roan are the colors most desirable, and if the fashion continues to drift in the same direction, solid red will eventually be the prevailing color. Another notable fact is, that Mr. C. F. Rohrer was the first and the only man to own a herd of short-horns west of Mad River, up to this date — December 11, 1880. Owing to the fact that a few of the central Western States are required to supply the export trade, which is but in its incipiency, young thoroughbred short-horn bulls are more eagerly sought after by farmers than at any previous time. Good, straight-pedigreed, blocky, and red colored yearling bulls will readily bring from $50 to $150, which will pay the breeder and the purchaser. Heifers generally bring a little higher figure, their value being largely determined by the fancy the owner and buyer may have for the particular tribe to which the individual belongs. The average weight of a yearling bull is about nine hundred pounds; a yearling heifer will fall below this 200 pounds.
Battle of Piqua
Early Clark County
George Rogers Clark
Education in Clark County
Indians in Clark County
The National Road
Springfield in 1852
Springfield in 1863
SHS 1951 Yearbook
Then & Now