The Book of the Fair,
Digital History Project

Chapter the Nineteenth: The Live-Stock Department
Click on links to view page images.
Previous Chapter / Next Chapter

[609] - For the information of those who are interested in the Live-stock exhibits, a few remarks may be in place as to their origin and organization. Like all other features of the Fair, architectural, industrial, or artistic, there has been a departure from the preconceived idea that anything intended to be a success must be absolutely controlled by a central head. The entire plan of the Columbian Exposition was itself a departure from this popular theory, and represent in all its branches the most advanced ideas of men possessed of the highest order of ability, directed to many phases of human endeavor.

Of all previous live-stock exhibits in connection with international expositions, while many have been on an extensive scale, there were none that in quality or variety would bear comparison with the one held in Jackson Park. For this the main reason is that the general scope of the display was outlined by the representatives of all the great live-stock associations of the United States, about seventy in number. When it was determined by the officials of the Fair to make live-stock one of its features they solicited the cooperation of all the more prominent breeders, and with the result that these associations met in convention and a committee was formed to take charge of everything pertaining to the exhibit, its preliminary preparations, classification, premium lists, plans of buildings, and in a word to represent, in the discharge of its functions, the live-stock associations of the United States. From the beginning until the end, this committee has worked in perfect harmony with the Fair officials, and through their efforts it was brought about that a separate department was organized and a chief placed at its head. This segregation gave to it special prominence and had a marked effect upon foreign countries as well as [610] among the states. A special effort was made to secure cooperation with similar enterprises in Europe, through which the governments of European countries were brought into participation, for thus might they develop an increased demand for their stock. Especially were the Russian, the German, and French governments induced to make an elaborate display, not only bearing the entire expense, but offering large subsidies to exhibitors, thought the Canadian government expended more money and made a larger exhibit than any of the foreign participants.

State exhibitors were also stimulated by the appropriation of large amounts, and state pride as well as the emulation of exhibitors was encouraged to its fullest extent; Illinois heading the list in the contribution of funds and number of animals on exposition. Provision was made for showing about 3,000 animals at a time, first horses and cattle, then sheep and swine, followed by poultry. The highest types of the various breeds were collected; but surpassing all the rest was the display of horses, with thirty different breeds, all with established pedigrees, presented for inspection.

As an aggregation of all the principal breeds of live-stock in the civilized world, it is conceded that never before has this collection been approached. All that money and an appeal to the breeder�s pride could do was done, and the result was a matchless display. The Russians sent their finest specimens, and under the direction of the tzar, animals from his own stable were included in their collection, his brother, Count Demitry, also supplying a liberal quota. But the Germans entered into the competition more heartily than any European nation, a most energetic contest for the supremacy of the various German breeds making itself felt at an early date, and continuing unto the end. The largest number and one of the best collections were those of French blood, which numbered nearly one-fourth of all the exhibit of horses. The next in number and quality were the British breeds, and without a doubt, the finest types of all countries were included in this exposition. One of the most significant features from the American breeder�s point of view was the choice assortment of females, this meaning that the best species have been transplanted to American soil; so [611] that in future we shall not depend on foreign countries for the most useful and valuable varieties of live-stock.

Another feature in this department was the magnitude of the interests which it represented, the value of all farm animals in the United States being estimated in 1893 at $2,500,000,000, with 1,350,000 square miles of territory devoted solely to the raising of cattle, mustering at that date about 54,000,000 head. Of horses the number may be stated at 15,000,000; of mules, 2,500,000; of swine, 55,000,000, and of sheep, 47,000,000, with a wool clip of 300,000,000 pounds a year, and dairy products that find their way to market worth at least $15,000,000, while as to the value of such products raised for domestic consumption there are no reliable data.

It is probably that our live-stock industries, as exemplified at the exhibition, exceeded in value those of all foreign participants combined. In Great Britain and Ireland, with half our population, the area available for pasturage is less than four percent, and the number of animals, except for sheep, not more than fifteen percent of the figures estimated for the United States. In France and Germany the number of farm animals may be stated at 50,000,000 for each, or about the same as in the British isles; Russia has perhaps twice as many, and adding to these a few millions for the dominion of Canada and other countries here represented, we have a total of some 260,000,000 against nearly 200,000,000 for the United States, the difference in number being more than compensated by a higher average of prices. Some of the largest stock-raising countries in the world sent no exhibits to the Fair, as the Australian colonies, the South American republics, and others whom distance debarred from participation.

Cattle farming has ever been a favorite pursuit in the United States, and in few industries have so many large fortunes been made, often on the smallest modicum of capital. While within recent years profits have been curtailed by the encroachments of husbandry, coupled with drooping prices, the business is still of large proportions in all the more sparsely settled regions, westward from the Mississippi River to the Pacific [612] Ocean, and southward from the upper Missouri to the gulf of Mexico. Vast herds and ranges are as numerous as ever, and especially on the Pacific Coast, where single firms and individuals own 20,000 to 30,000 head, with lands of larger area than many a European principality.

As to breeds, the preference in money value is given to short-horns, a stock imported from England at least as early as 1785. But, as I have said, we no longer depend on foreign countries for this or any other variety of cattle. Today the American shorthorn has no superior, and not a few of our choicest animals have even been exported to Europe for breeding purposes. As beef cattle, for milking purposes, and for heavy farm work, they are much in favor, while also largely used for improving the grade of native stock. The Hereford is an excellent beef producer, and as a milker, the Ayrshire ranks second only to the Alderney, the former being prized for cheese-making and the latter for the making of butter. So also with certain of the Dutch and Scotch breeds, the polled Angus and Galloway especially gaining in favor as among the hardiest of stock and the choicest of beeves and milkers.

Of horses the exhibit ranged from the hugest of draught animals to the smallest of Shetland ponies, with all the more prominent varieties valued for power or speed. The heavier draught-stock still consists largely of the offspring of English cart-horses, though greatly improved in breed. The Clydesdale is also a favorite animal, and for a strong and showy coach-horse the Cleveland bay is gaining in favor. The Norman, with his sturdy limbs and massive neck and shoulders, is valued for strength and endurance, especially the Percheron, in which is probably a tempering of Andalusian blood. The Conestoga, so called from its native home in the valley of that name, is supposed to be of German origin, and is the only variety peculiar to the [613] United States. It is a large and muscular animal, sometimes exceeding seventeen hands in height, and with the build of an English dray-horse, though lighter of limb and less encumbered with flesh.

The trotting-horse is the most distinctive of American breeds, with gait and pace unrivalled elsewhere in the world. Here is probably no particular strain, but rather the result of breeding from the choicest specimens and of constant practice on suitable roads and tracks. Certain it is that our best trotters have come from various stocks, as the Morgan, the Canadian, and the English thoroughbred; but all the best types are distinctly of home development, carried to a point with which there are none to compete. It is not many decades since a 2:40 horse first made his appearance on the turf; in 1870 a speed of 2:30 was almost unheard of, and when, a few years later, Maud S. covered her mile in 2:08 3/4 and her half mile in 1:03 �, this record was the wonder of the sporting world. Yet it is predicted that among the marvels of the nineteenth century will be the trotting of a mile within two minutes or less.

As to the exhibits of sheep a word may also be said by way of introduction; for here is represented a most important branch of industry, especially in the far west, where alone can be had a natural food supply sufficient for extensive herding. The bunch and other grasses of the plains and foothills are excellent pasturage, and when cured as hay, will keep the flocks in good condition during the winter season. Alfalfa can also be profitably raised for the purpose, at least for the choicer breeds, while for the greater part of the year the sheep is self-supporting, eating that which no other animal will eat, clearing the ground of weeds, and otherwise serving as a scavenger.

"England," it has been said, "is a mutton and the United States a wool country;" for the raising of a superior grade of wool does not consist with the production of finely [614] flavored meat. The merino, with its average fleece of four or five pounds and at times as much as a score of pounds, is here the favorite variety, and of this with its cross breeds consist at least 80 percent of our flocks. The Southdown and Cotswold have been largely imported, more for their mutton than their wool, though the latter is of merchantable quality and with abundant clip. The Leicester is also valued for carcass and fleece, with wool of long staple but deficient in certain qualities. Among others are the Cheviot, Lincoln, Dorset, Shropshire, Hampshire, Spanish and Saxon merinos, the last from the original offspring of Spanish stock imported into Saxony as early as 1765. Except in Vermont, where perhaps are the choicest of American flocks, there are few whose blood is entirely pure, this not altogether the result of carelessness but at times with a view to combining the benefits of various strains. On the Pacific slope, where is more than one half our supply of sheep, Spanish, Australian, and American breeds have been blended with fair results, and here, until the progress of settlement absorbed the more valuable ranges, sheep farming was the most steadily prosperous of all the western industries.

For the conduct of the live-stock exhibit excellent regulations were framed by the chief of the Live-stock department. Exhibitors must have been the owners of animals intended for display for at least sixty days before the date of application, and must furnish a copy of the certificate issued by the association in whose register the animals were entered. Any misrepresentation would subject the exhibitor to the forfeiture of his rights and the exclusion of his exhibits. No vicious or fractious animals would be admitted, and all animals from foreign countries would be subject to quarantine regulations. Participants must furnish their own attendants, who would be required to obey the rules, to keep thoroughly clean the stalls and the grounds adjacent, under penalty of instant expulsion. A veterinary surgeon was appointed, whose duties included a thorough examination of the animals, before being admitted at the gates, with a daily inspection and report to the chief, the right being reserved to remove without notice all sick or dangerous beasts.

The Live-stock buildings are in the southern portion of the grounds, where a spacious tract is covered by a number of plainly constructed barns and by a circular pavilion somewhat resembling the colosseum. The latter lies south of the court of the obelisk, is 380 feet in length by 250 in width, and while not more than one third as large as its Roman prototype, is sufficiently commodious for the purposes for which it was designed. In the ten tiers of seats contained in the amphitheatre there is accommodation for 10,000 visitors, with access through four main entrances and eight smaller ones. The structure is roofed with iron, the show-ring being uncovered, and though of massive appearance, the grayish-white walls are of staff. Opening into the surrounding avenues are the offices of the live-stock commission and the headquarters of various journals which are organs of the agricultural classes. Here also is a bureau of information and a well appointed restaurant.

The judges� stand was erected in the centre of the arena, their duties commencing after the animals had been exercised for two hours in the ring, the continual process of examining, judging, and the announcement of decisions being enlivened by music and tests of speed among horses of various breeds and nationalities.

Most of the sheep, hogs, and other small varieties of live-stock were examined by the judges within or near the barns reserved for them, the pavilion being specially built for the display of cattle and horses, which [615] were driven to it almost daily from about the middle of August to the middle of September. On the 25th of the latter month swine and sheep entered the contest, occupying the barns which had been vacated by the larger animals. During the season poultry had also their day, while toward the end of October the leading breeders of the lighter grades of horses in the United States and Canada, comprising the thoroughbred, trotting, and coach varieties, organized an elaborate exhibition. Included in the display of horses were jacks and jennets, angora goats, of which there was a large collection, forming a class of themselves. Thus it will be seen that the Live-stock department, like several others of the Fair, was a shifting panorama, and is better described in the form of a narrative than in the present tense.

The first exhibits forwarded to Jackson Park consisted of a band of Morgan horses and a herd of cattle from Vermont, these being followed soon afterward by Canadian thoroughbred horses and cattle, of which nearly sixty car-loads arrived in a single day. A week or two later there were on the ground 1,200 head of cattle and 800 horses. As to the extent and variety of the display, with the relative participation of states and nations, a brief description is afforded in the official statement reproduced in the note subjoined. [1]

The display of horses opened with a competition among those of the Suffolk Punch breed, so called from their compactness of form, and from the English county where they have been raised for many centuries, though probably of Scandinavian origin. At one time this stock was coarse in shape and slow of pace, but of late has been much improved, and nowhere more so than in the United States, now ranking among the most valuable of draft horses and one that takes kindly to the yoke. In this class the honors fell to Peter Hopley and company, of Lewis, Iowa, to whom were awarded 17 out of the 21 first premiums offered. Blazer was pronounced the best stallion of his breed, and Bragg the finest mare. In addition to money awards, gold medals and silver cups offered by American and British associations, were captured by this firm.

The exhibit of Suffolk Punch horses was followed by a choice display of French Percherons within the pavilion, and a brisk competition for honors. There was a large number of competitors, and the extent of territory from which the animals were drawn was very broad, embracing as it did Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Nebraska, and Canada. In the final division of honors, twelve first premiums fell to M. W. Dunham, his large contingent of Percherons coming from the Oaklawn farm, at Wayne, Illinois. [616]. His stallion, La Ferte, was the winner of the first prize, strengthening the position reached some years before, when in competition with the Clydesdale and Shire breeds, he won the championship as the best draft stallion of any variety.

In the above competition it was observed that Minnesota received many of the second premiums, and at the ensuing tests between Clydesdales this state was facile princeps. Many of the first premiums fell to N. P. Clark, of St. Cloud, and included those for the best stallion bred in Scotland, the most valuable mare bred in Scotland or America, and the finest of either sex upon the grounds. His strongest competitor was Robert Halloway, of Alexis, Illinois, who, besides taking several first premiums, was adjudged to possess the most valuable stallion bred in America, the prize being given by the Clydesdale society of Great Britain and Ireland.

That Shires and French draft horses thrive well on the prairies of Illinois was evident from the appearance of the animals which next entered the arena. With few exceptions they were raised in that state, the draft horses from the Oaklawn farm showing that here was as successful a breeding ground for this class as for the Percherons, while Burgess brothers, of Wenona, took the prize as Shire breeders. The Shire, it may be remarked, is the largest and most powerful of all English horses, claiming as his progenitor the mail-clad warhorse of ancient times. He is now used for the heaviest kinds of work, as for ploughing, and hauling such cumbersome articles as steam-engines, threshing-machines and brewers� drays. His Scotch brother, the Clydesdale, is nearly as large, and though somewhat quicker in action, is mainly used as a cart or dray-horse.

On a special occasion Clydesdale, Shire, Percheron, French draft, and Belgian horses were in the ring at one time, with Russian horses driven under saddle, and Shetland ponies, single, double, tandem, four-in-hand, and four abreast, thus bringing home to spectators that even in the matter of live-stock they were attending a world�s fair. The cosmopolitan nature of the exhibit was further emphasized by the appearance of several beautiful animals of the Arabian [617] and American-Arabian breeds, for which three of the exhibitors had won the highest premiums, Jacob Keyl, of Milwaukee, for both classes, M. W. Dunham, of Wayne, Illinois, and J. B. Hall, of Toronto, Canada, for those of mixed breeds. This was considered Iowa�s special day, the state band furnishing the music, the state itself supplying nearly all the Belgian horses, so much admired, while to Van Volson brothers and A. B. Holbert, of Greeley, fell the honors awarded to Iowa�s exhibits.

A few days later, W. J. Buchanan, the chief of the Agricultural and Live-stock departments, marshalled the prize-winners and those who were still to be honored, for a parade through the Exposition grounds. Moving from the stock pavilion, a detachment of Columbian guards was followed by the Iowa state band, and by the chief in person, driving a noble looking animal. Behind him came a string of tiny Shetland ponies, whose reins were held by boys and girls, followed by Russian horses, American riding horses, German and French coach horses, native and French trotters, Morgans from Vermont, Arabian steeds, Clydesdales, Percherons, French draft, Shires, Belgian, and Suffolk Punch horses. Most of them were led by grooms in native costume, and where honors had been awarded, the bright premium ribbons fluttered from their heads - blue for first prizes, and red for the second. Thus 600 of the finest animals ever gathered together passed through the principal avenues of Jackson Park between serried lines of spectators, and here was in truth a collection, culled from every quarter of the world, which taken in its entirety has never before been equaled in the annals of showyard exhibitions.

The closing days of September were devoted to the famous English breed of Cleveland bays and the coach-horses of France and Germany. The coaching horse of England and the Cleveland bay are almost identical, and now are used for the plough, for heavy carriages, and for slow-driving. In the latter class most of the entries were by Illinois breeders, who captured nearly all the first and second premiums, the majority of the prizes falling to Stericker brothers, of Springfield, and George E. Brown, of Aurora. As to the French coach-horses, the most extensive exhibit was made by the Oaklawn farm of Illinois, the competition increasing the number of its prize animals to a total of 111. Its entries of Percheron and French coach-horses mustered in all 500, the animals which were exhibited in a special building forming an additional attraction.

[618] - Alluding to the entire exhibit of French coach-horses, the judges make the following remark in their report to the bureau of awards: "Surely the grand and unequaled specimens of the equine family found in this department were all the most enthusiastic admirers of the breed could desire or hope for." In this exhibit no less than 68 animals came from the Oaklawn farm, and to these were allotted 49 first prizes, including sweepstakes and awards of honor, five of them being also winners of first prizes at the Paris Exposition of 1889. Among the latter was the chestnut stallion, Indre, who in the front rank of the parade attracted general attention by his stately carriage and bold powerful step. So also with the bay stallion. Perfection, a carriage horse of remarkable beauty, with long and graceful curve of neck, lofty bearing, easy movement, and form as powerful as supple. In his offspring, descended through ten generations of ancestors without a flaw in pedigree, was also noticed his own tenseness of nervous organization. Other first prize stallions were Lord, a four year old bay; Urban, a two year old chestnut of perfect symmetry, style, and action, and Monaco, a two year old bay, with all the force and more than the stature of his sire, Indre. In the second line was the black stallion, Aguadel, a rival of Indre in the class of aged French trotters, and with him a number of mares and of colts and fillies, of which 23 prize-winners were sired by Indre and Perfection.

there was substantially no contest between French breeders of these famous stocks and American breeders of the varieties originally imported. Of German coach-horses, however, there were many exhibitors from the Fatherland, as well as from Illinois and Iowa. The final result was an almost even division of the honors among the three chief contestants, the advantage, if anything, lying with foreign participants. Ulfert Poppen, of German Valley, Illinois, was one of the most successful, and many of the competitors from that state of from Iowa were of his nationality. Thus, while the stock bred on German soil may have had slightly the advantage as to ribbons of honor, it was, in the main, a contest restricted to a single nationality.

The competition among the coach-horses of English, French, and German breeds was concluded during the month of September, after which a week was set apart for hackneys and Morgans; jacks, jennets, and mules; saddle-horses; Russian and French trotters, and Shetland ponies. When all was over, it was decided that the best hackneys were those from Nebraska and Canada, and that Vermont and Kentucky breeders excelled in the Morgan class, but with Illinois and Indiana not far behind. As to mules, jacks, and jennets, the result was in favor of Missouri, though abundant honors were also bestowed on Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Among Russian trotters the tzar�s horses had no worthy competitors, while Dunham once more gathered all the premiums for his French breeds. The picturesque features of the show were furnished by the saddle-horses and Shetland ponies. As the former were put through all their paces, the live-stock arena was converted into a circus ring, the contest [619] being intensified by the forthcoming prize, to be presented by Chief Buchanan himself, in the form of a handsome silver cup. The trophy was awarded to J. T. Crenshaw, of Todd�s Point, Kentucky, "Monte Cristo Junior" being the name of the steed.

To children the exhibit of Shetland ponies was one of the most attractive features of the Fair, as also was the group of tents containing a band of Wisconsin ponies. Among the former, about fifty in number, were colts and weanlings, some of them not more than twenty pounds in weight, but "ready," as one of the exhibitors remarked, "to grow up with children and become useful and companionable." The animals were broken to saddle and harness, the latter either as singles, spans, tandems, or four-in-hands, and beside them was an assortment of pony carts, with equipments to match. The largest groups were from the Pittsford farms, New York, and from Maquoketa, Iowa, the former displayed by E. F. Hawley and the latter by J. M. Hoag. It was in fact the east pitted against the west, and if the children could have had their way, every pony that entered the lists would have received a ribbon; but the judge was obdurate, awarding one first premium and six of the minor class to the New York collection, with blue ribbons to the stallions of Robert Lilburn, of Emerald grove, Wisconsin, and a mare owned by G. A. Watkins, of Detroit, Michigan. The Shetland and Wisconsin pony shows closed the main series of competitions in horse flesh.

One of the most noted stallions on exhibition was Roy Wilkes, whose record in turf annals consists of one continuous series of victories, over such horses as Mascot, 2:04; Guy, 2:06 3/4; Major Wonder, 2;09 1/4; Riley Medium, 2:10 �; Grant�s Abdallah, 2:10 1/4; Dallas, 2:11 �; and Brown Hall, 2:12. He not only captured the first premium for stallions of five years and over, but holds the world�s record, 2:06 �, for stallions in a class race, without a runner to prompt. Roy Wilkes has earned the world�s stallion record, 2:08 1/4; the world�s record to a wagon, 2:13; the record for a quarter mile, 27 3/4 seconds and the two fastest heats in a race for a stallion, 2:06 � and 2:08 1/4. It is, furthermore, a noteworthy fact that a veterinary surgeon representing the Government department was sent to secure measurements of the animal, and after thoroughly doing his work, pronounced the animal a perfect type of the American trotter. Naturally, therefore, the progeny of Roy Wilkes, both pacers and trotters, have shown remarkable speed. The home of this animal is at the Calumet stock farm, in the neighborhood of Geneva, Illinois, and he is described by an admirer "as a dapple seal brown of the richest color imaginable, his coat being as glossy as the finest satin. In height he is 15 3/4 hands, and weighs in the neighborhood of 1,200 pounds, in bodily conformation reminding one of old George Wilkes. He has a massive neck nicely cut up at the jowl, built on the Patchen line; but there is the broad breast, barrel perfectly ribbed up, shoulders sloping to suit the most fastidious, a back second to none on any race horse, indicating strength par excellence, and the legs of the Wilkes, with wide, flat bone, braced with muscles at every point. His hocks are simply perfection; he has a fine head, perfect [620] muzzle, bright intelligent eyes, a pair of well shaped ears of medium length, and is of the most kindly disposition. Noticeable points in his make-up are his mane and tail, the latter being a waving mass as black as ebony and sweeping the ground. In fact, there is no white upon the entire body except a faint star upon the forehead."

As to the cattle show it will be seen by reference to the official list, already quoted, that the display of Canadian cattle was much more extensive than that of any of the states, and as will presently appear, the dominion was rewarded with a large proportion of the highest premiums. The result was the more gratifying to our neighbors beyond the lakes, since nearly all the breeds selected for competition were of British types. Leading the list, in the order of the series, was the shorthorn, the best of English breeds, and one adapted to all climes and countries. Next was the red and white Hereford, docile and easily fattened, followed by the hornless Scotch breeds, the Aberdeen-Angus, and the Galloway. The Jersey and her more homely and larger sister, the Guernsey, showed their best points, and between these exhibits came the famous Holstein-Friesian, of Germany. The well-built Devon, whose production of juicy beef from the scant lands of her native shire is one of the mysteries of nature, was also represented, with the Scottish Ayrshire, famed as a cheese maker. Then there were red polled cattle and polled Durham, hornless as their names imply, with the Dutch belted and the small brown beauties of Switzerland, both suggestive of the dairy house and the cheese press. The tests conducted throughout the Exposition season for determining the value of different breeds for dairy purposes were under the supervision of a separate bureau, and have already been described in connection with the Dairy department.

The exhibition of shorthorns aroused general interest among breeders, Kentucky, Missouri, Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois, and Ontario, Canada, having each a large number of participants. The first premium for the best bull, without regard to age was awarded to T. S. Moberly, of Richmond, Kentucky, whose "Abbottsburn" was pronounced the king of shorthorns. The same breeder took the first prize for the finest two or three year old heifer; but the best herd was pronounced to be that of H. F. Brown, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, the first premium for cows going to J. G. Robbins and sons, of Horace, Indiana. For the most valuable young herd, consisting of one bull and four heifers, all under two years, the first prize was taken by J. and W. Russell, Richmond Hill, Ontario, and for the best cow of any age by J. G. Robbins and sons, of Horace, Indiana.

"Ancient Breton," the property of H. H. Clough, of Elyria, Ohio, was the first prize winner among the Herefords, while the blue ribbon for the queen of this breed was awarded to "Annabel," owned by W. S. Van Natta, of Fowler, Indiana. In the contest for the most valuable herds, Ohio and Missouri exhibitors were successful, Clough again receiving the highest honors, together with Gudgell and Simpson, of Independence. When the time came for the Scotch breeds of Galloways and Aberdeen-Angus, it was evident that Indiana, Minnesota, and Ontario were to be prominent in the former, and Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa in the latter. In the Aberdeen-Angus competition most of the first premiums were awarded to Wallace Estill, of Estill, Missouri and for Galloways to the Brookside farm at Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Hugh Paul, of Dundee, Minnesota. Ontario breeders took a number of minor prizes, those of the first class falling to William Kough, of Owen Sound.

Thus ended the competition between the various breeds of beef cattle, dairy animals being next in order, and first among them, Jerseys. In this class entries were numerous from Missouri, Illinois, and Minnesota; [621] but, as a rule, the highest premiums were awarded to Pennsylvania and New York. The herd of Jerseys exhibited by T. S. Cooper, of Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, was of excellent quality, taking fully one half of the many premiums offered, the prize for the best cow falling to C. A. Sweet, of Buffalo, New York. Eastern participants also carried away the majority of the honors in the Holstein-Friesian class, especially those from the empire state, the sweepstakes for the best bull going to D. G. Wilber, of Oneonta, New York; for the best cow to C. V. Seeley, North Farmington, Michigan.

The cattle show closed with the competition among other English and Scotch breeds, and the Dutch belted and Brown Swiss cattle, for the grand sweepstakes to be awarded according to age and for general merit. Canadian exhibitors were made glad when the premiums were allotted for Devon and Ayrshire cattle, sweeping all before them in the latter class, with Daniel Drummond, of Montreal, as the largest prize winner. For red polled cattle Iowa was in the front, many of the exhibitors coming from that state, and nearly all the first premiums falling to J. H. Gilfillan, of Maquoketa. In Dutch belted cattle Pennsylvania was at the head, represented especially by H. B. Richards, of Easton, while all but one of the fifteen premiums for the Brown Swiss breed fell to Abraham Bourquin, of Nokomis, Illinois.

The last days of the cattle show were enlivened by a grand display in the ring of all the cattle exhibited, and a special parade of Canadian stock, the season concluding with the general competition. The sweepstakes for the best herd of beeves was taken by J. G. Robbins, of Horace, Indiana.

Sheep and swine were on exhibition from September 25th to October 13th, about 3,000 head of both being entered. For the best sheep awards were made to exhibitors of Cotswold, Leicester, Lincoln, Cheviot, Dorset, Southdown, Shropshire, Oxford, Hampshire, and merinos, in the order named, Angora goats being also included in these classes. The largest number of entries was of merinos, delainemerinos, Southdowns, and Oxfords. Ohio, Missouri, Michigan, Illinois, and Vermont took most of the premiums for delaines and merinos, Ontario presenting an excellent display of such English breeds as Lincolns and Southdowns. John Jackson and sons, of Abingdon, were the prizewinners in the latter class, and in the group of Angora goats, as also in the special class of Persian or Astrakhan sheep, C. P. Bailey, of San Jose, California, won the first and second premiums in all the sections. These beautiful animals shared a building with a large flock of Cotswold sheep, exhibited by a Wisconsin breeder, who captured a number of prizes.

[623] - Among the noticeable exhibits of the Shropshire breed was the one made by A. O. Fox, of Oregon, Wisconsin, whose ram, "Kingstone," weighing 350 pounds, took the first prize as the largest yearling on the grounds. Across the way, in the Ontario section, was Newton Lord, a famous Shropshire ram, the English and Canadian prizewinner in former contests, and now the champion of the United States. In another building were the Oxfords, from the Summer Hill stock farm of Peter Arkell, of Teeswater, Ontario, who claims to be the first American importer of this stock. From a New York exhibitor came the only considerable flock of Cheviots, representatives of the hardy breeds which flourish in the lowlands of Scotland, another participant from the empire state showing several fine specimens of Pomeranian merinos, owned by Baron von Homeyer. Much interest was aroused by the competition for honors among the different breeds of rams, for which a number of valuable prizes were awarded.

Berkshires, Poland Chinas, Chester whites, Duroc-Jerseys, small Yorkshires, and the Essey, Victoria, and Cheshire breeds were the varieties of swine exhibited, premiums being awarded simultaneously with those for sheep. In the swine division, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Nebraska were prominent. A famous character among the Poland Chinas was "Black Wilkes," the prize-winning boar, weighing 800 pounds, but as spry as a yearling. He is owned by Taft and company, of Humboldt, Iowa, and has a long list of celebrated ancestors. The comparatively modern breed of Duroc-Jerseys was well represented, J. M. Stonebraker, of Panola, Illinois, the pioneer raiser of this stock, exhibiting among his herd the boar "Exchanger," now famous throughout the country. His weight is 900 pounds, notwithstanding which he is said to be light of foot.

The last two weeks of the Fair were devoted to the display of fat stock and [624] light draft horses. Although breeders were not debarred from the latter competition, it was specially designed for individual owners of fine horses. Standard trotters, thoroughbreds, horses and ponies in harness, with equipages, comprised the exhibition, which continued for nearly a week. Entries were made from Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ontario, and among the breeds represented were Morgans, Arabs, American-Arabs, French, German, and English coach-horses, and trotters of the French and American classes. Medals and diplomas were given for points of excellence in animals, for equipage and appointments, and for skill in driving, and when the contest was for horses in harness, the prizes were divided as thus indicated, 50 per cent being allowed for the highest premium for the horse, and 25 per cent each for equipage and driving. Horses were driven singly, tandem, in pairs, three abreast, and four-in-hand, and yoked to broughams, phaetons, and such heavy vehicles as coaches and tally-hos. There were also special prizes, as for the most skillful lady driver and for the best appointed park tandem.

The fat-stock show comprised such breeds of cattle as short-horns, Herefords, Aberdeen-Angus, and Devons, premiums being given for the best of these breeds, for the heaviest steers, the best working oxen, and the finest herds. In this group were also Poland, China, Berkshire, Essey, Duroc-Jersey, and Shropshire grades. As in the competitions for dairy and breeding purposes, held earlier in the season, the cattle were judged in the Live-stock pavilion. In this connection also may be mentioned the train cattle, displayed in the arena by a Connecticut owner, which, under the names of Jim and Tim, Jerry and Terry, delighted thousands of spectators while the monotonous work progressed of deciding upon the premiums.

Chicago is famous for her draft horses, and her merchants, manufacturers, and express companies combined to make an exhibit of animals, harness, carriages, wagons, and trucks, whose equal has not before been seen in the United States. Clydesdales, Percherons, Belgians, Normans, and other breeds were represented, the attendance indicating that cart-horse shows, so popular in England, had obtained a foothold in this country. During the forenoon of the 27th all the horses and wagons were registered at the stock pavilion, and after the usual parade, returned there to be judged. Premiums were awarded on such points as the soundness and serviceableness of the animal; construction and adaptability of the vehicle and harness; general condition of animal, vehicle, and harness, as an indication of stable management; skill of the driver and tractability of the horse. Swift and company received the first premium for the most valuable six-horse team; Marshall Field and company for the best team of horses; W. M. Hoyt for three-horse team; Swift and company for two-horse, and Gage, Downs and company for single horse equipage. For the finest wagons, the highest premiums were awarded to Swift and company and the American Express company.

"Do you know that the United States government statistics show the annual value of the [625] poultry product of this country to be more than that of either wheat, cotton, or dairy articles?" Such was the question put by a manufacturer of chicken incubators; but as the query is in the nature of an assertion, it may serve as an explanation of the wide-spread interest manifested in the poultry exhibit. As the raising of fowls requires but a small capital, and the returns are quick, thousands have invested in this branch of industry, and especially many of the female sex. Thus, although poultry were not formally displayed until during the last month of the Fair, the buildings which contained them were usually filled with visitors and inquirers. While the business has assumed large proportions in some sections of the west, it was from the eastern and middle states that most of the exhibitors came, especially those who make a specialty of fancy breeding. The display was on a much larger scale than at state and county fairs, and though containing no special novelties, was by no means devoid of interest. Here, for instance, one might compare the diminutive bantams, some of them weighing less than a pound, with the Brahmas, Shanghais and other Cochins, any one of which would outweigh a score of its tiny neighbors. White and brown Leghorns, black Minorcas, and many Spanish varieties were also on exposition, as well as Hamburgs, Dorkings, and Plymouth Rocks, the two last especially typical of England and the United States. France had also her contingents in the Houdan and Creve-coeur breeds, and Poland in her silver, golden, and white-crested specimens. Each exhibitor was restricted to four breeds; but there were more than 4,000 entries in the different classes, representing a score of states, the dominion of Canada, and the republic of France. In point of numbers Plymouth Rocks led the list, followed by Brahmas, Polish of various strains, and Houdans, while of the participants Canada, New York, Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri were the most prominent.

Exhibitors both from the east and west were eager to explain their methods of hatching and raising, showing, as they asserted, the advantages of artificial incubation over the process which nature has provided. For a complete exposition of this phase of the subject the visitor was enabled to examine, in a separate building, a large array of apparatus representing manufactures in Connecticut, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, and other states. Here the champions of artificial breeding claimed that the chickens hatched by machinery were not only larger and better at every stage of growth than those cared for by the mother hen, but developed into finer fowl, and took the premiums at all the important fairs in the United States. At an early stage of the controversy, they said, every one admitted that the artificial method was best for the raising of market poultry; but it was asserted on the other side that the male birds must be hatched by hens. When this theory was swept away at local exhibitions by the production of prize roosters hatched by the machine process, then, as the manufacturers would have us believe, the fancy fowl breeders adopted their incubators in a body; and now, throughout the eastern states, poultry raising has become an immense industry, prosecuted almost entirely by the inanimate hatcher and breeder. One of the [626] strongest arguments in its favor is that the vital powers of the hen, overtaxed by sitting, are reserved for laying.

The incubators here displayed were heated either by hot water or air, the electric machine being installed in its proper department and described in the chapter of Electricity. In the incubators of a Springfield, Ohio, firm the hot water circulated through a galvanized iron tank; a vulcanized rubber bar was placed in a chamber just above the eggs, and when it became expanded by heat, the flame of the lamp was fut off through the lifting of a lever upon which the bar operated. When the temperature fell so as to contract the bar, the lever was lowered and the heat again admitted. Most of the machines were supplied with ingeniously contrived thermostats, or heat regulators, and Iowa patentee furnishing a device by which the trays of eggs could be instantly turned without opening the machine. To prove the validity of their claims, several manufacturers had their apparatus in practical operation, the broods of chicks running around their incubators of iron and wood as lively as though they had never known any other parentage.

In the poultry division were also included carriers, pouters, tumblers, trumpeters, homers, and other varieties of pigeons, Canada being as prominent in exhibits of this class as in others. An entire barn was set apart for the purpose, and in another were housed the turkeys, ducks, geese, rabbits, ferrets, and miscellaneous pets.

In conclusion it may be said that the exhibition of live-stock in all its departments, and especially of horses and horned cattle, was the best that was ever witnessed in the United States, and probably the best in the world. Nor could it well be otherwise considering the general interest aroused by the efforts of the committee in every section of the republic, in Canada, and in the principal stock-raising countries of Europe. It was in truth an international feature of an international exposition, and though perhaps somewhat of an innovation, could not have been omitted from a display in which all branches of human enterprise were to be represented; for this, as we have seen, is an industry of vast proportions, and one to whose further development there is no apparent limit.

[627] - World�s Fair Miscellany - As stated, the live-stock exhibition did not open until August, but the pavilion was too desirable a spot to be overlooked by those who wished to give entertainments requiring considerable space. From July 4th until the formal opening of the department the English military tournament furnished exhibitions of athletic and manly feats, comprising wonders of marksmanship and horsemanship. Upon their departure for Canada, two of the members of the company, Major James Lee and Corporal J. H. Evans, of the Life-guards, were presented with a gold watch and a gold medal, the former because of his skill in tent-pegging, and the latter for bravery at the fire in the Cold Storage building, on July 10th, described in a previous chapter.

A notable occasion was the wand drill of July 26th, in which nearly 3,000 turners participated. Through some misunderstanding on the part of the management, the pavilion was still occupied by the military athletes, who at first refused to evacuate it. For a time a riot seemed imminent; for a large crowd had collected anxious to witness the drill of the Germans. A company of Columbian guards was summoned, but the difficulty was finally adjusted and the turners, headed by a squad of fencers, 100 strong, entered the arena. Then came a phalanx of color-bearers, and the sturdy column of the regular force, each member of which bore a burnished iron wand. The evolutions which followed constituted a wonderful exhibition of discipline, strength, and agility, the exercises of the turners as a body being supplemented by gymnastic feats, while a club from Davenport, Iowa, gave an exhibition drill in which the participants were equally divided as to sex.

The live-stock arena was the scene of several games of football, contested during the last two months of the Exposition season. Perhaps none excited more general interest than the one between a team of West Point cadets and the Chicago Athletic Club, the latter winning a decisive victory. It was asserted by their opponents, probably with truth, that they would have made a much better fight had not the social dissipations in which they indulged while in Chicago unfitted them for such sport.

It may be added that the pavilion was also the scene of a contest not authorized by any one in power, and which constituted one of the few lawless acts of a serious nature perpetrated within the limits of the Exposition grounds. Just before the close of the English tournament and the opening of the live-stock department, a British bugler and an Irish carriage washer fought a brutal prizefight, the Englishman worsting his foe and receiving $500 for his pains. The council of administration attempted to bring home the culpability for apparent negligence or connivance on the part of guards and police; but the result of the investigation was not made public.

In the building mentioned as containing various apparatus for the artificial raising of poultry, was a large exhibit of prepared foods for all kinds of live-stock. One kind is said both to prevent and cure chicken cholera, regulate and stimulate the laying of eggs by hen, turkey, or goose, and to be especially healthful for very young chicks. The exhibitors also manufacture a preparation for horses and cattle. One firm produced a feed made of corn from which the free starch had been extracted, stating that the animals on which it is fed become fat and sleek. Another shoed a compound of seeds, roots, and herbs, to mix with the regular feed of cattle, sheep, and hogs, believing that variety of food is good for the animal as for the human race. Ground linseed cake, or linseed meal, was displayed in various forms, by several manufactures, as a safe and nutritious pabulum for horses and cattle, especially for dairy animals. After the flaxseed is ground and subjected to a high temperature, the oil is extracted by hydraulic pressure, and the residue, or linseed cake, is ground into meal. The difference in the process of manufacturing the oil determines the comparative value of the meal as feed for live-stock, a Cleveland company, for instance, holding that by its method the cake was left with an unusually large percentage of nitrogen, a most necessary element in the food of dairy breeds. But whatever the comparative merits of the different preparations, it is interesting to learn that in the United States, and especially the west, there is an increasing demand for linseed feed. Until recent years the mills of this country turned out about one third of the world�s production, nearly all of which was exported to Great Britain. Now about 400,000 tons a year are manufactured in the United States; 550,000 in England, and 200,000 on the continent of Europe.

A bull four years old and a cow of two represented the live-stock of the West Indies. They were as delicate as Jerseys, the bull being mouse-colored and the cow of a rich creamy hue; but their peculiarity was the hump between the shoulders. The specimens were brought from Trinidad, where they are used for light-draft purposes, being fast and not ungraceful trotters. About a dozen years ago the original stock was imported from Hindostan, and has since been crossed with that of native cattle.

Illinois, Iowa, Vermont, Minnesota, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec appropriated money for the expenses of their [628] live-stock exhibits. The awards included medals and money from the Exposition authorities and special premiums from associations. Altogether the management had guaranteed a distribution of $150,000 among all the classes of exhibitors, including several sweepstake prizes for the best herds of cattle. Some of the states also voted large sums to be given to their successful competitors. Missouri showed special liberality in this regard, her state commission appropriating $20,000 for the purpose. A premium of $200 was given for each Missouri cow that captured a prize in the dairy breed contest, and half that amount for every one finally chosen by experts to be exhibited. Missouri well sustained her reputation as a leading producer not only of cattle, but of draft and trotting horses, mules, merino sheep, and Berkshire and Poland China swine. On Missouri day, August 30th, there was a special parade of cattle contributed by that state, attended by Governor Stone and several public officials. In September, in addition to general parades of live-stock, there was a procession of nearly 800 horses, which, on passing the New York state building, was reviewed by Governor Flower, Chauncey M. Depew, and other prominent men from the empire state.

From several states were entered for competition specimens of the Morgan breed of horses, which ante-date the variety known as the standard American trotter. The exhibition of this class was the largest ever made, and to Vermont breeders its success must be largely credited. A liberal sum was appropriated for the purpose, and a commission appointed to select the choicest animals available for exposition. Although their qualities have long been recognized among experts, a determined effort is now apparent, especially in Vermont, to make them a distinctively American breed.

Among the Plymouth Rocks in the poultry show was a four legged hen which had no competitors. Perhaps of all the breeds none were more admired than the crested chickens of the Polish variety, in one class the head-gear of pure white capping a body of jet black.

The prominence of Canada in the live-stock department was nowhere more evident than in the line of blooded horses. Quebec is especially proud of the pedigree of some of her specimens descended, as they are, from a stud sent there by the king of France, in the seventeenth century, the first of pure Norman breed to be imported into America.

In charge of the horses sent from the stables of the tzar was a cavalry officer of high standing, specially appointed for the purposes. Some of them had pedigrees running back for more than a century, and it is said that there were stallions in the stud which $100,000 could not buy. The horses were known as Orloff trotters, Orloff half-breed saddle carriers for heavy cavalry service, Orloff-Arab, Russian-Arab, and light Russian draft.

Of the most noted breeds included in the Russian exhibit was that known as Arabian Orloff, and among the most beautiful specimens was Bekbovlat, ridden by Captain Theodore Ismailoff who was in charge of the stud owned by the Grand Duke Dimitry. This famous animal was bred at the Streletsky stud of the government in southern Russia, and was one of the finest horses on exhibition. In striking contrast to the Arabian beauty was the Minnesota Clydesdale, Prince Patrick, who not only captured the sweepstakes prize at the Columbian Exposition, but also took first honors at the leading fairs in Great Britain. Near the Arabian steed and the Clydesdale was placed for purposes of comparison, a typical saddle horse from Kentucky. Thus Russia, Arabia, and America met at the World�s Fair.

The German government contributed 60 of the superb coach-horses for which the empire is famous. These are largely imported into France, Italy, England, and the United States, and the demand for them is steadily increasing in our own country. Of the Oldenburg breed are the massively-built animals used for heavy drafting, the Hanoverians and Holsteins being somewhat lighter in weight. The average weight of the entire consignment did not fall short of 1,600 pounds, a noble animal of the Oldenburg type tipping the scales at 1,700. The German horses are unexcelled for breeding purposes, the laws, which are rigorously enforced, requiring that the pedigree of the studs shall be unquestioned.

It was proposed by the management to hold an extensive kennel exhibit, the entries to close on the 1st of June; but, on account of disagreements among intending exhibitors, the date was postponed and the project finally abandoned.


1. Large Breeds of Cattle: Shorthorns, 233; Herefords, 140; Aberdeen-Angus, 72; Galloway, 78; Devon, 71; Holstein, 67; Red polls, 70; Polled-Durham, 30. Small Breeds: Jersey, 243; Ayrshires, 129; Guernseys, 49; Brown Swiss, 54; Dutch belted, 16.

Horses and Mules: Clydesdales, 187; Percheron, 155; Suffolk Punch, 21; Shire, 49; French draft, 94; Belgian, 67; Arab, 6; American Arab, 17; Thoroughbred, 26; Cleveland bay, 48; French coach, 63; German coach, 92; Hackney, 32; Morgan, 66; jacks and mules, 49; saddle, 46; Standard trotter, 45; Russian trotter, 18; French trotter, 23, and Shetland pony, 85.

Of state and Canadian entries the following was the proportion. Horses: Illinois, 220; Iowa, 137; Michigan, 75; Wisconsin, 74; Minnesota, 64; Canada, 55; Vermont, 50; Indiana, 46; Missouri, 42; New York, 39; Kentucky, 36; Nebraska, 18; Tennessee, 4; West Virginia, 3, and one each from Ohio, North Dakota, Kansas, and Pennsylvania.

Cattle: Canada, 234; Illinois, 172; Minnesota, 154; Ohio, 99; Missouri, 83; Indiana, 78; New YOrk, 67; Pennsylvania, 59; Iowa, 59; Vermont, 49; Kansas, 42; Kentucky, 33; Michigan, 17; Maine, 13; North Dakota, 10; Massachusetts, 1.

Exposition Home Page || Previous Chapter || Next Chapter || Book of the Fair Main Page
Site created & maintained by: Kristin Standaert

Copyright, Paul V. Galvin Library
Digital History Collection
Last Updated: Sept 21, 1999