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Title: History of the Beef Cattle Industry in Illinois
Author: Farley, Frank Webster
Language: English
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                         FRANK WEBSTER FARLEY


                                FOR THE

                     DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE

                            IN AGRICULTURE


                      THE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE

                                OF THE

                        UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS



                                                             May 22, 1915


                        _Frank Webster Farley_

  ENTITLED _History of the Beef Cattle Industry in Illinois_


    DEGREE OF _Bachelor of Science in Agriculture_


                        _~Henry P Rusk~_
                                                     Instructor in Charge

  APPROVED: _May 27, 1915_

                         ~Herbert W. Mumford~
                  HEAD OF DEPARTMENT OF Animal Husbandry


    I. Introduction
           Topography of the Land
           Cattle and cattle feeding

   II. Cattle Feeding Industry
           The first silo in Illinois
           The Chicago market

  III. Cattle Barons and Pioneer Drovers
           John T. Alexander
           Jacob Strawn
           Benjamin Franklin Harris
           Tom Candy Ponting

   IV. The Range Industry
           Texas cattle

    V. The Pure Bred Industry
           T. L. Miller
           Thomas Clark

   VI. Cattle Plagues

  VII. The Feed Industry of the United States.



_Topography of the Land_

"As a whole, the surface of the State of Illinois is nearly level.
The prairie regions which cover a large part of the state are only
slightly rolling, except in those places where streams have worn
valleys. These are shallow in the eastern and the northern parts of
the state, deepening gradually as the great rivers are approached.
Nearly all the waters of Illinois find their way to the Mississippi
river. Along this river, as also along the larger streams of the state,
the lands are cut into abrupt bluffs or sharp spurs which, nearing
the sources of the streams, gradually become softened into rounded
hillocks, sinking at last into the low banks. Through such waterways
as these form, flow streams usually gentle in current, often sluggish,
and sometimes becoming even stagnant. Over a large part of the state,
ponds and "sloughs", or marshes, formerly abounded. In these the water
was renewed only by the rains that fell occasionally. Under hot suns
these ponds, having neither inlet nor outlet, quickly became foul,
particularly where stock resorted to them to drink and cool themselves,
as they did almost universally throughout the state a few years ago,
and do even now in some parts.

"For years such ponds furnished the principal, almost the only, water
supply for stock in large areas of this state. The constant use of
such impure water greatly injured the quality of the milk and butter of
cows, and doubtless had a baneful effect upon the health of the animals
that drank the foul water and those who used the milk and butter.

"With the drainage of the land and the introduction of a pure supply
of water, came the disappearance of certain diseases of cattle and of
human beings, particularly the so-called milk sickness and kindred
maladies, and a marked improvement in the flavor and keeping qualities
of milk and butter. Although the change thus far has been great, there
are yet districts in which there has been little improvement in the
conditions of the land, of the water supply, or of the people. Stock
are still compelled to depend, for their water supply, upon streams and
pools that almost invariably become stagnant in the warm and dry days
of the latter part of summer each year."[1]

Inquiries addressed to hundreds of intelligent and careful observers,
nearly all of whom were practical stockmen, elicited information
showing the following:

  Number of        District              Chief Source of Water
  Counties                                   Supply

   8          Northwest or Postal      Streams and wells;
                   District              springs furnish a
                                         considerable part of
                                         it; few ponds used;
                                         three instances of
                                         tile drains.

              Central Northern         Wells chief source;
                   Counties              springs, streams,
                                         and tiles used to a
                                         considerable extent.

              Northeast Counties       Streams, wells, and springs
                                         used about equally.

              Eastern Counties         Wells chiefly; streams next;
                                         ponds and tile drains
                                         follow in the order named;
                                         nine instances of springs.

              Central Counties         Forty-nine districts report
                                         wells; forty report
                                         streams; thirty-five tile
                                         drains; twenty-five ponds;
                                         twenty-four springs.

              Western Counties         Wells and tile drains equal;
                                         springs next; ponds in a
                                         few instances.

   4          Southern Counties        Ponds and streams equal; six
                                         report wells; five report
                                         springs; four tile drains.

  21          Central S. Counties      Ponds chiefly; streams next;
                                         wells next; springs and
                                         tiles in the order named.

              Southeast and
                Southwest Counties     A like condition: ponds,
                                         streams, and springs.

"From all parts of the state, correspondents wrote that the ponds and
streams become stagnant in the warm months of summer, a few making
exception of those years in which rainfall has been heavy during the
summer months. Stagnant water is found more generally in the southern
than in the northern part of Illinois; chiefly, perhaps, because the
cultivation and drainage of the land has not become almost universal as
it has in the northern districts."

In several counties artesian wells afford a most copious supply of
water of good quality. In Iroquois and other eastern counties, such
wells have been bored to a depth of from 150 to 200 feet and obtained
an unfailing flow of water impregnated with minerals. Stock show a
strong liking for such water after becoming accustomed to its use,
and it is the belief of those who have had opportunity for observing
the effects of its continued use, that this mineral water serves to
keep the animals free from disorders which formerly prevailed in that
region. This seems to be especially apparent in regard to malarial


About 1820, the State of Illinois was being rapidly settled by
people from the eastern states. Prior to this time, very few white
settlements had been made in the state. These early pioneers, drawn
from the population of the eastern states, were composed of almost
all nationalities. They pushed their way across the mountains of
Pennsylvania and Virginia in crude wagons, drawn by oxen, bringing
with them their household goods and a few milk cows. They came into
Illinois, built new homes, and laid out new fields on the broad,
unsettled prairies.[2]



Beginning with the year of 1800, when there were only a few people in
the state, the population has increased very rapidly, as is shown by
the following statistics, taken from the United States Census Report
(special supplement for the State of Illinois):

  Year      Population

  1800          5,641
  1810         24,520
  1820        147,178
  1830        343,031
  1840        685,866
  1850        851,470
  1860      1,711,951
  1870      2,539,891
  1880      3,077,871
  1890      3,826,352
  1900      4,821,550
  1910      5,638,591

_Cattle and Cattle Feeding_[3]

When Illinois was first settled, almost the whole of the middle and
the northern parts of the state were covered with a rank growth of
native grasses, which furnished an ample supply and variety of forage
of fair quality. "In the southern districts were heavy forests, but in
the central and northern sections were but few groves or other timber
growths to afford shelter to stock." The prairie grasses that grew in
the central and northern districts were usually devastated by fire
during the fall. However, the general fencing and cultivation of the
land put a stop to the burning of these dead grasses of the prairies,
and soon groves of oaks sprang up and covered many uncultivated spots.
The leaves which stayed on these trees throughout the winter until
spring, furnished valuable shelter to stock from the raw winter winds.

At the beginning of the settlement of Illinois, very little attention
was given to the cattle interest. The pioneer settlers, however,
had brought a few milk cows with them from the eastern states, but
these cows were kept for milk only, no thought being given to beef
production. After a few years, a few pure bred cattle were brought in,
at which time some attention was given to beef, as well as to milk
production, not for the beef produced, however, but principally to give
a ready market for their grain crops.

The practice of raising beef cattle to market grain continued from then
until near the end of the nineteenth century, when cattle feeding was
no longer profitable as a grain market, and the question was: "How much
beef can be produced from a bushel of corn?"[4]

"Despite the seemingly adverse character of the climate, Illinois has
been, for some time, little, if any, behind other leading states of the
Union in stock growing. In 1850, this state stood sixth in milk cows,
and seventh in work oxen and other cattle. In 1860, it was tenth in
work oxen, fifth in milk cows, and second in other cattle. In 1870, it
was twenty-sixth in work oxen, fourth in milk cows, and second in the
supply of other cattle. In 1880, it stood thirty-sixth in work oxen,
second in milk cows, and third in other cattle. Iowa then had 240,280
and Texas had 1,812,860 more cattle than Illinois.

"The average value of milk cows in Illinois in 1884 was $35, and of
oxen and other cattle, it was $28.04, while the average value of milk
cows in Iowa was only $31.75, and of other cattle $26.00. The blood of
the Shorthorns was used more largely than that of any other breed in
the improvement of the cattle of the state. The first, and for some
years, the only representatives of pure races of cattle in this state
were Shorthorns, and to this date they exceed all other breeds in

The growth of the cattle interest in the State of Illinois, from 1850
to 1884, inclusive, is shown by the following statistics, taken from
the United States Census Reports. The first figures of close accuracy
on the number of cattle in the state were those gotten in 1850.

      |  Milch Cows  |  Work Oxen  |  Other Cattle  |      Total
      |  No.  |Inc. %|  No. |Inc. %|   No.   |Inc. %|   No.   | Inc. %
  1850|294,671|      |76,156|      |  541,209|      |  912,036|
      |       |      |      |      |         |      |         |
  1860|522,634| 77.3 |90,380| 18.6 |  970,799|  79.4|1,583,813|  73.6
      |       |      |      |      |         |      |         |
  1870|640,321| 22.5 |19,766|-78.1 |1,055,499|   8.7|1,715,586|   8.3
      |       |      |      |      |         |      |         |
  1880|865,913| 35.2 | 3,346|-83.0 |1,515,063|  43.5|2,384,322|  38.9
      |       |      |      |      |         |      |         |
  1883|716,102|-17.3 |      |      |1,253,765| -17.2|1,969,867| -17.4
      |       |      |      |      |         |      |         |
  1884|919,404| 17.7 |      |      |1,471,191|  17.3|2,390,595|  21.3


[1] Report of the Bureau of Animal Industry, 1885, p. 362.

[2] United States Census Report and interviews with old settlers.

[3] Report of Bureau of Animal Industry, 1885, p. 365.

[4] Bureau of Animal Industry, 1885, p. 365-66


"When the farms of Illinois were first put into cultivation, the
attention of the farmers was almost entirely devoted to grain raising.
Wheat was cash and was the only product of the farm that could be sold
for ready money. The virgin soils of the state gave to the pioneer
large crop yields, but constant cropping soon began to tell on the soil
and each year the crop yield became lighter. This depletion of the
fertility of the soil by continuous cropping, together with a need for
a near market for the grain crops, soon gave stimulus to an idea that
cattle feeding would help restore the fertility of the soil and, at the
same time, market the grain at home." From this time on, the production
of beef in this state has been one of the most important phases of
agriculture. In the southern part of the state, however, which was
settled largely by French, and where the predominating cattle continued
to be the mongrel bred stock, little attention was given to cattle
feeding. These people turned their cattle out on the luxuriant grass
and relied upon the meat and milk produced in that way.

"In the evolution or development of beef production that followed
in Illinois and other corn-belt states, there has been two distinct
stages, and it is now entering upon the third stage. The first stage
was that in which cattle were fed to market corn, and also to increase
the fertility of the soil, which was being depleted by the continuous
cropping. The second stage was that in which the ranges had been broken
up and the object was not to raise cattle to market corn but to raise
corn to make beef." The third stage, or that upon which the industry is
now entering, is that of baby beef making.


Seventy or eighty years ago, and for several years afterward, cattle
were bred and fed, not primarily for beef production, but to market
corn. The farmers of those days were accustomed to say: "I'll make
my corn walk to market," or "I'll condense my freight," or "I'll
grow packages in which I can condense my corn and put in the hay and
pastures as well." Statisticians figured that about six tons of corn
could be put into one ton of pork, about ten tons into one ton of beef,
and from twenty to twenty-five tons into one ton of butter. There
were very few railroads in the state at that time and farmers were
forced to haul their corn and wheat thirty and forty miles to reach
a station. And while freight rates were extortionately high on corn
and wheat in proportion to their cash value, railroads were racing
with each other to get the livestock trade. They gave passes, rebates,
and quick service, and many other things to get the patronage of the
cattle feeders and shippers. The country roads in Illinois were bad,
the bridges were few and poor, and the farmers, therefore, soon came to
realize that their corn must walk to market if it gave them any profit.

"The growing of the so-called packages in which to condense freight,
and thereby sell corn to a better advantage, was an easy matter
in those days. In the newer sections, away from the main lines of
railroads, there was much open prairie land, which was covered with
luxuriant grass. Cattle could be herded on this free grass on the
prairies at a dollar a head from May to October, and then stalk
fields could be had for ten cents an acre. Usually these stalk fields
contained from twenty cents to thirty cents worth of corn per acre. The
only expensive months for feeding were March and April, when either
clover, timothy, or prairie hay had to be fed. The cost in the summer
was only about twenty cents a month per head, in the winter about
thirty-three cents. The total cost of growing a package was about

The cattle herders in those days made contracts with the large
operators to graze so many cattle at so much per head during the
grazing season. The usual price for the entire season was from $1.00 to
$1.50 per head. These cattle ranged from three to seven years old by
the time they were ready for market and sold for about $25.00 per head.

An instance of the cattle herding industry, as it may be termed, is
related by Mr. C. W. Yapp, now of Urbana, Illinois, who was one of the
early herders in that country near Mahomet:

About 1855, at 13 years of age, Mr. Yapp began herding cattle for the
then large cattle feeders of that part of the country. In the early
spring of 1860, he started from Mahomet with a bunch of 12 cattle, to
meet a large drove that was coming up from the southern part of the
state. These cattle were native stock which had been collected over
the state. The entire bunch numbering around 900, were driven to
Drummer's Grove, near Gibson City. There they were branded and herded
on the open prairie during the spring and summer. In the fall, they
were returned to the lots of the large feeders, where they were fed
out during the winter. The feed during the winter consisted mostly of
shocked corn.

Some of the large cattle feeders bought their packages to be filled
with corn, while others grew them. In either case, the primary aim was
not to make beef, but to market the corn crop at a much better price
than would be obtained if the winter was spent in hauling the corn to
market at the nearest town. Naturally, these feeders fed corn with a
lavish hand. They fed from twenty to thirty pounds to a steer per day,
and if the steer became gorged and mussed over it, it was thrown out
to the hogs. They kept corn before their cattle all the time. They
argued that if you want solid beef, beef that will weigh like lead,
give the cattle nothing but corn and water. They wanted big packages,
nothing less than two-year-old steers past would do, and three and
four-year-olds were preferable. They wanted steers that would be at
least four years old when ready for market and that would weigh from
1500 to 1600 pounds. These steers were desirable because they would
hold more corn than the smaller ones. Very little attention was given
to the finish of the steers sent to market. They were all driven out
together regardless of the degree of finish. It was not until some
time in the eighties and nineties that much attention was given to the
degree of finish in fat steers when sent to market.

After the open prairies became settled up and there was no more free
grass at home, the feeders of Illinois and the adjoining states could
buy their packages on the ranges on the plains west of the Mississippi
river, or at the range cattle markets. Corn was still cheap and so were
packages in the shape of stockers and feeders. The reason for this was
that the great corn fields of Kansas and Nebraska were being opened
up and the great national pastures from Canada to the Texas Panhandle
had not yet become spotted and rendered useless by the homesteader.
Speculation in semi-arid land had not set in, and the term "dry
farming" had not been invented.

The great drouths caused the price of corn to fluctuate but the
aggregate corn yield kept on increasing with increased acreage and
usually the year following a drouth was one of superabundance of corn.
Such was the year of 1895 following the drouth of 1894. The proportion
of cattle per thousand population steadily increased. Meanwhile our
cattle markets became centralized and were always full to overflowing.
Everybody wondered where the cattle came from.

In the year of 1895, this system reached its climax. The question
confronting the farmer at this time was: "Why did he continue growing
corn and feeding cattle?" He grew corn because he could do it cheaply
and more certainly than anything else. The farmer had begun to realize
that the limit of good land watered by the rains of heaven would soon
be reached. He would, therefore, hold on to his land and gain back
all that he had lost in fertility by growing corn in the increased
price of land that was sure to come in the near future. He had been
feeding cattle to sell his corn with the idea also that cattle feeding
and cattle grazing were good for the land. The limit of good land was
not reached, however, nearly so soon as he had expected and when it
was reached, land advanced in price more rapidly than even the most
optimistic had anticipated. The year of 1895 marks the end of the first
stage of beef production in Illinois as well as in the other corn belt

[Illustration: _The Summer That the Rain Came Not_]

In the nineties (1896), cattle feeding in Illinois and the other
corn belt states entered upon the second stage of its evolution or
development. The purpose of feeding cattle during this stage was not
to market corn but to make beef. The great corn crop of 1895 and 1896,
following the drouth of 1894, gave very cheap corn. Cattle were cheap
also. During the two years 1896-1897, business was on a standstill the
whole country over, but the next year, 1898, business started in full
blast; cattle began to advance in price, and the demand for feeders
increased. As a consequence, the whole country was scoured for them,
but it was found that the choicest ones had been sold off in 1894, and
the early part of 1895. Cattle feeders, anxious to secure cattle to
fill their feed lots, turned to other sources for their supply. They
went into Mexico, Oregon, Colorado, and Tennessee, and bought their
feeder cattle. When cattle went up in price, corn went up also, then
labor began to gradually go up.

At that point began the advance in the value of land. The government
had no more choice corn land. The two acres necessary to keep a cow
during the summer and two more acres, the hay from which would keep
her during the winter, doubled in price within the next fifteen years,
but it did not increase in actual value as determined by the amount of
grass or grain it would produce. It was at that time the people were
confronted first with dear land, stockers, feeders, corn, hay, and
beef. This all led the cattle feeders and the corn growers to begin
studying out a method or system by which they could profitably grow
corn to make beef instead of growing beef to market corn. The prices of
fat cattle were very tempting, something unheard of ever before, but
when it came to buying feeders, the margin was very little greater than
it had been in previous years, and besides, corn was higher than it
had ever been. The problem then was, how to get the most beef out of a
bushel of corn.

Experiment stations had been doing work along that line for several
years. They pointed out that the younger and smaller the animal is, the
less will be the grain required to sustain the life-giving forces, or
to run the machine, and a greater proportion will go to the building up
of body tissue, hence the greater the profit in feeding young animals.
Feeders began to drop out the two and three year old steers and replace
them with baby beeves. Many feeders tried it but somehow or other they
could not make it work according to the experimental evidence. They
found no profit in feeding any kind of cattle. Many feed lots became
empty and blue grass and clover pastures were plowed up and put into
corn fields. If corn was worth more outside of the steer than it was
in the steer, the farmer argued, why feed cattle? The landlord could
get more rent from corn land than from grass land devoted to cattle
grazing; therefore, he saw no profit in building expensive barns,
sheds, and fences for cattle feeding.

In the summer of 1907, business was flourishing and packers were in
need of money. To meet their needs, they flooded the western banks with
commercial paper. They bought so few cattle that the price fell off
at least 30 per cent in three months' time. The loss accrued by such
a rapid decline in the price of fat cattle was so great that it paid
for the commercial paper that had been issued by the packers. Such
conditions as these hastened the process of depleting the feed yards
and decreasing the number of cattle on the market.

"The cattle have left central Illinois and the grain elevator now
distinguishes the landscape. The vast blue grass pastures of the
ante-bellum period have disappeared, and corn tillage is the principal
occupation of the agrarian population. Down in Morgan and Sangamon
counties, even recollections of the cattle trade, as it existed in the
days of John T. Alexander and Jacob Strawn, are being rapidly affected.
A few cattle come in from the west to be fattened on corn, but summer
grazing is the exception and the interest of the occupant of the land
centers, not in the cattle market quotations, but in the price of

"All the evidence seems to point toward the conclusions that another
change in the corn belt system of beef production is imminent.

"One of two things will happen or Illinois will quit the cattle
business. Either some new breeding and rearing center must be
developed, or Illinois feeders must return to breeding their own feeder

"I believe that Illinois will not quit the cattle business. There is
too much at stake besides the mere success or failure of the cattle
business alone. First of all, this country needs the beef. The greatest
people of the earth have been meat eaters, and I believe that the
American people will continue to eat meat and will pay the price
necessary to make its production profitable.

"Another consideration of vital importance, but too broad a subject
for discussion in this connection, is the value of livestock as an
aid to the maintenance of soil fertility. Then, too, for the sake of
our economic stability, the livestock interest of the country must be
preserved and encouraged. Professor Herbert W. Mumford is my authority
for the statement that 80 % of the corn grown in the United States is
fed to livestock. Picture, if you can, the effect upon corn belt land
value and our economic situation generally if the country suddenly lost
this market for 80 % of its corn crop.

"Regarding the possibility of another breeding center being developed,
it may be said that there are other sections that can produce feeders
much more cheaply than Illinois. There are large areas of cheap lands
in some of the Gulf states with which Illinois could not compete in the
production of feeder steers. But these sections are not interested in
the production of cattle, and it is doubtful if the south ever produces
a surplus of feeder steers. Hence, it seems that the probable solution
of the whole question will be brought about by producing our own

"If Illinois does return to the cattle breeding business, it will not
be on the old extensive scale that prevailed throughout the state a
generation ago. Grass grown on these high priced lands is too expensive
to be disposed of with so lavish a hand as it was thirty or forty years

"A return to cattle breeding in Illinois will be coincident with a
more general adoption of supplement for pasture. The use of smaller
proportions of permanent pasture, more extensive use of rotated or
leguminous pastures, the passing of the aged steers in our feed lots,
and the inauguration of what may be called intensive systems of baby
beef production."[7]


  Year    Number of Beef Cattle
             in Illinois

  1856        1 169 855
  1857        1 351 209
  1858        1 422 249
  1859        1 336 565
  1860        1 425 978
  1861        1 428 362
  1862        1 603 946
  1863        1 684 892
  1864        1 370 783
  1865        1 568 280
  1866        1 435 769
  1867        1 486 381
  1868        1 520 963
  1869        1 584 445
  1870        1 578 015
  1871        1 611 349
  1872        1 684 029
  1873        2 015 819
  1874        2 042 327
  1875        1 985 155
  1876        1 857 301
  1877        1 750 931
  1878        1 775 401
  1879        1 862 265
  1880        1 998 788
  1881        2 045 366
  1882        2 012 902
  1883        1 959 867
  1884        1 997 927
  1885        2 166 059
  1886        2 337 074
  1887        2 480 401
  1888        2 465 288
  1889        2 398 191
  1890        2 095 595
  1891        1 853 318
  1892        1 615 405
  1893        1 812 924
  1894        1 798 417
  1895        1 782 158
  1896        1 626 171
  1897        1 753 371
  1898        1 802 061
  1899        1 886 933
  1900        2 009 598
  1901        2 372 710
  1902        2 409 772
  1903        2 325 980
  1904        2 535 954
  1905        2 301 519
  1906        2 203 108
  1907        2 065 816
  1908        1 892 118
  1909        1 691 686
  1910        1 512 055
  1911        1 473 741
  1912        1 258 293
  1913        1 170 628

"In reviewing the cattle breeding and the cattle feeding situation
in Illinois in 1894, Mr. J. G. Imboden stated that the outlook was
not very encouraging. The question was, "Are the men who are feeding
the grain and fodder crop of the farm any worse off than those grain
farmers who are selling their grain on the market, or even the butcher,
the grocer, the boot and shoe dealer, or the drygoods merchant?" They
undoubtedly were not at that time. Competition was very close, profits
small, and unless a business man was satisfied with a small profit, his
competitor did the business. Such were the conditions that faced the
cattle breeders and feeders at that time.

"From 5 % to 10 % of the feeding value of the crops on Illinois farms
were left in the field; straw-stacks stood in the field where the
thresher left them; stover stood on the field after the corn was
husked, while on these same farms were stock that were shrinking from
exposure and lack of feed."

The outlook for the feeder was very discouraging, but much more so for
the breeder. There were no hopes for success for the breeder until the
feeder had two or three years of success in order to make a market for
the cattle that were bred. Strong efforts were being made to devise
some methods of feeding the farm products more economically and in such
a way as would mean more grain and better profits for the feeder.

"The cattle feeders of Illinois presumed that the time was nearing when
feeder cattle of the best grade for grazing and feeding purposes would
be hard to secure. While at that time there were plenty of cattle west
of the Mississippi river, in Illinois there was a scarcity of breeding
cattle to supply the demand. It was harder to buy a bunch of fifty
uniformly good steers, throughout central Illinois especially, than
it had been for fifteen years past. This was probably due to the fact
that feeders had quit raising their feeding cattle and the breeders had
changed from one breed to another in hopes of finding a breed that
would give them greater returns. Again, many breeders had become very
careless of the merits of the cattle on their farm."[8]

_The First Silo in Illinois_

"In 1881, Oatman Brothers, of Dundee, Illinois, built the first silo
in the state. At the eighth annual meeting of the Illinois State
Dairyman's Association, held at Dundee, Illinois, December 14-16, 1881,
Mr. E. J. Oatman read an article on "Silos and Ensilage.""

Mr. Oatman stated that some agricultural paper in Chicago had been
agitating the building of silos in Illinois and had tried to induce
him to build one. The stories that the paper told about the value of
ensilage as a feed sounded too good to be true. The idea of cutting
up green fodder, packing it away in a hole, and expecting to see it
come out in first class condition, in the dead of winter, seemed to be
impossible. A great many objections arose to such "cow kraut" as some
called it. It would heat, ferment, and rot; therefore it was a very
difficult matter to make people see its value as a feed.

Mr. Oatman, however, visited the farm of Messrs. Whitman and Burrell at
Little Falls, New York, on February 1, 1880, for the purpose of seeing
their silo and the condition of their ensilage. He made a thorough
investigation and thereupon became convinced that ensilage was a
success. He returned home to his farm at Dundee and made preparations
to build a silo. His first silo was 49 feet by 43 feet by 20 feet deep,
dug out into the ground. It was divided into three parts, all of
which were made of concrete.

After the silo was finished, Mr. Oatman proceeded to fill it, which
required thirteen days with a force of ten men, at a rate of about
twenty-three tons per day. After it was filled, stone was placed on
top, at the rate of about 150 pounds per square inch.

Mr. Oatman met with many discouragements with his new silo; the
community at large thought it was a very foolish idea. Some said that
if it did keep, the cattle would not eat it, and others still more
radical, even hoped that he would lose it all, and said that any man
who would try such a thing was crazy.

When the time came to open the silo, Mr. Oatman found that the silage
was all fresh and nice with the exception of a few inches on top. His
cattle took to it readily, and he found that it greatly increased the
milk production of his dairy herd.[9]

The use of ensilage as a feed for beef and milk production has become
so general in Illinois since the first silo was built in 1881 that
ensilage is now one of the staple feeds. While there are a few people
who still think that the use of ensilage in the production of beef
is a fad, practically every one agrees that it is economical in the
production of milk.

Ensilage is a roughage and not a concentrate, and its profitableness in
a fattening ration depends not so much upon its nutritive value as upon
its succulence and palatability, the steers' ability to consume large
quantities of it, and the fact that it makes possible the utilization
of all of the corn plant, a large proportion of which would be wasted.

Every year sees a more general adoption of ensilage as a roughage, and
with the inauguration of the present intensive system of baby beef
production, and where the baby beeves are raised on the farm on which
they are to be fed, ensilage is the most economical feed that can be
used in maintaining the breeding herd.

_The Chicago Market_

"The situation of Chicago in the great agricultural center of the
United States brought it into prominence at an early day as the center
of the live stock trade. This position it has never lost. However great
may be the development of other sections of the country, Chicago can
not fail to continue to be the leader in this class of business. Its
location as a railroad center and its position as a distributing point
is made secure by the steadiness of its growth and the magnitude of its
present operations. There is greater competition in this market than
in any other. The Chicago market is the purchasing point, not only for
the local packers, large and small, the exporters, and the speculators,
but also for a great number of smaller packing houses scattered over
the country, and for the feeders and breeders of the most fertile and
largest agricultural sections of the United States."[10]

Prior to the year of 1833, Chicago had no provisions to export, and as
late as 1836, an actual scarcity of food there created a panic among
the inhabitants.

The first shipment of cattle products from Chicago was made in 1841,
by Newbury and Dale on the schooner, Napoleon, bound for Detroit,
Michigan. This shipment consisted of 287 barrels of salted beef and 14
barrels of tallow.

_Statistics of Chicago 1837._

    Whites           3989
    Colored           160
    Males            2579
    Females          1570
      Total          4149

    Dwellings         398
    Drygoods stores    29
    Grocery stores     26
    Hardware stores     5
    Drug stores         3
    Churches            5

There were two weekly papers published in Chicago at this time: The
American, a whig paper, and the Democrat.

The first market in the way of stock yards in Chicago was located on
the north branch of the Chicago river. These yards were used chiefly
for swine. In 1836, the first cattle yards were opened on a tract of
land near twenty-ninth street and Cottage Grove avenue. A few pens had
been erected here to accommodate the cattle trade. The first scales
for weighing livestock ever used in that country were used in these

In 1855, there were two regular stock yards in Chicago; one, called
the Merrick Yard, is now known as the Sherman Yards, and the other was
called the Bullshead Yard. A great many eastern people came to Chicago
at this time to buy fat cattle to take back east. Most of the cattle
they bought were driven over into Indiana to Michigan City, to be
shipped on east. John L. Hancock was the only packer in Chicago at this
time. Ice was not used, and packing was done during the cool seasons of
the year.

One element of the success of Chicago as a market was the fact that
stock might be pastured without charge on the prairies near the city,
while the owners awaited favorable market conditions in the eastern
states. The cattle were herded on the open prairies just outside of the
city, and the buyers of Chicago rode out each day and bought the cattle
in such numbers as they needed.

In 1865, the growth of the livestock traffic had increased so rapidly
that the several railroad companies that centered in Chicago, together
with the managers of the stock yards already existing, combined for the
erection of the Union Stock Yards. These were opened for business on
Christmas day, 1865.[12]

"The meat industry of Chicago, from the purchase of the livestock to
the shipment of the meat, in either the fresh or the cured condition,
is carried on at the Union Stock Yards, which are located near the
outskirts of the city. The yards cover exactly a square mile of ground.
One-half of this area is covered with cattle pens, and the other half
by huge establishments of the packing houses. The pens are surrounded
by strong stockades, about shoulder high, and they are laid out in
blocks with streets and alleys, in much the same fashion as an ordinary
American town. The whole of this area, a half mile in width, and a mile
in length, is paved with red brick; and here we see the first notable
evidence of the effort to maintain the stock yards in a sanitary

"The brick paving makes it possible to thoroughly clean both pens and
streets, and this is done at regular and frequent intervals."[13]

"Whatever may have been the conditions in the past, it is a fact that
today the greatest care is exercised in the shipment and handling of
the stock from the time they leave the farms until they reach the
packing houses. The price that the animals will bring in the pens
depends upon the conditions they present under the eye of the buyer,
who represents the packing houses, and it is to the interest of the
farmers, the cattlemen, and the commission men, to whom the cattle are
consigned at the yards, that they shall receive the best food and the
most careful attention up to the very hour at which the sale is made.
They are shipped in special stock cars, in which they are carried as
expeditiously as possible to the stock yards, where they are unloaded
and driven to the pens. Here they are at once fed and watered, each pen
containing a feeding trough and a water trough, into which a stream of
fresh water is kept running.

"The cattlemen consign their stock to the various commission houses,
and for receiving and selling the stock, there is a charge of,
respectively, twenty-five cents and fifty cents a head. The purchase
of the cattle is made by buyers, of whom each of the packing houses
maintain a regular staff."

"About 1845, a bold editor left Buffalo, New York, then the greatest
lake part of the country, and bravely ventured as far into the rowdy
west as Chicago. Possibly the people here received him with generous
hospitality; perhaps they treated him with something even more warming
to the inner man; or it may be that as they filled him with solid chuck
and, perhaps, with less solid refreshments, they took occasion to
remark, with that modest and restrained hopefulness for which Chicago
people have justly received credit, that Chicago was destined to become
a town of some importance. Be that as it may, when that editor luckily
found himself once more safe within his sanctum, he gave vent to his
joy and overflowing gratitude by writing wild, enthusiastic predictions
concerning the future of the town, which was then aspiring to rise
above the rushes and wild rice of the Chicago river.

"Reckless of the opinion of the readers of his paper, perhaps trusting
to their ignorance of the conditions of the out of the way place, this
bold editor predicted that the day would come when Chicago would have
an elevator capacious enough to hold 25,000 bushels of grain, and that
in a single winter season, 10,000 cattle, and as many hogs, would be
slaughtered and packed there.

"Beef packing was the leading industry of Chicago at that time, but
no trustworthy statistics relating to the cattle traffic previous to
1851 have been preserved, and from 1851 until 1856 no account of the
receipts of cattle were kept. This was probably due to the fact that a
large number of those cattle that were brought to Chicago were held on
the open prairies until sold to butchers to supply the requirements for
local consumption. No accurate count of cattle disposed of in that way
could well be obtained."

Statistics of the receipts of cattle at the Chicago Union Stock Yards
from 1851 to 1913, inclusive, and the shipments from 1852 to 1884,

  Year     Receipts       Shipments
  1851       22 566[14]
  1852       25 708[14]         77
  1853       29 908[14]      2 657
  1854       36 888[14]     11 221
  1855       39 865[14]      8 253
  1856       39 950         22 205
  1857       48 524         25 502
  1858      140 534         42 638
  1859      111 694         37 584
  1860      177 101         97 474
  1861      204 579        124 146
  1862      209 655        112 745
  1863      300 622        187 048
  1864      303 726        162 446
  1865      333 362        301 637
  1866      393 007        263 693
  1867      329 188        203 580
  1868      324 524        215 987
  1869      403 102        294 717
  1870      532 964        391 709
  1871      543 050        401 927
  1872      648 075        510 025
  1873      761 428        574 181
  1874      843 966        822 929
  1875      920 843        696 534
  1876    1 096 745        797 724
  1877    1 033 151        703 402
  1878    1 083 068        699 108
  1879    1 215 732        726 903
  1880    1 382 477        886 614
  1881    1 498 550        938 712
  1882    1 582 530        921 009
  1883    1 878 944        966 758
  1884    1 817 697        678 341
  1885    1 905 518
  1886    1 963 900
  1887    2 382 008
  1888    2 611 543
  1889    3 023 281
  1890    3 484 280
  1891    3 250 359
  1892    3 571 796
  1893    3 133 406
  1894    2 974 363
  1895    2 588 558
  1896    2 600 476
  1897    2 554 924
  1898    2 480 897
  1899    2 514 446
  1900    2 729 046
  1901    3 031 396
  1902    2 941 559
  1903    3 432 486
  1904    3 259 185
  1905    3 410 469
  1906    3 329 250
  1907    3 305 314
  1908    3 039 206
  1909    2 929 805
  1910    3 052 958
  1911    2 931 831
  1912    2 652 342
  1913    2 513 074

_St. Louis Stock Yards_

In April, 1869, a charter was granted by the state of Illinois to the
East St. Louis Stock Yards Company. This company was authorized to
issue stock to an amount not to exceed $200,000. The original charter
of the company, which later operated the National Stock Yards, fixed
the capital stock thereof at $1,000,000, which was, subsequently,
raised, by a vote of the stock holders, to an amount of $250,000,
to meet the requirements of the rapidly growing business. When the
National Stock Yards were completed, they were more convenient than
were any others of their kind in the country.


[5] Wallaces' Farmer, 1913, and thesis by Garver, "History of Dairy
Industry in Illinois."

[6] The Breeder's Gazette, July, 1913.

[7] Lecture by Professor H. P. Rusk on "Beef Production."

[8] The Breeder's Gazette, Feb. 1894.

[9] Thesis "History of the Dairy Industry in Illinois" by Garner, 1911.

[10] "Facts and Figures," by Wood Brothers, Live Stock Commission
Merchants, Chicago, 1906, and Report of Bureau of An. Ind. 1884.

[11] Prairie Farmer, 1887, p. 160.

[12] Life of Tom C. Ponting.

[13] Scientific American--The Meat Industry of America, 1909.

[14] Estimated.


Previous to the end of the first quarter of the nineteenth century, no
droves of cattle were seen in the country west of Ohio. The first drove
ever driven from Illinois was taken from Springfield, through Chicago,
to Green Bay, Wisconsin, in 1825, by Colonel William S. Hamilton.
Beginning with this date, the practice of collecting cattle into droves
and driving them to market soon grew from a minor occupation into an
industry within itself; beef cattle that were grown and fattened in
Illinois were gathered together into large droves by men who made it a
business, and were driven to the then great cattle markets on the sea
board. Foremost among these early pioneer cattlemen were: Jacob Strawn,
John T. Alexander, B. F. Harris, and Tom C. Ponting. In the scope of
their operations, Jacob Strawn and John T. Alexander exceeded many of
the conspicuous operators in the rise and fall of the range industry
in this state. These men owned hundreds of acres of the prairie land
of the state, on which they collected enormous droves of cattle. These
cattle were grazed here throughout the spring and summer, then were
fed during the winter. It was no uncommon occurrence for one of these
operators to buy all the corn for sale during one season in three or
four counties. The next spring these fat bullocks were trailed across
the level country to the eastern mountain ranges, over which they
climbed to reach Lancaster, Philadelphia, and New York. Cincinnati and
Buffalo received a few of these cattle, but most of them were driven
on through to the markets on the sea board, where better prices were
obtained. These cities bore about the same relation to the livestock
traffic of those days as Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, and St.
Joseph bear to the cattle trade of today; they were the collecting
points for the business and the slaughterers who bought them either
salted the carcasses down in barrels and casks or sold them to local
consumers. Other dealers, however, bought some of these cattle and
drove them on to smaller towns nearer the coast. "In the census of
1850, it was recorded that Illinois alone sent 2,000 head of cattle
each week to the New York market."

While the cattle barons represented a large part of the beef cattle
trade of Illinois, there were hundreds of smaller dealers who fed only
a few cattle each year which added materially to the magnitude of the
beef cattle industry of the state. A few of these smaller operators
were found in almost every section of the state, especially in the
central and northern part.

Cattle trailing continued until lines of railroad connecting Illinois
with the cities on the Atlantic coast were built. This made cattle
trailing unnecessary and greatly stimulated the production of beef in
the state by furnishing means for placing beef before the consumers of
the east quickly and, at a much less cost than that of the old method.
The long drives greatly decreased the weight of the animals, and, at
the same time, the meat of carcasses was inferior to that of the cattle
that were shipped by railroad, and slaughtered without having taken
such a long drive.[15]

_John T. Alexander_[16]

[Illustration: JOHN T. ALEXANDER.]

"Among the cattle operators of Illinois, John T. Alexander was probably
the greatest by reason of the magnitude of his transactions, but he
was antedated by Jacob Strawn, who located in Morgan County in 1827.
Alexander has been regarded as America's greatest cattleman in a
commercial sense. In the strict sense of the term, he was a pastoralist
and a trader, not an agriculturalist. His parents were native of
Ireland, who migrated to Virginia in 1818, and in 1824 joined the
exodus to the Mississippi Valley, settling in Jefferson County, Ohio.
John T. Alexander was the oldest of a family of eleven children. His
education was on the farm. He was endowed with that faculty called
cattle sense. At the age of fifteen, he was entrusted, by his father,
with the entire charge of a drove of cattle sent to Philadelphia. He
sold them to advantage, collected the money, and took it safely home.
At the age of seventeen, he was purchasing cattle in Illinois to
replenish his father's Ohio pastures. It is related that his search
took him down into Sangamon county, where he was so struck with its
natural advantages, from a cattle standpoint, that he determined to

In 1840, the Alexanders settled in Morgan county, then a cattle range
bounded only by the horizon. Mr. Alexander accumulated a herd of
steers, pastured them on the public domain, and for half a decade
prospered in a moderate way. As the country became settled, it soon
became evident that he must own land or get out of the cattle business
as far as that locality was concerned. In 1848, he purchased 3,000
acres of land at prices ranging from 87 cents to $3.00 per acre. This
land was adjoining the half section that he had originally homesteaded.
In 1855, he acquired another 1,000 acres at $30.00 per acre. This
indicated how rapidly the price of land was advancing. In 1857, he
bought 700 acres more at $50.00 per acre, and in 1859, he acquired 1500
acres of the Strawn estate at $30.00 per acre. In 1864, he secured 853
acres at $60.00 to $70.00 per acre, making him the owner of 7,233 acres
of the choicest land in Illinois. In 1866, he purchased the stock farm
of Michael Sullivan in Champaign county, Illinois, containing 26,000
acres at $11.00 to $12.00 per acre.

It was during this period of purchase that John T. Alexander acquired
the title of "cattle king." His transactions were on an enormous scale.
His buyers searched every nook and cranny of the cattle producing
region of the Mississippi valley, and Alexander, on the Wabash railroad
in Morgan county, Illinois, was the largest cattle shipping station in
the world. Entire trains of cattle, destined for eastern markets,
were daily loaded there and almost the entire population was on the
Alexander pay roll. Thousands of other cattle, for which he paid but
never saw, were loaded at innumerable points for eastern markets. From
a pastoralist, he had emerged into a speculator on probably the most
gigantic scale the live stock industry has ever witnessed. He ruled the
markets of the East and was the Napoleon of the cattle trade. His name
was more familiar to the West than that of Vanderbilt or A. T. Stewart.
His annual cattle shipment for many years exceeded 50,000 head, and
in 1868, reached 75,000. For a lengthy period, his sales on eastern
markets exceeded $4,000,000 annually, and it is related that prior to
his Champaign county purchase, an inventory of his assets showed 7,233
acres of land, averaging $75.00 per acre in value, $100,000 in bank,
7,000 cattle on his Morgan county pastures, and not a dollar of debt.

Such speculative operations, however, had the result of entailing
financial embarrassment. In 1871, Alexander had to contract
his business and part with his Champaign county property. This
embarrassment was due to many causes, not the least serious of which
was cattle mortality by splenetic fever, by which he lost $100,000.
He also sustained heavy losses by shrinkage in cattle values, and the
Champaign county investment proved disastrous. He also became involved
in railroad complications. The railroads were keen competitors for
the livestock traffic and in 1871, Alexander severed his relations
with the Pennsylvania railroad, making a contract with the New York
Central, by which that company gave him a low rate conditional to
a specified tonnage. By way of resentment, the Pennsylvania railroad
put merely nominal rates into effect, thereby glutting eastern markets
and crippling Alexander's trade, which had become so colossal as to
be unwieldy. To carry on such gigantic operations, he was compelled
to trust to innumerable assistants, many of whom proved to be either
incompetent or unfaithful. Confronted with liabilities aggregating
$1,200,000, he was forced to make an assignment, but his estate was
sufficient not only to pay off every creditor, but leave him a large
sum for a fresh start in life. It was while energetically engaged in
retrieving his fortune that he died, in 1876.

Those survivors of John T. Alexander, who remember his activity as
Illinois' greatest operator, describe him as being tall and commanding
in appearance. Even at the time of his death, he was hale and youthful.
He was of sanguine temperament, naturally impulsive, but quiet and
non-assuming in manner, sparing in speech, and undoubtedly one of the
great American captains of industry in his time, an outstanding figure
in a trade that boasts many conspicuous men.

The old Alexander mansion in Morgan county, the greatest house in
the countryside half a decade ago, remains in a somewhat dilapidated
condition, and the decaying out-buildings convey a mournful hint of
vanished greatness. Here, during Alexander's time, Abraham Lincoln,
Stephen A. Douglas, Richard Yates, and others, whose illustrious
names adorn Illinois history, were the guests of America's greatest

_Jacob Strawn_

Jacob Strawn came from Ohio and settled in Morgan county in 1827, and
a few years later was probably the most extensive cattle dealer in the
world, but his operations were, to a large extent, local and his most
distant shipping point, Saint Louis. His pastures in Morgan county
embraced about 15,000 acres and his business reached its maximum about

Survivors of that period recall Strawn's free handed methods. He
purchased cattle by the thousands, fixing the price on mere verbal
description as to quality and weight. Frequently, at delivery time,
nobody was on hand to receive the cattle, but they were driven into the
Strawn pastures and left with confidence that payment would be prompt.
Both Strawn and his successor, Alexander, were always ready to buy
cattle, in fact they were the market of that period. Strawn was at the
height of his career when John T. Alexander came on the scene. Strawn
produced beef as a feeder and grazier; Alexander contracted cattle to
be delivered in the future.[17]

Mr. T. C. Sterrett relates that in the summer of 1856 he came to
Illinois and was informed that the largest cattle dealer in the state
was Jacob Strawn, living near Jacksonville, in Morgan county. He
visited Strawn's place and found a remarkably large brick house and
was astonished at the amount of brick paving about the house. Mr.
Strawn lived on a good farm at Orleans Station, east of Jacksonville.
He owned a lot of good horses and Shorthorn cattle. Piloted by the
foreman, Mr. Sterrett went out into a 1,200 acre pasture which was
fenced with rails and stocked with a fine lot of cattle. He was very
much struck with a hundred head of the finest general work horses that
could be found anywhere. This band of horses and cattle, the good
fences, and the general appearance of everything about the place,
indicated the power and ability of the owner. Mr. Strawn was by far the
greatest American cattleman of his time.[18]

_Benjamin Franklin Harris_[19]

December 15, 1811--May 7, 1905

[Illustration: B. F. HARRIS at 55]

"Benjamin Franklin Harris was born December 15, 1811, on a farm in the
Shenandoah Valley, near Winchester and Harper's Ferry, in Frederick
county, Virginia. He was the second of ten children of William Hickman
Harris and Elizabeth Payne (own cousin of Dolly Payne Madison from
England). His grandfather, Benjamin Harris, with two brothers, came
from England and settled on the eastern shore of Maryland in 1726. The
family were of Scotch-English extraction and Quakers; in this country
becoming fighting Quakers, then Methodists. He grew to manhood on his
father's Virginia farm, attending the country schools until sixteen
years of age. At that time, President Jackson's attitude toward the
United States bank so seriously affected values that wheat declined
from $1.50 to 50 cents and Virginia farm land to less than one-third of
its former price. These declines so affected the father's obligations
that Benjamin Franklin Harris and his brothers, each with a six horse
team--in those days without railroads--went into the "wagoning" or
freighting business, and for three years "wagoned" freight over that
section and out through Pennsylvania and as far west as Zanesville,
Ohio, in order to recoupe the father's losses."

On March 20, 1833, the Virginia farm had been sold at 40 % of its
original cost, and in a one-horse gig and a two-horse carryall, the
Harris family set out for Ohio, arriving at Springfield on April 8,
and nearby, purchased and settled upon their new farm. It was during
this year that Benjamin Franklin Harris commenced business for himself,
buying and driving cattle overland to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and
there disposing of them to cattle feeders.

In 1834, he started for Illinois via Danville, then through the present
site of Sidney, and Urbana--where there was but one cabin--and on to
what is now Monticello in Piatt county. During the ensuing years, he
began to accumulate farming lands in Piatt and Champaign counties and
to buy cattle throughout all this section as far south and west as Mt.
Vernon, Vandalia, and Springfield. During several seasons, he bought
for the purpose of feeding cattle, all the corn for sale in Macon,
Sangamon, and Champaign counties. Each year, for nine years, he drove
these cattle overland via Muncie, Indiana; Springfield, and Columbus,
Ohio, into Pennsylvania, and some into New York and Boston, where they
were sold.

When B. F. Harris came into this state, no streams were bridged, and
there were only eleven families on the Sangamon river from its source
to the limits of Piatt county. Fifteen years later not a half dozen men
had ventured their cabins a mile from the timber limits--the deer and
the Indians were still at home here. In 1840, he visited Chicago, a
town of 2000 people, on stilts in a swamp. Nineteen days were required
for the trip and the corn and wheat he teamed there sold for 20 and 30
cents respectively. Fifteen years after he came, not 25 % of the land
in these counties had passed from government ownership and the first
railroad came twenty years later.

The operations of B. F. Harris in connection with the early beef cattle
industry of Illinois were conducted more largely along the feeding
lines than were those of John T. Alexander or Jacob Strawn. He bought,
fed, and sold, from 500 to 2000 head of cattle annually for nearly
three-quarters of a century. The Pittsburgh Live Stock Journal, May 8,
1905, in speaking of his death, referred to him as "The grand old man
of the live stock trade--the oldest and most successful cattle feeder
in the world." Everything to which he put his hand flourished. His
judgment was so trustworthy that he made but few business mistakes. He
did business on a cash basis and was never in debt. Operating on this
basis, he was a rich man long before his race was run, and he enjoyed a
period of ease and entire freedom from anxiety much longer than falls
to the lot of most men who are counted fortunate in the world.

On May 23, 1856, his famous herd of one hundred cattle--the finest and
heaviest cattle ever raised and fattened in one lot by one man--were
weighed on his farm by Dr. Johns of Decatur, the president of the State
Board of Agriculture. The average weight of each of the hundred
head was 2,378 pounds. Visitors to the number of 500 came from Ohio,
Indiana, Kentucky, and this state to see these cattle, whose weight can
never again be equalled. The following year, February 22, 1857, twelve
of these cattle which he had retained and fed were shipped to Chicago.
This remarkable bunch averaged 2,786 pounds. Clayborn and Alley, the
most famous butchers in Chicago at that time, paraded them about
Chicago's downtown streets.

Following is a copy of a pamphlet gotten out by Mr. Harris immediately
after the sale of these cattle. (see next page)

The New York Tribune of October, 1853, refers to his prize winning
drove of cattle averaging 1,965 pounds, displayed at the New York
World's Fair then in session.

Every few years, he took cattle prizes or topped the market. Less than
a year before his death, his 1,616 pound cattle topped the Chicago
market for that season.

Mr. Harris died May 7, 1905, in his ninety-fourth year, still in strong
mental and physical vigor, although at the age of fifty-three, he had
retired from extremely active business life. He came in the day of ox
teams and lived to ride over his farm with his son, grandsons, and
great grandsons in an automobile. He voted for nineteen presidents,
beginning with Henry Clay, and saw five generations of his family
settled in Champaign county. He established the First National Bank in
Champaign in 1865--the oldest bank in the county, and was its president
at the time of his death.

In the issue of The Breeder's Gazette, May 24, 1905, is the following
statement: "In literature, art, professional life, or politics, a
man with a record of achievements equal to that of the late Benjamin
Franklin Harris would deservedly have numerous biographers. Many a man
has been made the subject of bulky biography who might not measure
up to him on any score. This is not because the most inviting and
interesting personalities are found outside the farmer's calling, but
largely because until recent years agriculture as a vocation has not
been adequately appreciated by the public. It has not been sufficiently
dignified to become the source of life histories. Other professions
have furnished the candidates for the Plutarchs, and contributed the
heroes and heroines famous in fiction. Farming has been drawn on
principally for Philistines. Its great men, its geniuses, its Harrises,
have been overlooked by almost all writers worthy of putting their
useful lives into books."

                                                     (Cont. on page 47.)

               Record of the Best Hundred Head of Cattle
            Ever Fattened in One Lot in the United States.

                          STOCKMEN, ATTENTION

                       Who Can Beat This Record?

Weight of 100 head of Cattle, fatted by B. F. Harris, of Champaign
County, Illinois:

  No. Cattle   Weight

       2        4718
       2        4782
       2        4340
       2        4580
       2        4582
       2        4730
       2        4764
       2        4738
       2        4880
       2        4756
       2        5150
       2        4624
       2        4582
       2        5364
       2        4828
       2        5378
       2        4864
       2        4640
       2        4694
       2        4610
       2        4776
       2        4488
       2        4572
       2        4988
       2        4634
       2        4458
       2        4920
       2        4828
       2        4702
       2        4852
       2        4464
       2        4900
       2        4634
       2        4764
       1        2690
       2        4650
       2        4806
       2        4505
       1        2548
       2        4830
       2        4762
       2        4706
       2        4854
       2        4746
       2        4700
       2        4546
       1        2516
       2        4648
       2        4724
       2        4720
       2        4732
       1        2646

Average price sale, 7 cents

These cattle were weighed by Dr. Johns, President of State Agricultural

Twelve of the large cattle out of 100 head, weighed May 23d, 1856,
which was during the time of fattening:

  Black        2424
  Red          2340
  Pied         2640
  M. Red       2264
  Ch. Roan     2522
  B. Red       2574
  S. Roan      2330
  C. Red       2340
  S. White     2360
  P. Red       2486
  Long White   2496
  M. Red       2540

Same cattle weighed July 18, 1856:

  Black        2526
  Red          2480
  Pied         2730
  M. Red       2424
  Ch. Roan     2654
  B. Red       2646
  S. Roan      2470
  C. Red       2490
  S. White     2430
  P. Red       2630
  L. White     2600
  M. Red       2564

Same cattle weighed February 12th, 1857:

  Black        2720
  Red          2780
  Pied         2990
  M. Red       2640
  Ch. Roan     2810
  B. Red       2910
  S. Roan      2680
  C. Red       2770
  S. White     2605
  P. Red       2840
  L. White     2810
  M. Red       2880

Average, 2786¼ lbs.

Average age, 4 years

Weighed by B. F. Harris; sold for 8 cents per lb.

Largest steer in Illinois, weight 3524, 7 years old, raised by John
Rising, fed by H. H. Harris.

Average weight of the 100 head, 2377 lbs.

       *       *       *       *       *

The foregoing is a correct statement of a famous cattle sale which
occurred in the City of Chicago, month of March, 1856.

The herd comprised 100 head of the finest and heaviest cattle ever
raised and fattened in one lot by one man in the State of Illinois,
or in the United States of America, or elsewhere, so far as the
records go to show. These cattle were raised from 1 and 2-year-old
steers on my farm in Champaign County, Illinois, and fattened for the
market in the years of 1855 and '56, their average age, at that time,
being 4 years. They were weighed on my farm by Dr. Johns, of Decatur,
Illinois, President State Agricultural Society. Said weights were
witnessed by a large number of representative men from Ohio, Indiana,
Kentucky and Illinois, to the number of five hundred, among whom were
many professional cattle raisers and dealers, all of whom bore willing
testimony to the average weight of the cattle, which was 2,377 lbs.
per head. Out of this lot of 100 cattle, 12 head of the finest steers
were selected and fed until the following February. They then showed
an average weight of 2,786¼ lbs., and were sold to Messrs. Cliborn and
Alby, of Chicago, at 8 cents per lb. The weight master kept a record of
each draft as the cattle were weighed--one and two in a draft. A copy
of said weights is herewith attached for the inspection of the general
public; also copy of average gain at different periods.

On the 22d of February, 1857, the 12 steers sold to Cliborn and Alby,
appropriately decorated with tri-colored ribbon, preceded by a band
of music, were led through the principal streets of Chicago, followed
by 100 butchers, mounted and uniformed. After this unique procession,
the cattle were slaughtered by said Cliborn, and Alby, for the city
markets, some of the beef selling as high as 50 cents per lb. Small
packages of it were sent to customers in various parts of the United
States, and even Europe, and sold, in some cases, as high as $1.00 per
lb. These orders were given by these parties simply that they might say
they had eaten of this famous premium beef.

                                                           B. F. Harris.

_Tom Candy Ponting._

                            August 26, 1824-

"Tom Candy Ponting was born at Heyden farm, Parish of Kilsmeredo, near
Bath, Somersetshire, England, August 26, 1824. He was the son of John
Ponting and Ruth Sherron Ponting. The Pontings came into England with
William the Conqueror, so were descendants of Normandy. The Ponting
family were breeders of cattle and Tom Ponting has followed cattle
breeding all of his life, both in England and in this country."

Tom Candy Ponting came to the United States in 1847, landing in New
York City, and finally making his way to Etna, Ohio. Here he was
employed by a Mr. Matthews, to sell mutton from a wagon in the market
house in Columbus, where they attended twice a week. Mutton sold for
15 cents to 25 cents per quarter in those days, while beef sold for
2½ cents to 3 cents per pound. After a short time, Mr. Ponting quit
his job selling mutton, went to Columbus, bought a horse and saddle,
and went into the country to buy cattle. The first cattle that he ever
bought in the United States were eight head which he purchased from a
Mr. Bishop eight miles northeast of Columbus, Ohio.

In the spring of 1848, Mr. Ponting, in company with a Mr. Vickery,
another Englishman, visited Racine, Janesville, Watertown, Madison, and
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, looking for a location to start a butcher shop.
Although there was plenty of need for butcher shops at these places,
they did not locate because cattle were so scarce in the country. From
Milwaukee, Mr. Ponting came to Chicago to study the situations there.
He found no regular markets and only two places where they sold stock.
While in Chicago, he met a Mr. Bradley, who had driven some cattle
from McLean county, near Leroy. Mr. Bradley had sold all of his cattle
except forty cows with calves. He sold these to Mr. Ponting, who drove
them to Wisconsin and sold them to immigrants, a few at a time. He
sold them for $15 to $25 per head and still made money. He returned to
Chicago and again met Mr. Bradley, who had brought a boat load of sides
of bacon up from Peoria. He had purchased this bacon from the farmers,
hauled it to Peoria, and shipped it up the Illinois river to Chicago,
where he sold it to grocery stores. This was the only means to dispose
of the bacon put up by the farmers, as there was no hog packing done in
Chicago at that time.

Mr. Bradley wanted Mr. Ponting to go with him to McLean county, but as
Illinois was known in those days as a very sickly state, Mr. Ponting
was afraid to venture.

While in Chicago at this time, he met a Mr. Lewis and Mr. Heyworth who
had come up from Vermilion county with a drove of cattle. Mr. Heyworth
was taken sick here and Mr. Ponting was employed to assist Mr. Lewis in
taking the cattle on to Milwaukee.

In the spring of 1849, Mr. Ponting went to Georgetown, Illinois, and
there purchased about 300 head of cattle. He also bought a camping
outfit, a yoke of oxen, employed a cook, and drove through with the
cattle to Wisconsin. The cattle that got fat on the way were sold to
the butchers, while those that were fit for milk cows were sold to the
immigrants. During this same spring, when Mr. Ponting was in Vermilion
county, he visited Mr. Lewis at Crabapple Grove, which is on the line
of Vermilion and Edgar counties. This man and one of his neighbors
had bought a drove of geese, drove them to Iowa, and traded them for
steers. They drove the steers back to Vermilion county, fattened them,
and the next spring built flat boats and shipped them to New Orleans.
In the fall of this same year, he made several trips over the line into
Illinois, in Stevenson county, buying fat sheep to drive to Milwaukee.
There were no regular banks in Milwaukee, therefore all the money
that was paid for stock was Mexican dollars and five franc pieces.
Very little American silver money was seen at that time. The hotel
rates in Milwaukee were very cheap; only $2.00 per week, with bitters
before breakfast, free. Whiskey sold for 15 cents a gallon and was used
liberally by stock drivers.

In March, 1850, Mr. Ponting rode on horseback from Milwaukee to Leroy,
in McLean county, where he met with some men who were buying cattle to
take back to California. He went from here to Christian county, where
he bought a drove of cattle which cost him from $6 to $11 per head. In
the spring, he drove them to Milwaukee. There had been very heavy rains
that spring and rivers were very high, which made cattle driving very

In the spring of 1851, he purchased about 350 head of cattle, buying
from Rochester, near Springfield, to the Wabash river. After gathering
the cattle together, he pinned them up near the present site of
Moweaqua. He bought these cattle very cheap and drove the entire herd
to Milwaukee, where they were herded on the prairies near town until
sold. He took a few in each week and sold them to the butchers. After
finishing the season's work, he returned to Indiana to spend the winter.

In the summer of 1852, the cattle business in Wisconsin was dull. Money
matters were very much changed; gold began to come in from California,
and get into circulation. Mr. Ponting and his partner decided to go to
Texas and buy their feeder cattle. They rode through to Hopkins county,
Texas. Here they visited a Mr. Hart, one of the large cattle men in
that country. They bought several hundred cattle and drove them back
to Illinois, reaching Moweaqua in July of the next year. He put these
Texas cattle on pasture until winter, when they were fed out on shocked
corn. Mr. Ponting's partner went to Indiana and bought several hundred
hogs to follow these cattle. They bought shocked corn, paying about
50 cents a bushel for it. They would go into a piece of corn after it
was dry enough and select two of the smallest shocks they could find.
The owner would select two of the largest ones. These were shocked
out and weighed, the average being taken as an average size shock. He
bought about 40 acres from Mr. Dennison Sanders this way. The shocked
corn was fed to the cattle in the same place each day, so that when it
rained, the accumulation of stalks would keep the steers out of the
mud. He drove this bunch of cattle to New York the next summer, where
they were sold July 4, 1854.

In the spring of 1855, Mr. Ponting purchased a large drove of cattle,
which together with some he had bought a few months before, were driven
through to Chicago. Illinois was pretty well settled by this time, and
it was unnecessary to take a camping outfit along. He stopped this
drove of cattle near Pullman, put them out on the grass and took only a
few into Chicago at a time. There had been a great change made in the
Chicago market since Mr. Ponting was there two years before. There were
two regular stock yards; the Merrick Yards, now known as the Sherman
Yards, and the Bullshed Yards. In the fall of this year, he bought
another bunch of cattle and drove them to Chicago in October. This time
he stopped the cattle near the present site of Kankakee, and rode on
into Chicago to learn the prospects for a market. They were then taken
on to Chicago and left just outside the city to graze until they could
be sold to the cattle dealers. This was the last bunch of cattle Mr.
Ponting ever drove over land to Chicago, and it is probable that they
were the last bunch ever driven from central Illinois. From this time
on, the cattle were sent to market by railroad. The next year, 1856,
he shipped 110 head of cattle from Moweaqua, the first cattle ever
shipped from that place.

In the early part of 1857, the cattle business was very flourishing and
the packers said there would be a big demand for them that fall. Mr.
Ponting contracted for 1000 head of cattle and about 1500 hogs before
the season was over, but before he got them on the market, a panic came
on, money became almost worthless, and he suffered a heavy loss.

In 1866, Mr. Ponting went to Abilene, Kansas, to buy some feeders. He
purchased about 700, sold them the next spring, making a good profit.
He repeated the Kansas purchase the next year with like success. In
1868, he took the cattle he had bought in Kansas to Albany. They
numbered around 800. In 1870, he went back down into Texas and bought
cattle as he had done in 1852. He found a herd of about 2500, out of
which he bought all of the two and three year olds. These numbered
about 850, for which he paid $16 per head. There had been a new
railroad, just finished, from St. Louis through Missouri, close to
the Indian Territory line to a place called Pierce City. The railroad
officers had some agents trying to get a contract to carry these
cattle, together with some other cattle belonging to Hall brothers,
over the new road. They billed the cars, numbering 80 in all, with a
contract to refund $50 per car. They did this to get the contract which
made a big showing before some New York magnates, who were there at the
time trying to buy stock in the new railroad.

In 1876, Mr. Ponting visited a Shorthorn sale at Springfield and bought
several head of cattle with which he started a Shorthorn herd. In the
spring of 1880, he attended another Shorthorn sale at Chicago, where
he bought a few more Shorthorns to add to his herd. Until his first
purchase of Shorthorns, Mr. Ponting's operations had been entirely
along the line of buying and feeding and although he did a small pure
bred business from this time on, he continued his feeding operations
as he had done in previous years, although probably not on as large a

Mr. Ponting had not been in the Shorthorn business very long until he
became interested in Herefords. In the fall of 1880, he visited the
fair at St. Louis, where he purchased four Herefords. In the spring
of the next year, Mr. W. H. Sotham of Guelph, Canada, bought four
more Herefords for him. In the fall of 1882, he sold out all of his
Shorthorns, thereby severing his relations with this breed.

In 1886, Mr. Ponting made a contract with the Wyoming Hereford
Association to sell them 270 head of Hereford cattle, to be delivered
in the spring of 1887. The firm paid for a part of them and Mr. Ponting
took a note for a few more. About 60 were left on his hands and had to
be sold for beef. As a result, he lost about $800 on the deal, which
killed all of his profits.

Mr. Ponting continued in the Hereford business until 1903, when he
decided to retire from actual business. In the summer, a gentleman came
from Iowa and bought his entire Hereford cattle trade. He had at this
time about 3700 acres of land, 1500 acres of which were in Christian
county. He decided to divide his property among his children, keeping a
sufficient amount to support Mrs. Ponting and himself. He bought a home
in Moweaqua, where he and Mrs. Ponting have lived happily ever since.

When Mr. Ponting came to Chicago in 1848, there was only one cattle
market west of the Allegheny mountains, and that was at St. Louis.
At that time, there were a good many cattle sold for the New Orleans
market during the spring and winter, but the principal markets were New
York, Boston, Baltimore, and Philadelphia It took ninety days to make
the trip to New York with cattle and the drovers had to wait until the
roads settled in the spring before they started.

At Fort Worth, Texas, there was nothing but a large fort and force of
United States soldiers to subdue the Indians around there. The present
six big western markets have all been started since that time.

"While the magnitude of Mr. Ponting's operations was not as great as
that of John T. Alexander, and although he probably never accumulated
as much wealth as Benjamin F. Harris, he was successful and his
operations extended over a greater period of time than any one of
the early pioneer cattlemen of the state of Illinois. He operated
throughout two of the stages of cattle feeding and has lived to see the
beginning of the third."[20]


[15] Bureau of Animal Industry Report of 1885-86.

[16] The Breeder's Gazette, July 16, 1913.

His son, John T. Alexander, of Alexander, Ward & Co., commission men of
Chicago, has been prominent in the cattle interests during the last 40

[17] The Breeder's Gazette, July 16, 1913.

[18] The Breeder's Gazette. Aug. 6, 1913.

[19] This information was given by his grandson, Mr. B. F. Harris.

[20] Story of Tom Ponting's Life.


"In the ante-bellum period, central Illinois was a vast blue grass
pasture. The people were breeding many cattle, but not enough to supply
the steady increasing demand for stockers and feeders. Cattle feeders
made good the deficiency in the local production by heavy drafts on
Missouri, Kansas, Texas, and other sections of the trans-Mississippi
region. The subsequent reign of King Corn was then barely in the
incubating stage. Grass was the beef maker's principal reliance.

"Not until well along in the sixties did the cultivation of corn begin
on an extensive scale and corn-fed steers become conspicuous on the
markets. After the grazing period, corn speedily took possession of
the whole of central Illinois, until now less than 15 per cent remains
in pastures, whereas in the days of the "barons" an exactly reverse
condition existed. At that time, fully 85 per cent of such counties as
Sangamon, Morgan, and Logan, were in grass.

"The cattle that were secured from Missouri, Iowa, and Kansas, were
purchased during the fall months. By the early part of winter, central
Illinois pastures would be fully stocked with three and four year old
bullocks, which were allowed to graze all through the winter and the
following spring and summer. About three acres of the rich blue grass
was allowed to a steer and on this they fattened rapidly.

"There are men now living in Missouri and Illinois who drove cattle
from that vast breeding ground west of the Mississippi river, into
central Illinois, for the cattle kings, Jacob Strawn and John T.
Alexander. These herds, numbering about 300 to 400 head, grazed
leisurely across the open country at about 15 miles or so a day. During
the war, the trade was more or less interrupted, but the practice
was continued until settlement and railroads rendered trailing both
unnecessary and impossible.

"The annexation of Texas to the United States, and the discovery of
gold in California in 1849, resulted in an influx of population and
capital that soon exerted a stimulating effect upon the production of
cattle throughout the southwest, as well as beyond the Sierra Nevada
Mountains in the west.

"At a comparatively early date, there was a ready market for Illinois
bred cattle to go to the states west of the Mississippi river to be
used for breeding stock. The development of the range cattle industry
created a strong demand for pure bred bulls, and cattle breeders of
Illinois were called upon, perhaps to a greater extent than those of
any other state in the Union, to supply this demand. The range cattle
business also created a market for young cows and heifers to be used
for breeding purposes. This demand steadily increased from year to
year, until a very large part of the yearly product of pure bred cattle
in Illinois was absorbed for that purpose."[21]

"In 1880, the range cattle trade was yet in a transition stage,
especially as to the destination of marketable cattle and the special
use to which they were put. Before this time, the bulk of the range
cattle trade was divided between the coming establishments of the west,
slaughter for home consumption, for exportation as dressed carcasses
to the eastern markets, and shipping on the hoof to eastern states as
feeders. Large feeding stables had been established in Nebraska for the
purpose of feeding out these large numbers of rangers, but they could
not utilize all of them. The overflow of these grass fat rangers found
their way to eastern feed lots to be finished on the grain of the corn
belt. The numbers increased from year to year, and extended farther and
father east as the numbers increased.

"The fact that one of the large feeding plants of Nebraska could
turn off as many as 2000 ripe range steers in one month, gives some
indication of the immense capacity of the range cattle trade.

"As the Indians were confined more closely from year to year, there
were more grazing lands opened up to be devoted to the raising of these
range cattle. Most people at this time, seeing the rapid increase of
the range industry, thought there would never be a beef famine as the
economists of the time predicted. They said such economists always look
on the dark side of things."[22]

"Not many had any adequate conception of the vastness of the cattle
interest in the great pasture region lying on the eastern slope of the
Rocky Mountains during the seventies and eighties. It was worth quite
a journey to see a single thousand head of these cattle engaged in
feeding together. To witness a drove of 4000 moving leisurely along at
a convenient distance from each other, to allow the animals to graze
as they traveled a mile or so an hour, would seem to an unaccustomed
eye as if the herd must consist of tens of thousands. The appearance
of such a drove as this might be recalled by a single transaction made
by Dennis Sheedy of Colorado, who sold 27000 head of cattle to the
Ogalla Cattle Company. This company was composed of A. H. Swan, of
Cheyenne, Wyoming, William Paxton, of Omaha, Nebraska, and J. H. Bosler
of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The cattle were put on a range on the north
side of the north Platte Run in Nebraska and Wyoming. The lumping price
was $30 per head, amounting to $810,000 for the entire lot."[23]

_Texas Cattle_

"It will be no departure from the strictest truth to say that the
oldest known race of cattle on this continent is the Texas or Spanish
cattle. They have been very generally popular with the stockmen of the
plains, because they turned the free grass of the plains into available
cash for their owners.

"The Texas cattle are truly the only animals except the bison that
deserve the name of "Native" American cattle. All the other scrubs in
the country are foreigners by blood, or are descendants of intruders
from other lands. These long legged, big headed, thin fleshed brutes
were in this country centuries ago. It is by no means certain that
their ancestors did not roam the plains of the Brazos and the Rio
Grande a thousand years or more before America was visited by the
Spaniards. There is evidence that the real ancestors of the cattle
of Texas were seen in Old Mexico and described about five hundred
years after the Christian era, but this evidence has been considered
unworthy of full confidence, because to admit its truth would be to
confess that the honor of first discovering America belongs to the
barbarians from the Orient.

"In the carefully edited official records, known as the "Chinese
Year Book", which was written some fourteen hundred years ago, a
circumstantial account of a visit to Mexico by a party of Buddhist
Priests is given. These priests saw in the country two breeds of
cattle. One of these breeds was described as having very large horns
which would hold ten measures. These were probably the earliest
ancestors of the present race of Texas cattle, while the other breed
with shorter horns was, it is likely, the ancestors of the bison that
later roamed over the ranges of the western plains. Those ancient
travelers were too well accustomed to seeing cattle and horses in
their own country to be in even the slightest degree likely to mistake
any other animal for kine. The generally accepted belief, however, is
that the Texas cattle are descendants of cattle brought to America by
the Spanish invaders, although no definite proof seems to have been
brought forward to show that those roistering, plundering explorers
ever imported any cattle to this continent, and turned them loose in
such numbers as would have produced the vast horde that covered the
Southwestern plains before the Civil War.

"To western people, especially in those parts where Spanish or
Texas fever has caused the destruction of stock, Texas cattle are
so well known that a description of their peculiarities will appear
unnecessary. There are many who do not know that the chief purpose of
the Texas bullock, pure and simple, seems to be the lugging about
of a prodigious pair of horns. To this end, a big head and coarse
shoulders have been given him. Behind these are a flat ribbed, thin
chested, light body, held up at the hinder end by a pair of cat hams on
thin, deer-like legs. The whole outfit, unburdened by flesh or fat, is
muscular, nervous, and active. Such of them as lived through alternate
roasting, starving, and freezing during the early years of their lives,
found their way to the northern markets to be fattened and slaughtered.
These rangers fattened very readily in the northern feed lots and those
that were not too old and tough made very good beef. Thousands of them
were driven from Texas in the early forties and fifties to Illinois
feed lots, where they were fattened and then re-driven to the markets
on the seaboard. In later years, they were slaughtered in Illinois and
shipped in refrigerator cars, in the form of dressed carcasses, to the
Atlantic States. Choice parts, as steaks, roasts, and tenderloins, were
sent to health resorts, watering places, and to hotels and restaurants.
A vast quantity of their flesh found its way into tin cans, to feed
hungry humanity, in the hut of the laborer, at the picnic of the
aristocrat, in the camp of the miner, and in the forecastle of the
sailor in every corner of the world. It will be seen that the mission
of the Texas steer was to raise the standard of living, to add to the
comfort, and preserve the health and strength of people the world


[21] The Breeder's Gazette, July 16, 1913.

[22] Farm Field and Stockmen.

[23] The Prairie Farmer, July 18, 1885, p. 453.

[24] The Prairie Farmer, 1885, p. 452.


The beginning of the pure bred cattle industry in the state of Illinois
was antedated by the introduction of the mongrel bred cattle by a very
narrow margin of time. While there were probably a few mongrel bred
cattle in the state before 1830, those that were brought in after that
date were the real foundation cattle. These cattle were brought from
the eastern states, by the early pioneers, for milk cows, and it is
their descendants which are referred to when the native cattle of the
state are spoken of.

The changes which have been made from the mongrel bred cattle that
were brought into the state by the early settlers to the present day
improved breeds have been marked.

"For almost a century, attention has been given to the breeding of
pure bred cattle in Illinois. As early as 1833, a man by the name of
James Williams, brought some Shorthorn cattle of the Patten Stock,
from Kentucky to Sangamon county. In 1834, J. D. Smith and J. N. Brown
brought a number of Shorthorns from Kentucky to the central part of the
state. In the spring of 1838, Colonel John Williams, a son of James
Williams, brought a Shorthorn bull and a Shorthorn cow from Lexington,
New York, into Sangamon county. These three importations of pure bred
stock into Illinois were the earliest of which there are any records.
Other importations of Shorthorns into the state were made at later
dates, however, and they soon became the leading breed of cattle in the
state for both beef and dairy purposes."[25]

The rapid dissemination of Shorthorns throughout the state was probably
due chiefly to the method by which the breed was advertised. The
leading breeders held public auction sales annually on their farms,
or at some convenient place, and people all over the state were invited
to come to these sales and bring such pure bred animals as they had for
sale. In view of apprehensions on the part of some of the breeders,
that this method might tend to spread disease among the cattle, it
became a rule to require that every contributor to a sale furnish a
certificate from a veterinarian, showing his cattle to be in good
health, and that they had not been exposed to any contagious disease.

Shorthorns held full sway in the state until about 1865 or 1870, when
the tide began to turn. Other breeds began to be introduced into
various parts of the state. Some of these breeds gained popularity so
rapidly that within a very few years the competition became very keen
between them and the Shorthorns. At the shows, all breeds were shown
in the same class. This created considerable excitement among the
enthusiastic advocates of the various breeds and often resulted in fist
and skull fights.

"At the Chicago show in 1879, there was close competition among the
breeds when it come to tying the ribbon for sweepstakes award. Mr. F.
L. Miller, a Hereford man, wanted to put the breeds to a slaughter
test. The other breeders refused to kill their pure bred cattle, but
some grades were slaughtered instead; one Shorthorn, one Hereford, and
one Devon."

                  Herefords   Shorthorns   Devons

  Gross Weight      1963        1795        1614
  Net Weight        1317        1179        1055
  Offal              452         389         394
  Dressing per cent   67.1        65.7        65.3
  Fore Quarters      354         308         277
                     371         303         275
  Hind Quarters      287         283         247
                     305         285         256
  Tallow             178         155         145
  Hide               106          90          99
  Head                55          47          49

Neither of these steers had marbled flesh. One family who ate some of
one of the steers was said to have been made sick, due to the excessive

The feeders of this time gave very little or no attention to the
marbling of meat. All they noted was whether an animal was getting
fat or not. They didn't notice whether they were putting the fat on

From the very earliest improvement of cattle in Illinois, Shorthorn
blood has been used more extensively than that of any other breed. They
were the first pure bred cattle brought into the state and were the
only pure bred cattle in the state for several years. They were more
generally known by farmers throughout the state and at a very early
date were found in almost every county.

Hereford cattle have ranked next to Shorthorns, both in number and

"About 1870, Herefords began to play an important part in beef
production in this state, and it was only a few years after this time
that they were taken into Sangamon county, where Shorthorns had first
gotten their strong hold."[27]

"The competition between the Herefords and the Shorthorns grew stronger
each year. In February of 1885, the Shorthorn Breeders' Association,
in session, decided to ask each member to contribute fifteen cents for
each Shorthorn owned by him, to be used for the good of the Shorthorn
interest. The rivalry between the different breeds of cattle was so
sharply defined and closely pressed that they thought it indispensable
to the protection and prosperity of the Shorthorn interest and thought
the State Association of Shorthorn Breeders should be kept in an active
and strong existence."[28]

The following is a summary of reports gathered by the Bureau of Animal
Industry in 1885, by sending out questionnaires to different parts
of the state, showing the breed of cattle that has been used moot
extensively in cattle improvement.

_State as a Whole_

  No. Reports       Breed Used

        240         Shorthorns
         80         Herefords
         28         Angus
         17         Devons

_State by Sections_

  Northwest    27         Shorthorns
  Counties      9         Herefords
                5         Angus

  Northern     34         Shorthorns
  Counties     13         Herefords
                5         Angus
                4         Devons
                2         Galloways

  Western      32         Shorthorns
  Counties      8         Herefords
                5         Angus
                4         Devons
                3         Galloways

  Central      55         Shorthorns
  Counties     20         Herefords
                3         Angus
                1         Red Polled

  Western      20         Shorthorns
  Counties     14         Herefords
                7         Angus

  Southwest     9         Shorthorns
  Counties      1         Herefords
                1         Angus

  Southern     44         Shorthorns
  Counties      6         Herefords
                3         Devons
                1         Dutch Belted

  Southeast    10         Shorthorns
  Counties      2         Herefords
                2         Devons

_T. L. Miller_

"Early in the "seventies," Mr. T. L. Miller, than a business man in
Chicago, who owned a farm at Beecher, Will county, Illinois, became
interested in Hereford cattle."

Mr. Miller was born at Middletown, Connecticut, on April 7, 1817.
In 1842, he went to Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, where he was in business
until 1856, when he removed to Chicago, Illinois. Here he was in the
fire insurance business until about 1870. He had bought the first 320
acres of his farm at Beecher and 207 acres three miles to the north.
He commenced to improve the farm with buildings in 1862. His nearest
railroad station then was Monee, on the Illinois Central. In 1870,
the Chicago, Danville, and Vincennes Railroad, was built, and Mr.
Miller bought about 340 acres of additional land to the west of that
already acquired and laid out the village of Beecher. He closed out his
business in Chicago and went to live on this "Highland Stock Farm" in
March, 1870. A few years later, he laid the foundation for his herd of
Hereford cattle.

Mr. William Powell, an Englishman, who later on bred and handled
Herefords extensively on his own account both in Illinois and Texas,
was jointly interested with Mr. Miller in some of his earlier ventures
in Herefords. An item in the "National Live Stock Journal" for
February, 1872, reads as follows: "We learn that Messrs. Byers and
Campbell, of Nevada, Ohio, have sold to Messrs. T. L. Miller and Wm.
Powell of Highland Stock Farm, Beecher, Will county, Illinois, an
individual half interest in three Hereford cows and two bulls, and
thirty-six pure bred Cotswold sheep. Mr. Miller's farm soon afterward
became the center of the greatest American activity in the Hereford

_Thomas Clark_

"Thomas Clark was born in Herefordshire, England, near the Monmouth
border, in 1842. His father was a cattle grower of local repute, who
used pure bred Hereford bulls, but did not profess to be a handler of
pedigreed strains. Thomas Clark came to the United States in the spring
of 1866, and after working for a time on a farm near Pittsfield, Ohio,
was employed by a Cleveland butcher having a large city trade. Thrifty
and possessed of an inborn faith in the "white faces" of his native
land, by dint of hard work and economy in the course of a few years,
Clark found himself in a position to get into business in a small way
on his own account. As foreman and cutter in Cleveland, he acquired
a practical familiarity with what lies under a bullock's hide, that
was of distinct advantage in his subsequent career as a breeder and
feeder of good cattle. He had an interest in his brother-in-laws little
butcher shop in Elyra, but his own fondness for the fields led him to
give most of his time to the 80 acres he had under lease near town. He
moved on this farm and began breeding Hereford cattle. He bought his
first bull, Sir Arthur (705), as a calf, from F. W. Stone of Canada.

"In 1877, when Mr. Clark's lease on the Ohio farm expired, seeing that
the west was becoming a good market for Herefords, he decided to
remove to Beecher, Illinois. He had shown every year at the Ohio fairs,
and always won. He made one show at Erie, Pennsylvania, while breeding
in Ohio, and another at Jackson, Michigan, in 1876, winning first prize
on herd, in competition with seven Shorthorn and Devon herds. This was
the first time Herefords had won that prize in Michigan, and the event
caused a lot of controversy. Clark had, meantime, sold three calves to
T. L. Miller and delivered them personally. He was impressed with the
idea that Illinois would be a better location for his cattle business
than Ohio. He bought 80 acres of land, about one and one-fourth miles
from the village of Beecher. He afterward added forty acres to the
home farm, and subsequently, bought twenty-six acres in addition. Mr.
Clark always kept his own lands largely in grass, and leased fields
for farming purposes. He brought his Ohio herd, numbering at that time
about twenty-eight head, to Beecher.

"In 1877, Mr. Clark showed a herd at the northern Ohio Fair at
Cleveland, winning all prizes shown for."[30]

(1857) "There is no question but what the native cattle of the state
may be improved by successive generations of judicious breeding, but
if in and in-breeding is followed, as at present, the effects will be

"The true comparison between native steers and improved steers is seen
when they are put on the market. Shorthorn and Hereford steers at
weaning time are worth about $15, while the native steers at weaning
time are worth about $5. The Shorthorn and the Hereford steers
could be made to go to the New York market weighing around 1800 to
2000 pounds gross, and sell for 12 cents to 15 cents per pound, while
the native steers were sent to market at six or seven years of age,
weighing from 900 to 1000 pounds, and sold for 10 to 12 cents per pound.

       *       *       *       *       *

"The Illinois Cattle Importing Company received a shipment of 38
Shorthorn cattle from Europe."[31]

"Messrs. Calef and Jacoby at Springfield, Illinois, sold at auction,
March 23, fifteen head of cows and heifers, all Shorthorns. Two of the
number were imported. They reached an average of $583. They also sold
eight Shorthorn bulls which averaged $171.98 each."[32]

"Messrs. H. E Gardner of Bradfordton, Illinois, and J. S. Highmore of
Rochester, Illinois, sold 30 Shorthorn cows and heifers at the Sangamon
County Fair Grounds. The total number brought $3,140. Average of the
cows was $104.66. They also sold 14 bulls for $10.20. The highest price
paid in the sale was $280 for a cow. The total sale for cows and bulls
amounted to $4,160, an average of $95.54. L. C. Carlin of Edinburg,
Illinois, bought a bull for $100. Philimon Stuart of Cotton Hill,
Illinois, bought one for $100 also.

"In the afternoon of the same day, D. W. Smith of Bates, Illinois, sold
five cows and heifers for $770, an average of $154; also three bulls
sold for $710, an average of $236.66. The total of the cows was $1,480.
The highest cow sold to Lafayette Funk of Shirley, Illinois, for $2.30.
The highest bull sold to George M. Caldwell, Williamsville, Illinois,
for $300."[33]

"Rossland Park Stock Farm at Ashkum, Illinois: The farm is 73 miles
south of Chicago, on the Illinois Central Railroad, in Iroquois county.
It is composed of 120 acres of deep, dark prairie soil.

"This farm was first owned by Mrs. Ross of Chicago, who gave very
little attention to it and allowed it to become badly run down. It was
then purchased by G. W. Henry of Chicago, who at once set about to
improve it. He put a new fence around the entire farm and prepared it
to be kept as a grazing farm for cattle.

"Mr. Henry was a Shorthorn enthusiast and bred Shorthorns until 1884,
when he became interested in Herefords. High grade and pure bred
Herefords had his attention then for two or three years, after which
he decided to deal in none but pure-breds. He sold his entire lot of
grades. R. W. Hollenbeak of Casey, Iowa, purchased 73 of the two year
olds at $75 a head; 25 high grade one year old at $50 a head; one
yearling grade bull at $75; and 49 young grade calves at $40 a head.

"There were left on the farm about 150 pure bred Herefords which
soon were increased enormously by using some valuable bulls as herd

"The "Summit Farm", owned by Mr. Wentworth, comprises about 4000 acres,
which is mostly prairie. He has on his farm 80 Shorthorns. He has some
yearling heifers by the son of "Booth's Lancaster", which are very
promising. He also owns the "Fifteenth Duke of Ardie" who still holds
his place as one of the grandest Bates bulls in existence.

"Mr. Wentworth feeds mangles in connection with hay."[35]

"The Polled Aberdeen Angus herd, belonging to Messrs. Anderson and
Findley, of Lake Forest, Illinois, is one of the oldest herds in the
United States, and is probably the largest of any in the United States
or Scotland."[36]

"Our first importation was made in the summer of 1878, and consisted of
the bull Nicolis 1102, and the five females: Jeannie Gordon 2914, Lazy
3rd 1100, Violet of Brucehill 1951, Diana 4th 3226, and Waterside Fancy
1854, and thus was established the first breeding herd of Aberdeen
Angus cattle in the United States so far as we know. The cattle in this
importation did so well with us that we were induced to make further
importations, and the cattlemen of this country readily recognized the
superiority of the breed, and with proverbial American go-aheadness,
took hold of them at once. Such was the demand for animals of this
breed in the early eighties that we found ready sale for them at prices
almost beyond the reach of cattlemen of moderate means. We, together
with other importers, drew upon the parent stock in Scotland to such an
extent about this time that the straining point was soon reached and
prices rapidly advanced in that country also.

"The land at Lake Forest, Illinois, upon which for so many years we
maintained our herd, was constantly appreciating in value, until it is
now (1901) worth about four hundred per cent more than when we first
established our herd there. We were, therefore, compelled to move our
herd into cheaper lands, and this we began to do about 1894, and in
1897, practically all of our herd had been transferred to our Allendale
Farm, in Allen county, Kansas. We purchased most of the land composing
Allendale Farm in 1878, and have improved and added to it since until
now, we have over 2000 acres, making as fine a place for the breeding
of fine stock and the fattening of cattle as can be found in the

"The Illinois Cattle Breeders' Association was organized in 1895. The
first annual meeting was held at Springfield, on January 13, 1896. Mr.
J. Frank Prather presided at this meeting. Mr. J. H. Pickrell was the
first secretary. A committee was appointed to draft by-laws.

"The first paper on the program was "Home and Foreign Demand for Beef
Cattle" by A. C. Howell, the editor of the Drover's Journal. The paper
was read by the secretary, Mr. Pickrell. The main theme of the paper
was on Baby Beef, in which he said that it was no longer a fad, but a
profitable business."


[25] The Prairie Farmer, May 9, 1885, p. 292.

[26] The Country Gentleman, Dec. 4, 1879.

[27] Sanders' Hereford History, p. 348.

[28] The Prairie Farmer, Feb. 1, 1885, p. 84.

[29] Sanders' History of Hereford Cattle, p. 348.

[30] Sander's History of Herefords, pp. 352, 357.

[31] The Country Gentleman, July 30, 1857.

[32] " " " 1858.

[33] The Prairie Farmer, June 7, 1885, p. 372

[34] Rossland Park Stock Farm at Ashkum, Illinois. Prairie Farmer Nov.
14, 1885, p. 741.

[35] Cultivator and Country Gentleman, 1875.

[36] The Prairie Farmer, 1885.

[37] Sale Catalog of Anderson and Findley, 1901.


"In 1882, Dr. Salmon of the Bureau of Animal Industry, became
convinced, from the experimental evidence at his command, that certain
disease germs produced a chemical substance during their growth and
multiplication which, if injected into the tissues of an animal, would
induce immunity from a disease that these germs cause. In other words,
he thought that the liquid in which the bacteria were grown in the
laboratory might be used after the bacteria had been killed or removed,
to protect animals from the disease caused by these specific bacteria.

"The first experiment made at that time with fowl cholera failed to
confirm the theory. Later experiments with hog cholera bacillus gave
unmistakable proof of its correctness. The results were first published
in 1886 and additional evidence was published the following year.

"Many cattlemen have been prejudiced against the tuberculin test
and have objected to it, due to inaccurate or greatly exaggerated
statements as to the damage it caused to the cattle on which it
was used. Those who have had most experience with tuberculin have
consequently failed to observe any injurious effects following its
injection into healthy cattle. With cattle that are affected with
tuberculosis, it produces a fever which lasts only a short time, and in
the great majority of cases, the effects disappear within forty-eight
hours after the administration of the tuberculin. The cases of abortion
following the tuberculin test have not been numerous, even when cows
were tested within a very short time before the normal time of
calving. The few cases that have occurred may be explained by the fact
that abortion in cattle is a very common occurrence and that it would
have happened even though the test had not been applied and that it was
a coincidence.

"From the investigations and observations made, the following
conclusions may be safely drawn:

"1. The tuberculin test is an accurate method of determining the
presence of tuberculosis in an animal.

"2. By the use of tuberculin such animals as are affected with the
disease may be detected and removed from the herd.

"3. It has no injurious effects.

"4. Comparatively small numbers of cattle which have aborted, suffered
ill health, or fell off in flesh after the tuberculin test was made,
were either diseased before the test was made or were affected by some
other cause other than that of the tuberculin."

"On the 15th day of July, 1884, Dr. Trumbower was requested to visit
a cow at Sterling, Illinois, belonging to Mr. C. A. Keefer. He found
one of Mr. Keefer's pure bred Jersey cows, aged about six years, with
symptoms of pleuro-pneumonia."

Mr. Keefer had bought this cow, Lass O' Lowrie, from Mr. W. C. Clark,
of Geneva, Illinois, on June 6, of the same year. When Mr. Keefer
visited Mr. Clark's farm on April 6, he saw Lass O' Lowrie with two
other cows, Tama Warren, and Nutriena Tunlaw. All three of the cows had
the appearance of unthriftiness, the hair was looking rough and dry,
but this was attributed to a severe winter without proper care and,
in the case of Lass O' Lowrie, to recent calving. Mr. Keefer bought
her with the assurance that she was perfectly healthy. She was shipped
June 8 and was on the road four hours. When she was driven from the car
to Mr. Keefer's farm, she was noticed to cough occasionally. She had
calved in March and was again pregnant. From the time Mr. Keefer bought
her, she became poorer, weaker, and milk secretion became entirely
suspended. She stood in the field away from the other cattle and ceased
ruminating. Coughing increased in frequency and strings of mucus
dropped from the nostrils.

The case was thought to be one of tuberculosis and isolation was
recommended, slaughter and burial to follow as soon as possible upon
the necessity of the measure. On the morning of June 8, she was bled to
death. On examination, the anterior lobe of the right lung was found
filled with tubercles covering a space of four inches in diameter.
They presented different stages of development; some containing a
thick yellow inspissated pus, while others were undergoing a caseous
degeneration or calcification, and still others appeared as small
indurated brown or reddish circumscribed spots in the interlobular
tissue. Beginning at the bifurcation of the trachea and extending
downward and backward, was found a cavity about ten inches in length,
which contained a pint of fluid of a grayish-black color and of very
offensive odor, holding in suspension disintegrated lung tissue; also
in this cavity was found a mass of inforcated lung tissue weighing
two pounds. The part nearest the right lung was breaking down and
liquifying. Another mass of dead lung, weighing four ounces, of a
yellow, granular, or caseous appearance, indicating that it was much
older than the larger mass, was found lying in and partially buried
in a separate sack which communicated with the larger cavity. In the
abdominal lymphatic glands these were masses of compact tuberculous
matter encysted in strong fibrous capsules, one of which measured three
inches in diameter.

The cow had evidently been affected with tuberculosis, but the encysted
mass of dead lung was a lesion which is not produced in this disease,
but which is a frequent result of contagious pleuro-pneumonia. It
seemed possible that this animal had both of the diseases at the same
time, although the fact that pleuro-pneumonia was not known to exist in
that part of the country made it appear very doubtful.

Upon investigating the conditions of affairs at Mr. Clarke's farm,
it was learned that his animals had suffered from a disease that had
caused the death of several during the spring and summer. A cow which
had been sold to C. P. Coggeshall and taken to the farm of Mr. John
Boyd, of Elmhurst, was very sick, and a second cow bought by Mr. Boyd
was also sick. Mr. Boyd's farm was visited on August 12. The cow called
Cream Ecca, belonging to Mr. Coggeshall had died on July 20. The cow,
Edith St. Hilaire, had improved very much during the two weeks previous
to the visit and was then believed by her owner to be nearly well. An
examination of the lungs of Cream Ecca showed them to be hepatized as
in pleuro-pneumonia.

These facts appeared sufficient to justify the diagnosis of contagious
pleuro-pneumonia, but in the absence of any history beyond the Clarke
herd, and considering the fact that the only cow of which a careful
post-mortem examination had been made was certainly affected with
tuberculosis, it seemed best to reserve a decision until more complete
evidence had been obtained.

On August 14, Mr. George B. Loring made a third visit to Elmherst Farm,
and in the presence of Mr. J. H. Sanders, a member of the Treasury
Cattle Commission, and Mr. Wadham, and Mr. Boyd, the two sick cows were
slaughtered. An examination of the lungs of Edith St. Hilaire showed
that she had every symptom of pleuro-pneumonia. The other cow, Dassie
4th, was likewise examined with the same indications of the disease.

On August 15, Mr. Loring, the agricultural commissioner, went to
Geneva, Illinois, and examined the conditions of the animals that were
still on Mr. Clarke's farm. Mr. Clarke informed Mr. Loring that the
first animal to show signs of the disease on his farm was the bull,
Finis Lawrence, which became sick during the latter part of May and
was killed in June. The cows, Ella Lawrence, Duchess of Broome County,
Myrrhine, and Damask, all showed signs of sickness about the middle of
June. Ella Lawrence was killed at the same time as the bull; Duchess of
Broome County died; Myrrhine and Damask recovered and were on the farm
at the time the examination was made. Tama Warren had also been killed,
but Mr. Clarke insisted that this was because she was worthless as a
breeder. Six animals in all had been killed or had died on Mr. Clarke's
place since May. According to accounts received from other sources, it
is probably that Tama Warren and Nutrina of Tunlaw were sick as early
as April 6.

Mr. Clarke had brought on his place since June 1, one animal from New
Jersey, three which he had purchased at the Epler sale at Virginia,
Illinois, one from C. A. Keefer, of Sterling, Illinois, and several
from Wisconsin. It was impossible to judge, from any information that
Mr. Clarke could give, in what manner the disease had been brought
to his place. As Ella Lawrence had come from Peoria, and as there
were rumors of the disease at that place, it was decided to make
investigations there.

On August 16, Mr. Loring visited Messrs. D. H. and S. S. Tripp, and Mr.
O. J. Bailey at Peoria. These gentlemen admitted that they had lost
animals from some disease, the nature of which they did not understand,
and they freely placed at Mr. Loring's disposal all the information
which they could obtain, bearing upon the matter. It was here that Mr.
Loring gained a first insight into the history of the introduction of
the disease into Illinois.

The first cases of this disease occurred in the Tripp herd, and the
only animals that had been brought upon their place for several months
before this sickness were three cows purchased at the Virginia sale,
which occurred February 21. These cows, Helena, Rex, Albert's Pansy,
and Fancy LeBrocq, were taken to Mr. Tripp's stable in Peoria, and
afterward Helen Rex was taken to his farm, which is situated about two
miles from the city. It was said that Helen Rex was coughing at the
time of the sale at Virginia, and that she did not appear to be in good
health, but Mr. Tripp either did not notice this or was not impressed
with the idea that she was affected at all seriously. The first cow
that showed unmistakable evidence of the disease was Pomare, a cow kept
for family use in the town stable. The earliest symptoms were noticed
with her on April 1, and she died April 17. No other cases of the
disease occurred until July 12, when the cow, Annos Orphan, presented
the symptoms of inflammation of the lungs and died July 27. The next
case occurred July 25, when a cow called Queenette showed that she was
affected. She died August 4. No disease had been in Messrs. Tripp's
herd nor in any other cattle in the vicinity previous to the purchase
of the three animals at Mr. Epler's sale at Virginia.

The first sickness in Mr. Bailey's herd occurred May 10. The first cow
affected, Lady Florentia, had been in his stable in Peoria up to this
time, when she was taken to his farm seven miles in the country. This
cow had not been in actual contact with any of Mr. Tripp's cattle, and
the only way in which the disease could be accounted for in her was
that it had been carried by some person going from one stable to the
other. This cow recovered from the disease but several others of the
same herd died within a few days after taking the disease. On August
18, a cow was killed and examined in the presence of Dr. J. H. Rauch,
Secretary of the State Board of Health, and Dr. N. H. Pooren, State
Veterinarian, both of whom had been invited to be present in order that
they might see the disease and be convinced of its nature.

Mr. Epler's place at Virginia, Cass county, Illinois, was visited
August 22. No animals were found showing symptoms of the disease, and
Mr. Epler stated that he had lost none from his original herd since
the sale, but a cow which he had bought at Beardstown, Illinois, and
brought to his place in April or May, which died in June of an acute
lung disease that evidently was pleuro-pneumonia. A cow sold to Porter
Yates, of Springfield, Illinois, at Mr. Epler's sale, was attacked
by the disease and died in April. Another cow sold to E. S. Hodson, of
Springfield, soon after her arrival was treated for a similar disease.
Another cow sold to Frank Gaston, of Normal, Illinois, became sick
April 6, but recovered.

As very many of the cattle sold at the Epler sale soon afterward became
affected with pleuro-pneumonia, and as the mingling of the animals
at the sale was the only means by which many of these herds could be
connected, it became very certain that the disease in Illinois had
been brought to the state with some animals that had been sent to Mr.
Epler. The animals which he had collected for this sale had come from
a number of different herds located at widely separated points. Upon
investigation, it was found that only one of these herds had been
affected with pleuro-pneumonia. That herd belonged to Mr. C. R. C.
Dye, of Troy, Ohio. Mr. Epler had purchased five cows from Mr. Dye on
December 28, 1883. These cows arrived at Mr. Epler's farm at Virginia,
Illinois January 4, 1884. Two of the five cows purchased from Mr. Dye
had been previously bought from the herd of James Lyman, of Downer's
Grove, Illinois, in May, 1883. Mr. Dye had bought cattle from several
farms in the east, but it was decided that the disease had been brought
to his herd by some grade Jerseys which he bought in the vicinity of
Baltimore, Maryland. One of these cows had, apparently, recovered from
the disease, but was still able to communicate the disease which was
afterwards determined.

The steps taken to eradicate the dreadful disease were as follows:

(1) Investigation to determine the existence of pleuro-pneumonia in any
suspected locality in the country.

(2) The immediate quarantine and isolation of any herd in which the
disease was found. If any considerable amount of the disease was found
in any section of the country so as to be dangerous of spreading
to other districts, the immediate quarantine of that district was
enforced, as well as the prohibition of the movement of any animals
from one herd or premises to any other within the district, or of
any cattle to be upon any highway or any enclosed land within such
district; provided, however, that animals might be moved, upon a
written permit, signed by an inspector of the Bureau of Animal
Industry. As soon as the quarantine order had been made, the immediate
inspection, tagging, and numbering of every bovine animal in the
district, and the keeping of a record of the same, and a record of all
animals moved by permits was attended to so that the Bureau of Animal
Industry might have complete control of the movements of all cattle
within the quarantined districts.

(3) The condemnation and slaughter of all animals found to be diseased
or exposed to the disease within the quarantined districts, and the
thorough disinfection of all premises where such animals had been,
or on which contagious was suspected to exist. At the same time,
inspection and post-mortem examinations were made of every animal
slaughtered during the quarantine, whether purchased and slaughtered by
order of the Bureau of Animal Industry or killed by butchers, or others
for their own use.


[38] Report of Bureau of Animal Industry, 1886.


"Sixty years ago (1853) there was no knowledge of scientific feeding
in the United States. Sixty years ago there was no feed industry in
the United States. Thirty years ago (1883) the teaching of scientific
feeding in the United States began. Thirty years ago the feed industry
in the United States began. When I say that sixty years ago there was
no feed industry in the United States, I mean that there was no feed
industry such as we of the present day apply to the term. At that
time, the population of the United States was only one-fourth what it
is today. The problem of feeding domestic animals, as well as human
beings, was simplicity itself, in fact it was not a problem. We had
more land than we knew what to do with. The owner of livestock raised
more grain and more hay and had more pasturage than he had animals to
consume or than he had a market for. Domestic animals were fed on the
natural grains and hays, grown upon the same farms as themselves. The
city or town owner of horses or livestock bought his feed stuffs mostly
direct from the farmer who grew them. By-product materials of the
greatest feeding value, while produced in far smaller quantities than
at the present day, were not sufficiently appreciated nor sufficiently
needed to cause the farmer to make the effort to haul them from the
mill or factory to his farm, much less to buy them. Scientific feeding
with a knowledge of the balanced ration had not as yet been taught in
our state universities. The value of grinding the natural grains was
only slightly understood and was practiced only in a very limited way
by a few of the more progressive and thoughtful feeders. Flour mills
experienced the greatest difficulty in finding a market for their bran
and middlings. While these by-products were probably the first to be
recognized as of great feeding value, yet hundreds of thousands of tons
were sold for a few dollars a ton, or burned, or run into streams,
for there was no market. Cottonseed meal as a feeding stuff was at
that time unknown. Holes were dug into the ground at the cotton gins
and the seed was buried as a means of getting rid of it. Distillers'
and brewers' grains, starch factory by-products, molasses, oatmeal
by-products, oat clippings, and many others were frequently piled up on
vacant lots to decay or run into the streams, or given to such farmers
as could be induced to haul them away, and the earliest practical use
of them was by the manufacturers who fed cattle with them in their
wet or underground state at the factories. No attempt was made to dry
them or put them into form to be utilized commercially. Instead of
being sources of great revenue to the manufacturer, they were, in many
instances, the cause of great expense. Because of the waste and expense
and the low prices realized, the cost of the main products--the food
for human beings--was very greatly increased."[39]

"Here is a fact worth careful noting, that in these days of close
competition, every cent realized for a by-product is credited to
the cost of producing the main product--the human food--and that in
addition to itself being converted into additional food for man, that
is, into meat, dairy products, poultry, eggs, etc., its sale operates
directly in a very large way as a saving to the consumer upon the
main product from which it is derived. In other words, there is only
one profit figured, and that is upon the main product--the food for
man--the by-product being figured solely as such, sold for what it will
bring, and the returns credited to the cost in figuring cost prices for
the main product.

"The problem of feeding the world--much less the problem of feeding
the people of the United States--had not as yet commenced to trouble
the scientist, the statesman, or the business man of the day. No one
expected that in the short space of sixty years, all of our available
lands would be occupied and that our population would have increased
from 31,000,000 to 91,000,000 people, and that the problem of the
cost of living, the cost of food, would, during the lives of people
then living, be the thought and problem uppermost in the minds of
our people. That this is the thought uppermost in the minds of our
population today is evidenced by the daily conversations of our
friends, by what we read in the newspapers, and by the action of
Congress and our National Government in providing a commission for
investigation of its cause."

The following data was taken from the Statistical Report of the
Illinois State Board of Agriculture, December 1, 1913,--(Assessor's

_Illinois Pasture Lands_

  Year    Acreage

  1877    4,367,603
  1878    3,983,450
  1879    4,193,884
  1880    4,257,054
  1881    2,206,621
  1882    4,697,966
  1883    4,752,828
  1884    5,085,817
  1885    5,417,147
  1886    5,537,873
  1887    5,630,571
  1888    5,796,935
  1889    5,679,874
  1890    5,083,438
  1891    4,681,972
  1892    4,338,899
  1893    4,954,871
  1894    5,052,952
  1895    4,631,270
  1896    4,389,666
  1897    4,745,917
  1898    4,669,270
  1899    4,880,101
  1900    4,857,961
  1901    4,774,062
  1902    4,569,905
  1903    4,447,287
  1904    4,377,486
  1905    4,359,426
  1906    4,243,030
  1907    4,308,402
  1908    4,022,598
  1909    3,807,796
  1910    3,970,302
  1911    3,819,412
  1912    3,593,523
  1913    3,521,966

(United States Census, and Year Books of Agricultural Department)

  Year    Acres of    Av. Val. of F. and   Av. Val.    Acres of
          Imp. Land   Build's. per acre    Per Farm    Far. Land

  1850    5,039,545       $  7.99           $ 1,663   12,037,412

  1860   13,096,374         15.96             3,480   20,911,989

  1870   19,329,952         28.45             4,358   25,882,861

  1880   26,115,154         31.87             4,598   31,673,645

  1890   25,669,060         41.41             6,140   30,498,277

  1900   27,669,219         53.84             7,588   32,794,728

  1910   28,048,323        108.32            15,505   32,522,937

  Year  Percent   Percent    Percent   Percent    Farm Land in Ill.
        Increase  Increase   of Land   of Farm
        in Farms  in Farm    Area in   Land       Total       Cultivated
                  Land       Farms     Improved

  1850                        33.6       41.9

  1860   88.1      73.7       58.3       62.6

  1870   41.5      23.8       72.2       74.7

  1880   26.1      22.4       88.3       82.5     35,867,520  32,522,937

  1890   -5.9      -3.7       85.0       84.2

  1900    9.8       7.5       91.4       84.5

  1910   -4.6      -0.8       90.7       86.2

(United States Census Report)

  Year  Population  No. Farms   Average Size
                                  of Farms

  1800      5,641
  1810     24,520
  1820    147,178
  1830    343,031
  1840    685,866
  1850    851,470     76,208    158.  acres
  1860  1,711,951    143,310    145.9   "
  1870  2,539,891    202,803    127.6   "
  1880  3,077,871    255,741    123.8   "
  1890  3,826,352    240,681    126.7   "
  1900  4,821,550    264,151    124.2   "
  1910  5,638,591    251,872    129.1   "

  Year   No. B. C.   No. B. C.     No. B. C. Per
         Per Farm    Per Capita    Acre Farm Land

  1850    7.1            .63         .0045
  1860    9.9            .83         .0067
  1870    7.7            .62         .0060
  1880    7.8            .65         .0063
  1890    7.1            .46         .0056
  1900    7.07           .38         .0057
  1910    4.9            .22         .0038

_The Corn Crop of Illinois for Fifty-four Years._

  Year    Acreage   Yield   Price

  1860   3,839,159    30     42½
  1861   3,839,159    30     24
  1862   3,458,903    40     23
  1863   3,773,349    22     62
  1864   4,192,610    33     75
  1865   5,032,996    35     29½
  1866   4,931,783    32     43
  1867   4,583,655    24     68
  1868   3,928,742    34     48
  1869   5,237,068    23     57
  1870   5,720,965    35     35
  1871   5,310,469    38     32
  1872   5,468,040    40     24
  1873   6,839,714    21     32
  1874   7,421,055    18     56
  1875   8,163,265    34     34
  1876   8,920,000    25     31
  1877   8,935,411    30     28
  1878   8,672,088    29     22
  1879   7,918,881    39     32
  1880   7,754,545    33     33
  1881   7,157,334    24     53
  1882   7,371,950    24     42
  1883   7,304,596    25     36
  1884   6,898,819    33     29
  1885   7,212,657    32     28
  1886   7,153,289    25     30
  1887   6,719,126    19     41
  1888   7,047,813    39     28
  1889   6,988,267    35     23
  1890   6,114,226    27     45
  1891   5,754,147    38     38
  1892   5,188,432    26     35
  1893   6,416,488    26     30
  1894   6,705,476    31     39
  1895   6,922,921    39     21
  1896   6,881,400    42     17
  1897   7,051,527    34     21
  1898   6,943,992    31     26
  1899   6,941,548    37     26
  1900   8,050,550    38     31
  1901   8,077,621    23     58
  1902   8,199,031    39     35
  1903   7,955,980    35     34
  1904   7,875,471    36     39
  1905   7,698,411    40     38
  1906   7,621,562    37     36
  1907   7,294,873    35     44
  1908   6,780,507    31     57
  1909   7,288,563    36     52
  1910   6,889,721    41     37
  1911   6,623,579    38     55
  1912   6,878,797    39     40
  1913   6,635,847    27     63

[Illustration: Showing the corn acreage, pasture acreage, number of
beef cattle, and the population of the state of Illinois from 1850 to
1914 inclusive.]


[39] An address by George A. Chapman, President of the American Feed
Manufacturers' Association, delivered at Washington, D. C., November
17, 1913.


  Topography of the Land.                 Report of Bu. of An. Ind. 1885.
                                            p. 362.

  People. The U.S. Census Report. Interviews with old settlers.

  Cattle and Cattle Feeding.              Report of Bu. of An. Ind. 1885.
                                            p. 365.

  Cattle Feeding Industry.                Wallace's Farmer. 1913.
                                          Thesis by Garver: "History of
                                            Dairy Industry in Illinois."
                                          The Breeder's Gazette. July.
                                            1913; Feb. 1894.
                                          Lecture by Professor Rusk.

  Chicago Market.                         "Facts and Figures" by Wood
                                            Brothers, Live Stock
                                            Commission Merchants,
                                            Chicago. 1906.
                                          Report of Bu. of An. Ind. 1884.
                                          The Prairie Farmer. 1887. p. 160.
                                          Life of Tom C. Ponting.
                                          Scientific American. The Meat
                                            Industry of America. 1909.
                                          Bu. of An. Ind. Report. 1885-86.

  Cattle Barons and Pioneer Drovers.      Bu. of An. Ind. Report. 1885.
                                          The Breeder's Gazette. July 16,
                                            Aug. 6, 1913.
                                          Story of Tom Ponting's Life.

  The Range Industry.                     The Breeder's Gazette. July 16,
                                          Farm, Field and Stockman. 1880.

  Texas Cattle.                           The Prairie Farmer. July 18,
                                            1885. p. 452.

  The Pure Bred Industry.                 The Prairie Farmer. May 9, 1885.
                                            p. 292 Feb. 1, 1885. p. 84;
                                            Nov. 14, 1885. p. 741. 1895.
                                          The Country Gentleman. Dec. 4,
                                          Sanders' History of Herefords.
                                            p. 348.
                                          Bu. of An. Ind. Report. 1885.
                                          The Country Gentleman. July 30,
                                            1857, 1858.
                                          The Cultivator and The Country
                                            Gentleman. 1857.
                                          Sale Catalog of Anderson and
                                            Findley--Angus Herd. 1901.
                                          Sanders' History of Herefords,
                                            p. 348; 352-357.

  Cattle Plagues.                         Bu. of An. Ind. Report. 1884.
                                            p. 16, 1886.

  The Feed Industry of the United States. An address by Geo.
               A. Chapman, President of the American Feed
               Manufacturers' Association. Delivered at Washington,
               D. C., Nov. 17, 1913.

  Statistics. U. S. Census Reports. U. S. Yearbooks of the
               Department of Agriculture.


I desire to acknowledge the personal assistance and supervision of
Professor H. P. Rusk under whose direction the work was planned and
carried on.


  Added opening quotation marks to all paragraphs where a quotation
  spans several paragraphs.

  Silently corrected simple spelling, grammar, and typographical

  Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.

  Enclosed underlined font in _underscores_.

  Enclosed signatures in ~tildes~.

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