Reference Books

**For those not interested in trying to purchase any of the books listed below, there two other options.  Many of the books are available either through Google Books for online reading or can be borrowed via a national search by your local lending library.** 


Cattle:   Their Breeds, Management, and Diseases

Published by The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge            Youatt, W.      ©️1834        

Publisher: Baldwin & Cradock, London    (Extremely Rare.  No reprints.)

Incredible informational book on the cattle business in England in the early nineteenth century.  

Has considerable information on Shorthorns along with other breeds.   It incorporates all aspects of raising cattle from selection to treatment of diseases.  For history buffs this an excellent book.


The History of the Killerby, Studley and Warlaby Shorthorns. 

Published by William Ridgeway, 169, Picadilly, London                        Carr, William       1867

Thomas Booth started breeding Shorthorns before 1790. This traces the history of the Thomas Booth's family through his sons and their Shorthorn cattle. 


The History of Improved Shorthorn or Durham Cattle             

Published by North of England Farmer Office                          Bell, Thomas     ©️1871

Scanned & Reprinted: Repressed Publishing LLC (Readily available as reprint.)

Provides an account of many of the early breeders of Shorthorns in the early 1800’s with a lot of information taken from the notes of Thomas Bates who many consider one of the developers of improved Shorthorns.


History of the Short-horn Cattle, Their Origin, Progress, and Present Condition

Published by author, Buffalo NY                                                Allen, Lewis F.   ©️1874               

(Readily available as a reprint.)

Another historical perspective on the development of the Shorthorn breed through 1870.  An emphasis was put on accuracy with impartiality.


Pedigrees of English Short-Horn Bulls to Which American Short-Horns Trace

Warren, John & Co., Printers                                                         Allen, Lewis F        1874

This pre-dates Warfield’s History of Imported Shorthorns published in 1884


Booth Cattle. Volume I. Farmer’s Home Journal Series of Publications 

Published by The Farmer’s Home Journal, Louisville Kentucky            Carr, William      1875

A reprint of William Carr’s 1867 book.

hist or shrt. cattle:sinclair.jpg
shrt-horn cattle.jpg
shrt herds of England.jpg
Amer shr importations.jpg


Bailey’s Shorthorn Reporter

Published by W. T. Balley                                                              Bailey, W.T.         1877

A chronicle of Shorthorn transactions for the years 1875-1876


The Leading Shorthorn Tribes with Notes

Printed by John Bellows, Gloucester                                        Beever, Rev. W. Holt    1878

Shorthorn breeders have been very conscious of the female lines of descent (cow families or tribes). The tribes of Shorthorns are documented from Vol. 6 (1876) of the Coates Herd Book back to the original foundation females. 


American Short-Horn Importations    

Amer. Short-Horn Breeders Assoc., Chicago                             Warfield, William   ©️1884   

Scanned:  Forgotten Books, FB & c. Ltd, London     (Readily available in reprints.)

A full listing of all Shorthorns imported into America up to 1882.  The listings include all import information including number of Shorthorns, sex, and who imported them.  Gives a real perspective on the extent of Shorthorn importations during this period.


The Shorthorn Herds of England, 1885-6-7

Publ. Henry T. Cooke & Son, London                                      Ashburner, Robt. Wm.  ©️1888

Scanned & Reprinted by Scholar Select (Readily available in reprints.)

For the listed years the author provides up to date information on all the individual Shorthorns throughout England.  Herd information is broken down according to geographical location.  Gives an insight to how popular Shorthorns were during the late 1800’s in England.


Circulars: American Shorthorn Breeders Association: 1882-1897

Included is “A Synopsis of the Corporation Laws Under Which the American Short-Horn Breeders Association was Organized.”  An Act Concerning Corporations. Approved April 18. 1872.  In Force July 1, 1872.  Also listed are winnings and many other transactions and items of interest (including obituaries) of the America Short-horn Breeders Association. 


Thomas Bates and the Kirklevington Shorthorns

Printed by R. & R. Clark, Ltd. Edinburgh Bates,                             John Cadwallader      1897

Thomas Bates, “A wonderful, wonderful man. He could have been anything, even Prime Minister, if only he would not talk so much.” He established one of the most famous cow families in the Shorthorn breed, the Duchess family. 


Little Sketches of Famous Beef Cattle

The Drovers Journal Press                                                        Plumb, Charles S.      1904

Discusses famous beef cattle including many Shorthorns but also Herefords, Angus and one Galloway.


Fifty Years Among Shorthorns

Vinton & Company, Ltd., London                                                      Bruce, Robert ©️1907

Scanned & Reprinted:  Kissinger Publishing, LLC      (Readily available in reprints.)

Many good pictures of Heritage Shorthorn bulls from the 1850-1900 period.  Excellent discourse surrounding selection and management of several leading Shorthorn herds during this time period.  This includes the original Bates and Booth Shorthorn herds.


History of Shorthorn Cattle

Vinton & Company, Ltd., London                                                     Sinclair, James ©️1907

(Readily available as a reprint.)

Very readable book that is quite complete in documenting both the early history of Shorthorns and their progressive development during the 19th century.  Tremendous compilation of excellent historical information.

kansas sh.jpg
beef short in Austr..jpg
shrt. in Canada.jpg
25 yrs of shrt.jpg


The Book of Livestock Champions: 1912

Hale Publishing Co., St. Louis, Missouri                                     Hale, Phillip H.    1912

Photos and prize winnings of beef and dairy cattle, horses, mules, swine and sheep including Shorthorns and Polled Durhams.


Shorthorn Cattle;  a Series of Historical Sketches, Memoirs and Records of the Breed and its Development in the United States and Canada

Sanders Publishing Co.                                                              Sanders, Alvin H. ©️1916

Scanned & Reprinted by Scholar Select (Readily available in reprint.)

A compilation of Shorthorn history that essentially hits the highlights from the beginnings of the Shorthorn breed until the about 1915.  Tremendous amount of information with a closing that discusses Shorthorns as a Dual Purpose breed and how to define success in the breeding of Shorthorn cattle.  Book includes many interesting illustrations.  


Short-horn Cattle

Sanders Publishing Co.                                                            Sanders, Alvin H. ©️1918

(Readily available through reprints.)

A compilation of the history of Shorthorns through 1916.  Very complete with an abundance of detail.  Breaks down how Shorthorns came to be and the rivalries that festered among Shorthorn breeders early on.


Record of Shorthorn Prize Winners: Vol. I. 

American Shorthorn Breeders Association                             Cowan,  B. O.    1919 

Pedigrees, prize winnings and photographs of Shorthorn prize winners prior to publication date.


Kansas Shorthorns:  History in the State 1857 to 1920      

Laude Printing Company, Iola, KS     (Rare book)                      Laude, G.A. ©️1920

Tells the history of Shorthorns in Kansas from 1857 to 1920.  A lot of detail but still interesting because of the contributions Kansas Shorthorn breeders made to the development of Shorthorns in America.  One can not help but be impressed by how Shorthorns played an intricate role in the Kansas cattle business during this period.


The History of the Aberdeenshire Shorthorn

Published by the Aberdeen, Banff and Kincardine Shorthorn Breeders Assn.    Bruce, Isabella 1923

As the title implies, this book details the history of the development and expansion of the "Scotch" or "Aberdeenshire type" Shorthorns.


The Beef Shorthorn in Australia

Sydney & Melbourne Publishing Co., Ltd.                                    Ellis, M. H. ©️1932

(Available on the internet but expensive.)

Complete historical record of beef Shorthorns in Australia from the early 1800’s to 1930.  Lots of pictures of period cows and bulls with some discussion of English/Scottish bloodlines.  Many parallels with American Shorthorns.  Shorthorns were the most popular breed of cattle in Australia during this period.


Shorthorn Cattle in Canada

Dominion Shorthorn Breeders’ Association                              Marshall, Duncan ©️1932

(Occasionally available on internet)

Historical account of Shorthorns in Canada from the first importations until 1932.  It documents the success of Shorthorn cattle in Canada and the contributions Shorthorns have made to the livestock and farming businesses of Canada.  Given the ongoing symbiotic relationship of Shorthorn cattle in Canada and America this book crosses over to help record the evolution of the Shorthorn breed in both countries.


Red White and Roan

American Shorthorn Breeders Assoc.                                        Sanders, Alvin H. ©️1936

(Book often for sale online.)

Great historical record of Shorthorns primarily from 1880’s to early 1930’s.  Includes a discussion of the initial influence of Scottish breeding.  Excellent discussion of the development of Polled Shorthorns.


Scotland: The World's Stud Shorthorn Farm

Printed by J. B. Mackie & Co., Ltd. Dunfermline                            Marson, T.B.       1937

A short account of some of Scotland's famous Shorthorn herds.


The Scotch Shorthorn: The Herds of Scotland, England and Wales 1945-1946

Published by the Scottish Shorthorn Breeders Association, Edinburg       Marson, T.B.    1946

This is an overview of the Shorthorn herds in the UK post World War II.


The Shorthorns of Scotland: Sittyton

Published by the Scottish Shorthorn Breeders Association, Edinburg          Marson, T.B.    1946

Contains the letters of Amos Cruickshank to James Davidson of Balsam, Ontario, between the years 1873 and 1891.

Stud Beef catle breeding.jpg
highlights of sh hist.jpg
Cattle, handbook of breeds.jpg
shrt around world.jpg


Mostly About Shorthorns

Self Published (Rare availability.)                                              Harding, Frank W. —1947

Frank Harding has written about his interactions with Shorthorn breeders during most of his life, with an emphasis on the period from the mid-1930’s to the mid-1940’s.  An extremely interesting book that details the cattle business during that time frame.


Dual-Purpose Cattle

Roberts Bros., Springfield MO (Rarely available)                           Hinman, Claude ©️ 1953

This book gives a terrific overview of all aspects of selecting, producing, and selling Dual Purpose cattle.  It focuses on both Heritage Milking/Beef Shorthorns and Red Polls.  It is very complete and a great read.  It has pictures of some of the more significant Heritage Shorthorn cows and bulls that existed before the book’s publication in 1953.  Mr. Hinman was actually the president of the American Milking Shorthorn Society in 1923.  Anyone interested in Heritage Shorthorns will learn something from reading this book.


25 Years of Shorthorns   1946-1971

Fairbury Record Printing Co., Inc.                                               Potter, Paul ©️1972

(Available on the internet)

Covers the complete history of American Shorthorns from 1946 to 1971.  A lot of information about bloodlines, sales, and show winners.


Stud Beef Cattle Breeding & Common Sense    

Graphics United Pty, Ltd., Australia                                         Pisaturo, Rick  ©️1978

(Readily available.)

Part autobiographical.  Part historical.  Written by the preeminent Shorthorn breeder in the world in the 1970s.  Discusses selection, feeding and management of Shorthorns.  Shows how the author developed the Mandalong Shorthorn herd.


Highlights of Shorthorn History

Hignell Printing, Ltd., Manitoba                                                   MacEwan, Grant ©️1982

(Often available through internet book searches)

Primarily about the development of the Shorthorn breed in Canada.  Given how pervasive Canadian Shorthorn genetics are in American Shorthorn bloodlines, the book provides a totally different viewpoint regarding Shorthorn genetics and breeding.


Cattle   A Handbook to the Breeds of the World

The Crowood Press, Ltd., England                                                 Porter, Valerie ©️1991

(Readily available.)

Presents information on cattle by regions of the world.  Gives one a perspective on how influential Shorthorns have been in many parts of the world.


The Story of the Milking Shorthorn in the U.S.

Self Published                                                                             Fisher, Otis L.    ©️1993

(Occasionally for sale on the internet.)

Outstanding history of the development of Milking Shorthorns in the USA primarily from 1900-1990’s.  Incorporates information about the influence of importations and the Illawarra introduction to USA Milking Shorthorns.


Shorthorns Around the World

Self Published      (Rare Availability)                                              Fisher, Otis L. ©️1993

A worldwide overview of Shorthorns which provides a perspective on how truly popular Shorthorns were in many countries.  Discusses how the adaptability and versatility of Shorthorns made them so popular because they could fill many different niches and environments. 

shrt cattle-a series of hist..jpg
Cattle Breeds, Encyc.jpg
Shorthorns in 20th Cent.  UK & Ireland.jpg
Breeds of cattle, updated.jpg

Cattle Breeds:   An Encyclopedia

Misset Publishing, Netherlands                                                    Felius, Marleen ©️1995

(Extremely Rare and a very expensive Book)

Excellent information on the Shorthorn breed along with many other breeds of cattle.


Bred for Perfection

John Hopkins University Press                                             Derry, Margaret E. ©️2003

(Readily Available.)

Discusses and documents the selection process that was used by many of the prominent breeders of Shorthorns.  For those interested in genetics this is the best book about the use of genetic selection in producing the Shorthorns of today.


A Cattleman’s Walk Down Memory Lane

Leech Printing Ltd, Manitoba                                                  Gordon, Bob     —2003

(Generally available through book searches.)

An autobiographical book that includes a significant portion dedicated to the Gordon’s Kinnaber herd in Canada.  A herd that made important contributions to the development of Shorthorns in America.  Also provides an overview of cattle selection and breeding.  Many good stories.


Shorthorns in the 20th Century      UK and Ireland

Whittet Books, Suffolk, UK                                            Wood-Roberts, John       ©️2005

(Occasionally available on internet)

An extremely well written book with emphasis on Shorthorns in the UK and Ireland from 1900 forward.  Contains wonderful historical pictures along with some unique tables, such as “Breeds or Types That Have Evolved From Shorthorns”.  This book tends to follow more of the dairy side of Shorthorns but is still an excellent reference book.


Breeds of Cattle    (Updated & Revised 2nd Edition)  

TRS Publishing Corp                                                 Purdy,  Dawes, &  Hough    ©️2008

(Readily available.)

Great pictures/illustrations that document the history of Shorthorns from their beginnings up until today.  It has extensive information on other breeds of cattle for those interested in the history of all cattle breeds.

cattlemans walk.jpg