Historical Shorthorns 1920-1930

The decade of the 1920s, the “Roaring Twenties,” started with the conclusion of World War I and ended with Stock Market crash of 1929 and the beginning of the Great Depression. The onset of the First World War had brought unprecedented prosperity and record profits to American agriculture. This quickly ended with the conclusion of the war. Over-production, significant tariffs on imports, and declining export demand resulted in large surpluses. Plummeting prices plus stagnant market conditions and living standards came at a time when American farmers were also burdened by heavy debt. With these problems in agriculture, the twenties are still sometimes referred to as the first “truly modern” decade. At the beginning of the decade 27% of the US population was rural but considerable migration to urban areas was occurring. The automobile was being rapidly adopted, trucks began to capture trade in perishable products and with that came increases in all-weather surfaced roads. Electric utility networks were established and radios, radio stations and telephone communications began to break up rural isolation. Farm organizations and cooperatives were formed, land grant universities conducted basic research, and the first hybrid seed corn company was organized.

Many Shorthorn herds had been and were continuing to be established by industrialists with expansive outside interests. Successes in other businesses allowed for investments in Shorthorn cattle as well as other cattle breeds and livestock species. Many of these breeders still had strong ties to an agricultural background. Some of these programs were short-lived while others had lengthy involvement and created a significant impact on the breed. Their outside interests allowed these industrialist farmers to progress and prosper.

The people and events which led to the decade being called the ‘Roaring Twenties” saw a large disparity between those in rural areas and some of the urban residents. In 1929 the decade ended with the “crash” of the Stock Market and the beginning of the Great Depression.

This section includes: King of the Fairies, Prentice, and Roan Villager. (More to come)


KING OF THE FAIRIES 1359689 (164545)

1925 King of the Fairies.JPG

Born: March 24, 1920

Bred by HRH Prince of Wales, Cornwall, ENGLAND, imported by HRH Prince of Wales to EP Ranch High River, Alberta, CANADA, sold to & used by Frank C. Baker Farms, Hickman Mills, MO

Sire: SHERBORNE KING CHRISTIAN 1359691 (152037)

Dam: SHERBORNE FAIRY 4TH 1359694 (v61 p1026E)

King of the Fairies was imported to head the EP Ranch herd and after a successful show campaign winning Grand Champion at the 1925 Toronto Royal and International was sold to Frank C. Baker Farms, Hickman Mills, MO. HRH Prince of Wales (King Edward VIII) owned the EP Ranch located at the foot of the Rockies in Alberta. Numerous members of the British nobility including the British Crown bred purebred livestock, many of them Shorthorns. British nobility continues to be “patrons” of various breeds of livestock that were developed in Great Britain.

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PRENTICE 1005345

1929 Prentice.jpg

Born: January 4, 1921

Bred by W. J. & B. A. Thomas, Shelbyville, KY, Owned & used by Sni-A-Bar Farms, Grain Valley, MO

Sire: HARVIESTOUN GRANDEE 732379 (142814)

Dam: PEARLETTE 717724

Prentice, a half-sib to the 1921 International Champion female and 1922 International Grand Champion steer, was originally purchased for use in the Sni-A-Bar grade herd. Because of the excellence of his progeny he was transferred to the purebred herd. Sons and daughters were shown and sold to leading Shorthorn breeders across the country and won the get of sire class at the 1929 International. Sni-A-Bar Farms was established and operated from the trust of William Rockhill Nelson, founder of The Kansas City Star. Provisions of the trust stated that the farm would be operated for 30 years after his death to demonstrate methods of improving livestock, especially with the use of better sires. A grade herd was established, and a top herd of Shorthorns was assembled with the purchase of some of the best bulls and females available in the US and Great Britain. A show herd was fitted and exhibited, individual steers and carlots (typically 15 cattle shown as a group) of fat cattle were exhibited and numerous field days were held on the farm.

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ROAN VILLAGER 1304097

Roan Villager.jpg

Born: January 5, 1924

Bred by Charles E. Leonard & Son, Bunceton, MO, Owned by Frank C. Baker Farms, Hickman Mills, MO

Sire: GRAND VIEW VILLAGER 1047864

Dam: ARDMORE COUNTESS 4TH 1235282

Roan Villager was a consistent winner on the show circuit and served as herd sire for Frank C. Baker Farms. He sired the Grand Champion female at the 1930 International, bred by Baker Farms and exhibited by F. W. Hubbell, Helfred Farms, Des Moines, IA.

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