Polled Durhams: 1880-1920+
Starting in the early 1880s Dr. William W. Crane of Tippecanoe City bred pedigreed Shorthorn bulls to native “muley” (hornless) cows and developed a useful type of cattle possessing scale, feeding and milking qualities without horns. He published a series of newspaper articles promoting this idea and suggested that after about five crosses a desirable type could be developed and depended upon to reproduce itself with consistency. Other breeders in Ohio, Indiana and Iowa were attracted to this idea and established programs along the suggested format. Since the cattle developed along these lines were not purebreds (called grades) they were referred to as Single Standard Polled Durhams.
A group of naturally hornless purebred Shorthorns was discovered in Minnesota, owned by W. W. McNair. They all descended through their sire or dam to the cow Oakwood Gwynne 4th v15 p803 of the American Shorthorn Herd Book. Dr. Crane purchased this entire herd and since they were purebreds they became known as Double Standard Polled Durhams. Occasionally other naturally polled Shorthorns were born from horned purebred Shorthorn parents, were referred to as “sports” and fit the double standard category.
These polled cattle were recorded in the American Polled Durham Herd Book which was first published in 1894. The herd book was closed to single standards in 1905 and in 1923 it was incorporated into the American Shorthorn Herd Book and the name was changed to Polled Shorthorns. At most fairs polled and horned cattle were shown in separate classes until the 1970s. All Polled Shorthorns are designated with an “x” in front of their registration number.
This Section Includes: Ottawa Duke, Young Hamilton, Golden Gauntlet, Cambridge Lad 3rd, Golden Hero, Tippecanoe, Roan Hero, The Confessor, and Sultan’s Creed
OTTAWA DUKE x185-109292
Bred by W.S. Miller, Elmore, Ohio. Owned by William W. Crane, Tippecanoe City, Ohio
Born: March 10, 1890
Sire: KING OF KINE x23-87412
Dam: NELLIE GWYNNE x51-v33 p728
He was perhaps the most important foundation sire of Double Standard Polled Durhams. The product of the mating of maternal half-sibs who reportedly never sired a horned calf. He was the sire of 54 bulls and 75 females recorded in the first two volumes of the Polled Durham Herd Book.
YOUNG HAMILTON sx49-114169
Bred by J.R. & W.A. Shafer, Middletown, Ohio. Owned by J. H. Miller, Mexico, Indiana
Born: June 1, 1890
Sire: LOUAN'S MONTAUK 3D 70651
Dam: MINNIE BELL 2D v38 p649
Fortunately for sponsors of Double Standard Polled Durhams this red hornless bull (referred to as a “sport”) was born from purebred horned Shorthorn parents. He was undefeated in his class for seven years which included winning the Grand Sweepstakes open to "All General-Purpose Breeds" at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
GOLDEN GAUNTLET x1140-128003
Bred & owned by J. H. Miller, Mexico, Indiana
Born: September 23, 1897
Sire: YOUNG ATHELSTANE x329-121641
Dam: GOLDEN PRIDE 2D v41 p645
Senior Champion (no Grand Champions were selected until 1918) at the first International Livestock Exposition in 1900 and repeated this win in 1901. He was a product of mating a Polled Durham bull with a cow of Scotch (Cruickshank) breeding, a process which greatly improved the breed. He became a dominant Polled Durham sire in the first decade of the twentieth century.
CAMBRIDGE LAD 3rd x1300-13672
Bred by Arthur H. Jones, Delaware, Ohio, used also by Stewart & Martz, Webster, OH & Fletcher S. Hines, Malatt Park, IN
Born: Dec. 28, 1897
Sire: OTTAWA STAR x347-113109
Dam: OXFORD HEYDON ROSE 2D v35 p686
He was advertised as “probably the best known Polled Durham bull in existence.” He sold for $1000 at the Stewart and Martz dispersion which at the time was the highest price ever paid for a Polled Durham bull at public sale. His pedigree shows that except for the polled cross he is of straight Bates breeding (all sires are named “Duke”).
GOLDEN HERO x2847-150363
Bred by J. H. Miller, Mexico, Indiana. Owned by A. C. Woods & Son, Pendleton, Indiana
Born: September 24, 1899
Sire: GOLDEN GAUNTLET x1140-128003
Dam: LADY HARRISON 4TH v42 p914
This son of Golden Gauntlet x was Senior Champion at the 1903 and 1904 International, and winner at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. He was said to be of the Polled Durham type that was “close to the ground, compact with beefiness and quality.”
TIPPECANOE 44TH x1698-155197
Bred by Dr. Wm. W. Crane, Tippecanoe City, OH Owned and used by Fletcher S. Hines, Indianapolis, IN & Oscar Hadley, Plainfield, IN
Born: March 31, 1900
Sire: ROYAL VICTOR 120980
Dam: 5TH THORNLESS ROSE OF ACACIA x475- v40 p451
International Jr. Champion 1901 and International Sr. Champion 1902. He appears in the pedigrees of many Polled Durhams of the early 20th century. Bred by Dr. Crane who accumulated some of the first Double Standard Polled Durhams. Mr. Hines served as secretary-treasurer of the American Polled Durham Breeders Association.
ROAN HERO x3613-229963
Bred by A.C. Wood & Sons, Pendelton, IN Sold to and shown by L.G. Shaver, Shaver & Deuker, Kalona, IA
Born: October 24, 1903
Sire: GOLDEN HERO x2847-150363
Dam: BUTTERCUP VICTORIA v47 p565
International Jr. Champion 1905 and Sr. Champion 1907 pictured with Royal Flora x v3 p438-v57 p934, 1907 International Sr. Champion female, both shown by Shaver & Deuker, Kalona, IA. His sire, Golden Hero x2847-150363 was International Sr. Champion in 1903 and 1904 and at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
THE CONFESSOR x5985-284217
Bred by J.H. Miller, Peru, IN
Born: October 12, 1906
Sire: THE PROFESSOR 172332
Dam: LADY GRACEFUL x v4 p468- v55 p775
International Jr. Champion 1907 and 1908 and never defeated throughout the rest of his showring career, International Sr. Champion 1910 and 1911. Sire of Select Goods x8719-353693, sire of the first prize get of sire at the 1918 International. He later sold to Argentina for $4500.
SULTAN'S CREED x8716-353694
Bred by J.H. Miller, Peru, IN Sold to H.C. Rose & Sons, Rossville, IN
Born: June 30, 1910
Sire: SULTAN OF ANOKA 302426
Dam: 13TH MIAMI VICTORIA x v4 p458- v66 p882
International Jr. Champion 1911 and Sr. Champion 1912 and 1913 (no Grand Champions selected until 1918). He was purchased at “something over $3000” and was sire of the first prize get of sire at the 1916 International which included Intense Sultan x10465-385899, the 1916 International Sr. Champion. His sire Sultan of Anoka 302426 bred by F. W. Harding, Anoka Farm was considered to be one of the best sons of Whitehall Sultan 163573 and worked great improvement for Polled Durhams.