Agricultural History Series

 Missouri State University

 1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair

Jersey Show

The Jerseys, a Channel Island breed, were very well represented at the St. Louis Worlds Fair. Many of the entries were imported by millionaires three years prior to the Worlds Fair in hopes of winning the competition.   The exhibitors were congratulated on their efforts of traveling far distances to show their prized cattle.


Many top  bulls were brought to the Worlds Fair.

Big names at the Worlds Fair Cattle Show included millionaires such George Vanderbilt, Thomas W. Lawson, the “Copper King” and representatives of the Ladd estate of Portland, OR.

 The Jerseys at the World’s Fair were truly valued as they were covered with costly blankets for protection from flies, dirt, and dust.  The halters and trappings for the animals owned by the millionaires were made of leather and were often silver mounted.  Jersey breeders were able to view the exceptional show of cows in the test barn as well as the cattle in the show arena.


In the show ring, bulls were lined up for judging.

The best aged Jersey bull at the Worlds Fair cattle show was Merry Maiden’s Third Son, owned by H. O. Taylor of Oxfordville, WI.  The bull, a direct descendant from Brown Bessie, the winner of the dairy tests at the Columbian Exposition, was valued at $10,000.

Taking second and winning $100 in the aged Jersey herd was the imported Brookhill Fox, owned by Doctor C. E. Still of Kirksville, MO.

 Figgis, owned by millionaire Lawson, won the blue ribbon in the aged cow competition. She was competing against cows from Vanderbilt, the Ladd estate and other known herds.


The Champion Jersey, Figgis and her baby

The surprise of winning a competition was always welcomed at the fair, but so was the birth of three calves to one herd.  Two heifers and one bull calf were born to Lawson’s $150, 000 Jersey herd, closing the barn to visitors. The bull was valued at $1,000 and the heifers at $500 each. It was reported that, “Mr. Lawson thinks as much of these calves as some people do of their own children.”

 The Jerseys were mainly judged by W. R. Spann, Dallas, TX.  Due to Mr. Spann’s interest and having bred one of the entries, W. Gettys, Athens, TX, and M. W. Terrell, San Antonio, TX were brought in to judge.

 First place winners of each show were:


References: St. Louis Republic, September 13, 15, 17, 21 1904, The Breeder’s Gazette, September 28, 1904, World’s Fair Bulletin, November, 1904

Photos from The Breeder's Gazette and  Irwin Collection.

This page was designed by Amanda J. Smith and is maintained by Lyndon Irwin

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