Agricultural History Series

 Missouri State University

 1904 St. Louis World's Fair

Merino Sheep Show

The 154 American Merinos (the wrinkly, heavy-fleeced type) shown in the "A" class at St. Louis made up what was said to have been the show of  a lifetime.  It was a collection of old basic and historic, not to mention classic, animals of  the Merino breed.  It was claimed that the  1904 Merino show was the most memorable show of this breed in American history.

A Merino was set down for judging the fleece.

The American Sheep Breeder stated, “The Columbian Merino show of 1893 was grand, but this was transiently brilliant.” This statement referred to the St. Louis World's Fair in comparison to the Chicago World's Fair and it’s Merino show.

Judging the A class Merinos was E. D. King, who had bred Spanish type Merinos for a third of a century.  He was said to have shown expert knowledge of the breed and the onlookers were satisfied with his judging capabilities. He, however, judged the Spanish type lower, which was said to have been judicially correct.

Three Merinos with their breeders including the Baldwin Co.'s Spanish Merino

Helser Dean, C. H. Bell, Williamson, E. M. and H. E. Moore, Cook and the Baldwins were said to have shown beautiful Merinos. However, they were somewhat of the old-time Spanish type and received less recognition from the judge. The Baldwin Co.'s Spanish Merino ram was said to have weighed 280 lbs. and its fleece 52 lbs.

First Place Merino Winner Owners were:

The Delaine Merinos, a less wrinkled type of Merino, also made a record show in the quality of the 120 sheep shown.  The American Sheep Breeder stated, “It was still the greatest aggregation of high class and superbly fitted Delaines ever seen at a show occasion.” 

Taking home several awards was R. D. Williamson of Xenia, Ohio, with 26 head that showed more Delaine quality. He had been building his flock for this show for two years.  So it was not surprising when Judge Cowden gave him first on aged ram, yearling ram, get of sire, produce of ewe, aged flock, young flock, flock bred by exhibitor, ram champion, ewe champion, grand ram championship, both premier championships and a long list of lesser prizes.

Two Merinos of the "wrinkly" type.

Adding to the spectacular show of Delaines were several other breeders who took home awards as well. Listed below are the other classes and winners that were not won by R. D. Williamson.

First Place Delaines Winner Owners were:

References: American Sheep Breeder, October 15, 1904

Photos from the American Sheep Breeder and the Breeder's Gazette.

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

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