The now and then postings of the discoveries and contributions of the Miller and Bechtold families .

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Millers Selling Prize Cattle to Argentina

Great Uncle Walter Levi Miller
Great Grandfather John Herman Miller
exporting cattle to Argentina 

Getting ahead of the curve, Walter and GGrandfather John Herman successfully exported prize cattle a decade earlier than the later wave of shorthorn purchasing in Argentina. 


Evidence of Walter's trips:

New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924

An image for this record may be available at:

Given Name Walter Levi
Surname Miller
Last Place of Residence Buenos Ayres
Date of Arrival 20 Dec 1905
Age at Arrival 22y
Ethnicity US Citizen
Port of Departure Santos
Port of Arrival New York
Gender Male
Marital Status S
US Citizen
Ship of Travel Byron

The Record Price Fetched by Americus:

What cost $38,983 in 1905 would cost $1,114,953.69 in 2012
(according to the Inflation Calculator)

The all time record appears to be, (in 1905 dollars), $88, 673, set in 1982
Second Place would be Americus, at $38,983 in 1905
Third Place place would be, (in 1905 dollars), $32, 490, set in 1980

[This does not include Bison-Cattle hybrids]

Americus, a Shorthorn bull, has sold for 38,983 gold dollars in the Argentine. The price in the money of this South American country was 80,000 pesos. Not only is the price an unusual one—probably a record—but in connection with this sale there are other things of interest.
Americus is a great show animal. In junior form he was champion and as a more mature bull exhibited the same outstanding bloom, quality and finish. His winnings include championships and many cups, among the latter the Madernan, the Nicanor and the A. de Bary cups.
Mr. Leonardo Pereyra of Argentine, the breeder of Americus, in a letter to Mr. George M. Rommel, chief of the animal husbandry division of the United States Department of Agriculture, says: "If Americus is a prototype of this race, his impressive style while in the ring furthermore commanded the spontaneous opinion, not only of our breeders but of the British public present, that very seldom had such a genuine specimen of the race so justly imposed his triumph. Americus was bought by Mr. B. Ginocchio for his 'Cabana Santa Aurelia,' to whom the female championship was awarded for his exceptional cow, 'Industry 22nd,' a breeder who also obtained the champion prize at our last fat show."
The record price calf of a Missouri cow.
Interesting as are these facts concerning Americus, there is yet one of more interest to the people of the United States, and especially of the Mississippi Valley corn belt. The dam of Americus was Merry Ravenswood 3rd, calved December 2, 1902, and bred by Messrs. Chas. E. Leonard & Son, Ravenswood farm, Bunceton, Mo. When three years old she was sold to Mr. Walter L. Miller, Peru, Ind., who shipped her to South America. Not only was the dam of this bull bred by the Messrs. Leonard, but they also bred six of his top dams and one of his sires.

Great Grandfather John Herman sends cattle to Argentina:

Few exportations of Shorthorns have been made from the United States during the period of this history. Most of these shipments were made by individuals, and while in some cases large prices were received, the expenses were so large and the risk so great that exporters did not continue long in the business. Prior to 1916 no associated effort was made to foster this trade, despite the fact that sensational prices have been paid in Argentina for the best Shorthorns. In 1901 a small exportation was made, the cattle being bought from herds in the United States and Canada; included was the bull Iowa Champion, out of Gipsy Maid, a noted prizewinner and an excellent breeder.

A few years later J. H. Miller, Peru, Ind., made two exportations. These included some choice Shorthorns from leading herds in several central states—from N. H. Gentry the cow Moss Rose 7th, from Bellows Bros. the champion yearling bull Hampton's Model 210474 and the heifers Hampton's Pearl and Hampton's Princess, all by Hampton's Best 170818. In Buenos Aires Hampton's Model brought $7,000 and Hampton's Princess $8,000 Argentine money. From the herd of Charles E. Leonard & Son eleven cows were taken, seven of them by Lavender Viscount 124755. Merry Ravenswood 3d was sold in Argentina to Senor Leonardo Pereyra and from the service of the Scotch Centennial Victor she produced Americus, the champion bull at the National Show at Palermo in 1913. Americus was then sold at auction for 80,000 pesos, equivalent to $38,983 in gold, the record price in any country for a Shorthorn bull.

A prominent authority has said: "It is a matter of history that for years Argentina has been sapping Great Britain of her best Shorthorn blood. Can the British herds stand the strain on their resources! Undoubtedly many of our best bulls of recent years have left the country."
From financial considerations such a trade is most desirable and should be encouraged. But if it should go to the point of depleting herds of their best bulls, thus endangering the future excellence and supremacy of the breed, the cry of warning would be justified.
[Consul General W. Henry Robertson, Buenos Aires, Sept. 18.]
According to the Argentine Year Book for 1915-16 the grading up of cattle in this country has been brought about by the importation, chiefly from Great Britain, of the best strains of blood that money could purchase. From 1901 to 1914 pedigree animals entering the Republic were as follows: Shorthorn, 10,722; polled Angus, 440; Hereford, 714; red polled, 121; Jersey, 115; various, 049; total, 12,701. Experts have placed an average valuation on these pedigree animals of $637 United States currency, giving a total valuation of about $8,000,000.

Show sales of pedigree cattle are held each year at Palermo, in the city of Buenos Aires, and form the annual feature of pastoral life in this Republic. In 1913, the world's record was made at Palermo, when the champion Shorthorn bull, Americus, brought $80,000 Argentine paper ($33,908 United States currency). In 1915, the champion bull, Durham Shorthorn, sold at auction for $60,000 Argentine paper ($25,470 United States currency). In 1910, the Shorthorn reserve champion brought $55,000 Argentine paper ($23,353 United States currency). The favorite breed in the Argentine is now the Durham Shorthorn, of which 200 bulls were sold at auction in 1915 for a total of $1,140,000 Argentine paper ($484,040 United States currency), or an average of $5,700 Argentine paper per head, or about $2,420 United States currency, all exclusive of a (1 per cent commission which is paid by the purchasers in this country. The Hereford appears to have declined in favor, the champion bull of that breed having been sold in 1915 for $12,000 Argentine paper ($5,095 United States currency), or about a fifth of the price paid for the champion Durham.

Standing of the Polled Angus Breed.
The polled Angus was considered a few years ago to be the coming breed, but seemed in little favor at Palermo in 1915, when the champion bull of this class was sold for only $4,500 Argentine paper ($1,910 United States currency). On the other hand, the polled Angus steer is in great demand among the establishments that pack frozen beef, and in 1915 prices in the ordinary cattle markets went as high as $400 Argentine paper ($170 United States currency) for this type of steer, which is probably a world's record.
In the fall of 1915 Mr. F. W. Harding, of Chicago, secretary of the American Shorthorn Breeders' Association, came to Argentina, and can be credited with being the primary cause of having this important market thrown open for the future to American Shorthorn pedigree cattle.
Under Government decree dated October 10, 1915, the regulations for the importation of live stock into this country were amended as follows:

Art. 46; par. f, to read: Importation is prohibited into the territory of the Republic, at any point, of live stock of the bovine, ovine, caprine, and porcine species, coming from countries where foot-and-mouth disease exists or has existed in on epizootic or general form; or from Departments, Provinces, Countries, or States where the disease exists or has existed within 3 months previous to shipment, the 3 months reckoning from the date of the official declaration of the extinction of the disease, providing that such declaration has not been made until 15 days have elapsed from the date of the last case of the disease.
Time Reduced to Three Months.

Article 48, paragraphs a, b, and c are modified in the sense of reducing the six months to three, which are required to be declared in the sanitary certificate of origin as the period which has elapsed from the date of the extinction of foot-and-mouth disease; and, as set forth in the previously modified article, that the disease docs not exist in an epizootic form in the country of origin, and also that there is no case of it in the State, Province, or Department from which the animals have come.
The removal through these amendments of the prohibition upon the importation of American cattle into Argentina should open to American breeders of pedigree cattle a most promising market that heretofore has been monopolized by British breeders.
At the time of Mr. Harding's arrival American cattle were forbidden entry into Argentina so long as foot-and-mouth disease existed anywhere in the United States. In other words, cattle could not be sent here from the State of Maine, for instance, if foot-and-mouth disease chanced to exist in California, although there might not be a case of it in any other State.


J. C. Banbury & Sons, Plevna.*—This is a herd of 175 head, practically all of which are Polled Shorthorns. It has been built up by the use of excellent bulls from herds noted for quality of output, the three leading Polled herds of America having been heavily drawn on for breeding stock. One of the cows, Miami Golden Drop 2d, came from J. H. Miller, Peru, Indiana, the world's greatest Polled breeder. Her sire is Sultan of Anoka, one of Mr. Harding's best productions by the world's greatest sire, Whitehall Sultan. The other cows in the herd are rightly bred and are of very popular blood lines, including splendid specimens from leading herds in Indiana, Missouri and Kansas.

One of the herd bulls, Orange Champion, came from J. H. Miller's twelve years ago. He was by Roan Archer, also bred by Mr. Miller, in fact, the ancestry of this bull was largely of the Miller breeding. Sultan's Pride is by the International grand champion Polled bull, True Sultan, a noted sire of prize winners, a son of Sultan of Anoka, and one of the smoothest, best finished bulls of any breed ever seen on the western show circuit. Sultan's Pride was also a first-class show bull having been first and junior champion
in 1915 at Lincoln, Topeka, Hutchinson and Oklahoma City. In 1916 he was first at Burlington, Des Moines and Hutchinson where Mr. Banbury bought him out of the Stegelin show
These cattle are in the Banbury
herd and represent the Banbury

herd and put him to siring calves which show him to be even greater as a breeder than as a show bull. Roan Orange, one of the largest bulls of the breed and a son of Orange Champion, is still one of the leading herd bulls and is doing excellent service. Grand Sultan, a son of the noted sire, Meadow Sultan, is also winning fame for his owners and for the breed.

The conditions under which these cattle are kept insure the production of the profitable kind that give maximum returns for the feed consumed and they will do their full share in driving out the scrubs as well as the horns.


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