Lady of Meadowbrook

      Lady of Meadowbrook is a short story about the Great Aberdeen Angus Show Cow, Lady of Meadowbrook. It was written in 1904 by Charles S. Plumb, B. Sc., Professor of Animal Husbandry, Ohio State University. Lady of Meadowbrook was an early Matron of the Aberdeen Angus breed being born in 1894.

     Many a beautiful cow has been graced with the title of Lady. The history of the English show yard and breeding herd records more than one Lady of fame, among which might be mentioned Lady Fragrant, Lady in Waiting, Grand Lady, Lady Sarah and Red Lady, while in America Lady Charming, Lady Plushcoat, Lady Superior and yet others are among the elect. On’ this side of the Atlantic, however, no individual of the bovine race is better entitled to this name than the Aberdeen-Angus cow Lady of Meadowbrook 21466.

     Lady of Meadowbrook 21466 was bred by D. Bradfute & Son, Meadowbrook farm, Cedarville, Greene county, Ohio, and was calved on Dec 9, 1894.  Her sire was Zaire 5th 13067, a son of the well known Black Abbot 10423. Zaire 5th for some ten years was a prominent prize winner at the great shows in the United States and has repeatedly been referred to as one of the greatest of the modern show and breeding Angus bulls, for he has sired many most excellent animals. He was short of leg, broad of back, square and full both in front and behind, and was heavily fleshed when in good condition.  At this writing, early in 1904, Zaire 5th is still in active service in an Ohio herd at the age of 15 years.

     The dam of Lady was Lavender of Meadowbrook 15697, a cow of much merit that won many prizes, including first in aged class at the Ohio and Illinois state fairs in 1898. As a 5-year-old she weighed 1900 pounds and possessed a beautiful front, unusually fine top and bottom lines, with a wealth of flesh smoothly laid on. She was known on the circuit as an extra fine cow. Lady of Meadowbrook is three generations descended from Abbotsford 2702 on the sire’s side, while on the dam’s side she goes back to imp.  Lovelock 4th 6046, a prize winner at the Ohio state fair, as grandam, with Lovelock 2889 as great-grandam and Lavender 2890 as igreat-great-grandam.

     As a calf Lady of Meadowbrook did not particularly attract attention, and at the New York state fair in 1895 she was third in the Angus calf class, being also third at the Illinois state the same season. At this stage of her development she was referred to as “very sweet and chunky.” As a yearling the writer can find no record of Lady being shown, but as a 2-year-old in 1897 she was third in class at the Illinois state fair, while she was also placed higher up in other fairs this season, in which she met no opposition outside the local herd. This season she was shown along with her dam, with which she was often compared, she having her mother’s full bosom, great spring of rib, full flanks, deep twist and great size.

In 1898 Lady of Meadowbrook began to show her true colors. She was classed as the best Aberdeen Angus female in class at the state fairs of Indiana, Wisconsin and the St. Louis exposition, and was made champion cow of the breed at Wisconsin and St. Louis shows. She was placed second to her mother in class at the Illinois show at Peoria. This same season, in 1898, the Bradfute herd invaded Kentucky to compete for the class and herd championships at the Shelbyville show. This was the first Aberdeen Angus exhibit south of the Ohio river. The Bradfutes had carefully considered making this trip, as it meant an invasion of Shorthorn territory of the most pronounced type. A committee of Shorthorn men acted as judges, and during the bull competition the Shorthorns had the advantage.  When the female classes came on a sensation occurred with the entrance of Lady of Meadowbrook into the ring. Her outstanding merit was at once recognized and she was made first prize winner.  The 2-year-old and yearling prizes were won by Shorthorns, while a Bradfute heifer calf won first in class. In the lining up in the herd competition great excitement prevailed, for only Shorthorns had heretofore won beef herd prizes in this section. The superior excellence of the Bradfute cattle, with the great Lady of Meadowbrook at the head of the female classes, would not be downed, and amid much excitement and applause the Aberdeen-Angus herd was made champion.

     In 1899 Lady of Meadowbrook was first-prize and champion cow at the Ohio, Wisconsin and Indiana state fairs and the St. Louis show, and was first in class at the Illinois state fair. At the
latter show she was defeated for championship by Lucia of Estill, a smaller type of cow, and of much merit, yet lacking the scale and thickness of flesh of Lady.

     In 1900 Lady of Meadowbrook made her last campaign in the show ring, winning first in class at the Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois state fairs and the St. Louis exposition. She was also made champion cow at the Wisconsin, Indiana and St. Louis shows.

     At this time she weighed about 2000 pounds. At the International Live Stock Exposition in December she was made champion Angus cow, but as she did not deliver a live calf within the specified time the prize money was refunded according to the rule. At the time, however, nobody questioned her right to win.  Thus closed the show yard career of what is unquestionably one of the greatest American bred Aberdeen Angus show cows that has been seen in America.  Her merit was unquestioned. She was more often than not judged by men of other breeds, and they never failed to recognize her merit. One year when she was made grand champion cow at the Indiana state fair at Indianapolis a committee of three placed the ribbonsconsisting of George Allen and J. H. Pickrell, Shorthorn breeders, and David McKay, of Galloway affiliations. When the judges book was being signed Mr.  Pickrell, one of America’s most distinguished Shorthorn authorities and then secretary of the American Shorthorn association, stepped up to the cow and said: “I want to sign my name with the book lying on the back of the best cow I ever saw.”

     In some of the shows where Lady was shown she had for company some of the famous females of other breeds, of which Ruberta, the Shorthorn queen, and Dolly 5th of Hereford fame are fitting examples.  As a breeder Lady of Meadowbrook has not been a failure, neither has she been the success anticipated. She has had but one daughter, Lady 2d of Meadowbrook 36954, which was the firstprize 2-year-old heifer at the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo. Lady had one bull calf which was lost through no fault of hers. She carried another five months and lost it.

     Lady of Meadowbrook still residesupon the farm of her birth, along with three sisters of merit. She refuses to thin down and reduce to desirable breeding form, but serves as a living model of how a high-class breeding and show cow should appear. She has brought much of fame to her breeders and to the breed, and it is to be hoped that she may yet leave a legacy to Meadowbrook that will add still greater laurels to their well-known herd.