BSCBA - USA 1890-1899
"The Early Years"
Roger's Note: The first of these articles, July 2004 Bulletin, indicated the first importers of Brown Swiss cattle, were Henry M. Clark of Belmont, MA, George W. Harris of Wethersfield, CT, and Nelson B. Scott of Worcester, MA. During the next few years, several more importations were made; one being by John B. Eldredge, Middle Falls, NY (19 animals). The following relates to the Eldredge Family.
In the early years, The Swiss Record listed animals recorded with the Association which were either imported from Switzerland or their offspring. The very first section of Volume 1 was published in 1881, followed by various supplements. Volume 2 of The Swiss Record was published in 1895. Through the first 259 females recorded, the two major importers were partners Scott & Harris and J. B. Eldredge with 19 females each.
J. B. Eldredge imported and registered females with registration numbers 206-218 and 247-252. Of those 19 animals, 17 were imported from G. Burgi’s Sons of Arth, Switzerland. Burgi was also the breeder of William Tell 1, the first bull imported by Clark in the initial imports of one bull and seven females.
In November 1990, the national office was thrilled and honored to be the recipient of many items from the John B. Eldredge estate. The photo below shows 7 bells and a blanket received as part of the early history of the Brown Swiss breed in the U.S. These bells are on display in the entryway of the national office. We are extremely grateful to the Eldredge family for this gift.
Six of the bells are inscribed with “Burgi” and “Arth”, namely the breeder and city of those imported animals. It is believed to be the bells worn by the six animals imported by Eldredge and recorded as numbers 247-252.
In addition to the bells and blanket, other memorabilia received included the following:
- Two advertising cards for G. Burgi’s Sons
- A small photo of Godfried Burgi, Arth, Switzerland
- A photo of Thomas J. Eldredge, son of J. B. Eldredge, and a Swiss cow
- Advertising flyer for J. B. Eldredge Brown Swiss Cattle
- Original letter dated July 9, 1884, from Association Secretary, N. S. Fish to J. B. Eldredge, which accompanied the Certificates of Entry for 6 imported Swiss females, also believed to be the animals 247-252. Many thanks to the Eldredge Family!