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BSCBA - USA 1930-1939

"800 Pleasant - A Place Called Home"

Roger's Note: As you walk into the entryway of the national office at 800 Pleasant Street in Beloit, Wisconsin, you are greeted by two unique historical events of the Brown Swiss world or perhaps any cattle breed. First, the building you just entered is one of the oldest buildings in Beloit, being built in 1856 (Yes, I said “eighteen fifty-six) and it is probably the oldest structure still in use in Rock County per the Wisconsin Historical Society. Secondly, you are greeted by a four by six portrait of Jane of Vernon and that is 4 feet by 6 feet, not 4 X 6 inches. Jane of Vernon has probably imposed a greater impact on a breed nationwide than any other cow that ever lived.

During the early years of his tenure as Secretary of the Association, Ira Inman kept the Association records in an office in the basement of his home on his farm just north of Beloit. In the 1920’s, the Association records were moved to an office in downtown Beloit. By 1935, there was a need for a larger facility as the breed had greatly expanded registering over 9000 animals in 1934, more than double from the previous two Depression years.

The January 1936 Bulletin lead story was titled “Association Purchases Own Building for Offices”. That building was located two blocks from downtown on Highway 51 (Pleasant Street) and on the Rock River. Built in 1856, the building was originally the Beloit Paper Mill, the first paper mill in the Rock River Valley and the second in the Wisconsin Territory. In 1858, it was organized as the Rock River Paper Manufacturing Company. In 1882, Beloit College foreclosed on a loan to the company and later sold it in 1888. During the next 40 years, it was occupied by manufacturers of overalls, bicycles, and automobile parts. (The first automobile turn signals were manufactured here by Beloit inventor Carl Lipman.) In the late 20’s, it was occupied by a refrigeration company, upholsterer, and engineering company, and an adjoining filling station (now office parking lot). The Association purchased the then vacant building in 1936 for $3,500 and accepted a bid to convert the old factory into an office building for $10,285. The Association moved into the building in May 1937 and has resided there ever since. See photos of building circa 1870’s-barely a road; 1900’s-basement windows still exposed; 1990’s prior to road reconstruction; & current. Photo 5 is the sign gracing the north end of the building.

The 1930’s belonged to Jane of Vernon 29496. Born on February 16, 1928, on the Orbec Sherry farm near Viroqua, Wisconsin, she would influence the Brown Swiss breed as no one could ever have imagined. Jane hit the show circuit as a 2-year old and astonished judges as having the best 2-year-old udder they had ever seen. In 1932, Jane won her first Grand Champion honor at the National Dairy Cattle Congress in Waterloo, Iowa. She also completed a record of 23,569 pounds milk and 1075 pounds fat on ROP. Jane repeated as National Show Champion in 1933, 1934, and 1936. Jane had a son, Jane’s Royal of Vernon and four daughters, Jane of Vernon 2nd, Jane of Vernon 3rd, Jane of Vernon 4th, and Jane of Vernon 5th. Jane’s Royal and the “Four Janes” were purchased by Lee’s Hill Farm, Morristown, NJ. Under the manament of Vernon Hull, Jane the 5th was National Show Champion in 1940, 1941, and 1942, and her daughter, Marinda Jane of Lee’s Hill was Champion in 1947, 1951, and 1952. Jane herself was purchased by Judd’s Bridge Farm, New Milford, CT, in 1936. At 17 years of age, she was laid to rest at Judd’s Bridge Farm in May 1945. Her grave marker still may be seen at the Judd’s Bridge Farm. The 6’ X 4’ portrait of Jane (see Photo next column) may be seen in the entryway of the national office.

Other notable events of the 30’s include the following: The February 1930 Bulletin announces that Thomas A. Edison, famous American inventor, is the owner of a purebred Brown cow.

Another great cow of the 30’s was Illini Nellie 26578, who was bred by Ira Inman of Beloit, WI, and sold in dam to the University of Illinois in 1927. Nellie was born November 16, 1927 and was Reserve Grand Champion at the 1935 National Dairy Show. Her biggest claim to fame was realized in 1937 as she became the new milk and fat champion with her 8/4 record: 365d 3X 29590m 4.1% 1200f.

On April 5, 2003, the University of Illinois and Illinois Brown Swiss breeders honored this great cow with the dedication of a plaque to be placed on the stone marking her grave site. For more details, see the Illini Nellie Story Continues in the May 2003 Brown Swiss Bulletin on Page 39. A book on this event will be on display during the Wednesday evening tour of the national office.

Through The Decades

(BS) - Brown Swiss       (BB) - Baseball

“1930 - 1939”

10-1-1932 (BB)
Babe Ruth hits legendary “called shot” in World Series game 3, Wrigley Field.
1932 (BS)
Herd Improvement Registry (HIR) adopted whereby the entire herd was enrolled in production testing. Previously in the Registry of Production (ROP) program adpted in 1911, cows were individually enrolled in the testing program.
7-6-1933 (BB)
American League prevails 4-2 in the “Game of the Century” (first All-Star Game) at Comiskey Park.
1933 (BB)
Candy companies made baseball cards popular for children (& adults) by introducing “Bubble-gum cards” as opposed to tobacco cards available in the early 1900’s.
1936 (BS)
Mary’s Nell 36395 sets new milk and fat record with a record of : 6/10 365d 4X 29487m 3.7% 1110f, owned by Vernon Hull, Painesville, OH. She replaced Swiss Valley Girl 10th 7887, who held both records for 7 years.
2-2-1936 (BB)
Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson are named charter members of baseball’s new Hall of Fame.
1937 (BS)
Illini Nellie 26578 became the new milk & fat champion one year later with her 8/4 record of 365d 3X 29590m 4.1% 1200f. She was bred by Ira Inman, Beloit, WI, & owned by the University of Illinois, Urbana, IL.