Agricultural History Series

 Missouri State University

 1904 St. Louis World's Fair

Duroc Hog Show

The Duroc-Jerseys captured the attention of the public with their unique uniformity of Cherry-red color, which was said to be a big part of their market value.  This breed showed refinement of the head and ear, and made an impressive display at the 1904 World's Fair.  With twenty-nine exhibitors and 348 animals, there was a great deal of  competition! Durocs from the states of Missouri, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, Nebraska, Kansas and Tennessee were exhibited.

The Duroc Jersey Bulletin noted that the number of Duroc Jersey's at the World's fair was not as large as the number shown at some state fairs.  However, the fair limited the number of hogs that could be shown by one exhibitor to two animals per class.  State fairs of that day did not have similar limits so exhibitors brought large numbers of hogs to those fairs to try to sell them.

No one line of Durocs captured all of the awards at the World's Fair.  However, most winning hogs carried blood of the Orion, Top Notcher, Ohio Chief, and/or Wonder families.  A single judge system was used and the Duroc judging went largely without controversy.  The pressure on World's Fair judges was extreme however, due to the great advertising value that a World's Fair ribbon carried.  The show started with some superstition because there there thirteen aged boars.  However, many felt that the class was the greatest display of aged boars that had every been shown up to that time.  Other classes ranged in size from twelve to thirty seven head. 

Tip Top Notcher

Tip Top Notcher

Tip Top Notcher was the largest hog at the 1904 World's Fair swine show.  He weighed in at a remarkable 1,120 pounds and was named Duroc breed champion.  Although remarkable, before long, the size of the boar was being exaggerated as he was compared to a pachyderm.

Dotie (Champion sow), shown at the fair by McFarland Brothers and sold to Marshal Brothers, Burdon, Kansas

1st prize sow 18 - 24 months.  Shown by Ira Jackson of Ohio and sold to John Jones of Delphos, Kansas

Note regarding Tip Top Notcher: The Breeder's Gazette magazine told that the boar was owned by C. Watt of Ohio. The Farmer Stockman magazine claimed that the boar was owned by George "Sackman" of Ripley, Illinois.  A descendant of Mr. Seckman has provided the definitive answer,   provided the correct spelling for his ancestor's name and verified ownership of the champion boar.  Follow this link for more definitive information on Tip Top Notcher.


Photos from Breeder's Gazette and Report to the Kansas World's Fair Commission.

Max Storm wrote "I have two large award certificates/diploma's from McFarland Brothers. They are part of the awards given to 'Joe' 29271 and Moss Ross 71964"

Joe won twice it appears. The words on the certificate says:

McFarland Brothers - Sedalia - Missouri. the breeders of Joe 29271 awarded the First Prize as the best Duroc boar six and under twelve months and the Reserve Champion prize as the best under one year.

McFarland Brothers -
Sedalia - Missouri - as the breeders of Moss Ross 71964 awarded the Second Prize for Duroc Jersey Sow eighteen and under twenty four months
  • Note that the certificate says Moss Ross -not Moss Rose  (Lyndon's note - I imagine that this is a typo on the certificate since is more likely a sow would be named Rose than she would Ross.)

This page was designed by Meridee K. Haworth and Lyndon Irwin and is maintained by Lyndon Irwin

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