|The Story of B.H. Bull & Son and their
By J. Hume Grisdale
The B.H. Bull & Son is one of a father, two sons and a grandson at
Brampton, Ontario who, over the course of about eighty years won and maintained
a place in the history of agriculture, and particularly in the Jersey breed. It
is a story that will forever stand unique wherever the breed is known. It is a
story of dedication, integrity and business ability that flourished through
three generations of the family from as early as 1878 until the death of John,
the grandson, in 1965.
Family History The Beginnings - 1879-1894
The first of the Bull family to appear on the horizon is Bartholomew Bull, grandfather of Bartholomew Hill Bull, founder of the Brampton Jersey herd. He was born in 1791 to John and Mary Bull in County Tipperary, Ireland. In 1818, at 27 years of age, he with his wife and first child, a daughter, Mary, came to Canada and settled in "muddy York".
For a time he managed a partially-cleared farm and then bought one of 200 acres where is now the south-east corner of Dufferin Street and St. Clair Avenue. For this he paid "spot cash".
He had four sons: J. Perkins, Dr. Edward (who was Jessie Duggan`s grandfather), Thomas Henry, a lawyer, and Bartle, an auctioneer. One daughter, Rebecca, was married to Dr. Patullo and two others were Mrs. Helen Good and Mrs. Shaw.
The first-mentioned son, J. Perkins Bull, farmed at Downsview.
J. Perkins Bull becoming rheumatic visited the well-known Preston Springs to take the water treatment. While there, his wife became ill and died and he returned home. Later, he fell breaking a hip and so spent his last years as an invalid. He moved to Walmer Road in Toronto where he died at the age of 86. His first wife, Caroline, however, had died when his son, Bartholomew Hill Bull (the B.H. Bull of the story) was only two years old and he had married again. His second wife was Harriet Bishop who had four daughters: Annie (Page), Ida (Clark Bailey), Nellie, and May (Fyfe) and three sons, names not known.
Bartholomew Hill Bull was married on April 23rd, 1867, to Sarah Duncan. Both he and his bride were born in 1845.
Sarah Duncan Bull lived to haven eleven children all of whom reached maturity and she herself lived to the age of 78, dying at Hawthorn Lodge in 1923. One daughter, Amelia, died in 1900 at the age of 25.
Sarah Duncan Bull was a daughter of William Duncan who was born on January 1st, 1800, in Scotland. When he was two years of age his family moved to Ireland where his father (also William) manufactured linen in County Sligo and operated oatmeal mill there. As a young man, William Jr. sold the linen and oatmeal to merchants in sourrounding towns in Ireland. The story is that one day he took the proceeds he had collected and bought a passage to Canada. Here he took up a crown grant of land in Downsview, at that time a wooded area. This was in 1819 when he was just over 19 years of age. He cleared the land and became very prosperous through farming and representing his father`s mills in this country. He ahs followed to Canada later by his three brothers, James, George and Adam and the sisters who married to become Mrs. Lindsay and Mrs. Jackson.
William Jr. married Sarah Mulholland in 1831. They had a family of twelve children not all of whom grew to maturity. The daughters who married were Sarah (to Bartholomew Hill Bull and already mentioned) and Elizabeth (to Dr. Philpotts). Five sons reached maturity and all became farmers. One of them, David, was a Jersey breeder and helped B.H. Bull to start a herd; another, Henry, was Reeve of York County for many years; all were successful and well-to-do; all were Conservative in politics, and some were Orangemen.
William Jr. and Sarah Duncan celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary in 1881 but Sarah died soon after at the age of 72. er husband, however, lived to be 86 dying in 1886. He was paralysed for some years. A comparatively wealthy man, he was able to provide each son with a 200 acre farm and give city property to his daughters. His family were musical and both Sara and Elizabeth sang in the Downsview choir. They were educated at Hamilton Ladies College and Sarah was most adept with the needle and small pieces of both sisters`handiwork still survive and are valued heirlooms.
Although there is little known about the religious aspects of the Duncan side of B.H. Bull, it is noteworthy that in his paternal inheritance a strong religious strain ran through several generations. The original John Bull whose son, Bartholomew, had first come to Canada had worked extensively with John Wesley, the "father of Methodism" and his great grandson, Bartholomew Hill Bull, was a dedicated lay preacher in the Methodism "conversion" and for many years was President of the Prohibition Association. Needless to say, his family was raised accordingly and certainly sons, Duncan and Bartley, always felt and showed great respect for the Methodist and later, the United Church. Bartley knew the Bible better than most and together with his nephew, John, donated land for the building of the new St. Bartholomew`s United Church in Brampton.
B.H. Bull, in November 1874, acquired the original Hawthorn Lodge Farm of 100 acres on the second concession East, west half, lot 2, Chingcousey. He purchased it from Daniel Johnson for the sum of $6,500.00. The name, Hawthorn Lodge, was the result of Daniel Johnson`s planting of a row of haws from seed he had brought back from a trip to England. The house of brick, a bread oven and a so-called back kitchen or shed were all constructed from brick made in a kiln about 100 yeards north of the house by Mr. Johnson himself. The back kitchen was demolished about the turn of the century.
The old wooden barns and stables painted a Jersey brown and which the writer visiting in October 1922, were demolished soon after and, in 1926, a modern new dairy barn, L shaped to accommodate 120 head or more had been erected at a cost of nearly $60,000.00. This barn was equipped with electricity, and within a few years, town water was piped in from Brampton first to the Centre Road barns and then, a little later, to the First Line, or original farm. Previously a windmill had been built at the First Line farm about 1895.
The first purchase of land in 1874 by B.H. Bull comprised 100 acres. Soon after, another 50 acres were added. In the early days of this century another 100 acres were bought. The West half of Lot 2, 1st concession, East of Hurontario Street (#10 Highway) was acquired in 1910 for $7,000.00. This farm fronting on #10 highway, was the site on which the big main house was built in 1911. It later acquired the name of Hawthorne Lodge.
B.H. Bull, after occupying the Hawthorne Lodge property in 1874, bred Jersey
cattle, some registered, at an early date but he also is said to have been a
successful property speculator.
The Bell Telephone Company early installed a telephone at the First Line. It was #68 and it carried that number until replaced by dialing. The number at the Centre Road home was #99. It too was retained for years. Through the friendship and good offices of Sir Adam Beck, electricity came to Hawthorne Lodge as early as any farm in the district.
B.H. Bull started an account at the Dominion Bank the year the Branch was opened at Brampton and the firm was a customer at the Dominion, later the Toronto Dominion Bank, until their herd was finally dispersed in the 1970s. As an aside, it is noted that the late Clarence J. Bogart was a junior in the Brampton Branch for about a year commencing in 1890. He was later General Manager of the Bank for 25 years. Robert Rae too, a junior at Brampton in 1906 was afterwards General Manager and finally President.
B.H. Bull died at Hawthorne Lodge following a short illness on April 10th, 1904 leaving his wife, Sarah, and then children "all at home".
With the exception of Duncan and Bartley, this account will do little more than mention some items respecting the family of B.H. Bull and his wife, Sarah Duncan Bull.
The oldest son, W. Perkins, was born in 1870 and became a B.A., K.C. and
L.L.D., a barrister-at-law. His four sons all graduated from Eton and from
Oxford and were all barristers.
The second son of B.H. Bull was Louis J.C. who farmed both in Saskatchewan and later, in Brampton. He became a magistrate in Brampton and was also mayor as was one of his sons, Harper Bull. His oldest son, Frank, is a surgeon in the State of Maine.
Marcia Ella, a daughter of B.H. Bull, died at the age of 36. She was married to Dr. Richard Parsons who, throughout his practising life, lived an worked in Red Deer, Alberta. He raised two sons, MacGregor and William B who both graduated as doctors. Dr. MacGregor Parsons became President of the Alberta Medical Association and, in 1960, succeeded the Duke of Edinburgh as President of the Canadian Medical Association. He was a frequent visitor at Brampton during his undergraduate days. He died in late 1974.
The other sons and daughters not specifically referred to above are Sarah Caroline Mackay, Elizabeth Jessie Hislop, Lillian Robinson, Florence Gibson and Jeffrey Harper Bull who was killed in action in 1918. He won the Distinguished Service Order for bravery. The medal was presented to his mother, Mrs. B.H. Bull, by His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales at a posthumous ceremony in Hamilton in 1919.
The story of the remaining two sons, Bartley and Duncan, is so interwoven with the history of Brampton Jerseys that it is virtually impossible to separate it therefrom. At this point only the salient details are given so that this part of the story may be completed.
Bartley graduated from the University of Toronto (Trinity College) with a B.A. degree at the age og twenty and was the "Son" in the B.H. Bull & SOn firm name. He was appointed an Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of the Peel and Duffering and Lorne Scots. He did not marry.
Duncan also joined the firm in 1902. Before marrying Eleanor Lazier in 1911 he spent some years in England. They had two children - Mary, born in 1914 and John, born in 1916.
Mary married Alexander McCall Hutchison, later President of Drummond McCall Ltd. They have three children - Ann McCall, PH.D. (Mrs. James Carley), Joan Eleanor (Mrs. George Booth) and Sandra Duncan (Mrs. Les Lawrence).
John Bull was educated at Appleby College, Oakville where he was Head Boy. He was proficient in sports and established new records a number of which had stood for years. He won a Gold Medal for swimming in Toronto and was a star player in the under-graduate cricket team that visited England in 1934. During his years at school, he had been associated with the family business the summers. After graduating from Appleby he spent a year at the University of Toronto but as he matured he became more and more essential to the firm`s operation so that further formal education was forgone and he devoted all his attention to the business of the firm. He became a full partner in 1936.
John married Frances MacFarland and they had three children Duncan, Bartley and Mary. The boys were educated at Appleby College and, like his father, Duncan was Head Boy. John and Frances were divorced and later John married Deirdre (Binks) de Langley. In 1965, John died of cancer at the age of 49.
Eleanor Lazier Bull died in 1932. Despite the loss of his wife, Duncan, with Bartley and their sisters, Mrs. Mackay, Mrs. Robinson and for many years, Mrs. Gibson, succeeded in establishing a well-run home at Hawthorne Lodge, a home where everyone was always made welcome.
This brief family history serves as the background against which the B.H. Bull and Son story is told. It serves to illustrate too why the Bull name has become a byword wherever Jerseys are known.
The Beginnings 1878-1894
The Brampton Jersey herd was established as far back as 1878
The first registered female, officially transferred August 25th, 1893, to the
name of B.H. Bull & Son was Corinne of Don, 86947A. She was bought of David
Duncan, York County, Ontario for $30.00, a good price in those early days. She
was dropped December 20th, 1890. The first registered bull was Sir Ollie of Don,
33893A, born July 31st, 1893 and bought August 9th, 1893.
"Corinne" calved January 24th, 1894 with a daughter by Stoke Pogis of Don, 23119A and she was later registered as Sunbeam of Brampton, -258 - Canadian Jersey Cattle Club, 106735A. This information about the earliest registrations in the herd is taken from the farm day book which was started in 1894 and bears the endorsement of D.O. Bull as keeper of same. It is a record of registrations, certificates and transfers which was kept meticulously through the years. Sunbeam of Brampton was, as far as we know, the first animal registered by the Bulls with the affix "Brampton". Before very long this affix was changed to the prefix position. It was used for over 70 years and is still reserved for B.H. Bull & SOn in the Canadian National Live Stock Records Office.
The day book also records some of the earliest show-winnings of Brampton cattle. An example so recordedis Sir Ollie, abull that, in 1894, won 1st prize at Brampton Fair and 2nd prize at Woodbridge as a calf. A group of heifer calves won 1st prize at the Toronto Industrial Exhibition.
The Establishment of the Brampton Jersey Herd 1894-1912
These early records are important as dating the earliest use of the herd book and the show-ring, both of which were fundamentals in the B.H. Bull & Son breeding program. There is no complete show-ring programme on record but this was a very active and successful practice for many years and had a great deal of advertising value. To emphasize this fact we do have records of a show herd being taken in 1896, 1897 and 1898 at least to fairs in Toronto, Montreal, London, Brampton and Woodbridge. In 1898, their imported-in-dam bull, Brampton`s Monarch, won the Sweepstakes and Silver Medal at Toronto. His dam won the Female Sweepstakes for her owner, R.J. Fleming.
An active business in buying and selling commenced with the acquisition of registered Jerseys if not before. Sales to breeders in Ontario, Quebec and other provinces increased rapidly.
The bull, Brampton Gold Prince, was sold in 1901 to Jas. Walsham in Manitoba. Operating on a cash or trade basis, soon a relationship developed with the leading breeders of the time including W.E.H. Massey, R.J. Fleming, W. Duncan & Son, Jas. Bagg, A. McLean and others in the Toronto area.
Early customers, or clients as they came to be known, who lived in the Prairies included W.V. Edwards, Souris, Manitoba; R. Lane, Bramdon, Manitoba; Jas. Walsham, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba; D. Wright, Emerson, Manitoba; Jas. A. Turner, Calgary, Alberta; J.A.M. Aikens (later Lord Beaverbrook), Winnipeg, Manitoba and Richard Sutton, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In Quebec, early clients were Dawes & Co., Lachine; Wm. Riburn, Ste Anne de Bellevue; W. H. Martin, Warden; W.B. Nantel; St. Jerome; J.J. Gareau, St. Roch l`Achigan; A.F. Ashmead, Hazelhurst and some not mentioned at this point.
Finally, in British Columbia, the earliest clients include T.W. Flatten, Hullcar; Wm. C. Blackwood, Kelowna; Washington Grimmer, Pender Is.; and J.A. Wetherall, also Pender Island.
In the first colume of the Canadian Jersey Herd Register, B.H. Bull & Son owned at one time or another over 1,000 of the 2,730 animals listed therein. Of these, a relatively small proportion was actually bred by them but it constitutes early evidence of a flair for picking out young stock of good type and quality that would do well in the future. This did much to establish a reputation as a source of good breeding stock.
Prior to the establishment of the Canadian Herd Book, the first volume of which appeared in 1912, the firm had registered about80 head in the Herd Register of the American Jersey Cattle Club. They also owned animals registered but not bred by them and some imported from the Island of Jersey.
The day book already mentioned gradually turned into a private register giving the name and number of all animals sold, the name of the buyer, the service information if any, and the date of mailing the certificate of registration and transfer to the buyer.
Even in those early years it was customary for other breeders and their
friends to gather at Hawthorne Lodge upon occasion. Those attending were often
invited to sign the "guest book" which, at that time, was included in the day
book. The first recorded meeting was dated Tuesday, February 1st, 1898 and
included names, a number of which are familiar to this day, such as Professor
Geo. E. Day, Ontario Agricultural College; George H. Clark, Brantford; and
others. A later meeting on June
We are indebted for much of the early history of the Brampton herd to the pages of the Jersey Bulletin, a periodical devoted to the breed, which commenced publication in 1883 in Indianapolis, Indiana and appearing at some times during its history as a monthly, at other times, as a semi-monthly magazine.
An early writeup of the herd appeared in 1899, one which offers some concise information. It states that, at that time, the herd numbered 56 head and had been founded on St. Lambert bloodlines with which Island of Jersey bred cattle had been crossed with good results. Type and appearance had been improved so manifestly in fact that a permanent swing to the close-up Island breeding stock had resulted.
The St. Lambert breeding had produced Minette of Brampton, winner of the 1898 Provincial Dairy Test. The 1897 winner had been Sunbeam of Edgeley that was by Brampton King Edward (imp.). She was out of a full sister of Sunbeam of Brampton, one of the earliest registered Brampton females, if not the first, and a valuable brood cow.
It is interesting to note the herd sires that had the greatest number of progeny in the Brampton herd although their actual number is only an estimate at best.
During the ten years ending in 1908, the sire that apparently was most successful in good and saleable stock was Brampton`s Monarch (imp.) 52866A. He was imported-in-dam by T.S. Cooper & Sons and was bought from R.J. Fleming. As has already been said, his dam was a prizewinner and he himself, a prizewinner as a yearling at the Toronto Industrial Exhibition in 1897. "Monarch" later won many prizes both for himself and for his get. Nearly fifty of his progeny are recorded as sold to herds all over Canada in that period. Another sire which appears to have been used successfully in those early years is Blue Blood of Dentonia with more than 25 registered offspring in the first Canadian Herd Book. We should mention also Arthur`s Golden Fox, Brampton Nameless King, Brampton Pedro (a son of "Monarch"), Sir Ollie of Don (the first registered sire used in the herd), Brampton Cicero and Imp. Fereor. There were many others but they were only used to a limited extent. Just as for other breeders, some of the most promising young sires failed to measure up in the Brampton herd.
In 1905, "The Conservator", Brampton reports a shipment of two carloads of "beautiful Jersey family cows" to Winnipeg. It also reports that the Brampton herd was being exhibited at Winnipeg Fair and later, at Vancouver. The herd went on to show at Victoria and New Westminister. By this time B.H. Bull & Son had established themselves as the leading breeder of prizewinning Jerseys in the country. The herd at Winnipeg Fair was headed by Blue Blood of Dentonia. It also included a daughter of Eminent 2nd, a noted imported cow.
In 1905, the semi annual-meeting of the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club was held at Hawthorne Lodge with about 50 breeders attending. The prospects for the Jersey were good and she was no longer considered "just a family cow".
It was in 1905 too that Duncan Bull accepted a position as manager of the Cuban Real Estate Company of which his brother, W. Perkins, was secretary/treasurer and John Main was president. The latter was manager of the Polson Iron Works in Toronto and was a native of the Island of Jersey. The company operated in Cuba and required Duncan`s absence from Brampton for some months during the year. On his departure from Brampton he was tendered a civic banquet on May 1st, 1905 which was attended by many leading business and political figures. The report states that Duncan`s reputation as a breeder and importer "already was well established". How much time and effort he put into his position in this new project is difficult to determine but he returned to Brampton on many occasions. About 40,000 acres had been bought in Cuba by the aforementioned Cuban Realty Company for development and resale to small investors.
On December 30th, 1905, Duncan occupied, as Vice-President, and in the absence of the President, R.J. Fleming, the chair at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club. He strongly advocated the establishment and adoption of a Canadian Jersey Herd Register and foresay a great future for the breed. He was reelected Vice-President of the Club. It was W. Perkins Bull who entertained the Club at luncheon at the National Club that day.
On June 20th, 1906, the Toronto papers reported a Bull & Son importation from the Island of Jersey. This presumably refers to an importation bought out of quarantine at Montclair, New Jersey. It states that the highest-priced animals sold there were bought by B.H. Bull & Son.
At the Toronto Industrial Exhibition that year, the Brampton entry numbered about 50 head, seven of them imported from the Island of Jersey. Both male and female Sweepstakes and also the "best dairy cow" awards went to the Brampton herd.
At the 1907 shows some criticism was levelled at "the smaller better uddered" Brampton cattle, as compared with, for example, those of D. Duncan & Son. Nonetheless an Island-bred cow, Du Val`s Defiance 197614A, a Bull & Son entry, won over the Don five-year-old and was Sweepstakes winner any age at Ottawa Fair. At Halifax, Brampton`s Tena, by Brampton`s Monarch (imp.) won the aged cow class, Senior and Grand Championship for H.S. Piper at an excellent show.
According to the Farmer`s Advocate, in 1907 the Brampton herd numbered 125 head. Herd sires included Arthur`s Golden Fox (imp.), Fereor (imported-in-dam) and Brampton Blucher,, a son of Brampton`s Monarch. The same year, at the Toronto Industrial Exhibition, the Brampton herd included Sweet Eyes, an imported cow that won Senior & Grand Championship. The bull, Fereor (imp.) was second in Toronto but was Grand Champion at Ottawa.
The following year, the cow Brampton Primrose whose picture appeared for many years on the letterhead of the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club, won Senior and Grand Championship honours at Toronto.
B.H. Bull & Son were persuasive advocates of imported qualitybred Jerseys from the last ten years of the 19th century on. Records show that the first imported Jerseys were bought in 1897. In 1902 they imported at least two head from the Island themselves. One of these, a calf, was called Brampton Eminent Gidder -282-, and the other, a yearling, Brampton Pretty Maid 283-. In 1903, the champion, Sweet Eyes, (mentioned earlier) was bought by B.H. Bull & Son from the importer, F.S. Peer who had imported from the Island. In 1906, Du Val`s Defiance, also mentioned earlier as a champion, was imported for them (B.H. Bull & Son) by F.C. Ward as also was Catalina -281-.
In May, 1908, they imported the bull, Gauntlet`s Duke. He was a son of Highfield Lad and sired numerous offspring at the Ontario Agricultural College. Also in May, 1908 they imported about 20 head from the Island and the following year, two more were imported directly.
In 1909, Brampton Stockwell -810- and his dam, Mon Plaisir`s Fanny (imp.)
-809- were purchased from A.B. Lewis, Fredericksburg, Kentucky. Brampton
Stockwell was by the imported bull, Stockwell, and was successfully used in the
Brampton herd himself as was his son, Brampton Radiator, and grandson, Brampton
Bright Radiator. "Bright Radiator" was later sold in a group to W.G. Moncrief,
Niagara-on-the-Lake. He was a champion and a sire of champions. Mon Plaisir`s
Fanny (imp.), by Golden Mon Plaisir 59936A, had a high public butter test of
In 1910, Brampton Lady George -1132-, of Brampton breeding and owned at
Brampton, became a world`s champion producer with the R.O.P. record of 11,002
lbs. milk and 456 lbs. fat at two years
Then, in 1912, the largest shipment on record at that time was made direct
and numbered at least 113 head. This same year they also bought the bull,
Viola`s Bright Prince. "Prince" had been imported the year before by T.S. Cooper
& Sons. He was a sire that had a great influence on the fortunes of the
Brampton herd. As Bartley used to say, "he put the Brampton on the map".
The Great Importation Era 1912-1930
As we have already said, 1912 marked their largest shipment on record to that time. From hereon importations were frequent depending on conditions until the 1940s. During the First World War, however, they ceased un til 1919 and, in the 30s the numbers were reduced because of low prices and lack of demand. From 1919 through to about 1931 were the peak years for importations and from 200 to 300 head were brought over annually, all from the Island of Jersey.
During the 1920s frequent importations were made. It was in 1922 that they chartered two ocean-going steamships, in particular, the S.S: Botsford which took all feed and supplies from Canada and transferred the cattle at sea from the first chartered ship which had loaded in Jersey, in order to prevent the contamination from foot and mouth disease following an outbreak on Jersey. Of these, 65 were registered at one time in Canada and included the noted bull, Rosebay`s Was Wanted.
B.H. Bull & Son and Jersey Affairs 1912-1965
From hereon, it becomes impossible to separate the history of Brampton as the fountainhead of Jersey breeding in North America from the important part the firm played in the history of Jersey affairs in Canada.
At the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club in 1913, Bartley was appointed Secretary/ Treasurer, an office he filled without accepting any remuneration and held for ten years until the pressure of business compelled his resignation.
In 1915, Duncan was again elected to the office of Vice-President of the
Club. He had held this office every year since 1902 having been elected a
director in 1901. He became President in
As the War drew to a close in 1918 there was a steady increase in interest in
Jerseys and in imported cattle particularly. In many ways, B.H. Bull & Son
were in an excellent position to take advantage of this trend. Both Duncan and
Bartley were well acquainted with Island and English breeders as well as with
Canadian and American owners. Duncan had served a term as a director of the
American Jersey Cattle Club and was a member of the Club for many years,
regularly attending their meetings.
Bartley also provided the Jersey Bulletin with reports of shows and meetings for many years especially when he was secretary of the Club. He was, in fact, about the only consistent source of news in Eastern Canada until James Bremner became Secretary. Many of his reports could be criticised as slightly biased towards B.H. Bull & Son cattle but, nevertheless, they served to keep the much larger Jersey fraternity in the United States aware of the popularity of Jerseys in Canada.
At the 1920 May Royal Show on Jersey, Bartley, together with F.V. Le Feuvre, judged the important Senior Progeny class which was won by the Oxford Sultan of Oaklands group.
As the War ended active consideration was being given in Canadian agriculture to the establishment of what was to become the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Duncan was particularly enthusiastic and became very actively involved. When a charter was obtained finally he was listed as a charter member. Later, he became the third President of the Royal and at the 1929 Annual Meeting of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair he was reelected for his third term as President. Today his portrait by Cleve Horne hangs in Canada`s Agricultural Hall of Fame - a tribute to a great breeder and agriculturist. To this day a Duncan Bull Memorial Trophy is presented at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in the Jersey classes.
An organization of the size and scope of Brampton Jerseys, in the course of history, employs many capable assistants and this is true of B.H. Bull & Son.
First place among these in length of service and capability is probably held by Oswald Warman who came out from England on Duncan`s invitation in 1912, born in Wiltshire, he started showing Jerseys at the age of 14 and, at 15, won important prizes at the English Royal Show. He was a capable herdsman and one of the best judges in the breed. He died at Brampton on November 24th, 1959 having been with B.H. Bull & Son for 47 years. About 1929, W. Elm Ashton left the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club to join the staff at Brampton. He was interested principally in sales and promotion. William Raine worked as a sort of farm bailiff, in the English sense, for about 20 years resigning to become Sheriff of Peel County. Thelma Taylor was office Secretary for 30 years and a friend of the family.
There were many others who were on the staff for greater or lesser periods who could be mentioned: E.S: Archibald, F.M. Redelmeier, Frank Perree, Dixon Rutherford, a capable farm manager in charge of the outside staff, cropping and so on for many years. Bruce Warman worked as assistant herdsman and helped his father, Oswald, in the later years. Kim Cook, at Brampton for 20 years or more, was in charge of the Basilua barn where many records were made. Dr. Sam Stirk, Brampton, and later, his son, Dr. S.D. Stirk, were invaluable to the health of such a large herd. Joe Nicholson, an English gardener, for more than 30 years was responsible for the operation of the large greenhouse in which both DUncan and Bartley took great delight. During the last 15 years of the herd`s existence, Donald McCaig, was the capable herd manager.
Over the years, B.H. Bull & SOn worked with other well-known breeders and agents in sales promotion. Included in this list are Johan A. Lee, Wallace MacMonnies, Neil MacPherson and Ross Wurm. John A. Perree, on the Island of Jersey, was possibly the most important of these and on his retirement at over 80 years of age he was succeeded by Arthur Mourant.
About 1922, a dairy was set up at the farm with bottling and refrigerating equipment and retail delivery. This was in the charge of Jimmy Davis, a Welshman who had started with the farm as a boy and was now married. An affable and obliging personality, he soon made many friends for the new milk route. In the late "30s" the need to pasteruize all retail milk resulted in the purchase of a dairy in the town by Jimmy who continued to buy the Brampton herd milk.
B.H. Bull & Son did not make a practice of consigning in numbers to
auction sales. They believed that, in promotional sales, such as the All
American and the Canadian Sale of the Stars and others, that one or two animals
of a quality to top or nearly top the sales, were good advertising. Their own
list of high quality and commercial quality sales was impressive. In one period
of five years (1924-1929) at the farm, a total of 17 commercial auction sales
were held - all purebred - and of good quality commercial cattle. These sales of
50 to 60 head averaged from $300.00 to $500.00. Large and more widely advertised
sales of up to 180 head of top quality animals, were held at varying intervals,
some in 1929 and 1930, others between
In 1928, the imported bull, Brampton Dreaming Sam, was shown in Vancouver by Ed Dumvill and won first prize ad Junior Championship. Shortly afterwards, he was sold by Brampton to a New Zealand breeder in whose herd he had a long and very successful career and where he proved to be one of the greatest bulls ever used in that predominantly Jersey country.
In 1929, a sale of 76 head was held at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair buildings in Toronto on the day preceding the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club. The average price paid was $556.00 and a top price of $8,000.00 was secured for Brampton Bay Xenia, a high tested daughter of Xenia`s Sultan. She was bought by Dr. O.W. Means, Elm Hill Farm, Massachusetts.
Another high quality sale of imported cattle was held on July 29th of that same year when 62 head averaged $1,273.95. C.F. Michael bought the bull, Draconian (imp.) at $8,000.00 and Dr. Means paid $5,300.00 for a four-year-old daughter of You`ll Do`s Volunteer. It was at this sale that Dr. McKillop of Nakina, Ontario, bid $775.00 for the imported heifer, Brampton Basilua, but she proved to be in excess of his budget and was left at home - one of the most fortunate examples of the proverb "It`s an ill wind that blows nobody good". Sales at Brampton in 1929 numbered over 1,000 head.
In 1930, Brampton was the largest breeding establishment in the British Empire. It was in May 22nd of this year that the ViceRegal party including the Governor-General, Lord and Lady Willingdon, as well as the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, W.D. Ross and Mrs. Ross, and the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, Randolph Bruce, visited the B.H. Bull & Son farm on the occasion of the annual picnic of the Peel and York Jersey breeders. They were later joined by G.H. Ferguson, Premier of Ontario
The highest average sale price of $1,348.77 was obtained on a sale at the farm on July 19th, 1930, and indeed it topped all Jersey sales on the continent that year. The top-priced cow, Reine de Ciel, sold for $8,250.00 to Senator A.C. Hardy who, it is reported, sold her for a substantial profit the same day to Crieve Hall Farm. R.H. Crosby paid $7,000.00 for Sweet September, an imported daughter of By Jinto. They were the two highest priced cows sold at auction in Canada and the United States that year. B.H. Bull & Son were the breeders of the bull, Xenia`s Paxie Forward, highest priced bull at auction the same year.
It is not possible to include herein even a list of the more important sales at private treaty made over the years. Suffice it to say that anyone studying the history of B.H. Bull & Son must be impressed by some of the qualities of Duncan, of Bartley, and later, of John, which contributed so greatly to their superb success.
Firstly, let us say that Duncan was considered to be without peer as a salesman of purebred livestock through his integrity, knowledge of human psychology and good judgment. This reputation dates back to the early years of this century. He was devoted wholeheartedly to the Jersey breed and to him, it was always much more than merely a hobby or an avocation. His ability to attract new clients, retain old ones and maintain a staff devoted to him for long periods fo time were readily proven characteristics.
Bartley, who had many more interests in life, was also an able salesman, a well-informed student of pedigree with a remarkable memory. He tock great pride in writing advertising, carrying on correspondence, preparing articles for the press, and was a good public relations figure and raconteur. One of his notable performances as a P.R. man was keeping the public posted as Brampton Basilua neared the completion of her world`s record and afterwards. But more of that anon.
Brampton Jerseys were among the very first breeders to go on official test in Canada at the turn of the century, and, by 1930, had more cows on official test than any other two herds on the continent together.
In 1931, Rosebay`s Jolly Rose produced a Medal of Merit record of 1,004 lbs. fat in 365 days at Avondale Farm. She was by Rosebay`s Was Wanted and had been sold at a Brampton sale to Senator Hardy. For part of her high record she had been milked four times a day.
In 1932, a New Zealand cow of Brampton breeding, a granddaughter of Viola`s Bright Prince, made a world`s record of 12,220 lbs. fat. That same year, the Brampton herd was exhibiting at Vancouver and Victoria winning both Grand Championships.
It was in 1933 that Brampton Basilua -48490-, the imported heifer that
remained by chance at Brampton, completed a lactation which made her the world`s
record producer of butterfat.
Before proceeding further, it is necessary to make mention of the well-known sire, Favorite Volunteer. He had been used in the herd since 1929 and was making a fine reputation for himself as a sire of good animals. He became a Medal of Merit bull (as was Brampton Basileus) and was in service until he died in February, 1938. His daughter, Brampton Favorite Cirl, had 1,020 lbs. fat at four years of age winning a Medal of Merit and establishing a new record for her age group at that time. "Favorite Girl" was the dam of another great Brampton bull, Brampton Worlds Records.
This year a relatively small importation from Jersey included some of the future herd sires at Brampton such as Right Royal, Wonderful Standard and Wonderful Standard 11. The latter two were sons of Standard of Oaklands, a sire that bred well at Brampton, as did his sire, Imp. Forward. These two were later used in the Oaklands herd of Mr. Goss.
A.B. Nicholas, Victoria, Australia, made an important purchase in 1935 securing Brampton Sporting Standard, a Grand Champion winner, and 16 females. Also included were Brampton Son of Champions (sire of Brampton Basileus) and a son of the Theatre Cup winner, Volunteer Oxford Lass.
In 1936, an importation of 52 head came from Jersey and, at this time, the herd numbered 940 head.
John, now turned twenty, became a full partner in the firm in 1936 and soon established a place for himself in the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club being appointed as representative to the Canadian National Live Stock Records Board. The herd had now increased to some 1,020 head. In 1938, Duncan suffered severe bruising but no broken bones in a car accident en route to Toronto.
In June of this year the bull, Pinnacle, was imported and was a very successful addition to the breeding operations for many years.
In 1939, at the National Dairy Show in San Francisco, the sale was topped by Imp. June Bouquet selling at $1,150.00. The second high was also a Brampton consignment. This year the Brampton herd showed at both Portland, Oregon and at San Francisco.It was about this time that the Shelby County Penal Farm in Kentucky erected a handsome headstone in memory of Estalla`s Volunteer, sire of Brampton Basilua. He had been owned soon after importation in 1928 by this institution and was in service until 1938.
In 1940, Mm. Redelmeier, owner of Don Head Farms, purchased 40 head of high quality cattle from Brampton as part of the foundation of their herd which is still prominent in Jersey circles.
About 1940 or 1941 an importation of several hundred head was planned to circumvent the probability of invasion of the Island by the Germans. The invasion occurred however, on July 11th, 1941 before the cattle could be shipped. Extended pedigrees had already been furnished by the Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society to Brampton. The last importation before the War was in June, 1940 and included Domino of Oaklands and Brampton Crowning Effort with about 50 females.
The following year, 1941, was considered at that time to be the most successful in the history of the breed in Canada. It was in this year that Duncan was elected an Honorary Life member of the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club and was again returned as a director of the Club. This same year saw the introduction and adoption of classification as a Club program, and in this, Duncan was very active and enthusiastic being a member of the committee which set it up and was later to administer it. The first two herds to be classified officially were those of B.H. Bull & Son and W.D. Thomson, Brooklin, Ontario.
Artificial Insemination (A.I.) was now being introduced and was of special interest for Duncan as he was appointed to an important committee to approve rules and procedures in connection with registration along with James Bremner and W.D. Thomson.
In 1942, the bull, You`ll Do`s Volunteer, died at 19 years of age. He had been imported and sold to Dr. O.W. Means for $25,000.00 as the successor to another great Brampton import, Xenia`s Sultan, sold to Dr. Means for $28,000.00.
For the second year in succession Brampton donated a heifer calf to the Peel and Halton Club to be raffled and about $3,000.00 was raised in aid of the Jersey Island Refugee Fund.
In 1943, a notable shipment to England was made for Sir Harry Hague of Ovaltine Incl., of the bull, Brampton Canada`s Finest, afull brother to Brampton Worlds Records and Brampton Basil Favor King that had sold at auction for $14,500.00
In 1944, Duncan became President of the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club. At the luncheon, attended by over 340 members and guests, the gurst speaker was the Honourable George Drew. This was a year with good prices, higher than for the last 12 years, and, in some areas, 15 years. In both 1944 and 1945, several notably high prices were realized for cattle coming from Brampton. It was in "45 that Orange Blossom Basileus topped all males sold at auction when he sold for $10,500.00. Top price on the continent for females was $8,300.00 for Standard Aim Jester`s Betty, a cow bought from Brampton.
About this time, B.H. Bull & Son announced the purchase of a large house in Brampton to be donated as a gift to the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club for use as an office. The gift was approved by the Executive of the Club, but, at the Annual Meeting, it was withdrawn because of som opposition to the acceptance of such a gift.
At the Annual Meeting Duncan, in his opening remarks, reviewed his long association with the Club and its predecesso, the Canadian Jersey Breeders` Association since 1894. He was presented by Frank Silcox with an illuminated address which read as follows.
"The members of the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club are very proud to have this opportunity to express to Mr. Duncan O. Bull on the occasion of completing his third term as their President and at the same time the completion of forty years as a Director of the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club their most sincere appreciation of the great contribution he has made to this organization during its entire life.
"Very few, if any, men in the livestock world have travelled as widely and met so many outstanding personalities in all walks of life, not only on this continent, but in Europe, as had Mr. Bull.
"As a livestock salesman, as an able administrator, as a man of keen intellect and sound judgment, as a student of human psychology, as an outstanding judge of Jersey cattle, the members of this organization assure him of their great admiration.
"To few men have been given such keen powers of observation. His perseverance in the face of difficulties, and his careful thought and vision have enabled him to plan much in advance of the average trend of human endeavour.
"It is a great tribute to the Jersey cow that, practically all these years of a most active and productive life, his enormous energy and unlimited ability have been devoted to her in an earnest and successful endeavour to improve her type, her production and her popularity.
"Looking back over the years, the members of the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club realize that all Mr. Bull`s rich experience, his advanced ideas, his abilities, have been freely given to their organization and nothing pertaining to the advancement of the Jersey cow has been too small or too large to interest him at all time.
"Brampton Jerseys so successfully developed by Messrs. Duncan and Bartley Bull are known only in America, but the name, Brampton, is proudly displayed in England, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and in Central America. For over 50 years Brampton Jerseys have been marching with a progressive step and it is a very noble tribute to B.H. Bull & SOn that they are right now at the very height of a very illustrious career.
"This great achievement is the result of deep conviction and dauntless courage for only the courageous can survive in this complicated business of breeding better dairy cattle.
"To Mr. Bull and to his firm is extended the very best wishes of each and every member of the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club and the earnest hope that he will continue to enjoy the best of health, happiness in his wonderful achievements, and that prosperity that he so richly deserves.
"Long may he enjoy his present unchallenged position in this ever-expanding Jersey world of today and tomorrow."
Also in this year, B.H. Bull & Son secured the highest price on record for a bull calf bred in Canada. He was Favorite Commando (Oxford Favorite in Canada) and was sold to Maurice Pollak, Marlu Farm. Favorite Commando was an iindividual that succeeded in living up to his very famous pedigree - he was by Brampton Worlds Records out of Brampton Lady Basilua.
The cow, Brampton Basileus Violet was donated by B.H. Bull & Son towards the cost of the new head office of the American Jersey Cattle Club. She told for $5,000.00 to R.H. Grant, the second highest price in the sale devoted to this project.
June 6th, 1945 marked Deliverance Day for the people of Jersey Island. It was reported that 16,000 German troups were occupying the Island in 1944.
Up to 1945, for a period of 25 years, Brampton Jerseys had the largest herd but that year their number was exceeded by two others - the Knolle herd in Texas and the Vanderbilt herd in South Carolina. The Brampton Jersey herd however, was the most valuable at this time. It was estimated as worth between $600,000.00 and $900,000.00. The farming operation required 1,600 acres of which the 1,000 acres on the outskirts of Brampton were owned by the Bull`s. There were 15 staff houses and 40 to 50 fulltime herdsmen and assistants were employed.
The year 1946 was another successful year for Brampton Jerseys. Jester`s Royal Maid, a daughter of By Jngo, imported in 1929 and retained at Brampton, had become the dam of five Superior Sire sons and three tested daughters and thus she was voted the breed`s great brood cow in the Jersey Bulletin contest.
Brampton Basileus became a Medal of Merit sire on three daughters bred at Brampton. One of the three, consigned to the Sale of Stars at Columbus in 1946, sold for $18,500.00 the highest price ever paid for a Jersey cow at auction but was superceded about an hour later by one that sold for $21,000.00. A son of Brampton Standard Sir, Sparkling Standard Sir, was sold to the School of the Ozarks for $25,000.00. He was bred but not owned by B.H. Bull & Son.
In retrospect, this year 1946, was probably the greatest year in the history of Brampton-bred cattle. Most of the high prices won having been paid for "bred at Brampton" animals and particularly sons and daughters of Brampton Basileus followed by those of Brampton Standard Sir, a bull bred at Brampton but owned by P.W. Harvey, Pebble Hill Plantations, Georgia.
An importation of 80 head including senior herd sires from the Oaklands herd on Jersey was on display in quarantine at Montclair, New Jersey, the year following the War. The Jersey Bulletin issued a special Brampton Basileus number in July Brampton Basileus died in September 1947 at 10 years of age.
Brampton Beacon Apex, by Brampton Beacon, a son of "Basileus" and out of a grand-daughter of Brampton Lady Basilua, was sold to Peter Barlow, South Africa where he became the first Preferential Sire in that country - a very noted distinction and an award most difficult to obtain. Peter Barlow also purchased seven heifers at that time and was to continue making further pruchases from time to time.
In 1947, at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Brampton Basileus won Senior Get of Sire and his daughter, Brampton Tesse Basil, was Grand Champion.
It was in 1947 also that transportation of cattle by air became practicable. The first recorded export shipment is one of 12 Jersey heifers shipped by Brampton to Jamaica. A little later, 34 springing heifers were shipped to Uruguay. One of them, calving en route, produced the first calf born in the air.
There had been another importation in May, one which numbered 53 head of which six were males.
At the 19th Annual Meeting of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in 1948 Duncan was honoured by the presentation of a silver tray on which was engraved: "Presented to Duncan Bull by his associates as an expression of affection and appreciation of his devotion to the Affairs and Welfare of the Royal Winter Fair, March 24th, 1948". Needless to say Duncan was deeply moved by this gesture as was shown by his acknowledging remarks.
In May of 1948, 75 head were imported. Exports were being made to many countries from Canada, mostly through the B.H. Bull & Son organization, to such destinations as South Africa, Rhodesia, British West Indies, Brazil, Cuba, Peru, Paraguay, Australia and of course, the United States. In fact, Brampton Jerseys quote 19 different foreign markets over the years.
There were now 63 Ontario dairies handling trade-mark Jersey milk, a program to which Brampton was a heavy supplier, although, for the most part, the distributor was generally the producer. All whole milk shippers and owner distributors paid a small royalty to the Ontario Jersey Club for advertising purposes.
Over the years, many stories of Duncan`s and Bartley`s, and later, John`s kindness showed how friends and repeat customers were won. For instance, one almost classic story is that of a boy and his father who, with little money, came 500 miles unannounced to buy a bull and return. They had previously written to several breeding establishments but had received no reply. On their arrival at Brampton, they were welcomed and entertained in the Bull home, given a guest room and told that business could wait until morning. A small down payment and an unbacked note for a young bull put them on the road to success in breeding Jerseys.
Another story is that of two brothers just starting to farm and who decided to go out of beef cattle and buy holsteins. They found no milk market available. A local Jersey breeder sent them to Brampton. With a few hundred dollars available they made a somewhat tentative approach. They were met by Bartley, ended up buying a good bull, and seven cows, and with an introduction to a Jersey milk distributor who was able to provide a market. They paid down only $500.00 for their new herd in 1934 and today, that foundation has resulted in one of Ontario`s best show and producing herds. Unfortunately not all customers have been as reliable over the years - many debts incurred were never repaid, nor sued for, either.
Bull & Son developed a successful promotional system, particularly in Ontario, of starting New Jersey breeders with about 20 cows and a good bull, free for a year. An option was taken on the best calves and the cows were to be paid for by deductions from the milk cheque.
Bartley was active in promoting the new classification program of the Club. For about 40 years he was a member of the Canadian National Live Stock Records Board and was Chairman for a number of years. Himself an expert on pedigree he was just as particular about their meticulous registration. He was also at the 1949 meeting on the Island as Canadian delegate - the meeting at which the World Jersey Cattle Bureau became more than a dream. He played a leading role at the first Conference of the World Jersey Cattle Bureau outside the United Kingdom when it was held in Canada in 1954.
In 1950, having been appointed to a committee of three Club members to find suitable new office quarters, Bartley was latterly chairman of the Building Committee for the new Club office on Lawrence Avenue, Toronto. After obtaining suitable plans, bids and estimates, he resigned from the chair to move that construction be proceeded with as soon as the funds promised could be collected. His motion was approved with only one dissenter
Duncan died in 1950 after a short illness. The local Peel Gazette stated in his obituary that "he was keenly interested in the Peel Memorial Hospital and if you visit Hawthorne Lodge, you may hear the trees whisper "'Tis Well'". He was survived by his daughter, Mary Bull Hutchison and her three daughters, Ann; Joan and Sandra; and his son John. John`s children, Duncan, Bartley and Mary were not born until after Duncan`s death.
The following tribute to D.O. Duncan from Judge Shields was written to Neil McPherson who was mentioned earlier in this story as being associated with B.H. Bull & Son.
"I have just read in the Jersey Bulletin that Duncan Bull is dead. He was your friend and helped you. He was your model and inspired you. You will miss him and never again in your life will you find anyone else to take his place.
"I have known a few men like that in the wake of my life who gave me something; they taught me to see beauty in that less gifted men passed by as commonplace; to see dignity in simplicity; to love noble things. I have not permitted these men to die, they will walk with me to the brink of the everlasting. And, Neil, Duncan Bull did not die for you, nor will he die for all that great company who met and touched elbows with him wherever they met to admire and discuss how better Jersey cattle might be bred. He was quite unique in his devotion to his breeding activities.
"Within that field which might have been narrow, but which he made limitless, he rose to eminence. When he died he was the greatest figure in the Jersey world. It was a good time to die. Men may live too long; they may outlive their generation and, lonesome and forgotten, have to wait the call to join those with whom they have lived when live was eager and passioante and real. As we all have to die, it is well to die at the summit and when one`s work is done".
In 1952, Bartley was elected a director of the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club and First Vice-President after having been a director for four years. In 1953 he became President of an Organization of which he had now held office in every capacity with devotion and distinction. He was re-elected for a second time in 1954. He again held office as a director in 1955, 1956 and 1957 and was a member of the Executive. In 1958, 1959, 1960 and 1961 he was Honorary Vice-President, and in 1962 was Honorary President, an office he held at the time of his death.
At the Annual Meeting of the Club on January 27th, 1959, a schroll of honour from the directors and members was presented by the incoming President, Pierre Veillon to Bartley. It reads:
"During the past year you have severed your active connections with the Board of Directors of the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club. It is therefore with a feeling of very great pride that we pay our respects to one who has served the breeders of Jersey cattle for so many long and faithful years.
"Colonel Bull, you were first elected a Club Director in 1912. In 1913 you took over the secretaryship and the minutes kept during your tenure of office speak volumes for the services you rendered during those succeeding ten years. You were then made Honorary President, a position you held for twenty years.
"In 1942 you were again elected a Director of the Club and you continued in that capacity for fifteen years. During this time you were Vice-President, President for two years, and then Honorary Vice-President. You have been a member of the Club for over fifty years.
"As a Jersey breeder you have continuously represented the Club on the Board of the Canadian National Live Stock Records and for several years you were Chairman of the Board.
"You have been President and still are a DIrector of the Canadian Jersey Breeder magazine.
"You have represented your fellow Jersey breeders in many capacities at home and abroad, including the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, the Canadian National Exhibition, and served on innumerable committes, local, national and international - and you know North America, England and Jersey Island as do few men, not forgetting Europe, South Africa, New Zealand and South America.
"You are known in your home community as a very publicspirited citizen, one of those very rare individuals 'a friend in need'. In the same spirit of helpfulness you have been a very valued member of the Navy League of Canada.
"This list, though containing many, has only a few of your accomplishments. It is claimed that no man knows more about the history of the Jersey breed and none certainly have contributed more to its progress as a Jersey breeder than you have, Colonel Bull.
"May you enjoy many years of Health and Happiness, and we, one and all, believe that for you 'the Best is yet to be'".
The Canadian Jersey Cattle Club
To retrace our steps a little, it was on May 28th, 1953 that B.H. Bull & Son held its first auction sale since 1930. This sale was one at which all but two animals were homebred. The 54 head averaged $1,468.00 with Brampton Lady Beacon at the top selling for $6,500.00 to Oakwood Acres, Texas. The second high and top sale was Brampton Garet Radar selling at $5,000.00 to R.E. Kruft, Arizona.
In 1954, Scudders Basil Mary, a grand-daughter of Brampton Basileus from
Brampton Standard Violet made over 1,000 lb. fat, the first Jersey in the State
of Utah to exceed that mark on
A survey as of January 1st, 1954 showed that 68,27% of Canada`s Superior Sires were of Brampton breeding or their sire or dam had been sold by B.H. Bull & Son. In the American Jersey Cattle Club, 22% of Superior Sires were bred, imported, or their sire and dam were sold by Brampton.
In 1955, the so-called First Annual Sale was held at Brampton when 43 head averaged $1,237.37. The top animal was the cow, Brampton Lady Bas Radar, that had produced 1,071 lbs. fat at four years of age. She was sold to Lamington Jerseys for $10,600.00. The bull, Brampton W.R: Bijou Radar, brought the second highest price of $5,500.00 and was sold to Dr. Teuscher, Mexico. Both were offspring of Brampton Radar. A full brother of Brampton Lady Bas Radar, Brampton Basil Radar, had been shipped to head the herd of Major-General Aizlewood in England in 1954.
John was now active in the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and, in 1956, he was appointed as Chairman of the Building Committee with $3,000.000.00 to spend on new buildings at the Royal. Over the years, John had gained much valuable experience in making friends, selling and buying cattle and becoming familiar with herd management and herd operation. He developed the almost uncanny cow sense for which he was well-known. He had the ability to discern the wellbeing or otherwise of the animals comprising the herd, a trait that had long characterized his father, Duncan. He became familiar with pedigrees and the art of selecting and mating good cattle and gradually equipped himself through training and experience to take over the responsibilities of the operation of B.H. Bull & Son. When Duncan died in 1950, John became two-thirds owner of the properties.
In the early 1940s, the 5% Trade Mark Jersey Milk program was flourishing with Toronto one of the best markets on the continent and sales of Jersey cattle wer excellent. But the early 1950s brought problems to all Jersey breeders in that the medical profession advanced the theory, as yet unproven, but all too easily accepted, that the high butterfat content of Jersey milk was dangerous to human health, fostering arteriosclerosis and other heart and circulatory difficulties. As a result the demand for Jersy milk sank to an alltime low as did the market demand for Jerseys. Action had to be taken.
It was John and Ernest Crossland, a well-known Guernsey breeder, who were instrumental in the establishment of the Channel Islands MIlk Producers` Association (C.I.B.M.P.A.) in 1956, the organization that high test milk producers would use in the future to put before the Ontario Milk Marketing Board their demands for an equitable payment for their product.
The All-Jersey 2% Milk Program was introduced and successfully promoted by the Ontario Jersey Club under the guidance of John with the result that, within a couple of years, Jersey Milk sales and the market for Jersey cattle changed course.
This program required a great deal of time and attention on John`s part. He never spared himself and many times his foresight and vision paid off. He provided a leadership which was invaluable at a time when decisions had to be made. The Jersey breeders of Canada owe a great debt of gratitude to his efforts.
The new Brampton Jersey Dairy, conceived and promoted by John after a long battle with the powers that be, came to fruition in 1957, opening for business on May 15th that year. It consisted of a self-service milk section and an ice cream bar and also did a retail delivery business. Owing to the subsequent early sale of the Brampton property, however, it hardly had time to establish itself on a paying basis before being closed by the developers.
Perhaps one of the most successful exhibits of Canadian Jerseys in the United States was that of the Ontario herd at the Chicago International in 1956. The outstanding Senior Get of Sire group by Brampton Beacon created something of a sensation. All animals in this group were Brampton bred and included Brampton Sybil J. Beacon, owned by Pierre Veillon, that went on to be Senior and Grand Champion at the Royal the same year. John had much to do with the organization of this successful exhibit of 38 head shown by Ontario and Quebec breeders.
During the years from 1950 to 1965, John was active in the interests of the Jersey in many organizations. At the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club representative on the Board of the Canadian National Exhibition he was many times a committee member acting as Chairman of the Youth Committee among others. He also became a director of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair representing the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club thereon for several years. In this regard he was noticeably concerned with the Jersey exhibitors as well as the ringside spectators. He was first elected as a director of the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club in the fall of 1957 for 1958 and each year thereafter until his death.
It is necessary to go back a little and pick up the June, 1958 sale at which 46 head averaged $1,259.00 with a top of $6,000.00 being paid for Brampton Bel Bas Radar by Campbell Mackay. It is of interest to note that this cow in Mr. Mackay`s herd did not prove to be the kind of producer her price would have led one to expect although she was Grand Champion at St. John that year. John was sure that this cow had the ability to produce and in 1960 he brought her back to Brampton and proved his point - she made a record of 18.990 lbs. milk, 1,048 lbs. fat and later went on to make good records in the United States.
Second top cow at this same sale was Brampton Gareth Carom, a two-year-old that brought $5,700.00. She was returned by her buyer because of a misunderstanding about her service date. A few months later she was again offered, this time at the All American where Henry Vihlein of Heaven Hill Jerseys paid $8,500.00 for her. She too, proved to be a high producer with three records over 1,000 lbs fat and 20,000 lbs. milk.
At the same June sale, Lea and Sylvia Marsh made a much appreciated gesture when they placed a floral basket on the auctioneer`s stand in honour of the thirty years since Lea had bought his first Jerseys from Brampton.
At the Sale of the Stars at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Brampton Doreen Acme topped the sale when she sold for Mrs. Margot T. Mais for $5,000.00.
In May, 1959, a substantial part of the Brampton herd was sold. This was because most of the Brampton Jersey farm acreage had been sold for development. This sale reduced the herd to approximately 200 head, most of these being direct "Basilua" descendants. The 173 head sold on May 28th included 50 daughters of Brampton Acme and average $522.49 with a top of $2,300.00 being paid for Brampton Bel Bas Carom.
With the death of Oswald Warman on November 24th, 1959 and Bartley getting into his seventies more and more decisions became the responsibility of John.
The nineteen-sixties brought many dramatic changes to Brampton Jerseys. The sale of a large area of the farm necessitated the purchase of another farm in as convenient a location as possible. A farm of 200 acres at Norval was bought but required some changes and improvements and it was not until a couple of years later that the herd would be transferred to its new location.
The sixties saw the demolition of the old "Basilua" barn where so many of the great cows had been milked: Jester`s Royal Maid, "Basilua", "Lady Basilua", "Lua Pinn", "Favorite Girl", "Bay Xenia", "Basil`s Caramba", to mention just a few.
For the first time in 82 years of history, B.H. Bull & Son agreed to sell a half interest of a bull in use in the Brampton herd, namely, Brampton Eureka, at the All American Sale in 1960. That half interest was sold for $17,750.00 The same year at the Sale of the Stars at the Royal, Brampton Cosmosline Eureka was sold to Diana Ryan for $5,500.00 and became the highest-priced cow to sell in any of the Slaes of the Stars at that point.
In the sixties too, production records were broken. In 1962, Brampton Mary
Carom broke the All Time Canadian Milk Production record on 2xmilking in both
the 305 and 365 day classes with a record of 17,814 lbs. milk, 823 lbs. fat in
305 days and 20,293 lbs. milk, 957 lbs. fat in 365 days, this latter record
making her the first Canadian Jersey to exceed 20,000 lbs. milk. In
On June 17th, 1962, at the age of 76, Bartley died after an illness of approximately nine months. In his will he left a quarter of a million dollars to the University of Guelph to be set up as an endowment ever set up for such a purpose in Canada. Revenues from the fund which was named the Bartley Bull Endowment Fund for Research and Education were to be shared equally by the Ontario Agricultural College and the Ontario Veterinary College. The announcement of this Endowment Fund was made in 1966. Dean N.R. Richards of the Ontario Agricultural College and Dean T.L. Jones of the Ontario Veterinary College would direct the use of the evenues and, at that time, they stated that the money would be used in support of research and educational projects related to the livestock industry with special reference to dairy cattle.
The herd was now the sole responsibility of John and, in 1963, a half-interest in Lindale Merit was purchased thus bringing back into the herd the blood of Favorite Commando (Brampton Worlds Records out of Brampton Lady Basilua), Lindale Beacon Bas (Brampton Beacon out of a daughter of Brampton Basileus) and Brampton Basil Ward, and added Marlu Milestone as a partial outcross.
Brampton Basilua and her Influence on the Jersey Breed
We have already mentioned that the imported heifer, Brampton Basilua, that
remained by chance at Brampton completed a world record in 1933, a record which
stood for 19 years. In addition to her high production during her lifetime, she
proved to be a great brook cow her son, Brampton Basileus, and her daughter,
Brampton Lady Basilua. The demand for "Basilua" bloodlines put her in the
forefront of the elite and through her descendants she made a great contribution
not only to the production but also to the type of the Jersey, witness the fact
that, at the 1935 Annual Meeting of the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club, a
recommendation of the Type Committee to adopt Brampton
Brampton Basilua appeared on the scene at the beginning of the great depression of the 1930s after importation from the Island was virtually at a standstill and also so costly that it would probably never recover.
When it became necessary to establish the herd on the new Novral farm, 79 of the 220 females were direct descendants of Basilua.
In the "1000 lb. story of the Jersey cow" compiled by Jens Svinth of Oregon, Brampton Basilua has 54 descendants with 78 records of 1,000 lbs. fat or more out of a total of 210 Jerseys in Canada and the United States. Further, Estella`s Volunteer, imported by B.H. Bull & Son from the Island of Jersey and sire of "Basilua" had 50 other descendants with 70 records of 1,000 lbs fat or more.
John died on April 1st, 1965 shortly after having attended the World Jersey Cattle Bureau Conference in New Zealand where he presented a paper, "What is the Influence of GOlden Lad on the Jersey Breed Today". For this paper, the pedigree of Lindale Merit, mentioned above, was projected to the tenth generation and in that tenth generation there were 1,024 animals.
In John`s will, the herd was left to be held in trust for his children, Duncan, Bartley and Mary, or at the discretion of his three executors, his wife, Binks, his brother-in-law, A.M. Hutchinson and legal COunsel, harry Willis. It was carried on in the care of Donald McCaig, first at Norval and then at Huntingdon, Quebec.
John`s widow donated a trophy in his memory to be known as the John Bull Memorial Trophy and to be won by the highest placed Jersey in the Inter-breed Udder Class at the Royal. This trophy was a little later turned over to Duncan, Bartley and Mary Bull as donors.
Under the management of Donald McCaig, the herd maintained its reputation as
a herd where "production and type were combined" In 1965, Brampton Bel Bas Radar
won the Skinner Trophy for the cow completing the record with the highest total
B.C.A. indices in Ontario with 234 BCA for milk and 235 for fat. She completed
the 305 day record at the Norval Farm and was then returned to Campbell Mackay
in New Brunswick where she completed a record of over 1,000 lbs. fat in 365
days. Brampton Columbus C Acme broke the All Time 365 day milk record in the
senior earling class with 12904 lbs. milk. Brampton Commando Daisy, a cow raised
at Brampton, completed a record of 1,030 lbs. fat in the herd of Dean Workman in
the United States. We have already
In the show-ring, Brampton won Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor honours at the Royal in 1965 and Premier Breeder honours at the Royal in 1966, 1967 and 1968. Brampton was Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor at the Canadian National Exhibition in 1969.
John`s daughter, Mary, was Jersey Princess at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in 1969.
At the 1967 Sale of the Stars, Brampton Marlu Basil (BMB) topped the sale when he sold for $4,200.00 to a syndicate.
In order to reduce the herd still more for its move to Huntingdon, Quebec, the "Opportunity Sale" was held on April 27th, 1970. The sale consisted of 75 head from the B.H. Bull & Son herd and ten head from the D.H. McCaig & Son herd and averaged $355.00 with the top-selling animal, a yearling bull, Brampton Merit Basil, being sold for $2,400.00 to Eastern Breeders Inc.
Early in 1971, it was decided to dispose of the herd at auction - the entire
herd with the exception of a small carefully selected nucleus of three heifers
for Duncan, Bartley and Mary.
And so the saga ends - the saga which began when Bartholomew acquired a few Jerseys and decided in 1878 that farming was to be his future and which ends 93 years later on November 18th, 1971. What a contribution to the Jersey breed was made in the intervening years by Bartley and Duncan`s son, John!
John`s children, Duncan, bartley and Mary have all graduated from University and are pursuing their careers but, from that carefully selected nucleus retained for them, who knows what the future may hold.
J. Hume Grisdale
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