The Saratoga Sun -

Reflections column sparks memories



The last edition of the Saratoga Sun blew me away.

For years and years my favorite column has been the reflections from the archives from the Saratoga Sun. The editor Joe Elder goes through the files and picks a story from 100, 75, 50 and 25 years ago and simply reprints an article of interest, after editing of course. I always read that column.

This week, it made me lose my breath! There was a story about the convention about the American National Livestock Association convention in Cheyenne on Jan. 27, 1938. It dealt with the hair on the tail of cattle. They had found a market, a successful market credited to science! The value of the hair went from nothing to 33 cents per pound immediately. In 1938 that was a big deal. This was reported by Thomas Wilson & Company in Chicago. The use of the hair was for filters in air conditioners. A blend of hog hair and the cow tail hair made a terrific filter.

The big deal was that this meeting was the first convention that dad had ever attended. I remember so well telling me that he was impressed with more than 300 cattlemen all in one place at one time.

It was held in Cheyenne right after the National Western Stock Show. They figured that they could get the leading cattlemen of the era to go to Cheyenne on their way home from the stock show. The Plains Hotel in town was the headquarters hotel. I think of that every time I see the Plains.

To add to the intrigue of the event, Albert K. Mitchell of Mitchell, N.M. was the president of the association at the time. Mitchell became one of dad’s most cherished friends and mentors in the cattle industry. His daughter Linda Mitchell Davis was the little girl at the time, but because of her father being president, she also was in the mix of people attending the convention. I learned that a few years ago. Linda is a wonderful friend of Anne and I, as well as Bill and Sharon. She has been the only Chairperson of the scholarships that are awarded annually. A large part of the success and the prestige of the scholars are due to Linda.

Linda was also instrumental to the sale of the famous Bell Ranch of New Mexico to the Silver Spur Ranches that surround Encampment. Her father managed the Bell for years and they ended up in the ownership mix of that famous land grant ranch. Lots of ties of interest between the Mitchells and the Farrs.


Dick Farr

Loveland, Colo.

This letter has been edited for content.


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