Dexter Cattle at the Kansas State Fair in 1897?
A Director's message posted on the ADCA website was pointed out to me and after reading the message I can understand why people may be questioning the longevity of the association. The message says: "...researchers found a record of Dexter’s being in the Kansas State Fair in 1897 when the Fair was still in Topeka." Since in "Dexter Cattle" by John Hays the book states that the first recorded accounts of Dexter cattle in America were between 1905 and 1915, discovering Dexters in Kansas in 1897 normally would be exciting news to someone like myself that has an interest in Dexter history. However, my enthusiasm was tempered by the knowledge that the source of this information has not always been the most accurate and reliable in the past. So I checked it out and this is the response that I received from the Kansas State Historical Society:
We have scattered holdings of early premium books for the Kansas Free Fair, Topeka. We checked selected books for listing of Irish Dexter cattle without success.
Susan K. Forbes
Then I checked with the Old Cowtown Museum's curator/historian in Wichita. She had no knowledge of Dexters at the Kansas State Fair in the early days and referred me to their Farm Manager. The Farm Manager contacted me and he didn't know either. He's going to try to track down the source of this information and get back to me with what he finds out. I appreciate the assistance of the Old Cowtown Museum and their acknowledgement of the importance of accurate information.
There is no academically creditable documentation of Dexter cattle being in the Kansas State Fair in 1897. Hopefully other cattle museums in Kansas won't read on a Dexter association's website misinformation and repeat it.
"After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up ....until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you're full of bull, keep ....your mouth shut." --Will Rogers