Cattle hides as a replacement for buffalo robes

Our History: August 1888

These fine specimens of livestock were on offer in the August 1888 issue of The Nor’-West Farmer and Manitoba Miller. Among the topics in that issue was a list of 27 hints for judges of livestock, such as, “Make no scruples in discouraging a purposely overburdened udder; remember you are appointed as teachers,” and, “Discourage a wedgy muzzle and narrow nostrils anywhere.”

Another article suggested the use of Galloway cattle hides as a replacement for buffalo robes, “which can no more be got.”

According to an editorial reprinted from the Ottawa Journal, Ontario Agriculture Minister Drury had delivered a speech in which he worried about the tendency of “higher education” to encourage farmers’ sons to stray off to the cities to earn their living. This was “simply one feature of the present age to materialism — to the worship of money and self-indulgence. The rugged independence which is the glory of the farmer is becoming less enviable to men than it used to be.”

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The editorial writer took some exception, observing that there was no reason that farmers could not live the life of a gentleman. He suggested the problem was due to the average farmer working harder than his hired men, and suggested Mr. Drury encourage education in management skills so farmers would realize “the full value of the principle which successful businessmen keep in view — the management for themselves, the drudgery for others.”

The issue also reported the death at age 55 of John Ogilvie, who had managed the branch of the family milling company in Winnipeg.

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