Historical Photo Guessing Game: James Anderson and George Findlay Started an Angus Herd Near Lake Forest

Weekly photo posting celebrates city's sesquicentennial.

Those of you who guessed hit the nail on the head.

The first registered Angus herd in the United States was started in 1878 by James Anderson and George Findlay, two native Scotsmen living near Lake Forest, according to the Scottish-American History Club.

That year they imported four cows and one bull from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and started a movement that led to Angus cattle becoming the dominant beef breed in North America.

The Anderson and Findlay breeding and marketing programs, combined with additional imports of some of the best Angus cattle they could find, played a major role in the early development of the Angus breed in America. Just five years after they brought the first registered Angus herd to this country, the American Aberdeen-Angus Breeders’ Association was organized in 1883 with 60 members.

A 103-year-old promotional catalog of the Anderson and Findlay herd to the American Angus Association was recently donated. Dated November 1901, the book lists 197 cows and four imported bulls.

Thanks to all of you who left comments, and encourage your friends to do the same.

We'll be back Sunday with another historical photo posting. If you have one to donate for posting, e-mail the editor at james.powers@patch.com.

Thanks for your participation and feedback.

John Alaimo April 10, 2011 at 12:54 PM
James Anderson and George Findlay.
Gail Hodges April 10, 2011 at 05:00 PM
James Anderson definitely started with the first shipment, which was accompanied from Scotland through Canada to Lake Forest by Alexander Kelley. Later, Kelley also "brought another shipment for the Farwell brothers," according to Edward Arpee's history of Lake Forest.
Scott April 12, 2011 at 06:03 AM
One is James Anderson and the other is most likely George Findlay.
Barbara Vallaly April 12, 2011 at 05:18 PM
According to the Angus Journal of February 2005, the impetus for James Anderson to bring Angus cattle to Lake Forest was the 1878 cattle show in Chicago sponsored by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. James Anderson thought this would be a great place to introduce Angus cattle to Chicago meat packers! Since his nephews in Scotland were involved in the livestock business, he formed a business partnership with his nephew George Findlay to import the first five animals. Barbara Vallaly
David April 13, 2011 at 04:41 AM
I think the more likely reason they chose Lake Forest is that LF was very much a Scottish settlement. Many of the original founders of LF were Scottish and connected with the Scottish Presbyterian Church in Chicago. There were many Scots in LF at that time, and in particular, many Scots from Aberdeenshire. Anderson and Findlay bought their land in LF from a Scot. They partnered in business with fellow Scots in LF. They were also related to Scots who lived in the nearby town of Milburn IL, which was also founded by Scots.


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