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Allerton, Samuel Waters (26 May 1828–22 February 1914), meat packer, was born in Amenia, New York, the son of Samuel Waters Allerton, Sr., a tailor and woolen mill operator, and Hannah Hurd. The youngest of nine children, he attended school for several years but received little formal education beyond that. The family experienced financial difficulties as a result of the 1837 panic and was forced to move several times, once as far west as Dubuque, Iowa, before settling on a farm in upstate New York in 1842. Eight years later Samuel and his older brother Henry rented a farm in Yates County and began raising and trading cattle and hogs. Shortly thereafter they bought a farm in Wayne County....

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Bush, George Washington (1790?–05 April 1863), pioneer, farmer, and cattleman, was born probably in Pennsylvania or Louisiana. His mother was Scotch-Irish, his father perhaps East Indian; little is known of Bush’s birth and ancestry. He may have been born as early as 1770. However, that would have made him seventy-four by the time he came to Oregon in 1844. Oral tradition among the family gives the date as 1779....

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Harris, William Alexander (29 October 1841–20 December 1909), stockman, U.S. senator, and U.S. congressman, was born in Loudoun County, Virginia, the son of William Alexander Harris, a lawyer, congressman, diplomat, and journalist, and Frances Murray. He attended school in Luray, Page County, Virginia, and then enrolled at Columbian College (now George Washington University) in Washington, D.C., from which he graduated in 1859. He spent the next few months in Nicaragua preparing a preliminary survey for a projected interocean canal before entering Virginia Military Institute, graduating early, in 1861, so he and his classmates could join the Confederate army....

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Lasater, Edward Cunningham (05 November 1860–20 March 1930), rancher, dairyman, and land developer, was born at “Valley Farm,” near Goliad, Texas, the son of Albert H. Lasater, a rancher, and Sarah Jane Cunningham. The Texas frontier offered Edward only a meager education, but he had dreams of becoming a lawyer. Those dreams were shattered when, his father’s health failing, he had to leave school to help with the family’s sheep business in Atascosa County. His father purchased a ranch near Oakville in Live Oak County, and after his father’s death in 1883, Lasater began buying and selling cattle and establishing his credit. In 1892 he married Martha Patti Noble Bennett. They had two children before Martha died in childbirth in 1900. In 1902 Lasater married Mary Gardner Miller; they had five children....

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Littlefield, George Washington (21 June 1842–10 November 1920), cattle dealer, banker, and philanthropist, was born in Panola County, Mississippi, the son of Fleming Littlefield and Mildred Terrell Satterwhite White, plantation owners. At the age of nine he moved with his family to a 1,500-acre plantation on the Guadalupe River, north of Gonzales, Texas. A year after his father’s death in 1853, George’s mother inventoried the family’s holdings and divided them among her children. Consequently, George received five slaves, mules, horses, cattle, oxen, hogs, tools, and a carriage at the young age of twelve. After attending Baylor University in Independence, Texas, in 1857 and 1858, Littlefield returned to work on his mother’s expanding plantation. He then joined the Eighth Texas Cavalry, also known as Terry’s Texas Rangers, in August 1861. He fought as a lieutenant at Shiloh and as a captain in both Tennessee and Kentucky, most notably at the battle of Chickamauga. While returning to battle from a recruiting trip to Texas, Littlefield married Alice P. Tiller, whom he had known in Gonzales, in January 1863 in Houston. The couple had no children. He became major of his regiment, but while replacing a wounded lieutenant colonel at Mossy Creek, he sustained a life-threatening wound in December 1863. Acting on the advice of a surgeon, Littlefield resigned from service in late summer of the next year....

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Mackenzie, Murdo (24 April 1850–30 May 1939), cattleman, was born near Tain, Scotland, the son of David Mackenzie and Jessie Mackenzie. As a youth Mackenzie attended the parish school at Balnagown, and in 1869 he graduated from the Royal Academy at Tain. He then served a one-year apprenticeship in a law office, after which he was employed as a clerk in the Tain bank and subsequently as assistant factor on the estate of Sir Charles Ross near Balnagown. He married Isabella MacBain of Tain in 1876; they had five children. He then returned to the local bank as an insurance agent, where he was employed for the next nine years. In 1885 the governing board of the five-year-old Prairie Cattle Company, Ltd., of Edinburgh, Scotland, was seeking a new manager. These businessmen met 35-year-old Mackenzie, noted his excellent skills and background, and hired him to fill the position....

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McCoy, Joseph Geiting (21 December 1837–19 October 1915), businessman, was born near Springfield (Sangamon County), Illinois, the son of David McCoy and Mary Kilpatrick, farmers. Joseph McCoy attended Knox College at Galesburg (1857–1858). In 1861 he married Sarah Epler; they had seven children....

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McNeill, John Hanson (12 June 1815–10 November 1864), soldier and farmer, was born in Hardy County, Virginia (now W.Va.), the son of Strother McNeill and Amy Pugh, farmers. McNeill’s childhood and youth were made difficult by the death of his father when McNeill was only four years old. The dire circumstances of his family forced him to abandon school after only a few years and assist his mother in farming while he was still a child. In 1837 he married Jemima Harness Cunningham; they had four sons and one daughter....

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Morris, Nelson (21 January 1838–28 August 1907), cattle trader, breeder, and meatpacker, was born in Hechingen, Germany, a province of Hohensollern; his parents’ names are unknown. His father had raised cattle in the Black Forest but, implicated in a plot to unite the area with Switzerland, fled to America. Morris thus arrived with his family in 1851 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, utterly poor, without formal education, and speaking no English. He had already worked in Germany selling rags, skins, and copper for his father; in America he took whatever odd jobs he could find and peddled for two years. In 1853 he headed north, working as a charcoal hauler in Lakerville, Connecticut; he then traveled west, working on boats on the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes. When he arrived in Chicago, he took a job cleaning animal pens at John B. Sherman’s Bull’s Head Yard (Sherman later founded and promoted the Union Stock Yards). In winter he would work all night, watching hogs to ensure against their crowding together and suffocating. By the time Sherman moved his operations to his Lake Shore Yards, Morris was the feedmaster....

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Renick, Felix (05 November 1770–27 January 1848), cattleman, was born in Hardy County, Virginia, the son of William Renick (his mother’s name is unknown). Renick’s father worked for a time as a deputy surveyor for Lord Fairfax and taught Renick the skills of the trade. As a young man, Renick supported himself probably as a farmer. In or about 1795 he married Hannah See, with whom he had nine children....