New York Beef Producer's Association
the northeastern part of Scotland lie the four counties of Aberdeen,
Banff, Kincardine, and Angus.
county of Angus was early noted for its production of potatoes,
grain crops, and feed. This shire contains a fine expanse of highly
cultivated land known as Strathmore, which is one of the very
fine valleys in that part of Scotland and which has become famous
in the history of the Aberdeen-Angus breed.
Foundation of the breed
Two strains were used in the formation of what later became known as the Aberdeen-Angus breed of cattle. In the county of Angus, cattle had existed for some time that were known as Angus doddies.
little attention was given to the breeding of cattle before the
middle of the 18th century, but in the last half of that century,
great progress was made in Scottish agriculture. It is not strange
that, as farming practices were improved, men likewise sought
to improve the livestock on their farms. It was only natural that
breeders, in improving their cattle, would but cattle of similar
kinds from adjacent areas, and as a result, the cattle of the
Angus doddie strain and the Buchan humlie strain were crossed.
and recrossing these strains of cattle eventually led to a distinct
breed that was not far different from either type, since the two
strains were originally of rather similar type and color pattern.
any one person can be singled out as the founder of a breed of
livestock, Hugh Watson of Keillor, who lived in the vale of Strathmore
in Angus, is worthy of that distinction.
not the first real improver of Aberdeen-Angus cattle, he was certainly
the most systematic and successful. Both his father and grandfather
had been buyers and breeders of the Angus doddies.
The family is known to have owned cattle as early as 1735. Hugh
Watson was born in 1789 and, in 1808, at the time he was 19 years
of age, he became a tenant at Keillor.
George Grant transported four Angus bulls from Scotland to the
middle of the Kansas Prairie in 1873, they were part of the Scotsman's
dream to found a colony of wealthy, stock-raising Britishers.
Grant died five years later, and many of the settlers at his Victoria,
Kansas, colony later returned to their homeland. However, these
four Angus bulls, probably from the herd of George Brown of Westertown,
Fochabers, Scotland, made a lasting impression on the U.S. cattle
first great herds of Angus beef cattle in America were built up
by purchasing stock directly from Scotland. Twelve
hundred cattle alone were imported, mostly to the Midwest, in
a period of explosive growth between 1878 and 1883.
the next quarter of a century these early owners, in turn, helped
start other herds by breeding, showing, and selling their registered