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Wyoming Hereford Bulls Top Denver Stock Show

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Published on Jan. 18, 2020

With the National Western Stock Show, formerly known as the Denver Stock Show, in progress, it seems appropriate to relate a few stories of the event, which was a big attraction for Wyoming livestock folks.

In the early 1900s Wyoming ranchers were gaining a national reputation for producing some of the finest cattle in the nation.

One of the hot spots for production of quality registered Hereford Bulls was the Upper North Platte River valley between Saratoga and Encampment.

At the January 1916 Denver Stock Show, three registered Hereford bulls bred, reared and shown by L. G. Davis of Saratoga, not only took championship honors, but also brought record prices. All the bulls were sired by the Davis Ranch herd bull Beau Carlos II.

The pen of two bulls, shown in this week’s Postcard, sold in the Denver sale Jan. 20, 1916, for a total of $6,425.  

The Grand Champion Hereford Bull of the prestigious show that same date was a senior yearling bull bred and shown by Captain Davis. During the livestock sale, Wyoming, brought $5,000, a record price paid for a bull at that time. Wyoming was pictured in the Jan. 11 Postcard.

Captain L. G. Davis

Louis Grant Davis came to Saratoga in 1879 as a boy of 12 to join a brother after his mother died in Missouri, where he was born in 1867. He returned to his beloved Wyoming at 84 to be buried with honors next to General John Pershing’s family in Cheyenne. During his lifetime he was one of the Cowboy State’s most successful ranchers, soldiers, civic leaders and influential delegate to Wyoming’s first legislature.

He was elected Carbon County sheriff in 1894 a position he left in 1898 to organize Carbon County’s Troop H of Cavalry Rough Riders to serve in the Spanish American War with Teddy Roosevelt. Many members of the 200-man troop were from Wyoming and furnished their own horses. For the rest of his life he was known as Captain Davis. 

An article in “The Saratoga Sun” stated that he was one of the most effective senators of the Wyoming Senate during the 1890-91 and 1901 and 1903 sessions. He was later appointed U.S. Marshal of Wyoming by President Teddy Roosevelt, whom Davis had ridden with and entertained several times. Davis also served as warden of the state prison.As a young man Captain Davis had established a ranch on the Upper North Platte River between Saratoga and Encampment. Enterprising and energetic, he experimented successfully with irrigation and the raising and feeding of alfalfa and native hay as well as producing quality cattle, including many champion Herefords at livestock exhibits such as the Denver Stock Show.

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