From The Scrapbook By Rev. Bill Randall


May 1996

 By Dr. Bill Randall

Dewitt Lister is working on a project to document the history of the Jersey breed of cattle in the Harvey area. We are sharing some information that I have here in the Harvey Historical Association’s library, and in the process he has shown me some 1936 Daily Gleaner clippings which were preserved by the late Ida Rutherford and is made available to us by her son, Winston Rutherford.

I will share something of these clippings but I will interject other information where I think it is appropriate.

Harvey in Twenty-Five Years Has Taken Leading Position

In Raising of Jersey Cattle

1936 First Pure-bred Animal Imported in 1911 – Now Harvey Conducts Dairying on Large Scale and Ships Pure Bred Jersey Cattle to Other Places.

[Staff Correspondence of The Daily Gleaner]

Harvey Station, N.B., May 21. — Harvey, the Dairyland of New Brunswick! Handsome farmhouses, up-to-date, modernly-equipped barns, wide-flung, well-kept fields, herds of sleek, fawn-colored cattle merge before the tourist’s eyes to form a beautiful panorama of countryside life in this hamlet nestling beside Harvey Lake with its forest-clad mountain over-topping it. Not Always Dairyland

But Harvey was not always the thriving community spelling its success in “Jersey” that it is today. There was a time when scientific cattle raising was unknown here, and the way in which the farmers of the district embraced the idea of dairying on a large scale will stand as a monument of perseverance and foresight with the finest records of progressive industry in the annuals of Dominion agriculture.

How Industry Started

It was no longer ago than 1911 that Harvey district boasted its first pure-bred Jersey cow. Robert Byers came to the district at that time from Vermont and saw in the fertile Harvey country side what he believed to be an ideal location for raising high bred stock.

From the above clipping note the 1911, date. Dewitt has substantiated that that date should be 1910. Further confirmation comes from Gladys Byers, the widow of the late Karl Byers who was the son of Robert Byers. I asked Gladys why Robert Byers came to New Brunswick. This is her written answer, “Robert P. Byers was born in Nova Scotia, he went to Boston, Mass., where he was in business for several years. He married Miss Mabel Vail of Brockway, N.B., who was working in Boston. Sometime later they moved to Bethel, Vermont, formed and raised Jersey cattle.

In 1910 they came to Harvey, bought a farm and brought the first Jersey’s to this area.”

Shortly after his arrival he imported two pure-bred Jersey cattle – the first pure-bred Jerseys ever to be owned in the Harvey district.

They were Melisse of Norwood and Edna of Norwood. Shortly afterward he purchased Elsa Alta in Houlton, Maine. John Lister (Note: The name John Lister should, could be Robert Lister) of Harvey immediately was caught with the idea of raising pure-bred stock in Harvey and he also brought in cattle. Other farmers, seeing the success of these two men, followed suit shortly afterward and the start had been made in making Harvey, one of the finest Jersey-raising districts in the Dominion.

At this time butter and cream were the chief exports from the district. Mr. Byers said that he selected the Jersey rather than Ayrshire, Holstein or other breeds, because of the high butter fat test of the milk yielded by Jerseys. Previous to Mr. Byers’ experiment there had been Jersey cattle in the Harvey district, but there was no high grade stock. The presence of good “grade” cattle laid a solid foundation, however, for the pure-bred animals which were to come later.

Butter production at this time was carried on for the most part in the homes of the various farmers. There was no creamery in the locality and butter, manufactured in the clean kitchens of the householders was sold locally and shipped to Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton and other outside points. Considerable cream was also exported for the sweet cream markets in these cities.

Breeders’ Club Formed

In 1922 the farmers realized that if they were to progress as they hoped to do they must work out some co-operative scheme whereby the initial expense of the industry could be reduced. They talked it over and decided that the only way in which satisfactory results could be obtained would be for all the farmers of the district interested in scientific cattle raising to club together and share expenses. As a result Harvey Jersey Breeders’ Club, the organization chiefly responsible for the first Parish show and sponsors of the annual Jersey Field days that have been held in the past came into being.

Creamery Established

As the industry grew in size it was found that the production was too great for the individual little butter factories and a number of the farmers agreed to support a creamery if they could receive permission from government agricultural authorities to establish one in the community. As a result Elwood McLean and Sons established a creamery in Harvey in the fall of 1934. It was immediately found to be a tremendous success. Harvey butter soon assumed a prominent place on the markets of this province and Nova Scotia. Production has increased steadily since that time and this year the output is breaking all records with a ton and a half of butter being manufactured daily at the present time. The May output for this year has surpassed the output during the heavy months of July and August last year.

Cattle Exported

Since the industry has become established in Harvey the farmers have found that they were able not only to raise enough high-grade Jersey cattle to keep their own herds supplied, but have also been able to export fine cattle to various dairy centers in the United States. Three such shipments have been made and a fourth is being organized at present. Markets for the Harvey Jerseys include the states of New Jersey, Maryland, and Connecticut. United States buyers found in trying to organize the fourth shipment to take place shortly that they were unable to buy a sufficient number of cows in Harvey to fulfill their demand. Harvey farmers were finding that their herds paid too well to make exporting profitable, and only a small percentage of the order for 76 head could be filled from this district.

The total number of cattle exported in the three previous shipments amounted to 68 head, the shipments running around 23 head per shipment. The first of these shipments was made early in 1935 and the next two followed within the succeeding six months. Shipping from the district has been done through H.T. Robison & Sons of Harvey, who represent a United States dealer, Wallace MacMonnies of Madison, New Jersey.

Jersey Parish Show At Harvey Monday

Harvey Jersey Breeders’ Club’s Interesting History.

Long Series of Sires Imported for Purpose of Improving Standard of Jersey Herds – Notable Records of Performance Made by Some Animals.

The Organization of the Jersey Breeders’ Club by farmers of the district in 1922 was one of the most important steps toward the development of scientific Jersey raising in the district.

Organization was largely superintended by James Bremmer, Live Stock Superintendent with the Provincial Department of Agriculture. Mr. Bremmer saw the popularity of Jerseys in Harvey and urged the farmers to undertake thoroughbred raising on a large scale. Up to this time most of the high grade stock in the district had come from outside sources.

First Bull

Immediately after the formation of the club in 1922 the first pure-bred bull to be jointly owned in the district was bought. He was the Sophie Tormentor bull, Carry On of Arydale’s Peter and was purchased in Bangor, Maine, at a price of $700. About 120 shares in the animal were sold by the club at $5.00 per share. Arydale’s Carry On Peter died about a year after he came to the Harvey district. One of his daughters, Longview Sophie, was the first Silver Medal winner in Harvey, having made 410 lbs. of fat in 315 days at the age of 2 years. Eight of Peter’s daughters completed records. Bonnie Jean of L. V. had 623 lbs. of fat in 365 days; Irene of Elm Brook had 525 lbs. in 305 days, Audrey of L.F. had 450 lbs. in 365 days; Ayrdale Flossie had 464 lbs. in 305 days.

Interested Owl

The successor to Peter was Interested Owl of N.B., purchased in Spencer, Mass. His dam was Owl Interest Sprite with a record of 638 lbs. of fat. Fourteen of Owl’s daughters completed records, some of the best being: Pearl’s Owl Lass, 660 lbs. in 365 days; Longview Interested Belle, 558 lbs. in 365 days, Sprite of Lakeview, 504 lbs. in 365 days; Monica Goldberg, 406 lbs. in 305 days; Loarine of L.P. 496 Ibs. in 305 days.

Pearl’s Bright Boy

Pearl’s Bright Boy was then bought by the club from Upper Hampstead, N.B. His dam was a cow with the record of 716 lbs. of fat in 365 days on 2 daily milkings. Seventeen of his daughters completed records, some of the best being Sophie of Lakeview, 546 lbs. in 365 days; Hillside Garkie P., 536 lbs. in 365 days; Josephine of Elmbrook, 493 lbs. in 365 days; Longview Bright Prince 2nd., 463 lbs. in 305 days; Longview Bright Prince, 462 lbs. in 305 days.

Two More Bulls

In 1926 two more bulls were purchased by the Jersey Breeders’ Club, Prince of Valley View 7th was in the district about a year before being sold to the Stanley Jersey Club. He was a son of Rower’s Lass’s Bright Prince. The father of this bull, Rower’s Lass’s Bright Prince was purchased in Truro, N.S. in 1926 also. Among the daughters of Rowers Lass’s Bright Prince is Princess Viola of L.V., a cow that has won gold and silver medals and has the excellent records of 1200 lbs. of milk and 728 lbs. of fat in 365 days at 3 years. Others are Thelma’s Princess, the grand champion cow at Charlottetown, Halifax and Saint John in 1934, Marjorie of Lakeview with 651 lbs. in 365; Sunny View Bright Lady with 524 lbs. in 365 days; Hillside Rower’s Rose with 432 lbs. in 305 days; Nina of Valleyview with 426 lbs. in 305 days.


In 1929 the club purchased Stalebread Blond Lad, a son of the silver medal sire Blonde’s Golden Lad, whose daughters won second place in United States for their average production among tested Jersey sires. His dam was Premier’s Stalebread, a 680 lbs. daughter of the $13,000 sire Combination Premier. Among Stalebread’s daughters are Little’s Blonde Lassie, a silver medal 3-year-old with 556 lbs. in 365 days; Little’s Blonde Queen another silver medal cow with 546 lbs. in 365 days; Lakeview Blanche, silver medal, with 453 lbs. in 30 days; Lakeview Betty, silver medal cow, with 427 lbs. in 305 days; Campburn Blonde Beatrice, with 444 lbs. in 365 days.

Others Purchased .1 .

The following year, 1930, Bayleaf’s Potentate was purchased. He was from the gold medal cow, Blonde’s Bayleaf with 672 lbs. of fat in 305 days. She was a daughter of the century sire, Blonde’s Golden Oxford.

In 1934 another sire was bought, Foremost Victor. His sire had been the grand champion bull Foremost, and his dam Noble Dictator with 518 lbs. of fat in 305 days.

Most Recent Bull

The most recent bull to be purchased by the club was La Sente’s Segunda Victor, a son of La Sente’s Segunda Sultan. He was bought in Pennsylvania and had a long list of high grade daughters to his credit before coming to Harvey. He is still in the district, the property of the Harvey Jersey Breeder’s Club.

In 1996 there are 5 pure bred Jersey herds in Harvey.

Dewitt and I discussed the factors of change between 1936 – 1996.

Pure bred Jersey herds increased from 1936 – 1950 to a maximum of 65 herds.

After the war, income on the average family farm was unsatisfactory. Opportunities for labor outside the family farm became increasingly attractive.

The export market for Jersey’s declined. To maintain a profitable farm more was needed – more acreage, more livestock, more buildings and equipment, more machinery, in short more capital.

The market for butter fat declined (margarine).

The market for fluid milk increased – but the expense of converting was considerable.

An option was raising beef cattle.

Another option was selling the farm or at least building lots.

From butter fat producers, to fluid milk producers, the numbers dropped from 65 to 15.

Present day concerns about Free Trade hang as a cloud over our perception of what the future may be for the Dairy Farmers of Harvey.

Source: Rev. Bill Randall’s “From The Scrapbook Vol. One.”

Recommended Reading

Interested in learning more about the rich history and heritage of the Harvey region? Here are a few blog posts that might pique your interest: