Glidden, Horses and Cows: Oh My!

As discussed in the last blog, Joseph Glidden was one of the few prominent Illinois men who brought the Percheron draft horse into the Dekalb area. This blog post will go into detail about Glidden’s horses, but also the short-horn cattle that he raised and the DeKalb County Stock Farm.

While the Percheron stud book was first introduced in 1877, Joseph Glidden would not appear with his horses until later volumes. Glidden’s horses first appear in Volume 4 which was published in 1888 and his horses continue to appear until Volume 8 which was published in 1906. A quick glance through the stud books shows us that Glidden was very active in breeding horses which should not be surprising. Horse breeding and showing was often a leisurely pastime for the wealthy and aristocracy in all corners of the world.

The stud book also reveals an interesting naming characteristic for his horses. Instead of giving unique names to his horses, Glidden often used the same name with numbers added to denote lineage. We see ‘Dekalb’ used as a name starting in Volume 4 in 1888 and continuing all the way until Volume 8 published in 1906, a total of 11 times. ‘Lady Brilliant’ appears several times in Volume 6 with Glidden having bred ‘Lady Brilliant IV,’ ‘Lady Brilliant V,’ and ‘Lady Brilliant VI.’ Volume 6 also shows that Glidden utilized Dekalb in naming his horses, this time in ‘Lady De Kalb I,’ ‘Lady De Kalb II,’ and ‘Lady De Kalb III.’ Volumes 6 and 7 show that Glidden utilized the name of ‘Favorite’ for his horses, which was a common name among the wealthy breeders. We do see traces of individuality with Glidden owning horses called ‘Flora’ and ‘Phenix Jr.

In addition to breeding horses, he also bred short-horn cattle. Glidden along with H.B. Sanborn owned a ranch in Texas where he owned around 16,000 head of cattle. The ranch totaled 250,000 acres and primarily bred short-horn cattle. The ranch was called Frying Pan Ranch, taking its name from brand that was used on the cattle. The ranch is still controlled by Glidden descendants today.

There were two prominent breeding farms located in Dekalb County. The DeKalb Stock Farm was situated just west of Dekalb, where the Northern Illinois Recreational Center sits today. The farm was one of the largest breeding operations in Dekalb county at the time. It was a partnership between several prominent individuals and focused on breeding and selling animals. There were enough stalls to accommodate at least 42 horses on the property.

Not to be confused with the stock farm, the Dekalb Farm was owned by Joseph Glidden. The farm was on 1,000 acres making it one of the several large farms in the county. According to the Dekalb Chronicle Souvenir Edition, the farm was devoted to breeding and raising both draft and driving horses.



Hannah Palsa
Guest Blogger
Working Animal Researcher


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s