Stanford’s acreage at Palo Alto now consisted of three farms, totaling more than 82,000 acres. In 1879, the mare Beautiful Bells (The Moor x Belle of Wabash), who became one of the greatest broodmares in trotting history, was sent to the court of Electioneer, who was then allowed to serve a very few outside mares. Beautiful Bells was a black mare, 15 1/2 hands, marked with a star, strip and off hind ankle. She was bred by L. J. Rose of Sunny Slope, CA and foaled in 1872. Her sire was the registered Morgan, The Moor #466, a black son of Clay Pilot #465 out of Bell of Wabash (Day’s Copperbottom #282 by Brutus by Copperbottom by Justin Morgan x mare by Black Hawk by Sherman by Justin Morgan). Clay Pilot was a son of Neave’s Cassius M. Clay Jr 2148 (Cassius M Clay by Henry Clay x mare by Chancellor, 2d dam by Engineer 2d by Engineer by Justin Morgan). His dam was Lady Pilot by a son of the famous Golddust #70 and out of Kate by Black Hawk. Golddust’s sire, Vermont Morgan was out of a daughter of Sherman Morgan, and by Barnard Morgan, a son of old Gifford out of a daughter of Bonaparte, son of the Hawkins Horse by Justin Morgan.
The dam of Beautiful Bells was Minnehaha, a daughter of Steven’s Bald Chief, whose sire and dam were both by Mambrino Chief, a son of Mambrino Paymaster and great-grandson of Messenger. Some sources give the dam of Mambrino Chief as being sired by the Latham Horse, a son of Woodbury Morgan and out of a daughter of Justin Morgan. This may be possible, however other sources say the mare was untraced and clear evidence has not been found.
Minnehaha’s dam was Nettie Clay, a daughter of Strader’s Cassius M. Clay Jr. # 2149 (Cassius M Clay x mare by Abdallah), second dam by Abdallah, 3rd dam by Engineer 2d #325 (sire of the famous trotting mare Lady Suffolk), he by Engineer #300 by Justin Morgan. Beautiful Bells was a fast trotter and had a record of 2:29 1/2. At that time, the superintendent of Palo Alto was Harrison Covey, and his assistant was his son Frank. Covey very much admired Beautiful Bells, who had remained there for broodmare care, and wanted her for Palo Alto. Especially so when she dropped her first foal from, which was the filly Hinda Rose, foaled in 1880 at Palo Alto from the mating with Electioneer. As it happened, Stanford’s brother-in-law, Ariel Lathrop who was in charge of buying and selling the horses, was not particularly interested in Beautiful Bells and could not be persuaded to buy her. Covey decided to approach Stanford himself, and explaining the matter, won an order from Stanford to buy her along with the money. He hurried back to the farm only to find her owners had sent a man to pay her bills and take her away, and had left but an hour before, leading Beautiful Bells and the newborn filly behind his cart. Harrison Covey promptly hitched up a fast horse and sent his son Frank after the man. John Hervey, in his Dec 13, 1939 article for Harness Horse, related the story told him by Frank Covey, who was a good friend:
“Nobody could express my joy when at last I saw ahead of me the man slowly driving along the road, with Beautiful Bells following after him and Hinda Rose playing about her. I knew that if I in any way failed to find them the jig was up, for once she got into her owner’s hands, as they were at the outs about her, it would be impossible to get her back. So I drove up to the man and hailed him, asking him if that was not the mare he had just taken away from Palo Alto? And that was owned by So-and-So—He said yes, it was. Then I told him: That mare belongs to Palo Alto. We bought her this morning. I have come after her and will take her back there. Of course he demurred. But I showed him my order from the Governor, made out that morning, he finally gave up the mare and I took her back in triumph. She was never again off the farm as long as she lived. As you know, the next season Hinda Rose, her filly, broke the yearling record, then as a three-year-old she lowered the mark from 2:21 to 2:19½ and being taken east to race, won every one of her starts, never being beaten.”
Hinda Rose, like Occident before her, became known as “The California Wonder”, when she set a record of 2:36 1/2 for the mile as a yearling, which stood for six years. As a three year old, Hinda Rose dropped her record to 2:19 1/2.
Beautiful Bells produced a total of fifteen foals, including 11 Standard performers* (*record for trotting a mile in 2:30 or less) and was the first mare ever to have ten of her foals on the Standard list. All but one of her foals were by Electioneer or one of his sons. Stanford would have been surprised to learn that within two or three generations his carefully bred family of speedy trotters which held practically all the records then in existence, would become instead the leading family of pacers. The great pacer Adios owned by Hall of Fame driver Delvin Miller traced his direct sireline in four generations to Chimes, a son of Beautiful Bells and Electioneer.
Foaled in 1940, Adios was a multiple world champion during his pacing career, and he sired eight winners of The Little Brown Jug**, as well as two winners of harness racing’s Triple Crown for pacers. (**Among many other Morgan crosses Adios carried, his sire, Hal Dal, was a great grandson of the Morgan stallion Brown Hal #4141 through his dam. Brown Hal, who traced his sireline directly to Justin Morgan in five generations was full brother to the famous gelding Little Brown Jug, for whom the race, which is equivalent to the Kentucky Derby for pacers, is named.)
The blood of Electioneer and Beautiful Bells also enters back into the Morgan breed with one notable example being the palomino mare Canary Bird, bred by George Miles and foaled in 1905. Canary Bird was the result of Mr. Miles bred his Morgan mare Lizzie (Washburn great grandson of Black Hawk x mare by Lexington Golddust) to Anteras (Electioneer x Beautiful Bells), Mr. Miles then bred Canary Bird to the Saddlebred stallion Emerald King (Emerald Chief x Pocahontas, granddaughter of the famous Morgan stallion Indian Chief by Bloods Black Hawk). The result was a palomino mare Upwey Emerald Goldy foaled in 1930, and later owned by Owen Moon and registered Morgan. Descendants of this rare line can still be found in many Morgans tracing to the breeding of Myrtle Neeley.
As the success of the Palo Alto Stock Farm continued to grow, there were many more twists of fate yet to come. In 1884, while on a Grand Tour of Europe with his parents, young Leland Stanford Jr contracted typhoid fever. After several weeks of medical treatment, he died in Florence, Italy two months before his 16th birthday. Grief stricken, Leland and Jane Stanford established the Leland Stanford Jr. University in honor of their son in 1891. Tuition remained free until 1920.
In 1892, Charles Marvin was lured away from Palo Alto with promise of a $50,000 contract ($10,000 a year for 5 years) to take charge of the Prospect Hill Stock Farm owned by Miller & Sibley in Franklin, Pennsylvania. Joseph C. Sibley and his brother-in-law Charles Miller had established their stock farm in 1882, and were famous for their prize Jersey cattle. Their Jersey Ida Marigold won two sweepstakes prizes at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and their herd won a total of 224 first prizes or sweepstakes at 22 state fairs or expositions, a record believed to be unequaled by any other herd in the world. Another of their Jerseys, Matilda 4th was the first in the history of the breed to give over 16,000 lbs of milk in one year. When they decided to breed trotting horses, they went at it with equal enthusiasm. Sibley and Miller were much impressed with Stanford’s accomplishments and the blood of Electioneer. Therefore, they patterned their trotting horse operation after the same manner, often referring to it as “The Palo Alto of the East”, using several sons of Electioneer as their foundation, and persuading Marvin to come and train for them.
Meanwhile, Leland Stanford was elected as Republican Senator from California, and served in the U.S. Senate from March 4, 1885, until his death in Palo Alto, Calif., June 21, 1893.
Next – the End of the Stanford Era, An Unsolved Murder
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© 2016, Brenda L. Tippin. Please do not copy without permission