FROM PAGES PAST: 1921: Penn Yan farmer owns heaviest bull in the world

Yates County History Center
In 1921, Glenside Roan Clay, a Milking Shorthorn bull (like the one pictured) weighing 3,250 pounds, was the heaviest bull in the world. He was owned by Henry Lafler, of Penn Yan.

The Yates County History Center’s volunteers have gleaned these entries for your enjoyment from their digitized newspapers. You can access them at the free site For more information about the YCHC, visit

150 Years Ago 

August 3, 1871 

PROTECTION FOR VINEYARDS AND FRUIT ORCHARDS – In 1868 a law was passed by the Legislature of New York, making trespasses upon vineyards and fruit orchards a criminal offence, punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both. The following are the first and third sections of the act: 

“Section 1. Any person who shall at any time enter upon any orchard, fruit garden, vineyard, or any field or enclosure wherein is cultivated any domestic fruit whatever, and which is kept for such purposes, without the consent of the owner or occupant thereof being previously had and obtained, and with intent to take or destroy or injure anything then growing, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof, shall be punished as in such cases provided by law.” 

The punishment of the offence (sic) under this section is prescribed in the Revised Statutes to be imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding $250, or both. 3d Revised Statutes, 980, sec. 55. 

“Section 3. It shall be lawful for the owner of any orchard, fruit garden, vineyard or any field or enclosure, wherein is cultivated any domestic fruit whatever, or for any person employed in the cultivation of, or rightfully in the possession of any such field or enclosure, to arrest and detain in custody and convey before any magistrate of the county wherein such arrest is made, any person who may be found violating any or either ot the provisions of this act.” 

BRIDGE BID NOTICE – The undersigned Commissioners of Highways of the town of Milo, will sell to the lowest bidder, on Saturday, the 12th day of August, 1871, at one o’clock, P. M., a Bridge to be built across the Outlet of Keuka Lake, at Russell’s Distillery; said bridge to be fifty-four (54) feet in length, and fourteen (14) feet in width, and planked with three inch Hemlock plank, and to be built upon the same place as the bridge across the outlet next to Randall’s Saw Mill and the abutments to be of stone. The structure to be of same size and kind as the last mentioned bridge. The sale to be at the place where the bridge is to be built. Dated Milo, July 30, 1871. James W. Henderson,  Ephraim Sanford, Albert McIntye, Commissioners. 

100 Years Ago 

August 3, 1921 

BODY OF JOHN BRADLEY COMES HOME – The body of John Bradley, of Rock Stream, who was killed in action in August 12, 1918, was brought to his home last week and the funeral was held Tuesday from St Mary's church at Watkins with burial in Watkins cemetery. The funeral was military and was in charge of the American Legion.  John Bradley left Penn Yan for Camp Dix on September 26, 1917, with the first contingent of the forty-one drafted men from Yates County. He arrived in France about the first of the following year. He belonged to an infantry regiment and held the position of cook. Mr. Bradley was the first soldier from the town of Starkey to be killed, in action, so far as it is known.  John Bradley was about 30 years of age. Besides his father, he is survived by four brothers, James Bradley, Jr.; Thomas Bradley, of Ludlowville, N.Y.; Edward Bradley of Elmira, and Patrick Bradley, of Corning; also two sisters, Mrs. John Callahan, of Wedgewood, and Mrs. Richard Stafford, of Ludlowville, N.Y. 

POOR YEAR FOR FRUIT, IS GOOD TIME TO CAN – In the poorest year for fruit which the United States has had for a long time, it becomes doubly necessary to preserve all that can be had. In connection with this, Cornell has issued a timely bulletin on food preservation. This deals with canning and preserving and the salting, drying and various methods of storage. It describes various types of equipment and methods and gives recipes for canning and preserving fruits, vegetables and meats. Copies of the bulletin will be sent as long as the supply lasts, to those who apply for it. A post card request mentioning H 136, addressed to the State College of Agriculture at Ithaca, will bring the publication. 

GLENSIDE ROAN CLAY, HEAVIEST BULL IN WORLD – A milking Shorthorn bull, Glenside Roan Clay, weighs 3,250 lbs., making him the heaviest bull in the world. He is of the heaviest milking inheritance, being sired by General Clay, that has 32 daughters averaging 9,032 lbs. of milk, and out of Fern of Qonocochick, 11,818 lbs. of 4.1 per cent milk in a year, four year average, 10,251 lbs. His first daughter to freshen, Roan Clay, made as a senior yearling 7,435 lbs. of milk, testing 3.96 per cent., 294 lbs. of butterfat.  Henry Lafler, of Penn Yan, bought Glenside Roan Clay of L.D. May, of Granville Center, Pa., when nine months old. At that time the calf weighed 900 pounds. Henry gave him skim milk from that time until he was two years old, a good pail full twice a day. His grain was composed of equal parts by measure of bran and oats, ground not too finely, mixed with 40 pounds of corn cracked not too finely for every 200 pounds of bran and oats.  Glenside Roan Clay was weighed at Penn Yan on June 28, 1921, J. Nelson Jones, of Himrods, a Milking Shorthorn breeder and member of the Milking Shorthorn Society, was present at the weighing and saw the scales balanced prior to weighing. The bull was 4 years, 10 months, and 24 days old on that day. According to usual experience, Milking Shorthorn bulls continue to grow until six years of age. 

DON'T BE DISCOURAGED. REMEMBER THIS: – When Abraham Lincoln was a young man he ran for the legislature in Illinois, and was badly swamped. He next entered business, failed, and spent seventeen years of his life paying up the debts of a worthless partner.  He was in love with a beautiful young woman to whom he became engaged —then she died. Later he married a woman who was a constant burden to him. Entering politics again, he ran for Congress and was badly defeated. He then tried to get an appointment to the United States Land Office but failed. He became a candidate for the United States Senate, and was badly defeated. In 1856 he became a candidate for the Vice-Presidency and was again defeated. In 1858 he was defeated by Douglas. One failure after another — bad failures — great setbacks. In the face of all this he eventually became one of the country’s greatest men, if not the greatest. When you think of a series of setbacks like this, doesn’t it make you feel small to become discouraged, just because you think you are having a hard time in life? – Praetorian Guard. 

BOY THEIF NABBED – A correspondent for an out of town paper said a few days, ago: "Cyrus Johnson was swimming in Lake Keuka Friday and he left his clothing lying on the lake shore. When he went to dress he found that over $36 had been taken from his pockets. At that time there were several boys in bathing nearby and he suspected one of them as having taken the money and the boys later were all called before Justice of the Peace Orville F. Randolph for examination. The money was finally located in the possession of one of the boys and was returned to the owner practically intact. After the return of the money the boy who had the money, was not prosecuted but was given a severe reprimand by the Justice."

75 Years Ago 

August 1, 1946 

COMSTOCK CAMPERS ENJOY PICNIC – More than 100 campers from the Comstock Canning Corporation camp near Dresden enjoyed a picnic Sunday afternoon, at Perry's point on Seneca lake, under the direction of the Rev. George Clarkson and Mrs. Harry Ingram, recreational leaders for the camp. Originally planned for Red Jacket park, the picnic had to be changed at the last minute to nearby Seneca Lake because only one truck, instead of the expected two, was available Sunday afternoon. Private cars of Mr. Clarkson, Mrs. Ingram, and Mrs. Leon F. Wood made several trips to help transport the crowd which included nearly all of the children and young people at the camp, with a few grown-ups along to help supervise. Swimming and eats, accompanied by guitar and accordion music played by camp musicians, were the program. 

50 Years Ago 

August 5, 1971 

BOAT ANTI-POLLUTION UNIT INSPECTION SET – Sheriff George F. Spike has announced that the Yates County Sheriff's Department Marine Division will hold an inspection of boat anti-pollution control devices on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 7 and 8. The inspection will be conducted at the State Park Marina, Branchport. N.Y. on Keuka Lake, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The sheriff's department will be joined by the New York State Office Of Parks and Recreation Division of Marine and Recreational Vehicles. This service is being offered to boaters to insure that their craft are in compliance with section 33 (c), 4 (a), and 3 (b) of the navigation law which specifies the approved devices. After the craft’s facilities have passed inspection, the owner will be issued an inspection seal which will signify that the boat complies with the specifications required by law. Sheriff Spike said. “I encourage boaters to take advantage of this service we are offering. Display of the inspection seal will signify that you are in compliance with the navigation law, and can make further check of your craft’s facilities unnecessary. I want boaters to enjoy their summer pastime, confident that they have adequate facilities."  Deputies will be on hand to answer any questions boaters might have relating to the navigation law. If your present anti-pollution device does not have the manufacturer’s approval markings, please bring your bill of sale with you. 


July 8, a girl to Frederick and Janet Dixon Tyler of Penn Yan. 

July 10, a daughter to Darryl and Diane Thompson Carpenter of Penn Yan. 

July 12, a son to Henry and Darlene Blancher Wodarski of Tyrone. 

July 12, a daughter to Robert and Sandra Walton Henderson of Sandy Creek. 

July 13, a son to Ronald and Babette McCormick Pinkerton of Prattsburg. 

July 14, a son to James and Phyllis Robinson Rumsey of Dundee. 

July 14, a daughter to Stephen and Charene Moniot Robinson of Penn Yan. 

July 18, a daughter to Edward and Elsie Dixon Fox of Penn Yan. 

July 19, a son to Harry and Nancy Bell Ayers of RD 4, Penn Yan. 

July 21, a son to Kevin and Karen Fitzpatrick Swann of Penn Yan. 

July 23, a daughter to Burres and Sharon Webster Rider of Penn Yan. 

July 25th, a son to Charles and Helen Johnson Morris of RD 4, Penn Yan. 

July 25, a daughter to Jean and Donna Groom Hodge of Watkins Glen. 

SLATE HORSE, PONY CENSUS AUGUST 4-10 – A census of all horses and ponies be taken in New York State within the next 10 days, a University veterinarian announced this week. Because the disease Venetian equine encephalomyelitis (VEE), has appeared in the southwestern United States, the number and location of all equine animals has become urgent. Dr. N. Bruce Haynes of the N. Y. State Veterinary College, Cornell, said the census will be taken by Cooperative Extension agents in each county. The New Estate census is part of a national census requested by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. All owners of horses, ponies or other equine animals are asked to contact their county extension immediately by phone or postcard, reporting the number of animals they own. Dr. Haynes said there has been no report of the disease beyond the Southwestern states and it may not appear in New York State this year. However, as part of the plan for control of the disease, it is vital that the number and distribution of all horses be known so personnel, vaccine and funds can be properly allocated.