How our family of Lacy Roundheads has been carried on by friends and me since 1942. By: George Wood Contributed by: Ray Boles
Judge Ernest Lacy of Jasper, Alabama, who was my mother's brother, originated the strain of roundheads which bears his name in 1916. They were basically of Allen and Shelton bloodlines. Through the years Uncle Ernest, as I called him, wrote several times outlining how the Lacy Roundhead strain was established. I have copies of several of his letters giving their history, and this information has been published in the gamefowl journals and shared with friends who are interested in the Lacy Roundhead family. Uncle Ernest died in November 1942. That is now almost 50 years ago. Cockers who carry on the Lacys have asked me to write an account of how the family of Lacys, which friends and I have carried on, has been bred during those 50 years. The following is an account of our breeding of this line Lacys during those years.
(Author's Note: This account is not for publication in any journals or otherwise during my lifetime. I do not approve of cockers promoting their fowl through writing about them in the gamefowl journals, and I do not want to be guilty of that practice. Also, it is my observation that writings about a family of fowl in the journals generally promote inquiries about it by chicken raisers of every type and every degree of knowledge and dependability. I do not sell fowl and would not want to receive such inquiries. G.W.)
(Editor's Note: Our appreciation to the author for allowing us to produce his work on this site. His requests are noted in hope that the general public abides by them.)
Background Information. Uncle Ernest and I were the only members of our family who cared for game chickens. In fact, an aunt (Uncle Ernest's sister) who did not approve of cockfighting said when her only grandchild was born, Oh, I hope he won't like game chickens. Clearly, she considered a liking of gamefowl to be a family weakness. From the time I was a very small boy I always had bantams, in spite of living in Birmingham, making numerous moves and other obstacles. I was completely fascinated by them and absorbed in raising them. Not until I was in high school did I learn that Uncle Ernest had game chickens and a strain of his own which was known and respected throughout the country. During my high school years, when I visited in Jasper, Uncle Ernest would take me with him to visit the walks where his chickens were raised. He lived in town and did not keep fowl himself, but had excellent walks where people kept them for him. It was a sight to see those beautiful Lacy cocks, as they would come up on these walks' faces red, feathers shining, bursting with vitality, bright eyes seeing everything that moved. They made a lasting impression on me. I've loved a good roundhead cock since those days. Uncle Ernest died unexpectedly of a heart attack in November 1942, while visiting a yard of his chickens with his close friend and cocking partner, Manley Daniel. At that time, I had been drafted into the army and was about to be sent overseas. A few months later I was sent overseas and spent the next 27 months in a 4.2 chemical mortar - battalion fighting in the European Theatre of Operations. Before leaving for overseas, I got a week-end pass and made arrangements for a fine old man who kept chickens for my uncle to keep two or three selected trios of broodfowl for me and to maintain another yard on a walk nearby where some of Uncle Ernest's best fowl were kept. When I returned from World War II, I found a tale of woe with my chickens. The old friend who was to care for them had taken a war job in another city and had not raised any young from the brood fowl I'd left with him. One old brood cock had died and another was sterile. He had brought chickens from other of Uncle Ernest's walks, many of them being crossed with other breeds and put them on the yard where my pure Lacys were to have been kept and bred. The result was that I had only a few old Lacy hens from my uncle's yard to carry on with.
My First Years of Breeding (1945-1952). After World War II, I went to Auburn University to study forestry. I found a family in the "colored" quarters of town who agreed to keep a pen of chickens for me. I built a pen in their back yard and brought three old Lacy hens from Uncle Ernest's yard to Auburn. Having no brood cock left from my uncle's yard, I wrote Mr. J. T. Shepler of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and asked if he would sell me a cock to breed to these hens. Uncle Ernest and Mr. Shepler had been exchanging fowl for several years and Uncle Ernest considered him an excellent breeder and a "stickler" for deep gameness. Today, if I were in the position I was in at that time, I would seek out the very finest Lacy cock that I could find anywhere to breed to these old Lacy hens. Uncle Ernest had many friends who, I know now, would have been glad to let me have anything they owned. In those days, however, I was shy and afraid of imposing on anyone. So, I wrote and asked Mr. Shepler if he would sell me a cock. Mr. Shepler wrote that he was sending me as a gift as fine a cock as he ever sent my uncle. He said the cock was an "Albany-Claret" and that his father was one of the greatest cocks he had ever seen fight. The Albany-Claret cock Mr. Shepler sent me was not at all impressive in looks. He was a medium red in color, straight comb, yellow legs, rather small. He had one unusual characteristic; he walked with his legs bent, never straightening them out but always having a bend at the knees. I bred this Shepler Albany-Claret cock to the three old Lacy hens and raised several stags and pullets. However, I went to Duke University to get an advance degree in forestry and did not get any of the stags fought. I put the pullets on a yard where Mr. Clyde Clayton of Boldo (near Jasper) was keeping chickens for me. The stags raised from these pullets on Mr. Clayton's yard killed themselves except for one baby stag before I got home from Duke. It is an indication of the gameness of these stags that except for the baby one, not one beat-up, one-eyed stag remained; they all had killed themselves. I had seen similar indication of very deep gameness in the half Lacy-half Albany-Claret stags that I'd raised the year before at Auburn. The baby stag, which survived on this yard, was of a different mating. I had taken a small, marked hen from Uncle Ernest's yard where I left chickens during the war. To her I bred a beautiful Lacy cock belonging to Manley Daniel. Manley had been Uncle Ernest's close friend and cocking partner for many years. He knew the Lacys intimately, having been closely involved in the breeding, walking and fighting of them almost from the time they were originated. The baby stag left on Clyde Clayton's yard was from the hen from Uncle Ernest's yard and Manley's Lacy cock. The next year, in the late summer, my favorite of the ½ Lacy-½ Albany-Claret hens running under the above stag (from the Lacy hen from Uncle Ernest's yard and Manley's cock) stole her nest off in the garden and set. I examined the eggs while she was setting and they were all uniform and appeared to be from one hen. That plus the fact that the nest was out in the weeds and it was the time of year when hens were raising chicks of varying ages and stealing their nests rather than laying together, led me to assume that the eggs were all from this. From this setting of eggs, one stag was raised. He was typical Lacy and did not show the Albany-Claret in his lineage. I showed him to Manley and I'll always remember his saying, "George, we have winned with many a one that looked just like that." When I fought this cock as a two-year old, he won a sensational one-pitting fight that brought a roar from the spectators. At pit-side I gave this cock to Russell Sutherland and Carl Davis. This cock bred to Russell and Carl's Lacy hens produced the best Lacy Roundheads any of us have seen since Uncle Ernest had them at their best. Not only were they outstanding battle fowl, but with everything they were bred to, first class fowl were produced. Carl and Russell and I bred primarily to this cross of the cock I gave them and their hens as our main line of Lacys from that time on. We exchanged brood fowl so frequently that our Lacys have been essentially the same bloodlines since the mid-1950's. My introduction of the Shepler Albany-Claret into our Lacys, which as said above I would not do today, proved to be a fortunate introduction of new blood which "nicked" with and freshened our Lacy family. I was very lucky.
As mentioned, the ¾ Lacy ¼ Albany-Claret cock which I gave to Russell Sutherland and Carl Davis in 1954 bred to their Lacy hens produced such outstanding offspring that we all have bred primarily to this line from that time on. As to the breeding of Carl and Russell's Lacys: Carl's father, George Davis of Jasper, and Uncle Ernest were good friends. They fought together, Uncle Ernest furnished Mr. Davis Lacys regularly through the years and he bred one of Mr. Davis' roundheads into his Lacys. Carl was a young man in his early twenties in those days, and he fed for both his father and Uncle Ernest, helped him with his walks, etc. Uncle Ernest thought the world of Carl. He told me that Carl was as fine a young man as you would find anywhere and that you could believe implicitly anything that he told you. Carl and I later became very close friends and I held him in the same esteem and affection that my uncle did. Russell Sutherland was a young man in Haleyville who loved gamefowl and helped Uncle Ernest walk cocks in Winston County. He especially loved Lacys and Henry Wortham Hulseys. Carl moved to Haleyville in the late 1930's and he and Russell became cocking partners. At the time of Uncle Ernest's death, they were out of Lacy blood. They went to Manley Daniel, who as mentioned was Uncle Ernest's friend and cocking partner and had had the best of the Lacys, and from Manley they got a trio of Lacys. They were very successful with the offspring from this trio, both when fought pure and when crossed. As a matter of breeding interest, it should be pointed out that the lacy hens they bred to the cock I gave them carried 1/8 Newell Roundhead which came from Mr. Ned Toulmin of Toulminville, Alabama. In 1955, Russell Sutherland told me to come up to Haleyville, that he wanted to give me a trio of their Lacys. When we went to the yard, I saw the most beautiful Lacy hen grazing in the weeds that I have ever seen. Evidently, she caught Russell's eye too, for he "walked" her down and gave her to me. She became a major cornerstone of my breeding. I have never seen before or since a cock or hen, which to me was as beautiful as this hen. Her beauty did not lie in long feathers. She was a neat, round bodied, buff colored hen with somewhat short but smooth feathering. Her beauty lay in her proportions and above all in her movements. She was like a ballerina, a symphony in motion, always in perfect balance. I used to watch her with pleasure and with wonder.
When picking seeds in the grass, her stride wide, smooth and swinging, but when she was in a hurry, her steps were short and very quick, always smooth, her body in perfect balance. When she fought, she was like lightning, crossing her opponents and hitting multiple blows on their backs with amazing speed. As said above, this hen, which I call the Russell hen, was the cornerstone of my breeding. I bred her to a number of different cocks and used the offspring as my main broodfowl. Since her offspring by these cocks comprise much of the foundation of my Lacy family, I will describe the most important cocks she was bred to. As stated previously, most of them were from the cross of the cock I gave Carl and Russell and their Lacy hens. I bred the Russell hen to a son of the ½ Lacy-½ Albany-Claret hen which was the mother to the cock I gave Russell and Carl. From this mating I got the best battle cocks I've ever owned and some of the best I've ever seen fought.
I bred the Russell hen to a stag Carl gave that was from a son of the cock I gave him bred back to his aunts. The daughters from this mating were some of the best brood hens I’ve ever owned. I bred the Russell hen to a stag Russell gave me that was out of daughters of the cock I gave him and Carl bred to a brother to the Russell hen. From this mating I got a son that was one of my most used brood cocks. This cock was rather light bodied for a Lacy and limber muscled, but well muscled. He had unusually smooth, coordinated movement. He was exceptionally active and energetic, always on the move, but not nervous in disposition. He would look you square in the eye, not mean and wanting to fight you, but not afraid. I liked him very much for this disposition. Most of the Lacys I have had and have let friends have for many years carry his blood. My closest bred fowl were from this cock bred to his sisters, daughters and other relatives. I also bred him to the last of the old hens from the mating of the cock I gave Carl and Russell and their hens.
(Russell and Carl called these the "George Wood" hens and I'll refer to them this way hereafter in this report). Many of the best Lacys fought in Alabama in the last 25 years have been descended from this mating. I also bred the Russell hen to what was known as the whitetail cock. Friends kept telling me of a little white-tailed roundhead cock which was being fought almost every week in brush fights around Haleyville, always winning. Finally, I learned that when Russell Sutherland picked up the stags on the yard where the George Wood hens were bred to the brother of the Russell hen, he picked up the cock early and when he got the stags there was a baby stag left which was thought to be from the hens and their bull stag sons. Russell gave the baby stag to the owner of the yard where he was bred and the owner sold him for $1.00. This baby stag grew into the white-tailed cock that was winning so many fights. I bought this cock for $25.00; the only time I have ever purchased a cock. Interestingly, this cock turned solid white the year after I bought him and remained white for two or three years. He was turning back red when he got out of his pen and was killed. This cock was a very fine specimen, firm but limber in muscle, well proportioned and well feathered and with a steady, friendly disposition. His offspring are being carried on today in my lines and those of friends, as will be seen later in this account. I bred the Russell hen to a cock from Carl that had a little Bingham Red in him and got a fine son, which made a foundation brood cock for my friend, Noonan Gortney. In those years I made one infusion of other Lacy blood, which is carried, in small amounts in many of my Lacys today. In the 1960's I exchanged a pair of Lacys with Hugh Norman. I got first-class roundheads from this cross, very game and capable fighters. Today many of my Lacys carry from one sixteenth to less than one-hundredth of this Hugh Norman Lacy blood. The matting described above were the heart of my breeding during the 1950’s and 1960’s. I was breeding half brother and sister, half uncle to niece, etc. Everything traced back within a few generations to just a few individuals, those individuals being the ones described above. I was breeding very closely. During these years, I fought my generally closely inbred cocks in small derbies with mediocre success. I won an occasional derby but was never a dangerous contender. The cocks were kept is small round stationary pens, never moved from the time they were put in them as stags, then put through a two week keep, usually by an only average feeder or they were scratched in a fly pen by me and fought out of it. Although they did not have an impressive winning record, these small, inbred Lacys showed qualities, which were generally admired. They were sought after by those with Lacy blood and by others who wanted to use them for crossing. I will list some of the cockers who have acquired and carried on with these Lacys later in this account. During these same years, Carl Davis was fighting our line of Lacys crossed with power blood with considerable success. (Russell had quit fighting by then.) Carl's best cocks were ¾ Lacy-¼ Hatch or other power blood. They were some of the best cocks to be found in Alabama, winning consistently in all of the major Alabama pits. If they went to the drag pit with a power cock on equal terms, they would win four times out of five on cutting ability and gameness. It was Carl's success with his Lacy crosses more than anything else which made cockers in Alabama begin wanting roundheads again. Until then, almost the only thing wanted was pure power blood. Carl's success showed cockers that a cross of Southern fowl and power blood could produce first class battle fowl. (Hugh Norman knew this. Although he advertised only power breeds at the time, Hugh told me in the early 1960's that his best cocks were his Lacy-Hatch crosses and that when someone paid him top prices for his battle cocks, the Hatch-Lacy crosses were what he sent them.)
THE ORIGIN OF LACY'S "WHITE LEG" ROUNDHEADS
From a Copy of Judge Lacy's Letter as given to me by Carl Saia
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In the spring of 1916, I bought from Shelton of Miss. a pea combed, yellow legged, red eyed RH hen - medium station, had white feathers all over body, but not enough to call a spangle color - To this hen I bred a 5.14 white legged, pea comb, black-breasted red, above medium stationed cock that Judge E.W. Long, loaned me. As I then understood it, this E.W. Long cock was out of a Hope of Aberdeen Miss. From this mating I raised about 12 stags & pullets. They were all rather large & high stationed. I selected 5 pullets from this mating and bred them in 1917 to a stag I raised in 1916 out of eggs that Will Gunter & I got from Shelton. Only two stags were raised from that setting of eggs, Gunter got one of the stags and I got the other. Gunter wrote Shelton for that setting of eggs & Shelton wrote Gunter, when the eggs were shipped that there was a small "ash" of blood in the yard that the eggs came from, that he was not "yet ready to divulge". I never knew exactly what that "ash" of non-roundhead blood was, but got the impression from what I later heard (not from Shelton) & the general confirmation of the 2 stags Gunter & I raised that, that "ash" of blood was red-quill. The 2 stags referred to were pea combed black-breasted reds, with red eyes and white legs. As above stated I bred the white legged stag which I got to the five pullets above referred to. From that mating I got some high-class fighting, desperately game stags and pullets. This 1917 yard was in the handle of John Barton who then lived at the Dullin place about 4 miles southwest of Jasper. In 1918 I got from Will Gunter his white legged cock, which he raised in 1916, and bred this cock on pullets raised in 1917 from ny white legged stag above referred to from this I raised five stags & pullets (Bob Burton raised them for me) (the stags won several fights after reaching two years of age.) In 1920 or 1921 I let James G. Oakley take all of the pullets from this 1918 mating.
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I started my roundhead in 1915 by breeding a Hope roundhead cock (loaned me by Judge E. W. Long of Jasper, Ala) on a roundhead hen bought from Burnwell Shelton of Mississippi. In 1917, to avoid too close breeding, I bred a 1/2 Shelton 1/2 Harvey roundhead cock on one yard of my hens, and for the same purpose, in 1921, I bred on one of my yards a cock which Ira Kimbrell secured from Mr. Hugh Buckingham of Memphis. About this time I let Mr. Thos. J. Judge, an attorney living at Birmingham, Ala. have some of my games and since then we have often made exchanges of brood stock. I put no new blood in my stock until 1927, when through Tom Judge, I secured from a party named Ledbetter, who lived near Birmingham a cock called "two-toe" which was placed at the head of one of my yards of roundhead hens. I got some fine cocks and stags from that mating - the best I had ever had up to that time, - I now have two of the hens that I raised from the "two-toe" cock in 1927. While I only got to breed the "two-toe" cock one season, yet every cock, hen, stag and pullet that I have or have had for five years carries more or less of that "two-toe" blood. The old "two-toe" cock was not a very impressive looking bird, and just who raised him is uncertain - His "get" ( sp? I can't make this out) have made such a good record that quite a number of parties claim he was raised by them - Ledbetter bought him at a fight new B'ham for $5.00 from a party named King. He was a small cock weighing about 4.14 was red-eyed, pea-combed, had yellow legs & almost white ear lobes, was light red in color and medium stationed.
Here is another copy of a letter to Mr. Moreland by the Judge describing his Lacy Roundheads:
June 7, 1937.
Mr. C. E. Moreland
Dear Mr. Moreland,
Your letter of June 1st with the $5.00 enclosed therewith was received last Friday. I would have answered your letter sooner but for the fact that I have not been well and have had to have some teeth removed lately which upset me.
In reference to the inquiries contained in your letter will say that originally I secured from Mr. Burnell Shelton, of Mississippi, a very fine looking roundhead hen upon which I bred a white leg cock that Judge E.W. Long, of this place, loaned me. This cock was Charlie Hope cock. From that mating I raised a nice bunch of pullets, enough for two yards of five pullets each, and on each of those yards I bred two white leg roundheads that I got from Shelton the year after he purchased the original hen. Later on I secured from a friend in Memphis a roundhead cock that was raised by a Mr. Buckingham, and later on I secured another very fine little cock that had won seven fights in one season, which cock was locally known as "Two-Toe", which was said to be Shelton roundhead.
While my roundheads are practically pure Allen and Shelton roundheads, yet, all of them carry a very small percentage of blood which is locally known as the "Bair brown-red". I never saw at any time or place any cocks that were better fighters than the "Bair brown-reds". The blood is about extinct. I wish that I had more of it. I might say that the Bair brown-red stock came from around this way: Bair bought from Shelton back in 1913 or 1914 a roundhead cock that eventually won seven fights. He was known as "Cackling Sam". About the same time Bair obtained from Alva Campbell, of Ky., a little pea-combed roundhead black hen. Bair bred this cock called "Cackling Sam" on the little black hen, and from that cross obtained some sensational cocks. When Bair left this section of the country for oil fields in Texas he gave me a stag which carried that "Bair brown-red" blood, and all of my roundheads carry that blood, but they only have about 1/32 percentage of that blood, and none of my roundheads indicate that they have any brown-red blood in them at all. About 60% of my roundheads come out white legs, and the other 40% come out yellow legs. About 50% of them come out with red eyes, and about 50% come with light or gray eyes. Occasionally some of my stock will come spangle, and sometimes one will come what I call pumpkin colored plumage, or ginger colored plumage, but about 90% of them will come black-breasted reds. About 50% of my hens come straw colored, and about 50% of them will come buff.
My roundheads as a rule do not have as heavy feather or plumage as I would prefer that they have. As stated in my former letter to you, I have sought to bring about better plumage, but in most instances where I have tried that I have found that I would sacrifice good fighting qualities for plumage. My roundheads are not low-stationed, but are what down here we would call average or medium stationed, with a tendency towards being a little above medium stationed. I have never heeled nor handled a cock in my life. I always left that to the party who did the handling for me in fights that I have had. I have found that my cocks do better in what we down here call the style of heels that are known as the old Huff gaggers, using 2-/8 on the small cocks and 2-1/4 on the large cocks. The bad-tailed cock, which I had in mind to send you, is now being bred on the hens, which I had in mind to send you. The hens are out of hens that are sisters to the bad-tailed cock, and they are out of a cock that is a half brother to the sire of the bad-tailed cock. From this statement you will see that I believe in pretty close breeding, provided, the specimens you select for breeding are of the right kind and type. The wrong kind of inbreeding will ruin any strain of fowl, just as the wrong kind of crossing will ruin any strain of fowl. It may be that the trio which I planned to send you will not suit your idea or be just what you want, and after receiving them you are not pleased, I do not want you to hesitate to say so, because I certainly do not want one to buy and pay for any of my fowls and not be satisfied. If after you receive the chickens you are not satisfied, please write me and return the chickens, and I will return the purchase price. All that I will ask you to do is to pay the express charges both ways.
To be perfectly frank with you, I will say that I would not sell you or anyone else the chickens that I have referred to, but for the fact that I am this year breeding a yard from which I will get identically the same kind of cock that I intend to send you, and I am also breeding another yard that will produce identically the same kind of hens that I have in mind to send you. More than that, I would not sell any of those in this section, because sooner or later some of my fowl would have to go up against them. If after considering the above statements you decide that you think I am selling you fowl that will be too close bred, then, I can send you two hens or a different cock that will not be so closely related to one another. I have several different yards of roundheads, but all of them are pretty closely related.
Perhaps you saw the picture in the recent issue of Grit and Steel of the Finley Cock, and a picture of a party that was referred to as Pope M. Long, of Cordova. That was a picture of the old Finley cock, but it was not a picture of Mr. Long, but was a picture of one of Mr. Long's tenants. I gave Mr. Long the old Finley cock, and also gave him a yard of my hens. He seems to prize them very highly. In 1935 the old Finley cock was bred on a yard of hens that were 3/4 Lacy Roundheads and 1/4 Hulsey blood, and from that mating they got a number of stags that were raised and they have made wonderful records in the pit this season. Last year Mr. Long bred the Finley cock on the pure roundhead hens which I gave him, and as he had an over supply of stags and insisted that I take some of them, which I did, though, I did not take any pullets raised from that mating. While the Finley cock and the hens that I gave Mr. Long are pretty closely related to both the bad-tailed cock and the two hens I thought of sending you, yet, the stags raised from that mating by Mr. Long last year are not as closely related to the two hens I planned to send you as the bad-tailed cock, and if you prefer I can send you one of those cocks raised by Mr. Long in 1936 to mate with the hens you get from me, instead of sending you the bad-tailed cock.
I have some other cocks, stags, hens, and pullets that I could let you have if you prefer them, but to be perfectly frank, I think you would get the best results fro the trio that I originally wrote you about. I will not definitely make up my mind or decide which trio to send you until I hear from you again. I understand that you would want the trio shipped sometime during the first week in July.
Very Truly Yours Ernest Lacy
If you were paying attention, you would have notice the little black hen that the Judge described. But my question is - what is her breeding? Carl Saia said that it is most likely a black Tuzo Aseel and Carl also pointed out that the Buckingham roundheads come with green legs. That is why some throwbacks of roundheads are green legged and it would be on the pullets. And to all you history buffs, I hope that you all have enjoyed this letter.
July 16, 1925
Mr. Lloyd Tomlinson, Yuba City, California.
I trust you will pardon my apparent neglect in not sooner answering your letter of June 28th. I took a three week vacation and only returned last week and since then have been up to my ears with work. I am always glad to hear from one who has good roundheads and who knows how to breed them, there are many breeders but few good ones according to my observation. I have been breeding games since 1911 and have tried out several different strains, but reached the conclusion some 7 or 8 years ago that the Roundheads are the best. I have what you might term two strains of Roundhead, most of one of these come with white legs, though some come with yellow legs. I really think this so called white legged strain has a slight infusion of Redquill blood in it -- I say this because quite a few come a pumpkin or ginger red color, and when they are right young some of them come with moccasin colored feet and legs through later on they turn white. They were originated in this --. Eight years ago I got a very fine R.H. hen with yellow legs and slightly spangled, from Miss B. Shelton of Miss. The hen was old when I got her and I paid $7.50 for her, on this hen I bred a white legged R. H. cock that Judge E. W. Long of this place had raised. This Judge Long cock was raised from some R. H. hens that Judge Long got from Griffin Bros. , of Aberdeen, Mississippi, and from a white legged cock that Chas. Hope of Louisiana loaned to Judge Long. This cock that Hope sent Judge Long, had a small amount of Redquill blood so Judge Long told me though he showed no signs of it. From the mating of the Long cock (being of son of the Hope cock and the Griffin hen) with the old Shelton Hen, (referred to above). I raised about 9 or 10 pullets which I culled down to 5, and I took these 5 pullets and mated them with a white legged R. H. cock, which was raised out of eggs that Will Gunter of this place bought from Shelton. The get from this mating proved extra good and I took some hens raised from this mating and bred them to a brother of their sire; to keep from too close inbreeding I bred on some of these chickens a white legged cock belonging to Mr. Geo H. Davis of this place, and Mr. Davis tells me that way back his R. H's had a slight infusion of Grists' blood coming through the strain of Hervey R. H.'s . These white legged R.H.'s of mine do not have as much of the cautious side stepping qualities as the old original pure Allen and Shelton, R.H's had, but they are great bucklers, very sturdy and are the most desperately game cocks I have ever known of. I have never had one of them to quit or sulk and I think a great deal of them for that reason. My other strain of R.H's is of the pure Shelton stock with the exception of a slight infusion of Boone blood in them. The Boone blood came from a black hen that Fred Bair (who died about 4 years ago) got from Campbell of Ky. about 11 years ago. These chickens are rather small but are scientific fighters and have really won a larger percentage of their fights than the white legged strain has, but they are not as strong, nor are they as desperately game nor as classy looking in appearance as the white legged strain. They only have about 1/8th or 1/16th of the black Boone blood in them yet 3/4ths of them especially when young, come dark or brown red in color. This coming season I am going to have a party make as experiment with a cross of the white legged strain on the other (you might call it a brown red strain) in order that I may increase the size, stamina, gameness and general appearance of the last named strain. Just what the outcome will be I cannot tell of course. I have no stock to sell. Mr. George Goodrich of this place might let you have some young stock of the white legged strain as I let him have a yard of as good as I ever had to breed. Mr. H.H. Cowan of Riverton of this state has some of the best R.H's I know of, but to be perfectly frank about it, I think mine equally as good, and some of those who have seen my cocks in action claim there are none as good, however I find that in this day you will often be surprised when you run up against the other fellow. Please pardon this long letter, it is hard for me to stop writing when it comes to the subject of R.H's.
Yours truly, Ernest Lacy