Joseph H. Patrick

Joseph H. Patrick

1863 - 1939

Raised with seven other siblings on a farm in Ilderton, Ontario Joseph H. Patrick, born in 1863, made remarkable advancements in breeding and showing farm animals. He learned much of what he knew from his father, Thomas III, who had bought a plot of farm land directly across from his own parents.

Joseph was the oldest of his parent’s sons to remain on the farm and therefore inherited it upon Thomas III’s death in 1888. His father had already begun creating a reputation for the Patrick family as breeders of quality stock and it was Joseph’s aspiration to continue that legacy. As he worked, his understanding of animal husbandry as well as field husbandry grew impressive and he was credited with creating some of the region’s best crops and livestock. Joseph was most well-known for raising Clydesdale horses as well as Lincoln and Cotswold sheep.

Several years later his younger brother Eugene moved back to the farm in order to help Joseph with the work. Under the Patrick brothers’ supervision and dedication, the family business flourished. They were importing purebred livestock, mostly sheep as well as some horses and cattle, which they would either breed on local farms in Ilderton or sell to the United States. As the company expanded Eugene and his family moved to Salt Lake City to take care of the business done in the States.

During the winter of 1900-1901 loaded a train with 600 Lincoln ewes that were transported from Ilderton to Idaho. The majority of these sheep would likely have been bred by the Patrick brothers’ business, however the rest of the livestock is thought to have been bought locally. While many of these ewes were sold to farmers in the west, quite a few went to consignment sales in Utah, California, and Denver. Eventually sheep breeders began to ask for a meatier breed and Joseph was a pioneer in importing the Suffolk breed to Canada and the western United States where it eventually became one of the most popular breeds. In 1920 Joseph sent two shipment of his sheep as well as one of Holstein cattle to Japan, which was the first time Holstein’s had been shipped from Canada to Japan.

Joseph took much of his livestock to various fairs, which turned out to be a very successful marketing technique. His livestock showed at the London Western Fair, the Guelph Winter Fair, the Canadian National Exhibition, the Chicago International Stock Show, St. Louis Worlds Fair in 1904, the early Toronto Industrial Fair and later The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Due to his involvement in so many shows Joseph became a respected judge at most stock shows and served as director for many of the fair s and exhibitions.

Joseph dedicated his entire life to farming, and eventually succumbed to heart problems while working on the farm in 1939 at the age of 76. Joseph’s son took over his farm and family business.

Celebrating 150 Years of Canadian Agriculture