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Felix Renick | 1903

Pioneer and importer of English cattle, particularly the Durham line of Shorthorns into America.

1770-1848 | Artist: Ernest Sigmund Klempner (1867-1941); original portrait by James R. Stuart

Impact & Accomplishments

The Renick brothers—George and Felix—were pioneers, establishing some of the first cattle operations on the western frontier. They moved from Virginia to the Scioto River valley in Ohio in 1797 and 1798, to raise corn and feed cattle. A dry goods business was their back-up plan, if needed. By 1802, they had acquired their first purebred English Longhorn cattle.

In 1833, Felix organized about fifty shareholders to form the Ohio Company for Importing English Cattle. Felix led investors to England, where they selected cattle to import. The resulting 1836 sale at Felix’s Indian Creek Farm helped establish the Shorthorn breed in America.

The original painting of Felix Renick was believed to be one of the first hung in the Saddle & Sirloin in Chicago, painted by James R. Stuart. Around the same time that Ernest Klempner was repainting this work after the 1934 fire, Robert Grafton was adding brother George to the collection.

Did You Know?

An extremely rare broadside with a map of the Shawnee settlements along the Scioto River, accompanied by a long account of Lord Dunmores War of 1774 and the subsequent captivity narrative of John Slover. The text is remarkable for evidence of the author’s deep respect for the Shawnee and regret for their harsh treatment at the hands of American frontiersmen. Drawn by Felix Renick (1770/71-1848) Ohio settler Felix Renick was born in Virginia and moved with his brothers to the Scioto Valley in the late 1790s. Photo credit: John Bryan 2019.

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