The Katy Depot

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Louis Monsees

Native of Smithton, Missouri
Legendry breeder of jacks and jennets


Mules became the working livestock of choice because of their strength, stamina and intelligence. The famous jack “Imported Mammoth” arrived  from Europe mid 1840.  His blood line is what began the notoriety of the American jack.  Kentucky farmers were leaders in the settlement of Missouri bringing with them the superior jack and jennet stock.  Following a showcase of magnificent mules at the 1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair - nationally, and more impressively, globally people began talking about “Missouri Mules” and thus the term was coined.  In 1917, Missouri led the nation in number of breeders and registered jacks & jennets.  Missourians  owned 38% of all jack stock ever registered.  A major contributor to Missouri’s success was Louis Monsees who had more registered jacks & jennets than any other breeder in the nation. Col. Monsees  (1858-1947) is considered by some to have single handedly made famous the “Missouri Mule”. His jacks and jennets collectively won 14 gold medals alone at the 1904 Worlds Fair. He was by far the top jack breeder in Missouri and he still holds the title as paramount jack stock breeder in the country.     

At a very young age he told his father that he was going to raise the best stud of show jacks & jennets in the world and to prove that, he would sell them for more money “under the hammer” than any other ever sold. The highest priced being “Bell Boy” for $3,750.  Annual sales were held on his farm Limestone Valley where people would arrive by special train to Smithton and from there be taken to the farm in mule-drawn wagons.