Interview with Charles E. Barnhart, September 9, 1997

Project: Charles Elmer Barnhart, Jr. Oral History Project

Interview Summary

In this session, Dr. Charles E. Barnhart discusses the history of the North American Livestock Exhibition, now known as the North American International Livestock Show, and how it came to the Kentucky State Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky. He states the show was started at the turn of the century (1903), where a meeting was held after the first show to discuss "building the greatest Livestock Show on the North American continent". He relates how the show was originally held at the Union Stockyards in Chicago and mentions that a separate building, show facilities, and an amphitheater were eventually constructed to handle this, including the Stockyard Inn.

Barnhart describes his introduction to the show, the process of preparing pigs for show and taking these pigs to the Exhibition while a student at Purdue. Barnhart talks about the process of getting livestock to market and how that changed during the 1940's, when packers started buying direct, building packing plants locally where there were feed lots, and downsizing operations in Kansas City, Missouri and Chicago, Illinois. He describes how, due to the decline in interest and thus the quality of livestock entries, the show was eventually moved from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky in the early 1970's. Barnhart discusses the efforts towards this of Commissioner of Kentucky Agriculture Wendell Butler, saying the original money for this show was funded by the Kentucky legislature. He mentions Robert Alexander, a native of Scotland and an early pure-bred cattle breeder, who immigrated to Woodford County, Kentucky and bought an estate which he named Woodburn.

Interview Accession

1997oh071_af576

Interviewee Name

Charles E. Barnhart

Interviewer Name

Terry L. Birdwhistell

Interview Date

1997-09-09

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Barnhart, Charles E. Interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. 09 Sep. 1997. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Barnhart, C.E. (1997, September 09). Interview by T. L. Birdwhistell. Charles Elmer Barnhart, Jr. Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Barnhart, Charles E., interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. September 09, 1997, Charles Elmer Barnhart, Jr. Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7sbc3sxq69