top of page

American Farmer James Deane Avery World's Largest Oxen 1897

J D's father David Avery son of Amos Avery and Eunice (Avery) Avery born 1/19/1805 and died 4/29/1905 Photo from Kevin Avery.

The Avery Oxen From Bellingham City Site--Thoroughbred Holsteins and almost full brothers in blood, bred by Joseph Ray of Bellingham, Mass. Given by him when a few days old to Walter E. Cook of same place, who was then a lad of 10 years and who trained and worked them as long as he owned them. He also exhibited them every year at the N. E. Fair in Worcester and at leading Fairs in other places, nearly always winning first prize. They were purchased of him by their present owner in May, '93; at that time they weighed 4100 pounds. Since that time they have been worked constantly at farming and lumbering. For a year past their work has been light—just enough for proper exercise. They were campaigned through the Fairs in '93 and '94 as draft oxen and never met their equal. Won $75 as prize at Vermont State Fair in 1894, and $50 prize at Valley Fair in Brattleboro, Vt. Have drawn 11,061 pounds on a drag, eight feet, at one pull, in the dirt, and on dead level—a feat never accomplished by any other team. They are now 7 years old, weigh 6100 pounds, I7 hands high, girt 9 feet, 4 inches; measure 14 feet, 9 inches from tip to tip and each ox weighs in the same notch. J. D. AVERY, Owner

James Deane Avery was the son of David and Prudence (Deane) Avery. He was born in 1848 in Charlemont, Mass., where he secured his early education. According to The History of Buckland 1779-1935, author Fannie Shaw Kendrick J.D. Avery came to Buckland in 1872 and immediately took front rank in the business life of the town, many times selectman, rendering valuable services as an assessor, a county commissioner for many years, a successful business man and responding generously to every call for financial aid. Avery was also president of the Deerfield Valley Agricultural Society and served as County Commissioner. 

For fifty years he made his home in Buckland, carrying on most successfully a large farm and became especially well known as a breeder of fancy stock. His big oxen were famous, exhibits for many years at the New England County Fairs. Mr. Averys stationary from the 1900's describes one of his oxen as, The Largest and Handsomest Ox in the world. 

Courtesy of Buckland Historical Society Buckland Grange float pulled by oxen and horses, Buckland, Mass. Two oxen with J D Avery and four horses pulling a float in a parade heading south on State Street on the Buckland side of the Deerfield river in the village of Shelburne Falls, Mass. The float, decorated with flowers, has Buckland Grange on the side. In the background is the Odd Fellows Building McCusker's Market and the Shelburne Falls Wine Merchant shops. To the right is a lower brick building and to the right of that is the Buckland Town Office building, a wooden structure. A man in a white outfit and hat stands at attention next to the horses, while another, in darker clothing, appears to be holding the reins. A woman holding flowers and wearing a tiara sits upon the float which is decorated with ribbons and flags.

121 views0 comments


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page