Chapter 2
Mousel Brothers

In 1898, brothers Henry L. & Robert D. (Bob) Mousel, were 20 and 21 years-old respectively when they formed Mousel Brothers, a partnership aimed at breeding improved Hereford cattle to upgrade the farm and range stock of the day.  The partnership operated 52 years and gained both national and international repute.  They commenced breeding Herefords in SW Nebraska with two registered heifers of non-descript breeding they'd  purchased sight-unseen via mail order from an Iowa breeder. Other randomly bred females were added, and for the first few years they practiced out-cross breeding methods, as was typical of most breeders. Their results were unsatisfactory but typical for the times, the class of their stock  and the breeding methodology used.

 

In 1906 they attended the American Royal Stock Show at Kansas City where they met  Charles Gudgell, and visited the G&S herd at nearby Independence, Missouri. This meeting forever altered their course in very positive ways. They purchased one G&S heifer, followed sometime later by the bull Beau Mischief. The results of mating Beau Mischief with their original cows were very good; however the results of mating Beau Mischief with their one G&S female was outstanding in every way. They turned to the pedigrees seeking  to understand how and why this had occurred. In the one mating with the G&S bred female they discovered they'd duplicated G&S methods, using G&S blood,  which had duplicated G&S results. They decided if these methods and Anxiety 4th blood  were good enough for G&S, they were good enough for Mousel Brothers, and the course of their life work was established. 

Other female purchases followed over the next decade as they accumulated knowledge along with cattle. Charles Gudgell saw in Mousel Brothers the intelligence, the thoughtfulness, the drive and the desire to breed the best; and to make them  even better if possible. So prior to the G&S herd being dispersed in June, 1916, Mr. Gudgell offered the Mousel's the opportunity to select and purchase without reserve from the G&S females. They accepted, and that transaction occurred in April, 1916, with many of the choicest breeding matrons included in the deal. By the time the G&S herd was dispersed and Mousel Brothers newly purchased G&S cows had calved, they owned the largest and certainly the best collection of G&S females in existence, about 80 head and the bull soon known nationwide as "the mighty Beau Mischief" upon which to go forward as the legitimate heirs to the G&S breeding legacy.

 

With the cream of the G&S herd in Mousel Brothers hands the Anxiety 4th gene pool continued to prosper. Their work, coupled to the work of G&S, propelled the Anxieties to a position of absolute and overwhelming dominance of the Hereford breed in America. During the same time frame, and on a parallel path, Herefords dominated the American beef industry so completely that up to 85% of beef cattle in the US were breed identified as Herefords at every level of production for a space of 80 years. Importantly, the American people were the primary beneficiaries as heirs to the highest quality,  most palatable, flavorful and nutritious beef this side of the dark ages.     

 

Whereas G&S had established that their breeding plan and methodology were sound, Mousel Brothers established that stock thusly bred and selected could be routinely produced on a broad base. By their work they demonstrated that by using the same blood (genetics), following the same breeding plans and using the same methods, the same results were obtainable,  and better still by those who are diligent. Perhaps more importantly they established that the knowledge and methods necessary for accomplishing these feats were transferable to others, and to future generations for the good of mankind.  

 

During Mousel Brothers tenure, America's national beef cattle herd reached it's zenith as regarding uniformity in type, form, structure and quality. Equally as important, their work with Herefords ensured that Hereford dominance of the American beef industry would be unassailable by other breeds of beef cattle, unless future generations of American Hereford breeders disregarded the plain and simple formula for for maintaining the breed's high standards bequeathed to them by Gudgell & Simpson, and proven conclusively by Mousel Brothers. It was this that ensured the quality and volume of beef protein available for the American diet was the envy of the world.

 

The Mousel Brothers 52-year partnership was dissolved at year-end 1950, but the herd wasn't dispersed. Instead each continued breeding Anxiety Herefords in conjunction with one of their sons, both of whom were breeders in their own right. Henry operated with George until his death in 1960, and Bob operated with Robbie (Bob, Jr.) until his death in 1967. Both younger men continued as breeders for a number of years beyond the passing of their respective fathers. But with no interested heirs to carry on, and with their own ages advancing they both exited the business, and the remainder of their stock, other than the several cows purchased by Joe and Jim Lents,  were scattered and lost. Accordingly their contributions to the Anxiety gene pool now rest in the female population. 

Bob Mousel

Henry Mousel