Oxen in 19th Century New England

Oxen were the dominant draft animals on the 19th century New England farm. A typical New England town might have between 100 and 200 teams. They pulled plows, dung carts, hay wagons, harrows and log sleds. Although slower than horses, they were heartier: calmer; cheaper, as offspring of dairy cattle; required only grass and no special feed; used a simple wooden yoke instead of a costly harness and tack; and when their working life was over at eight to ten years could still be butchered as beef.

Denman Thompson Brings Oxen to the Stage

We think it to be quite strange to bring live oxen on a stage in Boston or New York City, but in the late 1880's horses were the transportation of the day. Denman kept a beautiful team of oxen on his farm in Swanzey and with the train depot right down the street transported them all over the country.

Oxen in the Revival

Oxen Team from 1958

Bob Smith driving Team in 1960

Arlon Downing driving Team in 1951

Buck and Ike

Josh: "Now, look here, Appetite Joe, I have heard on you; I have been tackled by a dozen of you fellers since I have been here, and I'm gittin' kind o' tired on't. Now if you don't want ter get your feathers ruffled up, you go look for squashes somewhere else! I just hitched on to a feller and I feel pretty darned kinky. Ain't quite so green as you think I be. I take the papers. Play none o' yer hunker slidin' on me, by gosh"