September 5, 2012

One search leads to another

Did you ever go looking for one thing and end up finding something else entirely? That’s what happened to me recently when I was researching old newspapers. I turned up a couple of “gems” of information that I just need to share.

While looking through a large storage tote of newspaper clippings donated to the Westville History Center, I came across a couple of undated, yellowing clippings that caught my eye.

The first clipping headline read: “Tuper’s Calf Unconventional, An Oddity in Bovine Circles.” The story goes on to explain that a 6-month-old calf on the Eugene Tuper farm in South Bombay resembled a miniature buffalo.

Named “Unconventional,” she was born of Jersey stock, was 3 feet long and 2 feet high, had shaggy black hair, was double jointed at the ankles and had a pug face. She easily became a pet to Mrs. Tuper.

The Tupers built a small pen for her in a garage. Mr. Tuper picked her up daily and carried her around, placing her in the sun when he thought she needed some recreation.

Unconventional drank 4 quarts of milk a day and became a little butterball. She weighed about 70 pounds and was very friendly.

Mr. Tuper said, “Most calves are standoffish when strangers approach them but not Unconventional … She enjoys being petted and babied.”

The article also said the odd-looking bovine didn’t moo, but just made a coughing sound instead. By all reports, the calf was in good health. The clipping includes a photo that I will scan and put on my Facebook page. Take a look. You will be amazed.

The clipping doesn’t include a date or the name of the newspaper. It does mention the Post Standard that was located in Watertown on the back side. A search of the Northern New York Historical Newspaper website didn’t turn up any information on what happened to Unconventional. If anyone knows, I’d be pleased to hear from them.

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