A philosophy that “the best is none too good” whether it be livestock, a crop variety, or education for his children, followed persistently throughout his life, won for J. F. McLoughlin, Mitchell, South Dakota, the title of 1948 Eminent Farmer.
He was born October 7, 1880, in a one-room shanty east of Parker, South Dakota. His father was a homesteader.
Mr. McLoughlin attended country school through the eighth grade, attended one winter in Lennox, South Dakota, high school and one term each at normal school in Madison, South Dakota, Baptist college (now Sioux Falls college) and Fremont, Nebraska, Normal. He taught country school three years. Then he was a grain buyer in Jefferson, Chancellor, Mitchell and Burton, South Dakota.
In 1905 he married Ella Bertha Smith of Davis, South Dakota. At Burton he operated an elevator and general store. He bought land nearby and later the townsite.
The McLoughlins had four daughters, all graduates of Mitchell high school and State College. Mrs. McLoughlin died in 1935.
Mr. McLoughlin has been one of South Dakota’s leading purebred breeders since 1914. In that year, he started with purebred Polled Shorthorn cattle. Throughout the years, he maintained his herd at about one hundred head. He also kept purebred sheep and hogs on his farm.
Mr. McLoughlin’s services to the state and community are legion. For twenty-five years he was president of the South Dakota Improved Livestock Breeders association. He helped organize the Polled Shorthorn Breeders association and the Sioux Empire Polled Shorthorn club.
Mr. McLoughlin was a member of the local school board thirty-five years, was town clerk for twenty years. He was one of the organizers of the production credit association in Mitchell, South Dakota. He was secretary-treasurer of the Bard telephone company twenty years, and served as county commissioner and a member of the county Extension board.
Due to failing health, in 1944 he leased and entered in partnership with his tenants for the operation of his farms. He has a seed corn selling business, farms a little, and keeps a few hogs, chickens and turkeys on the place.
Mr. McLoughlin has continued to reside on the farm near Mitchell, and to supervise his two fifty-fifty farming operations and seed corn business.