A Well Known Canadian Shepherdess

(from the American Sheep Breeder Magazine)

April 1897.



We are pleased to present our readers, in this connection, a fine likeness of Mrs. Henry Arkell, of Arkell, Ontario, a lady widely and most favourably known to the Canadian sheep-keeping public, and to many American shepherds as well.  Mrs. Arkell is the eldest daughter of Captain and Mrs. McFarlane, of Parry Sound, Ontario, and was born at Morriston, Ontario, in 1859.




She had thorough rudimentary, academic, and musical training in her father’s school and in 1877 was married to Henry Arkell, the well-known breeder of Oxford Downs at “Farnham Farm”, Arkell, Ontario.  As mistress of the quaint old Arkell homestead, her life has been an unbroken success.  Her warm, social nature, happy and equable temperament, kindly impulse, pure tastes, fertile and well-disciplined mind, unfailing tact and rare executive gifts, not less than her fine presence, bright, genial face, and easy grace of manner and speech, have lent an unspeakable charm to domestic and social life in this delightful old home, where for many a year the happily mated mistress and master have dispensed to English, Canadian, and American shepherds and numberless others, a gracious and generous hospitality.  Mrs. Arkell is a model house-wife, an accomplished cook, and charming hostess, and is quite as much at home with her critical shepherd husband in the sheepfold as in the kitchen, dining, or drawing-room.


In love with sheep nature, she early grew familiar with the work of mating, breeding, shepherding, and fitting sheep, and for years has been the kindly, sympathizing, gentle shepherdess where her husband was master shepherd.  As her frank and winning face discloses, Jessie McFarlane Arkell has the full flow of warm Scotch blood in her veins, and comes as naturally by her sheep love and pride as she does artificially by training in the higher arts of sheep-keeping under one of the foremost of Canadian shepherds.  With many another American, the editor of the Sheep Breeder has caught glimpses of “the life they live” at Farnham home, and from over the border sends to this brave, beautiful, and self-helpful Canadian shepherdess and to hers, Henry, Reginald, Mabel and all, a genuine American greeting, and a wish for only and long continued good fortune at “Farnham Farm”.


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