Asa and the Holstein Queen
An American Story
Asa and the Holstein Queen is based on the real-life adventures of four generations of the author’s American ancestors, culminating in the remarkable life of her great-grandfather, Asa W. Morris, who rose to prominence in the early California dairy industry.
The story opens in the 1850s in Greene County, Pennsylvania with young Asa listening to his grandfather’s tales of the Revolutionary and Indian wars. The reader then rides along with Asa’s uncle by wagon train to the California gold rush and then into the terror of battle alongside Asa’s father, a Civil War captain. In 1879 we travel by rail with Asa and his bride to Yolo County, California, where he rose from farm hand to world renowned cattle breeder. Between 1914 and 1920 Asa’s champion Holstein cow, Tilly Alcartra, held the world’s record for milk production—in an era when fine animals were of greater interest than automobiles. Tilly was a bovine celebrity who traveled in First Class train parlor cars and was a lunch guest at the lavish Palace Hotel in downtown San Francisco.
This is living history with real people as characters, their experiences documented in diaries, archival photos, and newspaper articles. Written from their personal perspective, epochal events of American history emerge fully in the flesh, colored by human emotions and the reader is given an insight into the prevailing dignity and depth of the American national experience.
Extensively researched, written, and illustrated by Asa’s great-granddaughter, this historical novel is for young adults ages 11 and up, and is packed with full color illustrations and vintage photographs. It provides an overview of American history through the experiences of one family, teaches traditional American values, and reminds us of our important agricultural heritage.