Famous Bull Tombstone And Time Capsule
St. Joseph, Missouri
The next time that you sink your teeth into an Angus beef burger, say a silent thank you (never talk with your mouth full) to Prince Eric of Sunbeam, "the bull of the century." He sired thousands of Angus cattle, and odds are that there's a little bit of Prince Eric in every mouthful of Certified Angus meat.
When his competition days were over, Prince Eric was bought by wealthy businessman Armand Hammer, who put him out to stud on his Middletown, New Jersey cattle farm (Hammer made millions selling watered-down whiskey during World War II, then made millions more selling the leftover mash to cattle-feed manufacturers).
"That one bull earned $2,000,000 for me," Hammer once boasted to Time magazine, citing Prince Eric's impressive fertility.
Prince Eric died in 1953 and was buried on his farm. He's probably still there, under the retirement community that was later built on the land. But when his "bull of the century" tombstone was threatened by the development, it was personally moved here by the director of the American Angus Association, and now lies nestled among flowers outside the headquarters' front door.
Next to the tombstone stands a limestone fence post that marks the burial spot of the Angus Centennial time capsule. It was sealed in 1973 on the 100th anniversary of the arrival of Angus cattle in the U.S. The fence post came from the Kansas ranch that was the cattle's first American home, and a plaque affixed to it praises the Angus ranchers who work "to improve the supply of high quality beef throughout the world."