Photo: Concerning Cats (1900) by Helen M.Winslow. Courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection


The story of 'Lockehaven Siam' is one of the long reach of world travel, even for cats, in the late 19th century. Both he and 'Lockehaven Sally Ward' would form the early foundation for Mrs. Clinton Locke's breeding program for Siamese cats. 'Siam' was a seal-point, or 'Royal Siamese', while 'Sally Ward' was described as being "shades of chocolate". They were supplemented a little later, by the importation of two 'Chocolate' variety of Siamese, in the form of 'Netherlands Tilu' (formerly 'Windsor He') and 'Netherlands Ma'. The word 'Chocolate' in this sense was a misnomer, as it did not literally describe the point colour, but instead was a reference to the fact that the body colour was mid-brown, rather than fawn, with darker points, and therefore the contrast between body and point colour, so appealing in a 'Royal', was missing. The eye colour of 'Chocolates' was generally blue, but sometimes aqua (blue-green) and in rare instances, yellow. All these factors point to the Chocolate Variety, in some cases, being what today we would consider to be Tonkinese. Despite this, the real quest of the breeder of Siamese was to produce kittens with the desired pale cream or fawn body colour, with dark seal almost black points and deep sapphire blue eye colour.

Siamese cats were fairly new to the American continent, but not as rare as some would believe. The first documented importation being that of a pet Siamese cat shipped to the American First Lady, Mrs. Lucy Webb Hayes, by the then U.S. Consul, stationed in Bangkok, Mr. David B. Sickels. In a letter to Mrs. Hayes, informing her of the acquisition and imminent shipment, the Consul provides the following detail:

Nov. 1st, 1878

"Dear Madam,
Having observed a few months ago in an American newspaper a statement that you were fond of cats, I have taken the liberty of forwarding to you one of the finest specimens of Siamese cats that I have been able to procure in this country. Miss pussy goes to Hong Kong, whence she will be transhipped by the Occidental and Oriental line, in charge of the Purser, to San Francisco and then sent by express to Washington. I am informed that this is the first attempt ever made to send a Siamese cat to America.

I am very respectfully,
David B.Sickels
U.S. Consul.

First Lady, Lucy Webb Hayes
First U.S. owner of an imported Siamese cat

Photo Courtesy of The Library of Congress

The cat duly arrived in Washington, much to the glee of President Rutherford Hayes daughter, Fanny, who apparently watched excitedly as White House staff opened the Wells Fargo crate. The cat, nick-named 'Siam', soon settled into the White House, where she was allowed to roam as she pleased. President Hayes is noted to have remarked that the family's menagerie, which consisted of two dogs, a goat, a mockingbird, and a Siamese cat, "give a Robinson Crusoe touch to our mode of life."4

But although there is little evidence of other importations between this one in 1878/1879 and those of Mrs. Locke circa 1898, the Beresford Cat Club registers indicate that there were indeed earlier importations of Siamese bloodstock, as do articles in Society journals such as The Ladies Field.

Mrs. Clinton Locke's, 'Lockehaven Lucy Ward' was purchased from Mrs. Spencer, of Sandusky, Ohio, which suggests that Mrs. Locke already had knowledge of a cattery there, populated with Siamese. Likewise, Mrs. A.M. Hoag of San Francisco has among her imported cats listed in the Beresford Cat Club Register, 'Kiobe' (BCC: 868) a female imported from Japan, (born in 1902) and 'Rowdy',(BCC: 532), a female imported directly (presumably from Siam) by Postmaster General Hastings. 'Rowdy' was born in 1894, so she predates the birth of 'Lockehaven Siam' by at least 3 years and his importation by probably 4 years. Another Siamese male registered under Mrs. Hoag's ownership is 'Angora Sikh' born in 1899, bred by Mrs. Christian Reiss, and his parents are duly listed as 'Sikh' and 'Chimela', suggestive of even earlier importations!3

In an article on Miss L. Payne's cattery and cats in The Ladies Field (dated August, 1903), Miss Payne informs us about her Royal Siamese cats 'Chula' (a female) and 'Frisco' (a male). Neither of these appears in any register, but she does inform us that Chula was a daughter of 'Sikh' and 'Chula the elder' and that "both parents were imported from Siam, by Hong Kong to San Francisco and are still living". We may never know who imported 'Sikh' and 'Chula the Elder' or whether 'Chimela' and 'Chula the Elder' were related, but it is clear that a number of breeders based in San Francisco were importing cats from all over the world. For Mrs. Hoag in particular, we have documented evidence that she imported from both Japan and from Persia, and Miss Payne tells us that some of her cats came from the bloodstock of the late Mrs. Johnson of San Francisco. "Mrs. Johnson, when she died, left $4,000 for the care of her pet cats, which she had imported from all over the world."5

As we will show later, some of these earlier bloodlines were combined with those of 'Lockehaven Siam' in an attempt to widen and preserve a gene pool, but it is very apparent from a wider historical perspective to see that probably within 10 years or less of Mrs. Hayes taking delivery of the 'White House' Siamese cat, private citizens who were cat fanciers, were busily acquiring Siamese cats of their own.


'Lockehaven Siam' appears in the first volume of the Stud-Book & Register of the Beresford Cat Club, (BCC:138). No date of birth or parentage is given, but his registration indicates that he was bought in France, by Mrs. Robert Locke, (daughter-in-law of Mrs. Clinton Locke). It also shows that he was originally born in Siam and imported into France from there, so although we have listed him as (Imp. FR) he is in fact (Imp. Siam), via France into the United States. His colour is described as being "shades of fawn with black markings - Blue eyes - Siamese". His owner of record is Mrs. Clinton Locke, 2825 Indiana Ave, Chicago.

    |   Unknown
Lockhaven Siam, c1897, Seal Point, M
    |   Unknown

We turn to Helen M. Winslow in her book Concerning Cats (1900) and the Chapter entitled "Concerning High-Bred Cats in America", to obtain her insight and impressions of Mrs. Locke. For the sake of brevity, we only quote specifically relevant portions of her lengthy dissertation on Mrs. Locke's many wonderful cats:

Mrs. Adele (Clinton) G.D. Locke
Photo: Munsell Publishing Company7
Image courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection

"One of the first American women to start a 'cattery' in this country was Mrs. Clinton Locke, wife of the rector of Grace Church, Chicago. As a clergyman's wife she has done a great deal of good among the various charities of her city simply from the income derived from her kennels. She has been very generous in gifts of her kittens to other women who have made the raising of fine cats a means to add to a slender income, and has sent beautiful cats all over the United States, to Mexico, and even to Germany...

"It is a full twenty-five years since Mrs. Locke began to turn her attention to fine cats, and whenshe imported her first cat to Chicago there was only one other in the United States. That one was Mrs. Edwin Brainard's 'Madam', a wonderful black, imported from Spain. Her first long-haired cat was Wendell, named for the friend who brought him from Persian, and his descendants are now in the Lockehaven cattery. Queen Wendella is one of the most famous cats in America to-day, and the mother of the beautiful Lockehaven Quartette." (Editor's note: 'Wendell' was born in April 1876, and is registered with The National Cat Club; NCC:1823. He died in November 1891).

"Mrs. Locke's cats are all imported. She has sometimes purchased cats from Maine or elsewhere for people who did not care to pay the price demanded for her fine kittens, but she has never had in her own cattery any cats from American origin. Her stock, therefore, is probably the choicest in America. She always has from twenty to twenty-five cats, and the cat-lover who obtains one of her kittens is fortunate indeed. A beautiful pair of blacks I Mrs. Locke's cattery have the most desirable shade of amber eyes, and are named 'Blackbird' and 'St. Tudno'; she has also a choice pair Siamese cats called 'Siam' and 'Sally Ward'."1

But apart from her many fine and famous cats of various breeds, amongst which were chiefly Persians and Chinchillas, but also Siamese, Manx and Russian Shorthairs; her chief claim to notoriety was as both the founder and President of the Beresford Cat Club in 1899. Later, when the American Cat Association (ACA) was formed in 1904 and published its first Stud Book in 1907, she served on the Executive Board. She became Vice-President of ACA in 1909.

Lockehaven Challenge Cup of The Beresford Cat Club.
Photo from Captain Kidd Jr and Sinbad the Sailor by Caro Senour, 19086.
Courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection

Once again we turn to Helen Winslow for her record of the establishment and success of the Beresford Cat Club, so named by Mrs. Clinton Locke, in honour of her English friend Lady Marcus Beresford. This club, which has also been referred to as 'The Mother Club' in the United States, was formed in the winter of 1899.

"The president is Mrs. Clinton Locke, who is a member of the English cat clubs, and whose kennel in Chicago contains some of the finest cats in America. The Beresford Cat Club has the sanction of John G. Shorthall of the American Humane Society, and on its honorary list are Miss Agnes Repplier, Madame Ronner, Lady Marcus Beresford, Miss Helen Winslow, and Mr. Louis Wain.

"At their cat shows which are held annually, prizes are offered for all classes of cats, from the common feline of the back alley up to the aristocratic resident of milady's boudoir.

"The Beresford Cat Club shows are the most successful of any yet given in America. One hundred and seventy-eight prizes were awarded in the show of January, 1900, and some magnificent cats were shown. It is said by those who are in a position to know that there are no better cats shown in England now than can be seen at the Beresford Show in Chicago. The exhibits cover short and long haired cats of all colors, sizes, and ages, with Siamese cats, Manx cats, and Russian cats. At the show in January, 1900, Mrs. Clinton Locke exhibited fourteen cats of one colour, and Mrs. Josiah Cratty five white cats. This club numbers one hundred and seventy members and has a social position and consequent strength second to none in America."1


There are no records of any full or half siblings to 'Lockehaven Siam'. His show wins, gained after his arrival in the United States are recorded in the register of The Beresford Cat Club as:

1st and Special at Beresford Cat Show, Chicago, 1900. (Which means he was in attendance at the January Show of 1900, mentioned above, by Helen M. Winslow).


There can be little doubt that 'Lockehaven Siam' was a valuable contribution to the early gene pool of Siamese in the United States. Not all breeders belonged to clubs, and not all litters were registered. But as clubs and shows became more plentiful, more and more cats were subsequently registered and pedigrees recorded for posterity.

Prior to the establishment of The American Cat Association in 1904, and later The Cat Fanciers' Association in 1906, the only Stud-book and Registers maintained in the United States was that of the Beresford Cat Club, Volume I of which was published in 1900, followed much later in 1906, by publication of The U.S. Register and Stud-Book for Cats produced by the United States Official Register Association Inc., in Washington, compiled and edited by well-known cat fancier, Dr. Mabel Cornish Bond. This register was recognised by the U.S. Treasury Department upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Agriculture under the provisions of the Tariff Act of 1897.

However, despite its grand title and status, The U.S. Register and Stud-Book for Cats contains absolutely no records of any Siamese Cats. For that, we must look solely to The Beresford Cat Club, (covering from July 1899 to July 1905) and then later, to the Stud-Book of the American Cat Association, which published its first volume in 1907, finally with the approval of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Mrs. Robert Locke, with 'Calif'(centre), 'Siam' (on her lap), and 'Bangkok' (on her shoulder.
Photo: S.S. Finley, Chicago. The Book of The Cat (1903) by Frances Simpson2.
Courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection

When we take time to review all the entries for Siamese in the Register of The Beresford Cat Club, we discover some interesting entries plus a significant link between Mrs. A.M. Hoag, (based in San Francisco) and Mrs. Clinton Locke (based in Chicago).

In Volume One, we find both 'Lockehaven Siam' (BCC:138) and 'Lockehaven Sally Ward' (BCC:139). Mrs. Robert Locke is recorded as the purchaser (or broker) of 'Lockehaven Siam' on a visit to France, and it is included in his registration details that he was a direct importation into France from Siam. As an indirect import from Siam to the United States, this made him an extremely valuable breeding proposition. Although we are not given a date of birth, we do know that he was shown as an adult in January 1900. Given that he was imported from France into the United States, this could not have taken place later than 1899. His birth therefore, allowing for his early development and shipment from Siam to France, is likely to have taken place as early as 1897 and at the very latest, 1898. As indicated earlier, he was not alone as a Siamese imported into the United States. Mrs. A.M. Hoag's Siamese female 'Rowdy', (BCC:532) (aka 'Angora Rowdy') is also notated in the register as a "direct importation", but the country of origin is not given. 'Rowdy' was born 1st July, 1894, which makes her at least three years older than 'Lockehaven Siam'.

Where it gets interesting is with his progeny. For the first clear indication, we again turn to Helen Winslow, who in her book Concerning Cats (1900), on the same page on which she features an image of "Siam, Imported Siamese cat: owned by Mrs. Clinton Locke, President of Beresford Cat Club, Chicago"; directly alongside is an image of a young Siamese male whom she signifies is "Chom, pure Siamese, son of Siam and Rowdy; owned by Mrs. Cronise, of San Francisco."

'Chom', Sired by 'Siam' and out of 'Rowdy', bred by Mrs. Hoag and owned by Mrs. Cronise.
Photo: Concerning Cats (1900) by Helen M. Winslow 1.
Courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection

'Chom' is not to be found in any register, but we have Helen Winslow to thank for this clarity. Both his breeder and owner lived in San Francisco. It is unclear as to whether he was an entire male or not, but very probably so. The significance of this is not immediately apparent, until we then look into the Register and in Volume Three, we find another male from this same combination of sire and dam, named 'Chone' (BCC:510), a desexed Siamese male who was born 12th March 1899, and is recorded as bred by Mrs. Hoag and listed as owned by Mrs. Mary P. Freeman, also of San Francisco.

So here we have TWO Siamese males, both by 'Siam' and ex 'Rowdy' and both residing in San Francisco. Our interest is then further peaked when also in Volume Three, we find a third son of 'Rowdy' named 'Calif'! With this entry there is no date of birth and no sire given. But as we would expect, the breeder is Mrs. A.M. Hoag. The owner however does not live in San Francisco. In this instance the cat and his owner live in Chicago!

The owner of record of this 'Calif', is Mrs. Charles H. Lane, of Chicago. He is also listed as '(Madison) Calif', and when you check the index at the rear of the volume, he appears as 'Madison Calif', owned by Lucy Johnstone. This is what we would expect, as Lucy Johnstone was the legitimate owner of the 'Madison' Cattery name, lived in Chicago, was the Secretary of the Beresford Cat Club, and the close friend and confident of Mrs. Clinton Locke.

A little more insight about the connection between Mrs. Hoag and Mrs. Locke is gained from an article about Mrs. Locke's cattery, published in The Ladies Field, on 27th June, 1903. The journalist, seeking to interview Mrs. Locke, filed this introduction to the article:

"The Beresford Cat Club of America is said to be the largest cat club in the world. It has a membership of between three and four hundred, and was the first club of the kind to publish a stud-book. To Mrs. Clinton Locke, the president, much of the success of the club is due. It was under her presidency that the first stud-book (now in its third volume) was published. The work is acknowledged by all the representative clubs in America - the Atlantic, the Detroit, the Pacific and the Washington - and is really a valuable contribution to the cat literature of the country.

"The headquarters of the Beresford Cat Club is in Chicago, but when a LADIES' FIELD contributor called at Mrs. Locke's address there he found that the president was wintering in Pasadena, California. As the journey there takes something over a week, it was thought to be more convenient to take advantage of the postal service, and in reply to the letter Mrs. Clinton Locke, who is the wife of the Dean of Chicago, sent some interesting particulars regarding her cats."8

Mrs. Clinton Locke,
with her kittens 'Calif' and 'Bangkok'

Photo: The Book of The Cat (1903) by Frances 2.
Courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection

We should remain mindful of the fact that Mrs. Hoag's 'Rowdy' was born in 1894, and therefore was a mature and likely proven female when 'Siam' arrived in Chicago, around 1898. 'Chone', was born in March, 1899, so the breeding must have taken place in January of 1899. There is little doubt in the writer's mind, that Mrs. Locke and Mrs. Hoag would have been in regular correspondence, and it seems probable that Mrs. Locke may have visited her if wintering in California on earlier occasions. In any event, the breeding took place and progeny of record resulted.

So, we have as a matter of record, at least three Siamese known to be out of 'Rowdy' and at least two of those are confirmed as sired by 'Lockehaven Siam'.

However, 'Madison Calif' (who may or may not have been sired by 'Lockehaven Siam') is NOT the same 'Calif' as that which cat fanciers have long recognised in the famous images of 'Calif and Bangkok' with both Mrs. Robert Locke and Mrs. Clinton Locke. These siblings should now be known more correctly, as 'Lockehaven Calif' and 'Lockehaven Bangkok'. For although we can find no official registration for either of them, we can none-the-less find evidence of their parentage from an unofficial source.

That comes from the pen of Mr. E.N. Barker of New Jersey, who in the chapter on "Cats in America" from The Book of The Cat (1903) has this to say about Mrs. Locke and her cats:

"...I must say I had heard of Mrs. Locke many years before I ever had the pleasure of meeting her, and her cats were well known before the advent of cat shows. Mrs. Locke has made a name with several colours and breeds, and has imported and bred Persians, Siamese, Russians, etc..

"Mrs. Locke has been the owner of good Siamese, and from 'Siam' and 'Sally Ward', she bred 'Calif' and 'Bangkok', who carried all before them at the Chicago show of 1902, and were the best pair I have seen this side of the water, and would have given a good account of themselves anywhere."2

This was high praise indeed, but also a wonderfully clear record of the true heritage of the progeny of 'Lockehaven Siam'. Now we have four clearly identified progeny, 'Chom', 'Chone', 'Lockehaven Calif' and 'Lockehaven Bangkok'. Others probably existed, but only these are identifiable.


'Lockehaven Siam' (Imp. Siam via France), owned by Mrs. Clinton Locke.
Photo: Concerning Cats (1900), by Helen M. Winslow1
Image courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection

An enlargement showing 'Lockehaven Siam' sitting on the knee of Mrs. Robert Locke, who was instrumental in his initial purchase in France and his exportation to the United States.
Photo: S.S. Finley, Chicago.'The Book of The Cat' (1903) by Frances Simpson2
Image courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection


None currently available.

In Summary:

Although clearly not the first imported Siamese male to arrive in the Americas, 'Lockehaven Siam' is certainly the most widely known from this early era. His fame will forever be linked with that of his worthy owner and winning progeny. In the cat fancy of today, the prefix of a cats' registered name does not change, but that was certainly not the case during the early years of the fancy when a cats' name could alter many times where there were multiple changes of ownership over time. So, we must consider every possible option for lineage and ownership, and never take anything for granted.

As one of the foundation males of the Siamese breed in North America, the name of 'Lockehaven Siam' is permanently preserved in the annals of Siamese cat history. We should remain mindful of the fact that such long journeys from their native lands to far-off shores were the lot of many fine cats, and that none of them exercised any choice or control over their fates. All cats are subject to the whims of their keepers, and their lives are consequently a precious and awesome responsibility.


  1. Concerning Cats, by Helen M. Winslow,1900
  2. The Book of The Cat, by Frances Simpson, 1903
  3. Stud-Book and Register of The Beresford Cat Club, Vols.1-5
  4. The Rutherford B Hayes Presidential Center, rbhayes.org
  5. The Ladies' Field, August, 1903
  6. Captain Kidd and Sinbad The Sailor, by Caro Senour, 1908
  7. Photograph of Mrs. Adele D.G. Locke, Munsell Publishing Co.
  8. The Ladies' Field, June, 1903
  9. Photos and quotations as duly noted.

Registers associated with this article include The Incorporated Cat Fanciers Association of Great Britain (TICFAGB), National Cat Club (NCC), The Cat Club (CCR), Beresford Cat Club (BCC), Feline Federation Francaise (FFF), Siamese Cat Registry (SCR), US Register & Studbook for Cats (USR)including Supplement(USRS), The Studbook of the American Cat Association (ACA), and the Studbook & Register of the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA).


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