This document is being maintained by the hard work of the Iowa Blue Chicken Club, through the efforts of several members of the club to investigate the original history for the purpose of discovering the original appearance and characteristics of the Iowa Blue Chicken. In recounting the history and rescue of the Iowa Blue breed, for discussion purposes we list below three main groups of people who were instrumental in the origination of the breed and involved in saving the breed from extinction.
After the initial interest generated by the Breed Conservation Activists, the original characteristics of the breed were nearly lost, yet again. This account of the breed’s history does not cover the current work being undertaken by enthusiasts in the Iowa Blue Chicken Club who are striving to resurrect the Iowa Blue from near extinction.
Below is a list of some key figures in the history of the Iowa Blue. Copies of interviews, articles, emails, and photos are preserved as a record of the history of the Iowa Blue.
IOWA BLUE BREED ORIGINATION
1. John Logston
- Grandfather of Michael Moore and John Logston*; Husband of Dolly Logston
- Credited with originating the breed
- Dolly Logston (wife) stated to Ransome Bolson that a “white Rock hen hatched out a nest under a building and brought out a clutch of chicks like no one had ever seen.”
- Credited with naming the breed for their color and “to give the state of Iowa a chicen of its own.”
- Claimed Iowa Blues were developed from the eggs of a Black Minorca pullet and a Rhode Island Red pullet that were locked in a corn crib with a Chinese pheasant cock.
- Bought John Logston’s flock early 1950’s.
- Introduced Iowa Blues from Fenton Hatchery in Strawberry Point, IA in 1955; hatchery closed in 1972.
REMNANT FLOCK OWNERS
1. Michael Moore
- Grandson of John Logston
- Flock proved to be infertile
- Passed his flock to Kent Whealy (“Herman” and his ladies)
2. Ransome Bolson
- Deceased, no direct account, discussed in Kent Whealy’s history
- Obtained birds from Dolly Logston
- Had a flock of 50 birds when Kent Whealy met him
BREED CONSERVATION ACTIVISTS (BCA)
1. Kent Whealy
- Seed Savers Exchange
- Obtained “Herman” and his ladies from Michael Moore as well as birds from Ransome Bolson
- Passed flock on to Glenn Drowns (Sandhill Preservation)
2. Steve Matter
- Decorah Hatchery Owner
- Hatched out eggs for Kent Whealy
- Kept some chicks, but had little regard for the breed
- Sandhill Preservation
- Still working to preserve the breed
- Obtained stock from Steve
- Supplied color photos of original Iowa Blues
- Also had Iowa Blues during this time
- Obtained stock from Joe France (Roanoke, VA) who obtained from Glenn Drowns prior to out-crossing to other breed.
- Obtained stock from Glenn Drowns prior to out-crossing to other breeds. Photograph showing original appearance of the breed.