It was with profound sadness I noted the passing of Hugh Oag (Nov. 27). Hugh's life was a true American success story.
Rising from modest means and coming of age in post-war Scotland, Hugh sought opportunities in North America, first in Canada and in 1960, the United States, settling in Chautauqua County. Eventually, with his talented and supportive wife Sadie, an excellent farm was purchased in Towerville and they set to work, from the ground up, building an outstanding herd of registered Holstein cows under the Dalmore prefix.
Hugh possessed a quick, first-class mind, coupled with a driving work ethic. His life revolved around the dairy cow: he made her his life's work and his knowledge of her was nothing short of encyclopedic. To his lasting credit, what Hugh learned was generously shared with those who sought his guidance.
Had Hugh's accomplishments been limited to the dairy cow alone, his would have been a remarkable life; but Hugh's outstanding skills as a general farmer, shrewd manager and enterprising businessman fully matched his abilities as the region's preeminent cow man.
To those who work with dairy cows the term "good cow man" is high praise: but Hugh was more than just a good cow man, he was clearly in the elite - among the very best.
Hugh was a man of honesty, integrity, good humor and humility. His keen insight and wise counsel was highly valued and eagerly sought out by his peers. Southwestern New York is noted for its good farmers: amongst them, Hugh Oag will be remembered as the best dairy farmer of his generation.
His spirit will be felt and his name remembered where good cows are bred, kept and milked. Well done, Hugh; rest in peace.
Nate Wilson is a Sinclairville resident.