Funeral Notice--The funeral will be held Tuesday at 11 at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Lenox, with the Rev John T. Tarrent, rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Stockbridge, officiating. Burial will follow at the Chucrh on the Hill Cemetary in Lenox. In lieu of flowers, friends wishing may make donations to the Lee V.N.A., Lee Ambulance Squad or to the Marjorie F. Wilde Youth Fund for the American Jersey Cattle Club, in care of the Kelly Funeral Home at 3 Main Street, Lee, Mass. 01238, which is in charge of arrangements. There will be no visiting hours.
From the Berkshire Eagle, Saturday, June 20, 1998
H. George Wilde, noted cattle breeder, dead at 90
by Tony Dobrowolski, Berkshire Eagle Staff
Lee-- Col. H. George Wilde, the owner of High Lawn Farm on Route 7, one of the country's top Jersey cattle breeding farms, died Thursday at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield. Wilde was 90 years old.
Born in Minneapolis, Minn., on Oct. 8, 1907, Wilde graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1929. He married the former Marjorie Lila Field of New York in 1932. Before her marriage, Mrs. Wilde lived half the year in New York City, where she was born, and the other half at High Lawn Farm, which was owned by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Osgood Field.
On Jan. 1, 1935, the Wildes purchased High Lawn Farm from Mrs. Field's estate.
Mr. Wilde managed the farm and Mrs. Wilde was the facility's herd manager until her death at age 87 in September 1997, one month after the couple celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.
Through her mother, Mrs. Wilde was a direct descendant of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, founder of that family in this country, and a great-granddaughter of William H. Vanderbilt, one time president of the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad.
High Lawn Farm is known as one of the top breeding farms for Jersy cattle in the Unioted States. The American Jersey Cattle Club gave its annual master breeder award to H. George Wilde in 1960 and to Marjorie Wilde in 1977, recognizing the farm as "the nursery for male germ plasm today."
Dairy Shrine, the organization that represents all dairy breeds, recognized the Wildes with its annual Distinguished Cattle Breeder Award in 1978. The Wildes were the first Jersey breders to win that award.
Breeding stock from High Lawn Farm have been sought by Jersey farmers seekingto improve milk production in their herds both in the United States and internationally. High Lawn Farm cows have been shipped as far as India for breeding purposes.
Locally, High Lawn Farm was known as a source of high quality fresh milk and cream. In 1990, the farm had 1500 customers and 100 commercial accounts. High Lawn Farm was actually an industry that spanned three towns. In 1960, the Wildes were the biggest taxpayers in Stockbridge and among the biggest in Lee and Lenox.
In 1995, Western Dairyman recognized High Lawn Farm by saying, "The record is clear that High Lawn Farm has bred more bulls that have helped the Jersey breed make more production progress than any other existing herd."
In 1990, an article in the Jersey Journal said, "High Lawn Jersey Farm has been called the cradle of the breed...It may be one of the greatest examples of cattle breeding ever witnessed."
The son of George W. and Mary Agnes Wilde, H. George Wilde spent his childhood in Winona, Minn., where he attended St. Mary's College before winning an appoinment to the U. S. Military Academy at the age of 15. Because West Point required applicants to be at least 17 to enroll, a special act of Congress was passed to allow Wilde admittance.
Three years after graduating from West Point, Wilde was among several U. S. Army officers who competed in the pentathlon for the United States in the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. Later that year, Wilde resigned from the army at the age of 25 with the rank of lieutenant, and enrolled at Harvard Business school. The Wildes lived in Cambridge until 1934, when Mr. Wilde graduated from Harvard with a master of science degree.
During World War II, Wilde re-entered the Army and earned the rank of colonel after serving in the Signal Corps under Gen. William Harrison. During the Korean War, Wilde served in the Defense Department. His wife managed High Lawn Farm during that time, and frequently traveled to Washington, D.C., to be with him.
Wilde was elected to the Republican party's state committee in the 1968 presidential primaries, but was defeated by a better than 2-to-1 margin as the Republican candidate for the Governor's Council in 1970. In 1972, Wilde unsuccessfully opposed the late Silvio O. Conte in a race as the delegate from the 1st Congressional District for the Republican Party's National Convention in San Diego.
Locally, Wilde served three years as chairman of the Berkshire County chapter of the Amrican Red Cross, was both president and director of Lee National Bank, served on the town of Lee's Finance Committee, and was a member of the Lee Beach Committee for many years.
Wilde was active in local education, having served many terms as the president of the board of trustees of the former Lenox School. The Wildes were also among the founders of Berkshire Country Day School in Stockbridge.
Wilde leaves six children, Mary Carswell of New York City and Great Barrington, William Wilde of Key Biscayne, Fla., Lila W. Berle of Stockbridge, Peter D. Wilde of Chestnut Hill, Nancy M. Hahn of Karlsruhe, Germany, and Alice W. Field of Lee; 12 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.