President Rutherford B. Hayes held office from 1877-1881. During this time in history, Washington D.C. was much more rural and it was common for men – even the President – to keep livestock at their homes.
Hayes was particularly proud of his pedigreed Jersey cows. Jersey cattle tend to be smaller than the average cow, and produce milk that is higher in butterfat than other breeds. These traits made them quite valuable to farmers and landowners alike. The fact that these cattle had a pedigree meant that Hayes was also able to trace their lineage; much as we would with a show dog today.
Even after his stint as President, Hayes kept Jersey cows. They could often be seen grazing at his home, Spiegel Grove, in Fremont, Ohio.