On Sept. 19, 1888, an exhibition license was issued for Burk, a Percheron horse owned by William C. Knight. During the late 1800s, such licenses, purchased from the clerk of the Circuit Court, entitled owners of stallions in Harford County to legally breed their horses for one year.
During the season, which lasted from April to July, advertisements in local newspapers provided rich detail about the stallions' pedigree, size and stamina.
Burk was described as "a handsome dapple grey, 17 hands high, 9 years old, and weigh[ing] 1,250 lbs." Sired by a full-bred Percheron and a thoroughbred Virginia horse, he was "calculated to produce what every farmer wants - large, active, strong and docile horses, suitable for the plow, the wagon or the family carriage."
[ Source: Harford County Stud Book by Henry C. Peden; research by Harford County Public Library]