SHALLOWBROOK FARM AND ITS HISTORY
Shallowbrook Farm is a multi-purpose conference and retreat center designed for company or church retreats, day meetings, family reunions, or special events and celebrations including: weddings, church camps, holiday parties. We are located just east of Bradford, Illinois on the Bradford Blacktop.
We rent to only one group at a time making for a truly private get-a-way.
The story of Shallowbrook Farm as it appears today begins with Leslie T. Welsh. His father, Leslie Edward Welsh purchased the property where the conference center is located today in 1901.
Born in 1923, Leslie T. Welsh was the second youngest of 5 children, all of whom worked hard with both the crops and livestock to make ends meet for the family. They all grew up during the depression of the 1930's on this property. At age 15 Leslie T. Welsh was involved in a farming accident and lost his left arm above the elbow. He refused to let this slow him down and continued to work the farm and play high school sports. He lettered in basketball, track, and in 1940 was chosen as "All-State" Honorable Mention as an offensive guard in football his senior year at Bradford High School.
A "standardized test" of the time resulted in Leslie Welsh being encouraged to enter a trade. This made him begin to think seriously about his future. As he had never seen a "one armed carpenter". He studied hard and excelled academically. He graduated with a degree in accounting from The University of Illinois in Champaign and was hired by the accounting firm of Arthur Anderson in Chicago.
Working for Arthur Anderson for 20 years he was the youngest partner in the firms history. He met is wife Mary Lee and settled in Barrington, Illinois where they together raised four children. At Arthur Anderson Leslie T. "Tiny" Welsh became the senior partner of mergers and acquisitions and worked with the brilliant financier Derald H. Ruttenberg who wanted to acquire publicly traded companies and combine them into a more efficiently run group. Leaving Arthur Anderson, Leslie T.
Welsh, joined Mr. Ruttenberg and together they formed they Studebaker-Worthington group of companies from 1966-1979. In 1978 Studebaker-Worthington was rated #160 in the "Fortune 500" list of publicly traded companies. In 1979 Studebaker-Worthington was sold with its 10-15 subsidiary companies. These operating businesses today are part of Cooper Industries.
In 1976, buoyed with bi-centennial enthusiasm Leslie Welsh began renovating the Shallowbrook property, developing the facility that exists today. Working with his son, Bob, they began raising Thoroughbred Horses and Polled Hereford Cattle. These ventures resulted in setting a world record price for a Thoroughbred Broodmare sold at public auction. In November 1982, at the prestigious Keeneland in Lexington Kentucky, the Shallowbrook mare, Royal Honoree, sold for $3,800,000.00.
Leslie T. Welsh died on April 26, 1984, 30 days before he was to receive the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Award.
After Leslie Welsh's death, his son Bob decided to convert the property to the event-conference center concept employed for the property today. Shallowbrook has operated in this manner since 1986.