The Hingham Stock Farm, where Lewis purchased all his horses, consisted of the original 1906 imported horses –the first ever to arrive in America- and their descendants, the descendants of the Hamidie Society importation to Chicago in 1893, Eight of the ten Lewis horses traced to the 1906 desert importation. The first foal with Lewis as the breeder was HAMAMA 418, foaled May 29, 1920, and the last was GHURRA 686, foaled June 28, 1928. During those nine years, F.E.Lewis bred 37 registered Arabians. His foundation horses were all from the Hingham Stock Farm and consisted of eight mares: FREDA 20, SALEIFY 70, MOLIAH 109, SAMIT 153, SEDJUR 193, HASIKER 268, ADOUBA, 270 and TAMARINSK 331; and two stallions: LETAN 86 and HARARA 122. The best-known horse bred by Mr. Lewis was ANTEZ 448. ANTEZ set the half-mile record for Arabs.
Antez, bred by F.E. Lewis II and foaled in what is now Diamond Bar, California, was one of a group of six purebred Arabians. Antez quickly became a ranch and public favorite for his amenable disposition and the beauty of his iridescent coat. In 1927 he won First Place at two fairs in California, and in 1928 Antez was named Champion Arabian Stallion at the Los Angeles County Fair in addition to winning a championship under saddle at the Orange County Fair. (1). The Poles, being interested in racing Arabs, bought ANTEZ and took him to Poland. (2)
MUSON was the first Arabian with anything approaching national publicity and he dispelled many of the popular myths about Arabians. In those days, circuses exhibited spotted horses as Arabians and this was the public’s idea of an Arabian. (3)
Will Rogers was a great friend Lewis. He loved to rope cattle and would come to the Diamond Bar whenever there was branding to be done (4) Lewis spent so much time with horses he lost his index finger and third finger of his left hand roping (5).
Lewis: Diamond Bar and Dan Cody
Fitzgerald also may have lifted the name from Dan Cody, son of a wealthy Montgomery bankers was one of Fitzgerald’s most worrisome rivals (6) Dan Cody is also described as a version of Marcus Daly, “a product of the Nevada silver fields, of every rush for metal since seventy-five. The transactions in Montana copper . . . made him many times a millionaire.” (7)
Dan Cody- Gatsby’s wealthy patron- could be lifted from James J. Hill (8) of St. Paul, Minnesota, where Fitzgerald grew up. In June, 1930, when in the depths of his spiritual and financial bankruptcy, Fitzgerald invested $100 in two stocks- ATT and James J. Hills Great Northern Railway. The Cody-Hill associations in the novel illustrate how the social cult of success, which gripped the American popular mind, had its’ source in the frontier vision of the West (9) which of course Carraway and Gatsby originate. James Gatz, Jay’ father carries to West Egg a copy of Hopalong Cassidy (10).
Lewis’s inspiration for the ranch brand was a quartz mine (11). While Fitzgerald’s time on a Montana Ranch owned by a wealthy classmate is undoubtedly an immense influence on “The “Diamond As Big As The Ritz” (1922) – where a diamond mine produces the largest diamond in the world and is also a large sheep and cattle farm a sheep and – Lewis could be also the template for that story.
The preeminent Fitzgerald scholar, Matthew Bruccoli claimed that his entire history of commitment to Fitzgerald occurred when, as a child travelling from Connecticut, he heard the song, “The Diamond” on the car radio.
2. The Horses of F.E.Lewis by Pat Payne of Asil Arabians, Chino, Calif. from The Arabian Horse News.
5. Interview with Greg Busch.
6. Invented Lives by Mellow; Exiles from Paradise Sara Mayfield.
8. Henry Dan Piper, 3.
9. Long, 167.
11. City of Diamond Bar and Diamond Bar Historical Society, http://www.arcadiapublishing, 2014.