On Saturday, August 12, 1939 the Butler County Kennel Club, a member club of the AKC, held its first show at the Dance Pavilion, in Alameda Park, two miles west of Butler.
The show was benched and began at 9:00 AM. Variety Groups and Best In Show were scheduled for 6:00 PM. Exhibitors were warned that,” Dogs may be excused from their benches at any time for not longer than 15 minutes at any one time for purposes of exercising. At all other times they must be kept in their stalls, except when called for by the judges, or unless removed by permission of the Superintendent, or by order of the Veterinarian or his representative.”
The licensed superintendent for that first effort was none other than A. Wilson Bow one of the founders of what has become MB-F, Inc.
That first show included 344 dogs and 356 entries with 43 breeds represented. The entry which traveled the farthest to attend that first show was White Cargo, an English Setter from Minneapolis, Minnesota. One well-known exhibitor was Maxwell Riddle, who showed an English Springer Spaniel. Among the handlers at the show were Henry Stoecker and Phil Marsh, both of whom later became respected AKC judges.
On January 9, 1946, the Articles of Incorporation of the Butler County Kennel Club were recorded in the Butler County Recorder’s office by J.A. Magill, Recorder. The stated purposes of the incorporation were:
a) To foster greater interest in breeding and raising dogs in
Butler County, PA.
The original incorporators were: Dana A. West, Naomi Grant Wigton, Dorothy M. Stern, J. Paul Doerr, Margaret M. Daker and Mrs. Rea C. Robinson.
In the mid-1950's, a financially strapped Butler County Kennel Club came under the care and guidance of Earl Poole, a Collie breeder from Saxonburg. Earl restored the financial stability of the club and remained its Lord High Protector until he retired from the ‘game’ in 1975.
By my own recollection, Earl was the feistiest, crotchetiest, pig headed old man I have ever had the pleasure of going to war with. Earl’s main mode of communication was a continuous low growl punctuated by occasional thunderous barks. I fought with Earl over breeding, showing, educating the public, hiring the judges, and controlling the membership. As the years progress he turns out to have been right about 99.44% of the time. I’m still keeping track and the percentage keeps rising.
In the Fall of 1976, we took advantage of the demise of the Sewickley Kennel Club to add a second show to our calendar. We also added obedience competition to our shows at this time.
In May of 1984, the Butler County Kennel Club dedicated its show to Wayne and Jeanne Karnes who after years of service to the club were named its first lifetime members.
In 1985, Pepi Meixner joined the club and soon thereafter with the club again under a financial cloud she became president. Pepi, true to her ‘Scotch’ heritage pulled the club back from the brink of financial disaster.
In 1994, we joined the Memorial Classic cluster held at the Lawrence County Fairgrounds on Memorial Day Weekend.
In June of 2005, Pepi and Mike Meixner were elected to the club’s third and fourth Lifetime Memberships.
In 2008, we withdrew from the Memorial Day cluster and in 2009 created the Butler Autumn Classic, a two day stand alone event held at the Butler County Fairgrounds in Prospect PA. We have now offered the Butler Autumn Classic through 2016.
Our 2017 event is in the process of planning – look for more changes soon!
Sue Chapin - President 2017