Bulldog Club of Indiana
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The distinguished history of the Bulldog Club of Indiana Inc., begins in October 1935, at the Antlers Hotel in Indianapolis where officers were elected, and a decision was made to hold meetings on the last Sunday of each month.A document in the club archives prepared by Mrs. Claud A. Crum of Indianapolis, who served as the club's first treasurer and later as secretary, indicates that the idea to form a club in Indiana was conceived following the annual 1935 Hoosier Kennel Club all-breed show at Indianapolis.
Lamenting the fact that only four Bulldogs were entered, three of the eventual founders of the club – Mr. A.K.Mayer, Miss Marguerite Vance, and Mrs. Minnie Crum – noted that there were several good Bulldogs in Indiana. So they decided to prepare a list of Bulldog owners, and they met at the Crum’s residence at 1220 Sturm Ave., Indianapolis to consolidate it.
A preliminary meeting was held October 18, 1935, to determine whether any other Bulldog owners felt it worthwhile to organize Indiana's first Bulldog club. The answer was affirmative, and the date for an organizational meeting was set. Twenty-one bulldog fanciers met formally for the first time on October 27 to elect officers. Elected were: Frank Hatfield, president; Harold Brady, first vice president; A.K.Mayer, secretary; Mrs. Claud Crum, treasurer of Indianapolis.
No club meeting was held in November 1935 because of a scheduling conflict involving the Chicago Bulldog Club’s fall specialty show to be held on November 24. However, four directors were elected at a meeting on December 1, 1935: They were: W.T. Morgan, Noble W. Hiatt, Marguerite Vance and Paul Maddux of Frankfort.
Club membership was “ ... limited to those really interested in the betterment of the breed,” according to the club archives. There were 20 charter members. Ten associate members also were added to the club roster. They included the publishers of two popular, nationally circulated all-breed dog magazines, Miss Alice Rosenthal, a longtime Bulldog admirer and publisher of Dog News, and Mr. Will Judy, publisher of Dog World magazine.
An initiation fee of $1 and annual dues of $1.50 were established. At least one benched show and sometimes two specialties were held often in conjunction with the all-breed Hoosier Kennel Club shows in the spring and fall at Indianapolis. A sum of $75 was budgeted for silver-plated trophies at each show.
The club’s first undertaking in the spring of 1936 was to support the Bulldog entry at the all-breed Anderson Kennel Club show at Anderson, Indiana.
The following September Miss Vance served as show chairman for the club’s first fall specialty show in 1936 at Indianapolis. “This show was a three-day affair held in conjunction with the Indiana State Fair inside the leaky Poultry Building,” according to the club archives.
That specialty show was judged by Mr. Anton Rost, a highly regarded all-breed judge who drew an entry of 28 bulldogs, validating the founders' decision to form a new Bulldog club here.
In 1937, the club refused to return to the Poultry Building and the show’s location was moved to the Manufacturer’s Building at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Indianapolis. Dr. Glen Adams judged an entry of 29 bulldogs.
The Bulldog Club of Indiana, Inc., received its charter also in 1937 from the Bulldog Club of America, which was based in the state of New York.
The BCI.’s first puppy match was held March 7, 1937, in conjunction with the Cocker Spaniel Club of Indiana and the Scottish Terrier Club of Indiana in the show rooms of the Frank Hatfield Co., in downtown Indianapolis The entry fee was $1 for each puppy, and admission was 25 cents for adults, 15 cents for children.
Several July puppy matches and pitch-in dinners during the 1940s were hosted on the lawn at Paul and Dorothy Maddux’s Maple Lodge Kennels near Frankfort, Indiana. A total of 47 puppies were entered there in 1947.
Frankfort’s Clinton County 4-H Building was the site of BCI’s annual AKC-sanctioned puppy match for many years. Club members and exhibitors were often hosted afterward at the nearby kennel and Kelly Road residence of Beyrl and Edith Gould, owners of Kelly Road Bulldogs in Frankfort. The Gould's famous Ch. Min-A-Sota Fats of Kelly Road was Best of Breed winner at three BCA National Specialties in 1969, 1970 and 1973.
Despite World War II gas rationing during the 1940s, the new club was determined to sponsor its annual specialty show in wartime. In 1942, the Hoosier Kennel Club was forced to cancel its May 31 all-breed show because the entire fairgrounds had been leased to the U.S. Army. So BCI's specialty show was held instead in conjunction with the Anderson Kennel.Club all-breed show in September 1942. Defense Stamps were offered in every class, and silver-plated trophies were awarded for Best of Breed, Best of Opposite Sex and Best of Winners.
After the war, the 1947 fall specialty show at the state fairgrounds drew an enviable record entry of 100 Bulldogs for judge Frank Carolin, president of the Bulldog Club of America. Dr. and Mrs. George W. Andree’s “Choo-Choo of White Hub” finished her championship, going WB and BOS. Her breeder-owners Dr. Andree, a Rensselaer veterinarian, and his wife Marie, an honorary Life Member of the BCI, were elected to club membership in November 1941.
The BCI., the oldest of three BCA member clubs in Indiana, has had the distinction of hosting the National Specialty show at Indianapolis five times since the BCA's historic reorganization, which was completed in 1950. The BCA's first transitional National Specialty was held at Indianapolis in late 1949, followed by four more National Specialties in 1954, 1962, 1994 and 2001.
The club's largest independent specialty show was in 1985, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the club's founding. There were a record-breaking 199 dogs entered, including 45 champions. Mr. Dean Anderson of California, a former president of the Bulldog Club of America, was the judge.
G. William Andree, former BCI historian.