The Saint Paul Minneapolis Bulldog Club was founded in 1959.At the time there were only three AKC champion bulldogs in the State of Minnesota. There were no major shows offered where bulldogs were exhibited in the entire state.
Russ Krueger went to Mrs. Mildred Barrett. She had one of the bulldog champions in Minnesota. Another local owner of a champion was Marlow and Roz Ihling.
In the spring of 1960 a luncheon meeting was called at the home of Russ and Florence Krueger. It was clear that a club had to be formed promote and support major bulldog specialty show entries in the state.
Marlow Ihling did all of the research and was a leader in applying to the AKC to obtain a license to hold specialty shows.
Together with the Kruegers and Mrs. Barrett, they invited all potential bulldoggers in the area to come to the meeting at Kruegers' home. The attendees were as follows: Dick and Peggy Ersbo, Marlow and Roz Ihling, Mrs. Mildred Barrett, Merrill and Hazel Estes from St. Paul, Mrs. Paddock from the Minnetonka area, and Pat Rose from St. Paul.
Marlow Ihling took charge, and a club was organized in 1961.
The bylaws were drawn up and Mr. Ihling was elected by the founders as the first president. Not only did he help form this club, he drew up all of the necessary paperwork, and he made the first logo for the club.
Before it could hold its first pointed show, a "B" match, then two ‘A’ matches had to be sanctioned by the AKC. Only one "A" match was needed because both of the matches were so well done. After these shows a license was granted for the Saint Paul Minneapolis Bulldog's first specialty.
The first pointed show was not held until February 1970 at the Neaegle Building in Richfield, Minnesota. The space was donated by the owners of the building to Marlow Ihling. The bulldog judge was an all-breed judge by the name of Baker, who waived his normal judging fee in support of the show. It was a huge success.
Russ Krueger and Marlow Ihling then went to the Heart of America Bulldog Club specialty show in Kansas City to apply for membership to Division VI of the Bulldog Club of America. They were aided by Mrs. Fran Richardson and Dr. John Gann. The club was approved by the Division VI board of governors.
Major pointed shows were assured from that day forward. Mrs. Barrett and Russ Krueger took all of Mrs. Barrett’s bulldogs out of her kennel and showed them in order to make a major-pointed show. At that time this area did not need very many dogs to offer major championship points. The fee for the entries of the first show was $6.
At first there were only some all-breed shows at the Duluth Minnesota, St. Paul Land of Lakes, and at the Minneapolis Kennel Club. There also were the Fargo-Morehead shows.
Members of other Bulldog clubs began making the trips to this area because of the major-pointed shows. Among them were: Mike and Maryann Remington, Frank and Brenda Cox, Larry and Ceil Nelson and Dan and Toni Powers. Aggie McGrath and Bill Tisdell were also making history with their Utility Dogs.
The Karl Dingmans were showing the grandson of American and Canadian Ch. Bayside Red Oak, which had sired Larry and Ceil Nelson's Ch. Golden Carmel Coach, sire of the famous Ch. Marinebull's All The Way, “Goober’’, The club applied for the Bulldog Club of America’s National specialty show to be held in Minneapolis. It was approved for 1976. However, the Philadelphia Bulldog Club requested the 1976 date because that date was the Bi-Centennial of the United States of America. The club agreed, and released the date to the Philadelphia Bulldog Club.
The 1977 National Specialty show was held the following year with Russ Krueger as president, Marlow Ihling as show secretary and Bill Tisdell as show chairman. It was held at the Thunderbird Motel near the international airport. There were approximately 200 dogs shown during those three days. A great pig roast was given by the Stuedemanns of Iowa. The cleanup crew, led by Joyce Dingman, was praised by the Thunderbird Motel management.
Two more obedience dogs earned their coveted Utility Dog titles with owners Lois M. Tisdell and Joyce Dingman.
Over the years, annual bulldog puppy match picnics were held at the lake homes of Mrs. Paddock, Dick and Peggy Ersbo and Milo and Sally Moll.
The club's newsletter was awarded the Bewsletter at the BCA National specialties in 2003 and 2004.
The SPMBC hosted the BCA National specialty October 15-17, 2002, at the Radisson Hotel in Plymouth, Minnesota. Active on the Show Committee were: Russ Schuveiller, Denny and Sue Toskas, Jo and Milt Hanson, Rita Guthmiller, Betsy Milbach, Kym Thew, Bill and Lois Tisdell, Randy and Linda Miller, Ron and Lee Schulz, Gary and Janis Redman, Karen Zimny, Aaron Johnson, Marcia Tiegs and Jackie Bergeron.
Total dogs entered for the 2002 National specialty was 397 dogs, 572 entries. Karl Dingman judged 115 entries in intersex competition.
Club membership has typically been about 50 households, with the current number of paid members at just over 80 households. A total of 126 members.
Honorary Life Members (over 20 years in the club) are as follows:
Bill and Lois Tisdell
Karl and Joyce Dingman
Merrill and Hazel Estes
Russ and Florence Krueger
Milo and Sally Moll
Milt and Jo Hanson
Russ and Diane Schuveiller
Steve and Sharon Underwood
Walter and Ella Strand
Compiled by Lee Schultz