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The American Spaniel Club - Established in 1881 Hall Of Fame

The American Spaniel Club first inducted members into its Hall of Fame in 1995 when current members nominated candidates to the Hall of Fame in four different categories. In 1999, those categories were simplified to just two: Service to the Organization and Contribution to the Breed.

It is the purpose of the Hall of Fame to capture for succeeding generations the memory of the extraordinary and not the ordinary. 

OB Gilman

OB GilmanInducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006
For Service to the Organization

The master of Idahurst kennels was a Boston businessman who bought his first cocker spaniel in 1883 little thinking he would go into breeding at all much less become the breeder of some of the finest cocker spaniels that were ever seen in that time era In those days the cocker was little more than just a dog and for the next 50 years he sent some of the finest most nearly perfect cockers to the show benches. The Idahurst kennels became the largest and the most well known throughout Massachusetts if not all of New England. He was voted in as a new member to ASC in 1890 and was one of the original founders of our oldest member club, The CSC Breeders Club of New England. He was an outstanding figure in the world of cocker spaniels and he was regarded as the very best authority on the breed.

He maintained a staff of men whose duties were to oversee the care of the kennels located in Cambridge which were equipped in the most modern fashion of the day. In a newspaper clipping from 1937 the writer describes the kennels at Idahurst. "The kennel building is air-conditioned through-out with individual accommodations for 75 pairs of dogs. Two dogs are always kept together at night. The dogs have both indoor and outdoor accessibility whenever they want with large covered runways. When one runs inside the others do likewise just to see what is going on. The kennel and runs are contained on nearly 2 acres, all hidden behind large solid fences which allows for ample exercise and fresh air during waking hours. The maternity ward is entirely distinct from the rest of the kennel."

Gilman was intensely interested in the experimentation work done by Dr. Leon Whitney, noted canine authority on feeding and color breeding and in charge of the Yale experimental kennels at New Haven. Following the advice of Dr. Whitney the Idahurst cockers were fed a mixture scientifically prepared at the kennels. The rations were of raw beef, dehydrated fish, and liver. Fresh tripe, soy beans, alfalfa, hay, bran, spinach and raw squash- sometimes cooked- yeast and egg powder with evaporated milk and buttermilk powder for liquids made up the menu. The weekly feed bill in itself was no small item.

His dogs won a world of championships and his Idahurst Lofty was mounted at his death and placed on exhibit at the Peabody Museum at Yale as showing what a cocker spaniel should be. Ch Idahurst Bell II, whelped in 1928, was a 3 time ASC Best In Show winner, produced several litters of winners and lived a long life of luxury and ease. Another win that pleased Gilman was capturing the Big Four Novice Stake in Boston with Idahurst First Lady.

Gilman was a wise man with respect for the past and what had gone before. This also applied to his dogs. He never had the heart to put one of them down just because it was past breeding age. There came a time when he reached an age that he made preparations for his dogs and collections of history. His scrapbooks contain not only information of his dogs but also history of other well known breeders from those by gone days. The Idahurst Cockers and meticulously kept breeding records and pedigrees, paintings, medallions; award cups, and the Obo II cup were entrusted for safe keeping and care to the Whitney family. OB Gilman died at the age of 95. When the Work Group was formed in 2000 we began to receive Gilman’s historical collections into the ASC Archives.

Wilma Parker, ASC Curator

Elizabeth H. Durland

Elizabeth Durland2004 Hall of Fame Nomination
Service to the Organization

Her pivotal role in the development of the ASC Health Registry and her active commitment to its implementation by the fancy and the ASC membership distinguish her for meritorious service recognition.

As a founding member of the ASC Hereditary and Congenital Defects Committee (HCDC), Betty spearheaded the organization’s efforts to identify and define the types and scope of inherited defects in the cocker spaniel, beginning with cataract, progressive retinal atrophy, Factor X deficiency, and hip dysplasia. As the first Chair of the Health Registry, she, with the able assistance of Health Registrar Alice Ewing, accomplished the publication of the first Health Registry in April 1976. With Alice as Registrar for the first 10 years and Judith Wright for the next 8 years, Betty energetically facilitated the collation, publication, and distribution of the Annual Health Registry. A tireless and outspoken proponent of genetic disease testing, she promoted the exchange of information about these defects among breeders so that all cockers-not just hers-could benefit. As a prominent successful cocker breeder for over 40 years, finishing 98 champions under the Dur-Bet, Reg., prefix, Betty had the credibility and tenacity to promote the acceptance of the Health Registry by the fancy. When its leadership responsibilities were passed to Judy Iby and Tina Turner in 1994, the Health Registry was-and remains-a dynamic and respected resource for Cocker Spaniel breeders and owners. For this the ASC owes Betty Durland and her registrars a debt of acknowledgement and gratitude.

In addition to the Health Registry, Betty’s involvement with the HCDC included the development of educational publications for the fancy, explaining in understandable terms what these defects are and how they could be identified. In April 1986 she co-authored the ASC publication, Guidelines for Breeding and Purchasing Cocker Spaniels.

During the middle of her tenure as Health Chair, Betty energetically served the ASC further as a Board member for 3 terms (1984-1990) and as the Show Chair of the 1986 summer National in Syracuse.

In short, Betty’s contributions to the American Spaniel Club transcend mere service to the organization; her legacy is the American Spaniel Club’s ongoing commitment to the health of the breed she loves. Elizabeth H. Durland was inducted into the ASC Hall of Fame in 2004.

ASC Archival Work Group, Thomas J. Kern, DVM

Annette Davies

Annette DaviesInducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003
For Service to the Organization

Annette Davies joined ASC in 1957 and has bred and exhibited many Champions under her Feinlyne prefix. She was an approved multi breed and Group judge with assignments taking her to countries all around the world. She judged at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Show and has twice judged Best In Show at the ASC Annual Flushing Spaniel Show.

Her devotion to the club for over 40 years led Annette down many pathways where she served as Trophy Chair, Advertising Chair, Ring Steward, Fundraising Chair, Judges Hospitality and all around Tack Room Helper. She represented the American Spaniel Club as the Delegate to AKC from 1995 to 2003, missing only one meeting during that time. She was on the Presidential Council of the AKC Health Foundation and a member of the Strategic Planning Committee of AKC.

Wilma Parker, Curator, ASC Archives

Louise Milner

Louise MilnerInducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001
For Service to the Organization

Louise enjoyed a limited breeding program during her early years as a member using the prefix M’Lou. Her most well known cocker was a fancy moving black bitch, Ch. Lurola’s Skip To M’Lou, from the Lurola Kennels of Bob and Lucia Lake.

Louise was an approved judge of cockers and her dedication to the spaniel breeds and ASC are legend and span well over 20 years. Her untimely death in 2001 denied the club of her valuable guidance as well as her many talents.

Her duties to the club were many and varied, covering a span of several years. She served as treasurer from 1978 to 1986 and again from 1989 to 1995, as 2nd vice-president from 1984 – 1985 and again from 1992-1994 and as 1st vice-president, 1994-1995. She was elected president for three terms, 1996 to 1999.

She was active on the standard committee and the committee for Breeder/Judges Education. She participated in the first edition of the fully illustrated The Study of the Cocker Spaniel, which won a Dog Writers Award, the committee for the Cocker Spaniel CD Rom and served as Liaison for the National Specialty show. Louise was a mentor to all and her interest in breed and ASC history left behind a legacy we will always remember.

Louise’s heart was always devoted to the welfare of the breed and she was a contributing influence to one of the most important events to occur during her term as president, the formation of the ASC Foundation, dedicated to the Health and Welfare of the Spaniel breeds.

Wilma Parker, Curator, ASC Archives

J.R. Duding

Dick DudingInducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001
For Service to the Organization

His interest in the sport of pure-bred dogs has never waned and he is a much sought after multi-breed judge. J. R. Duding is a man with high standards, a true gentleman in every sense of the word with sincere dedication to the organization and the breed.

Dick served a number of years as a Board Director and chaired many committees whether he was on or off the Board. He wrote the Preamble to the Code of Ethics, served on the Finance Committee and was elected President 1999 -2001. During his term he initiated the early development of the first ASC website and On Line- Health Registry. Dick and Betty Duding, were instrumental in the first ASC National Specialty in Oklahoma. 1976. They chaired the first Judges Education Committee and they have worked to foster better judging of our breed presenting seminars around the country. He has written editorials in many publications in his endeavor to educate giving hours and hours of his time to the club and he continues to serve as our greatest spokesman for the breed and the organization.

Wilma Parker, Curator, ASC Archives

Margaret Ciezkowski

Margaret CiezkowskiInducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000
For Service to the Organization

Margaret’s tireless efforts and dedication for over a quarter of a century as the secretary of the ASC are probably only equated by the utmost of integrity and honesty she brought to her position. Serving first under President Robert Biggs in 1969, through 15 different ASC presidents and over 25 different ASC Boards until her retirement in 1997, for many of us, she was, is and always will be the ASC.

She was our first contact with the ASC when we applied for membership—it was she who put a sense of continuity on an organization that continually rotates volunteers through various positions. It was she we could turn to when we needed to know some point of history or order. She is an American Spaniel Club icon—and it is only fitting that Margaret Ciezkowski, be inducted into the ASC Hall of Fame for extraordinary Contribution to the ASC so that we can capture this unique woman and her influence on the club for succeeding generations.

Charles Born, Jan 2000, 1st Vice President, ASC Archives

Clark Thompson

Clark ThompsonInducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999
For Service to the Organization

“A man of honor and integrity.” These are the words used to describe Clark C. Thompson by those who knew him well. The Cogges Hall prefix is not well known in the pedigrees of the past but Clark’s devotion to the club and the breed cannot be over-looked. He was among the early cocker fanciers who promoted the breed in fieldwork and he was highly respected as a multi-breed and group judge. He was selected to judge Best In Show at the 1968 ASC Flushing Spaniel Show.

Throughout his membership Clark served in many capacities; publicity, standard committee, chairman of specialty clubs, secretary and as president from 1973 to 1975. Probably one of the most important happenings in club affairs occurred during Clark’s term -- the incorporation of the club in the State of New York. He initiated the first ASC Bulletin in March of 1952 and his knowledge of spaniel and club history led him to write many editorials for various publications, including the AKC Gazette. He was the ASC delegate to the AKC for many years and was also known as the “Official Voice of ASC” in his position as the announcer for ASC shows up until the 1970’s.

Wilma. Parker, Curator, ASC Archives

Richard Hart

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998
For Service to the Organization

Richard Hart along with his late wife Betty, bred cocker spaniels under the “Little Bedlams” prefix. Although not an active breeder for many years, he was always an unfailing supporter of ASC throughout his membership.

Richard readily participated in club functions soon after joining the ASC. He served on many different committees and was elected Zone 1 Representative in 1959. He has served the club as Assistant Treasurer, Futurity Chairman and was a Board appointed Delegate to the AKC for many years. His long time service as the ASC Insurance Chair (approximately 19-20 years) ended with his reluctant resignation in late 1996, due to health problems.

ASC Archives

Mari Doty

Mari Doty

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997
For Service to the Organization

Mari Doty and her husband Norman bred and exhibited cocker spaniels for well over thirty years using the prefix Nor-Mar. She is also an approved cocker spaniel judge.

As the editor of the American Cocker Review, Mari was a staunch supporter of the club through her magazine for many years. She served the club as a board member, correspondent to the AKC Gazette and chair of the standard committee. She wrote and illustrated The Cocker Spaniel Show Trim and So You Want To Show Your Cocker Spaniel. (Note: These publications have been updated by the ASC Foundation and are available for purchase from the ASC Secretary).

Through her magazine she spearheaded the Cocker Spaniel research fund that led to nationwide clinics and those clinics are still being utilized to this day. Mari’s contributions to the club and to the breed will always be remembered.

Wilma Parker, Curator, ASC Archives

Alexander Clinton Wilmerding

A. Clinton WilmerdingInducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997
For Service to the Organization Prior to 1950

A. C. Wilmerding left indelible records in the early history of ASC and AKC and his name is easily found on the honor rolls of our past. He was secretary/treasurer of ASC during 1886-1890, served as president from 1890 to 1895 and held many important positions at AKC. His most famous field dog was Ch. Black Prince who won the first retrieving trial for spaniels held in America. Mr. Wilmerding was a multi breed judge and the Watnong Kennels were widely known in those days at all of the shows.

To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of ASC in 1931, a yearbook was published with a preface written by Mr. Wilmerding.

In his own words:

The feeling impresses me that I can fairly and properly pass along the encomiums to our present–day spaniel owners, by virtue of my having been a member of the Club all these years; in fact, one of the original, or charter members, when the Club came into existence in 1881, the personnel of which consisted, (as I refer to some data that I have, and am able to recall their names), of James Watson, George D. MacDougall, (NY); Dr. J.S. Niven, (London, Ont.) J. Otis Fellows, (Hornellsville); M.P. McKoon, (Up-State); A.E. Goddefroy, (Guymard, Orange, Co.); Dr. J.S. Cattanach, (N.Y.); DR. J.L. Morrill, A. McCollum, A.H. Moore, (Philadelphia) E. Tinsley, (Hamilton, Ont.); C.B. Cummings, J.H. Whitman, and John. F. Kirk (Toronto), with myself. All, save the writer have passed on.

He writes of his first cocker and the early officers of the club, reminds us that weight determined the difference between the Field and the Cocker Spaniel, and how breeders of the day flocked up to the Westminster Kennel Club to see the imported first black spaniel, ‘Benedict’ and, of course, they all bred to him. They wanted black spaniels and they got them but he writes, “They didn’t amount to much, not for several generations.”

He continues:

The final adoption of the original standards for the breeds took meetings and meetings and months of time and columns of print in that sportsman’s weekly journal, dear to all dog-men’s hearts, the ”Forest and Stream,” with much quibbling and arguments over small points before their final adoptions.
And numerous other doggy things that were obtained … in those days, long gone by, which were recognized to be entirely in good form then, that would appear perhaps foolish and ridiculous to our dog people of today, but remember we had to learn to creep before we could walk and those “early 80’s” started the good old American Spaniel Club on it’s triumphant way anyhow.

He judged his final assignment in 1940 and died at his home in Plainfield, NJ at the age of 94.

Wilma Parker, Curator, ASC Archives

Futurity TrophyJanuary Futurity Reminder

Puppy Enrollments are due November 1 for January Futurity. If you miss this deadline, you must include an additional $15 late fee ( total $25 ) and the enrollment must be received by the futurity chair by December 1.