Alexander Clinton Wilmerding
Inducted 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.”
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