ASC Minutes

ASC Minutes
1886 to 1894 and 1905 to 1923

The New York Minute that continues on today.
by Wilma Parker, Curator, ASC Archival Project

1886 Minutes

Pages of the 1886 ASC minutes ledger are fragile, the paper thin with age, the edges tattered. The first page, written by A. C. Wilmerding, tells a story of the difficulties club founders encountered as they tried to maintain the organization, as well as develop sound policy and procedures that would ensure the future of flushing spaniels. Throughout, there is a sense of soft-spoken Wilmerding gently guiding the work.

AKC Librarian, Barbara Kolk said they call him their “friendly ghost” because of his many contributions to AKC, the library and Westminster Kennel Club history. His voice echoes in their work yet today.

The basics of forming a club.

ASC members often dawdled paying dues, which left the club with a small treasury. While they supported shows with trophies for some classes, the money shortage prevented them from giving trophies for all. At Board meetings they often didn’t have a quorum and so allowed voting by proxy.

Some members found the processes too difficult. Mr. Rendle’s frustration is evident in the following passage of a discussion of one breed’s standard.

1886 Minutes Sept 15 1886

Proposed by Mr AE Rendle "That owing to the interbreeding of cockers and Field Spaniels for years past the two breeds are so mixed up that it would be advisable to call them all Field Spaniels to be divided by weight-light weight and heavy weight."

Motion Lost

AKC was established in 1887 and was an immediate concern to ASC because of the consolidation of Stud Books. These books were to be held by AKC similar to those in Britain established a few years earlier. The new mandate required all dogs be registered by the AKC. A reflection of the upset is seen in Hemingway’s comment recorded in the minutes.

“It is the opinion of this committee of the American Spaniel club that such action is detrimental to the best interests of dog breeding apart to any consideration as to the wisdom of compulsory registration and the club should have a voice in the decision “ It was resolved that members vote on the question “Shall club funds be distributed at shows where compulsory registration is enforced.”

Thirty-three voted no, nine voted yes. Hemingway resigned in 1890.

Field Trials.

In 1892, Wilmerding was appointed to look into the possibility of ASC sponsoring Field Trials. Dedicated throughout his life to the integrity of breed function, even he reported little progress to the Executive Committee. At one meeting he asked “Is there anyone at all that understands the workings of a Field Trial who can help on this committee?” After a few years, he gave up and submitted his resignation as Field Chair. From then on Field Trials were not mentioned in the early minutes.

1886 Minutes

New Members

In 1890, O.B. Gilman was voted in as a new member and noted in the minutes, but there are no notations of approvals for other people. WT Payne’s name appears as a member in1889 and Rowland Keasbey for the first time in 1891.

Trophies, money and responsibility.

By 1905, the club had 63 members and 11 member clubs. ASC was strict about dues, voting and the purchase of trophies by then. Everyone was expected to contribute to see that trophies were given supporting spaniel classes at ASC and other club shows. Criteria for winning the trophy “Must be an ASC member to win.” Most prizes were won by the donors. Non-members were not allowed to “win” them and if one did carry home a trophy the club sent a letter asking it be returned.

H.K. Bloodgood was a pragmatic club president and a shrewd businessman. Under his direction, ASC made a decision to discontinue the proxy vote. He wanted to increase active participation and establish club’s credibility and prestige.

Dues announcements were mailed and if unpaid, the member was dropped from the roster. ASC continued to grow and soon included a membership of wealthy, privileged people who could finance expenses for the club.

Among these members was Howard Willets, owner of Gedney Farm, White Plains NY. Willets was the sixth president of the American Kennel Club and owned record setting horses in jumping and racing. By 1911 his son, J Macy Willets, the husband of Gladys Bloodgood, joined ASC and added to the influence.

They brought in their friends and soon included members Charles and Vera (Bloodgood) Schribner who owned a publishing company in New York. The list goes on to include Hon. Townsend Scudder, George Greer, OB Gilman, Herman Mellenthin and coal magnate, W.T. Payne. In 1923 the club accepted the application of the niece of Rowland Keasbey, Mrs Dorothy K. L’Hommidieu, famous author of many children books and owner of the Sand Spring Kennels.

1886 Minutes

Some booted out the door.

Not everyone was welcome, especially dissenters. Charles H. Mason was expelled for conduct unbecoming an officer of the club. He wrote for the magazine, Field & Fancy and several of his columns offended the Executive Board. There is no record of the actual columns. The minutes read: The Secretary presented to the meeting a letter received from Howard Willets preferring charges against Charles H Mason. After due discussion the following resolutions were unanimously adopted.

WHEREAS charges have been duly preferred against Charles H Mason under article 6, Section 1, of its' constitution on the grounds that he has been guilty of conduct unbecoming a sportsman and a gentleman in his relationship to the club, to the officers , committee membership and individual members thereof in consequences of numerous articles in the columns published in Field and Fancy in the column "Side Lights" "Charles Manson," which articles were caused to be published.

WHEREAS the said Charles H Mason was duly notified of these charges and that he would be given an opportunity to answer the same at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the said club to be held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, 34 street and Fifth Avenue on Wednesday Oct 18 1922 at 3 00 in the afternoon.

WHEREAS at the said meeting it was duly proven that Charles H Mason had caused to be published certain articles in "Field and Fancy" under the column entitled "Side Lights" in the issue of Field and Fancy dated respectively March 11, March 18, May 13, May 27, June 3rd , June 17, September 9, and Oct 7th, 1922, all of which articles were presented at the meeting.

Since he did not appear to answer the charges

That said Charles H Mason be and he is hereby expelled from the American Spaniel Club. Unanimously resolved

Handed from secretary to secretary over time, they carry the story of the flushing spaniel, and Cocker Spaniels in particular as the American Spaniel Club. A story that continues today, and preserved by another generation of dedicated spaniel fanciers.

1886 Minutes


All of the ballots regarding the proposed changes to the Cocker Spaniel Breed Standard have been counted. The only proposed change that passed was to add the disqualification for blue eyes or blue specks in the eye.  The results are as follows:


BALLOT 1: Proposed change to include disqualification for blue eyes:

Number of ballots returned 710

Invalid ballots 2

Total number of valid ballots 708


Number required to pass (2/3s) 472


Number of Yes votes 512 (72.32%)


Number of No votes 196 (27.68%)


This proposed change passed.


BALLOT 2: Proposed change to include undocked tails:


Number of ballots returned 708


Invalid ballots 2


Total number of valid ballots 706


Number required to pass (2/3s) 471


Number of Yes votes 324 (45. 89%)


Number of No votes 382 (54.11%)


This proposed change did not pass.


BALLOT 3: Proposed change to include solid sable:


Number of ballots returned 709


Invalid ballots 2


Total number of valid ballots 707


Number required to pass (2/3s) 471


Number of Yes votes 337 (47. 67%)


Number of No votes 370 (52.33%)


This proposed change did not pass.


BALLOT 4: Proposed change to include parti-color sable:


Number of ballots returned 706


Invalid ballots 2


Total number of valid ballots 704


Number required to pass (2/3s) 469


Number of Yes votes 336 (47. 73%)


Number of No votes 368 (52.27%)


This proposed change did not pass.


This has been a thoughtful, vigorously debated, and sometimes contentious process, but the membership has spoken. For the good of ASC and the love of our breed, I hope, and I think we will, all move forward together.


Linda Moore 



Earlier the National Nominating Committee presented the following nominees to serve 2-year terms (1-18 to 1-20) as officers of the club.:


President — Diane Kepley 

1st VP — Julie Virosteck 

2nd VP — Kathy Egeland-Brock


Now the Zone Nominating Committees have finished their work and are nominating the following individuals to serve as Directors and Alternates for 2-Year terms (1-18 until 1-20).


Zone 1 

Director — Stacy Dobmeier; Alternate — Vivian Hudson


Zone 2

Director — Dale Ward; Alternate — Karin Linde Klerholm


Zone 3

Director — Bonnie Buell; Alternate — Lisa Arnett


Zone 4

Director — Linda McLean; Alternate — Lane Tarantino 


Zone 5

Director — Alan Santos; Alternate — DeAnn Jepson


Any members who were not nominated by these committees may run by petition received by the Secretary on or before November 15th. Requirements for the petitions are contained in Article IV, Section 2 of the bylaws found on the ASC website under Documents.


Just a reminder that the ASC Board is soliciting member input prior to taking action on the proposed bylaw changes. The 30 day comment period ends on October 28, 2017.

Please post any comments or questions to the ASC Yahoo List or send your comments to me, Tony Stallard, privately if you so desire. 


***** FLUSHING SPANIEL SHOW 2018 U P D A T E *****

Due to unforeseen delays with the building improvement construction, the Knoxville Exhibition Center will not be ready in time for our January show. Therefore, we will move the show to the Jacob Building at Chilhowee Park (2201 E. Magnolia Avenue, Knoxville).

The venue is a short 5 ½ miles (approximately 10 min.) drive from the Holiday Inn. The Knoxville Convention Center team has committed to making this unexpected transition as seamless as possible. We are working with Visit Knoxville (Convention & Visitors Bureau) to provide shuttle service for our members and guests to/from the Holiday Inn and the show venue.

More information will be available shortly as the Show Committee works on the logistics of the Show.  For now, we recommend that everyone who has reservations at the Holiday Inn, KEEP them. The few motels located by the facility are not recommended by the KCC or Chilhowee Park management. However, if you would like to cancel your reservation, please DO NOT call the Holiday Inn.  Please contact Jane Williams.  We have a waiting list for rooms and we need to facilitate the room change or the room will go back to general hotel inventory. 

ASC 2017 National Specialty DVD Clips

Best in Futurity July 2017

Best of Breed  July 2017

Junior handlers July 2017 

Latest report from Dr. Aguirre/University of PA cataract study

ASCF WEBINAR Report and Presentation