The Wisconsin Kennel Club was originally founded as an all-breed club in 1886
and has been a successful member of the American Kennel Club since then.
Over the years, the club has gone through many changes
and has recently been revived as part of the Renaissance Cluster of dog shows.
We recently found an old newspaper article
documenting the origination of the club which we have added below.
Old Kennel Club Book Tells of Early
Day Civic Activities
A book containing minutes recording the organization and early activities of the Wisconsin Kennel club has been found among the papers of A. W. Grau by his son, Phil Grau, director of organization at Marquette University. The minutes are in the writing of F. B. Rice and A. W. Grau, secretaries of the club for the first and second years, respectively.
The papers tell of the meeting May 18, 1886, at the old Plankinton house when the club was founded with 10 charter members. Among the well-known names listed are those of John D. Olcott, R. D. Whitehead, R. W. Holmes, J. G. J. Campbell, W. A. Collins and William Mariner.
Officers of the club elected for the first year were: Mr. Mariner, president; Mr. Grau, vice president; F. B. Rice, secretary, and Mr. Campbell, treasurer. Mr. Grau was secretary the second year and the book was left in his possession after his term in office.
Deficits of $344.55 and $240.66 are recorded in connection with the first two bench shows held by the club, although the shows are noted as being overwhelmingly successful from the dog fanciers’ point of view.
Between the leaves of the book were found the correspondence of the club, notes made at the meetings, and a speech delivered by the secretary. A letter dated July 8, 1877, from Mr Campbell, president of the Milwaukee Industrial Exposition association. Offers to the club the use of the amusement hall of the Exposition-bldg for its second bench show.
One Typewritten Letter
The names of the officers and directors of the association printed on the letter head flanking a picture of the old Exposition-bldg looks like an index of the history of Milwaukee. The officers for that year were: Mr. Campbell, president; William Plankinton, first vice president; August Stirn, second vice president; John E. Hansen, treasurer and E. J. Becker, secretary. Among the directors are listed: J. R. Goodrich, Sebastian Brand, Fred Pabst, T. L. Kelly and John C. Koch.
A letter dated Apr. 9, 1877. From the New York office of the American Kennel club, notified the Milwaukee club of its election to membership in the national organization. Among the many laboriously penned letters in the quaint script of yesterday, only one is typewritten. It is a letter from the American Kennel club, dated Apr. 26, 1887, and it is written on ruled note paper.