Beagle Club Spotlight
By Rev. John Parks
Recently our HOUNDS AND HUNTING Editor, Kaylynn Cole and I were discussing various beagle clubs around the country, and I mentioned that I had always been under the impression that the National Beagle Club in Virginia was the oldest, but I didn’t know what other clubs might have early origins also. Kaylynn mentioned the Columbus Beagle Club in Ohio and suggested that I should check out when it began. So I accepted the challenge!
I have always enjoyed detective stories, in fact by the time I was in the eighth grade in school I had read “The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. But, was I a good detective? This would be a test!
First I contacted Billy Dyer in Ohio who I thought might be able to help me on this. I caught up with him at a trial, and he suggested that I contact Brett Jones, President of the U.B.G.F. Who is also from Ohio. Brett was very helpful in getting me information about the club’s beginnings; in fact he first produced a photo of the front cover of the August 1939 issue of HOUNDS AND HUNTING which showed a map of the state of Ohio and the inscription which said “ALL ROADS LEAD TO COLUMBUS”. Inside was a full page ad for the first field trial to be held by the Columbus club.
Further investigation by Brett produced more information about the club’s beginnings: The Columbus Beagle Club was organized on August 21, 1935 by a group of 23 Ohio beaglers. It seems that those original club members raised money before the club’s official beginning by selling food at the Bill Edwards Stables north of Columbus, Ohio during the big horse sales that used to take place there. The club must have had some fantastic cooks. Another article about the club which Brett Jones sent me said that they had a banquet and served frog legs and turtle to the guests. Those beaglers also sponsored shooting matches at different locations as fund raising events in those early days.
Brett also said that a man named John Blair, who was in management at the Lazarus Department Store in Columbus, Ohio, was heavily involved in those early efforts to get the club started. Mr. Blair is still remembered for his time and support in organizing the club.
The Columbus Beagle Club had their first field trial in the Fall of 1935 on leased land near Delaware, Ohio, which was near the Columbus Zoo. They continued there and then had their first licensed trial (which I alluded to earlier) on September 9, 10, and 11 of 1939.
Be sure to check out the rest of this article that starts on page 38 of our January issue!