The Heart of America Kennel Club was organized in November 1947 with Mel Schlesinger as president, was incorporated in Missouri on January 8, 1948, held its first Fun Match on February 15, 1948 as a prerequisite to being approved to sponsor all-breed shows, held its second Fun Match on August 15, 1948 and held its first AKC sanctioned all-breed dog show on February 27, 1949.

These are selected pieces of memorabilia from the club's early history.

Click on any Artifacts image for enlargement.

First prize in the American Bred Poodle class was awarded to "Zari". The trophy is a Poodle head study sculpture created by Eugene Atkinson, Robinwood Sculpture Studios, Inc., Montague , Michigan that was cast in a unique metal blend created by Mr. Atkinson that he termed "Silver Lume" and was then mounted on a wood plaque with routed edge. The American Kennel Club commissioned Mr. Atkinson to cast such trophies for most breeds recognized by the AKC at that time. It is of interest to note that the list of prizes in the first show catalog specified that Best In Show would receive a Robinwood Life Sized Plaque and first in each Group would receive a Robinwood Winged Trophy.

Name plate of representative trophy from club's first show reads
First Prize
American Bred Class
K.C., MO. 2-27-49

First Prize class ribbon at club's first show on 2/27/49.

First Prize class ribbon at club's second show on 2/26/50.

Second Prize class ribbon at club's second show on 2/26/50.

Jack A. Spear, Breeder/Owner, Tipton, Iowa
Handler: Hollis Willis
Judge: T. H. Carrothers, III

Club members and guests assembled in the ballroom of the historic Muehlebach Hotel in Kansas City for the club's annual banquet following the 1952 all-breed dog show. President Mel Schlesinger is standing at the head table, eighth person from the right.

Wilton Armetale pewter plate cast with HOAKC logo.

Top row: Place card used at the judges dinner in 1990's.
2nd row L to R: Ring Steward badge from March 19, 1972; Ring Steward badge from
March 16, 1975.
3rd row: Ring Steward badge from 50th Anniversary Show, March 16, 1997.
4th row: HOAKC membership card from 1983.
5th row: Show Committee badge from 1990's and into 2000's; Show Committee badge and lanyard currently in use by HOAKC.

This page updated: August 31, 2012

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