Midwest Mastiff Fanciers History
by Patrice Hoffman
The Midwest Mastiff Fanciers actually came into being in 1969. It happened quite casually, a few of us who owned Mastiffs were visiting and talking about our dogs, when someone said that “maybe we could get together for shows and things”. As far as I can remember, that was the beginning.
So In July 1969, I sent out a letter to about 30 people in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan to see if anyone would be interested in a very informal group. Almost everyone replied, and the first “Newsletter”, a one page mimeographed sheet, went out to fifty people in January 1970.
Our first meeting was in May 1970 at the Stone City KC, New Lenox, IL. Twenty Mastiffs were entered, an enormous number for that time. At the meeting it was decided to support two shows a year, and have no formal organization as yet, only a Secretary and a Show Chairman.
The next meeting was that fall, at the Lafayette, In. KC Show, again with an entry of twenty. To everyone’s delight and surprise, a Mastiff, CH National Genghis, placed fourth in Group! At the very casual meeting, a few officers were elected. Since we decided to charge dues and had a trophy fund, a Treasurer was necessary. Elaine Campbell was elected with Sam Dollin as President, and I kept on as Secretary and Editor of the bi-monthly newsletter.
MMF’s purpose was, as I wrote at that time; “We try to answer questions, encourage interest in the Mastiff, help breeders place their puppies in suitable homes, and promote and improve the breed.”
It was all very informal, and meetings were largely a chance to visit and enjoy the dogs. For several years the spring show was in Lafayette, and the Hoffman’s hosted dinner and cocktails. The fall show was at New Lenox, with Bob and Marie Kross providing hospitality. We tried to have a speaker or seminar, to educate owners, many of who were complete novices.
At the first meeting it was decided not to have a formal structure, and anyone was welcome to join. The only exception to this was that pet-store owners who traded in dogs were not eligible. The emphasis was on enjoying the dogs and some of our members were not interested in showing or breeding.
Through the years people have joined and dropped out, but a very few of the early members still belong. Barbara Steinberg and Dr. and Mrs. Edward Funk are the only ones.