By Richard I. Gibson
(Click pictures to enlarge)
“You see dogs everywhere. On leashes and off leashes, on the run, on the sneak, on the yelp or on some other less fortunate brother dog’s neck.”
—Butte Evening News, Feb. 20, 1910
The Butte Kennel Club was organized in 1907 with James Keefe as its president and architect Herman Kemna among its first members. By 1910 the club had grown to 70 members, active in breeding and showing dogs across the nation. Bally Tip, Keefe’s Airedale, was touted by the Butte Evening News as “one of the greatest dogs in the country.” Airedales seemed to be a favorite in Butte, with more than 60 in residence in 1910 and at least six that had taken blue ribbons in national competitions. “Butte stands supreme” in the entire nation in terms of winning Airedales, the News bragged.
Keefe was proprietor of the Post-Office News Stand at 27 West Park. His home where Bally Tip presumably lived was at 313 S. Dakota. Kemna lived at 635 South Main. Keefe’s house is still standing, but Kemna’s appears to be gone.
Dr. E.F. Maginn of 635 W. Granite (a home designed by Butte architect Henry Patterson) had “a string of silver cups long enough to go round a small hall,” won by his English Bull Terrier Monte Christo and other canines.
Sources: Butte Evening News, Feb. 20, 1910 (photos and quotes); Dogdom, v. 8, 1907, p. 956 (Kemna letter); city directories; Sanborn maps.