The Irish Setter Club of Michigan was organized in 1944 under the direction of Dr. Howard Pierce and with the support of the other charter members, Ronald Marco, John Procobb, Elmer Olmstead, Duncomb MacInnes, Dr. Arthur Erkifitz and Wilfred Kennedy. The first name chosen for the club was the Midwest Irish Setter Club, but after considering the large territory it would encompass, it was finally decided to incorporate under the name of “The Irish Setter Club of Michigan.”
In 1945 our first Specialty show was held in conjunction with several other local breed and obedience clubs, and was quite a success. In 1946, after a second successful Specialty, some of the members lost interest when Dr. Pierce and Mr. Kennedy passed away. With their passing the club lost two of its most eager and enthusiastic supporters. The meetings at that time were held at the member’s homes and were carried on with a mere handful of members. These loyal Irish Setter fanciers kept the club in existence, often thinking that it was not worth the effort. It took some time, but finally their efforts started to show and the club began to get members.
In March 1947, the membership grew even larger when many of the member’s wives were called upon to give a helping hand. The women soon became interested in the field and obedience classes and the other new activities that were being started. Later that same year, Mrs. Helen Duffesay was selected to be the first editor of the club paper, and thus the “News and Views” was born.
The accomplishments of the 50’s and 60’s were outstanding. As the club continued to grow so did the breed. The Irish Setter was living up to our club motto, “For Beauty” (Show), “For Friendship” (Obedience), “For Use” (Field). During these years Doggie Day and the Puppy Match became an annual time for enjoyment. Our Obedience drill team was established and since has performed in schools, clubs, churches, parks and St. Patrick’s Day parades. We also began holding two Specialty Shows, an Obedience Trial and two Field Trials yearly.
Now, in 2019, the Irish Setter Club of Michigan is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Our membership has climbed to a count of around 100, and we continue to strive for the same success that we had in the past.