Tuesday, September 22, 2015

When in Marshall…

This is the beautiful county courthouse in the center of the old downtown area in Marshall, Missouri!

Mary was driving me to get some lunch after setting up our lecture, and before the activities began and I made her slow down at a street corner to take this shot. 

You know my love of history – and this building stands tall and proud, a testiment to the heartiness of those who settled Marshall in the early 1800s.

From Wikipedia:
Sixty-five acres of land for the city of Marshall was donated by Jeremiah O’Dell, deeded on April 13, 1839. It was named for the United States Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Marshall, when chosen for the county seat.

After the first two courthouses in Marshall were lost to fires, the Saline County Courthouse was constructed in January 1882. It was later placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. It is an enduring landmark in the center of the Marshall Square and a legacy of nineteenth century architecture.
Down and around the corner from the courthouse you will find a beautiful memorial garden:


Jim the Wonder Dog Memorial Garden!

I have to admit I have never heard of Jim the Wonder Dog ..but his little corner of Marshall was so lovely on a Sunday afternoon that I couldn’t help take a walk around and learn more.

Yes, this blog is more than quilting!  You just might learn something too!


From the official website:

Jim was a Llewellyn setter born of pureblood champion field stock in Louisiana. Though his litter mates were selling for $25 each, a goodly sum in 1925, he was considered the most unlikely of the litter and came into Sam VanArsdale's hands for less than half that amount. Attempts to train Jim for the field seemed futile as he lay in the shade watching while the trainer worked with the three other dogs. 
However, when taken to the field that fall for the first time, he immediately went to a covey of quail, came up on perfect point, held steady until the quail was shot, and immediately brought the bird to Mr. VanArsdale on the order to "fetch".
He proved to be a marvelous hunting dog, knowing where there were quail, and refusing to hunt where there were none. His master, an avid hunter who traveled from state to state hunting, kept track of birds shot over his beloved dog. He stopped counting at 5,000, a total no other dog ever reached. Outdoor Life Magazine termed him "The Hunting Dog of the Country".


Beauty in the Garden!

As you go from placard to placard around the garden, each telling the next episode in Jim’s tale –be sure to notice the wonderful landscaping that makes this garden a beautiful spot to stop and relax and enjoy!


The Story of Jim! 
However, Jim was much more than just a champion hunting dog since Mr. VanArsdale found, quite by accident while in the field one day, that his dog could understand what he was saying to him and carried out his commands.
It was a hot day, and Mr. VanArsdale said, "Let's go over and rest a bit under that Hickory tree". Although in a woods of numerous kinds of trees, he went to the Hickory. Surprised by this, he asked Jim to go to a Walnut, then a Cedar, a stump, and a tin can, which he did rapidly and perfectly.
This was the start of the amazing things the dog did on command. When told to do so, he could go out on the street and locate a car by make, color, out-of-state, or a license number. From a crowd he could select the "man who sells hardware", and the one who "takes care of sick people", or the "visitor from Kansas City".

Read on, little guy!
I love to see kids reading, and this little fella was so enraptured with the story of Jim the Wonder Dog that there was no moving him from this placard until he had read every single word!
Boys and dogs ---I bet be would like a dog like Jim!
Jim gains fame! 
Mr. VanArsdale arranged for a demonstration at the University of Missouri with Dr. Durant, head veterinarian. He could find nothing physically abnormal from any other dog. He was tested by a group of college students and passed each command with flying colors.

In 1935 Jim performed at the Kemmerer Hotel in Kemmerer, Wyoming. After his successful performance, an article was written in the Gazette of Kemmerer on Friday, August 30, 1935, telling of this performance and referring to Jim as "The Wonder Dog". 
Jim and his owner.

Jim also performed before the Missouri Legislature and at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia. Newspaper and magazine writers came to witness Jim and were stunned.
They wrote of incredulous things they saw and Jim's fame spread across the United States and elsewhere. He was featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not. 
Believe it or not!
The courthouse across the square!
Read about the bellhop and the winning races!
Newspaper image of Jim.
I admit it, I read every word too!
Pearl’s Stories.
RIP, Jim!
Me & Jim!
Okay, so some might find it hokey.  I know it isn’t your usual kind of sight seeing – but this is me!  If you have a statue of the world’s largest acorn, I want to see it!  If paper clips were invented in your town, I want to see it!
I came to Marshall, and learned about Jim the wonder dog, and wishing I could have known such a dog in my life time!  Children all over Marshall grew up learning about Jim, and I just bet that each and every one of them, just like that young fella I followed from placard to placard, watching him read and devour Jim’s story –wished that they had a wonder dog of their own.
Afternoon piecing!
Today is a double duty lecture day.  My first presentation was at 10am this morning, followed by lunch out with a group of ladies from the guild.  I then was finally able to spend some sewing time this afternoon because I wasn’t too tired to do it!
I’m headed back over to the guild meeting place in about 1/2 hour to start this evening’s round of festivities.
Love from Springfield!

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Lori said...

Beautiful courthouse, fun story!

wiz said...

I hope you got to see the fabulous courthouse floor! It's an incredible quilt design.

wiz said...

I hope you got to see the fabulous courthouse floor! It's an incredible quilt design.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for putting the story of Jim the Wonder Dog on your blog. I come to your blog for the quilting, but it is so much more. Thanks for sharing

Marianne said...

A dog & his person. Didn't understand it till I got one. Loyal. Loving unconditional love. I just look at my Cricket & she makes me smile. Sits at my feet as I quilt for hours. My life is better because I share it with her.

Kate said...

that's a great story, my dad lived in north east MO and its a great state. Not the most sophisticated, but inexpensive, lots of farms and old houses, and small towns with old fashioned values. Heading there when I retire. Thanks for the notice of this nice town. Cheers!

Allison C Bayer Plano TX said...

Thanks Bonnie!! The story of Jim the Wonder Dog was delightful. What fun! Hang in there with your schedule and remember how many quilters you are making happy by being there! Hugs, Allison in Plano, TX

Mary said...

We wouldn't know about old Jim, the wonder Dog, if you hadn't shared the story. Thanks for enlightening us all. I love the old buildings you find. Have a great time in Missouri. counting the days until the Quilt U starts.

Debra in Ohio said...

I enjoyed learning about Jim the wonder dog and related the story to my husband who also enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing it with us! Enjoy the rest of your day!

QuiltLaughLove said...

I just loved reading about Jim. Thanks for sharing all of your finds, quilting or otherwise.

Judy MacLeod said...

I got married in that courthouse in 2001 and learned about Jim then. Also belonged to the Marshall guild and designed the 2005 opportunity quilt. You'll meet some very nice people in Marshall!

Marcy Cady said...

I love that you love Good N Plenty!! That made me laugh. I usually have some beside my sewing machine, too!

blindsay said...

I drive through Marshall a couple times a month and had no idea of this beautiful old courthouse or of Jim the Wonder Dog. I will be stopping on my next trip through Marshall. Love my home state of Missouri.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed that story and the pictures! Thanks for sharing, some of us travel through others eyes when we can't do the traveling ourselves. Thanks, Bonnie! jannie_bug56@hotmail.com

Lace Faerie said...

Thank you for sharing the wondrous dog Jim! As I am not likely to ever visit there in person. It was a delight to read!
Love your Featherweight! Someday, someday.

Evelyn 522 said...

Isn't it great to be curious? Being a life long dog person I loved this post.

Anonymous said...


I loved your story of Jim the Wonder Dog...I have a dog named Todie and he understands a lot of what I say. I talk to him constantly and am always amazed by his response to what I am doing...such as "Is it raining Todie" and he runs to the window to check. He is not as wonderful as Jim but certainly very intelligent and of course rules the house...LOL.

Marcia B said...

Thoroughly enjoyed the story about Jim the Wonder Dog. Dogs are so amazing in their ability to touch individuals' hearts in ways you could never imagine. Wish I would've been able to meet and interact with Jim! I am an avid dog lover and serve as president of our local Humane Society in hopes of finding a forever home for all our adoptable! :)

Leavenworth Robin said...

Bonnie thank you for sharing your adventures of Jim the Wonder Dog. What a wonderful and interesting animal.

Anonymous said...

LOVE LOVE this story. I have 3 wonderful dogs, Geena, Belle Dobbies and A Husky Sadie. All three are very smart and very very loving. THank you for sharing.

Nora J said...

Thanks for this wonderful story and great pictures to go with it.

Rita Haverman said...

Love love love Good and Plenty. I cannot buy them because I will immediately open the box and eat them all. I cannot help myself. Love your post about that amazing dog.