Friday, January 21, 2022

"The Wealthiest Dog in the Show"

On Monday, Gossips shared an account discovered in the Columbia Republican for January 17, 1922, of the Columbia County Kennel Club dog show that took place at City Hall, in what is now the second floor performance space at Hudson Hall. The mention in the account of John Tucker, who showed "the wealthiest dog in the show," prompted Bruce Mitchinson to post a comment sharing some very interesting information about John Tucker. Mitchinson tells us that John Tucker was the chauffeur for a woman named Amanda Limbrick, and his wife, Adelaide, whose mother was a niece of W. E. B. Dubois, was Amanda Limbrick's seamstress. Limbrick, who was both rich and generous, built the house at 433 State Street for John and Adelaide, as a wedding present. 

The Tuckers were active in AME Zion Church and the Colored Citizens Club, and their house was a social hub for the black community. It was also what Mitchinson describes as "an early B&B for black visitors" to Hudson, when public hostelries were segregated. The house is still owned by descendants of John and Adelaide Tucker.

The story of John Tucker piqued my curiosity about their benefactress, Amanda Limbrick, and the prize-winning collie to whom, according to the newspaper account, she had bequeathed a small fortune. From her obituary, which appeared in the Columbia Republican on November 15, 1921, we learn that she was born in Catskill, her family moved to Hudson when she was very young, and her father was "a cattle buyer on an extensive scale and amassed a fortune by his chosen profession."  

More information gleaned from old newspapers makes it possible to deduce that the amazing house pictured below, which once stood at Cross and South Front streets, was Amanda Limbrick's home, which she had inherited from her father in 1892.   

On January 27, 1901, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported that the residence of Miss Amanda Limbrick on Cross Street was totally destroyed by fire. 

After the fire, Amanda Limbrick moved to a new house at 535 Union Street, where she lived until her death in November 1921.

Amanda Limbrick had inherited her father's vast fortune, and although in her lifetime, according to the Catskill Recorder, she "did a vast amount of charitable work while never letting the public know of her ministrations," her estate at her death was valued at $200,000. Today that would be about $2.8 million. Most of the money went to an aunt and female cousins in Catskill, who were her only surviving relatives, but $3,000, which would have the value of more that $41,000 today, was put in trust for the care of her beloved collie, Blink. John Tucker, who showed the collie at the Columbia County Kennel Club dog show in January 1922, was entrusted with the care of Blink.

Tragically, although his future was well provided for, Blink survived his human by only a little more than three months. On February 28, 1922, the Columbia Republican reported his death.

The account of Blink's death indicates that half the money put in trust for Blink was to go, at his death, to the Humane Society and the other half to John Tucker. The final sentence of the account is likely to inspire a new Gossips investigation: "The canine will be given the finest burial any dog ever had here." The burning question is: Where was Blink buried? 


  1. Thank you posting this very interesting story. I'm glad that I was able to give you enough information about my neighbor's ancestors and house to help you go in the right direction to do your usual amazing investigative journalism. It would be interesting to know where Blink is buried.

  2. Sounds pretty fishy to me that the dog died so soon after its benefactress. The money must have been too big of a temptation to his keeper.