Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, January 11, 2015, pg. 10
Sometimes people are known for their hobbies, rather than their employment. Such was the case with one 20th century Albion couple. They were Max (1900-1973) and Isabell (Purdom)(1901-1973) DuPark. The DuPark’s lived at 502 Linden Avenue. Max’s parents lived next door, and his father Willoughby was a long-time Albion contractor.
The DuParks raised show dogs at their home, and called their business the Parkway Kennels. Their kennel was one of the few in outstate Michigan that could boast of five champions. The couple were one of the founders of both the Jackson and Albion Kennel Clubs and Max served as a president of the Jackson Club. Max was also a licensed judge of the American Kennel Club of New York and judged at numerous dog shows across the country. Isabell also judged at shows.
As far as employment, Max worked at Frost’s Shoe Store in downtown Albion for 18 years until 1933 during the Great Depression. At that time he obtained employment at the Albion Malleable Iron Company, where he worked as a pattern maker until his retirement. Isabell worked for a time in the editorial department of the Albion Evening Recorder. She also taught and designed flower arrangements, and judged at flower shows in Michigan. She was a president of both the Albion Women’s Club, and the Albion Garden Club.
The DuPark’s raised and showed English Setters, Airdales, Afghans, and Poodles. A 1948 article about the couple stated, "They have shown dogs all over the United States and have won at many of the largest shows in the country. The living room in their home is a veritable trophy room where trophies they have won are displayed in a case form ceiling to floor, on the mantle and on tables throughout the room. Over the fireplace is hung a large oil painting of their first Champion, the famous English Setter, Champion Daro’s Gloria of Delwed."
Another of their dogs, an Airdale, was a son of the famous champion Tindern Tip Top, "which later turned out to be a litter brother of President Harding’s Laddy Boy," stated a 1948 article in the Albion Malleable Iron Company publication, the Circle-A-Tor (March 1948 issue). During their dog-raising career, there were numerous articles written about the couple in "big city" newspapers in the Midwest.
If that weren’t enough, the DuParks worked on establishing a balanced diet food for their dogs which contained the necessary protein, vitamins and minerals to keep their dogs in tip-top show condition. The popularity of their Parkay Dog Food spread to friends and kennel owners. Soon Max purchased a station wagon in Albion and sold and delivered the dog food to kennels in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois, as well as at dog shows he attended. Later, their feed business grew to a point where a large truck was used to transport the dog food.
Upon Max’s retirement the couple moved to St. Petersburg, Florida in 1965. Isabell passed away there in September, 1973. Max moved back to Michigan to live with his son near Jackson, where he died in December that same year. The couple’s cremains were interred in Riverside Cemetery in Albion.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present photographs of Max and Isabell DuPark. How many of our readers remember the DuParks?
Isabell DuPark, and
Max DuPark, from the Circle-A-Tor 1948, pg. 3
All text copyright, 2016 © all rights reserved Frank Passic