Keckler exhibit at Greenville Public Library

Staff report

GREENVILLE — Beginning Aug.16, the Greenville Public Library will be housing the exhibit, “Vakeck Kennels: The Forgotten Legacy of Cyril and Virginia Keckler.”

The collection, which features an assortment of photos, stamps, envelopes, postcards, and newspaper clippings, will be on display in the Reference Room for one week during the library’s regular business hours. It will also be available to view online via the library’s website, www.greenville-publiclibrary.org, under the services page.

Cyril and Virginia Keckler were the world-renowned owners of the Vakeck Kennels, where they bred and sold show-quality Great Danes from 1930 until 1950. The kennel was first located on East Water Street, but in 1940 moved to the Old Toll House Road in Greenville, Ohio.

After the untimely death of Cyril in 1947, and the closure of the kennels approximately three years later, Virginia continued her career as a well-respected AKC judge until her death in 1981.

The Kecklers were vital in establishing the Treaty City Kennel Club in 1940, as well as bringing the first AKC registered dog show to Greenville. This show, known as the Treaty City Kennel Dog Show, brought in large crowds and show dogs from around the U.S. until 1951.

The history of Vakeck Kennels was uncovered after an extensive stamp collection acquired by the Kecklers was donated to the library in July of 2020. Alice Browne-Eberhart, whose father was a close friend of Cyril and Virginia, generously gifted the assortment of memorabilia.

The Dayton Philatelic Club has helped assess the value and philatelic details of the stamps and envelopes. They also graciously donated the exhibit easels, as well as helped to prepare the physical exhibit to showcase the story of the Kecklers and their champion Great Dane lineage.

Earlham College assisted by translating the German documents contained within the collection.

The project was funded through a federal Institute of Museum and Library Services LSTA grant awarded by the State Library of Ohio. The content does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the granting agencies.

For more information about the exhibit, contact Rachel Brock at the library by calling 937-548-3915.