American Field

Ties to Bird Dog History of the 1800s

Visitors a Link to the Legendary Count Noble

By David Smith | Oct 01, 2013
Betsy and Steve Bell visited the National Bird Dog Museum where Betsy’s great-great-grandfather’s famous setter Count Noble is preserved.

Grand Junction, Tenn. — Recent first-time visitors to the National Bird Dog Museum at Grand Junction, Tenn., included Betsy McNulty Bell and her husband Steve of Beaver Falls, Pa. Mrs. Bell is the great-great-granddaughter of the late B. F. Wilson from Sewickley, Pa. (Pittsburgh area). Mr. Wilson was the final owner of the famed English setter, Count Noble, whose remains are preserved in the diorama shown behind Mr. and Mrs. Bell in the accompanying photo.

Count Noble was born in Wales in 1879, was brought to America as a puppy by Mr. D. C. Sanborn of Michigan and later was acquired by B. F. Wilson. Count Noble died in January, 1891. He achieved great fame and notoriety as a performer both in the field and on the bench, and as a producer.

Upon the dog’s death, notice of his demise appeared in the New York Times.

Mr. Wilson had the presence of mind to have him mounted. When Wilson died six years later, the family gave the mount of Count Noble to the Carnegie Museum in downtown Pittsburgh. There he remained for 102 years until the exhibit became a gift to the National Bird Dog Museum in 1999. Predating the National Championship at Ames Plantation, Count Noble first visited Grand Junction in 1881, placing second in a brace stake.

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