Jim The Wonder Dog Memorial Park


Jim The Wonder Dog Memorial Park, Marshall
101 North Lafayette
Marshall, MO 65340

Jim The Wonder Dog Memorial Park, by all accounts, Jim was a magical dog who could understand words and even predict the future. And, in case you have your doubts, it was all proven in a special session of the Missouri State Legislature. Jim was the runt of a pureblood litter of LLewellyn Setters and was purchased—at half the price of his siblings—by Sam Van Arsdale who worked with a trainer to teach Jim to hunt. Jim spent most of his time laying in the shade showing very little promise as a hunting dog during his training. It seems that he was paying attention. Once tested in the field, Jim proved to be an outstanding hunting dog, finding quail, holding steady until it was shot, and acting on Van Arsdale’s command of fetch immediately. He was so outstanding that he was called “The Hunting Dog of the Country” by Outdoor Life Magazine. One day, the two were hunting when Sam said, “Let’s sit in the shade of that hickory tree and rest.” Jim trotted over to a hickory tree and sat down. Intrigued, Sam told him to find an oak tree. Jim did. Then he found a walnut tree, a cedar, an ordinary stump and even a hazel bush. Sam was becoming aware that Jim was more than an ordinary dog. Jim’s amazing abilities didn’t stop there. It is said he could find a specific car with a specific license plate number, or a car by color or from another state. He could also pick out, from a crowd, specific people of the community, whether they knew Jim or not. And at the height of his talents, Jim the Wonder Dog could predict the future. He chose the winner of the Kentucky Derby seven years in a row, predicted the Yankee victory in the 1936 baseball World Series and correctly identified the sex of unborn infants. After testing Jim, the director of the School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. A. J. Durant, said Jim “possessed an occult power that might never come again to a dog in many generations.” Jim was invited to Jefferson City to demonstrate his powers before a joint session of the Missouri Legislature. He picked out various people from their complexions and from certain types and colors of dress. He obeyed an order given him in shorthand. In order to preclude any secret signaling, a Morse code message was tapped out (Sam didn’t understand Morse code) instructing Jim to walk to a certain member. Jim did it. In 1999, Jim the Wonder Dog Memorial Park was built in Marshall in Jim’s honor. With manicured plantings and shrubs and surrounded by old brick buildings, it is a restful and beautiful place to stop. A brick walkway takes you past a gazebo and over a trickling brook past plaque stations that describe Jim’s amazing life and achievements. At the center is a statue of Jim.

As featured in Missouri Back Road Restaurant Recipes