Finley River Chief
Breeding Today For Hounds Of Tomorrow!
History Of Treeing Walker Coonhounds
   Nite Champion Finley River Chief 
                    "A Legend"

                                                                                                        Click here for BLOG

For more pictures and ads from the past

Be Sure To Join Our Foundation Of The Breed Forum, It costs nothing and there are many pictures of the greats of the past and also many ads on these hounds.  Here is where you will fine the most pictures and ads.  New ones are being put up most everyday.  Click the link below and enjoy a trip back to the past.

TO JOIN OUR NEW  FORUM OF HISTORY.  We still have a lot of work to do on it and a lot more information to add, but on this site you will fine more information on one site then anywhere else.  It will be full of pictures and old ads from the past.  A lot of pictures and ads many have never seen.  There is also a Discussion Board to share ideas on breeding and anything related to the Treeing Walker Breed.  Even a section to place Stud and Puppy For Sale ads.  It will be easier to find things on this then our old Foundation Of The Breed Forum.  It is still in the creation process so please be patient with our progress.  To go to the NEW  FORUM OF HISTORY.   
Click Here:

                                   A.C.H.A. World Championship

If you are new to the sport of coonhunting and competition hunts you are aware that there are numerous World Hunts.  In the beginning it wasn't that way.  The ACHA World Hunt was the only True world hunt in the beginning.  Even after others started forming world hunts in other organizations the ACHA World Hunt was the one everyone wanted to win. The true World Champion was the ACHA World Champion.  It was the Gold Standard for Titles.  It was the one title everyone that was into competition wanted if they had a choice.  Many of the greats in the Treeing Walker Hall Of Fame were ACHA World Champions.  The ACHA is the "orginal world hunt." The "grandfather of all world hunts" is rich in history and tradition. Every legend in coon hunting has competed and dreamed of winning this "World Hunt".

History of ACHA

In the mid 1940's a small group of coon hunters formed an organization that would give coon hunters and their hounds an opportunity to display their skills in events called Wild Coon Hunts. They called themselves the American Coon Hunters Association ... ACHA.

In 1985 ACHA reached it's peak, they hunted 635 dogs in DuQuion, Il. and every coon hunter in the country wanted to win "THE WORLD CHAMPIONSIP", the ACHA World Championship!

In the late 1980"s ACHA and AKC merged to form ACHA/AKC. The merger was a disappointment to both parties and was dissolved shortly after it was formed. Since that time ACHA and AKC have gone their seperate ways and to this day remain two completely seperate and independent registries.

The Directors of the American Coon Hunters Association have pledged to do everything we can to maintain, improve and pass on the traditions and intergrity of this proud association.

• "ACHA" .... owned and governed by it's membership.
• "ACHA" .... the "original coon hunting association".
• "ACHA" .... the "granddaddy" of all the "World Hunts".
• "ACHA" .... committed to providing the fairest, most affordable and most enjoyable hunt                     we can.
• "ACHA" .... where our goal is to promote the "coonhound".
• "ACHA" .... "where it all started" and we live by our creed.... "fair to all and partial                     to none!".

For Pictures Of All The ACHA World Champions Click Here to visit our forum with the pictures.


1949                             White River Boone                  Lester Nance
1951 - 1952                 Incredible Rock                        Wade Derryberry
1955 - 1956 - 1958   Merchant's Bawlie                   James Merchant
1959                              Merchant's Fannie                  Clay Hair
1960                              Deep River Mike                       Jesse Lutes Jr.
1961                               Stan's Sailor Boy                       W.O. (Stan) Stanfill
1962                              Katie's Rowdy                             Jesse Lutes Jr.
1963                              House's Bawlie                           Joe House
1964                              Stan's Sailor Jr.                           W.O. (Stan) Stanfill
1965                              Claxton's Finley River Spot     John J. Monroe
1966                              Spring Creek Smokey                Duane Clark
1968 - 1969                 Mathis Carolina Casey              Jim Mathis
1970                               Gann's Finisher                           Pride Gann
1971                                Robb's Danny Boy                      J.P. Tyree
1972                               Vance's Crowding Billy              Buddy Gilbert
1973                               Beanblossom Buck                     Pride Gann
1974                               Swinney's Diamond Jim           Buddy Gilbert
1975                               Tennessee Lead                           Billy Ledbetter & Pride Gann
1976                               House's Tom Tom                       Harold Trusty
1978                               Wagoner's Bandit                        Robert Wagoner
1981                                Hern's Red Eagle Dick              Gary & Joyce Herns
1982                                Kentucky River Striker             Russell Bellar
1985                                House's Snipe                              Joe Poe
2005                                Rock                                                Brandon Duncan
2006                                Maggie                                            Thomas Wayne Primeux 

                       AKC purchased the ACHA Registry in 1986

1987                              Boggy Creek Bonnie                    
1988                              Smith's Ohio Clipper                   
1989                              Buck Creek Gracie                        
1990                              Mack's Little Joe                           
1992                              Hardwood Mandy                        
1993                              Campbell's Bluegrass Luther   
1994                              Bristol Ridge Spring                     
1995                              Smith's Ohio Cindy                       
1996                              Ward's Hardwood Hank             
1997                               William's Lipper Dee                   
1998                               Abby Creek Earnhart                   
1999                               Brandy                                              
2000                              Sackett's Sun                                  
2002                              Thompson's Dutchess                 
2003                               KY. Swamp Buggy II                     
2004                               Nocturnal Horn                             
2005                               Buck Creek Mr. Smith                 
2006                               Bellar's Gabby                                 
2008                               Buck Creek Mr. Smith                  


1978                                Loomis Tom
1979                                Mullin's Sugar Creek Rip
1981                                Lewis' Rebel
1982                                Rock River Banjo
1983                                Indian Creek Pride
1984                                Smith's Hillbilly Mac
1985                                Miller's Beaver lake Magic
1986                                Bellar's Pac Man
1989                                Crawley's Louise
1990                                Tony's Wild Joey
1991                                 Nelson's Radar
1993                                House's Tri-Color Tom Tom
1994                                Charley Creek Terra
1996                                Hannas Creek Mac Attack
1997                                Loomacres Rocky Mtn Jasper
2005                               Bolden & Turpin's Insane Jane
Split Creek History Quick
2007                               Bellar's Janice Joplin


1981                                  Deamon                                             Russ Bellar
1982                                  Smokin' Joe                                     Gary Herns
1983                                  Hillbilly Mac                                    Raby Smith
1984                                  Piney Creek Cash                           Rodney Greene
1985                                  Piney Creek  Booger                      Rodney Greene
1986                                  Luckett's Old Duke                        David Luckett
1987                                   Alabama Eagle                                J.R. Sparkman
1988                                   Oak Hill Snake                               Mike Creasy
1989                                   Alabama Jar                                   
Terry Nix - Johnny Brown
1990                                  Fall River Polly                                Ralph Odgen
1991                                   Half Pint Patty                                 J.C. Ellis-Frankie Dukes
1992                                  Luckett's Old Duke                         David Luckett
1993                                  Awsome Annie                                 Russ Bellar - David Juvers
1997                                  Stylish Lady                                       Brian Turner
2007                                 Hawk's Traxx Attack                       Delbert Hawkins

There are a lot more that will be added soon. Photobucket

Stan's Sailor Boy       Merchant's Bawlie      House's Bawlie
1961 World Ch.           3 Time World Ch.     1963 Dual World Ch.

                       Billy                  Jim

Vance's Crowding Billy  1972 World Ch.
Swinney's Diamond Jim  1974 World Ch.

The Treeing Walker was developed from certain strains of English Walker Foxhounds. The credit for the development of the Walker Foxhound goes to two men - George Washington Maupin and John W. Walker. Both men were from Kentucky.

Before that time Thomas Walker of Albemarle County, Virginia, imported hounds from England in 1742. George Washington, who was an avid fox hunter, also imported several hounds from England in 1770. These dogs became the foundation strains of the "Virginia hounds", which were developed into the Walker hounds.

At least one major outcross was made in the 19th century that was to forever influence the breed. Strangely, the outcross was with a stolen dog from Tennessee of unknown origin, known as "Tennessee Lead."

Lead didn't look like the Virginia strain of English Foxhounds of that day. But he had an exceptional amount of game sense, and plenty of drive and speed and a clear, short mouth.

Walkers were first registered with U.K.C. as part of the English Coonhound breed. Then in 1945, at the request of Walker breeders, U.K.C. began registering them as a separate breed - first as Walkers (Treeing) and then later as Treeing Walkers.

The Lester Nance Story

After a long battle with Parkinson's disease, Lester Nance, of Arcadia, Indiana joined many of his hunting friends and their Lord, on December 9, 2001. He was born December 18, 1912, thus only 9 days short of 89 years old, and essentially all of it in his beloved Hamilton County.

Lester was a farmer that specialized in performance tested Purebred Yorkshire hogs, which he exhibited at the Indiana State Fair for over 50 consecutive years, and was well known for his enduring love and devotion to the TREEING WALKER HOUND.

Lester's first coon hunt was in November of 1926, and although disease made his body unable to actually participate, his mind was still with the hounds, and the many friends they brought him until his death. He had watched closely the Walker Foxhounds in his area that would tree game, not just run track, and in October of 1932 gave $13 cash and two bags of pig supplement for a 7 month old black & white male he named White River King. The name was used, because it was in the bottoms and banks of the White River where he and his good friend Ted Hosier (who died on the same day as Lester), spent their nights during the Great Depression.

White River King became well respected amongst all coonhunters of the area, and generated a whole new level for those that enjoyed the sport. Beginning in 1942, Lester contacted both AKC and UKC about starting a registry for his Walkers, but they were not interested in doing so. Finally, in May of 1943 the Full Cry Kennel Club recognized them as a breed, and White River King was the first recorded. In July of 1944 Lester advertised a litter of pups for $35 each, this was the first advertisement ever, using the words "Treeing Walkers". In this ad, he noted that he did not breed for length of ear, but what was between the ears.

After much discussion and several meetings, United Kennel Club did recognize the breed in 1946. But, as many of you know, they were registered as English Coonhound (Walker Treeing). They were registered this way until 1978, until pressure from the breeders, and a change of philosophy of the UKC finally gave way to the original name of 35 years before. White River King was again the first pedigree issued within this new breed, and thus the "ORIGINAL TREEING WALKER"

The first meeting of breeders to organize the first National Treeing Walker Association was held at the Nance farm in 1946, and was attended by about 40 people, including the entire Nance family, Russell Baker, George Zenk, Floyd Reeder, Albert Hopkins, and Stanley Knott. All would play important roles in getting the organization off the ground. The first National Treeing Walker Days was held the Walnut Grove School located about ¾ mile from the Nance farm in 1951, and was won by a son of White River Boone. Lester also had the first Treeing Walker Field Champion and Bench Champion. He also sat in on the committee that organized and designed bench shows, which is basically to same format followed today.

In 1949 Lester and his long time hunting companion Gleasel Harris traveled to Springfield, Ohio to the ACHA World Hunt. For those of a younger generation, this is when there was just "one" all breed national hunt a year, and it was by far the most important hunt held each year. When all the dust had settled, Lester had the first Treeing Walker to be called a World Champion in White River Boone, which he had purchased from Bernard Hole, and the Reserve World Champion was White River Rowdy, both Lester's and daughter Beth's all time favorite female, and daughter of White River King.

Perhaps the most important thing that occurred during this era, was that the Nance, Hole, Hosier, Harris, Dague and Emmert families have kept in touch and small children of that time now tell their grandchildren of the same experiences and relationships that the first Treeing Walkers made possible.

Lester stayed active for many more years, and produced dogs that were known to run track with the best anywhere. Many were used by big game hunters, and advertised as Nance Bred Hounds. Bob Marosock of Sheridan, Wyoming did much to continue the strain, when health problems began to limit Lester's ability to participate in hunts. However, at this point he had set the stage for breeders like Duane Clark, Jim Merchant, Joe House, John Monroe, J.C. Ellis, and others to take the breed on to new heights and accomplishments.

Lester's last active appearance at a National Event was at the Walker Days in Kalamazoo, Michigan where he was photographed with House's Lipper, Nocturnal Nailor, and Rock River Sackett Jr. These were and may still be the three most influential dogs of the breed, and could all be traced though extended pedigrees, to the Original Treeing Walkers that he so loved. It also connected him to another generation of Walker breeders, McCallister, Dickerson, and Giddings.

Along with his registry and breeding accomplishments, Lester was blessed with three grandsons, Kip and Trent Gordon of Arcadia and Cicero, and Mic Newby of Carthage, Indiana all of which hunt as much as they can, and have some of the closest relatives to the "originals" as possible. They process the appreciation and drive that Lester passed along to them, and in their own way have contributed to the breed. .

Daughter Beth (Snedegar), who can be found in many of the old pictures and records, played an active role in breed activities for 25 years, and has shown many Walkers to local, state, and national championships. Granddaughter Tricia has followed closely in the same footsteps. Beth could often be found curled up with Rowdy when she was small. On December 20 of 1934, Lester married Imogene Carson, and together they spent the next 67 years. They raised 4 children, Alan Nance of Augusta, Georgia; Lou Lee of Tipton, Indiana; Ann Gordon of Arcadia, Indiana; and Beth Snedegar of Vermontville, Michigan. They influenced together, 12 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Imogene could always be counted upon to have plenty to eat for both the hunters and swine exhibitors alike, and came to know all that visited them. Together they were secretary to the Indiana Yorkshire Swine Association for 25 years, and watched over the 4-H swine show at both the Hamilton County Fair and the Indiana State Fair. They had several champions, the first Certified Meat Sire through the Indiana Swine Evaluation Station, and were inducted into the Indiana Livestock Breeders Hall of Fame. They also found time to play an active role in the Republican Party.

Lester was buried under a stone the two had special made several years ago. Etched in the stone between them, is White River King, from a photo taken in 1933. The cemetery is located near a creek where Lester used to hunt, and empties within 2-3 miles into the White River, and about 4 miles from where King was buried in 1946.

Although no longer physically with us, he still lives in every "TREEING WALKER" put down on a track!!!!

          Lester Nance


                                   Treeing Walker Breeders and Fanciers Association

                                                             HALL OF FAME

 The names in red have Finley River Bloodlines in them.



1968 Johnson's Banjo 1970 Miller's Roxie
1968 Merchant's Bawlie 1970 Bixler's Supreme Sally
1968 Shelter's Sonny Boy 1970 House's Queen
1968 Miller's Little Joker 1970 Merchant's Fannie
1968 Incredible Rock 1971 Hart's Queen
1969 White River King 1971 R&R Little Mille
1969 Motley's Missouri Major 1972 Lincoln's Babe
1970 White River Boone 1972 Goodwin's Little Jewel
1970 Merchant's Banjo II 1972 None
1970 Deep River Mike 1973 Eby's Sally
1970 Spring Creek Smokey 1974 Hershberger's Kansas Babe
1971 Katie's Rowdy 1975 Shady Lake Melody Ann
1971 Finley River Spot 1976 Kentucky Jude
1971 Carolina Casey 1977 Finley River Queen
1971 Stan's Sailor Boy 1978 Kentucky River Jill
1972 House's Bawlie 1979 Finley River Kate
1972 Illinois Mack 1980 Buffalo River Queen
1972 Stan's Sailor Jr. 1981 Dohoney's Cadillac
1973 Cherry River Banjo 1982 Pfeister's Little Judy
1974 Indiana Boone Boy 1983 White River Rowdy
1974 Finley River Chief 1984 Derickson's Singing Patches
1975 Gann's Finnisher 1985 Magill's Lone Pine Jill
1975 Vance's Crowding Billy 1986 Willow Slough Kate
1975 House's Chief 1987 Tinsley's Kansas Tess
1976 Tennessee Lead 1988 House's Queen Lou
1976 Shady Lake Bawlie 1989 Richies Rockwell Dawn
1977 Finley River Pete 1990 Daniel's Big Dot
1978 Finley River Joe 1991 Hern's Crowding Cindy
1979 Boone Creek Mike 1992 Logan's Wild Julie
1979 Swinney's Diamond Jim 1993 McKissick Creek Tabitha
1980 Rob's Danny Boy 1993 Tony's Wild Joey
1980 Mears Finley River Dan 1994 Easy Goin Eileen
1981 Wagoner's Bandit 1995 Burning Fork Jewell
1981 Spring Creek Rock 1996 Kerting's Seven Mile Sue
1982 McCallister's Finley River Banjo 1997 Neosho River Checkers
1983 Gold Creek Mundo 1998 Schmersal's Stylish Queen
1983 House's Tom Tom 1999 Logan's Wild Jeanie
1983 Beanblossom Buck 2000 Moll's Salt Creek Ann
1984 Hershberger's Oklahoma Spot 2001 Buck Creek Gracie
1985 Tablerock Flying Hawk 2002 Skean's Dolly
1985 Lewis' Rebel 2003 Tarheel Peggy
1986 Mullins' Sugar Creek Rip 2003 Miller's Candy
1986 Miller's Rock 2004 Abbott's Big Horn Daisy
1987 Kaw River Chief
1988 Moffet's W.C. Deamon
1988 Loomis's Tom
1988 River Bend Flag
1990 Beaver Lake Magic
1990 Red Eagle Dick
1990 House's Clint
1991 Ball's Hickory Nut Harry
1992 Spring Creek Radar
1993 Norman's Coon Stopper
1994 Hardwood Bozo
1995 Logan's Wild Clover
1996 Indian Creek Pride
1996 Rock River Banjo
1996 Smith's Hillbilly Mac
1996 Kentucky River Striker
1996 Rock River Ring
1997 Hi Country Nite Heat
1998 Neosho River Jet
1998 Bellar's Pac Man
1999 Wick's Stylish Banjo
2000 Yadkin Tar Rattler
2000 Meier's Wildwood Bo
2001 Coffey's Hardtwist
2001 Rains Banjo Jr.
2001 Spring Creek Foot
2001 Minkler's Kansas Rock
2001 House's Lipper
2002 Dohoney's Boone
2003 Yadkin River Jeff
2003 Rock River Sackett Jr.
2004 Simpon's Blue River Finn
2004 Nocturnal Nailor


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