Senior Teacher  Clemens Heitmann  (1854-1917)

 

Heitmann comes of a long line of school teachers. He was born in Grävingheide near Dorsten. His first engagement as an educator came in 1870. Later he taught in Ochtrup and Everswinkel by Warendorf. Finally, in 1873, he was employed on a permanent basis as teacher, organist and sacristan in Steinfurt. He held this post till 1915.

His daughter tells of his strict school discipline, but also of paternal care which lasted long after his students had left school. He personally drew up and made comprehensive, outstanding teaching material – inter alia a taxidermist's stuffed animals' collection – which the school had not been able previously to afford. In this way he illustrated aspects of science which at that time were denied to most primary and lower secondary school students.

This person, so full of feeling for nature, was also a passionate hunter. During a hunt in the Dumte he had the misfortune of falling into a deep and wide stream. Unperturbed by this accident he carried on hunting, thereby contracting a serious cold. Unfortunately he never really recovered, and after a long time ill in bed, he passed away on January 13, 1917.

Heitmann acquired his first Small Muensterlaender bitch in 1877. When time came for a replacement dog he had his bitches mated, but only with sires whose excellent hunting capabilities he had personally witnessed during hunts.

Heitmann was one of the first breeders to start seriously thoroughbreeding the line of SMs that was later to bear his name. They were lightly built, rather leggy dogs with excellent hunting qualities, dapper and easily handled, and very social. Shoulder height was 40-50 centimeters, and they bayed when tracking. He had bought his first dog, named ‘Flora’, from August Hessling, innkeeper in Leer, who had been breeding these dogs since 1850.

'Flora von Westerberg' 5

Typical Heitmann SMP

Edmund Löns wrote:

“We began the breeding programme without much difficulty, from a rather limited but thoroughbred stock: the famous dogs of the Heitmann line. With the utmost kindness Herr Heitmann the elder let me know everything of interest concerning these dogs. I, for my part, was able to complement his information with what I knew from other breeders who had been breeding for many years; furthermore we had access to parent animals, grandparents, and even some of the great-grandparents, so I was able to personally inspect them; and not until zealous studies and comparisons with other German wachtel breeds had convinced me did I arrive at the conclusion that these small ‘spies’ were indeed the remnants of an age-old, national gun dog breed possessing the highest hunting virtues. Then I made public my studies and findings to the press media.”