Evansville Veterinarians – a History of Service
Written and Researched by Ruth Ann Montgomery
Evansville’s Veterinary Service follows a long tradition of care for animals. In January 1866, a veterinarian’s advertisement appeared in the first
issue of the Evansville Citizen, the forerunner to Evansville Review.
The early Evansville veterinarians confined their practice to the treatment of horses. The horse was a very important to the economy of Evansville
and the surrounding agricultural area in the 1800s. Most farmers used horses to work their fields, haul goods to market, and transport themselves
and their families.
Evansville home owners who could afford to keep horses, built their own horse barns. Those who did not own horses and carriages relied on the
local livery stables for transportation. Livery stables offered stage coach and carriage transportation for people and goods within the village of
Evansville and to other communities.
Dr. W. Beach was the first veterinarian to advertise his services in Evansville. Beach owned a livery stable on North Madison Street, near the
Spencer Hotel. The hotel was located on the northwest corner of Main and Madison. He advertised that he was “ready to attend to sick and
disabled horses, and all matters pertaining to Veterinary practice.” Dr. Beach did not elaborate on his qualifications for treating animals, but he
did demand that customers pay in cash.
In the 1800s, many veterinarians were self-taught or received training as apprentices with graduate veterinarians. Some medical colleges
included courses in veterinary science. Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and well known physician, offered
classes to his students in healing animals as well as humans.
The first veterinary school in the eastern United States was established as New York College of Veterinary Surgeons, organized in 1857 at New
York University. There were no veterinary colleges in the Midwest until the Veterinary Medical School was started at Iowa State University in
Evansville’s first veterinarian, Dr. Beach, moved on without any fanfare and the second veterinarian, known to have practiced in Evansville, Dr.
Thomas E. Lucas, began advertising in 1868.
Thomas E. Lucas was born in Radnorshire, Wales in 1838. He began his practice in Evansville in 1868. He was Evansville’s veterinarian for over
Dr. Lucas advertised himself as a Veterinary Surgeon and Practitioner, and a “regular graduate” of the Royal Veterinary College of London.
According to his biography, he graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 1857. He came to the United States and practiced at Paris,
Kenosha County, Wisconsin before coming to Evansville.
In June 1868, Dr. Lucas opened a drug store on the north side of East Main Street, with George W. Palmer. The store carried medicines for
people and animals and also a stock of groceries.
Dr. Lucas told the Evansville Review reporter than he was capable of helping people, or animals. The reporter described Lucas as a “regular
practitioner and surgeon,” in addition to his veterinary medical skills. “He comes to this place with the best recommendations of a gentleman for
practical skill and ability in his chosen profession.”
For those who could not afford the services of a veterinarian, the local drug stores carried over-the-counter remedies, including Sheridan’s
Cavalry Condition Powders. The advertisement for the powder promised relief for animals afflicted with “loss of appetite, rough of the hair,
stoppage of bowels or water, thick water, coughs and colds, swelling of the glands, worms, horse ail, thick wind and heaves.”
The winter of 1872-73 was especially hard on the horse population in the United States. There was an epidemic was known as the Epizooty. The
disease was first reported in Toronto, Canada and quickly spread into the United States from Buffalo, Rochester, Troy, Albany and down the
Hudson River to New York City. New York newspapers reported the devastating effects of the disease in October 1872.
The rapid spread of the disease was alarming. Within a 24 hour period, 1,000 horses in one New York livery stable showed signs of the illness.
One report estimated that there were 15,000 cases in the city.
By December, the “Epizootic” had spread from New York to St. Louis. Newspapers throughout the East and Midwest carried recommendations
A New York veterinarian, Dr. Alexandre Liautard, described the disease as influenza. The symptoms were inflammation of the air passages, mild
laryngitis, congestion of the lungs, loss of appetite, cough, discharge at the nose and eyes, a weak pulse, and weakness of the circulatory
apparatus, high temperature, and yellow color of the mucous membranes. Dr. Liautard claimed that any well-educated veterinarian could
diagnose the disease and, if treated when symptoms began, could be cured.
Dr. Liautard warned against “blood letting, purgatives, arterial sedatives, and setons” that would only endanger the horse. He recommended
acodine and cough mixtures for the laryngitis; liniment and mustard applications, and carbonate of ammonia mixed with camphor.
Dr. Bowlery, the Veterinarian Surgeon of Cincinnati, recommended Allen’s Lung Balsam, three times a day and Davis’ Pain Killer as a liniment.
Both were readily available from drug stores.
Within weeks, the disease spread to Wisconsin and many Evansville area farmers and liverymen reported their horses were sick.
The first evidence of the disease was found in Evansville within three weeks of the report of the outbreak in New York City. Although the Review
seldom used headlines, the spread of the disease to Evansville, was cause for large print. “The Epizootic” was first reported in Evansville in the
November 27, 1872 issue of the Review.
The horses in the Evansville livery stables of Martin Case and Ray Gillman were sick and unable to work. Gillman had 13 horses down, but none
died. Case’s livery was in a similar condition.
W. C. Clark’s stage coach service from Evansville to Union, Cooksville, Dunkirk and Stoughton was halted for a few days. The stage lines also
carried the mail. For a short time during the epidemic, the mail was carried by private parties, because the regular stages could not run.
The Review reported more than 100 Evansville horses were sick. The epidemic brought business to a halt. No wood was brought into town from
the countryside. Many Evansville residents relied on the farmers for eggs, butter, and other produce. One farmer, who still owned a team of oxen,
resorted to using them to haul goods to Evansville.
The epidemic spread into the countryside, to Union and Cooksville. Nearly every farmer reported that horses were sick. Horse owners were
warned to use their horses carefully, keep them warm, and feed the animals cautiously.
Cooksville’s correspondent to the Janesville Gazette reported, “The epizooty is here, but in a mild form, and in most cases nothing but a cough.
The poor equines are sick. We are ready to give ‘our kingdom for a horse’.” In December 1872, the most frequent question in Cooksville was,
“Are your horses sick?”
Similar incidents were reported as the disease continued to spread. A Gazette reporter for Rock County’s Bradford area said: “A few horses have
died the past week in our town of the epizooty.” A mail carrier from Darien to Janesville could not deliver mail because there was no horse that was
able to make the trip.
After the Epizooty disappeared from the Evansville area, it continued its path westward. In January 1873, Evansville’s young artist, Theodore
Robinson, was visiting in Denver, Colorado and reported that the horse disease had reached Denver. “Street cars are stopped, the stables are
full of barking nags, some of the busses and transfer wagons do not run while the express business suffers. One express wagon was hauled by
four men, while another, a sober cow was harnessed with a bit, bridle and harness all complete.”
Work horses and race horses succumbed to the disease. There was even some concern that the disease might spread to humans.
Whatever Dr. Lucas did to stop or relieve the suffering of horses in Evansville went unreported, although he continued his veterinary practice in
Evansville. His personal life was not an easy one. His first wife, Sylvia, died in 1874, at the age of 36 years, leaving him with four children. He
remarried a short time later and his second wife died in February 1876.
Shortly after the death of his second wife, in 1876, Dr. Lucas sold his store on Main Street to Dr. Charles Smith. He married a third time to Ella
Murray in September 1877.
Lucas also had to contend with others who wanted to enter the veterinary field in Evansville. Occasionally a competing veterinarian would
advertise services in the Evansville Review. J. W. Francis advertised briefly in the December 1874 Evansville newspaper. Francis set up his
practice at the blacksmith shop of Stephen Baker. His ad read: “NOTICE, ANY PERSON, having horses with Spavins, Ring Bores, Splints,
Sweeny, Curb, Pole evil, Heaves, Glanders, will do well to call on the undersigned at Baker’s blacksmith shop and have them cured. J. W.
Francis. Evansville, Dec. 2, 1874.” It was a short-lived practice and within a few weeks, the advertising ceased.
Dr. Lucas continued his veterinary practice in Evansville. Within a short while he remarried.
The experience that Thomas E. Lucas had gained as a veterinarian, gave him the idea to write a book that would help the horse and cattle owner
when they could not afford the services of a veterinarian. The title of the book reveals the increasing importance of the dairy cow in the operation
of the farms in the Evansville area. Dr. Lucas had added cows to his veterinary practice.
In September 1879 Dr. Thomas E. Lucas announced that he was publishing the book, “A Practical Treatise on the Most Obvious Diseases of
Horses and Cattle.” The book contained recipes that Lucas had used in his treatment of sick animals. One man, who had used the medicine
prescribed in the book, said that he would give ten dollars, just for one of the recipes.
One recipe was for Acute Garget or Acute Mastitis treatment for cows read as follows: “Epsom Salts, 1 lb; 1 oz of Garget Root Powder and 25
drops of Tinc Aconite. Mix in three pints of water and drench the cow and rub with liniment No. 1, three times daily where the parts point and
contain fluid or pus; open deeply at the lowest point, that the pus may escape without forcing.”
The two roots used in the medicines were commonly used by physicians and veterinarians. Garet Root, also called poke root, was a common
ingredient in remedies for gastric ulcers, sore throats, diphtheria, and skin irritations.
Aconite root was used in the treatment of various illnesses. A powdered form of the root was mixed with other ingredients, depending on the
treatment. A mixture of aconite and alcohol (tincture or tinc) could be used to cure laryngitis. When mixed as an ointment, the aconite mixture
numbed the skin, producing relief from irritations, rheumatism, or neuralgias.
Perhaps Dr. Lucas was anticipating great success with his new book. A month before the “Practical Treatise” was published Dr. Lucas reported
that he was going to stop the practice of veterinary medicine.
In November 1879, his third wife, Ella died and Dr. Lucas resumed his veterinary practice.
Dr. Thomas E. Lucas sold his drug store to Dr. Charles E. Smith in 1876. Smith continued the drug store business and had his office in the
second story of the building (at 5 West Main.)
Although Lucas listed Veterinary Surgeon as his profession in Evansville’s 1880 Federal Census, the veterinary business was seldom Lucas’ sole
occupation. In June 1881, he married his third wife, the “widow Hynes” and they rented a hotel, the Wadsworth house, also known as the
Evansville House. The business was operated as a boarding house, for those who only wanted someone to cook meals, and a hotel for those who
needed a room. (on the site of “The Station” at the corner of East Main and Union Streets.)
There was no competition for Lucas in his Evansville veterinary practice. Occasionally the local newspapers advertised veterinarians from distant
cities who offered mail-order self-help books or medicine. The Review offered J. B. Kendall’s book on the “Treatise on the Horses and His
Disease” as a premium with a subscription to the newspaper. Kendall also advertised Kendall’s Spavin Cure in the Review. According to the ads
the “Cure” was good for humans as well as horses. The advertisements promised Kendall’s medicine could cure lameness in horses and
rheumatism in people.
The hotel business was a short-lived venture for Dr. Lucas and his new wife. In less than a year, they turned the Evansville House, also known as
the Farmer’s Hotel, over to their daughter, Flora, and son-in-law Charles Winship. Agnes Lucas continued to help the Winships with the hotel
Charles Winship was also a licensed veterinarian. However, Winship usually supported his family by operating a livery and side businesses
related to the livery business. Notices in the local newspapers said that he was also engaged in ice cutting, excavation for foundations and
basements, and the draying business.
Another venture for Thomas Lucas was teaching the art of calligraphy and penmanship. On January 19th, 1882, Lucas offered his first class in
penmanship and the Review gave him an excellent recommendation: “Mr. Lucas is a good penman, and teaches wholly by the practical method,
so when a scholar has completed a course he knows something else than the bare theory of penmanship.”
By October 1882, Dr. Lucas, no longer had a permanent location for his veterinary service and advertised in the Review, “leave orders at the
Commercial House.” He promised to “attend all calls in city and country.” Lucas was reported to be very busy due to his wide field of practice.
In the November 24, 1888 issue of the Tribune was an announcement of a new veterinarian. Dr. H. W. Higday and his sons opened a business.
The Evansville Tribune editor, Caleb Libby, said, Dr. Higday, "comes to us very highly recommended, in fact Mr. Higday has been in the horse
business with our brother Harrison in Illinois."
About this same time Dr. Lucas left Evansville and moved to Paris, Kenosha County, Wisconsin, his former home. He remained there for about
Higley rented a barn on the north side of the first block of West Main Street belonging to Hiram Spencer. He and his sons, H. S. Higley and S. M
Higley announced that they would sell, train and stable race horses.
“Calls in the country promptly attended to; chronic sore feet and veterinary dentistry a speciality,” Dr. Higley announced in the November 20, 1888
issue of the Evansville Review.
Higley had served as a veterinarian in Illinois and in Monroe, Wisconsin before coming to Evansville. He helped organize and manage a race track
on the south side of Evansville, first known as the McEwen race track and later part of the Rock County fairgrounds in Evansville. He also owned,
trained and race his own horses.
Dr. Lucas returned to Evansville in the spring of 1890 and continued his practice. On December 20, 1890, Lucas suffered an apparent heart
attack in his home and died at the age of 52. His obituary said, “The Doctor had been about as usual attending his veterinary business and was,
apparently, in his usual health and spirits, and such a sudden exit startled everybody.” His funeral was held at the Methodist Church and he was
buried at Maple Hill Cemetery.
One man tried to establish a practice, but did not find enough business to make his stay worthwhile. In the spring of 1892, C. S. McKenna came to
Evansville from Chicago. He advertised himself as a graduate of a veterinary college. McKenna either did not name the school, or the newspaper
reporter who announced his entry into the Evansville business community did not add it to the information in the announcement of his arrival.
McKenna never established a permanent office and used the Central House hotel as his residence and office. Shortly after McKenna arrived, he
told a Review reporter that he already had “several cases in which he is attending to with excellent results.”
The reporter observed that McKenna was “not a blow hard but offers his services to the public and hopes to acquire business by his skill in the
profession.” McKenna apparently liked the community and said he planned to make Evansville his permanent home. He wanted to open an
“equine infirmary.” McKenna’s plans did not work out and in September 23, 1892, he announced to the local newspapers that he and his wife
were moving back east. He had hopes of finding a more lucrative practice.
In March 1893, a new veterinarian arrived in Evansville. Dr. Charles S. Ware, was born in Newark-on-the Trent, in Nottinghamshire, England. He
attended Rudlow College in Bath, England and then took additional training in veterinary science.
Ware was an 1892 graduate of the Royal Veterinary College of London, came to the United States from England with his wife, Agnes Bedford
Bazley Ware. Agnes’ brother, Dr. Bedford, was a veterinarian in Janesville.
Their son, Cecil and a niece, Nina, and two nephews, Ernest and Victor Bazley accompanied them from England. A daughter, Constance, was
born in Wisconsin in June 1893, shortly after the family arrived in Evansville.
Dr. Ware’s association with Evansville lasted for nearly 50 years. The Review welcomed the new veterinarian. “Understand that Mr. Chas. S.
Ware, our veterinary doctor, is working up a good practice. He is a man highly skilled in his profession and is using his best endeavors to work up
a desirable practice in this community.”
Another local newspaper, The Enterprise, also welcomed the Dr. Ware. “He comes to us highly recommended in his profession and it is hoped that
he will meet with a hearty welcome from our citizens, as a first class physician in his line has long been needed here.”
Upon his arrive in the spring of 1893, Dr. Ware advertised his veterinary practice in the local newspapers. The notices said that Dr. Ware’s
practice included horses and cattle. Ware also kept a supply of medicine for sale.
Ware and his family moved into the Evansville House, the former location of Dr. Lucas. Dr. Ware also operated a livery stable. His wife was a
talented musician and started to teach piano and organ lessons. She later opened a musical instrument store and sold pianos, organs and sheet
It was an opportune time for a new veterinarian to come to Evansville. Farmers were being encouraged to specialize in raising cattle. The all-
purpose cow was becoming a thing of the past, according to the experts who spoke at local farmer’s institutes. Evansville area farmers began to
improve their dairy cattle in order to produce a better quality product to sell to the local creameries. Others started beef cattle herds.
There was also great interest in horse racing. A horse race track on the southwest edge of Evansville opened in the spring of 1893. Joe Wonder
was the most popular race horse in Evansville at the time and he won races against horses from Janesville, Stoughton and other nearby towns.
Nancy Hanse, Princess Wilkes, Headlight, and Rowdy Boy were other popular Evansville race horses.
As the value of cattle and horses increased, the Evansville area farmers and horse owners were willing to spend more on the health care of their
animals. A professional veterinarian was an asset to the community.
Dr. Ware also offered his services one day a week in Brodhead. In July 1895, Ware announced that he would have office hours at Graham’s
livery, every Monday.
Dr. Ware moved his livery stable and veterinarian business frequently. In April 1900, Dr. Ware purchased a building on East Main Street that was
used as a livery by Charles Winship. He paid $1,700 for the building. The family moved into the second story of the livery.
In 1903, he made an addition to the building, to accommodate his growing livery business that he operated with his nephew, Ernest Bazley.
Shortly after making the addition to the livery, he sold it and rented a building on North Madison Street. Then, a few months later, Dr. Ware moved
again. Within a span of five years, Dr. Ware moved at least six times.
Agnes Ware died in January 1906, from injuries received in a fall down a flight of stairs. In August of that same year, Charles Ware married
Margaret Francis Munger, Evansville’s first woman to serve as a rural mail carrier. Shortly after they were married Ware moved to the Marge
Munger’s farm west of Evansville, then returned to Evansville a short time later.
Evansville area cattle were threatened with an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis in the early 1900s. The bovine tuberculosis could spread to
humans by drinking unpasteurized milk from diseased cows.
In December 1908, tuberculosis was discovered in a herd of cattle in Magnolia township. Robert Acheson, a butcher in Magnolia bought an
animal from a farmer and when it was slaughtered, he found signs of tuberculosis. The entire herd was quarantined.
A month later, the herd of seventeen cattle owned by John Finneran in Magnolia was tested for tuberculosis. Three of the cattle tested positive for
the disease and were destroyed.
Several issues related to the health and well-being of animals came to the attention of residents in the Evansville Area. The Wisconsin Anti-
Tuberculosis Association was active trying to educate the public about the dangers of tuberculosis. Sales of the Anti-Tuberculosis stamps served
as a fund raiser to support the association’s pamphlets and other educational materials. Some experts estimated that 55% of the cases of
tuberculosis were spread from cattle to humans.
The spread of tuberculosis from dairy cattle to humans endangered the dairy farmer’s ability to maintain a productive business. This was
illustrated in a May 1910 news release published in the Evansville Review.
Dr. David Roberts, the State Veterinarian in 1910, issued the following statement about the disease. “Bovine tuberculosis is costing the United
States millions of dollars yearly, not through the actual death of tubercular animals but by the tubercular animals infecting the healthy ones,
thereby reducing their actual value,” Roberts said.
Dr. Roberts recommended that farmers have their animals tested animals for tuberculosis. “When this information reaches the livestock owner, I
am sure that he will be more anxious to wipe tuberculosis out of his herd than anyone else, owing to the fact that he is financially interested and he
and his family first of all are consumers of the products of cattle.”
Evansville dairy herds were not immune to the disease. Following the outbreak in 1908, there was another in 1910. A local veterinarian reported
that two dairy cattle in the Evansville had tuberculosis. The animals were killed to prevent the spread of the disease.
Patrons of local dairies were also warned to purchase milk that was pasteurized to prevent the spread of tuberculosis. One local dairy was the
victim of rumors that he did not properly process the dairy products and he took immediate action to clear his name. Dairy owner, D. R. Meloy
placed the following ad in the January 1911 issues of the Evansville Review: “To the Public. The rumor that I am not pasteurizing my milk is false
and without foundation. Every particle of milk and cream I handle is thoroughly pasteurized and cooled.”
Human treatment of animals also was a growing concern among Evansville residents. An effort was made by the State Humane Board to organize
a branch in Evansville. Petitions were circulated to get the names of those who were interested in “relieving the suffering of our dumb animals.”
Enough people signed the petitions to form a humane society. Although these first efforts lasted only a few years, it drew attention to the plight of
horse and other animals that did not receive proper care.
By 1910, three men were practicing veterinary medicine in Evansville. Dr. Charles Warren Winship was a licensed veterinarian and owned a livery
stable. When he died in June 1911, his obituary said that he had practiced his profession for many years.
Dr. Charles S. Ware had an active practice and also operated a livery stable. In March of 1910, he put his livery and his horses, buggies,
harnesses and other equipment up for sale.
A new veterinarian arrived in Evansville in the spring of 1910. Dr. Rudolph E. Schuster was a graduate of the Lodi High School and the McKillip
Veterinary College in Chicago.
In 1910, Dr. Schuster purchased the livery stable of Dr. Charles Ware at 115 East Main Street and maintained his office there for the duration of
his 30-year career in Evansville.
Upon his arrival, Schuster immediately placed advertisements in the local newspapers. One newspaper, The Enterprise also added a short article
about the new veterinarian. “R. E. Schuster, M. D. V., has an advertisement in this issue of the Enterprise, calling the attention of horse owners
and stockmen to the fact that he is looking after veterinary work in and about Evansville. Mr. Schuster has recently located here, is a graduate
veterinarian from Madison, and people needing his services will find his office located in the livery barn formerly occupied by C. S. Ware.”
Dr. Ware moved his veterinary practice to a building on North Madison Street, just north of the Bank of Evansville. For many years, the two
veterinarians competed for local business and their advertisements often appeared next to each other in the local newspapers.
Charles Ware was appointed local assistant state veterinarian in November 1911. In order to get the appointment, Dr. Ware passed a civil service
examination and was chosen by the State Veterinarian. His territory included the counties of Rock and Green. Although he had been a liveryman
for many years, Dr. Ware was one of the first to purchase an automobile to work his territory.
For a short time, Dr. Rudolph Schuster was a single man and lived in the Commercial House hotel. When the census taker came around to do the
federal census in June 1910, Dr. Schuster told the recorder that he was 26 years old and a boarder at the hotel.
A year later, on June 7, 1911, Rudolph Schuster married an Evansville woman, Uva Griffith. He improved the living quarters above the livery
stable, and had a new foundation built under his barn. The Schusters moved upstairs over the livery and lived there for many years.
Dr. Schuster was active in the Wisconsin Society of Veterinary Graduates. The organization met twice a year and in July 1912, the program was
held in Janesville. Dr. R. E. Schuster presented a paper at the meeting.
There was enough business so that the two veterinarians were kept busy. Evansville farmers were bringing in railroad car loads of sheep and
cattle. Dairy farmers had a ready market at the D. E. Wood Butter Company and increased their herds to meet the demand for milk and cream.
Beef cattle raisers and horse owners were acquiring award winning livestock with excellent breeding.
Valuable animals and the occasional rare disease called for the skills of the veterinarians. Occasionally the animal doctors were stumped or
needed assistance. The difficult cases made the news. When Henry Apfel’s valuable mare came down with lockjaw, all the best veterinary skills
could not save the horse.
Local, state and federal veterinarians were called out in the summer and winter of 1914 to save the investment of livestock owners. In July a
report of hog cholera on the John Gillies farm caused some alarm. Guss Buss rented Gillies’ farm and was raising pigs. The pigs had been
vaccinated about four weeks before the cholera was discovered, but the disease already had infected the animals. Several remedies were offered
to cure the cholera and prevent its return.
The first report of hog cholera appeared in the July 30, 1914, Evansville Review. Dr. A. H. Faunce of the Federal Bureau of Animal Industry, U. S.
Department of Agriculture offered this advice: “Charcoal is a very good thing to feed to hogs in any danger from this disease. Also a little
turpentine mixed with soft feed will do good, by tending to eliminate worms. Liquor cresolis compositis is recommended by the bureau of animal
industry at Washington as a good disinfectant and is used by them in their work. It is best when used in proportion of one gallon to thirty gallons of
water, and applied with a spray pump. Lime sprinkled around the pens occasionally is a very beneficial thing whether there is danger of cholera or
Farmers were also warned to clean the area where pigs were kept and they were urged to stop the spread of the disease. Dogs, birds, and
humans could spread the disease, according to Faunce.
Dr. Faunce offered his services as a free lecturer to “Farmers and their organizations, commercial clubs, veterinarians, etc.” Faunce included
demonstrations on vaccinating animals, disinfecting pig pens, and other preventive measures farmers could take to prevent the spread of the
The information came too late for Guss Buss. He lost 25 pigs to the disease in July, but the scare was quickly over. Stockmen continued their
usual routines, traveling with animals to fairs, and bringing animals to the farm to feed and fatten for the market.
Then a serious epidemic occurred in the fall of 1914. It was the dreaded hoof and mouth disease. Before the disease was eradicated, animals in
22 states and the District of Columbia were affected.
In late October, Dr. Rudolph Schuster was called to the farm of Chester F. Miller in Porter township. Miller was a stock buyer and for several years
had purchased feeder cattle in large lots, brought them to Evansville by railroad car, and placed the animals on farms to finish for the Chicago
In the fall of 1914, Miller was doing his usual fall work. He brought two car loads of feeder cattle from Chicago stock buyers. Sixty head of cattle
were delivered to the depot in Evansville and driven over the country roads to the Miller farm. Within a few days, Miller discovered some of the
cattle were sick.
He called in Dr. Rudolph Schuster to examine the sick animals. Dr. Schuster recognized immediately that he was dealing with a serious outbreak
of hoof and mouth disease. Schuster telephoned for a State Veterinarian to come to the farm and confirm his suspicions.
Dr. O. H. Eliason was given the assignment and he wasted no time in getting to the Miller farm. Eliason confirmed that Dr. Schuster’s diagnosis of
hoof and mouth disease was correct and immediate action was taken to quarantine the Miller farm, and the people and animals residing there.
The U. S. Department of Agriculture was already dealing with the outbreak in several other states. Miller’s farm was one of the first in Wisconsin to
be confirmed with hoof and mouth disease. Six federal meat and animal inspectors were called to Miller’s farm to examine the livestock.
The federal veterinarians placed the Miller farm under quarantine and guarded the farm 24 hours a day to make sure that no animals or people
came or went from Millers. The inspectors were also concerned that farms along the route the cattle had been driven were affected and the
disease could spread to other animals that traveled the roads.
The inspectors brought in scrapers to dig a trench, twenty rods long; twenty feet wide and 10 feet deep. All of the animals on the farm were driven
into the ditch and slaughtered. Miller had a large livestock operation. The small shipment of sick cattle that he had received from Chicago cost
Miller a large investment. He lost all the livestock on his farm.
Federal agents killed 101 head of cattle and 300 sheep on the Miller farm. The bodies were covered with quick lime and buried under five feet of
dirt. The farm dog and the chickens were spared, but they had to be dipped in a strong disinfectant so that they would not spread the disease.
The farm yard around the animal pens was plowed and the buildings were disinfected. Every inch of the farm was to be cleaned, if possible. The
disease was so dangerous that it could be spread by fodder, manure, saliva, and hides.
Federal veterinarians wore rubber boots and rubber coats and had to be fumigated each time they left their work to go the farm house. No one
was allowed on or off the Miller farm. The farm buildings were washed with disinfectant and fumigated to rid the structures of disease
One week after the Miller animals were cleared, no new cases had been reported near Evansville. However, within days, Rock County farms, in
Johnstown and Bradford township were affected and the entire State of Wisconsin was placed under federal quarantine.
Miller was promised by the federal and state agents that he would be reimbursed for the price of the meat. The federal and state governments
shared the cost of reimbursement. However, there was still a great loss to Miller. His farm was quarantined for six months and no animals could
be brought to the farm. .
The Arthur Franklin’s farm, adjacent to the Miller farm, was also suspected of having animals infected with hoof and mouth disease. Farmers who
had animals that shared the same stream that the Miller cattle drank from were also inspected. The disease was so dangerous that even a drop
of saliva could carry the disease. Farmers were urged to report any signs of infection in their animals. Sore mouth, slavering, fever, and
lameness were listed as warning signs of the disease.
Evansville farmers were not alone. By mid-November sixteen states were under quarantine. In Wisconsin, more than 100 herds were examined by
federal and state agents. Many farm animals were killed and farm families were confined until their farms were considered safe.
The entire state was quarantined. Any livestock moved from one place to another had to be inspected and certified free of disease by one of the
Federal agents ordered railroad cars to be cleaned and disinfected before use. They were especially concerned about the animals from the
Shipments to and from the Union Stock Yard in Chicago came to a halt. For the first time in fifty years the Union Stockyards in Chicago closed.
The closings lasted for ten days, while the yards were cleaned and disinfected.
After the quarantine was lifted, any animal going to the Chicago yards had to be certified free of disease by a federal inspector or an accredited
veterinarian. The National Stock Yards at East St. Louis and the stockyards in St. Joseph, Missouri were also closed.
The hoof and mouth outbreak forced the cancellation of Chicago’s November International Livestock Show, a popular show that drew livestock
farmers and buyers from around the world. Evansville’s best beef and sheep farmers usually had animals at the show and realized large profits
from the sales made through contacts at the show.
The 1914-15 hoof and mouth disease epidemic on farms near Evansville greatly reduced the stock shipments out of Evansville and hurt the
income of farmers that did not have herds infected with the disease. Even after the Union Stock Yards in Chicago reopened, shipments nearly
came to a halt.
Both of Evansville’s veterinarians, Dr. Charles Ware and Dr. Rudolph E. Schuster, were graduate veterinarians. Before the 1914-15 outbreak of
the hoof and mouth disease in Wisconsin, graduate veterinarians were allowed to inspect and certify animals for shipment out of state.
With the outbreak, state and federal veterinarians took control of all animal shipments. Any animal going to the Chicago yards had to be certified
as free of disease by a federal inspector or an accredited veterinarian.
Before the epidemic, sheep were driven over the dirt roads from the farm to the depot. Fearing that the roads were contaminated with the hoof
and mouth disease, Evansville farmers loaded their livestock into farm wagons or sleighs and delivered them to the stockyards at the depot.
In early December 1914, several hundred sheep were brought to the depot by Chris Jorgensen and Robert Hubbard. Two veterinarians, one from
the state and one from the federal government were at the depot to inspect the sheep. The animals were given a clean bill of health and cleared
On January 22, 1915, the United States Bureau of Animal Industry announced that the counties of Brown, Dane, Dodge, Jefferson, Langlade,
Racine, Rock, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha and the townships of Exeter and Brooklyn in Green County were placed in modified territory.
This meant that the quarantine was lifted, if there were no infected or exposed farms within a five miles radius of the farm. This partial lifting of the
quarantine meant that after inspection by a veterinarian, the stock scheduled for immediate slaughter could be sent to Chicago’s Union
During the outbreak only the state and federal authorities could certify that animals were free from the disease. With the partial lifting of the ban
on shipping animals, the federal government allowed the state certified veterinarians to inspect only the livestock that was sold in the Milwaukee
In early February, a federal inspector announced: “As far as we know there is not a single case of foot and mouth disease in Wisconsin. We
hope to have the quarantine lifted entirely by March first.” The epidemic had a long term affect on the livestock farmers in the state as more state
and federal regulations were put in place.
Due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Wisconsin, the Live Stock Breeders’ Association postponed their 1915 annual meeting. The
meeting was usually held in the early months of the year and included exhibits of prize animals. Several Evansville area farmers, including John
Robinson, a Hereford and sheep breeder, were active participants in the organization. None of the breeders wanted to risk spreading the disease
by bringing animals together for show purposes.
The hoof and mouth outbreak also created a shortage of good breeding stock in the United States and in the world. War in Europe and shortages
of livestock created a market for animals free of disease.
Arthur G. Leonard, president of the Union Stock Yard and Transit company of Chicago told farmers that the era of the successful livestock raiser
was about to begin. In the January 1915 issues of the Chicago Farmers’ and Drovers’ Journal, Leonard said: “There is not a single cloud on the
horizon of future prosperity for the growth of cattle and sheep in this country, while the hog has always been at once the ‘mortgage lifter’ of the
farm. On the whole the live stock industry of the United States is on the eve of a period of prosperity for those who enter it wisely. Those who are
first in the field and work steadfastly for the industry will reap the greatest rewards.”
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture also encouraged the stock breeders to improve their herds and to breed only animals that were free
from disease. The state’s focus had been on eliminating tuberculosis and after the epidemic there was a renewed effort to rid the state’s cattle
herds of tuberculosis.
The state veterinarians urged farmers to have their herds tested and offered a free tuberculin test. The veterinarians emphasized that the testing
was voluntary but incentives were offered to encourage participation.
Because of the epidemic, there was expected to be a demand for meat free from disease. If the herd tested free of the disease, the farmer
received state certification and the state kept a record of the testing that was available to other breeders and stockyards. The state veterinarians
urged local and state fairs to hold special exhibit classes for herds and animals that had tested free of tuberculosis.
The Wisconsin Legislature of 1915 passed laws, known as Chapter 625. The new laws gave the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture authority to
appoint veterinarians to inspect stock for interstate shipment. The law also provided penalties for those who made shipments without getting
inspection. This gave state appointed local veterinarians new authority and potentially new business.
Dr. Rudolph Schuster maintained his membership in the Wisconsin Veterinary Society and was kept informed about new developments in
veterinary science through his association with other veterinarians. Many of Dr. Schuster’s clients were in Magnolia township. Over the next few
years, he regularly attended animals on the farms of Ed Larson, Gene Rowald, Charles Davis and Wilbur Andrew.
Another Evansville veterinarian, Dr. Charles Ware, was involved in planning the Rock County Fairs held at the fairgrounds in Evansville. He was
especially interested in the horse races and served as superintendent of that event.
Evansville’s fair was one of the stops on the racing circuit for trotters and pacers. Dr. Ware organized the races and was able to obtain some of
the “fastest steppers” in the country. There were racers from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois entered in the competition.
The Horse Review of August 1916 praised Dr. Ware’s work. “It was only a few years ago that Evansville, Wis., was a mere fly speck on the racing
map of the west. Today it boasts of one of the best conducted half-mile track race meetings in the country. Doctor Ware has labored incessantly
to give his fellow-citizens real horse-racing. He has overcome many obstacles and made good in a manner that admits of no argument.”
Ware also had his own farm on the western edge of Evansville. He raised hogs and kept cows to provide milk for his dairy.
In 1917 there was an outbreak of hog cholera in the Rock County and farmers were urged to take precautions. A Janesville Gazette article about
the disease cautioned farmers: “If cholera is in your neighborhood, use the same precautions to keep from getting it on your farm as you would
use if there were an epidemic of small pox or scarlet fever.” Farms that had hog cholera were required to place a sign on their premises
announcing the disease.
The hog cholera was devastating and farmers were urged to get a veterinarian to kill the diseased animal and examine the intestines, kidneys,
glands, and other organs. If the veterinarian’s examination proved that cholera was the cause of the illness, then the farmer was urged to have
the rest of his hogs vaccinated.
The State Department of Agriculture and the University of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture encouraged farmers to use the services of a
licensed veterinarian and avoid home remedies. “Do not attempt to vaccinate the hogs yourself,” the article warned.
Two outbreaks of disease were reported in the Evansville area 1919. The first was the discovery of tuberculosis on the farm of Ernest Miller, on
Miller had purchased nineteen head of milk cows and heifers from a farmer in Illinois. The seller had assured Miller that there was no need to
have the animals tested and Miller trusted the seller.
After purchasing the animals and bringing them to his farm, Miller offered the cattle for sale. Wisconsin law required that the animals be tested
and Miller called in Dr. Rudolph Schuster to perform the tuberculosis test. It was positive on 16 of the 19 head of cattle that Miller had brought in
The animals were shipped to Milwaukee where they were slaughtered and inspected by federal veterinarians. The news of the tuberculosis
incident highlighted Wisconsin’s strict laws for preventing the spread of disease among the livestock herds.
According to the Review report of the incident, “The carcasses of those which are fit for meat will be sold, and those which show too much
tubercular will be thrown away. The loss will fall on Mr. Miller. This experience will not be a very good advertisement for Illinois cattle. If Illinois
laws had required that the cattle be examined before shipment, the railroad would not have accepted the cattle for shipment.”
A second outbreak of disease in 1919 was of rabies, brought to the Magnolia area by a rabid dog. The dog was killed near the Locke Pierce farm
and brought to Dr. Rudolph Schuster to examine.
Dr. Schuster removed the head of the dog and sent it to the biology laboratory at the University of Wisconsin for inspection. The tests proved that
the dog had rabies.
Before it was killed, the rabid dog bit a six-year-old boy, Howard Dougherty. The authorities suspected that the animal had also bitten several
other dogs. The Dougherty boy was given a series of shots, known as the Pasteur treatment to keep him from getting rabies.
Several other dogs were killed after they showed signs of the disease. Evansville’s Police Chief, Fred Gillman warned citizens to muzzle their dogs
and keep them tied up until it could be determined that no other animals had been bitten.
In an article in the Review, Gillman warned readers that it could take up to four weeks before any symptoms would appear, after an animal or
human was bitten by a rabid animal. “As it takes so long for the disease to make its appearance it is very probably that the ban on dogs running
at large will be continued for some time yet, as the authorities here are determined to take every precaution against this terrible disease.”
Evansville’s veterinarians served in civic capacities in the early 1920s. Dr. Charles S. Ware was secretary of the Rock County Fair held in
Evansville and was primarily responsible for the livestock and the harness racing. Dr. Rudolph E. Schuster was appointed to the Evansville City
Council in August 1918 and was reelected for several terms.
Both veterinarians advertised their services in the 1920s and helped to improve the health of the livestock in the rural areas surrounding
Evansville. Dairy and livestock provided a stable income for area farmers, as long as they could provide healthy animals to the livestock markets.
Dr. Ware was a supporter of the movement to bring young people into the business of farming. He supported the calf and pig clubs that were
forerunners of the 4-H movement. Ware owned Chester White pigs and with other area hog raisers offered the “Chester White Cup” as a trophy
for raising prize winners in the hog contests.
Ware and his wife also owned a dairy in Union township, west of Evansville, and had a regular market for their products in Evansville.
In some parts of the United States there was a decline in horses and other livestock and some veterinarians turned to small animal service. The
Evansville veterinarians did not follow that trend, as area farmers continued to increase their dairy and livestock herds.
Large shipments of sheep and feeder cattle were brought to the Evansville area, and there was a ready market for milk from the local dairy
farmers. The D. E. Wood Butter Company provided a local market. Healthy animals were a key to successful marketing of farm animals and their
In the early 1920s it was not unusual for some farmers to lose an entire herd of dairy cattle to tuberculosis. In November 1920, an Orfordville
farmer lost thirty head of “high grade Holstein cattle” after they tested positive for tuberculosis. The entire herd was taken to Madison for
slaughter. The Review noted that at a normal price, the cows would have brought between $120 and $200 a head. This did not include the value
of the milk and calves that might have been produced.
Wiping out tuberculosis was a goal of the Wisconsin State Veterinary service. Hogs and cattle had been found to have the disease.
The State Veterinarians issued a statement sent to the Review: “The tuberculosis menace is getting serious in Wisconsin, not only to the health of
the people of the state, but to those who raise hogs for the market. Meyer Bros., the Madison packers, state they recently purchased a car of
Wisconsin raised hogs on which they were forced to stand a loss of 40 percent on account of the presence of the disease.” The article concluded
that, “There should be a general awakening of the farmers and breeders in Wisconsin regarding this menace.”
The cost of the animals with tuberculosis was passed on to the farmer, with reduced prices. Animals sent to Chicago markets from Wisconsin were
also receiving huge cuts in prices, as the disease was detected and the packers refused to buy them.
Dr. Schuster’s business in testing for tuberculosis was greatly increased as local farmers realized the loss they suffered, if packers refused their
animals. In the fall of 1923, Schuster tested the herds of Ed and Vern Ellis, Gilbert and Byron Amidon, John Hanson, Adelbert Smith, Herman
Fenrick, Ed Julseth, Earnest Bayliss, George Schumaker, Henry Knudsen, Ben Vigdal, Wayne Lewis, Richard Babcock, Clarence George, Royal
Clark, and Charles Ware.
When he went to the farms to do the testing in October 1923, Dr. Schuster found some herds of dairy cows that were nearly clean. In other herds
he found that half of the animals reacted positively to the tuberculosis test.
It did not take long for the local dairies to pick up on the fact that they needed to reassure their customers that their herds were free of disease.
The Bonnycroft Dairy owned by O. H. Perry and his son Stanley, provided milk and cream to Evansville merchants and households. They
advertised that their herd had been tested. “Perry Cream Is Clean Cream” was included in their advertisement in the local newspaper.
By 1925, Chicago dairy markets were threatening to reject milk from Wisconsin dairymen, unless they could prove that their herds were free of
disease. Wisconsin farmers signed petitions to get the State to provide free testing for tuberculosis, so that they would not lose their market for
local and out-of-state sales of dairy products.
Wisconsin passed a law to require dairy herds to be tested and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture offered the test free of charge. Diseases
in some Wisconsin herds threatened all others who wanted to market their dairy products.
There were heavy fines for farmers who refused the tests. There was little need to convince area farmers to have their herds tested, as they
realized the loss to their farm income, if no one would accept their products.
Veterinary services were required for other diseases and accidents on Evansville area farms. Hog cholera reappeared in Rock County in October
1921. The University of Wisconsin-Extension provided a serum for farmers to use in vaccinating their herds. Farmers who vaccinated their own
herds often did not follow the directions supplied with the serum. State Veterinarians issued news releases stating that the vaccinations were
ineffective if the directions were not followed.
In addition to disease, there were other significant loses. Dr. Schuster was called to the farm of Carl Carlson in June 1921 to check on Carlson’s
hogs. Schuster discovered that they had all been poisoned. Someone had mistakenly put a poison that was used to destroy insects, called, Paris
Green, into the slop barrel and it was fed to the pigs. Dr. Schuster could do nothing to save the hogs and twenty-two of the twenty-seven herd
died of the accidental poisoning.
Farmers were increasing the number of feeder animals brought to Evansville. In the early 1920s, thousands of sheep were shipped from western
states in the fall of the year and driven to farms in the Evansville area. Through the winter months, the sheep were fed and fattened for the
Chicago markets in the spring, bringing a nice profit for area farmers.
In late September 1923, a large shipment of 9,000 western lambs were brought by railroad cars into the Evansville stockyards. The lambs were
purchased in Montana and shipped from White Sulphur Springs, Montana, by W. W. Gillies and Lloyd Hubbard. The train stopped in Montivideo,
Minnesota, where the lambs were fed and watered. The animals were reloaded for shipment to their final destination in Evansville.
When the train arrived in Evansville, Gillies and Hubbard discovered that several of the lambs were dead and others were sick. State and Federal
veterinarians were called to investigate the illness. They were concerned that the stockyards holding the animals might be contaminated with
The State and Federal examiners determined that there was no disease present in the animals. The veterinarians decided that the food and
water the sheep had consumed along the route had contained something that was poison. Gillies and Hubbard were relieved to find that their loss
was only about 1 ½ percent of the shipment.
Within a year, the number of sheep coming into the Evansville stockyards for shipment to local farmers had increased to more than 20,000
animals. In the fall of 1924, more than 26 area farms were reported as holding imported sheep for winter feeding.
“Money In Sheep” was the headline in the Review, when the president of the Chicago Wool Growers’ Commission, Co. surveyed the holdings of
Evansville area sheep holders. Farmers were urged to borrow money to purchase sheep, if they did not have cash available.
“There should be no trouble in borrowing money to buy the lambs without additional security besides the lambs themselves, as with the feed the
farmers of this county have on hand, there is no possibility of losing money.” However, he also warned buyers to beware of animals that were
diseased. “Western growers have a trick of passing a lot of culls off onto buyers, hoping that they will not be noticed in a large flock.”
The increased animals on the farms also increased the work for the two area veterinarians. Dr. Schuster began improving his living quarters and
office at 115 East Main. The first remodeling was a fireproof exterior finish known as Kelastone put on in 1922. The Kelastone was a cement
material, similar to stucco, that covered the wood frame building.
Two years later, in 1924, Schuster built a wood frame barn with a cement floor on the south side of his building. The building was known as the
“Schuster Sales Barn” and was used by Fred Luchsinger as a sales barn for horses. It was a 16 foot extension on the lower floor of the Schuster
building. It was convenient for both Schuster and Luchsinger as he could have the animals tested for the sales.
The new addition had a cement floor. There were 24 stanchions and 2 box stalls that were fitted with drinking cups. Luchsinger’s first sale was
held in February 1925 with Dan F. Finnane, a local auctioneer, “crying” the sale.
Eradication of tuberculosis in dairy herds dominated the work of Dr. Rudolph E. Schuster and Wisconsin State Veterinarians in 1925 and 1926.
Rock County dairy farmers joined together in a petition to the State Agricultural Department requesting that every dairy herd in the county be
tested for T.B.
The editor of the Evansville Review urged farmers to attend a meeting with John D. Jones, the State Agricultural Department Commissioner, to
learn more about the testing. Headlines in the July 9, 1925 issue of the Review read: “If Area Test Is Not Adopted in County, The Dairymen Will
The article gave several important reasons that the dairy farmer should comply with the veterinarians performing the tuberculosis testing. “The
possibility that there may be a loss from seven to ten percent when a farmer’s cows are examined, in diseased animals, should deter no one from
having their herds examined and cleaned. For a number of animals to feed and milk, when there is no market for their product, is not as profitable
as a good market for the product from a less number of animals.”
A farmer’s refusal to have his herd tested also reduced his chances of getting loans from banks. Some bankers allowed dairy herds to be used as
collateral for farm loans. With the possibility of tuberculosis being present in untested herds, lenders threatened to stop financing farmers who
refused to have herds tested.
Untested herds were financially devastating to farmers. There were reports that butter manufacturers and dairies paid 25 cents more per hundred
for milk from tested herds than from untested herds. Some purchasers of whole milk refused to buy products from farmers with untested herds.
After hearing Commissioner Jones’ proposal to test dairy herds in Rock County, farmers signed a petition requesting testing. The tests were
made by authorized veterinarians who went from farm to farm. If there were cattle that reacted to the test, then they had to be retested at the end
Dr. R. E. Schuster was notified that the State testers would begin work in Rock County in January 1926. Each tester was assigned a township and
went from farm to farm. Every herd in the township was tested. If farmers refused the testing, their herds were quarantined and no milk or milk
products from that farm could be sold.
If cattle reacted to the test, the veterinarian determined the value of the animal. The animal was then slaughtered and the state paid the farmer a
maximum of $40 on common livestock and $90 on pure-bred stock.
Most farmers and dairymen in the Evansville area voluntarily had their animals tested for T. B. Only a few threatened to boycott the required
testing. Advertisements for dairies that delivered milk to homes and businesses, farm auctions and dairy cattle sales often carried the notice that
there was “T. B. Tested cattle” or “not a reactor in the herd.”
There were numerous reports that poultry also had tuberculosis. During the testing for tuberculosis in cattle, the veterinarians also checked for
tuberculosis symptoms in flocks of poultry.
By mid-January, the Evansville area testing was well underway. Dr. Schuster reported that no farmer had refused the test and less than 10
percent of the herds reacted and had to be retested.
The Jug Prairie area, west of Evansville, was one of the first in Rock County to be tested. George Mabie’s herd of Guernseys, H. A. Knapp’s Dairy
herd of Holsteins, and Lloyd Hubbard’s herd tested free of T. B.
However, there were some farmers that were no so fortunate. The January 14, 1926 issue of the Review said that there were some herds with
nearly 90% of the animals reacting to the test.
“That the test may work a hardship upon some is not be denied; but to leave a 90 percent herd to spread the terrible germs of a terrible disease
to hundreds of human beings is far worse. So while it may hurt some farmers and some bankers and business men, the sooner they take their
medicine, the less of it there will be to take, for the county at large has decided that it must be protected against T. B.”
A new state law was passed that helped prevent further spread of tuberculosis. Wisconsin State Commissioner of Agriculture, John D. Jones, Jr.
sent out a news release in May 1926, that all animals shipped into the state had to have a health certificate stating that they had tested free of
The cattle were to be held in quarantine until they could be tested by a veterinarian authorized by the Wisconsin Agricultural Department. “The
new regulations are designed to prevent the introduction of diseased cattle into areas which have cleaned up in the bovine tuberculosis
eradication campaign,” Jones said in the announcement.
Some farmers needed no government or peer pressure to test their animals. John Elmer and his seven sons lived just over the county line in
Green County. Elmer voluntarily tested his herd for nearly twenty-five years before others were required to have their herds tested.
Elmer told a Review reporter that his herd had always tested free of tuberculosis. By 1927, four of John Elmer’s sons had established farms of
their own, Henry on the home farm; John, Jr. Casper, and Paul on farms of their own. All were expected to follow the example of their father.
Considering that in 1929 approximately 86 percent of a Wisconsin farmers’ income came from livestock and livestock products, any disease was a
threat. Estimates were that 52 percent of the farm income was from milk, 13 percent from hogs and 11 percent from cattle and calves.
As the danger of tuberculosis was reduced, an infection that threatened to be even more dangerous was spreading. In January 1929, Dr.
Schuster worked with government officials to organize a meeting of dairy farmers to learn more about an infection called contagious abortion.
The infection was costly to the farmer, as he not only lost calves but also lost potential milk production. If the disease was present, the output of
the average cow was reduced. A healthy cow was expected to give milk enough to produce 200 pounds of butter per year and if the infection was
present the output was reduced to 100 pounds of butter or less.
The disease was described as “one of the worst cattle diseases in existence today. More loss is caused to dairymen on account of contagious
abortion than from tuberculosis.”
The state specialist, Dr. D. V. Larson, came to Evansville to talk with local dairy farmers about this disease. About 25 farmers were present at the
Although contagious abortion had been a problem in dairy herds for many years, no cure had ever been found. Larson knew that some farmers
were still relying on home remedies and patent medicines.
Dr. Larson told the farmers that the medicines offered through drug stores and other outlets were ineffective. The only way to get rid of the
disease in their herds was to have them tested and the diseased animals had to be culled. At the meeting Dr. Schuster gave a demonstration of
how the blood test on the dairy cow was performed and farmers were encouraged to continue to have their animals tested for the disease, as they
did for tuberculosis.
Dr. Rudolph Schuster was the only practicing veterinarian in Evansville in the late 1920s. Dr. Schuster continued to operate out of his offices at
115 East Main Street and advertised: “All calls promptly answered day or night. Phone 109.”
Through the late 1920s the horse sales were held at the Schuster barn on the south end of the veterinary office. When Dr. Schuster’s sales barn
became too small for the sales, they were moved to the stockyards near the depot, or to the former fairgrounds at the southwest corner of
Schuster also continued to serve on the City Council and was appointed a committeeman on the Fire and Police Committee, Sanitary Committee
and License Committee.
Dr. Charles S. Ware remained active in organizing Evansville’s Rock County Fair until it was sold to the Janesville Fair in 1928. Dr. Ware kept
busy with his daily delivery of milk and dairy products to customers in Evansville. In the winter he used a bob sleigh to make his rounds and in the
summer a horse-drawn wagon.
By 1929, Dr. C. S. Ware had stopped advertising services as a veterinarian. Although he did not retire, he had health problems.
In February 1929, Dr. Ware was finishing his milk route when his team became frightened and ran away. The sleigh tipped over and Dr. Ware was
thrown to the ground and lay there unconscious. He had only slight injuries and recovered from the accident.
Through the 1930s, Dr. Rudolph E. Schuster was the only practicing veterinarian in Evansville. Dr. Schuster’s only competition came from local
drug stores as they sold “veterinary and poultry remedies.”
There was a shift in the types of animals that Dr. Schuster served in his practice. In the 1930s, the dairy cattle, registered beef cattle, hogs, and
sheep, were the animals most often treated by Dr. Schuster.
As more farmers purchased tractors, the number of horses on the farms declined. Some farmers in the Evansville area preferred using horses for
farm work and several had registered work horses that were also kept for breeding and horse shows.
The State Department of Agriculture estimated that 86 percent of the gross income of Wisconsin farmers came from livestock and livestock
products. Dairy products were estimated to bring in 52 percent of the income; hogs, 13 per cent; and cattle and calves, 11 percent.
During the Great Depression, the federal government urged farmers to reduce the numbers of livestock. First, the federal government authorized
payments under a plan called hog and crop reduction. They urged farmers to reduce the number of hogs kept on farms and to take crop land out
of production. Later, they urged farmers to reduce the dairy output. It was hoped that this would increase the amount farmers were paid for their
products in the marketplace.
There were no major outbreaks of disease in the 1930s, as there had been in earlier times with hoof and mouth disease and tuberculosis. There
was a persistent problem with the disease known as contagious abortion. The disease was often called Bang’s or undulant fever, common names
There was some danger to humans, in that the disease could be spread through consumption of milk that was not pasteurized. Farmers and
employees of slaughterhouses or butcher shops could also become infected with brucellosis, by coming in contact with diseased meat.
Farmers were advised to sign up for a government program, so that they could be reimbursed for diseased animals in their herds. Veterinarians
were authorized by the State Department of Agriculture to test cattle for Bangs. Only authorized veterinarians could send blood samples to the
State Control Laboratory for testing. By 1935, the State of Wisconsin had 320 veterinarians that were approved for testing.
If cattle tested positive for Bangs, they were culled from the herd and slaughtered. The federal government reimbursed farmers for the animals
that were killed. If the animals were registered stock, the farmer was reimbursed at a higher rate than if they were unregistered.
An epidemic of sleeping sickness caused the death of many horses in the Evansville area in 1938. Dr. Schuster reported to the Wisconsin State
Journal in August of that year that 12 horses had died from the illness. The report said: “Although he said he has been unable to save some
horses from the disease which has been spreading throughout southern Wisconsin, Dr. Schuster added that many other horses have been
There was little need for Dr. Schuster to advertise his services, but he continued to have a notice in the professional listing of the Evansville
Review. “R. E. Schuster, Veterinary Surgeon, All Calls Promptly Answered Day or Night. Phone 109. Main Street,” was all that was necessary to
alert those in need of the services he offered.
In July 1940, Dr. R. E. Schuster died, after a short illness. His pall bearers included Evansville businessmen and livestock dealers, Charles Maloy,
Earl Gibbs, Richard C. Deily, Lloyd Heffel, William and Fred Luchsinger.
His obituary said that Dr. Schuster was prominent in civic affairs, served several terms as alderman from the third ward. Besides many friends,
Dr. Schuster was survived by his wife, the former Uva Griffeth, two sons, Harold and William, (both were nicknamed “Doc” by high school
classmates.) Schuster was also survived by two daughters, Beatrice (Mrs. Kenneth) Cain and Beth Schuster. There were also three
grandchildren, Billy and Uva Mae Schuster and Kay Cain. His brother, Raymond and sister Edith, lived in Oregon.
Immediately, Uva Schuster put the veterinary business up for sale. The sale also included the building at 115 East Main, where the Schuster
On July 18, 1490, the Evansville Review announced that the sale had been made. According to the press release, Dr. Harold Bunde, a licensed
veterinarian from Sullivan, Wisconsin had purchased the business and the building. The Schusters moved to an apartment on South First Street.
Bunde placed an ad in the same paper saying that he was taking over the veterinary practice of Dr. Schuster starting on July 20, 1940.
However, Dr. Bunde was unable to get the financing that Uva Schuster had required. The following week, in the July 25, 1940 issued of the
Review, Dr. Edwin W. Krueger, a licensed veterinarian of Hustisford, Wisconsin, announced that he was the new owner of Dr. Schuster’s practice.
Dr. E. W. Krueger, his wife and infant daughter, moved into the apartment vacated by Uva Schuster and her children, Beth and Bill. “Dr Krueger
comes to the city highly recommended as a veterinarian of unusual merit,” the Review reporter said in the front page article announcing the arrival
of the new veterinarian and his family.
An advertisement on page 6 of the same issue of the Review that announced his arrival read, “ANNOUNCEMENT. I have purchased the building
and equipment of the late Dr. R. E. Schuster at 115 East Main street, and am ready to serve this community with prompt and efficient Veterinary
Service. Your Patronage Will be Appreciated! Dr. E. W. Krueger, Licensed Veterinary, Telephone 109.”
Krueger was a graduate of the Cedarburg High School in 1935 and he and his distant relative, Dr. Harold Bunde had attended Ontario Veterinary
College at Guelph, Ontario, Canada. The college was part of the University of Toronto.
Both Bunde and Krueger received their degrees in 1939. Following his graduation, Dr. Krueger opened an office at Hustisford. He was a member
of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association and the Southeastern Wisconsin Veterinary
A few months after purchasing the business, Dr. Krueger began remodeling the first floor of the building at 115 East Main. A brick front was put
on the building. A new office and medical supply room was added and the treatment room’s ceiling and walls were sealed. Kruger also built a
garage on the back of the building.
Dr. Krueger was the first veterinarian in Evansville to advertise that he would provide services to pets, as well as farm animals. In March 1942,
“Leota Dog Food” was for sale at the veterinarian’s office. According to Dr. Krueger’s announcement, the food was a compound of fresh frozen
100 percent meat. Gaines Dog meal and vitamin and mineral supplements for animals were available for sale at Dr. Krueger’s office and pet
During World War II, Dr. Krueger was called into service. Through the pleadings of livestock shippers and local farmers, the Luchsinger brothers,
Charles Maloy and Charles Boode, the U. S. Army released Dr. Krueger from service and he returned to Evansville.
As Evansville was a large livestock shipping area and had many dairy farms that produced food products, the federal government decided that Dr.
Krueger’s services were necessary to the community. He was the only practicing veterinarian in Evansville, and his services were essential to
insure that the animals bought and sold in the area were free of disease.
Evansville lost the oldest veterinary surgeon in December 1941. Dr. Charles S. Ware was ill for a number of years prior to his death. He retired
from active practice of animal medicine in the 1920s.
Dr. Ware’s obituary said that he had practiced medicine for thirty five years before he retired. His survivors included his wife, Marjorie Francis
Munger Ware; his daughter, Constance Collins (Robert Collins); his son, William Ware and a step-son, Cecil Bazley.
During World War II the nation’s food supply was important to the men and women serving in the Armed Services, as well as the people at home.
A farmer’s institute held in the Evansville High School auditorium and gymnasium in March 1942 emphasized the importance of the quality of the
farm products farmers produced.
Dairy husbandry and herd improvement were all necessary to the war effort. The veterinarians and experts from the University of Wisconsin
spoke on “The Costly Diseases of Farm Animals” and stressed the diseases mastitis and Bangs as particularly detrimental to dairy herds.
As the only practicing veterinarian in the Evansville area during World War II, Dr. Edwin Krueger had a key role to play in keeping the beef, hog,
sheep and dairy operations in business.
A program of calf vaccinations was inaugurated by the State Department of Agriculture in 1940. There were five options for farmers to use in the
program. Under four of the plans, the farmer was required to have the vaccinations done by an approved veterinarian. The veterinarian reported
to the State when the vaccinations were completed and the State issued a permit for each herd if the vaccination was done by a veterinarian.
The herd permit allowed the veterinarian to vaccinate new calves in the herd when they were between the ages of four and eight months.
Vaccinated purebred calves were identified by their ear tag number and the ears were tattooed with the letters WV, for Wisconsin-Vaccinated” and
the date of vaccination. If the farmer chose to do his own vaccinations, no permit was issued by the State.
Working with farmers and the Wisconsin Department Agriculture, the local veterinarian sent samples of milk, tissue, and blood to the state
laboratory for diagnosis. The state laboratory reported that the most common ailment in hogs was an intestinal disorder, necrotic enteritis. The
lab also tested more than 300,000 blood samples for Bangs disease. Nodular disease, an intestinal disease was the most common disease found
in sheep. Diseases commonly found in poultry were leukemia, coccidosis and pullorum.
The State Department of Agriculture continued to tighten restrictions on the sale and showing of dairy cattle, creating more work for local
veterinarians. According to a news release in the September 21, 1944, issue of the Evansville Review, The seller of a “bovine animal, except
steers” had to give the buyer the Bang’s test record at the time that any part of the purchase price was paid or the new owner took possession of
the animal. If the animal was sold at auction, a public notice had to be posted giving “the status of the herd with reference to Bang’s disease, and
complete information as to the history of the herd.”
Any animal reacting to a Bang’s test had to be quarantined to the farm by the veterinarian who made the test. All sales held in pavilions had to be
supervised by a veterinarian, chosen by the Department of Agriculture.
While dealing with the day-to-day operation of the veterinary service was difficult enough for Dr. Krueger, an unexpected tragedy forced him to
change locations for a short time in the spring of 1944. The veterinarian offices and the Krueger residence on the second floor of the building at
115 East Main were damaged by a fire in April 1944.
The Krueger’s moved to a farm west of Evansville and Dr. Krueger hired carpenters to repair the damage to the building. The workmen removed
the garage at the south end of the first floor and a storeroom, bedroom and porch on the second floor were taken down. Smoke and water had
also damaged parts of the interior of the building. Plaster in the kitchen, a bedroom and hallway of the second-story apartment was removed.
The carpenters built a new garage on the first floor. On the second floor a new bedroom, laundry and the porch were restored. The Krueger’s
returned to their restored home and office in the fall of 1944.
As a hobby, Dr. Krueger enjoyed attending dog shows. In the fall of 1944, he showed several dogs and earned a first place for a female boxer.
The shows also served as a family outing for Krueger, his wife, and daughter, Carlyn and son, Ed. The family frequently visited relatives in
Hustisford and Cedarburg and Guelph, Canada.
Theo Devine was the secretary in Dr. Krueger’s office during the 1940s. When her uncle, Staff Sergeant Lewis Devine, returned from World War
II, he brought a collection of German souvenirs. Dr. Krueger’s office window on East Main Street was used as a display case for the items
collected by Devine. Many of the items were taken from German soldiers surrendering to the United States military at the close of the war. The
collection included a swastika pennant, German guns, daggers, belt buckles, and a German helmet.
Dr. Krueger’s practice was growing rapidly and in October 1945, he brought in an assistant, Dr. Paul Starch, a recent graduate of the Iowa State
Veterinary College, Ames, Iowa. Dr. Starch was from La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Dr. Starch remained with Dr. Krueger for more than two years and then went to work in a veterinary office in Beloit. They attended veterinarian’s
conventions in Wisconsin and Illinois to update their skills and knowledge of in the treatment of animals.
Dr. Starch was killed in a tragic automobile accident in February 1950. At the time of his death, his brother, Cyrus, was attending Iowa State
In memory of Paul Starch, the Iowa State Veterinary College established an award for a student completing the freshman year in veterinary
science. The award was given to a student who displayed the leadership and other qualities that described Dr. Starch. As a student, Paul Starch
had displayed “initiative, sincerity, curiosity, general high character and true interest in his profession because of his basic interest in animals
Dr. Edwin Krueger’s practice continued to grow in the late 1940s and he became active in several organizations that promoted good animal health
and production practices. The Rock County Holstein Breeders Association was a growing organization in Rock County.
Dr. Krueger attended many of the Holstein Breeders meetings. He worked closely with Morris Jensen, a tester of dairy herds, as there continued
to be a growing interest in improving the quality and quantity of milk produced.
Dr. Krueger and Jensen also worked with the local 4-H clubs and their dairy projects. As the 4-H Fair approached in the late summer of 1946, Leo
and Harvey Brunsell, Krueger, and Jensen approached local businesses asking for donations to be used as prizes. Pet Milk Company agreed to
award cash prizes for the top five dairy animals shown by each club.
In August 1946, Krueger and Jensen joined Selmer and Howard Severson and Harold Abey in testing and vaccinating calves owned by the
Evansville 4-H that were to be exhibited at the Rock County 4-H fair.
At the fair, Jensen and Dr. Krueger worked with Clark Beal, Horace Franklin to promote the dairy industry. The group organized a Woman’s
milking contest and had Leo Brunsell and Raymond Hawkins serve as judges.
By 1946, Animal health and production was changing and the local veterinarians kept pace with the changing needs of their clients. The
Wisconsin State Department of Agriculture and local veterinarians were introducing the practice of artificial insemination to dairymen, as a method
of improving their herds.
For years experts had urged farmers to cull cows that were not producing well. “An inefficient cow is wasteful and expensive. She not only fails to
produce the maximum amount of food from the feed consumed, but gives her owner a smaller return for labor and investment.” H. J. Weavers,
chief of the diary division of the Wisconsin State Department of Agriculture again warned farmers in March 1946.
Weavers suggested two methods of improving the herd. The first method of improvement was to retain the best producing members of the herd
and only keeping the calves of the best producers. The best way to assure that this method was working was to keep careful production records
of all the milk cows in the herd.
The second method of improving the herd was to purchase sires with offspring demonstrating the best production records. For those farmers who
did not want to keep bulls, Weavers suggested using artificial insemination.
Late in October 1948, Dr. Paul Starch left the Evansville Veterinary service to start his own practice in Beloit, leaving Dr. Edwin W. Krueger as the
sole veterinarian practicing out of the Evansville Veterinary Hospital at 115 East Main Street.
Dr Krueger’s knowledge of dairy cattle and hogs made him a popular leader with the local 4-H clubs and farmers. In 1949, he served as assistant
chairman and head of the livestock department of the Evansville 4-H club’s advisory committee. Krueger continued in this role and as a leader in
the calf club into the 1950s.
In August 1950, Evansville farmer, Charles Maas, was President of the Wisconsin Swine Breeders Association and Treasurer of the Poland China
Record Association. Mass was also Superintendent of the swine exhibits at the Wisconsin State Fair that year. Dr. Krueger served as one of
Maas’ assistants at this state-wide event.
Wisconsin was well known for its leadership in regular testing for tuberculosis and Bangs disease in dairy cattle. In 1950, Wisconsin was the
national leader in tuberculosis testing in cattle. By the end of the year, twenty-five of Wisconsin’s counties, including Rock, had completed the
required testing and Wisconsin’s TB percentage was extremely low. According to Dr. H. J. O’Connell, acting chief of the Livestock Sanitation
Division of the State Department of Agriculture, less than one percent of the cattle tested positive for the disease.
Wisconsin was also one of the leaders in calfhood vaccinations and blood testing of the dairy herds for Bangs disease. The State Department of
Agriculture rated the control of the disease and the health of the state’s dairy herds as one of its highest priorities.
The testing and vaccination program had become so popular that farmers found it difficult to comply with the state law requiring them to use a
veterinarian assigned to their township. In order to alleviate the problem and improve the control of Bang’s disease (Brucellosis), in 1951, the
Wisconsin law was changed so that farmers could choose a state accredited veterinarian to perform the test and vaccinations.
Dr. H. J. O’Connell explained that the policy was changed because of “difficulties experienced under the present policy of assigning one
veterinarian to each of the state’s 860 townships. If the veterinarian assigned to the township was unable to render the service it proved very
difficult in many cases for the farmer to take advantage of the state’s program of furnishing vaccination and blood testing service.”
Dr. Krueger’s business was growing and needed an assistant. In late February 1951, he announced that Dr. Harold J. Bunde was joining the firm.
Krueger and Bunde were 1939 graduates of the Ontario Veterinary College at Guelph, Canada.
Shortly after their graduation Bunde had tried to purchase the Evansville Veterinary Hospital in 1940 from the Schuster family. When Bunde’s
funding for the purchase had not worked out, the business was sold to Dr. Krueger.
Despite the competition for the Evansville business, the two classmates had remained friends. They kept in touch with each other over the years
and there were notices in the Evansville Review, when the two families visited each other.
From 1940 to 1951 Dr. Bunde worked at veterinary clinics in Wisconsin and Illinois. Bunde had most recently worked as a veterinarian in
Reeseville, Wisconsin. Kruger told an Evansville Review reporter, that the two new partners would “make every effort to give good service to the
Evansville community in its veterinarian needs.”
Dr. Krueger had never found it necessary to advertise his service in the local newspaper. A Christmas greeting in the Evansville Review’s holiday
edition was traditional for the business. In December 1951, the two veterinarians gave their philosophy of service to their customers in their
holiday notice: “Our Entire Business has been built upon friendship. We look upon all our customers as our friends and are determined to give
them the friendliest service possible. It is our aim to wrap up a little friendliness in each transaction. Evansville Veterinary Hospital, Drs. E. W.
Krueger and H. J. Bunde.”
The federal and state governments kept an annual inventory of the numbers and value of livestock. At the beginning of 1952, Wisconsin livestock
value was more than a billion dollars. There were 3,916,000 cattle on Wisconsin farms with dairy cattle far outnumbering beef cattle.
There were 2,407,000 head of milk cows on Wisconsin farms.. Farmers were realizing higher prices for their animals and milk. As a result of the
higher income, the farmers increased the size of their herds.
From 1951 to 1952 there was a seven percent increase in Wisconsin’s swine population with a state-wide inventory of 2,039,000. There were also
more sheep, chickens, and turkeys. The only decline in the state’s farm animals was in the number of horses. There were 172,000 head of
horses in Wisconsin at the beginning of 1952.
Veterinarians and farmers were notified of another disease that was affecting dairy cattle, bovine ketosis or acetonemia. The American
Foundation of Animal Health sent out news releases to newspapers alerting dairy farmers to the disease, especially because there was an
increase in the number of calves.
The Merck Veterinary Manual reports ketosis as a “common disease of adult cattle. It typically occurs in diary cows in early lactation.” The
manual warns that all dairy cows in early lactation, the first six weeks, are at risk of ketosis. The disease is most common in diary cows that are
“bred and managed for high production.”
In mild cases, ketosis is often confused with milk fever or plant poisoning. The cow may not be eating as much and reduced food intake is one of
the early signs of the disease. The cow will give milk that has a peculiar, sweetish taste. In severe cases, the symptoms of ketosis include a
drastic reduction in the amount of milk produced, lethargy, dehydration, and loss of weight. Other signs of the disease noted in the Merck Manual
include an abnormal gait, bellowing, aggression, and abnormal licking.
Veterinarians could diagnose the disease with tests that detected ketone bodies in the urine or milk. Three preventive measures were suggested
for ketosis. Farmers could begin by providing good nutrition for their herds. Balanced rations and liberal amounts of food were considered of key
importance in preventing ketosis. This was especially important during cold weather.
The second way to prevent the disease was careful watching of the cows, so that they did not go “off their feed.” Farmers were warned to
continually monitor the amount of food taken in by the cow.
The third preventive measure was to have a veterinarian perform tests “at frequent intervals in fresh and pregnant cows, so that any signs of
ketosis can be spotted early and treated promptly.” “Veterinarians base their final diagnosis on chemical tests. If detected in time, early treatment
with intravenous injections and by other means will usually prevent death loses.” As farmers became more aware of symptoms of diseases, they
were more likely to call upon the services of veterinarians for diagnosis and prevention.
In addition to prevention and cure of animal disease, the Evansville Veterinary Hospital offered a new service in 1952. Dr. Kreuger and Dr. Bunde
had joined with the Piper Bros. Artificial Breed Association, a Watertown firm that offered artificial insemination service.
In joining with this new service, the Evansville veterinarians offered area farmers a new opportunity to take advantage of good breeding without
the expense of keeping their own bulls, or hiring a breeding service.
The Piper Bros. owned five farms and had Holsteins that included breeding lines from well known herds, including Carnation, Homestead, Pabst,
and Strathmore (Canadian). The Pipers started artificial breeding on their own farms, and then expanded their services throughout Wisconsin.
Their dairy cattle were nationally known for production and as show cattle. In addition to their Holstein line, the new service offered by the
Evansville clinic also included artificial insemination for Guernsey and Angus breeds.
Evansville’s veterinarian, Dr. Edwin Krueger participated in the popular Black and White Show held annually at Lake Leota park. The first
Evansville show was held in 1950 and was a combined horse and cattle show.
The Tri-County Black and White Show was sponsored by the Holstein Breeders Associations of three Wisconsin counties, Rock, Green, and Dane
Counties. The 1951 show was also sponsored by the Evansville Lions Club. The principal organizer was Charles Maas, a popular Union township
farmer and promoter of area livestock.
The Lions Club offered $150 in prize money for the 1951 Tri-County Horse and Black and White Show. Dr. Krueger was responsible for the entry
applications and inspected the vaccination records of the animals entered in the show to guarantee the health and safety of the exhibits.
Throughout the 1950s, the Black and White shows were very successful. The shows grew and in the early years, it was not unusual for 200
animals to be entered in the annual Tri-County event. There were many activities included in the show besides the animal and showmanship
judging. The Rock County 4-H band, a parade of winning animals, a pancake supper, style show and the selection of a queen to reign over the
activities, increased the attendance.
The show brought hundreds of people to Evansville to exhibit and view the animals. In a few years, the show was separated into two parts with the
horse show held in June and the Black and White show in July. Other Evansville organizations, including the American Legion and the Chamber of
Commerce were invited to participate in order to organize and manage the show.
Charles Maas was so impressed with Dr. Krueger’s ability to handle the activities of the Black and White show that he asked him to help with the
Wisconsin State Fair. Mass was Superintendent of the Swine Department at the fair and in 1952, Dr. Krueger was named the weighmaster in the
swine department of the fair.
In April 1954, Dr. E. W. Krueger became the sole practitioner at the Evansville Veterinary Hospital, after a tragic car accident took the life of his
veterinary school classmate and close associate, Dr. Harold J. Bunde. Dr. Bunde was making a call on an Orfordville area farmer on a rainy
afternoon, April 15, 1954. Bunde was traveling on Highway 213 when a truck ahead of Bunde’s car turned into a driveway. Bunde’s car rear-
ended the truck and the Evansville veterinarian was fatally injured in the accident. The family in the truck received only minor injuries.
Just weeks before the accident Bunde was elected to the Evansville City Council to represent the Third Ward on the east side of Evansville. The
new Council had not yet been seated at the time of his death.
Dr. Bunde’s funeral was held in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. His obituary noted that he was graduated from Guelph Veterinarian College in Guelph,
Ontario, Canada. Prior to coming to Evansville he had practiced in Bowling Green, Mo. and Hustisford, Wisconsin.
A few months after Bunde’s death, Dr. Kenneth D. Campbell joined Dr. E. W. Krueger in the Evansville Veterinary Hospital. He was a graduate of
the University of Illinois and had practiced in Stephenson County, Illinois before coming to Evansville. Campbell remained in the Evansville clinic
until October 1958, when he went to an Orfordville clinic. In the mid to late 1950s Dr. Krueger’s office assistant was Mary Thompson.
To keep current with trends in the best practices in veterinary science, Dr. Krueger continued his education in prevention of animal diseases. In
October 1954, Dr. Krueger attended a University of Wisconsin veterinarian conference in Madison. The two-day session included lectures by
members of the Department of Veterinary Science at the University of Wisconsin, practicing veterinarians and experts from other organizations.
In August 1957, Dr. Edwin Krueger participated in a surgical demonstration at the American Veterinary Medical Association in Cleveland, Ohio.
The procedure showed the removal of a bovine claw at the pedal joint to eliminate infections and lameness. The operation was shown over closed
circuit television to attendees at the meeting.
Wisconsin’s veterinarians in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture had made great headway in the prevention and cure of
animal diseases. In the late 1950s the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture reported that bovine tuberculosis was nearly wiped out in Wisconsin.
A January 1958 news release by the state department said: Tuberculosis in Wisconsin cattle, once an insidious threat to both animal and human
health, has been virtually wiped out due to constant vigilance and testing to disclose any infected animals.” This was good news for farmers
selling their milk products and livestock for breeding.
However, there were still a number of diseases that posed serious threats to livestock owners. Mastitis in dairy cattle was dangerous to farm
animals and the food supply.
To learn more about the diagnosis and control of dairy cow mastitis, Dr. Krueger attended a course at the University of Wisconsin. Nationally
known authorities from the University, California School of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell and Pennsylvania State University taught the classes.
Mastitis was considered the most costly of all dairy cattle diseases according to the experts.
In addition to his veterinary practice, Dr. Krueger participated in other activities to promote agriculture. He was elected president of the Evansville’
s Chamber of Commerce in 1958. At the first meeting of the year, Dr. Krueger reviewed the previous year’s accomplishments. The Chamber and
the Lions Club of Evansville had sponsored an evening of dinner and entertainment to bring together farmers and Evansville businessmen. The
Chamber and Lions had also sponsored a Dairy Night, and supported the Black and White Show. The Chamber gave money to support the
dredging of Lake Leota and shared in the cost of Christmas Decorations for Evansville’s Main Street.
To further promote Evansville’s farms and agriculture based business, Dr. Krueger announced that the local Chamber had invited the State
Chamber of Commerce to bring business and industrial representatives for a tour of area farms, to be followed by a dinner. The tour included
dairy and hog farms in the three counties that sponsored the Black and White Shows, Rock, Dane and Green Counties.
Dr. Krueger served as co-chairman with Charles Maas and as the secretary for the annual Black and White Show in 1958 and was responsible for
organizing the entries. The 1958 show had more entries than any previous show. A number of new classes were added and the judging began
earlier in the day to accommodate the large classes.
The final count was more than 360 pure-bred dairy cattle entered in the show. The show had attracted a star in the dairy business. William
Ogilvie, the manager of the International Dairy Show at the International Livestock Exposition in Chicago showed cattle in Evansville’s Black and
Dr. Krueger’s active participation in the state and local fairs and shows put him in good standing with area farmers. The Evansville Veterinary
Hospital’s business was also growing. In February 1958, Dr. Krueger added another staff member to the Evansville Clinic. Dr. Howard Krueger,
brother of Edwin, joined the Evansville Veterinary Hospital.
Howard graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1955. For 2 ½ years he practiced with Doctor Ferguson in Lake Geneva. While the
Evansville Veterinary Hospital concentrated on a general practice with dairy cattle and hogs, Dr Howard Krueger’s training at Lake Geneva
prepared him for the changing attitude toward care of their pets.
Dr. Ferguson had a good reputation as a veterinarian with the Chicago people who vacationed in Lake Geneva. They brought their pets with
them and expected they would have veterinary service similar to what they had in Chicago. Practicing with Dr. Ferguson gave Dr. Krueger an
opportunity to get his first experience in the practice of small animal veterinary medicine.
At the Evansville clinic the veterinarians were dairy & hog practitioners. There were only a few horses on Evansville area farms in the late 1950s.
E. W. Krueger and previous Evansville veterinarians treated large farm animals and rarely treated family pets. There were small animal practices
in Madison and Milwaukee but it was unusual for a veterinarian in a small community to make a living doing small animal medicine. The farm
animal practice sustained the Evansville clinic.
Because of his good work at the Wisconsin State Fair Dr. Edwin Krueger was given a promotion for the 1958 event. Charles Maas, who had been
superintendent of the fair’s swine exhibit was named general superintendent of livestock for the fair. Dr. E. W. Krueger was named the
superintendent of the swine department.
There was a record-breaking number of livestock shown at the Wisconsin State Fair in 1958. The fair organizers had increased the premiums by
15 per cent and this proved to be a good incentive for entries for 4-H and adult showmen. The swine show extended over four days and there
was a total of nearly $18,000 available for prizes.
Evansville veterinarians were the front line guards in the fight to eradicate animal diseases affecting the state and nation’s food supply. From
1958 to 1961, Dr. Edwin Krueger and his brother Howard handled the care of animals for the Evansville Veterinary Hospital. In the early 1960s,
the animal diseases that were dangerous to animals and humans included tuberculosis, brucellosis, and hog cholera.
State law regulated the testing for tuberculosis and brucellosis. Frequent notices in the state and local newspapers warned farmers that the
Wisconsin statutes were in place to protect the food supply. A notice from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture in July 1960 said, “Failure to
submit the herd to tests is a violation of state statues, but far worse is the possibility of infecting other animals with brucellosis.”
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture required that all cattle sold for dairy, feeding or breeding purposes had to be tested for brucellosis.
Animals sent to a rented pasture or kept in a community pasture where animals from several farms were together, also had to follow the
regulations of testing free of the disease for 30 days prior to being moved.
There were exceptions to the 30-day test law. “Calves under eight months of age, spayed heifers and steers; official vaccinations not over 30
months of age without any history of abortion; animals from brucellosis certified herds; animals moving directly to slaughter; cattle moved between
farms owned or controlled by one individual.” Cattle moved from the farm to a livestock dealer, or to a fair or livestock show also needed to be
The Evansville livestock buying and selling operations changed in the late 1950s. The number of livestock buyers declined and trucks became
the principal method of transporting animals to and from Evansville area farms to markets.
The stockyards at the Chicago and Northwestern railroad complex in Evansville shut down. In 1958, the Brigham stockyards located on East
Church Street moved to new stockyards, just outside the city limits, north of Evansville on Highway 14.
By the late 1950s the meat processing companies had abandoned the Chicago Union Stockyards and moved their buying operations into the rural
areas near the livestock farms. Representatives from the Armour meat packing company leased the Brigham stockyards in the 1950s.
The Patrick Cudahy meat packing operation leased the Brigham stockyards in October 1959. The Cudahy company representative told an
Evansville Review reporter that the company planned to purchase animals at the Evansville yards for shipment to their meat packing operations in
The local veterinarians met the incoming shipments of livestock and vaccinated the animals as soon as they arrived in Evansville. According to
Dr. Howard Krueger, the Brigham stockyards trucks usually came in on Sunday morning and the Evansville veterinarians were on hand to treat the
animals before they were taken to feedlots on Evansville farms. No breeding stock could be put on the feedlots, as this was the way brucellosis
Developments in antibiotics helped veterinarians to eliminate some animal diseases. However, the new medications required that the
veterinarians educate dairy farmers about the regulations for using the new disease fighters.
In December 1959, Dr. Edwin Krueger sent an article to the Evansville Review warning dairy farms on federal regulations regarding the use of
antibiotics. “Zero tolerance is what the U. S. Pure Food and Drug regulations state is the amount of antibiotics that can be present in milk sold for
human use,” the article warned. “Milk markets throughout the country are now refusing to accept anything but milk with a zero tolerance of
antibiotics. The life-blood of Wisconsin’s dairy industry is these milk markets.”
Dairies refused to accept bulk tanks with milk testing positive for antibiotics. The milk from just one cow treated for mastitis with antibiotics and
mixed with a 35,000 pound tank load could cause a positive test for antibiotics.
Federal state and city public health officials used a TTC (triphenyl tetrazolium chloride) test to determine if antibiotics were present in the milk.
The article said, “The TTC test is a test for inhibitors. These may be not only penicillin, but any other antibiotic or bacteriocidal agent,”
The article went on to say, “Only one herd owner who treats or has cows in his herd treated for mastitis and does not refrain from sending milk
from these cows to his dairy plant, can adulterate an entire tank load of milk. He may even jeopardize the entire milk outlet for his dairy plant.”
Farmers were warned not to ship milk until 72 hours (or six milkings) after treatment for mastitis with antibiotics. If animals were treated for
diseases, other than mastitis, with injection or by the intervenious use of antibiotics, then the milk should not be shipped until seven milkings after
The Evansville Veterinary Hospital continued to support the local livestock farmers by sponsoring events that promoted the purchase of dairy and
beef products. The annual Black and White Show attracted hundreds of people to Evansville and was supported by volunteer work and financially
by the Evansville veterinarians.
Evansville’s Black and White show was one of 10 regional Black and White Shows in Wisconsin, with winners exhibiting at the state event. Dr.
Edwin Krueger and Charles Maas attended the state show in Oshkosh in July 1960. Local exhibitors attending the show included M. C. Tuttle and
Sons and Pearlwood Farms. Only blue ribbon winners in the regional events could participate in the state show.
In the summer of 1960, the veterinarians also were principal supporters of a Beef Barbecue held at Norm’s Hi-Way Inn in Evansville. Over 1,000
people attended the event and 650 pounds of beef was served.
Dr. Roland Jeans joined the Evansville Veterinary Clinic in September 1961. Dr. Jeans was raised on a farm in northwest Wisconsin and had fed
calves and milked to help his father with the chores. As a young man, his dream was to be a veterinarian and work with cows.
Dr. Jeans attended the University of Minnesota and graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1957 and a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in
1959. His first job was with the U. S. Army at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas in 1959. He was responsible for the care of the U. S. Modern
Pentathalon Team. The team included horses and riders participating in five events, riding, swimming, fencing, shooting and running.
His enlistment ended in August 1961 and jobs in the veterinary field were hard to find. A classmate of Howard Krueger recommended Dr. Jeans to
the Evansville veterinarians.
Jeans was interviewed by the two Dr. Kruegers and offered the job with the Evansville firm. He had intended to stay in Evansville until he could
find a job near his home area in northwestern Wisconsin or northern Minnesota.
In the early 1960s, the Evansville Veterinary Hospital clients included about 500 dairy customers. Some were small farms with 10 cows. The
largest herds were 50 to 60 cows. Although Dr. Jeans’ previous experience had prepared him for treating horses, the number of draft horses in
the Evansville area was small and there were only a few riding horses. The major portion of the Evansville veterinarians’ practice was dairy and
For decades hog cholera had devastated farm operations. In the early 1960s, the state of Wisconsin declared war on the disease and with the
help of 450 veterinarians, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture hoped to control and eradicate hog cholera from state farms.
Wisconsin established two diagnostic laboratories to test for animal disease. Madison’s laboratory had been in operation for years and another
was established at Barron, Wisconsin. The Madison staff included five veterinarians, a serologist , a virologist, a bacteriologist and technicians.
The Barron staff was smaller.
The Evansville Veterinary Hospital was a major player in the fight against hog cholera. “Stepped Up State-Wide Campaign Is Scheduled Against
Hog Cholera” was the headline of a March 1962 Wisconsin State Journal article. A Journal staff correspondent followed Dr. Edwin Krueger on his
rounds as he visited Evansville area hog producers.
Dr. Krueger visited two Evansville area farms with the reporter. The Allison Butts farm was the first. Butts raised purebred Duroc pigs and there
were 22 six-week-old pigs to vaccinate when Dr. Krueger and the reporter arrived.
“Except for the squealing, the job went without trouble,” the reporter said. Allison Butts caught the pigs and held them by the back feet for the
vaccination process. Dr. Krueger had a bag of serum strapped to his chest. The serum was a modified live virus made from rabbits. Dr. Krueger
vaccinated each pig with 20 centimeters of the serum. The vaccination stimulated the production of antibodies in the young pigs.
Before leaving the Butts farm, Dr. Krueger also checked the general health of the pigs. Dr. Krueger told the reporter that he could vaccinate up to
100 pigs in an hour by this method.
Krueger and the reporter left the Butts farm and traveled to the farm of Dean George where they met, Dean’s son, Kent. Before vaccinating the
pigs on this farm, Dr. Krueger and the reporter cleaned their boots with a brush and hot disinfectant that the veterinarian carried in his truck.
As Kent George held the pigs by a noose. Dr. Krueger gave the shots behind the ear, rather than in the belly, as he had done on the Butts farm.
Dr. Krueger vaccinated 10 two-month old pigs. Because they were older and weighed more, the pigs on the George farm got a larger dose of
The State Journal article featuring Dr. Krueger said that only 3% of Wisconsin hogs were vaccinated, compared with a national average of 40%.
The cost of the vaccination was 75 cents to $1.50 per pig, depending on the size. The farmers with purebred hogs were more likely to vaccinate
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture employed a small staff of veterinarians and depended on Wisconsin’s 450 local veterinarians to
diagnose and report animal diseases. The local veterinarians also served as educators for farmers who were interested in using the best
practices in raising healthy animals.
In the early to mid-1960s, the Evansville Veterinary Hospital’s staff, included Dr. Edwin Krueger, Dr. Howard Krueger and Dr. Roland Jeans. The
local veterinarians worked closely with the state veterinarians to diagnose and treat animal diseases.
Hog cholera was one of the diseases that was dangerous only to hogs and it could be fatal. Wisconsin had a large population of hogs and their
good health was maintained through good preventive care. The Evansville area had a number of hog farmers.
In 1962, there were 4 million pigs on Wisconsin farms and there were a small number of cases of hog cholera reported in the state. There were
60 confirmed cases of the disease. The state veterinarians suspected that there may have been 20 or 30 cases that went unreported.
While the numbers were small, state and local veterinarians were most interested in preventing disease and providing farmers with the information
that they needed to maintain healthy animals. If an outbreak of hog cholera was suspected, hog farmers were asked to provide a history of the
herd to their local veterinarians. The history included where the pigs were purchased, the type of feed used and any visitors to the farm.
Good feeding practices and vaccinations were some of the preventive measures recommended. Farmers were warned to avoid feeding hogs raw
garbage. The local veterinarians provided on-the-farm vaccination service and a check of the living conditions of the farm animals.
Symptoms of the disease included high fevers, loss of appetite, weakness, staggering, weight loss, and diarrhea. The state veterinarians offered
post mortem examinations at the state laboratories. These tests gave the local veterinarian and farmer access to information that were not
generally available in the field or at the local veterinarians’ office.
Despite the expert care that was available through the local veterinary hospital, some farmers still preferred to use home remedies or treatments
available through local pharmacies. One Evansville pharmacy advertised penicillin for mastitis in cattle, nutritional supplements for feeding hogs
and tables and powders to prevent calf scours and diarrhea in pigs.
In 1963, one Magnolia farmer switched from dairy to hog raising after his dairy barn burned. John Spanton used a system called pigloos that
isolated each litter of pigs from the time they were born until the time they went to market.
An Evansville Review report about the new system said that one of the main advantages of the pigloo system was the prevention of hog diseases.
Another was the ability to keep better records on the progress of the individual litter.
The pigs were kept in individual pens with a house for each sow and her litter. The houses were insulated and were placed on a 8’ x 12’ slanted
slab of concrete. Each pigloo had its own self-feeder, a water basin, and a heater.
When the piglets were about 4 weeks old, the litter was moved to another individual feeding area. Each litter was isolated in this new feeding area
until they were sent to market.
The Evansville Review article about Spanton’s new system said, “Eliminating swine disease and parasites is probably one of the greatest
management problems a farmer faces today. By isolating the sow and litter, sickness can be reduced or kept to a minimum. Therefore, net
returns should be increased.”
In addition to their veterinary work, Dr. Edwin Krueger and Dr. Roland Jeans worked on the Black and White Show. Although the shows had been
successful in drawing hundreds of entries to the show and visitors to Evansville, there was controversy with the City Council over the bill for
cleaning the park after the event.
In 1960 the City sent a bill to the Black and White Show officials asking for money for cleaning up the park after the show. The show officials
balked at paying for the service, since it had been provided free in prior years.
“The charges for the clean up job came as a bolt in the blue to the show committee,” one show official was quoted as saying. Dr. Edwin Krueger,
Charles Maas and others on the committee told city officials they had given a deposit of $75 to assure that the park would be cleaned up. After
inspection by city officials, the deposit was to be refunded. The committee had not received a refund and believed that the cleanup bill was paid.
Charles Maas described the importance of the show to Evansville’s economy. He said that the show had grown from 63 head of cattle in its first
year to approximately 400 in 1961.
“This includes every boy and girl in the three-county area who is in on the cooperative breeders’ project. Under the terms of the show each 4-H
boy or girl who raises a calf on a share basis with a breeder is required to exhibit the animal in the annual Evansville Black and White Event. The
Evansville show is the largest and most important of 10 such district shows in Wisconsin. I think there should be more cooperating between the
city and its trade area which is principally rural. Such activities should be given more, not less encouragement by the Evansville community,” Maas
told the council members.
The controversy with the City of Evansville officials struck a severe blow to the community leaders who had worked on the show for so many
years. The Black and White shows were moved to other cities in the three-county area. Monroe, Stoughton and Janesville, hosted the shows
after Evansville’s civic leaders refused to cooperate with the show’s planning committee. Evansville Veterinary Hospital doctors continued to work
with the Black and White show officials and many of their clients participated in the shows.
The City of Evansville did cooperate with the Evansville Veterinary Hospital in issuing dog licenses. Every dog in the city was required to have a
vaccination for rabies before a license was issued.
The Evansville Veterinary Hospital offered a one-day clinic for dog owners. The rabies vaccination was given to dogs at a reduced price. The
advertisement for the clinic warned dog owners that their animals “must be on a leash and under control when presented for vaccination.”
Dr. Edwin Krueger also offered assistance to the Evansville Police Chief in designing a dog pound for the City of Evansville. Chief Richard Luers
and Dr. Krueger designed a facility with individual pens for stray dogs that were picked up by the police department. The pens had a dog house
and a small running area surrounded by fencing installed by Struck and Irwin of Madison. The facility cost the city $600.
Luers said that the dogs would be kept for a week to allow dog owners to retrieve their pets. If the dogs were not claimed, the Chief said that
every effort would be made to find a good home for the animal.
During the 1960s, the Evansville Veterinary hospital provided a training ground for young men who were interested in becoming veterinarians.
Berwyn “Bud” Cadman and Ken Reese, worked as veterinary assistants in the hospital and later became veterinarians. Marion Clark was the
office assistant for the veterinarians.
The use of computers by farmers and veterinarians in the late 1960s was a big change and the Evansville veterinarians were pioneers in assisting
local farmers in starting their computer records. In the early days of IBM computers, electronic farm records included records of milk production,
crop yields and farm income.
The farmers sent their electronic records to the Wisconsin Electronic Farm Records Project, developed by Professor John R. Schmidt, an
Agricultural Economist at the University of Wisconsin. The project was used to study the cost of milk production for Wisconsin dairy herds and
clarify cost savings.
The use of computers was intended to reduce the clerical work associated with farm record keeping and improve farm income by managing
livestock and crops more efficiently. Used effectively, the new computer records would help farmers to make good business decisions.
By 1966, 850 farmers in Wisconsin kept electronic records for the Farm Records Project. The average farm using electronic farm records had
206 crop acres, 43 dairy cows and 76 livestock units (one dairy cow, two young stock, or two beef cows.) The average capital investment in the
farm was $80,000. Livestock supplied the principal source of cash income. The average farmer sold 10,800 lbs of milk per cow and 403 lbs,
butterfat. The corn yield was 93 bushels per acre, hay yield 3.2 tons and corn silage yield was 15 tons per acre.
The role of the veterinarian in the record keeping process was to understand and work in the areas that damaged livestock production on the
farm. Veterinarians used the computer records to help develop plans for care and feeding of the animals.
Computer record keeping changed the way animal nutrition was handled. Nutrition of dairy cattle and other farm animals was always important
and but with the advent of computers it became a science. Computers allowed veterinarians and farmers to organize balanced rations for cattle.
When nutrition improved, cows produced more milk.
New advances in veterinary science and farming meant that local veterinarians needed to keep up with new technologies and veterinary
practices. Continuing education and involvement in professional organizations were very important to the veterinarians practicing in Evansville.
Advances in distance education helped the local veterinarians to take classes from specialists without traveling great distances. Wisconsin
offered classes at locations in almost every county throughout the state. Extension classes were held in court houses, University of Wisconsin-
Extension offices, and schools.
In November 1968, sixteen veterinarians from Illinois and Wisconsin took a course on fertility in cattle offered by the Educational Telephone
Network at the Green County Agriculture Building in Monroe. Drs. Roland Jeans, Edwin Krueger and Howard Krueger attended the classes that
were taught by Dr. R. Zinjanis of Torrence, California. Dr. Zinjanis spoke from his location in California and the lecture was relayed by telephone
to the students in Wisconsin. In addition to the class instruction received by telephone, the course included independent study and laboratory
Increased business meant that the Evansville veterinarians needed to add more staff. A fourth veterinarian joined the Evansville Veterinary
Hospital in July 1969.
Dr. David Rhoda joined the Evansville staff. Dr. Rhoda grew up on a dairy and hog farm near Chenoa, Illinois. He graduated from the University
of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 1966 and served in the United States Army for four years, including one year while he was in college.
During his military service, Dr. Rhoda was stationed at Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland. The Army’s medical research center is located at this
Army base. Dr. Rhoda worked in the research department with a concentration on circulatory physiology in animals.
After completing his military service, Dr. Rhoda started looking for a civilian job. There were several openings in Southern Wisconsin and he was
interviewed at veterinary practices in three communities, Edgerton, New Glarus and Evansville.
Dr. Rhoda selected the job offer in Evansville, thinking that he would someday continue his education and work in research. However, Dr. Rhoda
found the work in the Evansville area to be very satisfying and he continued his work at the Evansville Veterinary Hospital for the rest of his
When Dr. Rhoda arrived, the work of the Evansville Veterinary Hospital staff was 80 to 90% related to dairy farming. Each doctor also had a
specialty outside of dairy. Dr. Edwin Krueger specialized in milk quality; Dr. Howard Krueger in small animals; Dr. Jeans in horses, and Dr. Rhoda
The staff of the Evansville Veterinary Hospital was very involved in professional organizations and programs to eradicate disease from herds. Dr.
Edwin Krueger helped one local farmer achieve a certificate of recognition from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture in the eradication of
streptococcus agalactiae, commonly known as strep ag, a contagious disease that caused a form of mastitis in dairy cattle. The disease lowered
milk production and was easily spread in bedding, hands of milkers, and teat skin.
Franklin Bradley’s herd of dairy cattle produced milk that was sold to the Borden company. The State of Wisconsin introduced a new voluntary
program to eliminate this type of mastitis from dairy herds in Wisconsin.
The certificate program required that the dairy herd be free of the disease. To detect strep ag, milk samples and bacterial cultures were taken
regularly and bulk tank sampling was also required.
According to the news release about the award, “Bradley worked with Dr. E. W. Krueger in carrying out this new program. Under the program, the
Bradley herd was checked carefully until it passed two successive negative culture tests, not less than two weeks apart. This was followed by two
consecutive negative herd bulk tank samples, or complete herd tests not less than 30 days apart.” Bradley was the sixth farmer in the state to
receive recognition for eliminating the strep threat from his herd.
The staff of the Evansville Veterinary Hospital continued to support youth activities related to agriculture. In the fall of 1969, Dr. E. W. Kruger
joined Gordon Kazda of the Union Cooperative Association and Donald Martinson of Martin Implement at Brooklyn in a presentation to Evansville
High School students studying agri-careers. All of the speakers encouraged the students to stay in school, to complete their high school diplomas
and to continue their education after high school. They left the students with this message: “Additional training after high school increases the
opportunity for a young man to arrive at a higher salary quicker than with a high school diploma only.”
The practice of veterinary science was changing dramatically in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Brucellosis vaccines were outlawed. Old rules
regarding testing of herds were eliminated. Hog cholera treatments also changed.
The Evansville Veterinary Hospital staff had participated in a number of campaigns to eliminate hog cholera. The hog farms represented about
10% of the local practice’s business. The larger hog farms average 15 or 20 sows with only a couple of farms with herds of 100 sows.
In the late 1960s, hog cholera was nearly eliminated but there was still a great debate about the use of live or modified live virus vaccines. On July
1, 1969, the debate ended when the federal government outlawed the use of modified live virus vaccines and the use of “killed” vaccines was
restricted to a few states.
The new regulations also required that garbage fed to hogs had to be cooked, so that the hog cholera was not spread through undercooked meat
scraps. Another method of eliminating hog cholera was confinement of animals with the disease, so that they did not infect others in the herd.
April 1973 was the first hog cholera-free month in the United States. On January 31, 1978, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Secretary, Bob Bergland declared the United States hog cholera free. According to the USDA website, this was 99 years after the federal
government began research on the disease and 17 years after the start of a Federal and State eradication campaign.
A new disease, pseudorabies, was first reported in 1968 at a meeting of the United States Animal Health Association. It became widespread after
the virus apparently changed and there were concentrated outbreaks of the disease were reported in 1973 and 1974, primarily in Illinois, Indiana
Like other animal diseases, pseudorabies appeared to spread by introducing infected breeding stock into a herd, contact with diseased animals,
or visitors carrying the disease to the farm. There was concern that visitors to the farms might carry the disease on their shoes or clothing, in
much the same way that hoof and mouth disease had spread in the early part of the century.
Dr. David Rhoda worked with state veterinarians to develop a pseudorabies eradication program. The work of veterinarians and the cooperation
of farmers throughout the country made the eradication of the disease in the United States possible. The safety of the nation’s food supply
required this cooperative effort between the veterinarians, the animal health care providers, and the food producers.
There was also a new interest in owning pets. By 1969, the number of dogs and cats in Wisconsin was increasing and new emphasis was placed
on their care. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture estimated that there were 500,000 dogs in the state and one pet, either a dog or cat, for
every 4 humans. Dr. Howard Krueger was the small animal specialist in the Evansville Veterinary Hospital.
While most small animal care at the clinic was routine, there was one case of rabies reported in the summer of 1970. A cat belonging to a
Brodhead area farmer was brought to the clinic for diagnosis. Dr. Krueger examined the cat and found that it was rabid and sent it to the Madison
laboratory for a positive diagnosis. The other cats and dogs on the farm were destroyed, to prevent the spread of the disease, and the farm
family was given inoculations against rabies.
The practice at the Evansville Veterinary Hospital was growing in the early 1970s. International visitors came to the animal clinic. In July 1971,
Hans Rude from Denmark, a student in veterinary science, came to spend time with the Evansville veterinarians and observe their practice. A
succession of national and international visitors and students followed.
There had been veterinarians practicing in Evansville since at least 1866 and usually they operated independently. In the late 1960s there were
four veterinarians practicing in the clinic.
Dr. Edwin Krueger, his brother, Dr. Howard Krueger, Dr. Roland Jeans, and Dr. David Rhoda all operated out of the small office at 115 East Main
Street. One office secretary and several student helpers also worked out of the office.
The Evansville Veterinary Hospital clients included dairy farmers, hog farmers, and pet owners in Rock, Green, and Dane Counties. During his
practice in Evansville, Veterinarian Dr. Rhoda was impressed by the long-term relationships between the clients and the practitioners at the
Evansville Veterinary Hospital.
Some of the clients were third or fourth generation members of a family served by the clinic. “One remarkable characteristic of the Evansville
Veterinary Clinic is that the clientele has been so consistent,” Dr. Rhoda said in a recent interview.
Dr. Rhoda also commented on the working relationship between the farmer and the veterinarians. “Many of the firm’s clients took great pride in
training the newest members of the firm, the young veterinarians. The clients helped coach them. Not that they told them what to do, but when we
went on a farm, the clients knew what was happening in terms of what the veterinarian was going to face and what he was going to do. There
were a lot of clients who really felt they were part of the process and took great pride in training new veterinarians.”
The two doctor Kruegers and Dr. Jeans also served as wonderful mentors to new veterinarians, according to Dr. Rhoda. Dr. Edwin Krueger was
especially interested in seeing that the veterinarians maintained a family-oriented perspective in balancing their work and family time. “Ed hated it
that I missed meals. He would scold me about not eating lunch. He never missed coming home to have lunch with his wife, Edna,” Rhoda said.
The four veterinarians partnered in taking emergency time. Dr. David Rhoda related an incident that demonstrated the concern the veterinarians
had for each other.
Rhoda had taken emergency service on Christmas Eve. It was a busy day, with many emergency calls. Dr. Rhoda intended to complete the calls
before Christmas Day. “I worked Saturday night and made calls all the way through the night, 8 p.m., 10 pm., 12 midnight, 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. and
kept working. It was 8 a.m. on Christmas morning and I was always three calls behind. Ed (Krueger) called and asked if I was coming to church. I
said ‘no’ because I had several calls to go. He said, ‘I’ll take them for you.’ That’s the kind of support we gave to each other.”
By 1973 a fifth veterinarian joined the firm. The newest member of the firm had a long-term working relationship with the other veterinarians.
Dr. Kenneth P. Reese, an Evansville High School graduate, had worked as a kennel boy, doing miscellaneous work as a veterinarian’s assistant,
while in high school. It was during this time that Ken Reese decided he wanted to become a veterinarian.
Reese visited the Ames, Iowa campus where another Evansville student and former Evansville Veterinary Hospital assistant, Berwyn “Bud”
Cadman was a veterinary student.
Ken Reese decided that he also wanted to attend school at Ames. Reese’s education included a 2-year pre-veterinary study and four years of
Veterinary Science study. He completed his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in May 1972 and at graduation, received two awards, the Orris
P. Idsvoog Award and the Merck Manual Award.
For a year, he worked for Iowa State University as an instructor in the Stang Memorial Veterinary Clinic on the University campus. The Clinic
specialized in a large animal, ambulatory clinic. When he had an opportunity to return to Wisconsin, Dr Reese interviewed at the Evansville clinic
and in July 1973, he joined the firm.
Dr. Reese was considered a “jack of all trades” and enjoyed the work. He had not been on the job very long when a farmer called and asked for a
veterinarian to come out and take a look at a cow with milk fever. Reese took the call and when the young veterinarian arrived at the farm, the
caller met him in the yard. “He greeted me with a pair of chest waders,” Reese said.
The farmer pointed to an area quite a distance from the barn and across the river. “The cow is over that way. You’ll have to put them (the
waders) on to wade across the river.”
Dr. Reese went in the direction the man had pointed. Carrying a bucket of supplies in each hand, he crossed the river and walked through a
pasture and into tall grass. It took some time to find the ailing animal, but he finally spotted the cow on the ground, behind a small knoll.
After treating the cow, Dr. Reese thought she would be able to walk back to the barn. The cow got up and headed in the direction of the barn.
Reese followed her.
When they came to the river, the cow walked about half way across the river and stopped. For a moment, Dr. Reese worried that the cow would
not be strong enough to make it across the river, and all his efforts would be lost.
The cow stood for a while in the middle of the river, unsteady on her feet. “Then she headed for the barn and I followed her and all ended well,”
Dr. Reese said. It was a lesson in patience and perseverance and a potential tragedy that turned into a pleasurable memory in Reese's
There were more foreign visitors to the Evansville Veterinary practice in the summer of 1973. Kurt Pedersen and his wife, from Copenhagen,
Denmark, stayed with Dr. Edwin W. Krueger and his wife Edna.
Kurt Pederson was a veterinary student at the University of Copenhagen and was just a few months away from receiving his degree. With the
Evansville veterinarians, Pederson visited area farms. He observed that while the educational programs in the United States were similar to those
in Denmark, the practice of veterinary medicine was somewhat different. He had never heard of some of the diseases that veterinarians in the
United States treated.
Evansville area farmers had a long history of helping agriculture students observe farm practices. The University of Wisconsin – Extension had
often used farms located near Evansville as examples of good livestock raising operations. Visitors from foreign countries as well as UW-Short
Course students studied the operations of local farmers. The Evansville veterinarians were open to having students observe their practice and
found that their clients willing to help the students learn from their observations.
Participation in community organizations was an important part of the daily lives of the Evansville veterinarians. Dr. Howard Kruger served on the
Evansville School Board for six years and also served as board president. In the spring of 1974, Dr. Roland Jeans became a successful
candidate for the Evansville School Board. He was later elected to the school board president’s position.
Dr. Krueger and Dr. Jeans were active in the Evansville Lions Club. Some served as 4-H Club project leaders and worked with the FFA and the
FFA Alumni organizations. Dr. Rhoda served on the local Jaycees Board and was active in promoting a stream cleanup program for Allen’s Creek.
The veterinarians were outgrowing their facilities and began to plan for a new veterinary clinic. The building on East Main was designed for two
veterinarians. “The service has grown to five DVMs. We just need more room,” Dr. Howard Krueger explained to an Evansville Review reporter in
A site on the east side of the first block of Maple Street, between East Main and Church Street, was chosen. It was just a short distance from the
The veterinarians planned to be in their new facility by January 1978. The new two-story structure would have an exposed basement on the east
side. Because the building was built into the side of a hill, the second floor of the building would appear to be a one-story building, facing Maple
Helgesteel of Janesville was hired for the construction of the 70 by 50 foot building. By December 1977, the steel was set and the work on the
new building was progressing.
By 1976, the Evansville veterinarians had revised the name of the practice to the Evansville Veterinary Service, S. C. The group made a solid
commitment to continuing education for themselves and others.
In February 1975, Dr. Howard Krueger was elected president-elect of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medicine Association (WVMA) and the following
year became the organization’s president. During his administration Krueger lobbied for the establishment of a Wisconsin Veterinary College.
Prior to his election to the top office of the organization, Krueger had served on several of the WVMA committees, including the executive board,
the insurance committee and the legislative committee. He was also a member of the Rock Valley Veterinary Medical Association and the
American Veterinary Medical Association.
During Krueger’s administration, the WVMA was entangled in a state-wide controversy about whether to build a veterinary college in Wisconsin.
The WVMA had advocated for the construction of a veterinary school since 1947. However, the Wisconsin legislature refused to act on the
proposal and preferred to work out agreements to send veterinary science students to schools in Minnesota and Iowa.
The Wisconsin State Board of Agriculture ordered a study conducted by Deans of three veterinary schools and the consultants’ report was
delivered in March 1974. The new study said the veterinary school would be most effective if it was located near colleges of medicine and
agriculture because of the “strong relationship between veterinary and human medicine.” The University of Wisconsin in Madison was a logical
choice. There was a unanimous decision by the Board of Agriculture to support the consultants’ recommendation for the establishment of a
veterinary medical college at the University of Wisconsin.
The Board of Agriculture and nearly every farm organization in the state joined the Wisconsin Veterinary Medicine Association in lobbying the
Wisconsin Legislature and Governor for a school. Dr. A. A. Erdmann, the state-federal veterinarian said that he had almost daily requests from
farmers for more veterinarians. Since Wisconsin was the dairy state and produced more milk than any other state in the U. S., the veterinarians
were in constant demand.
Those pushing for a Wisconsin school argued that 16 spots in the University of Minnesota’s veterinary science program did not meet the demand
of students. According to some reports, there were 10 applicants for every available opening in the out-of-state schools and residents of the
states with veterinary schools were given preference for admission.
The Board of Agriculture expected that the University’s Board of Regents would support the recommendation and nearly a year later they did.
The Regents recommended the school be built in Madison with a large animal clinic and referral center at the UW-River Falls.
The Board of Regents estimated that if the Wisconsin Legislature supported the proposal the construction would be put out for bids in 1977 and
completed in 1980. Eighty students would be allowed to start each year, and when the college was at full capacity there would be a total of 240
students in the three-year program. While there was strong support in the Wisconsin Legislature for the proposal, Gov. Patrick Lucey and his
successor, acting Gov. Martin J. Schreiber refused to act on the proposal.
No progress was made and in 1976, when there was still no solid legislative support for the veterinary school, several state newspaper editorials
called for a renewed effort to establish a school. “Few would argue the need for a veterinary school in Wisconsin, a major agricultural state with
80 percent of its farm income coming from livestock,” the Wisconsin State Journal Opinion Page editor said in its April 6, 1976 issue. Other
Wisconsin newspapers echoed this point of view.
The debate continued into the late 1970s and the veterinary college was finally built in the early 1980s. The first class started in 1983, after
nearly forty years of advocating by the Wisconsin veterinarians, with Evansville’s Dr. Howard Krueger playing a prominent role in advocating for
the new school.
To further their own education and knowledge of new veterinary practices, in 1976, the five Evansville veterinarians, including Dr. Edwin W.
Krueger, Dr. Howard H. Krueger, Dr. Roland S. Jeans, Dr. David Rhoda and Dr. Kenneth Reese became charter members of the Wisconsin
Academy of Veterinary Practice. This was a new section of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association.
The Academy included more than 120 of Wisconsin’s 700 veterinarians. Members were required to complete 35 hours of continuing education
during the first year. The requirements were increased, so that by 1979, 50 hours of instruction were required to maintain membership in the
The Evansville Veterinarians’ business was growing rapidly. The five professionals worked out of the remodeled livery stable, a building designed
for two veterinarians.
The business of serving the animal health needs continued from the East Main Street office. In addition to the five veterinarians, the business
also had one full time and one part-time receptionist and lab technicians working out of the old building.
The service area of the Evansville clinic was within a 15 mile radius of the city. The primary business of the practice was the dairy cow. One
veterinarian described the dairy cow as “bread and butter.” Smaller animals, from domestic pets to other farm livestock were a smaller portion of
the veterinarians’ practice.
In 1976, the group purchased a lot on Maple Street. In describing the move for a new facility, Dr. David Rhoda said, “We were crowded in the old
building and we had small rooms for practicing. Howard and Rollie were the prime movers in building the new building.”
Demolition of an existing building on the lot began in February 1977 and due to a cold and stormy winter and a wet spring and early summer the
project was delayed. Construction of the building did not start until August 1977.
“Local residents driving along Evansville’s Maple Street may have noticed the construction aiming at providing the Evansville Veterinary Service
new quarters,” an August 25, 1977 Evansville Post article said. Accompanying the article was a photo by Darryl Jordan. It showed the
construction site and the forms for the concrete foundation.
The article described the new building. “Since it is built into the side of a hill the portion of the building fronting on Maple Street will appear to be
single story. The basement story will be accessible from the rear. The back portions are designed as admitting areas for animals and will contain
stalls and storage space.”
The upper story of the building plan included two examination rooms, an office and reception area. There was a surgery room with an operating
table. There was also a large animal pharmacy, a facility missing in the old building.
Also included in the upper story were indoor kennels with runs and room for several cages to keep several animals overnight. The new laboratory
room had facilities for growing cultures and doing blood testing. There was also a large room with an island counter and two built-in sinks where
the veterinarians could prepare equipment before starting their calls.
In the new facility, large animals could be driven into the basement level for treatment. The equipment included a used x-ray machine with a new
tube for use in the upper level. A smaller x-ray machine that had been used in the old facility was available for use in the basement level to x-ray
the legs of large animals.
The new building was built with a very high ceiling in the basement. There was a growing demand for doing horse work in the area and the new
clinic had two stalls in the basement level. According to Dr. Howard Krueger, before this practice could get underway, an equine practitioner
moved into Janesville and the potential for a horse clinic in Evansville was never developed.
The new building was core-wall construction; a method employing sandwiches of concrete and insulating foam. Helgesteel of Janesville was the
Another photograph in the December 8, 1977 Evansville Review with the headline “Veterinary Facility Begins to Take Shape,” showed further
progress on the building. The steel forms were set and snow covered the ground.
The cold and blizzards of the winter of 1977-78 delayed progress on the building. However, by the middle of February 1978, another Review
photograph showed the exterior walls, on the street side of the building, were completed.
By August the interior of the building was nearly finished and the equipment was moved from the offices on East Main Street. The decoration of
the new facility was in keeping with trends of the 1970s. “Upon entering the new building visitors will note the bright sunny yellow color, combined
with bright pumpkin color. Dark wood enhances the color combinations, creating a modern and cheery atmosphere.”
An open house for the new facility was held on October 22, 1978. Dr. Roland Jeans described the new facilities as a great improvement for
customers and the veterinarians, “When we moved into the new building on Maple Street, there was more parking, more space for service to small
animals and storage space.”
The excellent service provided by the veterinarians did not depend on the size of the building. Most of the work of the Evansville veterinarians
was on the farm and people skills were as important as animal treatment skills.
“The new veterinary office meant nothing as to the kind of service that we delivered,” Dr. David Rhoda said in an interview. “We delivered the
service in the field. The important and stable things were the people and families, the clients. While technical work of veterinarians changed,
working with the people stayed very much the same. There were four generations on some farms that we worked for. A lot of 3-generation farms
at we served, we knew the names of the dogs and the kids and what they were doing.”
Dr. Jeans joins the Evansville Veterinary Hospital.
Dr. Roland Jeans at work.
Click on Photo to enlarge.
Click on Photo to enlarge
November 27, 1872, Evansville
Review, p. 1, col. 4, Evansville,
Janesville Gazette, p. 10,
November 16, 1914,
Janesville Gazette December 1914
Click on image to enlarge
Working from the cramped quarters on East Main Street had not kept the veterinarians from inviting visitors to their
facilities. In June 1978, Ali Badrkhani arrived from Iran, with his wife and two children. Ali intended to observe the
work of the Evansville veterinarians for about 11 weeks and then travel in other areas of the U. S. to observe
After a few days of working with the local practioners, the Iranian veterinarian was interviewed by a Review
reporter. Ali described the American veterinarians as “much quicker” than their Iranian counterparts. “Whereas it
would take us an hour to do a surgical operation, the Americans do it in about 15 or 20 minutes,” Ali said.
Ali traveled to the farms with the Evansville veterinarians to observe their work with dairy cattle. “American farmers
are very hard working and keep their farms and animals in good shape,” he said. Ali also noted the differences,
“In Iran, about 90% of the cattle are native breeds which produce only around 20 lbs of milk per day, whereas an
average American cow will produce around 80 lbs of milk a day.”
Diseases and animal health problems that were common in Iran, malnutrition and hoof and mouth disease had
been eradicated in the United States. Ali was especially interested in the emphasis that the veterinarians and dairy
farmers placed on good nutrition. In Iran, “malnutrition is a problem that cattle suffer because of the unavailability
or lack of knowledge on feeds and feedings,” Ali told the Review reporter.
By participating in the cooperative veterinary exchange program, the Evansville veterinarians demonstrated the
best practices of American veterinarians to the Iranian visitor. Unfortunately, Ali’s visit was cut short by political
problems in Iran and the family returned to their home country earlier than they had expected.
NEW VETERINARY CLINIC ON MAPLE
Evansville's City Livery on East Main
Street, ca 1900
Click on image to enlarge
Ali Badrkhani and family from Iran
Scene at 115 East Main
People waiting patiently with their dogs for the City
required rabies vaccinations. January 1974
The move into new and larger facilities on Maple Street and the continued addition of new veterinarians to the practice was a tribute to Dr. Krueger’s careful attention to the needs of his
customers through the years. The confidence that the Evansville Veterinary Service customers placed in Dr. Krueger and his colleagues was demonstrated by the continued growth of
Dr. Krueger also maintained his interest in educating himself about new practices in the field of veterinary science. At his retirement, he was an active member of the American
Veterinary Medical Association, the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association, Rock Valley Veterinary Association and Bovine Practitioners’ Association.
As one of the originators of Evansville’s Tri-County Black and White Shows, Dr. Krueger had gained a state-wide reputation for his work with dairy farmers. During his years of service,
he had seen the eradication of many diseases and the introduction of many new medicines and technologies in the field of veterinary medicine.
His outstanding work in the field earned Dr. Krueger a role in a new study funded by the University of Wisconsin Extension and the Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives. The farmers
involved in the program entered their records into the Dairy Herd Information Association (DHIA) database.
The records helped veterinarians to diagnosis problems with poorly performing dairy cows. Wisconsin was one of the leaders in using the DHIA information to improve milk production.
Krueger consulted with veterinarians and dairy farmers when milk samples showed a high somatic cell count (SCC). If milk samples showed a high somatic cell count, this was an
indication of the presence of sub-clinical mastitis. It was estimated that mastitis cost the dairy industry millions of dollars annually through decreased milk production and infected cows.
Veterinarians and farmers used the information (SCC) to identify infected cows and perform testing for mastitis. Infected cows could then be separated from the others in the herd for
treatment or culling. By early detection of disease, farmers increased their dairy profits and reduced the incidence of the disease.
In November 1980, Dr. Krueger sold the old veterinary office building on East Main Street to Dr. Sheila Sorkin, an Evansville native and general practitioner. She turned the old building
into a physician’s office.
In a twist of fate, Dr. Roland Jeans was an emergency patient in Dr. Sorkin’s office. While on a farm call, Dr. Jeans got kicked in the head by a cow. Realizing that he needed medical
attention, Dr. Jeans drove himself to Dr. Sorkin’s office. The interior design of the office remained much the same as when the building was the veterinary clinic. “It seemed a bit strange
to be on an examining table there,” Dr. Jeans said.
There was always the danger that the veterinarians would be bitten, kicked, or hurt from contact with the animals they treated. The veterinarians received vaccinations to prevent
rabies, because of the danger of being bitten by a rabid animal. During one call, Dr. Jeans was bitten by a rabid horse and had to go through an additional series of shots.
Two new veterinarians joined the Evansville Veterinary Service after Dr. Edwin W. Krueger retired. Tom Williams, a recent graduate of the University of Missouri at Columbia, joined the
firm in July 1979. Dr. Williams was not new to the Evansville practice. While he was in veterinary school, Dr. Williams spent several weeks working in the Evansville office.
Another new veterinarian arrived in December 1980. Dr. Blaine Ellison, a graduate of the University of Illinois, School of Veterinary Medicine joined the firm. Ellison had been on the
staff of a veterinary clinic in Lombard, Illinois before coming to Evansville.
Dr. Ellison had also worked a summer externship in the Evansville Veterinary Service in 1977 and 1978. In addition to the large animal practice, he had a special interest in exotic birds,
reptiles and tarantulas.
Work with the dairy farmers continued to be the largest portion of the practice of the veterinarians. Only a few hours a week was devoted to small animal practice.
The daily routine of one of the Evansville veterinarians was chronicled in an article by Anita Myrland in 1980. Dr. Roland Jeans was featured in the story. “A vet’s day begins early and
ends late. Interruptions, day and night, usually in the middle of the first cup of coffee or dinner, or just returning from a call, are taken in stride,” Myrland wrote.
At one farm the reporter and Dr. Jeans visited, the reporter observed as Dr. Jeans and his partner performed an on-the-farm surgery. Dr. Howard Krueger and veterinary assistant
Doug Carmel helped with the surgery.
The animal had a twisted stomach, “abomasal displacement.” It is a common ailment in dairy cows and the veterinarians considered this a routine surgery.
After giving the cow a tranquilizer, the veterinarians and their assistant, used ropes to assist them in rolling the cow onto her back. Veterinary assistant Carmel cleaned the incision area
with alcohol. After scrubbing up, Dr. Jeans made an incision; reached into the opening and untwisted the stomach. Stitches were used to close the incision and antibiotics were
administered to prevent infection. Then the men rolled the animal onto her feet and before the veterinarians and the reporter left the farm, the cow was standing in her stanchion
munching on hay. The potential digestive and reduced milk production problem had been remedied.
That same day, Dr. Jeans also examined a foal with a deformed leg. The horse was taken to the Evansville office for x-rays and repair. Myrland described Dr. Jeans and his fellow
veterinarians as the farmer’s “knight in shining armor.”
A most unusual veterinary call came in July 1981. “Ruphy” a Spider monkey was being cared for at a home on East Main Street, while its owners were camping.
One day Ruphy escaped from the home and climbed seven feet into a neighbor’s tree. As he climbed, the monkey wrapped his leash around a tree limb and was trapped. A young boy,
Jack Meredith, climbed the tree and tried to release the monkey, but got a bite on the hand for his efforts.
Police Officer Kent Katzenmeyer called the veterinarians to retrieve the monkey. Dr. Jeans, Dr. Blaine Ellison and Dr. Tom Williams arrived on the scene to get the monkey out of the
Ellison held onto the monkey’s tail to prevent it from climbing higher. Drs. Williams and Jeans put a noose around the monkey’s neck, untangled the leash, released the monkey from
the tree, and returned the mischievous climber to his caregivers.
Although the animal appeared to be healthy, the public was warned about the dangers of keeping monkeys as pets. Some of the primates carried hepatitis and other diseases that
could be transferred to humans.
Shortly after dealing with the escaped monkey, Dr. Jeans and his wife traveled to England and Scotland in July 1981. In addition to the castles and traditional tourist sites, they visited
farms and saw some unusual breeds of cows during their tour. They had read the books of James Herriott, a pseudonym of James Wright, a writer and Yorkshire veterinarian, and made
a special effort to visit his office in Thirsk during their tour.
As with other businesses in the early 1980s, the veterinarians began to rely on computers to keep records. Dr. David Rhoda and high school assistant, Ann Haakenson, converted the
paper records of milk production on 35 dairy farms into computerized data using a software program called Dairy Cop.
The records included the Dairy Herd Information Association data that farmers used to evaluate their dairy operations. The DHIA reports included the total number of cows in the herd,
the percentage of cows with milk, the average number of days in milk and the average milk, fat and protein production for all cows in the herd. The transition of the records from paper
format to computer records allowed better interpretation and analysis of the performance of individual cows and the entire herd.
The use of computers to analyze performance of the herd also changed the way animal nutrition was handled. Once the records were available for analysis, some farmers used the
information to improve the nutrition on their dairy farms. By adjusting the feed, based on the DHIA records of individual animals and the herd, the farmer and the veterinarian could
develop herd plans to increase production.
The veterinarians working in the late 1970s and early 1980s all recognized the improvements due to computerized recordkeeping. Dr. Howard Krueger noted that “Nutrition was always
important to animal health, and the advent of computers allowed the feeding of animals to become a science. It allowed veterinarians and farmers to organize balanced rations for cattle
and improve milk production.”
Dr. David Rhoda said that “management of nutrition has changed more than anything in dairy practice. The veterinarian’s role is to understand and work in areas that damage the
production of the farm. Records work is very important. Veterinarians help to find problems and develop plans to fix them. We have the individual animal to take care of and the herd
to take care of.”
According to Dr. Kenneth Reese, the production and nutrition information available allowed veterinarians to treat individual animals, to improve herd health and develop preventive
Dr. Kenneth Reese also commented that better nutrition was the reason for better health in the dairy herds. “The veterinary practice changed from a fire engine approach, where a
veterinarian was called out only in emergencies, to a herd health and preventive maintenance program.”
“We’ve eliminated some diseases. Milk fever has been eliminated and better nutrition is the reason. Keotosis is almost a thing of the past and better nutrition is the reason,” Dr. Reese
Occasionally the Evansville veterinarians were called on to assist with emergencies. In September 1984, a large hog confinement facility on the Flynn Creek farm near Sandy Hook
Road in the vicinity of Brooklyn caught fire.
Evansville firemen were called out to help put out the fire and Evansville veterinarians were called out to help relieve the suffering of the animals with heat injuries. More than 450 hogs
died in the fire.
That same month, a fire destroyed a new barn on the Don and Virginia Larson family farm. The barn was rebuilt and the Larson’s held an open house for the 66 x 194 ft. metal barn in
November 1984. The barn featured tie stall stanchions and a new ventilation system imported from Denmark. In a growing trend for larger dairy farming operations, the Larson’s barn
could accommodate 155 cows.
The mid-1980s marked the beginning of the end of the era of small family farms. Economic conditions made it impossible for some to continue dairy farming. Farms with a small number
of cows were especially vulnerable.
In early 1985, State Representative Joe Wineke, the legislator for many of the farmers in the service area of the Evansville Veterinary Service, took a survey of farm families and asked
them about the issues that they faced. When the responses to the survey were compiled, Wineke said the overwhelming message from the farming community was that they were in
At least two-thirds of those responding to the survey felt that there was a 50/50 chance that they would be forced out of farming within 5 years. High interest rates, tight credit, declining
land values, and low price supports for milk, grain, and other farm commodities were listed as causes for the farmer’s concerns.
Local and area newspapers carried news of bankruptcies, going-out-of-business auctions, and other news of farm failures in the area. Dennis Nehring, the Rock County Agricultural
Agent, made a statement to the Janesville Gazette in August 1985: “By the end of 1985, the county will see 17 to 20 farm foreclosures and up to 15 bankruptcies.”
Dairy barns began to empty. Small dairy farms began to disappear.
Some farms grew larger and herd size increased. The common theme seemed to be, grow or perish.
Despite the declining number of dairy farms, the need for veterinary service continued to increase. Approximately 90% of the Evansville Veterinary Services practice was large animals
in the 1980s.
A small percentage of the practice was devoted to hogs. About 10% of the veterinary business was in small animals, according to Dr. Howard Krueger.
Dr. Roland Jeans recalled that when he started practicing with the Evansville Veterinary Service some dairy farms had only 10 or 12 cows and the largest herds were 50 or more cows.
The work of the veterinarians continued. There was a need to educate farmers about medications, the prevention of disease and the care of animals.
As herds continued to grow, farmers began to change the way that dairy herds were housed. Calf hutches became popular. According to Dr. David Rhoda, this was an excellent way to
separate the calves from the older cattle and help prevent disease. “It broke the disease cycle,” Dr. Rhoda said. The separation of animals by age and production helped to improve
the health of the herd.
After the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine opened for its first class of students in 1983, a field study program was instituted. Each student, even those who
intended to do small animal practice, were required to spend two weeks with veterinarians in a large animal practice.
Before students were sent to a clinic, the service was first approved by the School of Veterinary Medicine. In order to qualify for student visits, the Wisconsin School of Veterinary
Medicine required that a clinic have a certain number of veterinarians and that the students would be able to visit a number of dairies and herds.
The University had a prescribed curriculum for the students. Students assigned to the Evansville clinic accompanied the Evansville veterinarians on the rounds of the farms. For some
of the students, this was the only exposure to large animal practice.
Some of the Evansville clinic customers welcomed the students and enjoyed serving as mentors to help them to further their knowledge of large animal service. Other clients were
reluctant to have students perform procedures and preferred that students simply observe the veterinarians as they went about their work.
According to Dr. David Rhoda, the Evansville veterinarians attempted to take students on calls with unique situations, so that they could observe the veterinarians in the field. “We
helped them by getting them unique situations that might not occur in everyday practice”, Dr. Rhoda said. The students could see how veterinarians handled the farm visits and unusual
animal health issues.
In the mid-1980s, the Evansville Veterinary Service began to employ veterinary technicians trained at Madison Area Technical College (MATC) and other technical colleges offering
similar programs. Ann Haakenson, an Evansville native and graduate of the MATC Animal Technology program, was employed in the Evansville clinic as a Certified Animal
The Evansville Veterinary Service personnel had an ongoing mission to encourage young people to participate in farm related activities. Dr. Roland Jeans supported the interest of
young people in the dairy industry by serving as a board member on the Board of Junior Holstein Association.
Dr. Jeans also had a personal interest in the dairy industry. In 1978, the Jeans family moved to a new home east of Evansville so that their children could keep dairy projects for the 4-H
fair. The Jeans children participated in activities of the Holstein Association and Evansville 4-H club.
Dr. Jeans was a leader in 4-H and assisted with FFA projects. In 1984, he was presented with a leadership award for his service to the Evansville 4-H Club.
In the summer of 1984, Dr. Jeans and his wife, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with a visit to England and Scotland. Dr. Jeans took this opportunity to attend the British
Veterinarian Association Convention.
Each year the Rock County Holstein Breeders Association held a convention and the Rock County Holstein sale in March. Dr. Jeans also assisted with the Black and White Shows that
continued to be held in Wisconsin.
In November 1984, Dr. Jeans was recognized for his service as a director of the Rock County Holstein Breeders. His daughter, Nancy, was awarded the top beginner in the Holstein
club. Dr. Jeans had served as a director of the organization and in 1985 he was elected to serve on the youth committee.
Another Evansville veterinarian received an award from the organization in 1985. The Rock County Holstein Breeders Association paid tribute to retired veterinarian Dr. Edwin W.
Krueger by naming him the Distinguished Holstein Booster for his many years of service as co-chairman of the Tri-County Black & White Show.
As the Evansville Veterinary Service continued to grow, there was an increase in the number of support staff at the clinic in the 1980s. Ann Haakenson, who had started as a high
school worker at the Evansville Veterinary Clinic, was hired as the clinic’s first certified animal technician in the summer of 1980 and continued to work there until August 1985. Ann
helped with small animal surgery in the clinic and assisted with the office work.
In the field, the technicians helped to perform surgeries that were now common place in the dairy practice, repairing displaced abomasums (one of the cow’s stomachs). The technicians
also took milk samples of dairy herds, often doing the entire herds while the veterinarians took care of other health care issues with the herds.
Dr. David Rhoda and Ann made regularly scheduled calls at the large hog raising operation at Flynn Creek Farm near Brooklyn. The farm had about 1,000 pigs. Dr. Rhoda checked
the health of the pigs and Ann took blood samples for further testing.
At another large hog processing facility in Jefferson County, the animals were checked for atrophic rhinitis, a disease that could be prevented with vaccinations. During the butchering
process, the snouts of the pigs were removed, marked and later checked by Dr. Rhoda to assure that the vaccines were keeping the pigs healthy.
The veterinarians found the technicians to be a valuable addition to their staff and later hired Ann’s sister, Julie, and Steve Golz as animal technicians. The technicians handled a
number of jobs at the clinic and in the field. Veterinary technicians helped with dehorning cattle and during farm sales, the technicians helped to get the larger animals through the
A long-time employee of the veterinary clinic, office assistant Marion Clark, retired. She had enjoyed the work at the clinic and continued to work as needed to answer the “after-hours”
phone, when the clinic was closed. Marion was also a member of the bowling team sponsored by the Evansville Veterinary team.
In the late 1980s, the farm crisis continued. A credit advisor program established by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection advertised a hotline to
help distressed farmers. Blackhawk Technical College offered programs in farm diversification. Some farmers eliminated their dairy operations and relied on soybean, corn, and other
crops as their principal product.
One news release by the Department of Agriculture noted: “The deterioration of the agricultural economy since 1980, places many farmers in dire financial straits. In spite of large
investment of money, time, talent, equipment, land and hard work, many Wisconsin farmers are still experiencing financial and related difficulties.
Despite the farm crisis, the large animal practice continued to be the main stay of the Evansville clinic. Dr. Howard Krueger estimated that in the 1980s, 10% of the clinic’s practice was
in small animals and 90% in the large animal practice, mostly cattle and hogs.
In diary practice, the emphasis was on increased production of the individual cow. Dairy experts said that Wisconsin farmers were falling behind production in other states.
California was touted as a close competitor and Wisconsin’s reign as the Dairy State was in jeopardy. Wisconsin’s dairy farmers had higher investment in building and feed storage per
cow than the rival state of California.
The production of the individual cow had been the theme of the Dairy Herd Improvement manuals since the 1930s. With the State of California challenging Wisconsin for the title of
Dairy State, the emphasis on the individual cow’s production was revived by Wisconsin dairy experts.
Farmers were encouraged to join the Dairy Herd Improvement testing program. “Badger State dairy farmers are going to need detailed production data from each cow in order to
survive over the long term, Dave Dickson, chairman of the Department of Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin, told dairy farmers in an article printed in the February 25, 1987,
issue of the Evansville Review.” Dickson also promoted the use of balanced rations for dairy cows.
The emphasis on good nutrition was a special interest of a new veterinarian, Dr. David Watson, who joined the Evansville Veterinary Service, Inc, after graduation from the University of
Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, in 1989.
As a student, Dr. Watson had observed a veterinary practice by riding with Dr. Brian Gerloff in Marengo, Illinois. Dr. Gerloff’s practice was primarily in beef cattle and swine.
“It was while riding with him that I got interested in dairy,” Dr. Watson said in an interview. Watson was especially intrigued with dairy because of the emphasis on hands-on treatment of
the herd and the individual cows.
After answering an ad placed at the University of Illinois by the Evansville Veterinary practice, Dr. Watson was interviewed and hired. “It was right at the beginning of time when nutrition
was being emphasized as important to animal health,” Dr. Watson said “By using TMR (total mix rations) the farmer can put everything in that the cow needs so she gets the proteins
and minerals. Good nutrition creates a healthier cow.”
The farmer harvests the crops, hay and corn and stores corn sileage. The veterinarian, as the nutrition advisor, samples this and decides what ingredients to add. According to Dr.
Watson, “The farmers do so much good with their crops. Cows can utilize the fiber part of the plant, which humans and pigs can’t use. Many think that cows are polluters, but they are
changing what they eat into food for people”
Because of the good nutrition, some of the metabolic conditions, common in early times, were no longer a problem. Dr. Watson used the example of milk fever to illustrate improved
health conditions due to better nutrition. “When I first came here milk fever was more common. I could treat three or four in one morning. Now I hardly treat any,” Dr. Watson said. “Now
we know how that disease is prevented.”
In the midst of the serious work, the veterinarians found some humor, in what they refer to as their own James Herriot stories. Early in his career, Dr. Watson, was on call on Christmas
Eve. A Green County farmer called for a veterinarian to treat a cow for milk fever. Dr. Watson took the call and arrived at the farm late at night. “I had forgotten they had geese and it
was pitch black. I got to the door and the goose snuck up on me and grabbed my boot.” After he realized what was happening, Dr. Watson regained his composure and completed the
service call. The farmer offered apologies for his “watch dog” goose.
Several awards and recognition for excellent service and community activities were given to the Evansville Veterinary Service practitioners. Several of the local veterinarians were called
on for community service during a blizzard in December 1987. Dr. Howard Krueger’s wife, LaVerne, was president of the Meals on Wheels program and when she discovered that roads
were unplowed and impassable for the usual volunteers, she enlisted the aid of the her husband and his fellow veterinarians.
Tom Williams and Blaine Ellison used one of their four-wheeled vehicles and Howard Krueger and Ken Reese another. The veterinarians delivered a total of fourteen meals. The men
had to stop the vehicles in the middle of the road, so that they did not get stuck near the curbs. Although the meals were a little late, the recipients were very surprised that anyone
could get through the drifts to deliver the meals. Tom Williams reported that the people didn’t think the meals would get to them.
LaVerne Krueger told an Evansville Review reporter, “We are the only city that has never missed a day in 15 years.” Madison did not deliver and several other towns were not able to
as a result of the Tuesday blizzard, December 15th.
In February 1988, Dr. David Rhoda was recognized by the Rock County Pork Producers for his contribution to the annual Rock County Hog College and his service to the pork industry
in Rock County.
Dr. Howard Krueger served as the Chairman of the Wisconsin State Lab Task Force, the Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture, and the University of Wisconsin Dean of The College of
Agriculture to evaluate Wisconsin’s diagnostic laboratories. During the 1980s, the diagnostic laboratories lost financial support and the quality of the work performed at the laboratories
declined. As leader of the task force, Dr. Krueger worked to restore funding and to improve the quality of the work performed. The state diagnostic labs were combined with the new
College of Agriculture Veterinary Science School.
In November 1990, Howard Krueger was Wisconsin Veterinarian Medical Association, Veterinarian of the Year. Dr. Ronaldean Pawlish, one of Dr. Krueger’s classmates at the University
of Minnesota, presented the award and made the following statement: “Today we are recognizing a practitioner who has throughout his career continually made sacrifices for our
profession. He has been active in all phases of organized veterinary medicine, from the local association through to president at the state level. He is the type of individual that when
someone asks for help it is freely given. He has recognized certain voids or problems, and strives to do something about it.”
Dr. Pawlish commended Krueger for his community service, his devotion to educating young people, and his service as “a role model that has inspired many young people to pursue
careers in veterinary medicine. This even includes a daughter.”
“He is honored today because of his dedication to the profession and its future. This dedication has led him to serve and do an outstanding job as chairman of the task force for
diagnostic services for the State of Wisconsin. It was really a full time position.”
Evansville Post article
March 20, 1980
Many changes took place in the Evansville Veterinary Service in the next few years. In June 1979, Dr. Edwin Krueger retired after nearly
40 years of service to the Evansville community.
He had started his Evansville practice in July 1940 and had witnessed many changes in the treatment of diseases and the practice of
veterinary medicine. Hog Cholera, tuberculosis, and brucellosis were diseases that were extremely rare in the late 1970s.
Dr. Howard Krueger described some of the changes that took place during his brother’s Dr. Ed Krueger’s, professional career. “In the
1940s antibiotics changed the way animals were treated. In the late 40s and early 50s artificial breeding was introduced and changed the
practice of veterinary medicine as it had a lot to do with improving the dairy herds. It changed the dairy industry by allowing rapid
improvement of the dairy herd.”
The large shipments of feeder cattle and sheep from western states by rail and truck, that were once big business in Evansville, ended
during Dr. E. W. Krueger’s service in Evansville.
Despite the changes, the Evansville Veterinary Service continued to grow and the need for on-the-farm veterinary services increased.
Dr. Edwin W. Krueger
The Disch family farm west of
Evansville had one of the
largest sheep raising
operations in the area. The
Disch’s exported sheep and
certification of the animals’
The Disch’s also participated in
a diabetes research study at the
University of Wisconsin. Dr.
Jeans assisted with the
collection of blood samples for
the study. The local
veterinarians often helped to
foster working relationships
between staff at the University
and local farmers.
Back Row, left to right, Drs. Kenneth Reese, Blaine Ellison, Tom Williams, David Watson
Front Row, left to right, Drs. Roland Jeans, Howard Krueger, David Rhoda
The Evansville Veterinary Service hosted an Evansville Chamber of Commerce “After Hours” program in June 1991. Many interested business people attended the program to learn
more about the veterinary business.
During the “After Hours” event Dr. Roland Jeans acted as the spokesman for the clinic. He introduced the other veterinarians and the support staff. Dr. Jeans also gave a brief
history of the business and the various services offered at the clinic. The staff also conducted tours of the building.
In the early 1990s, there was a new emphasis on the small animal practice and an increase in the paraprofessional staff at the Evansville Veterinary Service. Dr. Howard Krueger
said that when he started in practice in the 1950s there were no technicians. High school students, with no special training, were hired in the office.
Dr. Kenneth Reese also noted the change in the expertise of the veterinary clinic staff. Reese was a high school student when he started as a kennel worker and cleaning was one
of his principal jobs.
The support staff hired in the 1990s had more technical training and assisted with animal treatment and cleanup was a sideline. Denise Haried, a certified animal technician joined
the Evansville Veterinary Service and assisted veterinarians in the clinic on Maple Street.
Due to the growth in the small animal portion of the practice, there was also a change in focus as the number of professional veterinarians increased at the Evansville Veterinary
Service. Dr. Howard Krueger recalled that when he first started practice, pet owners were reluctant to spend even $5 on a sick dog or cat.
In the 1990s there was a growing pet population and pet owners placed more emphasis on preventive health care for pets. There was a changing attitude among pet owners about
the health and longevity of household pets.
The Evansville Veterinary Service responded to the growing need for better health care and longer life for companion animals. In the summer of 1992, Dr. Barney Smith, a small
animal specialist, joined the Evansville Veterinary service. Dr. Smith graduated from the Iowa State University Veterinary School in 1981 and for eleven years practiced in several
Wisconsin cities, including Madison and Wauwatosa.
Dr. Smith was a certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners as a small animal veterinarian. There were only two board certified veterinarians practicing in Wisconsin
at the time.
To increase awareness of small animal health issues, Dr. Smith began a weekly column in the Evansville Review called “Your Pet’s Health.” In one of his early columns, Dr. Smith
said, “The idea of preventive health makes sense for pets. Well cared for pets are happier, live longer, and have fewer health problems, therefore fewer medical bills.”
Dr. Smith noted that the two most common problems veterinarians saw were poor nutrition and obesity. Like humans, the diet issues could lead to other health problems. He
encouraged pet owners to choose food for their pets that was specially designed to have the calories and nutrients needed for good health.
Pet owners were also encouraged to practice preventive health care by getting vaccinations for dogs against rabies, distemper, bordatella, and lyme disease. Dr. Smith also
recommended that cats receive rabies shots and the vaccine for feline leukemia.
The new small animal veterinarian also recommended that owners make annual visits to the clinic with their pets. “Your veterinarian will also give your pet a physical examination at
the time of yearly vaccinations. This is a chance to detect and discuss any physical problems your pet might have, before a critical situation develops.”
All of the veterinarians shared the responsibilities for after-hours calls. These after-hours calls sometimes required that the large-animal veterinarians practice small animal service.
Dr. David Watson recalled an unusual call to assist a pet owner. “One night this gentleman called. He was in a panic. I heard him say something about a paper shredder. When I
arrived at his home, I found his little sheltie and the dog’s ear was pinned to this paper shredder. I put the paper shredder in reverse and the dog had only a few scratches on his
ear. You just never know what you are going to get,” Dr. Watson said.
The growing emphasis on small animal care also extended to injured animals in the wild. Dr. Watson received an after-hours call to rescue one of the duck population at the city
park. “One night someone from the park called and there was a big white duck with a fish hook caught on it, Dr. Watson said. “I got hip waders and a muskie net and was able to get
the hook out and release the duck.”
Another Evansville Veterinarian Service practitioner, Dr. Blaine Ellison, was especially interested in exotic animals. He helped raise Rheas, a South American bird that resembles an
ostrich. Dr. Ellison also treated buffalo, peacocks, and crows along with the usual patients, cows, pigs, dogs and cats. He also gave programs at the library and in the schools about
unusual pets and flightless birds.
In the 1990s there was frequent turnover of veterinarians in the small animal practice at the Evansville Veterinary Service. Dr. Smith left the Evansville clinic in July 1993 and joined a
small animal practice in Verona, Wisconsin.
Dr. Kristen Friedrichs was hired to replace Dr. Smith. Dr. Friedrichs was the first woman veterinarian to work in Evansville and was also the first graduate of the University of
Wisconsin - School of Veterinary Medicine employed at the clinic.
“Holidays and winter weather pose certain risks to our animal companions,” Dr. Friedrichs told Evansville Review readers. Holiday ornaments and decorations such as lights, tinsel
and glass bobbles were attractive to pets, but could be dangerous if a dog or cat chewed through cords or ingested the ornaments.
The dangers to pets also included chocolate and alcohol in holiday treats. Both ingredients could be toxic to small animals. Holiday plants, such as Christmas rose, holly and
mistletoe were also toxic, if ingested by pets.
In the large animal practice the farm scene also continued to change. The 1992 federal census of agriculture showed that there were fewer farms in the United States than since
1850. For the 1992 census, the definition of a farm was any place which sold $1,000 or more of agricultural products during the census year.
In the 1935, there were 6.8 million farms, the highest number reported in a United States census. By 1992, there were less than 2 million farms in the United States. Between 1987
and 1992, the average farm size increased from 462 acres to 491.
The change in the Evansville area scene was described by Dr. Roland Jeans. “There used to be many dairy farmers. Now there are fewer farms with cows, you can see that when
you drive along Highway 14 to Janesville. Now herds have gotten bigger, with more production per cows.”
The day of the 80-acre farm with 10 to 40 head of cattle was economically unfeasible and was fast disappearing. The changing farm scene reported in the census was evident in the
statistics reported in promotions for the Dairy Breakfast in 1992 held on a family farm southwest of Evansville. One Evansville area farm, Larson Acres, hosted the Rock County
Dairy Breakfast in 1992. Larson Acres was owned by Don and Virginia Larson’s family.
The Larson’s Holstein herd consisted of 210 heifers and 180 milking cows. The farm produced about 1,205 gallons of milk per day or 440,000 gallons a year. They were also using
a new technique, embryo transfer to improve the production of their herd. They sold the offspring of the embryo transfer program throughout the United States and some foreign
Their animals were consistent winners at the Rock County 4-H Fair and held excellent production records. The Larson family also raised 500 Holstein steers and farmed 2,300 acres
of land. Their crops included corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa and canning crops.
Providing services that kept dairy herds healthy and meat and dairy products safe for consumers was a very important part of the Evansville Veterinary Service practice. To meet
the needs of their clients, the Evansville veterinarians attended seminars and other programs related to animal health and food safety. Dr. Blaine Ellison was one of 46 veterinarians
from the United States attending a dairy veterinarian seminar on food safety sponsored by the Upjohn Company in the spring of 1993.
New technologies were also used by veterinarians to help farmers improve production in dairy cattle. The use of ultrasound was introduced in large animal practice. Evansville
veterinarians began to use ultrasound in dairy cattle to detect the cows that were pregnant and to determine the number, sex and viability of the fetuses.
The new technology was also used to determine infections, get accurate measurements of the reproductive organs, and other data that would help improve the health of the animal.
The ultrasound was a less invasive procedure than former techniques used by veterinarians to determine the reproductive health of the dairy cow.
Dr. Kristen Friedrichs left the Evansville Veterinary practice in 1998 and returned to the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine as Clinical Assistant Professor in
pathology. At times there were two small animal veterinarians on staff.
For a short period of time, Dawn Kaiser, a 1992 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, School of Veterinary Medicine, provided the small animal veterinary service at the Evansville
clinic. She moved to Minnesota and Dr. Elaine Ness joined the Evansville Veterinary Service as the small animal specialist.
Dr. Ness continued the practice of inserting a column, “The Vets Pets” in the Evansville Review. She also introduced the microchip identification program for pets and Evansville pet
owners brought their animals to the clinic for this simple procedure.
A news article in the August 25, 1999 Evansville Review described the program. The Schering-Plough, Animal Health Corporation developed a microchip that could be implanted
under a cat or dog’s skin. Each microchip was coded with a unique code that was registered with the American Kennel Club’s Companion Animal Recovery Program.
Dr. Ness implanted the microchip under the skin of the dog or cat, usually near the shoulder blade. She then checked the code with a scanner to assure that it was working correctly.
If the pet got lost, a veterinarian, animal shelter, or police department with an appropriate scanner could read the tag and notify the American Kennel Club (AKC) at their 24/7, year
around recovery center. The AKC then notified the pet’s owner. According to the AKC, there was a 100% success rate in returning animals to their owner.
Statistics from shelters showed that only 4% of cats and 14% of dogs were ever returned to their owners. The microchip often helped shelters identify the pet’s owner and prevented
lost pets from being euthanized.
Several customers of the Evansville Veterinary Service had microchips implanted in their pets. The Evansville Police Department had a recovery scanner for identification.
Recognition of excellent service to the community and to the state and national veterinary organizations was a trademark of the staff of the Evansville Veterinary Clinic. In October
1996, the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association held their 81st Annual Convention and Evansville’s Dr. David Rhoda was awarded the Meritorious Service Award.
The award was presented to a veterinarian who had given exceptional service to organized veterinary medicine. Dr. Rhoda served as the chairperson of the Wisconsin Veterinary
Medicine Association’s Public Education and Marketing Committee. Dr. Rhoda had worked with the organization to create a state-wide rabies awareness campaign.
During his service on the Public Education and Marketing Committee, Dr. Rhoda was also responsible for creating a video that was used throughout the United States by veterinary
organizations to describe the importance of veterinarians in the dairy industry.
Dr. Rhoda’s work was considered visionary and the October 1998 meeting of the organization, he received the Wisconsin Veterinary Medicine Association’s President’s Award for
promoting food safety. The President’s Award had only been given three times since it was authorized in 1990.
After 37 years of working as a veterinarian, Dr. Roland Jeans retired in August 1998. He had started work at the Evansville office as the third veterinarian with the Krueger brothers,
Edwin and Howard. The office was at 115 East Main Street and during his service in Evansville, the business built a new clinic on Maple Street and expanded to seven veterinarians
and more support staff.
At the time of his retirement, Dr. Jeans was an active member of the Wisconsin Holstein Association, Rock County Holstein Association, American Veterinary Medical Association,
Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association, Rock Valley Veterinary Medical Society and American Association of Bovine Practitioners. The Bovine Practitioners awarded him an
honorary lifetime membership.
Dr. Jeans’ retirement plans included traveling and continued volunteer work. The staff at the Evansville Veterinary Services planned a retirement party that was held at the
Evansville Country Club in early September 1998.
More than 300 family, friends, and clients attended to wish Dr. Jeans a long and happy retirement. His wife, Deanna, made a scrapbook with many photos and news items of the
years Dr. Jeans worked as a veterinarian. “I loved the work and visiting with the clients,” Dr. Jeans said in a recent interview.
The dairy industry remained an important activity for Dr. Jeans. He was willing to promote the dairy industry by serving pancakes at the Rock County Dairy Breakfast and helping
young people learn more about the dairy industry. An area on his property is set aside for 4-H club members to raise Holsteins for showing at the Rock County 4-H Fair. After
retirement Dr. Jeans worked with the dairy industry, doing ethics work at the World Dairy Exposition in Madison and the Wisconsin State Fair in Milwaukee.
For a number of years, a white buffalo on the Don Heider farm, named Miracle, was a tourist attraction in Rock County. Miracle was born on August 20, 1994 and was a rare animal.
Experts said the odds of a white buffalo being born were one in ten million.
The Heiders chose Evansville Veterinary Services to provide medical care for their animals. Dr. Tom Williams was the primary service provider for Miracle and the other buffalos in
the Heider herd. He worked hard to earned Miracle’s trust. The effort to work with the buffalo was a great benefit when the animal needed medical attention.
In the spring of 1999, Miracle injured one of her hoofs and despite treatment, the hoof became infected. The Beloit Daily News gave extensive coverage to the 700-pound white
buffalo and covered the story of her hoof injury and the care given by the Evansville veterinarians in the September 23, 1999 issue.
“She had developed a lesion in a toe joint on the right hind hoof, and it has become infected. Part of the bone around the joint has come loose, and the bone itself is slowly
dissolving,’ said Tom Williams, a veterinarian with the Evansville Veterinary Service. It is a common problem with cattle and buffalo because of the way their feet are made, and any
number of things can cause it, Williams said. When cattle develop the problem, owners typically have the toe amputated or send the animal to slaughter. Veterinarians could
amputate Miracle's toe, but it would disfigure her somewhat.”
Dr. Williams decided that the inner part of the hoof had to be removed surgically or the infection would spread to the rest of the leg. Getting the buffalo to cooperate proved to be a
problem. “Buffalo are a very sensitive animal,” Dr. Williams told the Review reporter who observed the surgery.
Dr. Williams was especially concerned about the anesthetic that he would use on Miracle during the surgery and contacted a specialist to get his expert opinion on the best way to
proceed with the surgery. Nigel Caukett, DVM had written his PH. D. on the subject and he recommended the type of anesthetic to use during the procedure.
After determining the protocol for the surgery, Dr. Williams brought together his team of veterinarians and support staff from the Evansville clinic. The team included Dr. Kenneth
Reese and Dr. Elaine Ness. Other members of the team were Lynae McElroy, Julie Dybevik and Nikki Chrisbaum. Kelly Gildner, the Evansville Review reporter, joined Dr. Williams
and the team at the Heider farm.
As a veterinary school student, Dr. Friedrichs had served a two week rotation in Evansville, observing the work of the local veterinarians. She
graduated from the UW School of Veterinary Medicine in 1991 and joined a veterinary clinic in Stockton, Illinois before taking the companion
animal practitioner position in Evansville.
Dr. Friedrichs continued the practice of contributing articles about pet health to the Evansville Review. She named her column, “The Vet’s
Pets” and was pictured with her dog, Abbey. Dr. Friedrichs offered advice about keeping pets healthy and safe from diseases and household
She had a special interest in animals that assisted people with daily living and wrote about companion pets trained in programs offered by the
Wisconsin Academy for Graduate Service Dogs, Inc., (W.A.G.S.)
A great supporter of the companion dog program, Dr. Friedricks said in one of her columns: “Nowhere is the human-animal bond more unique
or special than the bond between a physically challenged individual and their canine companion.”
“I have the pleasure to work with several prospective and current canine companions through the W.A.G.S. program in Rock County.
Everyone benefits from the W.A.G.S. program; the individual for whom W.A.G.S. dogs provide independence and companionship, the dogs
themselves who are given homes, and a purpose in life, and the support network of trainers and veterinarians who witness the joy that is found
in the unique relationship,” Dr. Friedrichs said.
Dr. Friedrichs warned pet owners about the dangers of household chemicals, including antifreeze that was toxic to people and pets. She also
provided information about how to keep pets that were house outside safe during cold weather. She suggested providing dry bedding and
protection from the wind.
Both Dr. Tom Williams and Dr. Kenneth Reese had performed foot surgery on
cattle during their college years, but they had never performed the surgery on a
buffalo. For thirty days prior to the surgery, Miracle received antibiotics and Dr.
Williams and the Heiders hoped that the infection would clear and the surgery
would be unnecessary. When the antibiotics did not clear the infection, further
steps were taken to prepare for surgery.
Using a portable x-ray machine, the hoof was examined and the veterinarians
decided that a portion of the inner hoof needed to be removed. The infection was
in the outside toe on the hoof that carried Miracle’s weight in the rear. If the toe was
removed, there was worry that Miracle would have difficulty walking.
The Heiders and Dr. Williams also determined that the surgery would be done on
the farm, rather taking Miracle to the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary
Dr. William’s team gathered at the Heider farm and Dr. Williams maintained a
phone connection with the consultant during the surgery. The biggest concern was
the anesthetic because when a buffalo the size of Miracle lies down too long, fluid
can build up in the lungs and the animal dies. Dr. Williams carried another drug
that would wake Miracle quickly, if a problem developed.
The team attempted to sedate Miracle with the drug Ketamine. Miracle needed
more anesthetic than was expected and it took several tries before Miracle was
lying down. Dr. Ness monitored Miracle’s vital signs while Drs. Williams and Reese
performed the surgery.
The veterinarians used an electric saw to cut away the infected parts of the hoof.
The outer portion of the hoof was retained to give her support and make walking
easier for the buffalo. Following the surgery the hoof was bandaged.
The veterinarians expected that Miracle’s recovery from the surgery would take
about six months. Following the surgery, Dr. Williams checked weekly on the
progress of the healing.
Although Miracle died in 2004, from unknown causes, Val and Dave Heider
maintain a website about Miracle.
The Heider family expressed their gratitude for the work that the Evansville
veterinary staff had done and included these comments on their website about
Miracle: “Miracle is now (2001) in great shape, no limp, and fully recovered
from the toe abcess and bone removal in September, 1999. That, in itself, is
miraculous since apparently buffalo do not normally survive anesthetic.
Although many attempts were made, she refused to be loaded for the trip to the
university vet hospital. Finally, the Heiders decided she knew what she was
doing in not wanting to leave the land and her home. They ended up doing the
rare surgical procedure right on the farm with the local vet in consultation by
phone with a specialist in Canada. Even so, it cost the Heider family $5,000 out
of their pocket to save her life. They did this, and do what they do, because
they believe Miracle is a gift to be shared with the hearts of all people.”
There are news articles about the surgery and a photograph of the Evansville
veterinarians working on Miracle at the Heider website about Miracle:
Evansville Review photo
Evansville Review Photo
Dr. Michael T. Nicholson joined the Evansville Veterinary Service in 1996. Dr.
Nicholson was a 1991 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the
University of Wisconsin Veterinary College.
During his student days at the veterinary school, Dr. Nicholson served a two-week
rotation at the Evansville Veterinary Clinic, observing the practicing veterinarians.
After graduation, Nicholson practiced veterinary medicine in Farley, Dubuque County,
Iowa. The large animal practice included both swine and dairy.
A native of Janesville, Wisconsin, Nicholson wanted to return to the area to raise his
family. His wife, Brenda, had attended school in Evansville.
Just a few months before Dr. Nicholson’s arrival in Evansville, Dr. Blaine Ellison left the
practice to work for a company that specialized in animal nutrition and Dr. Jeans
announced to his partners that he was planning to retire. The clinic partners wanted
to bring a new partner into the practice several months before Dr. Jeans retired, in
order to allow the new veterinarian to become familiar with the clients and their
Dairy farms were in the news at the turn of the new century. In 2000, proposals for
large scale dairy operations, with hundreds of animals, made headlines as farmers
were challenged by neighbors on residential properties in the rural areas. Crowds of
people attended town meetings to defend or protest the new style of dairy farming.
Unpleasant odors from manure, noise and road deterioration from milk-hauling truck
traffic, and environmental concerns about ground water contamination from farmyard
runoff were debated.
One proposal placed before community leaders in Porter township was for a large farm
that would house more than 2,000 dairy cows. More than 150 people jammed into the
Porter Township Hall to listen to Dr. Kenn Buelow, a Minnesota veterinarian, explain
the new type of dairy farm.
Buelow and his partners in a corporation, Holsum, Inc., were trying to get a conditional
use permit to build the new facility on Tolles Road. The conditional use permit was
required because the township had set zoning limits of 320 cows to a farm. Buelow’s
proposal was turned down by the Porter Township Board, after protests from local
residents, and concerns from the Board members about manure storage, affect on the
water table, and groundwater quality.
As the Porter Township Board was deliberating, the Magnolia Township Board made
preparations to research dairy farm regulations. They wanted to be prepared in case
the Porter township proposal was turned down and the Holsum Company looked for
Magnolia township property to purchase for their new dairy.
A meeting was held on March 28, 2000, and area grain and dairy farmers were
generally supportive of the proposal. Ed Larson told those attending the meeting that
the family operation was considering expanding to 1,800 cows. Some said it would
bring new jobs to the community, improve grain sales for local farmers, and the
farmers could use the manure to improve their land.
Magnolia township’s Larson Acres, Inc. had already moved to free-stall housing for
their dairy cattle and had a herd of 1,200 dairy cows, including some heifers.
Cow comfort was the main incentive for free-style barns. Cement floors were
uncomfortable for cows to lie down, so the free-stall barns had comfortable bedding.
Some used sand that was recycled, washed and reused.
The large barns also allowed cows to have better access to clean feed. The free-stall
barns with curtained sides created better ventilation. Some barns were equipped with
thermostatically controlled fans and sprinkling systems.
The modern milking parlor had computerized milk measuring systems. Daily milk
weights were obtained in a very short period of time. Computer records helped
farmers keep track of the health of each animal and to identify and segregate animals
with health issues from the rest of the herd.
Within a few months, Porter township officials turned down the Holsum request for a
conditional use permit and the company successfully located in Hilbert, Wisconsin.
The Magnolia farm operated by the Larson family continued to thrive. The Larson
corporation submitted a manure management plan and applied for a permit from the
DNR to expand their operation.
Opponents and supporters of large farm operations once again gathered to offer their
views on the issue. Dr. David Rhoda, veterinarian for the Larson herd explained to
those attending the Magnolia meeting that the Larson operation was well managed.
“As to the nutrition and surface water issues, I have heard nutrient management plans
being talked about on this farm long before anyone was talking or concerned about it.
I know they’re tested frequently and they use a group of consultants whenever they
learn of new techniques. Animal losses are always picked up promptly and it doesn’t
[For more information about the Larson Acres visit their website at http://www.
As dairy farms increased in size, the practice of veterinary medicine was also in
transition. Dr. Kenneth Reese described a typical day in his routine. In the early
morning he writes out reports of the previous days work. Then he goes into the field to
do a herd health check with a dairy farmer. While on the farm he does pregnancy and
fertility exams and updates vaccinations, and dehorning of calves. Then he discusses
any health problems with the farmer. After his work on the farm is finished, Dr. Reese
will respond to animal sick calls received at the office.
Dr. David Watson described a typical day on a farm when he first started in the
Evansville clinic. “There were a lot more small dairy farms. I could visit four or five
farms. It would be more common to see an individual cow and then go to the next
farm. We didn’t have an ultra sound back then. Milk fever was more common. I could
treat three or four cases in one morning. Now I hardly treat any.”
Dr. David Watson also described the changes in the typical routine of the large animal
veterinarians, “On Tuesday I go to the Towns herd and spend the whole morning there
and use ultra sound and checking for viable fetuses and twins.”
“In the afternoon, it’s a catch up, doing surgeries such as abomasal displacement.
That is where the fore stomach is out of place and it’s a common metabolic problem in
dairy cows. Vets surgically correct this. Otherwise the cow will not process the food
correctly. The surgery can correct the problem and can be completed in ½ hour.”
Dr. Watson said that he averages one of these surgeries a day. He follows surgical
procedures first practiced by the Evansville veterinarians Dr. Howard Krueger and Dr.
“The technique came along in their era,” he said. “The way we perform the surgery is
to put the cow on its back, because we have good success with that. After calls, we
examine lame cows, sick cows and calves and do a fair amount of diagnostic work.”
At least one time, a routine surgery, a caesarian, put the observer at more risk than
the animal. Dr. Watson described the incident. “One time I was doing caesarian and I
felt this weight on my back and looked around. The farmer’s hired man had passed
out on me while I was doing surgery.”
During their routine visits, the veterinarians also check for Johne’s disease, a
mycobacterium disease that causes chronic wasting. Calves can be infected before or
after they are born. However, it can be five to six years before it is detected.
The disease is also known as paratuberculosis. The main symptoms are diarrea and
wasting. Wisconsin farmers began learning about Johne’s disease in 1928, when the
University of Wisconsin Agriculture College issued a news release describing the
symptoms and diagnosis. The release was published in the Evansville Review.
In 1928, the disease was not prevalent in Wisconsin although farmers were urged to
have their animals tested. “With Johne’s disease, as with tuberculosis, the infection
may be present for long periods of time before symptoms become evident. In one
case that came under our observation the infection had apparently been present for
six years. In another herd a cow has been reacting to the Johne’s test for three years,
and at present shows no symptoms of the disease.”
According to a recent report, the total losses from Johne's disease in U.S. dairy herds
are estimated to be $1.5 billion annually. One-third of dairy herds in some states are
infected. Recently, the annual economic loss in Wisconsin was estimated to exceed
According to Dr. Watson education of the farmer has changed and testing has gotten
better: “Farmers in this area are very good about cleanliness and the proper steps
are taken and we’ve really made inroads to get rid of it. Johne’s can be detected with
fecal test or blood test. The state has a program that helps defer some of the cost. If
farmers sign up for the program, and do the paper work, they can be reimbursed. We
collect the blood sample in the field and send it to the lab in Madison.”
Dr. Michael Nicholson described some of the steps that farmers take to reduce the
incidence of Johne’s. “The Johne’s program is the current project between the USDA,
veterinarians, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture. Veterinarians are at the
front line to reduce the impact of Johne’s disease on the herds. We go through the
herds and do a risk assessment and management plan.”
“We try to identify areas that are critical control points such as the fecal or oral spread
by an adult cow shedding mycobacterium in the manure. Then calves can pick it up.
We isolate the calves from the mother and feed the colostrum from the mother after
separating them. We test the adult cow herd. The blood tests go to the state
diagnostic lab in Madison and the Johne’s tests are run up there. The USDA has
some grant money for the testing. There is no treatment. It is more of a preventive
and long term control.”
Veterinarians are on the front line of keeping the food safe for human consumption.
They are accredited in Wisconsin for brucellosis vaccinations, and tuberculosis
testing. They are constantly on the look out for zoonotic diseases, those that can be
transmitted between animals and humans.
There is also some concern that antibiotics used to improve animal health, can be
transferred to humans. Veterinarians try to use antibiotics judiciously when prescribing
for dairy animals. According to Dr. David Watson, this area of veterinary medicine has
improved greatly since he first started in practice.
Dr. David Rhoda explained the cooperative effort between the farmer and the
veterinarian. “The veterinarian’s role is to understand and work in areas that damage
the production of the farm. Veterinarians help to find problems in animal health and
welfare and are part of the process of keeping a good, safe food supply.” Some of the
largest farms in the area schedule weekly farm visits with Evansville veterinarians.
There are also concerns about the security of the food supply. Dr. Rhoda said,
“Veterinarians help develop bio-security plans. They monitor the introduction and
spread of disease. One of the important questions that the dairy industry is asking is
‘How do we tolerate visitors on our dairies.’ We have a wonderful clientele. I don’t
think they get enough credit for all the good work they do. Our dairy farmers are the
best recyclers. They don’t waste any of the manure. It goes back on the fields to help
the crops. The larger dairies are monitored closely. Our farmers do a great job. A
modern dairy farm is very efficient.”
In the early 1970s, approximately 5% of the gross income of the clinic was from the
treatment of pets. Thirty years later, the percentage had increased to about 35% of
the gross income. Dr. Kenneth Reese predicted that the Evansville Veterinary Service
would rely more and more on the small animal business. “As time goes by, we see a
diminishing of the dairy practice. The small animal business will increase even more.”
Dr. Reese said.
In the early part of the first decade of the 21st century, the small animal practitioners
were Dr. Elaine Ness and Dr. Joyce Brown, with the other veterinarians filling in when
they were on call for weekends and holidays.
Dr. Joyce Brown started with the Evansville Veterinary Service on September 6, 2000.
She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of
There are no typical days for the veterinarian treating companion animals, according
to Dr. Brown: “Each day brings new concerns about how to provide the best care for
elderly pets, as well as new puppies and kittens that need the best health possible, so
that they can be an active part of each family.” Maintaining the best possible health
care for pets means that the veterinarians must stay current with the flood of new
information that is available each year.
Appointments start at 8 a.m. However, the clinic’s phone usually starts ringing near 7
a.m. with pet owners requesting routine vaccinations or emergency care for their
animals. Some calls are requests to help abandoned animals or wild animals in
In the fall of 2001, a few months after Dr. Brown arrived in Evansville, a nest of turtles
was discovered near Lake Leota. Dick Golz and Phil Montgomery watched the mother
turtle make a nest and lay her eggs in an area that they thought was dangerously
close to the road.
Dr. Brown was called in to make an evaluation of the turtle nest and decided that it was
also too close to the soccer field and there was a good chance that the nest would be
trampled or run over by a car. The turtle rescuers, Golz, Montgomery and Dr. Brown
retrieved the eggs from the nest. The eggs were counted and marked and Dr. Brown
took most of them to her father’s farm near Barneveld where she hoped they would
hatch and the young turtles would take up residence near a stream.
Dr. Brown kept a few of the turtle eggs to incubate at the Evansville clinic so that they
could be returned to Lake Leota. After weeks of waiting, the turtles hatched. Dr.
Brown raised the turtles at the clinic until she felt they could fend for themselves in the
In late spring 2002, Dr. Brown brought the turtles to Lake Leota and gave the five
alligator snappers their freedom. According to the newspaper report of the event, the
turtles wasted no time in getting into the water.
The turtle rescue is just one example of the kindness that people in the community
have shown towards animals in distress, according to Dr. Brown. “Many times people
have come in with stray kittens that are too young to walk, but found in compromised
positions, such as next to the road.”
The most memorable one was a kitten found on Bullard Road and it was so young that
its eyes had not opened. Dr. Brown named the kitten Bully and bottle fed it until it was
strong enough to be released to a good home.
She also recounted the tale of a wayward, but lucky, parrot that came to live at the
clinic for a couple of months. A UPS driver found the bird in the road, just a few blocks
from the Evansville Veterinary clinic. The UPS driver stopped at the clinic to notify the
One of the veterinary technicians had brought grapes to work and Dr. Brown used the
fruit to coax the parrot close enough so that she could wrap it in a towel.
The parrot was kept at the clinic for some time. The owners did not advertise that the
bird was lost, as they had given up hope that it would survive in the wild.
At a graduation party at Dr. Mike Nicholson’s, the story of the parrot was told. Retired
veterinarian, Dr. Roland Jeans, also attended the party and reported that his son’s
family had lost their pet parrot. Word of mouth and serendipity brought the parrot and
its owners, the David Jeans family, back together.
Dr. Elaine Ness joined a veterinary clinic in Brodhead and Dr. Bryn Bruss, came to the
Evansville Veterinary Service as a small animal veterinarian in 2006. When he left the
clinic a few months later, Dr. Matt Sobon, joined as an associate.
Dr. Sobon, specialized in small animals. He started in July 2006 after graduation from
the University of Wisconsin, School of Veterinary Medicine. As a child, Dr. Sobon
dreamed of being a veterinarian. After a career in printing, he finally went to
veterinary school. He was the oldest student in his class. According to his biography
on the clinic’s website, his veterinary interests include general wellness, underserved
community approaches and orthopedics. http://evansvillevets.com/
The first decade of the 21st century also brought changes in the large animal
practice. Dr. David A. Chapman was a large animal veterinarian in the clinic from 2004
to the summer of 2005.
Dr. Angela Kinney joined Evansville Veterinary clinic in 2006 in the large animal
service. She graduated from Veterinary School in 1996 in Brazil. After moving to the
United States, she completed the requirements for her license in the U. S. at the
University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine.
It was a tradition for the Evansville veterinarians to be active in the community and in
state and national veterinary organizations.
Two of Evansville’s large animal veterinarians received community service awards in
2001. Dr. Roland Jeans received the Lifetime of Service award for Evansville. Dr.
Jeans’ credits included veterinary, church and civic activities. On his retirement, Dr.
Jeans had received an honorary lifetime membership in the American Association of
Bovine Practitioners and he maintained membership in other professional
Dr. Jeans’ community service included 4-H leadership; Sunday School and youth
advisory work at St. John’s Lutheran Church; leadership in Lions Club activities; and
service on Union township boards and the Evansville School District Board.
After his retirement, Dr. Jeans continued to use his veterinary skills by performing
ethics work with the World Dairy Expo and the Wisconsin State Fair. The animals
brought for exhibit are checked with ultra sound to make sure the cow’s udders have
not been altered.
Dr. Jeans also keeps cows on his home property to help neighborhood 4-H members.
The calves and heifers that Dr. Jeans keeps are animals that will be taken to the Rock
County 4-H Fair.
At the same 2001 award ceremony for community volunteers, Dr. David Rhoda was
recognized for his community service. For many years, he photographed the sports
activities at the Evansville schools. According to the award credits, “He has made
many athletes feel special from receiving copies of pictures he has taken of them.”
Rhoda was even known to share photos with opposing team members who made game
Towards the end of his career at the Evansville Veterinary Service, Dr. Rhoda began
to write articles for national publications and to give lectures at state, national and
Dr. David Rhoda became a certified professional consultant for the national Milk and
Dairy Beef Quality Assurance Center, Stratford, Iowa. The program started in 1990
and consultants audited dairies that applied for certification by the Center.
The dairies requesting certification were judged on cow cleanliness, milk quality, the
animal’s body condition, normal walking patterns and general health. Air quality, noise
levels, facility appearance and worker safety were also included as part of the
inspection and certification process. The highest certification was a 5-star rating.
Towards the end of his career at the Evansville Veterinary Service, Dr. Rhoda began
to teach and give lectures throughout the state of Wisconsin and at national
conventions. His work led to a national award.
In 2004, Dr. Rhoda was awarded, Bovine Practitioner of the Year, by the American
Association of Bovine Practitioner’s and Fort Dodge Animal Health. “This is the award I
am most proud of”, Dr. Rhoda said. It is a national award, established in 1978, and is
given to a bovine veterinarian, in active practice. Dr. Rhoda was the 5th Wisconsin
veterinarian to receive the award.
Nominations for Bovine Practitioner of the Year award are made by colleagues, and
the criteria includes the volume of work with dairy cattle, contributions to continuing
education, quality and competency of veterinary service and projects.
In an interview with a Janesville Gazette reporter, Dr. Andrew Johnson, a fellow bovine
practitioner, described Dr. Rhoda’s enthusiasm for his work, “He’s like a young kid,
always looking for what’s around the corner. I think it’s his insight that makes him real
Dr. Rhoda’s was recognized for his work in creating a video, “Cows Need Doctor’s
Too.” The video is shown to elementary school students to introduce them to the
veterinarian’s work in the dairy industry.
Dr. Rhoda’s work on the Wisconsin “best practices” task force for the Wisconsin
Veterinary Medicine Association and efforts to enact the Animal Medical Drug Usage
Clarification Act, AMDUCA, were also mentioned as achievements for the award.
Other factors considered in the nomination were Dr. Rhoda’s monthly column,
“Cowside Practice” in the Hoard’s Dairyman, a publication widely recognized in the
dairy Industry. In 2004, he gave a workshop in Canada and at the Fort Worth, Texas,
Bovine Practitioner’s Convention on “Leading Change in the Diary Industry.”
June 8, 2000, Evansville Citizen, p. 9, Evansville, Wisconsin
April 6, 2000, Evansville Citizen, p. 15, col. 3-5,
Dr. Bryn Bruss
Evansville Veterinary Staff 1998
Evansville Review, October 2004
Dr. Rhoda served as the Milk Quality Outreach Veterinarian with the University of Wisconsin, Department of Dairy Science. He also served as a lecturer at workshops for dairy farmers
and their employees. The workshops, the Dairy Road Show, were presented in communities throughout Wisconsin, sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Extension. Dr. Rhoda
also arranged for veterinary students to visit large dairy operations in the Evansville area.
His Hoard’s Dairyman columns were regularly copied into other dairy publications and translated into Spanish. Topics for the papers and seminars include biosecurity, mastitis, and
recordkeeping to improve dairy productivity, disease control, and compliance with the drug usage act.
For the Bovine Practitioner’s award, Dr. Rhoda received a diamond ring and a commemorative plaque. The Evansville clinic veterinarians celebrated Dr. Rhoda’s success with a party.
A cake decorated with a cow was the centerpiece for the event.
Dr. Rhoda retired from the Evansville Veterinary Service, S. C. in the fall of 2006. He continues to be active in writing and lecturing for veterinary professionals and the dairy industry.
In a recent interview, Dr. Rhoda credited his co-workers at the Evansville clinic for their continued efforts to develop herd programs for their clients. “This practice has always been very
involved in organizations that assist with regulating and eradicating diseases in animals. Some of the work has been regulatory and part has been with the non-regulated diseases.”
He praised the state-wide effort of veterinarians. “Wisconsin has some of best controls for animal safety against diseases. There have been tuberculosis threats from neighboring
states and when they have early detection, Wisconsin puts up steps to prevent spread of disease.”
The Evansville veterinarians continue to encourage students to go into the field. Dr. Kenneth Reese said the clinic has had students from Denmark, Japan, Holland and Germany.
From within the United States, the clinic has had students from University of Missouri, Iowa State, University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin.
The demographics of the profession are changing, according to Dr. Reese. “It’s become very expensive to get an education,” he said. “A lot of students have the price of a small
mortgage in education debt and it’s changed the way that a lot of them look into the practice.”
Students are not so anxious to buy into a practice. “There are old practitioners who want to sell, but no one to buy,” Dr. Reese said.
Dr. Reese also noted the dramatic change in male vs. female veterinarians. His class in the 1970s had 5 women and 70 men. “Now its flip flopped and some classes are 80% women
and 20% men,” he said.
Long hours and hard physical work are also keeping some veterinary students from going into the food animal practice. “It’s getting more and more difficult to find students who want to
devote their practice to that,” Dr. Reese said. “Some don’t want to do the hard physical work, or the long hours. There are days you put in 12 hour days.”
There have been changes in the large animal practice. Dr. Reese noted, “Even on the food animal side of things, it’s a much more manageable schedule than when we were doing
things on an emergency schedule. The fortunate thing is, we are within a stone’s throw of the UW and so we have access to good information.”
Dr. David Rhoda also noted the changes for the producer and those veterinarians in large animal practices. “Nothing in the dairy industry has stayed static. Business has become more
and more narrow margined. It is more difficult for dairy people to make enough money. A lot of the technologies that came in were to help bridge that gap. The carbon footprint of the
dairy industry has changed. It is much smaller and it has improved because the production per animal has improved due to genetics and nutrition.
Dr. David Watson expressed his concerns about the decline in students interested in large animal practice. “The shortage of large animal veterinarians worries me. It costs a lot to go
to veterinary school. You put in a lot of long hours. It’s physically hard work and you get dirty. You can start clean, but by the end of the first call you can be covered with muck. The
hard thing for me is having a family and the night calls and having to miss events, because I get called out. People sometimes take that for granted. We are on call because we have
Dr. Watson noted the decline in students interested in the food animal practice. “The typical U.W. students are interested in small animals. They have to do a large animal rotation. We
always try to sway their interest to large animals. Every year I have three or four U. W. students go with me.”
The Evansville veterinarians have trained students from Canada. According to Dr. Watson, “We have gotten them from Montreal. They speak French and they had to be into it to make
it here. They were all dairy. They are fun to have. Some have gone into dairy practice in Canada.” They have also had students from colleges in Michigan.
The work is hard and sometimes dangerous according to Dr. Watson, “Large animal vets are for younger men. There are injuries. It’s a little risky. I’ve had a couple of close calls with
bulls and there are dangerous times.”
There are also continuing education requirements in order for the veterinarians to keep their licenses. Dr. Watson attends dairy meetings at the University of Minnesota every year.
Hard work, long hours, continuing education requirements and other difficulties that might have swayed some to stay away from a veterinarian career did not keep the Evansville
veterinarians from enjoying their work.
Dr Jeans commented, “I loved the work and visiting with the clients.”
Of his career choice, Dr. Rhoda said, “I would do it all over again. I truly enjoyed working with animals, producers and the people I walked through life with at the Evansville Veterinary
Hospital.” Dr. Rhoda also said that he was bi-lingual, “I can speak cow.”
Dr. Reese added, “I still enjoy it. It’s been a wonderful career and makes it easy to get up in the morning and come to work. I’ve enjoyed the people that I worked with and for and
enjoyed the clientele. You work to save an animal and it dies on you but you have to except those short comings and move on.”
“My wife and I have enjoyed the practice here in Evansville and the community and we enjoy the people and the clients. We have a great client base in Evansville and good people to
work with,” Dr. Michael Nicholson said.
It is a strong tribute to the Evansville veterinarians’ commitment to service that brought praise from one client. Mike Larson, Dairy Manager of Larson Acres said, “We have always had a
good relationship with Evansville Veterinary Service and consider them part of our team, and more importantly good friends. My dad used their services before I was born. They helped
foster a relationship with the UW Veterinarian Teaching Hospital. We use the vets there as consultants for our dairy. We are constantly doing different trials with the UW and share our
records with them. We allow them to bring their students out to our dairy each year for class.”
To learn more about the Evansville clinic and their staff, visit their website at http://evansvillevets.com/
To view the entire series of articles on the Evansville Veterinary service go to the following website: http://www.evansvillehistory.net/Veterinarians.html
Special thanks to all of the Evansville veterinary staff who took the time for interviews and provided information for this series. Ruth Ann Montgomery
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