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Stratford centennial
(1891-1991)

Stratford's medical community,   pp. 219-221


Page 220

the wife of the late Dr. George Murphy. An agreement could
not be reached because of his lack of funds so he hadto look
elsewhere. He stopped at the bank and with the help of the late
Theo. Hoffmann and Edward Brunner, he was able to find a
location for his office and living quarters, plus help in finding
homes on house calls. His office location was on the second
floor of the George Chrouser building, later owned by Dr.
O.R. Klemme.
After several trips to and from Milwaukee, he finally slid
into town on icy roads with his meager load of supplies and
equipment. The first week or two he stayed at the Stratford
Hotel, sometimes having to sleep on his examination table
because his bed at the hotel was occupied by someone else.
Finally, through the kindness of Jos. Ritger, the owner at that
time of the furniture store and funeral parlor, he was able to
furnish his own living quarters with a bed, radio and chairs,
which he paid for when he was able.
He opened his office March 4,1930,his first patient being
the late Mrs. George Spindler. Many difficult years lay ahead
for him, not only because of the depression, but for the many
house calls which had to be made over icy, drifted and muddy,
sinkholy roads. Since the Marshfield hospital was closed to
all outside doctors, at that time, many hard trips to Wausau had
to be made in all kinds of weather, over all kinds of roads, a
distance of over 70 miles round trip.
In August of 1930, Dr. Kroeplin was married to Miss
Lillian Klemme, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. H.L.
Klemme, pioneer residents of Stratford. They lived in two
rooms next to the office until Mr. Chrouser built an addition
of two more rooms and a bath over the room at the east end
of his building. They lived in this lovely little apartment until
the spring of 1934, when they moved into the Dr. Schriber
home, purchased by Dr. O.R. Klemme, who moved from
Owen, Wis., to take over Dr. Schriber's dental practice at that
time.
Dr. Kroeplin's practice outgrew its small quarters and
was expanded into the apartment area making it not only
larger, but more convenient.
On January 14, 1935, a daughter was born to Dr. and Mrs.
Kroeplin. In May of 1935, construction on their own home
was started and what a spring it was, rainy and wet, making it
almost impossible to put in the foundation. However, on
November 11, that year, they moved in and spent their first
Christmas in their new home.
On September 29, 1936, a son was born to the Kroeplins,
making their family complete. With Carol and Karl around to
grow up with, the days were sometimes happy, sad and hectic,
as pleasures, sickness and sorrows passed their way.
In 1937, with his practice growing larger and larger, and
looking ahead, he bought the Mrs. Rebecca Grassl property,
the present location of his office, which was for sale. With a
great deal of remodeling and beautifying he moved into the
new building.
The winters at this time were severe, with much snow and
sub-zero temperatures. Most of his calls in the winter months
were made with a horse and sleigh hut. The sleigh hut, which
were common then, was built on a sleigh, with windows,
doors and a wood heater.
Dr. and Mrs. Kroeplin remember making a winter call
together to the Rangeline area, south east of Stratford. It was
a wet, snowy day, with slush in the tracks and snow piled high
on each side of the road. The call was an all-day affair. They
finally reached Rozellville, where Mrs. Kroeplin visited at the
Oppman home, calling home several times to inquire about
the children, while the doctor made the rest of the trip to the
patient's home in the farmer's bob sled. They returned home
that night, weary and tired, with a team of horses almost too
spent to move, because of the ice balls frozen to their feet from
the slush and cold. After this wearisome trip, the horses had
to be cared for before Dr. Kroeplin could crawl into bed,
where he was no sooner there when a call came and he had to
again be off to battle the elements to save another life. This
was only one of the many busy days and nights which
followed year after year.
Frank Aldrich, who at that time was the proprietor of a
local garage, built a snow mobile for Dr. Kroeplin, which he
used to make his winter calls. It wasn't necessary to follow the
roads with this machine, and Dr. Kroeplin cut through fields,
covering his calls faster.
Dr. Kroeplin always had very efficient office help. The
late Dorothy Diermeier and Lucile Schulz were the first to
help him in his office. Then a Miss Hough of Stevens Point,
and later two daughters of Mr. and Mrs. L.B. Weber, Connie
and Ruby. The latter worked for Dr. Kroeplin for well over 25
years. He expanded his office in 1958, and his office force
was expanded by the addition of Miss Fay Spindler and Mrs.
Wilbert Van Der Leest, the latter a R.N. After Miss Spindler's
marriage, Mrs. Lillian Drexler took over her position.
Dr. Kroeplin served the community of Stratford formany
years. The last few years he did cut his work load to a certain
extent but he kept working until his death in 1973.
Today the village is served by a branch office of the
Marshfield Clinic. The office is located in Dr. Kroeplin's old
office. The office is staffed every week day and physicians
from Marshfield come to Stratford on Tuesdays and Thurs-
days. The doctors presently at the Stratford office are Dr.
Michael Mehr, Dr. John Przybylinski and Dr. Charles Wirtz.
Teena Leonhardt and Tamara Martens work at the clinic.
The Stratford Clinic


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