Dr. Ole N. Schultz, DVM (1889-1986)
Most people who knew him called him “Doc”. Even his beloved wife of fifty-three years called him “Doc”. But those people, who know him when he was a boy growing up in his hometown of Ringsted, Iowa, call him Ole. Occasionally an old classmate, relative, or someone, who knew him “back when”, would greet him with his given name. This was only on rare occasions. I remember being somewhat confused by all of this when I was a small boy growing up. He was Dad.
Doc Schultz began his practice in veterinary medicine at Latimer, Iowa, on April, 1919, after serving in the military from January 3, 1918 until his discharge March 8, 1919 as primarily a horse doctor. He certainly had good enough training. After graduating from Iowa State College School of Veterinary Medicine in 1917, like most young men he enlisted in the army in World War I. His first connection with the horse was not really what he had in mind. After induction into the military at Fort Des Moines, he was assigned to the cavalry at Fort Riley, Kansas. He was put through the rigors of basic training by riding bareback on horses over various jumping obstacles at full gallop. The hardened officers and non-commissioned officers drove the recruits unmercifully until their buttocks and inner thighs were raw from the rigors of training. Many of the “hard nosed” officers and enlisted men had ridden during the Spanish-American War and had also engaged in the many United States-Mexican border skirmishes. But to a young kid fresh out of school and a farm boy at heart, he was not cut out for this sort of training. When Doc got the chance, he took an examination for officer’s training, passed with flying colors, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant.
This change in his brief army career was much more to his liking. He had big responsibilities, however. He was first assigned as Camp Veterinarian at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. The Fort was, and is still, located just across the river from Chattanooga, Tennessee. His responsibilities there were to medically treat two hundred horses and one hundred-fifty mules. He had his own mount, an orderly who would accompany him on rounds, a motorcycle with a sidecar, and many of the amenities offered to someone in his position. He was rather embarrassed over all this pomp. When making his rounds and out of his senior officer’s sight, he would wave his orderly up to join him. He felt uncomfortable with all of this “spit and polish.” His next tour of duty was at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The intention there was to ready the horses, mules, equipment, and men for overseas shipment as the war was still going on. Here, Doc had the awesome responsibility of eight hundred horses and mules under his care. Fortunately for him the war was declared over, the Armistice signed, and he was officially discharged from the service on March 8, 1919, with the rank of First Lieutenant.
The uniform you see before you was his dress uniform with all the accouterments. I would like to share this part of his life with the Franklin County Historical Society and the people of Franklin County. I know he would be pleased.