The Endless Mountains Veterinary Center PC has a long and proud heritage. We have a newspaper article about Dr. I.V. Stoll, the original founder of the Endless Mountains Veterinary Center. A verbatim typed version is located below.
The Long, Colorful Career of Dr. I.V. Stoll of Rome
By- Ashton Merrill
written Feb. 13, 1971
Dr. Isaac V. Stoll of Rome, who retired last July 1 from the general practice of veterinary medicine he had followed for 54 years might well have followed a career in the field of international law or in chemical engineering. In fact, he enrolled at Mansfield Normal School (now Mansfield State College) to prepare for chemical engineering though his first love was international law. That was back in 1912 and 1913.But during his second semester at Mansfield, he decided to become a veterinarian and enrolled in the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated from there in 1916.That same year he started to practice in the vicinity of Rome at the age of 23.
Dr. Stoll’s practice, established in what were still, as far as the rural areas were concerned, the horse-and-buggy days, expanded in leaps and bounds and has proven tremendously successful. But in the early years, it was horses, not cattle, that the veterinarian was called upon most often to treat. Most farmers in that time maintained both working and driving horses for it was they who provided both the power and propulsion. Dairy herds in this area were not extensive, many farmers keeping only six to 10 head. A herd of 25 milking cows 50 years ago was a rarity hereabouts. Now dairy cattle make up the bulk of the business of the veterinary firm Dr. Stoll founded, the area covered being roughly a 50-mile radius from Rome.
After World War II, Dr. Leonard J. Abell joined Dr. Stoll in his practice. In 1954, his son, Robert S. Stoll, having obtained his degrees in both Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, joined them in practice under the firm name of Stoll, Abell, & Stoll. On July 29, 1967, Isaac Stoll went into semi-retirement. On July 1, 1970, he withdrew from practice except that he worked two weeks for each of his associates during their vacations. Now he does only infertility work (his specialty) for a few clients, most of who are located a long distance away. With Dr. I.V. Stoll out, Dr. Leonard Abell and Dr. Robert Stoll created the Rome Veterinary Clinic by which the business originally established by Dr. I.V. Stoll is now legally known.
Dr. Stoll, at the age of 77, has the leisure now to indulge his passion for travelling and meeting people of all races and beliefs, (he has been abroad four times in the past four years and to Alaska and the Arctic Ocean once).He has the opportunity to read and to delve further into the more intricate aspects of the profession to which he has devoted his life. A philosopher at heart, he has the time now to write down his feelings and thoughts on a variety of subjects ranging from campus eruptions, city rioting, and weakness in government and education to the need for discipline in the home and how to achieve it – And he has good thoughts, strong thoughts, on all of these matters. I.V. Stoll is a man of many accomplishments, a man of strong feelings which he often expresses and expresses well. He not only has won many high honors in his own profession, but he also has gained success in the realms of business and banking.
Talking casually with us in his attractive home in Rome just recently, Dr. Stoll covered a multitude of subjects and experiences in such a short time that we were often amazed and breathless—amazed at the scope of his life and at the facility and thoroughness with which he recalled pat events and details from the signing up of his neighbors during the gas well boom of the depression years to the story of the fire that destroyed his home in 1959 and how he built the one he and his wife now occupy on the same site to replace it. One of the few things that were saved in the fire was a very fine piano. The piano was badly burned and scorched but Dr. Stoll personally refinished the fine walnut woodwork and now it fills a coveted place in his living room—the blemishes caused by the heat and flame entirely removed are scarcely visible.
Born in Rome Township March 28, 1893, Isaac Stoll was the son of Stephen A. Stoll and Emmer B. (Cass) Stoll. He attended the country district schools in his home community and entered Rome High School from which he graduated in 1912.Then came the moment of decision—what career to seek?
Dr. Stoll recalls:
“My parents always prevailed upon us children (my brother Cass J. Stoll, now deceased, of St. Petersburg, Fla., and my sister Mary S. Pratt of Pottstown, Pa., also deceased) to attend school. I never missed a day of school from the time I started in district school, high school, prep school, and college. I wanted to study International Law but my father was absolutely against my being a lawyer and talked me into taking Chemical Engineering. My father’s first choice was for me to take four years of Agriculture and then Veterinary Medicine. His second choice was Chemical Engineering.
“I did not want to send eight years of my life in college before I started producing so while at Mansfield (1912-13) I decided I would take Veterinary Medicine and possibly go back to college later and take 4-year Agriculture.
“My sister was a graduate of Mansfield and teaching school at the time. Money was scarce and I could not see how my father could keep me in school so long even if I worked what I could to help put myself through school .I never started school a year that my father did not go to the Rome bank and borrow $100 to start me off for the year.”
Of his formative years at home, Dr. Stoll recalls:
“Bringing up a family in those days was not just a mother’s and father’s responsibility; the children were taught to share responsibility of raising their brothers and sisters. Maybe a better way to say it would be that discipline in those days started at home instead of at school, in sort of a family co-operative plan. The mothers and fathers were always sacrificing for their children so that they might have a better start in life. The children, as they came along, fell in lie with their parents’ thinking. They all got a big thrill out of doing something for someone else in the family. They radiated this feeling to their neighbors and from there the ideas spread from neighbor to neighbor until, with few exceptions, it covered the whole community.
“The fathers and mothers in those days were not satisfied to let their children run at large and trust their disciplining to the teachers in the little red school houses that dotted rural America who from necessity would have had to practice their disciplining in groups as they do in Russia.
“I believe most of our delinquency in America, in our public places, schools, and colleges, is rooted from the lack of proper discipline in the home between birth and the age of 12 years. The parent who presents freedom, liberty and honesty to his children early in life, from my point of view, has very little to worry about their character and reputation later in life. Children brought up in the right environment will have respect for the rights of others. They keynote of mutual respect is the cornerstone of social liberty which makes freedom possible. From my observation, there is no country in the world where the colleges and universities provide a better education for more students of different economical levels that in America.”
So having decided to become a veterinarian, I.V. Stoll enrolled in the fall of 1913 in the University of Pennsylvania and graduated from its Department of Veterinary Medicine in 1916.While at the University, he specialized in “Infertility” under Dr. Ridge of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Animal Industry. After graduating he started the practice of veterinary medicine in the vicinity of Rome—a practice that was to extend for 54 years.
But the young “vet” had hardly started before World War I interrupted his career.IN June of 1917, Dr. Stoll joined the Veterinary Reserve Corps of the U.S. Army, and in June of the following year was called to active duty. Then followed six weeks of training at Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., after which he was sent to Fort Riley, Kansas, to serve as an instructor at the Mounted Service School there. In July of 1916, six weeks after graduation from the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Stoll was offered a Professorship in Anatomy at the University of Montana’s Department of Veterinary Medicine. At the time of his discharge from the Army, he was offered a Professorship in Surgery at the University of Iowa’s Department of Veterinary Medicine; also a position with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Animal Industry to instruct Pennsylvania practitioners in Bovine Infertility. But he turned all these offers down and in the fall of 1919 returned to Rome and resumed his own veterinary practice.
Dr. Stoll still has vivid recollections of his early years as a “vet”.
When he was 21 years old, his father gave him a horse as a reward for not smoking. That was the first horse he ever owned. Later he had seven purebred, registered Morgans that he used for transportation purposes in conducting his practice. These Morgans, paired in teams, hauled enclosed buggies during the spring, summer and fall, and cutters in the winter which were enclosed as a protection against the weather and also equipped with springs. Both the cutters and the buggies had charcoal heaters and also were equipped with acetylene motorcycle lamps for night driving, and there was plenty of that. Also used was a 38-inch wide, bob-sled track Model T Ford snowmobile. These were useful in negotiating snow-covered areas when the roads were heavily drifted. Also a snowmobile 56 inches wide mounted on a Model A Ford was purchased. Both snowmobiles were equipped with skiis, or runners, six feet long and eight inches wide. There were also wheels that could be put on the snowmobiles in the spring in the days before blacktop and gravel highways when the back-country roads were muddy, full of sinkholes and were often deeply rutted.
Dr. Stoll always prized his purebred Morgan horses and had a deep regard for them. He recalls that he once sent one of the men working for him to the Binghamton Fair with three of theses Morgans. Two of them, a mare and a gelding, took first prizes in the saddle class. There were 62 entries in this class, all purebreds and registered in their respective breeds. Several were Arabians.
Still recalling his “horse and buggy days”, Dr. Stoll said:
“We would drive one team 35 to 50 miles. Then we would call in home to the man that took care of the horses and he would meet us at the crossroad with a fresh team. When one had driven that far, a change of teams seemed to do as much good as a couple of hours of sleep. We cover a radius of 35 to 40 miles nearly every day and much farther occasionally. When I was going 100 to 200 miles to treat infertility cases, we usually drove a car, taking a string of calls in which ever direction we were going. At night, when we were coming home, we would call in from about 50 miles out, and make any calls that were left on our way back.
“We plan on starting at 7 a.m. sharp. When I drove horses, the team was in front of the house each morning at 6:30 even if we had just got back in time to eat breakfast and start out again. In that case, the man who took care of the horses that day for me would snatch some sleep, take care of the horses, do the chores and take care of whatever animals we had for treatment. In those days, we always had from one to six horses that we had operated on for fistulas of the withers, polevils, and wind-broke-horses- ‘roarers’, from which we had removed the vocal cords and they had to be washed up every day.”
Dr. Stoll points out that for 40 years of his 54 years of practice he personally covered an average of 80,000 miles a year or 3,200,000 miles. “I do not know what we averaged the first few years but I am sure it was not anywhere near this figure.”
The first automobile that Dr. Stoll ever had was a second-hand Model T Ford. His second was a 4-cylinder Buick. Then followed a whole succession of autos—enough to supply a large car sales agency. Here’s a partial listing—16 Model T Fords, 10 Dodges, a Plymouth, six Model A Fords, 18 Chevrolets, five 6–cylinder and 8-cylinder Fords, 42 Willys jeeps, and Willys Wagoneers.
For a number of years past, the firm has maintained six Jeep Wagoneers—two for each of the doctors as they did not have time to have them repaired and greased and had to have one always ready to go.
Says “Doc” Stoll:
“We have a $3,000 – $4,000 inventory of tires and Jeep Wagoneer parts on hand all the while. We buy our tires in lots of one to three dozen depending on how many we have on hand. We have six to eight extra wheels, besides our spare tires, mounted in the garage all the time, in case we have the misfortune of several flats the same day.”
The inventory in drugs runs to around $15,000 and drugs in that amount were lost in the fire that destroyed the Stoll home 12 years ago.
Throughout his 54 years of active practice, Dr. Stoll never left home unless he had another veterinarian on duty to take care of his clients.
“When I was alone in practice”, he said, “I employed several veterinarians for short periods of time. I went 38 consecutive years without a vacation except when I left home for short periods on business. In 1965-66, I paid a veterinarian myself for a year thinking I would take a vacation but I did not get the chance to leave home.I seem to possess a very curious, roving nature, always feeling I would like to travel and see what the rest of the world was life.I was always extremely interested in people, different nationalities, etc.When I got homesick or depressed while attending college in Philadelphia, I would take the elevated or subway downtown and stand on the busiest corners and study the faces of the people as they passed, or go down into the ghettos or to the wharf for the same purpose.”
Here the philosopher in Dr. Stoll’s nature comes forth again.
“I have always thought one should have a general knowledge of the people that make up our complex society of government-industry which would include a practical idea of the principles of manufacture, distribution, imports and exports both national and international in order to live anywhere near a full life in our complicated world.
“I do not think a man needs to be a specialist in any of the fields of endeavor, even in the field he chooses to follow in his own vocation. I do think, however, that every man should have a hobby and pursue that hobby to the fullest extent. Then he will know that he is not the specialist he has striven to become even thought his friends and the world may consider him a specialist. My hobby is infertility which I chose because I did not have the time or desire to work outside of my profession. And in that hobby I have not progressed beyond the surface. The more a man learns the more he realizes the unknown that exists in his field.”
Just before I.V. Stoll graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Medicine Dept., he received a letter from his father advising him to consider seriously whether it would be better to return home to start his practice or go to some outside territory. His father warned him that at the time there did not seem to be much business for a young, inexperienced “vet” in the Rome area which was being served, as it had for some time past, by the Marshalls—Leslie and Freeman, who haled from Towner Hill. But the youthful doctor, the ink on his diploma and certificate still wet, decided to return to the home area among the people he knew and with whom he had been raised, and take his chances. He made his headquarters at the Stoll homestead, tacked up his shingle, and early one morning started out with the colt his father had given him, hitched to a road cart, to make his first call. He had been summoned to treat a horse in the Orwell community. That was the beginning of his extensive and valuable practice, and in that first year he took in $1500 in fees. The second year he took in $3500, and he was on his way!
The young doctor was not a man to put all his eggs in one basket and in the early 1920s took a fling into the business world, purchasing a half interest in a hardware store in Nichols, N.Y., that operated under the name of Stoll & Pratt.
In 1925, Dr. Stoll married Miss Mildred Davis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Davis of LeRaysville. She was teaching school at Beaver Valley at the time.He first met her at one of the socials being held in the area and a romance developed.
“I did not have time to really court her”, Dr. Stoll recalled laughing over the memories.She was a very pretty young woman and still is attractive and gay.
The young couple located in Rome Borough and have resided there ever since.They have three children—Ruth, who is married to Dr. Eugene Kemp of Owego, also a veterinarian; Dr. Robert S. Stoll of Rome, who followed in his father’s footsteps, and Elizabeth Ann, who is the wife of Donald Sands, professor of chemistry at the University of Kentucky, Lexington.
When it came time to choose a career, Bob Stoll did not intend to become a veterinarian any more than his father had. He enrolled in the College of Agriculture at Cornell University with a major in Ag Engineering. During his Sophomore year he returned home for a holiday and went out with his father on a series of calls. On the way, they talked. Dr. Stoll told his son he had wanted to follow a career in International Law but his father had pressured him to go into Veterinary Medicine, and stated he was not about to tell his son what career to take up. To his surprise, after getting his degree at Cornell in Agriculture Engineering, Bob enrolled in the Veterinary College there and three years later, after successfully completing the course, was in business with his father.
Agriculture has played a prominent role in Dr. Stoll’s business operations. In the early 1930s, he bought the Stoll homestead farm of 360 acres and added an adjoining 140 acres to it, operating the combined properties for several years. In the early 1940s, he purchased the Louis E. Piollet farm of 1200 acres at Wysox and still operates that. When Dr. Stoll operated his farms himself he had 250 head of dairy cattle of which 150 were milkers.
Dr. Stoll’s interests are highly diversified, indicative of his nature. He is a director and president of the Farmers National Bank of Rome; in 1920, he helped organize and create the Towanda Folding Box Co., being elected a director and later president. He is also a director of the Tuscarora Mutual Insurance Co. and member of its executive committee. His professional affiliations include membership in the Northeast Pennsylvania Veterinarians Association, the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Northern Tier Veterinary Medical Association. He is also a member of the International Infertility Association.
I.V. Stoll is a recognized authority in his profession and has been accorded many distinguished honors. He is a member of the Advisory Council of his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. Since Bovine Infertility is his specialty, he has been invited numerous times to present papers on that subject. His first appearance in that capacity was before the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association; then followed invitations from the Cornell Conference at Ithaca, the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association, the Northwest New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association, the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association and the International Fertility Association in session at Miami Beach, Fla. In 1957 he addressed the national meeting of the fraternity, Alpha Psi, at Ithaca, and in 1969 addressed the graduating class of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell on “Highlights of a General Practice Establishment”. That same year he gave a paper on bovine cysts and demonstrated the Stoll cyst aspirator, one of his inventions, at a clinic of the Atlantic Seaboard Veterinary Association and the Maryland State Veterinary Medical Association at Baltimore. Another one of his inventions now widely used in his profession is the Stoll teat knife.
He has treated cows for infertility in 12 states of the United States and in Venezuela, South America.
Dr. Stoll was quite elated when, in the spring of 1958, he was invited by Carlos Galovis, secretary of agriculture in Venezuela for 19 years, to spend two weeks at his 35,000—acre ranch near Urama and help plan a practical dairy setup for producing milk.
In 1967, Ward Foods Inc., of New York offered him a position of high responsibility to take charge of a ranch in Northern Africa. He turned it down as he had done numerous other fine offers throughout his life, desiring to remain a “country practitioner” among people he likes and admires rather than seek recognition elsewhere.
In the early 1920s, while still young in his profession, Dr. Stoll gained distinction through his work treating winter dysentery which had reached epidemic proportions. When a large and valuable herd near Philadelphia was nearly wiped out by the disease, Dr. C.J. Marshall, then professor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and also a state veterinarian, contacted by letter 50 veterinarians whom he considered had the highest percentage large animal practice in an effort to find a solution to the problem. Dr. Leighow of Danville, Pa., and Dr. Stoll both expressed the opinion the diseases was caused by a virus. Dr. Stoll in his notes to Dr. Marshall discussed the symptoms, treatment, etc. He also sent fecal samples from two severe herd outbreaks to Rockefeller Institute for tests which proved the epidemic “winter scours” is caused by vibris jejuni, a filterable virus.
Dr. Marshall called the production a masterpiece, sending a copy of Dr. Stoll’s discussion to Rockefeller Institute and the doctors there sent copies all over the world.
So now, feeling that he has spent 54 years of his life continually and conscientiously serving the people, his friends and locality in the real of his profession, “Doc” is free to enjoy the travel and meeting the people of other countries he has always sought.
In 1967, he and Mrs. Stoll visited numerous countries in Europe, including Russia, Poland and Czcechoslovakia, under the “People to People” program. In 1968 they went to the Sough Pacific, Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, the Fiji Islands and Hawaii, returning by way of Mexico. That same year they went by boat to Alaska, the journey including an air trip over part of the north oil slope to two of the most northern Eskimo villages, Nome on the Bering Sea and Katzebue on the Arctic Ocean. This past fall they went to Portugal, down the west coast of Africa to South Africa, visiting Johannesburg and Capetown, then to Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia and back home by way of Lebanon, Greece and Ireland. On these trips, Dr. Stoll does not just look and “sight see”. He seeks out people, the high and the low, and talks to them as much as possible in an effort to appease his insatiable curiosity and thirst for knowledge. He strives to find out what they think, how they get along, and what they do.
And shortly, he and Mrs. Stoll are leaving for two months in Yuma, Arizona, Their friend in Rome and throughout Bradford County trus their vacation will be a pleasant one. They plan to come back home from Yuma but one does not dare count on it. “Doc” might just get an idea to go to the Fiji Islands and take off like a big bird. It would not be the first time he was there.
“Doc” Stoll is a “people to people” man. He mixes well with the high and low and has true friends on both levels. He once purchased a family cow for Gov. Lehman’s partner and purchased two herds of cattle for the late Charles Schwab, the great steel magnate. And he often recalls when he owned a tem of oxen that were in great demand for all the local fairs and parades.
And he has a touch of “the imp” in him that comes out now and then, his store of humorous happenings through his career being vast. He recalls that in 1936, he was interviewed for inclusion in “Who Is Who in the East”. A few years afterward he was included in “The International Who Is Who in Commerce and Industry”.
“I was in both of these books,” Dr. Stoll says, “because I bought them. They interviewed me later for “Who Is Who in America” but I never filled out an order for that one and never bothered to find out if I made it.”
Many of Dr. Stoll’s neighbors still remember the leadership he provided during the gas well boom of the depression-ridden 1930s.He worked hard on the project, realizing that the money obtained through the gas leases would mean much to the farmers during those bleak years. He signed up a pool of 3,000 acres, the deal including a fee of $w per acre and a “gas well” in the area covered by the pool. The well was put down on the Clayton Morris farm near Orwell but no gas was struck. However, the money obtained for the leases proved a big help to many farmers of that area.
Folks in Rome still remember the night of Jan. 20, 1959, when fire destroyed the home Dr. Stoll purchased in 1924 when he located in that community. The temperature was 20 degrees below zero and the Stoll family lost nearly all its possessions, including valuable records and photographs. This was replaced on the site by the attractive residence Dr. and Mrs. Stoll now occupy, the hard maple flooring coming from a tree of 41 –inch diameter obtained on the Stoll homestead farm. The home also includes a number of innovations made possible through Dr. Stoll’s ingenuity. Near the residence is a sufficiently convenient hospital built and owned by Dr. Robert S. Stoll for the treatment and care of animals.
In the heart-to-heart talk he gave to the 1969 graduating class of Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Stoll concluded his remarks with the following:
“Give all the talents and services you possibly can to your community and clientele. If you give enough, direct from your heart and soul, it soon starts coming back to you. You can start practicing anywhere you want, in large or small animals, and succeed if you think right, talk right, and work right with all the energy you can command.”
“Doc” Stoll adhered to this course all through his long and brilliant career. It paid off.