Dr. M. H. Thielen
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 10/10/2016 at 10:27:21
History of His Life
The following history of Dr. Thielen's life was prepared by him a few months ago as a permanent record of the Grundy Rotary club of which he was a member and a past president. It was Dr. Thielen's wish when the history was compiled that it be published when the record of his life was written:
Dr. M. H. Thielen
November 3, 1866, the Kingdom of the Kaiser welcomed a boy upon whom, as upon all male children, he planned his future protection and army. But my lot was not so directed. When I was ten, my mother with three daughters and two sons came to this country. Father had died on February 16, 1876. Two older brothers were already here and living in Black Hawk county. I was the youngest of seven children.
I was not long in learning the language of my adopted country. We came directly to Waterloo, arriving there on the 18th day of December, 1876. Coming from the Rhine Province where overshoes, gloves, and overcoats were not needed, and walking from the Illinois Central depot over the Fourth Street bridge, the only bridge at that time, to the Commercial House, where my brothers had rooms engaged for us, we thought it a very cold reception. In the Spring, Mother and I moved to the country, Orange Township, where I started school.
By the time the term was over, I could talk English quite fluently. My teacher's name was Julius Cesar. I am sure a better teacher than Julius Caesar of old. He was proud of my advancement and invited the county superintendent to hear me read, spell, and work problems. I caught up with children of my age and kept right on advancing, and growing in stature and wisdom. My teen years were spent on the farm; I know of no better place for a young boy to develop. Although young, I found work during the summer and school during the winter months. This continued until I was 18 years old.
I moved with the people for whom I had worked several years to New Mexico onto a ranch of 25,000 acres, well stocked with blooded Hereford cows. My work was looking after the cattle, at quite an advance in salary. At the age of 21 I returned to Iowa and entered the Western Normal College at Shenandoah, remained there one term, and then transferred to Iowa State Normal School at Cedar Falls. While I boarded out in the country I did various jobs for my keep. I graduated from the Normal School in 1894 and the following year I was principal of the high school at Avoca, Iowa. I saw no future in school teaching for me. In the fall of 1895 I entered the Medical Department of our State University from which I graduated in 1898. Thus I spent seven years in college at a cash expense of $700. Much hard work was done during the week and on Saturday. I waited on tables and was manager of a boarding club for two years.
During the summer of 1898 I located in Chanute, Kansas. Here I had met a most charming young lady, who became Mrs. Thielen. We were married January 11, 1899. To us were born four children, two sons and two daughters. We were a very happy family together until Mrs. Thielen died December 18, 1931.
We lived in Chanute only a few weeks when Dr. McAlvin, whom some of you remember, invited me to join him in practice here. I have continued in my profession in the city and county ever since.
Every man has a hobby. My hobby is travel. I have been twice across the country from East to West, from Canada to Mexico, and have visited most of the great cities.
I see the shadows gathering on a life I hope not to have lived in vain. When the call comes, I hope to have my house in order, fortified by the Christian principles of my Catholic religion.
--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 28 February 1946, pg 12
Grundy Biographies maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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