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Over a hundred years of history, yet we still have the same mission.
John W. Clark with his wife, Sarah Alice, and six year old son, George LeRoy, arrived in Columbia City in the Fall of 1889 from Stratford, Ontario, Canada. John had owned a livery stable there, and had a reputation for treating various ailments, including lameness of horses. He was known as “Doc” Clark.
John’s wife had begged him to move south from the harsh winters of Canada, and their destination was to be Kentucky. Arriving in Columbia City, Mrs. Clark read in “The Columbia City Commercial” of an outbreak of small pox in Northern Kentucky. The decision was made not to go any further south.
Living in a rental property on North Line Street, John opened a practice of animal medicine in a livery stable just east of the Baptist Church on the northeast corner of Van Buren and Walnut Streets. Three years later, he moved to the Pontius Drug Store on the north side of the Court House Square. Consultations with medications cost fifteen to fifty cents, farm calls were charged at one to two dollars. The year was 1893.
The next move was to a large home with a summer kitchen building and barn on the property at 110 W. Jackson Street. The purchase of this was made possible by Mrs. Clark’s insurance money upon her death.
In 1906, John’s son, George LeRoy, graduated from the Ontario School of Veterinary Medicine in Guelph, Ontario. The school later moved to London, Ontario. Degrees in Veterinary Medicine were given by passing a final written exam after completing three years of classes of six months each year.
Roy, as he was called by all, returned home to join his father in practice. At that time, the summer kitchen was converted into a pharmacy. A kennel room and a surgery room were soon added to provide pet animal and swine operations. The barn, in addition to horse stalls, had a large animal operating table. Through the years, renovations were constantly made to the hospital.
Dr. Roy, for the next forty years, practiced Veterinary Medicine in Whitley County. During that time, Dr. Striggle moved into South Whitley, and they were the only college-trained Veterinarians practicing in the county. Toward the end of his practice life, Dr. Roy was bothered with a heart condition, and he signed one-year contracts to Graduate Veterinarians yearning for experience. There were four of them. Drs. J. Hillshimer, Ben Blood, Nat Turner and M.M. Coble. Dr. Coble stayed on in the practice, and on January 1, 1946, was joined by Dr. Roy’s nephew, Clark Waterfall. Clark Waterfall had returned from overseas duty with the U.S. Army of occupation in Germany. During their partnership, for three years in the 50’s, they had a satellite office in the McCoy Lumber Yard in Churubusco. Churubusco did not have a resident Veterinarian at that time. Farm clients also were served in southern Noble, western Kosciosko, northern Allen Counties, and as far east as Ari.
The Coble / Waterfall partnership ended with Dr. Coble’s retirement in 1976. It had endured 34 years, the longest at that time, Veterinary partnership in the state. Dr.Waterfall was a lone practitioner for two years until Dr. Richey joined the practice in 1976. After years at the downtown location, a house was purchased on State Rd. 9 North in 1987. Additions were made into a modern Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Waterfall retired in 1994, and Dr. Richey became sole owner of the practice. During Dr. Waterfall’s tenure, the practice changed from 85% treatment of farm animals to 99% companion animals.
In 1992 Dr. Richey added Dr. Colleen Quinn as a partner in the veterinary practice. Dr. Quinn purchased the practice in 2003 and continues to operate the hospital with the same passion and philosophies of the many great Dr.’s before.
To develop a practice where patients and clients feel welcome and well cared for through our excellent veterinary care, our positive attitudes, and our compassion and empathy, while always striving to improve both our knowledge and ourselves in a safe, enriching work environment.
Our mission is to provide quality veterinary care to ALL of our patients. We provide excellent service, education and empathy to our clients, and create a positive and enriching work environment for our staff.