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Samuel Calhoun Stremmel, M.D.

STREMMEL, Samuel Calhoun, M. D.— The family of which Dr. Samuel Calhoun Stremmel, of Macomb, is a worthy representative, owes its American establishment to the Doctor's great-grandfather, a native of Germany, who settled in Jefferson, York County, Pa., which was the home also of George Stremmel, the paternal grandfather. George Stremmel, son of George and father of Samuel Calhoun, was born in 1822 and married Mary Brodbeck, who was born in 1830. The young couple devoted their energies to farming, and, after a few years near Jefferson, York County, Pa., moved to Gettysburg, Pa., where Samuel Calhoun was born July 23, 1863, and where his mother died in 1868.

While making himself useful on his father's farm. Dr. Stremmel attended the district school, and, at the age of fifteen, became a pupil in the Gettysburg High School. A year later he entered the preparatory department of Pennsylvania College, in the same town, but after two years was obliged to exchange study for teaching in Gettysburg, owing to meager financial resources. Coming to Astoria, Ill., at the end of a year, he engaged in educational work in the town and vicinity for three years, and entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons, at Chicago, from which he was graduated in the class of 1889. Locating in Macomb, he began his professional career with material assets aggregating five dollars, augmented by such invaluable aids as thorough preparation and scholarship, determination and large capacity for industry. Beginning in 1902, he took four courses in the Chicago Post-Graduate College, and supplemented these by a term in the Post-Graduate Hospital in New York.

The professional career of Dr. Stremmel has been remarkably successful, and has won him a reputation by no means local in extent. The skill he has evidenced and the confidence he has invoked have brought him many of the most gratifying and substantial compensations of his calling. Of these, none is more worthy of mention than his connection as Surgeon-in-chief at the Marietta Phelps Hospital. While this hospital reflects the splendid generosity of one of Macomb's best known and most charitable women, it is no less an expression, from the inception of its plan to Its present prominence among community interests, of the personality and achievement of Dr. Stremmel. December 22, 1899, the Doctor was called to set the broken arm of Mrs. Phelps, his treatment resulting in the complete recovery of the patient. Developing profound confidence in the professional and business ability of her physician, Mrs. Phelps proposed a donation of $10,200 for the establishment and maintenance of a hospital, providing Dr. Stremmel would assume entire responsibility for its management and control. After due consideration the Doctor submitted to Mrs. Phelps the provisos of his acceptance, viz.: that the donation be made to some organization of nurses, that it be made to the City of Macomb and to a Board of Trustees. After several weeks Mrs. Phelps rejected these proposals, and insisted upon making the donation as an individual one to Dr. Stremmel or not at all. Confronted with the responsibility of deciding whether or not Macomb should profit by so necessary an adjunct to its interests as a hospital, Dr. Stremmel accepted the proposal of the donor, and forthwith took necessary steps towards the erection and equipment of the institution. While it was in process of construction, it became apparent that the donation would fall far short of the required sum, and in this emergency Dr. Stremmel himself made up the deficiency, which amounted to about $7,500. At the end of five years the success of the hospital had been assured to the extent that an addition was necessary, and an outlay of $10,000 resulted in an increase of capacity and equipment conforming to the most modern and scientific of hospital ideals. At the present time there are thirty beds for the accommodation of patients, and in connection a training school is maintained, which, under the able management of Miss Mathilda Hoffman, is producing graduates whose efficiency is recognized by the State Association of Trained Nurses. Besides Dr. Stremmel, the Surgeon-in-chief, the hospital staff consists of Dr. J. B. Holmes, assistant surgeon; Dr. F. Russel, eye, ear, nose and throat specialist; Dr. Henry Knappenberger, kidney and heart; Dr. Elizabeth Miner, gynecologist; Dr. R. C. Sloan, diseases of the skin; Dr. Kemper Westfall, diseases of children; Dr. E. P. Jarvis, pathologist; and Dr. W. S. Adams, physician and osteopath. In the institution founded by her generosity, Mrs. Phelps spent the last years of her life, her death occurring there in January, 1901, at the age of eighty-seven years.

In addition to his other responsibilities. Dr. Stremmel has been a member of the Macomb Board of Health for the past twelve years. He is prominent fraternally, and is identified with the Macomb Lodge No. 17, A. F. & A. M., the Morse Chapter No. 19, Macomb Commandery No. 61, Mohammed Temple of the Mystic Shrine, of Peoria; the Montrose Lodge K. of P., and the Jack Oak Camp No. 102, M. W. of A. The marriage of Dr. Stremmel and Effie Stephens occurred May 25, 1887, Mrs. Stremmel being of English descent. George Stephens Stremmel, born April 14, 1897, is the only child of this union. Politically, the Doctor is a stanch Republican.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 1012-1013, extracted 30 Jul 2020 by Norma Hass.

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