Are We Eugene’s Original Animal Hospital?

Jim Johnson   June 11, 2014   Comments Off on Are We Eugene’s Original Animal Hospital?

Newspaper article about Dr. August Baronti from December 6, 1945I recently reinstated the History page on our website, and in the process stumbled across some interesting information that makes me wonder… is it possible that Animal Health Associates is the oldest animal hospital in the city?

We have always traced our origins back to 1947, which is the year that we were told Dr. August Baronti founded Baronti’s Small Animal Clinic at 2835 Willamette St. However, I now believe the clinic was founded at least two, and possibly as many as four, years earlier.

The other day I typed Dr. Baronti’s name into Google. In the past, that has not given me any new information; but this time I received a couple of interesting hits. Apparently Google has started indexing old newspapers using OCR (optical character recognition), including the December 6, 1945 issue of the Register-Guard, shown above. Read the short piece entitled “Lions Learn To Train And Feed Dog” (this refers to the Lions Club, of course, not the big cats.) The author refers to Dr. Baronti as the owner of the veterinary hospital in Eugene. Could that mean the only?

Here’s another clue that indicates Dr. Baronti may have been here as early as 1943.  Here’s the text from an article in The Times, October 1, 1943:

BELMONT, Oct. 1. — Dr. and Mrs. Horace Duckenfield Jr. have arrived from Texas A. M. and are house guests of Mr. and Mrs. Horace Duckenfield Sr. at the family home on the old highway here. Dr. Duckenfield was graduated in veterinary medicine from Texas A. M. last Friday. He is now doctor of veterinary medicine. Arriving with him were Dr. August Baronti of Eureka and Dr. G. H. Stewart of Pasadena. They were overnight guests at the Duckenfield home. Mrs. Dlckenfield is the former Lucile · Vick of Bryan, Texas Their marriage was a” important circles. social event in college Dr. Duckenfield was graduated from the Belmont school, Sequoia high school and attended San Mateo junior college. Yhp whole family, including Mr. and Mrs. Horace Duckenfield Sr., leave this week for Portland, Ore., where Dr. Duckenfield will take the test before the Oregon state board.

This is taken directly from the OCR output, which is obviously error-prone. I think it is more likely that “Eureka” is actually “Eugene”, either poorly translated or perhaps entered incorrectly. I also have no idea what city The Times was published in. Still, this a tantalizing clue – I’m tempted to pay the $79.95 subscription fee to newspapers.com to see the original article.