Monday, October 11, 2021

Milliron Monday: In the News 1969

Dr. Smith and his assistant James Keirns in the operation room.

Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017), including his wife Jody (1938-2021). 

" is among the most complete hospitals for the 
treatment of sick or injured animals to be found in the state.." 

From The Athens Messenger, Sunday, November 9, 1969
Story by George Lovell
Photo by Ken Steinhoff

Milliron Clinic Only Part of Area Vet's Plans
     Two related events became increasingly important to the eastern section of Athens County's Ames Township and might eventually have some impact on a wider area of Southeastern Ohio.
     One is the completion of Milliron Clinic. The other is the purchase by Dr. Abbott Smith, the clinic's founder, of the Fred Phillips farm.
     The Milliron Clinic is along Route 50A opposite the entrance to Windy Hills Farm. It has been under construction for some time, and it is among the most complete hospitals for the treatment of sick or injured animals to be found in the state. Dr. Smith says that his clinic has some modern facilities which are not yet available at the Veterinary School of Ohio State University.
     The clinic facilities are housed in two adjacent buildings. The offices are in a brick building which is entered from the parking lot which is on the opposite side of the building from Route 50A. 
     The entrance is decorated with a mural which shows horses and other animals owned by the Smiths against a background of local scenery which includes the nearby McDougal Church. The mural is the work of Sharyn Bickle. Other decorative features include an aquarium and a table featuring a shadow boxed sea shell display.
     Besides the office, this building has two consultation rooms for examination of small animals, a dispensary, a darkroom and storage areas.
     Larger animals, such as horses, have their own quarters in an adjacent frame building. It contains stalls and an indoor corral equipped with a mechanical exerciser. Facilities for X-raying and administering anesthetics are available here.
     They are near a unique hydraulically-controlled operating table. This table can be put into a vertical position and a patient walked to its side. After the animal has been fastened to it and anesthetized, the table is rotated to a horizontal position. Casters are placed under it, and it is rolled to the operating room in the main building.
     Following an operation, the table is rolled to a recovery room in the frame building. Here the patient is deposited on a clay floor which has been covered with fresh hay. Foam rubber covers the side of this room to prevent the possibility of an animal injuring itself.
     When he named the clinic, Dr. Smith was not aware that Milliron was a family name in this part of the country. He explained that a milliron is a piece of metal which holds a lathe shaft to a pillow block. He adopted the shape of this as a brand design for his livestock when he lived in Colorado.
     The clinic occupies a small portion of the 280-acre farm which the Smiths have occupied for some time. They have cattle, riding horses, dogs, sheep, goats, burros and ducks on the premises. From this, the conclusion that they are an outdoor oriented family is fairly obvious.
     Just as the clinic was being completed the Smiths were able to acquire the 760-acre Fred Phillips farm which stretches across Route 50A and extends along a part of Athens Route 3 near the intersection with Routes 691 and 50A. W.P. "Bill" Clark of Strout Reality negotiated the transaction which he says involved one of the largest tracts of land to change ownership in Athens County recently.
     Dr. Smith hopes to develop gradually his combined holdings into a recreational area. He views this as a gradual transformation to be accomplished over a number of years.
     Meanwhile, persons who wish to ride or hike over the area are welcome to do so, as long as they close gates and refrain from leaving litter behind. Because of the frequent presence of horseback riders and hikers, the 1,040 acre tract has been declared a game preserve and no hunting is permitted.
     Among Smith's long range plans is laying out restricted 5 to 10-acre home sites on the part of his tract roughly north of Route 50A. These sites will be so planned as to appeal to buyers who would like to live in the country with enough land around them so that they can own pleasure horses.
     One of the first things Smith hopes to do is start a cow and calf raising operation which can utilize corn grown on his bottom lands as well as the grass which grows abundantly on many of the acres. Smith also has some sheep grazing on his farm, accompanied by goats to keep dogs away.
     There is a possibility that Smith may eventually be able to construct a lake on part of his property which is adjacent to 691. All the land which comprises the watershed of two creeks which would feed the lake is located on his property.
     The countryside in the vicinity of the proposed lake offers a variety of interesting visual experiences to the hiker or rider. There are sandstone cliffs and several huge chunks of sandstone which have fallen from them so long ago that they have now been split by the roots of good size trees.
     Development of the area probably will take years, because it must be cleared of thorn bearing locust trees. However, it might be attractive to some campers in its present wild state.
     It is the location closest to Athens which has been suggested for development of this type of recreational facility. Service station employees and others in the Athens vicinity say they have frequent inquiries about camping facilities in the area. They usually direct those who ask about such facilities either to the Burr Oak region near Glouster or to Royal Oak Park off Route 7 north of Pomeroy. Smith's projected camp sites would be considerably closer than either of these.

Have a great week ahead.

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.


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