Milverton-Wellesley Veterinary Services
Dr. Earl Coxon
August 14, 1917 to December 18, 2014
Lunch with a Legend
On November 22, 2011 many of the vets and staff had lunch with a good friend and founder of our Clinic, Dr. Earl Coxon. This lunch had a special purpose, firstly to have a time of fellowship with Earl, and secondly, to glean from him more background information about the early years of the veterinary clinic.
At the age of 94, Earl stood a little stooped over but his memory was still very sharp. Earl graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1941 and he purchased the practice and house of Dr. J.J. Bodendistle on Queens Bush Road in Wellesley that same year. Earl and his wife Bernice worked out of this house for many years before building the Wellesley Clinic in 1964. The Milverton Clinic started off as a small office upstairs in the Milverton Stockyards before building the present location at 93 Main Street North in 1978. Dr. Hugh Black was Earl’s first partner and Dr. Pat Wall, Dr. Ray Galbraith, and Dr. Lloyd Meek were his final partners. Earl retired from practice in the spring of 1979 and Dr. Bill Hazen started as an associate that same year. Dr. Paul Freiburger started at the clinic as a summer student that year as well.
During their retirement years in Wellesley, Dr. Earl Coxon and wife Bernice invited all the veterinarians and many of the staff to their home for a scrumptious noon hour lunch once each winter. They tried to keep in touch with who was working at the clinic and they were somewhat disappointed if staff members did not show up for the dinner.
Earl reminisced about many cases and adventures in veterinary medicine from his years in practice. He treated his first uterine prolapse at Dr. Paul Freiburger’s great grandfather’s farm – Louis Freiburger on Hessen Strasse near Bamburg. He also talked about being storm stayed with wife Bernice at Eli Albrecht’s farm east of Millbank for almost a week in the late 1940s. His best story was of being called out by a farmer near Lisbon on a blustery winter day to treat his sick horse. Earl told the client he could not get to the farm because of the deep snow on the roads. The client told Earl he would be willing to pick him up with his horse and sleigh. So Earl agreed to go to the farm, and the client picked him up with his sleigh. After Earl treated the horse, the client asked how much he owed. Earl told him $2.00, but then thought it was only right that he should ask the client how much he owed him for the ride out to the farm and back home. The client told Earl he made two trips, one out and one back to the farm; that would be $4.00. So Earl paid the client $4.00 for the trip to the farm then received only $2.00 for treating the horse – not a very profitable trip.