Willard B. Jolls


Buffalo Evening News, December 21, 1960
Orchard Park Doctor, 90, Keeps Busy With His Hobbies
Recordings Made for History Groups As Dr. Jolls Reminisces on Old Days
By Lillian MacNaughton

Orchard Park's senior physician, and probably one of the oldest in the area, is 90 years old today. He is Dr. Willard B. Jolls of 19 S. Buffalo St., who retired from practice six months ago after 65 years of service to the community.

Dr. Jolls was born in the Cataraugus County town of Dayton. His father, a dairy farmer, died before his son was out of his teens. His Quaker mother raised him according to those beliefs, the country doctor said.

As the veteran doctor reminisced about Orchard Park as it used to be in an interview Tuesday evening, his words were being put on tape by John N. Printy, president of the Orchard Park Historical Society, and Milo V. Stewart, faculty advisor for the Frontiersmen Yorkers, Orchard Park Central School's junior high club.

Calls Made by Horse and Buggy

The term "country doctor" really applies to Dr. Jolls, as the recording will testify. When he arrived in Orchard Park with his wife in 1895, the total population was 350. The recent census put the present population at 15,876.

House calls were made by horse and buggy and Dr. Jolls owned three horses in the early days. On a busy day he used all three. Memories of long, tedious trips out in the country through deep snow to deliver a baby are still fresh. He estimates he delived about 1200 babies during his active practice.

Later, around 1910, the doctor owned one of the first automobiles in Orchard Park.

"Those high wheels really got you around," he said.

Spends Time With Hobbies

The progress in Orchard Park most welcomed by him was the installation of sewer and water systems in the late 1930s. Dr. Jolls was health officer at the time and worked hard for improvements.

Dr. Jolls has no "pat" answers for his longevity, but subscribes to the theory "that what is to be, will be." A widower for the past two years, he is looked after by his housekeeper, Miss Millie Michelfelder, who has been with him for 37 years.

When Dr. Jolls isn't busy reading medical journals, his time is spent on his hobbies which include music, photography and languages. An amateur musician, Dr. Jolls usually spends a portion of each day playing his trombone.

Most of all, he enjoys people and the visits of his many friends. Chances are that some will call today to say "happy birthday, doctor."