How Dr. Scholl (yes, THAT Dr. Scholl) helped spawn the famous Tuholski Farms in LaPorte

By Jessica Kuiphoff, Candace Jongkind and Becca Kuehn, LaPorte High School students

Peter Scholl was born on Oct. 28, 1844, in Prussia, Germany. At the age of seven, he and his family moved to America. They settled on a farm in La Porte, Indiana, where his family was raised. They moved to Kankakee Township and operated a dairy farm.

Peter Scholl was enlisted in the 83rd Indiana regiment, Company D, in the Civil War. He was discharged in 1863. Peter Scholl married Emma Webber in 1871, and they had a son, Joseph. When Emma died, Peter married Mrs. Clara Hanna, and they had Barbara, Peter, William, and Frank. After Clara had died, Peter then had a third wife, Ella Luso, and they had John, Clara, Edward, George, Frederick and Herbert.

William Scholl, commonly known as Dr. Scholl, did not share the same aspirations as his farmer father. Instead, feet captivated Dr. Scholl. In World War I, the military was in search of a good work shoe for men in the service. Dr. Scholl, although never holding a doctorate, earned his nickname of Dr. Scholl by producing quality footwear for the military. Scholl’s creation provided him with a fair amount of money. Soon, however, the Depression hit in the 1930s, and Scholl directed his focus on the needs of LaPorte, Indiana, his hometown. Dr. Scholl bought land in order to sharecrop with other farmers in need. Two of these farmers were Mary and Joseph Tuholski.

Mary Pahs and Joseph Tuholski, married on April 27, 1946, were both born to small-town farm families. Mary was originally from Michigan City, where she lived on the Pahs family farm. Joseph, however, lived in LaPorte his entire life. The two wed in Michigan City and soon moved to LaPorte. In pursuit of farmland, the newlyweds sharecropped with Dr. William Scholl. Dr. Scholl eventually sold his four hundred acres of farmland to the Tuholskis on January 24, 1961.

As Joseph and Mary began to purchase land in LaPorte County, they founded Tuholski Farms Inc. on April 1, 1980. Their children, Bill, Larry, Barb, Dale, and Norman, were accustomed to life on the farm. From an early age, the children were expected to assist with daily farm work. Although difficult and monotonous, the chores taught the children the importance of hard work and provided them with a strong sense of dedication and commitment. The children were often rewarded at holidays for their devotion to the farm, since work was year-round and vacations were non-existent.

Family involvement on Tuholski Farms is still evident today. Because the farm is no longer a dairy farm, the family’s main focus is agriculture. The children and grandchildren of Joseph and Mary Tuholski are the farm’s primary employees. A conjoined effort between family members is crucial to the farm’s success.

The farm’s advancement in technology and equipment has progressed through the years and is still an ongoing process. Recently, the farm has taken a new approach in the production of crops in order to become more environmentally friendly. Instead of tilling the farmland in preparation for crops, the farm has acquired a no-till technique — the new crop is planted in the old crop’s remains. When not using the no-till method, the farm implements a mulch-tilled process. In 2008, Dale Tuholski was awarded the Conservation Farmer of the Year Award. This was the first year that a farmer from LaPorte had been presented with this prestigious state award.

JESSICA KUIPHOFF, CANDACE JONGKIND AND BECCA KUEHN are all students in LPHS teacher Greg Fruth’s Expository Writing class.

22 Responses to “How Dr. Scholl (yes, THAT Dr. Scholl) helped spawn the famous Tuholski Farms in LaPorte”

  1. Mike Sitar

    May 30. 2009

    Once again (and as always) Mr. Fruth’s students do a great job. I hope our community fully appreciates what he does for our children.

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  2. Nick Borns

    Apr 23. 2010

    I just happened across your website while looking at a google map of LaPorte County. My effort to locate my grandfathers’ farm was fuitless as LaPorte has changed so much and I could not remember the directions from his town home at 602 E. Lincolnway to the farm. His name was John Scholl Sr. and he owned the Scholl Dairy in LaPorte and Michigan City. His brother was Dr. William Scholl, who I knew as “Uncle Doc”. I did not know about the sharecropper event and found it quite interesting. I think it is wonderful that teachers still get students interested in history, especially to see how one persons actions can have an effect on so many others later in time.

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  3. Gail Scholl Thornquist

    Jul 04. 2010

    Apparently we belong to the same family. I remember The Scholl Dairy from when I was a girl. When we visited Casa Del Lago we would have their milk and my sisters and I didn’t like it. Great Ice Cream tho. As a teen, my Dad Robert P. Scholl would have the trucks from the Arno factory bring him ice cream from the dairy to Chicago for us. Also remember our Great Grandmother. Our Grandmother (Elizabeth Scholl, Peter’s wife) would take us to La Porte to visit. They were good times.

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  4. Gail Scholl Thornquist

    Aug 31. 2010

    By the Way Nick, your Grandfather happend to be my godfather. He and Aunt Margaret always remembered my birthdays as I was growing up.

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  5. Nick Borns

    Jan 18. 2011


    Should have come back to this site some time ago. I don’t remember Robert Scholl as we lived in Gary. My daughter and niece are interested in building up some family history. Perhaps we can communicate somehow and get more information on the Scholl side of the family. I also remember the Arno factory (arno tape). I presently live in Aberdeen, MD.

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  6. Dennis Scholl

    Jul 27. 2011

    Dr Scholl, my great uncle owned the Scholl dairy in both Laporte and Mich. City after his father died. John Scholl ran Laporte and my father George ran Michigan City in the 50s thru the 70s

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  7. Gail Scholl Thornquist

    Aug 08. 2011

    Nick I haven’t been back to the site either. Have your daughters check on Facebook Gail Scholl Thornquist One of my daughters was big into family history a few years back. We live in South FLorida.

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  8. Gail Scholl Thornquist

    Oct 02. 2011

    We sure were a large and diverse family. My Grandfather was Peter 3rd. He died when my dad Robert Peter Scholl was 12 and his sisters even younger. My grandmother was Elizabeth (Eliza). I remember the cousins from LaPorte a little. But then it was probably 60 years ago. Does anyone remember the bandaids that Scholl’s made? They were terrible and we used to sneak Johnsons and Johnson into the box because they would stick.
    But the Scholls we grew up with were Frank Sr. sons and daughter. They were my Dad’s cousins. Charles, Frank, Bill, Barbara and Allen.

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  9. Gail Scholl Thornquist

    Aug 30. 2012

    Hey Scholl Family, pull up Casa Del Lago Long Beach Indiana. Go to the site that says Long Beach Vacation Rentals 280′ Lake Front.
    It has pictures showing the remodeled House. Still recognize the rooms however and last time I was there was 1956. Does anyone remember the picture over the fireplace with the eyes that followed you all over?

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  10. Eric F. Scholl

    Jan 21. 2013

    Hello all –
    While doing an update on Scholl family history, I ran across this website.
    Wow – a lot of Scholl’s posting here!
    Not sure if anyone is using but it so, check out my site and see if you have any information that could augment our family history!

    Reply to this comment
  11. Nick Borns

    Sep 05. 2013

    Hello all, especially Eric and Gail. I do have an account and have some things on it, mostly for the Borns family. I will try to get to your site. In the meantime, my email is I have also found some photos that may have some common ancestors when my siblings and I went through stuff from our mother. I think it would be great to trade some stories. I do remember Uncle Frank. He had jackasses and mules, as I recall. We would ride over from Grandpas’ farm (John Scholl, Far-A-Way farm) on his horses. My mom has passed, but her brother (my uncle Johnny) lives in Georgia with one of his daughters. Maybe after I check out your site and Casa del Lago, we can communicate more frequently.

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  12. John (Jack) Borns

    Sep 05. 2013

    Nick, the correct address was 608 E. Lincoln Way and the farm was 9 miles East of LaPorte and about a mile East of the Oak Grove Cemetary (which a long time ago was the location of a one room school house). John Duda or his son still live just before the turn off to the farm lane. I don’t know who owns it now but it used to be Jimmy Depoi.

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  13. david malott

    Apr 28. 2014

    my father was the farm manager in the early 1940s

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  14. Anne Weir

    Sep 15. 2014

    My mother, née Nancy Atkinson, is now 93 y/ o. We were watching tv when a Dr Scholl ad came on and she mentioned remembering a nephew of Dr Scholl being picked up at LaPorte high school in a limo! Never heard this before. Must have been impressive just post-depression !

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  15. Bruce R. Johnson

    Mar 16. 2015

    Dr. William M. Scholl studied medicine at Loyola University in Chicago and graduated from Chicago Medical School in 1922. He practiced medicine in Chicago until 1946 while also directing the Scholl Manufacturing Company he founded to make Dr. Scholl’s foot care products. “Dr. Scholl” was not a nickname that he picked up in the military during WWI. That part of the story is not true. He was not in the military in WWI as he was in Chicago practicing medicine and developing foot care products for his company.

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  16. Gail Scholl Thornquist

    Mar 28. 2015

    It’s funny how everyone remembers things differently. Dr. Scholl or Uncle Doc as we called him was really a very nice man. He helped all the members of his family. Especially family members that had children with handicaps. We used to love visiting Casa Del Lago. from Chicago. But I don’t remember him practicing medicine in 1946. Granted I was only 10 but I remember seeing him at Scholl Mfg. Co. when we went to visit my Dad at work. And when I started working there summers in 1952, he was usually in his office when he was in Chicago.. Rode up the elevator with him many times.

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  17. karl scholl

    Aug 23. 2015

    Well never seen so much on the Scholl family. My brother Eric (posted above) seemed to have failed to share this site.

    I was a bit young to remember much of Doc Scholl but always enjoy hearing stories, etc. and would agree with all, he was a very nice man. My dad (A.P. Scholl) and I visited the farm and beach house in June. Always interesting to learn more about family and what happened in the La Porte area. Mostly what I remember visiting Casa Del Lago was the great beach and the scary basement… that bucking headless horse (mechanic horse) was too much for my young age. Anyone remember that horse?

    I do remember the Scholl ice cream…when visited as a youth.

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  18. Gail Scholl Thornquist

    Sep 17. 2015

    My sisters and brothers loved that headless horse. At times we slept in the bedrooms on the floor that held the bar and that was a little scary. But Harman was usually there and he would tell us he would protect us. That was back in the 40’s and very early 50’s. Wonder if the people who bought it kept the bar room. that was beautiful.
    And how about the picture in the living room that had eyes that followed you all over?
    My Parents were Bob and Dorothy Scholl, grandparents Peter and Elizabeth. John Scholl Sr was my godfather and Aunt Margaret wrote me long rambling letters for years.
    I retired from Neiman Marcus in Ft Lauderdale and at one time worked in the Credit Department. A lady came to the window and I saw that she lived in LaPorte. I mentioned that I had family there. Turns out she knew Aunt Catherine and lived across from one of her daughters. Small world.

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  19. Pam

    Feb 14. 2016

    John Scholl, nephew of Dr. Scholl was my Flotilla Commander in Bradenton, Florida. Is he now living in Georgia? I miss him!

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  20. James Drury

    Jun 28. 2016

    My Grandmother was Martha Scholl, B. 1899 D. 1977 She married Frank Trinowski and had one son Francis. He had 2 children, myself and Susan.

    Her Father was Jacob Scholl and his Wife Mary (Forte)
    They had about 13 children, but only a few survived. My Grandmother, a sister “Till”, married to Nick Moser, Father Charles Scholl a Catholic priest in Indiana, Sister M. Salome Scholl a nun. Then there was a George and Frank Scholl whose prayer card was in my Grandmothers personal papers. I have no idea who these gentlemen were.

    I was told that Dr. William and my great grandfather Jacob were brothers. I remember hearing stories of trips to Laporte to a Dairy Farm from my father. Also, some relatives in the Warsaw, Indiana area were mentioned on occasion.

    At one time there was a photo online of the entire family taken about 1910, my grandmother is in the photo, along with her mother and father. It appears that my great grandmother’s brother married a Scholl. I do not know for sure. I was able to determine my great Grandmother was born in Moselle, France.

    I have more info if anyone wants it.

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    • Gail Scholl Thornquisr

      Aug 06. 2016

      So interesting James. I have a copy of that picture from the computer.
      It was taken in 1908. We had a large and diverse family. Grew up in Chicago so the only time I met family From Michigan City or LaPorte was when our grandmother Eliza Scholl took us or at weddings and funerals.

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  21. Gail Scholl Thornquisr

    Feb 23. 2017

    In 1852 Peter Scholl came to America with his family. Jacob, Katherine, Joseph, Mary, Suzanne, Nicholas, Matthias and Peter.
    The younger Peter was my great grandfather and the father of Dr. William Scholl, one of his 12 children. So James, that would make JAcob an uncle to ” Uncle Doc”.
    Got this infomation from a program from 1924 on my great grandfather Peter’s 80th Birthday. Was found in my grandmother’s papers.

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