Historic Iola: Iola's Dr. Loope

© Photographed December 17, 2013
Erected 2013 by Iola Historical Society
Iola, Waupaca County, Wisconsin

Member of First University of Wisconsin Football Team
The office and home of Dr. T.E. Loope, a member of the first organized University of Wisconsin football team back in 1889, stood on this site. Truman Elbert Loope was born on May 3, 1870, in Eureka, Wis., and graduated from the University of Madison Medical School in 1891. He began his Iola practice in 1899, became completely blind in the fall of 1928, but prior to his death on Dec. 6, 1942, had continued practicing for several more years.

An interview conducted by a reporter for The Capital Times while he was in Madison attending the 50th anniversary of his graduation from medical school was published on Sunday, June 22, 1941, and reprinted in the Iola Herald on Thursday, June 26, 1941, revealed some astonishing and interesting facts.

“There were hundreds of alumni back on the University of Wisconsin campus Saturday (on June 21, 1941),” the reporter stated, “but the one happiest to 'see' old friends, was a 71-year-old blind man from Iola, Wis., who played on the first Badger football team back in 1889. Dr. Truman E. Loope lost his eyesight after catching a severe cold at the Wisconsin-Minnesota football game in Madison in 1928, but he had a grand time as the class of 1891 held its reunion Saturday.”
(Continued on other side)

(Continued from other side)
"I remember how football started at the University," Dr. Loope state to the reporter.“Charley Meyers went east, heard about it and came back wanting to have a team. I remember Meyers and Bill Blackburn and I talked about it all through one chemistry laboratory session. We had a hard time getting players. No one paid much attention to us, and some thought we were crazy. But we got 11 fellows together. We chipped in, bought canvas jackets and pants, and then got red stocking caps for headgear. We used old newspapers for padding.

“Not a single one of us had seen a game when we played the first time in Milwaukee against the Milwaukee Athletic Club. They had former college players from the east and how they licked us! Our mustaches were dragging on the ground when we came home,” Dr. Loope continued. “But we got better as we went along. We thought we were pretty good the next year when we beat Whitewater Normal 108-0, but then we played Minnesota the last game of the year and they beat us 61-0.”

Recalling the last time he saw a football game, Dr. Loope recounted: “I came down here in 1928 to see Wisconsin and Minnesota on a raw cold day. I could see fairly well then, but I caught cold on the way home and when I got over the cold my eyes were sealed up tight. Since then I only see the games we used to play.”
The marker is located alongside southbound South Main Street / County Road G, just south of its intersection with West State Street / Wisconsin Route 49, Iola, Wisconsin 54945.

NOTE: The marker is adjacent to the Iola Public Library, located at 180 South Main Street, Iola, Wisconsin 54945.

NOTE: This is a two-sided marker.

This is a very nice article about the marker dedication; the news video is imbedded below.

Dr. T. E. Loope, summer of 1941; died December 1941

This is side one of the marker . . .

University of Wisconsin's first football team, 1889.

The marker is easy to locate and access.
Looking north on South Main Street / County Road G.

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