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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now?

My great uncle, George Boehler, was an interesting man.  He was born in Beatrice, Nebraska , April 6, 1888.  In 1893 he moved with his family to Alma, Nebraska.  He graduated from Alma High School in 1905.  George is in the back row, 5th from the left.

He went on to Dentistry school at Creighton in Omaha Nebraska and graduated from there in 1908.  In 1910 he has a practice in Alma and stays there until WWI.

George was stationed at Base Hospital No. 49 holding the rank of Lieutenant and later Major of the Dental Reserve.  Upon returning home from the war he practiced dentistry in Omaha rising high in the ranks of his profession.  He served for 10 years as a member of the State Dental Examining Board and was a President of the Nebraska Dental Alumni.  He frequently contributed to various medical journals including, "The Removal of Palatal Bone Tumors and Growths" which he presented to the Midwest Association of Anesthetists at their tenth Annual Congress of Anesthetists in New York City.
After returning from the war he continued with his studies spending time at Northwestern University in Chicago and Queens College of Arts, Cambridge England.  He built a national reputation for himself for skill in dental and plastic surgery.

George's most noted plastic surgery was making an ear for a gentleman who had lost his.  According to the Omaha World Hearld, December 20, 1919 on the front page,
"An interesting piece of work in facial reconstruction was successfully completed Monday when Anthony Robinet, 21 years of age, left for his home in Hospers, IA, with a new right ear to take the place of his own which was severed from his head in an accident eight years ago. 
The ear was modeled by Dr. George M. Boehler and tinted to reproduce the translucent appearance of the natural ear by Donne Powell.  The ear was fastened to the head by Dr. J.P. Lord.
Dr Boehler, who was a member of the Nebraska Base Hospital, No. 49, studied facial reconstruction in Sidcup,  the Queen's hospital in London.
In modeling the ear, he first reproduced the natural ear in wax, and from this model made a mold into which he poured the composition of which the ear was finally made.
Dr. Lord fastened the ear to the head by a means of platinum wires which are concealed in openings in the head.  The finished ear is difficult to detect as artificial, so nearly is it reproduced in color and form. "Gee," said Robinet, "I can't begin to tell you how much it means to me."
The operation was the first of its kind to be performed in Omaha."

The World Hearld had a more comical view on the new ear on January 6, 1920.
"Our correspondent at Hospers, IA, reports that Anthony Robinet of that thriving metropolis, recently had an artificial ear hung on him in place of the one sliced off eight years ago, and that the beneficiary later remarked:
"This gives me a new outlook on life!"
A man who can see through his ear is remarkable."

George was not all about work though.  He was listed continually in the Omaha Society pages.  When he wasn't going to gatherings he was hosting them.  On March 27, 1932, George was listed in the Omaha World Hearld in an article about Omaha's Bachelor's Charms.  The description of George goes like this.
"Makes lots of money by fixing teeth of best people.  Likes music and theater.  Sober and kind.  Belongs to clubs and has stunning black and red roadster.  Travels a lot to Europe and here.  Popular. Goes home from parties at midnight"
When asked why he wasn't married, he was quoted in the Omaha World Hearld on April 12, 1931 as saying,
"Why I never married?" echoed Dr. George M. Boehler, young, good looking bachelor dentist, then answered, "I just can't fool 'em. " Just like that."

George died on June 5, 1933 following complications of Gall Bladder surgery.  His place of residence at the time was 102 S. 52nd St., Omaha Nebraska.  His funeral was held at St. Margaret Mary's Catholic Church in Omaha on 61st and Dodge.  He is buried in the Alma Cemetery in Alma Nebraska.

***One side remembers that there was a picture of George with Anthony Robinet with the new ear but we have not seen the picture in many years.  We are not sure what happened to it but it would be a gem to have today.

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