Dr. Joseph Schneider practiced medicine in Milwaukee for 45 years and enjoyed an international reputation as a specialist in ophthalmology and otology. Born in Weigelsdorf, Silesia, Germany in 1845, he came to America in the early 1880s, not intending on relocating, but settled in Milwaukee. Before starting his practice in Milwaukee, Dr. Schneider had practiced for 10 years in Wuerzburg, Germany and attended clinics in Paris, London, and Vienna.
It has been estimated that Dr. Schneider saw no less than one hundred eighty thousand patients in his 45-year career. He enjoyed an international reputation and clients came to his office on Water Street from throughout the United States and even from as far away as China.
Dr. Schneider passed away in Milwaukee in 1927. In his will he gifted a tract of 65 acres (or 63 acres by some accounts) to the city of Milwaukee, to be known as Doctor’s Park. Note the apostrophe. That was lost through time and we happily operate apostrophe-less today.
In 1937 Doctors Park was transferred, under the administration of Mayor Daniel Hoan, to what is now our Milwaukee County Parks. At this time, several parks in the city of Milwaukee were transferred into what residents recognize today as the Milwaukee County Parks System. As stated in the deed: “The above described premises are sold and conveyed upon the express condition that the same shall be used forever solely and exclusively as a public park, amusement and recreation grounds and shall bear the name, to wit, Doctor’s Park.”
Dr. Schneider enjoyed gardening and nature and apparently wanted to ensure that others could enjoy the property that gave him and his family so much enjoyment.