John J. Theorell, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of John J. Theorell

DR. JOHN J. THEORELL. A strong and noble figure in the professional life of Porter county is that of Dr. John J. Theorell, who as teacher, minister and physician has devoted his energies toward the education, the uplifting and the helping of his fellow man. To him the prerequisites of each profession have been the advantages it gave him of doing good. Himself a man of broad mind, fine character and high attainments, his influence and his labors in each of these connections have been of such a character as to make his life of signal usefulness to his fellow men.

Dr. Theorell was born in Sweden, on the 26th of August, 1848, and by birth and environment were shaped his tendencies toward professional life. His father was Paul Jonsson and his mother was Carna Poulson. Both were born, reared and educated in Sweden and there were married in 1847. The father was summoned to life eternal on November 15, 1875, being survived many years by his devoted wife, who joined him in the life beyond on the 10th of October, 1899. They were the parents of twelve children, and of the six now living (1912) three are residents of the United States and three remain in Sweden. Paul Jonsson was a public school teacher in Sweden and was well prepared for the profession he made his life work, having been a graduate of the teachers' course in the University of Lund.

Dr. Theorell received his preparatory education under the careful instruction of his father and later took the same course of training in the University of Lund that his father had pursued and was graduated from that institution in 1872. He then took up the duties of a public school teacher and followed the profession until 1887, in which year he immigrated to the United States, locating first in Chicago. Shortly after his arrival here he spent three months in the lumber camps of Michigan, but returned to Chicago and from there joined his mother's brother in Greenview, Illinois. His ability and educational qualifications becoming known, his services as a teacher were soon sought and for some time he was an instructor in a Congregational school in Greenview. Later he was called upon to take up the duties of pastor of the Congregational church there, and afterward became a student in the theological seminary at Rock Island, Illinois, from which he was graduated on June 5, 1890. Following his ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran ministry, he became pastor of the church of that denomination at Elkhart, Indiana, and served there four years. He was then transferred to the pastorate of the South Chicago Evangelical Lutheran church, where he remained two years. In the meantime, attracted by the opportunities for doing good with which the medical profession is rife, he took up the study of medicine and surgery in the Hahnemann Medical College at Chicago and was graduated from that institution on March 24, 1898, with a degree of Doctor of Medicine. Prior to his graduation he had become a pastor of the Swedish Lutheran church at LaPorte, Indiana, and upon receiving his degree he removed to Porter to begin the practice of medicine. He has now been established there fifteen years and is still actively engaged in the labors of the medical profession. He is a Republican in politics and is the present health officer of Porter.

In Sweden, on the 14th of August, 1885, Dr. Theorell was united in marriage to Olivia Ohlson, who also is of Swedish birth, her nativity having occurred on May 8, 1856. To Dr. and Mrs. Theorell have been born three children, the youngest of whom, Fritz M., born August 2, 1891, in this country, died July 30, 1907. Julia E., the eldest daughter, was born in Sweden, on October 12, 1886, and has evinced the same thirst for knowledge and attainment that has been characteristic of her father. She is a graduate of the Chesterton high school, was a student at Indiana University, Bloomington, two years, and is now continuing her education in Chicago University. Olga L., the second daughter, was born November 5, 1887. She is a graduate of the Chesterton high school and of the Chicago Business College and is now employed as a stenographer and bookkeeper in Chicago.

The life of one who has so determinedly sought a broad education and so thoroughly values its efficiency in accomplishing the best work in life cannot but be a potent force for good among all with whom he associates. By his labors, his capability and his sterling qualities of character, Dr. Theorell has justified the respect and confidence in which he is held by the public in general, as well as by his closer friends and associates. Dr. and Mrs. Theorell are pleasant and genial people and by their personal qualities have won the large friendship they enjoy in their community.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 729-731

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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