Dr. Carl Brosius Sputh, Jr., M.D.
Named 2008 Hoosier German - American of the Year
(June 28, 1916 — July 6, 2011)
Born in La Crosse, Wisconsin 1916, M.D. Indiana University 1941, certified in Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose & Throat) 1946, Dr. Sputh came from three generations of a German-American family closely associated with the Turners.
His grandfather Oscar Sputh was born in Saxony 1860. He took the one year course at the Turnverein Seminary in Milwaukee to become a Turnlehrer or gymnastics teacher, graduating in 1882. George Brosius was the superintendent, and the Brosius name was given to Oscar's son and grandson! Stempfel's Festschrift tells us that in 1884 Oscar was the Turnlehrer in the Indianapolis Verein and was technical director of the 11th Turnfest of the Indiana district.
Oscar married Anna Schmidt, born 1859 in Indianapolis. Their son Carl Brosius Sputh Sr. was born in Indianapolis 1884. He also attended the Turner Seminary in Milwaukee, graduating as a Turnlehrer in 1905. Carl Jr. tells of his father working in Leadville, CO, where he was invited by the local physician to accompany him on professional visits to the miners. Carl Sr. then came back to Indianapolis on the faculty of the Normal College of the North American Gymnastic Union. He took additional courses required for admission to medical school from Butler University, and obtained his M.D. from Indiana University in 1912.* He married, and moved to La Crosse, WI, organized the Physical Education department of the State Teachers College, and of the public schools, there. Carl Brosius Sputh Jr. was born there in 1916, as well as his sister, the late Charlotte (Hash).
The family returned to Indianapolis in 1917 where Carl Sr. became an EENT (Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist, remained active in the Turners as President of the Athenaeum Turners 1918-1943, the American Turners 1918-1923, and the Normal College 1939-1942. During the latter period he negotiated with Herman Wells, President of Indiana University for the merger of the Normal College with I.U., making it the oldest school of I.U. in Indianapolis, and the oldest school of physical education in the nation!
Carl Brosius Sputh, Jr., as mentioned in the first paragraph above, was born in La Crosse, WI 1916, graduated as an M.D. from I.U. 1941 and was certified as a specialist in ENT in 1946. He remained active in the Athenaeum Turners. He was on the Board of Directors for many years, helped form medical teams for the 1983 and 1991 Turnfests, and headed the Festival Parade Committee. He was instrumental in saving the Athenaeum building as President of the Socialer Turnverein Stock Association (Socialer Turnverein Actien-Gesellschaft), helping to establish the Athenaeum Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, establishing a price of $100 per share so that holders could take a deduction for their donation, and converting the Association to the Foundation in 1991. He then became Chairman of the Trustees of the Foundation; he is now Trustee Emeritus.
*Greg Mobley, Archivist at IUPUI indicated that he found 29 physicians
including Carl Sr., associated with the Normal College during the
decade 1907-1917. Some but not all were of German extraction.