By Jessica Kuiphoff, Candace Jongkind and Becca Kuehn, LaPorte High School students
Peter Scholl was born on Oct. 28, 1844, in Prussia, Germany. At the age of seven, he and his family moved to America. They settled on a farm in La Porte, Indiana, where his family was raised. They moved to Kankakee Township and operated a dairy farm.
Peter Scholl was enlisted in the 83rd Indiana regiment, Company D, in the Civil War. He was discharged in 1863. Peter Scholl married Emma Webber in 1871, and they had a son, Joseph. When Emma died, Peter married Mrs. Clara Hanna, and they had Barbara, Peter, William, and Frank. After Clara had died, Peter then had a third wife, Ella Luso, and they had John, Clara, Edward, George, Frederick and Herbert.
William Scholl, commonly known as Dr. Scholl, did not share the same aspirations as his farmer father. Instead, feet captivated Dr. Scholl. In World War I, the military was in search of a good work shoe for men in the service. Dr. Scholl, although never holding a doctorate, earned his nickname of Dr. Scholl by producing quality footwear for the military. Scholl’s creation provided him with a fair amount of money. Soon, however, the Depression hit in the 1930s, and Scholl directed his focus on the needs of LaPorte, Indiana, his hometown. Dr. Scholl bought land in order to sharecrop with other farmers in need. Two of these farmers were Mary and Joseph Tuholski.
Mary Pahs and Joseph Tuholski, married on April 27, 1946, were both born to small-town farm families. Mary was originally from Michigan City, where she lived on the Pahs family farm. Joseph, however, lived in LaPorte his entire life. The two wed in Michigan City and soon moved to LaPorte. In pursuit of farmland, the newlyweds sharecropped with Dr. William Scholl. Dr. Scholl eventually sold his four hundred acres of farmland to the Tuholskis on January 24, 1961.
As Joseph and Mary began to purchase land in LaPorte County, they founded Tuholski Farms Inc. on April 1, 1980. Their children, Bill, Larry, Barb, Dale, and Norman, were accustomed to life on the farm. From an early age, the children were expected to assist with daily farm work. Although difficult and monotonous, the chores taught the children the importance of hard work and provided them with a strong sense of dedication and commitment. The children were often rewarded at holidays for their devotion to the farm, since work was year-round and vacations were non-existent.
Family involvement on Tuholski Farms is still evident today. Because the farm is no longer a dairy farm, the family’s main focus is agriculture. The children and grandchildren of Joseph and Mary Tuholski are the farm’s primary employees. A conjoined effort between family members is crucial to the farm’s success.
The farm’s advancement in technology and equipment has progressed through the years and is still an ongoing process. Recently, the farm has taken a new approach in the production of crops in order to become more environmentally friendly. Instead of tilling the farmland in preparation for crops, the farm has acquired a no-till technique — the new crop is planted in the old crop’s remains. When not using the no-till method, the farm implements a mulch-tilled process. In 2008, Dale Tuholski was awarded the Conservation Farmer of the Year Award. This was the first year that a farmer from LaPorte had been presented with this prestigious state award.
JESSICA KUIPHOFF, CANDACE JONGKIND AND BECCA KUEHN are all students in LPHS teacher Greg Fruth’s Expository Writing class.