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Cottonwood Veterinary Clinic

Caring for animals since 1953

"To make this community the safest place on earth to own: a dollar's worth of livestock is your veterinarian's aim and purpose."

The history of Cottonwood Veterinary Clinic

In the early 1950's Dr. CP Enge and Dr. Eiler Fredrickson partnered to form the Cottonwood Veterinary Clinic. They started with an office in downtown Windom. In 1955 they built a new clinic along Highway 60 in Northeast Windom. It has continued there through present day. There were numerous remodels and updates throughout the years to meet the needs of a changing profession.

The newly built clinic and hospital were designed more for serving the needs of livestock farmers in the early years. There were facilities for doing surgery on cattle and horses with pens for hospitalized livestock. A few years into the business Dr. Enge left the practice to move to Arizona. Dr. L J Hansen, from the Storden area then took on partnership with Dr. Eiler. In the early 1960's Dr. Eiler moved on and Dr. Cliff Ling, a native of Round Lake joined Dr. Hansen as the new partner.

On June 1st, 1965 Dr. Ron Kuecker joined the practice and became a partner in 1966. He was from the Hadley, Slatyton area in Murray County. Dr. Kuecker had previously practiced at the Roseville Animal Hospital, a dog and cat clinic, for a year before moving down to Windom. He was asked to further develop the rapidly emerging need for more veterinary care of pets in the area. Dr. Kuecker served as a partner, and for a short time as a sole owner, after Dr. Hansen and Dr. Ling left the practice in 1969.

That same year Dr. Ray Diemer, from Heron Lake and Dr. Mike Stone, a native of Canby joined the practice. Dr. Ling had gone on to Iowa State University for some post graduate studies and returned to the practice in 1971.

Everything was running smoothly until the 1980's which brought on hard times for farmers everywhere, affecting the clinic as well. In 1982 alone, in the state of Minnesota, 10,000 small farms were lost. The decline of the small to medium farms had begun.

The transition to a more pet oriented veterinary practice in the area continued to grow. Cottonwood Veterinary Clinic continued its conversion to a small animal clinic, hospital and surgical center, all along continuing to serve the farmers that continued to hold on during these hard times.

New associates came and went during this transitional time, most notably Dr.'s Mike Curley and Mike Eisenminger. The Practice added Alan Saffert who became the Office Manager and Jerome Smith who became the large animal medical Coordinator. 

In 2009 Dr. Stone became the sole owner of Cottonwood Veterinary Clinic, with Alan Saffert running the office. We have added Dr. R Kent Leckie, Dr. Travis Freiwald, and Dr. Angela Marthaler to continue to serve the people, their pets and livestock of the Southwestern Minnesota area. Our dog and cat work has continued to expand, and Dr. Freiwald is happy to work on your 4 legged family members. 

After 50 years of serving the community, and dealing with the ever changing Veterinary profession in 2019 Dr. Stone stepped down as owner of Cottonwood Veterinary Clinic and Dr. Scott Kuecker, Son of the earlier Dr. Ron Kuecker became the sole owner. Dr. Stone will continue to be a part of the clinic, advising as Dr. Kuecker begins his adventure here.

Dr. Kuecker is already the successful owner of Marshall Animal Hospital in Marshall, MN. Dr. Kuecker will continue to run both of his clinics and be present at both. With the help of this amazing supportive staff at both clinics we hope to continue moving forward, and continue to serve both large and small animals with our up to date lab facilities, including Coggins testing and health certificates, friendly and caring staff and the latest in veterinary medicine.

Thank you to Dr. Ron Kuecker for providing this article.

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