Anoka County History: Remembering Dr. Harry Kline

Last week, I wrote about when Dr. James Kline passed away in 1932 and his son, Dr. Harry Kline, became the proprietor of the Kline Sanitarium and operated it until 1935. In 1938,

Paul Pierce bought the property and remodeled the interior into apartments.

The Pierce Apartments and Hotel, which it is now called, provided shelter for about 30 victims of the 1939 tornado.

Paul Pierce III owns and operates the historic building today. In 1980, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Sites.

When Dr. Harry Kline took over the operation of the sanitarium, he was making plans for a new clinic next to his new home at 317 Rice St.

Construction on his new home began in 1924, and took several years to complete before he and Mrs. Kline moved in in 1930.

After he sold the sanitarium to Mr. Pierce, he started to build the new clinic next to his new home but never finished it because of the Great Depression of the 1930s and the shortage of materials leading up to World War II. Meanwhile, he made the entire top floor of his home into a clinic and practiced there until his death in 1946. Most of this information was related to me by Mrs. Kline.

Dr. Harry Kline, in addition to being a popular and famous physician, was also a skilled surgeon.

He also practiced manipulation of the spine and other chiropractic skills which is why he was not allowed to become a member of the American Medical Association.

He had many other interests and ideas. He converted a large recreation room in the lower level of his home into a wood working shop and made many of his office cabinets.

My family has two of them at our hunting camp up north.

He also had an idea for a massive farming project,  just outside of Anoka, on the east side of Seventh Avenue, where he had several huge road building tractors, earth movers, and graders to level the farms he bought and raise crops. He was way ahead of the times with that idea.

All of that property was later bought by the Ghostley chicken farms.

He also owned two 1930s front-wheel drive Cords, which were way ahead of the times.

Most of today’s cars are front wheel drives, but in the ‘30s most of them had rear-wheel drive.

He had them serviced at the Neumann Chrysler-Plymouth Dealership on West Main, which I later purchased in 1957.

When we remolded the dealership, we hauled many things to the landfill next to Forest Hill Cemetery, which later became John Ward Park.

Included in the stuff hauled to the landfill were many Cord parts (still new in their boxes). I wish I had them today.

I hope this revelation does not start digging in the middle of the night by antique car buffs.

I know for a fact there are brand new parts in boxes for Cords, Chryslers, and Ford Model Ts under that Park.

I’ll write more on Kline’s beautiful home at 317 Rice Street next week.

Editor’s note: Tom Ward serves on the board of directors for the Anoka County Historical Society.

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