John Rusterholtz, center, and the Saranac Lake Boys' Band

Born: c. 1885

Died: December 7, 1956


John H. Rusterholtz was the director of the Saranac Lake Boys' Band.

Plattsburgh Press-Republican, September 16, 1952

Rusterholtz to Head Christmas Seal Sale in Area

Dr. John Rusterholtz of 84 Beekman Street has accepted the appointment of county chairman for the 1952 Christmas Seal Sale, according to an announcement yesterday by John P. Judge, president of the Clinton County Tuberculosis and Public Health Association.

The Christmas Seal Sale will be conducted in Clinton County by the Clinton County Tuberculosis and Public Health Association from November 17 to December 25. Clinton County's campaign will be part of the 46th annual Christmas Seal Sale conducted throughout the country by the 3,000 associations affiliated with the National Tuberculosis Association.

"It is a duty as well as an honor to accept this opportunity to help further the work of tuberculosis prevention and control in the country," Dr. Rusterholtz said. "TB is a communicable disease which presents great social and economic problems to many of us right here in Clinton County.

"Because of its infectiousness, its prevalence, its symptomless onset, its long duration, and its tendency to recur even though once arrested, TB is one of the most complex and costly public health problems in the United States. It kills more persons each year in this country than all other infectious and parasitic diseases combined.

"We do not have to go outside Clinton County for evidence of suffering due to tuberculosis," Dr. Rusterholtz pointed out. Dr. Rusterholtz is well known in this part of the state, having taught at Plattsburgh State Teachers College for 25 years. Born in Erie, Pa., he received his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Chicago, his Master of Arts degree at Columbia University, and his Doctor of Education degree from New York University.

Dr. Rusterholtz taught Officers Training Mathematics at the University School in Cleveland during World War I. While still a young man, Dr. Rusterholtz accepted a teaching position at Saranac Lake because a member of his family had tuberculosis and was advised to move to the Adirondacks. He taught music and had a band there. The band often entertained tuberculous patients at the various sanitoria in that area. He understood many of the patients problems. He studied the disease and learned all he could regarding it.

In 1926 Dr. Rusterholtz came to Plattsburgh and joined the Plattsburgh State Teachers College faculty. He became interested in the Clinton County Tuberculosis and Public Health Association, and has served on the board of directors for many years. He has incorporated much educational material on the fight on TB in his teaching.

Every year college students were permitted to visit the Saranac and Trudeau laboratories if they had met the rigid requirement—the reading of An Autobiography by Dr. E. L. Trudeau. These annual trips have become a tradition at Plattsburgh State Teachers College. Students have been privileged to talk to Dr. F. B. Trudeau, Dr. Vorwald, Mr. Dworsky and Mr. Steenken as well as the late Dr. Baldwin, Dr. Petroff and Dr. Gardener.

Dr. Rusterholtz was local director of engineering science, management, war training for the U.S. Department of Education and Clarkson College during World War II. He retired from the Plattsburgh State Teachers College faculty in 1951. He is now public relations director in Northern New York state for the Chrysler Motor Parts Division of Rusterholtz and Rossell, Inc., of Syracuse.

He explained that the Clinton County Tuberculosis and Public Health Association conducts a year-round program to control tuberculosis. Its principal activities are: school health education, public health education, hospital patients visiting, rehabilitation, chest x-ray surveys, and co-operation with social agencies both official and voluntary.

"I am confident of the support of the people of this area during the forthcoming Christmas Seal Sale," Dr. Rusterholtz said. "They realize that by buying Christmas Seals they are supporting the work of the Clinton County Tuberculosis and Public Health Association and are helping to erect a strong barrier against the spread of TB in this community."

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, December 8, 1956

Dr. J. H. Rusterholtz Dies, First Formed SLHS Band


Dr. Rusterholtz organized the first band here when the school was located on the Hotel Saranac site about 1917-18. The band at that time was not included as a school activity, but was subsidized by the Saranac Lake Men's Club and William Morris, Sr.

Band instruction, however, was introduced into the school curriculum when the new school was built on Petrova Avenue, and Dr. Rusterholtz assumed its instructorship together with his science classes.

He joined the faculty at Plattsburgh State Teachers College in 1926 and retired in August 1951. At that time he was chairman of the science department.

A prominent lecturer and educator, Dr. Rusterholtz was a frequent visitor in Saranac Lake and well known in the community.

He is survived by his widow, of Plattsburgh, a brother, Jerome, president-treasurer of Rusterholtz and Rossell, Inc., auto dealers in Syracuse, and a second brother, of Erie. Pa

Au Sable Forks Record-Post, December 13, 1956

Dr. John Rusterholtz Dies; Services Sunday

Dr. John H. Rusterholtz died after a brief illness at Physicians Hospital, Plattsburgh, early Friday morning. Hospital authorities said death came to the prominent, 71-year-old educator at 4 a. m. He had been hospitalized 10 days.

Dr. Rusterholtz retired in August of 1951, a faculty professor emeritus of science at State University Teachers College at Plattsburgh. At that time he was chairman of the science department. He had been a member of the faculty since 1926.