Born: December 28, 1882

Died: October 30, 1939

Married: Helen Tufts Crocker

Children: two

Dr. Willard B. Soper served with the with the British Expeditionary Forces during World War I.  From 1922 to 1926, he worked in Saranac Lake as a physician and researcher.  His name is on the World War I Veterans Memorial plaque, along with Helen G. Soper.  He lived in the Helen S. Turner Cottage at 96 Park Avenue and at 143 Park Avenue.


American Review of Tuberculosis, Volume 41, Issue 2, p. 276

Willard Burr Soper


Willard Burr Soper, aged fifty-six, died in New Haven on October 30, 1939 from the effects of a tumor of the brain. An operation was performed the preceding January, and a second, five weeks before death. He is survived by his widow, the former Helen Tufts Crocker, two children, his mother, one brother and one sister.

Doctor Soper was born in Bloomington, Illinois, on December 28, 1882. After his early education there and at the Lawrenceville School, he graduated from Yale University in 1904, and then from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in 1908. His post-graduate training included resident service in the Presbyterian Hospital, New York and he continued there as non-resident bacteriologist from 1911 to 1913. Later he worked for a year in pathology in Aschoff's laboratory at the University of Freiburg, Germany. In 1917 he became a Captain in the Medical Corps of the United States Army and joined the Presbyterian Hospital (New York) Base Hospital Unit which soon was pressed into service with the British Expeditionary Forces. He became a Major in 1918, and after the close of the War was appointed Lieutenant Colonel in the Medical Reserve Corps. From 1919 to 1921, he was Associate Medical Director of the Rockefeller Commission for the Prevention of Tuberculosis in France. From 1914 to 1917, and from 1922 to 1926, he engaged in practice and tuberculosis work in Saranac Lake. Thereafter he went to New Haven, Connecticut, where he assumed the directorship of the Bureau of Tuberculosis of the Department of Health. In 1927 he was appointed Medical Director of the William Wirt Winchester Hospital and Associate Professor of Medicine in Yale University. He held these positions until the time of his death.

Doctor Soper was a member of a number of medical organizations, including the National Tuberculosis Association, American Sanatorium Association, American College of Physicians, Association of American Physicians, American Clinical and Climatological Association and Interurban Clinical Club. He was also active in various community, religious and social organizations.

Adirondack Enterprise, April 1916. Dr. W. B. Soper renews lease on the Helen S. Turner Cottage at 96 Park Avenue.

Adirondack Enterprise, May 1, 1917. Dr. Willard B. Soper, who came to Saranac Lake in the spring of 1914, at this printing just left to go to the war. He has been living the last nine months at 147 Park Avenue.

From the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, January 2, 1954, reprinted in Howard Riley's column on March 7, 2020

The United States Eastern Amateur Ski Association was born one Winter evening in 1922 at Saranac Lake following the Adirondack Ski championship held at the Blood Hill Jump. . . . Among the skiers present that night were Dr. William [sic: Willard] Soper, who learned the sport in Europe and taught the youth of Saranac Lake each Winter . . .

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, December 27, 1972

Mt. Pisgah gives many years of community recreation

...In 1921 the history of Mt. Pisgah began with the help of a man by the name of Dr. Willard Soper. Dr. Soper, who came to Saranac Lake for TB treatment, took a great interest in Mt. Pisgah.

The hill at that time began where the lodge is now, by-passed Frog Pond, and continued down the hill to Trudeau Road. Dr. Soper learned to Ski at Mt. Pisgah and before long he became one of the well known ski instructors in the surrounding area. He later left Saranac Lake to go to Switzerland to study TB treatment...

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