At a time in American history when women were expected to stay at home, and not be leaders in “male” occupations, Mrs. Schroeder was a trendsetter for feminists. She was a woman of remarkable leadership and drive that steered the fortunes of the psychiatric hospital for over 50 years. Mrs. Schroeder (Yoerg) was married to Mr. Gerhard Schroeder in 1940. She was initially trained as a nurse. She began her nursing career at Children’s Hospital in 1923. She became the Administrator of Children’s Hospital in 1937, and served on their Board of Directors for 39 years.
When Mr. Schroeder died unexpectedly in 1952, Mrs. Schroeder took over as President of the Milwaukee Sanitarium (1952-1953). After a new Administrator was hired in 1953, Mrs. Schroeder continued in her service to the hospital as President of the Board of Directors until 1974.
In 1954, she worked with others, including Dr. William Kradwell, to create the non-profit Milwaukee Sanitarium Foundation, which enabled the hospital to achieve its non-profit status that same year. Mrs. Schroeder also provided the impetus for the creation of Kradwell School (1963) and the Dewey Center (1972).
Jon Van Beckum- Archivist
Aurora Psychiatric Hospital Archives
Please credit Aurora Health Care as the source of this material.
Ms. Sophie Schroeder, Milwaukee Sanitarium