Dr. Shepard’s Compound Wahoo Bitters
Grand Rapids, Michigan
30 September 2013
The cure-all in vogue was Shepard’s Compound Wahoo Bitters, “not a whiskey or stimulating beverage, but medicine within reach of all.”
Charles N. Shepard was born in New York in 1812 and was probably the first druggist in Grand Rapids, Michigan to open a shop for the sale of the cure-alls and kill-alls popularly called medicines. He began the trade in drugs in a small way, but sufficiently large for the small town soon after his coming to Grand Rapids in 1835.
In 1875, Shepard went into partnership with Dr. Charles S. Hazeltine, a native of Jamestown, New York in the wholesale drug business under the firm name of Shepard & Hazeltine, which name was later changed to Shepard & Hazeltine & Co. The business was prosperous from the start, and at the death of Mr. Shepard, a joint stock company was formed, which was later incorporated as the Hazeltine, Perkins Drug Co., with capital stock of $150,000. By 1912 it was one of the largest wholesale drug companies in Michigan.
The Carlyn Ring & W.C. Ham listing in Bitters Bottles is as follows:
S 99 DR SHEPARDS COMPOUND WAHOO BITTERS
DR SHEPARDS / COMPOUND / WAHOO BITTERS / GRAND RAPIDS MICH // c //
7 1/2 x 2 3/4 x 1 1/2
Oval, Aqua, DC and LTC, Applied mouth, Rare
Drug Catalogs: 1874 VS&R, 1878 CB&Co., 1887 MP
1812 – Charles N. Shepard born 18 July 1812 in New York. Father Charles N. Shepard from Connecticut. Wife Dorinda N. Sage.
1835 – Shepard comes to Grand Rapids, Michigan.
1860 – Charles N. Shepard (24 years old), Druggist Clerk for father Charles N. Shepard. 1860 Federal Census.
1867 – Charles N. Shepard, drugs and medicines, 45 Monroe, 1867 Grand Rapids Directory.
1870 – Charles N. Shepard listed as Wholesale Druggist. Grand Rapids. 1870 Federal Census. (see advertisement below)
1875 – Shepard went into partnership with Dr. Charles S. Hazeltine, a native of Jamestown, New York in the wholesale drug business under the firm name of Shepard & Hazeltine, which name was later changed to Shepard & Hazeltine & Co.
1880 – Charles N. Shepard listed as boarder. Occupation Wholesale Druggist. Grand Rapids. 1880 Federal Census.
1893 – Death 08 March 1893.