York Cattle Doctor Offers Medicine for Your Cattle, Horses, and Swine
Last week I wrote about several heroic citizens who saved a woman, a cow, and five horses from a raging five-building fire at South Queen and Prospect streets in 1857. The horses were saved by William Heffner, who ran naked into the stable and got them out.
To read the story of Mr. Heffner rescuing the horses from the fire, click here.
I just came across an ad placed in the Gazette 150 years ago by “Wm. Heffner, Cattle Doctor, Queen Street, York, PA.” It shows that the veterinarians of the day not only treated the animals under their care, but often had to concoct the medications they used:
“Very Important to Farmers and Keepers of Cattle
The best Remedy against Murrian”
According to dictionary.com, Murrian, usually spelled Murrain, is used to describe any plague-like disease such as anthrax or foot and mouth disease–pretty scary stuff. The ad continues:
“By practical experience, I am now able to recommend to an honored public an approved remedy against the contagious disease, which not only exists among swine, but which also attacks horses and cattle. This disease never was here before…therefore I could not meet the wishes and requests of many of my friends and customers, to prepare a remedy for it, for the public, because I wished first to satisfy myself of the true nature of this disease, by personal treatment and practical investigation, and…to recommend no powder for sale, which often has a contrary effect.
But inasmuch, as I have satisfied myself of the real nature of this disease by daily treatment of swine, horses and cattle, and can give proofs of the usefulness of my prepared powders, I offer it to the public.
As the medicine for horses and cattle differs from that prepared for swine, it must be mentioned for which it is wanted.
Directions for its use are found on the package.
For reference in regard to the usefulness of this remedy, apply to Mr. Griffith in Rosstown, Mr. Mitzel in York township, and others where horses and cattle were rescued from death.
Sold by Wm. HEFFNER, Cattle Doctor, Queen Street, York, Pa., and C.A. MORRIS & CO.”
C.A. Morris was a leading York druggist. He probably supplied Heffner with the raw materials for the concoction as well as carried the finished product in his drugstore.
Click here to read about the Dover doctor who claimed to cure many human diseases.
Click here for a 1911 tape worm remedy.